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Map Editor Style Guide
By [DEV] Blammo and 2 collaborators
Guide to giving your new custom maps that distinct Forts look.
Terrain Styles
Each environment set has a specific look to it. The guidelines below will help you create terrain shapes that compliment each backgrounds distinct aesthetic.


The terrain in the Midwest environment set takes it's cues from the range of hills in the middle background. The signiature shape is a squashed egg, or pillow, and are arranged as if one is leaning or piled onto another, contrasting curved tops with abrupt recesses.


In the Canyon environment set, the style of the terrain is that of irregular rectanles, with chamfered corners. The surface is best thought of as having these rectangles overlayed and overlapping each other.


Sand dunes are the signiature shape of the Desert envrionment set, made up from two curved edges, one convex, one concaved, joined by a pinched corner, with little or no overhang. These are then connected by gently undulating terrain.


Alpine terrain is similar to Desert, but more extreme. Unlike the Desert dunes, the cliffs are one continuous curve, with definite overhang, representing the shape of piled up snow on the brink of break off and falling.


The rolling hills of Fields are basically a series of egg shapes, mixing gentle curves on top, with hard angles where they meet, interspersed with the occasional gentle curve joining two adjacent hills.


The angular landscape of the Polluted environment set consists of peaks and troughs punctuated with hull-shaped spikes jutting out. These spikes can also feature secondary shapes sticking out, or cut away from their outline.
Prop Placement
Props help give an environment a lived in feel. The following guidelines will give you an idea of the approach we've taken when placing props in the maps.

When placing props, regular distribution is to be avoided, so as to ensure the maps don't look procedural. Placing props in a more random fashion gives the environment a more human feel. Scaling and angling of the props also increases variety, and buildings should ideally be placed as flat on the terrain as possible, unless a hillside settlment is the aim

Above are some examples of clustering of various props. Nestling buildings within a few trees will help give them more grounding. For environments such as Desert, stacking buildings on top of each other can give the environment an intersting look similar to the crowded settlements often found in the Middle East.
Fort Best Practices
Over the course of developing Forts, we have discovered what works, and what doesn't, when it comes to placing Forts and their reactors.

  • To ensure that battles don't descend into a grind, over the course of development we've learned that reactors need to be at least 4 grid squares away from the surface they are attached to. This will ensure that the reactor is always a prominent target and brings in to play either detatching the reactor from it's moorings, or collaping the fort.*
  • Always place forts/reactors at the fore of the foundations. This will reduce the capacity to turtle by burying the reactor behind masses of armour and bracings, leading to a grind or stalemate.
  • There should be a minimum of one mine per fort, but ideally two or three. Depending on the scale of the map, additional devices and weapons can be added, either to speed the battle up, or encourage opponents down a particular path.

*In the case of maps such as Drop the Bomb, it is necessary to place the reactor close to the ground to ensure that splash damage from falling explosive barrels hitting the ground will destroy it reliably (See bottom right)

Hope this comes in handy. We look forward to seeing more community made maps in the coming weeks.

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Lord Haart Apr 6 @ 3:55am 
What would I be thinkign of the amrsman ont hesid eif the reackotr isi nit a grinmd then cae rulfytwh needs to be ?
DeltaWing Sep 4, 2021 @ 7:54pm 
hey, can we please get a rough estimate (in grid units) of what the scale of the signature shapes should be?
Gibbs Jul 5, 2019 @ 8:56pm 
@eldtaizi, upload it to the steam workshop
Eldralzi Apr 4, 2019 @ 9:35am 
i have a new map, but no one can download it on the game, could u help me?
Joepocalypse May 15, 2018 @ 4:52pm 
Ah. I see. :P
[DEV] Blammo  [author] May 15, 2018 @ 3:41pm 
Hey @Joepocalypse the Mars custom terrain was included as an example of how to upload a environment set, and is not an official background as such. The polluted environment set is its' inspiration.

Hello @PoonMoon the command \set_background refers to the entire environment set, both foreground and background.

Hope that helps!
Ꝑꝏﬨ Apr 20, 2018 @ 2:29am 
Hi Blammo, I've read through the Editor guide and have most things working but I cannot see how to create a terrain like these and apply them to the edited map. I can change the theme with \set_background alpine etc but how would you use a custom 'foreground' like these?
Joepocalypse Mar 26, 2018 @ 5:25pm 
Possibly update this to include the Mars custom terrain?
TimeZone Jul 14, 2017 @ 10:24am 
will you guys maka an explaining video because i still dont get it :(
TrippleT May 10, 2017 @ 6:45pm 
interesting! I like that you are giving a style guide to help people build new maps that go along with the theams provided.