There are various maps created by Gas Powered Games, as well as the mapping community. The official map editor was released on June 11, 2007, it can be downloaded through GPGNet's "Vault". Before the official editor was available, HazardX had reverse-engineered the map file format and created unofficial tools to create new maps.
Internally, a map consists of the following:
- A heightmap that describes the altitude of each part of the map (e.g. hills, cliffs, flat land, etc..)
- Several texturemaps that describe the looks (sand, grass, stone) of each part of the map
- Scenario data, which describes human and ai players and their prebuilt units
- Game elements, like mass extraction points, waypoint markers, etc...
- Additional information like water styles, background images, lighting, ...
- A preview image of the final map.
- (Optionally: script files to add or modify game behaviour)
Creating a new map is easy, but you will need to take some time to read and understand the tutorials. After that, it's basically your creativity that helps you make interesting maps - and the amount of time you're willing to put into this task. You do not need to be a programmer or graphical artist to make maps.
For better overview, the whole process of map creation is split into different subsections. If you're new, check out one of the tutorials for a basic understanding of what you need to do.
- Map editing tools - what do you need to make maps?
- Official map editor tutorial - how to create a map with the offical editor (by AngryZealot)
- HazardX map editor tutorial - how to use HazardX map editor
- Map editor - an in-depth look at the editors functionality.
- Map editor tips - things that might help you.
- Map scripting - enhance your maps with additional functionality (e.g. new game modes).
- Map publishing - where and how to publish your map?
- Advanced Map Editor Tools - techniques for making your map look better