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SnowRunner™ Editor Guide. Part #2

Part #2 of this guide describes how to create a map (Chapter 5, from 5.1 to 5.11). It covers such aspects as: Terrain, “Geometry” Brushes, PBR Materials, Snow and Ice, Models, Plants, Distributions, Overlays, Rivers and Water Objects, References, Trucks.

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Quick links to parts of this guide:

  • Part #1 - Introduction to SnowRunner™ Editor: First Launch, UI, File Paths (Chapters 1 to 4)
  • Part #2 - Creation of a Map, beginning (Chapter 5, from 5.1 to 5.11) that covers:
    • Terrain
    • “Geometry” Brushes
    • PBR Materials
    • Snow and Ice
    • Models
    • Plants
    • Distributions
    • Overlays
    • Rivers and Water Objects
    • References
    • Trucks
  • Part #3 - Creation of a Map, continuation (Chapter 5, from 5.12 to 5.15) that covers:
    • Sounds
    • Sound Domains
    • Zones
    • Objectives
  • Part #4 - Post-production operations: Packing a Map, Testing a Map, Publishing a Map, Playing on a Map (Chapters 6 to 10)
  • Part #5 - Viewing Trucks (Chapter 11)

If you want an offline copy, you can download the full guide in the PDF format here.


5. Creation of a Map

In general, the process of creating a map is the following:

  1. Create a new terrain.
  2. Modify the terrain:
    1. Create the necessary height differences on it, smooth it in the right places, and so on.
    2. Assign the necessary PBR materials and use their layers to paint the terrain.
    3. Add mud and/or snow areas.
    4. Add rivers and other water objects.
    5. Add plants, either as single standalone plants or massively via Distributions.
    6. Add various overlays: roads, wires, etc.
    7. Add various models: buildings, light poles, etc.
    8. Add zones: Garage, fuel stations, zones for loading cargo, zones that will be used for delivery of goods/trucks, etc.
    9. Add objectives related to some zones: Tasks, Contracts, and Contests.
    10. If necessary, add some external maps as references.
    11. Add trucks and select one truck as Active.
    12. Add sounds and sound domains.
  3. Pack your map to .pak and .zip files.
  4. Test your map locally in the game.
  5. Publish your map to snowrunner.mod.io

The sections that follow describe some of these operations in more detail.

5.1. Creation of a Terrain

To create a terrain:

1. In the File View panel, right-click the prebuild folder and select New Terrain in the list.

create terrain

2. In the appearing window, specify the main parameters of the new map:

create terrain 2

The parameters are the following:

  • Name - the name of the map. Names of levels must start with the level_ prefix, references must start with the ref_ prefix.
  • U Blocks and V Blocks - allow you to specify the dimensions of the map (the width and length), in blocks. Each block is equal to 24 meters.
    • U Blocks - the number of blocks along the X-axis.
    • V Blocks - the number of blocks along the Z-axis.
  • Max height (m) - the maximum height of the level.

When creating a new terrain, the system creates a new data.stg file and prompts about that. Answer Yes.

data stg file creation

If the creation of the initial terrain was performed successfully, you will see that the Scene View panel now contains the following hierarchy:

scene view

The Terrain section there contains subsections that correspond to both tools (brushes) that you will use during editing terrain and all objects that you will add to the terrain.

However, the main window of the editor will display only the grid and the initial terrain will be not visible.
To display the terrain, double-click the terrain preview in the Terrain panel on the left (A on the picture below). After doing this, the terrain will be displayed in the main window (B on the picture below).

create terrain 5

5.1.1. Terrain Properties

If the Terrain section is selected in the Scene View, you can see the parameters of the terrain in the lower part of the Scene View panel:

terrain properties

In this panel, you can view the information about the size of the map in blocks (which is not editable) and specify such parameters as daytime presets, the sky preset, the sound preset (Ambient Preset), and so on.

The parameters are the following:

  • Blocks section:
    • Number X - the number of blocks along the X-axis. Maximum value: 84
    • Number Z - the number of blocks along the Z-axis. Maximum value: 84
    • Max Height - the maximum height of the level.
  • Mud Type - currently not used.
  • Mutator - allows you to specify the ID of the mutator that will be applied to all references imported to this map (to meet its settings). For more details, see "5.10.3. Usage of Mutators" below.
  • Sun Static Direction - sets the direction of the static sun. The word “static” is important here, since the light from this static sun will be baked into the lightmap (shadows from it will not change during the day). Static lightmap shadows are rendered at the distance greater than 50 meters from the camera. At the distance that is less than 50 meters - more sincere dynamic shadows are used. These dynamic shadows change simultaneously with the change of the daytime presets in the game, according to the direction of the “dynamic” sun (the SunDir parameter in the daytime preset). For info on daytime presets, see below.
  • Sky Preset - the preset for the sky on the level. The existing sky presets can be found in the [media]\classes\skies\ folder of the initial.pak archive.
    Possible values:
    • sky_ru_02 - the sky of Taymyr
    • sky_us_01 - the sky of Michigan
    • sky_us_02 - the sky of Alaska.
  • Ambient Preset - the name of the file with sound presets for the environment of the map (“ambient sounds”). In particular, there are presets of sounds for specific weather and terrain, including river sounds. Files with presets are stored in the initial.pak archive, inside the [media]\classes\ambients\ directory. Since we cannot edit the .pak file by standard means, in this field we simply specify the name of the preset that is most suitable for our map. Therefore, the available values for this field are as follows:
    • snd_amb_us_autumn - autumn preset
    • snd_amb_us_winter - winter preset
    • snd_amb_ru_summer - summer preset
  • Daytime Presets section - specifies presets for lighting and time of day:

      • Night - night

      • Night to Day - dawn

      • Day Early Variants - morning

      • DayMidVariants - midday

      • DayLateVariants - after midday

      • DayToNight - sunset

    • The existing daytime presets can be found at the [media]\classes\daytimes\ folder of the initial.pak archive. Presets with the “a” suffix (e.g. “day__1a_ru_02” for “day__1_ru_02”) correspond to the “cloudy weather” variant of the preset.
      For example, the following presets are used for levels (the same IDs are the possible values for these fields):

      • Taymyr:

        Night night_ru_02
        NightToDay night_to_day_ru_02
        DayEarlyVariants day__1_ru_02;day__1a_ru_02
        DayMidVariants day__2_ru_02;day__2a_ru_02
        DayLateVariants day__3_ru_02;day__3a_ru_02
        DayToNight day_to_night_ru_02
      • Alaska:

        Night night_us_02
        NightToDay night_to_day_us_02
        DayEarlyVariants day__1_us_02;day__1a_us_02
        DayMidVariants day__2_us_02;day__2a_us_02
        DayLateVariants day__3_us_02;day__3a_us_02
        DayToNight day_to_night_us_02
      • Michigan:

        Night night_us_01
        NightToDay night_to_day_us_01
        DayEarlyVariants day__1_us_01;day__1a_us_01
        DayMidVariants day__2_us_01;day__2a_us_01
        DayLateVariants day__3_us_01;day__3a_us_01
        DayToNight day_to_night_us_01
    • NOTE: Mixing presets from different levels can result in an unpredicted result.

    • NOTE: Please be accurate while entering IDs of the Daytime Presets. Entered values must not contain spaces (spaces in these values may result in a crash).

  • Daytime Presets > Force section - allows you to set one particular daytime preset for the level. This preset will not change with the game time. The section contains the following fields:
    • Name - the name (ID) of the daytime preset, see above.
    • Night Factor - the lighting condition in the specified preset: “Day”, “Night”, or “Night to Day”. This setting is necessary for the game logic that is related to the daytime. Using this value, it will be able to identify what time of the day should be used for the specified preset.
  • Description level section:
    • Id - name of the level for UI.
    • Description - description of the level for UI.
  • Extrudes To Wetness - sets the humidity of the hidden mud (the more it is, the more liquid the dirt will be and the harder it will be to drive).
  • -threshold - the parameter for cutting minor mud. Recommended values are in the [0.05-0.2] interval:
    • For winter: 0.2
    • For warm seasons: below 0.15 (the best variant is 0.05).

5.1.2. Scene Properties

After selecting the Scene section in the Scene View panel, you are able to set the speed of the in-game time that will be used for the scene in the lower part of the panel. This parameter is not used outside the Editor (i.e. it is not used inside the game itself). However, in the Editor, it affects the playback speed of the animations of objects and allows you to make them faster or slower.

scene properties

Along with this setting, you can also enable “Fog of War” for your map. However, it is specified along with the zone settings, see "5.14.4" for details.

5.2. “Geometry” Brushes for Terrain

Geometry is the subsection of the Terrain section in Scene View.

27 geometry section

When you select the Geometry node (or any of its sub-nodes) in the Scene View, the terrain editing menu (brush panel) of a certain kind will appear in the main panel of the Editor.

The Geometry section includes tools for working with the terrain surface.
Roughly speaking, by choosing the Geometry node or its sub-nodes - we select a brush with which we will work with the terrain surface.

Painting, using the selected brush, is performed by pressing and holding the right mouse button while moving the mouse. By pressing the left mouse button, you can apply the changes. For details on typical Brush dialog, see "3.3. Typical Brush dialog" above.

28 geometry brush

When working with the Geometry brush itself (when the Geometry node itself is selected in the Scene View panel), you can edit heights and the geometry of the terrain. In the drop-down list, you can select one of the three operating modes:

  • Height - Lowering or raising the surface. If the brush value is negative, recesses will be created on the terrain. If positive, bulges will be created.
  • Flatten - Flattening of the surface. I.e., the brush allows you to create flat surfaces when you hold the right mouse button. The height in the center of the brush is used as the height of flattening when you click the right mouse button.
  • Smooth - Smoothing of height differences. Smoothing occurs when the right mouse button is pressed. We recommended you to set the Falloff value close to 0 for this brush.

After setup of the brush, you can change the terrain surface by moving the brush and holding the right mouse button.

NOTE: Along with manual creation of the terrain, you can create a terrain in the third-party tool. For details, see "5.2.0.1. Copy Source Heightmap: Creation of Terrain by Third-Party Tool" below.

The remaining brushes (sub-nodes of the Geometry node) are controlled in the same way. They are briefly described in the subsections below, starting with "5.2.1. Colorization" below. The "5.2.0" section below describes the context menu of the Geometry section.

5.2.0. Context menu of the “Geometry” section

The context menu of the Geometry section contains a set of commands that can be helpful in some cases. To open this menu, right-click the Geometry section in the Scene View.

29 geometry context menu

For the description of these commands, see "5.2.0.N"subsections below.

5.2.0.1. Copy Source Heightmap: Creation of Terrain by Third-Party Tool

The Copy Source Heightmap command is useful if you want to use the heightmap from some third-party tool and want to generate terrain for your map based on it.
Particularly:
When you create a new terrain in the Editor, it creates the _height_source.png texture in the source folder of the level (Media\prebuild\<level_name>). This texture has 1 channel and it must be 16-bit. If necessary, you can generate the heightmap for your map using a third-party tool and save the resulting heightmap to this texture. To add heightmap from this texture to your map in the Editor, you can use the Copy Source Heightmap command.

5.2.0.2. Create Water Heightmap: Useful Map of Water Surfaces

The Create Water Heightmap command creates the texture with a heightmap of water surfaces that were created as River objects on the map (see "5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects" below). This texture is called _water_height.png, it has one channel, 16 bit. This texture is not used by the Editor for the generation of the level. However, this texture can be used, if masks for layers and distributions are generated in third-party applications (e.g. Substance Designer or Houdini). Using this texture and a heightmap of the level, one can easily see where the map contains water and what is its depth.
For example, according to the data on this mask, one can generate the distribution of canes on the banks of water objects and a wetness mask near them.

5.2.0.3. Create Default Flowmap: Default Map of the Flow for River Objects

The Create Default Flowmap command creates the default map of the flow of water for River objects on the map (see "5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects" below). This texture is called _default_water_flow.tga, it has 3 channels (RGB), 8 bit for each channel.
The R and G channels contain components of the speed vector (for U and V axes of the terrain correspondingly).
The default direction of the flow of the water is automatically calculated by the Editor based on the height differences along the river spline and its curvature.
The _default_water_flow.tga texture is not used by the Editor for the generation of the level. However, it could be used to generate a more accurate flow map in third-party applications, using it together with the terrain heightmap and the water heightmap textures.
After tuning, this water flow texture can be renamed to the water flow texture used for the generation of the level - _water_flow.tga. If you enable the UseFlowMap option (set UseFlowMap = True) in the properties of the River object after doing this, the Editor will use the created _water_flow.tga texture when generating the level. Or, you can manually paint the River object with the Water brush in the Editor to specify the flow (see "5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects" below).

5.2.0.4. Restore version "mud" from "data.stg": Restoring Mud Data

The Restore version "mud" from "data.stg" command restores the mud data if it has become corrupted. This command overwrites the mud file (where the mud data is stored) with the data from the data.stg file, which contains all level data (including mud) in the binary format. The data.stg file is updated each time you save the level.

5.2.0.5. Create Ref Merge Map: Creation of a Mask for Merging a Reference

The Create Ref Merge Map command creates the _ref_merge.tga texture and enables the RefMergeMask brush that can be used to create a mask for merging a reference with your map. For more details, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush" below.


5.2.1. Colorization

30 colorization brush

The Geometry > Colorization brush allows you to paint the surface with a specified color.
In the Color parameter, you can specify the necessary color tint, and use the slider to specify how much this color will affect the surface.
If the slider pointer is located to the right from the middle of the slider, you will paint the terrain with the selected color. If the slider pointer is on the left - the brush will erase the color from the terrain. If the slider pointer is exactly in the middle of the slider, the brush will do nothing.
The Set button shows a color palette for selecting color.

To paint with this brush hold the right mouse button.

5.2.2. Wetness

31 wetness brush

The Geometry > Wetness brush allows you to adjust the wetness of the surface. The higher the Value parameter is, the wetter the painted surface will be. The wetter the surface, the stronger the vehicle will get stuck in it even if the mud is not painted in this area. On winter maps, hard surfaces (e.g. winter asphalt, winter stone, ice) will become icy when painted with the wetness brush.

5.2.3. Mud

32 mud brush

The Geometry > Mud brush allows you to add and edit mud on the terrain surface.

33 mud surface

Mud is displayed on the surface as vertical lines with horizontal marks. The more marks the line has, the deeper the mud is at this point.
For example:

  • The first horizontal mark is the boundary of the mud, which is passable by light and poorly prepared vehicles.
  • The second mark is the boundary of mud passable by four-wheel-drive regular trucks with offroad tires.
  • Below the second mark - almost everything will bog, except for heavy vehicles, upgraded to the maximum limit.

The higher the Value parameter of the brush is, the faster the brush will add depth to the mud. When the Value parameter has a negative value, the mud is reduced or erased.

In the drop-down menu, you can select two operating modes of the brush:

  • Automatic - this mode adds mud and automatically paints the texture of the mud on the surface. This mud will be sufficiently hard and dried out if wetness or hidden mud is not painted on it (see below). To create mud traces, we recommend you to paint with a brush size of 0.5-0.8 meters. For light mud, the Value should be 0.54 - 0.56. For deep traces - 0.6 - 0.7.
  • Extrudes - this mode adds depth to the mud on the terrain. In this case, the texture of the surface will not change. This is the “hidden mud” that the player will only see when the earth is wet in this place (automatic wetting is defined by the Extrudes To Wetness parameter in the Terrain section). This mud affects passability most of all.

5.2.4. Quick Mud

34 quick mud brush

The Geometry > QuickMud brush allows you to paint mud with added ruts. This brush will paint the ruts, the friability of the soil, and its wetness at the same time.
It is used for quick painting of the mud on the badly broken roads.

35 quick mud surface

5.2.5. Water

36 water brush

The Geometry > Water brush does not create water objects. It allows you to change the properties for already created River objects. The water flows themselves are created by the River tool (see "5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects" below).

Properties that can be changed with this brush:

  • Foam - adds foam to the water surface.
  • Speed - sets the speed of the water, separately from its direction (flow). By default, the flow direction goes from the 0 point of the River object to the next points (1, 2, etc.).
  • Flow - Overrides the direction of the water flow, when the River object has the UseFlowMap parameter set to True.

NOTE: The mask for the foam is stored in the green channel of the _water.tga texture (in the map mod folder). The mask for the speed of water is stored in the blue channel of the same texture. The result of painting the flow of the river is stored in the _water_flow.tga texture. Along with manual painting of the flow of the river, you can generate a default flow map and then tune it with a third-party tool (see "5.2.0.3" above for details).

5.2.6. Water Mud

37 water mud brush

The Geometry > WaterMud brush allows you to paint dirty or muddy areas of water (it allows you to repaint water objects). The color and properties of muddy water are set in the River object (see "5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects" below).

As opposed to the regular mud, the water mud simply affects the color of the river. I.e., according to the painted areas, the game will perform blending of the two river colors. These colors are set for the river in its properties: Clean Type (for clear water) and Muddy Type (for muddy water).

5.2.7. Snow

38 snow brush

The Geometry > Snow brush allows you to control the depth of snow.
This brush can only be used on the snow terrain layer, after painting it with the snow_layer layer of the corresponding PBR material (see "5.3. Assigning PBR Materials to Terrain" below). You can paint using this brush if there is at least a little layer of snow terrain in the painted area. For example, if 0 amount of the snow is painted on the layer, then there will be no deep snow; however, if the weight of the snow on the snow layer is 50%, then deep snow can be painted. This is done so to avoid sharp "steps" of the deep snow (since on the map of the deep snow 1 pixel equals to 50cm).

As with mud (see "5.2.3. Mud" above), after painting with the depth of the snow, a region with vertical lines with horizontal marks will appear on the terrain. The more horizontal marks are displayed on the vertical line, the deeper the snow is.

39 snow depth surface

IMPORTANT: If there is a solid ground under the snow and there is no mud, the car will not sink in the snow for more than a half of a wheel. If the snow is deeper than 1 horizontal mark (see screenshot above) and there is a hidden mud (mud of the “Extrudes” type) under the snow, the car will sink deeper in the snow and will bury itself in the snow below the level of the wheels.

Properties:

  • Depth - sets the depth of snow (similarly to Mud).
  • Flatten - flattens snow depth.
  • Smooth - smooths transitions between sections of snow with different depths.

By enabling the Update material option in the Brush window, you can add both the depth of the snow and the snow_layer itself, simultaneously.

NOTE: If you are creating a large level and are working with snow (painting depth or working with a material with the snow_layer), then we recommend you to disable the autorebuild of the terrain. Otherwise, the autorebuild and/or any operation with the material will take a long time.

To view the final result of the performed changes, you need to rebuild the scene. To do this, right-click the scene window and select Rebuild Terrain or Rebuild Visible / Selection (to rebuild only visible or selected areas).

After painting with the depth of snow - the system will mark this level as snowy. And, only after that, the soft_snow and crust_snow layers can be applied (see "5.3.1. Material properties" for details). They will be available only after performing Rebuild Terrain also.

5.2.8. RefMergeMask (only for References)

The Geometry > RefMergeMask brush is used for references. It is hidden in the UI by default.
For details on it, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush" and "5.10. Adding References" below.

5.3. Assigning PBR Materials to Terrain

The PbrMaterials section of the Scene View panel allows you to create PBR (Physically-Based Rendering) terrain materials with layers and paint the terrain with them.

To create a material:

  1. Right-click the terrain (or the PbrMaterials section of the Scene View panel).
  2. Select Add PbrMaterial in the context menu.

After that, a new material with 4 layers will be created. You can create a maximum of 4 such materials with 4 layers.

IMPORTANT: In winter levels containing snow, you can use only 3 layers of the material. And the third layer should always be the snow (snow_layer).

After the creation of the material, its settings can be specified at the lower part of the Scene View panel (after selection of this material). We recommend using almost the same values of settings for all materials of the level.
For example, sample material settings:

  • For winter maps:
    • AlbedoWetnessMult="1"
    • RoughnessWetnessMult="1"
  • ● For summer and autumn maps:
    • AlbedoWetnessMult="2"
    • RoughnessWetnessMult="0.5"

The usage of the same settings for all materials of the level is important for the convenience of painting and the absence of sharp boundaries between different materials.

The brush for painting with material contains a drop-down list with a selection of paint layers.

40 material painting

Painting with a layer is performed by holding the right mouse button. Whether the layer will be added or removed - depends on the value of the Value slider. If the Value is greater than 0.50, then the layer will be added, if it is less than 0.50, then the layer will be erased.

The list of layers of the brush also contains the Opacity mode. This mode corresponds to painting the block with the selected material.

5.3.1. Material properties

Properties of the material can be specified at the lower part of the Scene View panel (after selecting this material in the Scene View panel).

Some brief notes on these properties:

AlbedoWetnessMult - the coefficient that determines how much the existing wetness will darken the texture of the terrain.

RoughnessWetnessMult - the coefficient that determines how much the existing wetness will affect the roughness of the texture of terrain.

About Layer 1, Layer 2, Layer 3 sections and these layers:

  • To specify the particular layer, click [press] next to the [Choose file] field.
  • On selecting layers:
    • as the first layer (Layer 1) we recommend choosing grass
    • as the second layer (Layer 2) we recommend choosing ground or rock or gravel.
    • on snowy levels, the third layer (Layer 3) should always be the snow_layer.
  • Materials with the _snowy suffix in the name are designed specifically for winter levels.

The brush control changes when painting snowy levels. In this case, additional layers automatically appear in it:

41 material additional snow modifiers

NOTE: A level is considered snowy, if, somewhere on it, the snow depth is painted using the Geometry > Snow brush (see above). Painting will not be active until you make Rebuild Terrain and save the level.

In particular, the soft_snow and crust_snow layers will appear in the drop-down menu of layer selection. These layers are modifiers of the already painted snow layer. They need to be painted over a layer of snow.

  • soft_snow - soft snow, it is typically painted mainly in the areas that contain a forest, bushes, and a lot of plants.
  • crust_snow - compressed snow with hard lumps, it is typically painted along the edges of the road.

These layers change the normal map of the snow_layer only. This is necessary to vary the snow appearance as described above. The results of painting with these layers cannot be seen in the Editor itself, but are visible in the game.

42 snow modifiers

Tiling scale - the tiling scale of texture. Recommended values:

  • for grass, earth, and sand - 5
  • for rocks - 1
  • for gravel - 3
  • for snow - 2.2

HM blending contrast - the smoothness of the border when blending layers. Recommended values:

  • for soft surfaces - 0.7-0.8
  • for hard surfaces - 0.8-0.9

5.4. Adding Snow and Ice

This section gives a summary on snow and ice creation and links to other sections for more details.

To create a snow/ice coverage on the map:

  1. Create a PBR Material that contains the snow_layer. The snow_layer texture must be selected as the Layer 3 of this material. Other layers are up to you, but probably you will want to select textures in a winter setting for them. See "5.3. Assigning PBR Materials to Terrain" and "5.3.1. Material properties" above for details.
  2. Paint with the Layer 3 (snow_layer) the areas of the map you want to cover with snow. See "5.3" and "5.3.1" for details.
  3. Using the Geometry > Snow brush, add the depth to the snow in the areas painted with the snow_layer. For more details, see "5.2.7. Snow" above.
    After using this brush, perform Rebuild Terrain.
  4. Since you have painted snow depth in some areas, the Editor will consider that your map is snowy and will automatically display additional layers within the Brush available for your PBR Material. Particularly, you will see the soft_snow and crust_snow layers there (see "5.3.1. Material properties" for details). Usage of these layers is the following:
    • soft_snow - soft snow, it is typically painted mainly in the areas that contain a forest, bushes, and a lot of plants.
    • crust_snow - compressed snow with hard lumps, it is typically painted along the edges of the road.
      NOTE: These layers change only the normal map of the snow_layer. This is necessary to vary the snow appearance as described above. The results of painting with these layers cannot be seen in the Editor itself, but are visible in the game.
  5. Paint the necessary areas with the soft_snow and crust_snow layers.
  6. Now, if your map contains some hard surfaces (e.g. winter asphalt, winter stone, ice) as layers of your PBR Material, you can make them icy by painting them with the Geometry > Wetness brush, see "5.2.2. Wetness" above.
  7. If you enable the Settings > Show Snow By Up Vector option in the main menu, you will view the snow cover effect for models and plants on the scene, according to their texture settings.

Frozen rivers, lakes, and other ice surfaces are created as a terrain with the material containing either ice_01 or ice_02 texture as a layer. They are not created as regular River objects.

Falling snow and other weather conditions are specified in the Daytime Presets (see "5.1.1. Terrain Properties" above).

5.5. Adding Models

Editor allows you to add different models to the scene.

To add a model, right-click the scene (or the Models section in the Scene View), and select Add Model from the context menu.

After doing this, the model selection window will be opened:

43 model browser

You can search for the particular model in this window if you know its name. The search query should be specified in the text field above the list.

NOTE: For some info on model types, see "5.5.1. Recommendations for models" below.

Double-click on the selected model in this window will add it to the map.

44 added model

You can move, rotate, or scale the model on the map.
Moving and rotating is performed in the standard way, using arrows and circles displayed around the model (see screenshot above). To scale a model, you need to hover the mouse over the yellow rhomb displayed in the center of the coordinates of the model, then hold the left mouse button and scale the model as necessary by moving the mouse.
The same parameters can be specified in the lower part of the Scene View panel, within the Position, Rotation, and Scale fields.

45 model properties

There are also two coordinate modes for controlling the model: local and global.

46 local transform

If you enable the Local transform mode, then the axes of the model will correspond to its position. If you disable this mode, then the axes along which you can move the model will correspond to the coordinate grid of the entire map.

5.5.1. Recommendations for models

  • Models with the us suffix are typically used for US maps.
  • Models with the rus suffix are typically used for Russian maps.
  • farplane objects correspond to mountains used for far planes.
  • Regarding scale for rocks:
    • rock_03 - recommended scale value: 3-5
    • rock_04 - recommended scale value: 6-10
    • rock_05 - recommended scale value: 4-7
    • rock_06 - recommended scale value: 6-10
    • rock_07 - recommended scale value: 1-2

5.6. Adding Plants

The list of models does not include plants. They are added to the scene separately.

The way you add plants to the map depends on how many plants you want to add:

  • If you want to add a single plant, it can be done as described in this section.
  • If you want to add multiple plants at once, it can be done with the help of the appropriate Distribution (see "5.7. Adding Multiple Objects via Distribution" below).

Single plants are added to the map similarly to the models.
You right-click the scene (or the Plants section in the Scene View) and select Add Plant from the context menu.
After doing this, the window with the list of the plants will open. You can search the list and double-click the necessary plant to add it to the map.

47 plants browser

Moving, rotating, and scaling the plants are also performed similarly to models.

There are practically no differences, but, in the settings of the plant itself, there are several additional parameters:

48 plant properties

These additional parameters are the following:

  • Do Land - If this option is set to True, the plant will always be attached to the terrain. This allows you to avoid situations when a tree is hanging in the air.
  • Perpendicularity - Perpendicularity to the coordinate grid. This is a useful setting for trees growing on steep hills and mountains. The value of this parameter is specified by the slider that appears to the right of the value when you click it.

5.7. Adding Multiple Objects via Distribution

Adding large amounts of trees and other plants is much more convenient with the help of the Distribution map and usage of the Distribution brush. Besides, using Distributions you can add not only plants, but also stones, debris, and so on. (What you will add depends on the brush set you choose, see below).

To create a new Distribution object:

First of all, right click the terrain (or the Distributions section in the Scene View panel) and select Add Distribution in the context menu.

After doing this, the new Empty Distribution object will appear in the Distributions section in the Scene View panel.

49 empty distribution

Now you need to create a map for this Distribution object and specify settings for plants that you will be adding using this Distribution.

Particularly, you will need to specify the following fields in the lower part of the Scene View panel:

  • Map - In this field, you need to create the file of the Distribution map itself. To do this, you need to click the Map field and then click the button displayed on the right side of it.
    50 distribution map
    After that, you need to specify the name of the new file of the Distribution map in the appearing window. This name must start with the dstr_ suffix and must end with the .tga extension. For example, dstr_spruces_1.tga
    After clicking Open in this window, the file with the specified name will be created, and the brush for this distribution map will appear in the main window of the Editor.
  • After that, you can specify properties for ignoring some areas of the map. Particularly, by default, plants cannot grow through roads, water, and mud. However, after switching the necessary parameter to True, you can become able to add plants on these surfaces:
    • Ignore Overlays - allows you to paint Distributions over roads.
    • Ignore Water - allows you to paint Distributions under the water.
    • Ignore Mud - allows you to paint Distributions over the mud.
  • In the Brushes section, you need to set up brushes for the Distribution. When setting up brushes, you can add to a Distribution a single brush or multiple brushes at once. For example, in addition to a brush for a particular plant, you can add brushes for other types of plants, brushes for mushrooms, leaves, stones, etc.
    To set up brushes, you need to click the [press] button next to the Edit field.
    After doing this, the Distribution Brushes window will appear:
    51 distribution list of selected brushes
    It allows you to select brushes you will use when you will be painting with this Distribution. On the left side of this window, there is a list of all brushes available in the Editor. On the right, there is a list of brushes added to this Distribution. You can move brushes from the left list to the right and back using the arrows between these lists.
    For example, if, within this Distribution, you want to add aspens (Aspens) to the map along with small stones (SmallRocks), then you will need to add these brushes to the Selected Brushes list on the right. Once you added all necessary brushes to this list, click OK. After that, all these brushes will be combined into one brush for painting, and the name in the Distributions list will display the set of brushes selected for this Distribution.

After setting up brushes, you can start painting, i.e. start filling the map with plants or other objects these brushes correspond to.

52 distribution brush

When you select the necessary Distribution in the Distributions section of the Scene View panel, the Brush window appears in the main panel of the Editor (see screenshot above).
This window corresponds to all the brushes that you selected in the Distribution, and allows you to paint with them as if you were painting with one brush. The Size, Value, and Falloff parameters are responsible for the size, strength, and softness of this brush, respectively. The Randomize option allows you to plant your objects unevenly.

Along with these parameters, the Brush window also has two modes that can be selected in the drop-down list:

  • Density - The density of plants in the painted area. The higher the Value parameter is in this mode, the denser the plants will be added. To add plants to the area, the Value parameter must be higher than 0.50. To erase plants from the area - it must be below 0.50.
  • Scale - The scale of the plants. In this case, the Value parameter is responsible for the size of plants in the painted area.

After setting up the parameters in the Brush window, you can paint with this brush by holding the right button of the mouse.

NOTE: You can see the final appearance of the added plants only after rebuilding the terrain of the scene. To rebuild it, right-click the Terrain section in the Scene View panel and select Rebuild Terrain in the context menu.

5.7.1. Recommendations for painting with Distributions

  • When painting plants in the Density mode, the recommended Value = 1.
  • When painting rocks/debris in the Density mode, the recommended Value = 0.7.
    To make the rocks more chaotic, you can use, for example, the following Scale settings for painting:
    • Size = 0.6
    • Value = 1.0
    • Falloff = 0.07
    • Autofade = false
    • Randomize = true
  • When painting canes (Canes) in the Density mode, the recommended Value = 0.6.
  • We recommend setting the Falloff value close to 0.
  • The higher the mountains, the smaller the trees. On distant high mountains, we recommend you to use the mature trees, but with a lower Scale value. This will allow them to disappear from a greater distance, and then the silhouette of the mountain will be visible longer.

5.8. Adding Overlays

On your map, you can lay roads of several types and add some decorative objects that use a system of curves: railroad tracks, wires, pipes, etc.
All these objects are added to the map in the form of the Overlay objects. These objects stretch along the curve that is created by this tool.

To add an overlay to the map, you need to right-click the terrain (or the Overlays section in the Scene View panel), and select Add Overlay in the context menu.

After doing this, the overlay selection window will appear.

53 overlay selection window

To add selected overlay to the map, you need to double-click it in this window. After doing this, the new overlay, which will contain two points, will be added to the map.

Each point of the overlay has its number, and these numbers begin with 0. You can expand an overlay object in the Scene View window and determine the number of its points. The same points can be seen in the main scene window:

54 overlay points

You can add new points to the overlay, to set a more sophisticated curve for it. To add a new point, you can select one of the existing points of the overlay, right-click it, and select Add after or Add Before. Depending on the selected command, a point will be added to the overlay either between the current number and the number before it or between the current number and the number after it.

55 overlay points 2

For example, If we select point #1 on the screenshot above, right-click it, and select Add before, then the new point will appear between the point #0 and point #1. If you select Add After, then the new point will be added between the point #1 and point #2. If you select point #0 and then perform Add before - or select point #2 and then perform Add after, the overlay will be extended.

Points of the overlay can be moved similarly to moving models. To do this, you can:

  • select the particular point of the overlay and, using arrows and holding the left mouse button, move the point as necessary.
    OR
  • select the particular point of the overlay, then, in the properties of this point, change values of the Position X and/or Position Y fields.

An overlay as a whole can also be moved (similarly to moving models).

Along with that, you can also change the width of the overlay in the particular point. To do this, you can:

  • hold the left mouse button in the center of the coordinates of the overlay, then move the mouse to the side, increasing or decreasing the width.
    OR
  • select the particular point of the overlay, then, in the properties of this point, change the value of the Width field.

NOTE: Overlay will be updated after each operation that changes it. However, some parts of it may disappear, if they are out of the scope of the camera. You can see the final view of the overlay by rebuilding the scene (right-click in the scene window, then Rebuild Terrain in the context menu).

5.8.1. Important Limitation: “1 road type per terrain block”

Engine of the game has a technical limitation: it can render only one textural overlay (an overlay that is rendered over terrain) within 1 terrain block.
So, you are not able to use different types of roads within 1 terrain block. The border of the terrain block is marked by the red cube that appears after clicking the terrain with the left mouse button.
If you add multiple types of roads to a single block, then the part of them may become invisible. However, you can add textural and non-textural overlays to one block (e.g. the road + wires).

However, there is a workaround for this. If you need to create an intersection of roads of different types within 1 terrain block, you can do the following:

  1. Place the main parts of different roads on different terrain blocks.
  2. In the intersection area, paint the terrain between roads using the PBR material where the road texture is selected as one of the layers.

56 road intersection

As an alternative option, you can hide the intersection under the layer of snow, mud, etc.

5.8.2. “Flatten”: Flattening roads

You can also specify the Flatten parameter in the overlay properties. If Flatten is set to True, the overlay will try to flatten the terrain underneath it.
However, when enabled, this option flattens road bumps along its width (from one roadside to another one). Along its length, the road may remain uneven. In other words, the road is flattened in a perpendicular direction, i.e. there will be no oblique slopes from one roadside to another (see screenshot below).

57 flatten

NOTE: The heightmap itself, which we have edited using the Geometry brush (see "5.2" above), will remain unchanged when the Flatten parameter is enabled; the overlay will simply flatten it. To see the result of this flattening - you need to perform the Rebuild Terrain operation.

5.8.3. “ApplyOffset”: Adding ruts and bumps

The overlay also has the ApplyOffset parameter. If it is turned on, the road will change a little bit the terrain under the road: the elevations, ruts, and other types of unevenness will be added to it. The particular type of changes in terrain depends on the type of road. By default, this option is enabled, if you turn it off - the road will become flatter.
When you change the value of this parameter, you need to perform the Rebuild Terrain operation to see the result.

58 applyoffset true

59 applyoffset false

5.8.4. “Brushes”: Adding Lampposts

Properties of an overlay also contain the Brushes section. These fields allow you to add auxiliary objects that will be placed along the length of the overlay. For example, you can add lamp posts along the side of the road.

To select the necessary type of objects that will be placed along the overlay, click the [press] button next to the Edit field and select necessary brushes, in the same way as when setting up a Distribution (see "5.7" above). Selected objects will appear on the map after Rebuild Terrain.

60 overlay brushes 61 overlay brushes 2

NOTE: The intervals between the placed objects are defined in the configuration of the brushes. This configuration is stored in the initial.pak archive, in the [media]\classes\editor\brushes.xml file there:

62 brushes xml

5.8.5. Wires: Adding and connecting them

As you can see, there are wires in the list of overlays (their names start with wire_, e.g. wire_double); however, overlays do not contain poles these wires are attached to.

The process of adding poles and their wires is the following:

  1. Add poles, either as separate models (see "5.5" above), or massively, using the Brushes parameter of an overlay. Place them as you need.
  2. Add an overlay of the wires.
  3. Snap each point of the wire overlay to the necessary snapping point on the poles. There may be multiple snapping points there.
    To snap the point of the wire overlay to the snapping point of the pole:
    1. Select the point of the wire overlay.
    2. Move it maximally close to the snapping point of the pole, and:
      • while moving it close, hold the B button - for snapping.
      • or, hold the V button - for fine-tuning of the snapping.
    3. After one point is snapped, perform the same operations with the next one.

For example, in the picture below, we placed a set of us_light_pole models and have connected them with the wire_double overlay.

63 wires

5.8.6. Recommendations for overlays

  • Typically, for US roads, you need to use roads with the us suffix in their names.
    For winter maps, you can use roads with _sn, snow, snowy suffixes.
  • When working with overlays, which are not roads, but 3D geometry, you should not move the points of the overlay too close to each other. Otherwise, breaks are possible.
  • If you paint wetness on the winter asphalt roads (see "5.2.2. Wetness" above), they will be covered with ice.

5.9. Adding Rivers and Water Objects

Rivers and other water objects are added to the map in the form of the River objects.
To create this object, right-click the terrain in the main window (or the Rivers section in the Scene View), then select Add River in the context menu.

Logic of River objects related to adding points and changing their location on the map is similar to overlays (see "5.8. Adding Overlays"). However, there is also an important difference: in contrast to roads, all points of the River object have a height. The water level in the river in this area depends on this height.

The process of creation of a River object is typically the following:

  1. Prepare a deepening of the terrain, which we will fill with water.
    64 adding river 1
  2. Add the River object. Add the necessary number of points to this River object and move/modify it so that it covers the bed of the river. This is done similarly to overlays. However, you need to change the height of the points of the River object as well. You can set the same height for each point of the River object in the Position Y parameter of this point. The width of the river at a specific point of the River object can be set by changing the Width parameter of this point.
    65 adding river 2
  3. Ensure that the river borders are correct. If necessary, adjust the terrain or the River object.
    66 adding river 3
  4. After selecting the created River object in the Rivers section of the Scene View panel, you can configure the following parameters in the object properties panel:
    • AboveReferences - if set to “True”, protects the river colors selected for this river from overriding by river color of the imported references. See "5.10.4. Recommendations for references" for details.
    • UseFlowMap - allows you to paint the direction of the flow with the Water brush.
      • If False, then the direction of the flow will be set to the direction, in which the numbers of points of the River object are increasing. If you want the opposite direction, you can invert the numbering of these points. To do this, right-click on the River object in the Scene View and select River <N> - Invert from the context menu.
      • If True, then you can specify the direction of the river flow using the Geometry > Water brush in the Flow mode (see "5.2.5. Water").
    • AvoidEffectOpacity - allows you to ignore the decrease of waves and current velocity depending on depth. By default (False), the smaller the depth, the lower the speed of the stream and the smaller the waves. The True value allows you to make shallow, but wild mountain rivers.
    • Clean Type - the color of the river when its water is clean.
    • Muddy Type - the color of the river when its water is muddy. The mud is painted by the specific WaterMud brush (see "5.2.6. Water Mud").
      66 adding river 4
  5. If necessary, using the Geometry > Water brush in the necessary mode (see "5.2.5. Water"), paint the following maps of the river:

    • Foam - foam that will be drawn on the surface of the water. Painted by the Geometry > Water brush in the Foam mode.The higher the Value with which you paint, the more foam will be in this area. As a rule, foam needs to be painted in some “wild” places of the river, for example, where water collides with rocks. The result of painting the foam is stored in the green channel of the _water.tga texture (in the map mod folder).
      67 adding river 5 foam

    • Speed - the speed of the water in the direction of its flow (see Flow below). Painted by the Geometry > Water brush in the Speed mode. The higher Value you use for painting, the higher the speed of the water will be in this area. Value = 1 is the maximum water velocity. The result is stored in the blue channel of the _water.tga texture (in the map mod folder).
      68 adding river 5 speed

    • Flow - the direction of the flow of the river. This map is painted by the Geometry > Water brush in the Flow mode. The created map will be applied to the river only if UseFlowMap = True is set for the properties of the river (see step #4 above). By default, the flow direction goes from the point #0 of the River to its subsequent points. But, if you set UseFlowMap = True and paint the river with the Water brush in the Flow mode, this will override the default direction of the flow in the painted areas. The Editor remembers the direction in which the brushstrokes were performed, and stores this direction to define the river flow in this area. The color of the brushstroke on the map depends on this direction. The result is stored in the _water_flow.tga texture. Along with manual painting of the river flow, you can generate a default flow map and then tune it with a third-party tool (see "5.2.0.3" for details).
      69 adding river 5 flow

  6. Switch to the Terrain section in the Scene View panel, and ensure that the river looks the way you want, in terms of its speed, direction of flow, and foam.
    70 adding river 6
  7. If necessary, paint the dirty or muddy areas of water using the specific Geometry > WaterMud brush (see "5.2.6. Water Mud").

5.9.1. Important Limitation and Recommendations for Rivers

You can add multiple rivers to the map. However, two rivers should have the same settings, if they are within the same terrain block.
You cannot merge rivers with and without the defined Flow. The river colors (Clean Type and Muddy Type) of the merged rivers should also match. Otherwise, one of the rivers within a terrain block will use river colors of another river and there will be a sharp border in the color of the river on the edge of the terrain block:

71 river issue 1

Moreover, on the banks of the river, the surface of the water and the surface of the terrain should not have the same height. (The height of the terrain should be a little bit more.) Otherwise, the border between the water and the terrain will look unpleasant:

72 river issue 2

To fix this issue, you typically need to increase the height of the terrain a little bit.

5.9.2. Adding River Sounds via “RiverMarkup”

The river should not be silent in the game. To add sounds to the river, you can use the RiverMarkup tool.

Its principle is very simple - we create something similar to an overlay - the so-called “sound riverbed”. And, we locate it so that it covers the riverbed of the river and its surroundings, roughly copying the shape of the river.

Inside the created “sound riverbed”, the volume of the river sound will be at its maximum and the sound of the river will be played as 2D sound. When the player is moving away from the borders of the “sound riverbed”, the sound volume will fade, and the 2D→3D panning will be performed. I.e, the 2D sound will be gradually transformed into 3D sound, so the player in this area will be able to understand by the river sound in what direction the river is located.

NOTE: As the sound of the river, the game will play the river sound from the sound preset, which is set in the Ambient Preset parameter of the Terrain object (see "5.1.1. Terrain Properties"). If this parameter is not set, the river will be silent.

To add a “sound riverbed” to the river, do the following:

  1. Right-click the Rivers section in the Scene View panel.
  2. In the appearing context menu, select Add RiverMarkup.
  3. Move the created RiverMarkup object to the river.
  4. Similarly to overlays (see "5.8. Adding Overlays"), add points to the curve of the RiverMarkup object by right-clicking the RiverMarkup object and selecting Add Node. Similarly to overlays, move these points on the map, positioning a curve of the RiverMarkup object along the riverbed.
    73 adding river markup
  5. Each such point also has a Width parameter, which allows you to set the width of the RiverMarkup object at this point.
  6. Ensure that the Ambient Preset property of the Terrain object is set correctly (see "5.1.1. Terrain Properties" above).

5.10. Adding References

A “reference” is an external map that can be added to your map. Typically, reference maps are small or contain some reusable content. Or, this feature can be used for collaborative work on a large map, where different modders work on their separate parts of a large map and then import their pieces to it.

Names of all reference maps should start with the “ref_” prefix, according to the naming convention.

The set of references used for the creation of original game levels is provided with the Editor, see "5.10.5" below for details.

NOTE: You cannot modify a reference you have imported to your map, except its position and orientation. If you need to change its content, you need to modify the initial, source map of the reference. Or, you can substitute some objects of the reference with different objects using Mutators (see "5.10.3" below).

Before adding a reference to your map, you need to compile it.
To do this:

  1. Open the source file of the reference in the Editor (by clicking it the File View panel).
    opening reference
  2. Perform the Rebuild Terrain operation for the reference.

After that, you can add a reference to your map.
To do this:

  1. Right-click the terrain (or, the References section in the Scene View panel), and select Add Reference in the context menu.
  2. In the appeared standard open dialog, select the .xml file of the map of the reference. By default, this dialog shows all source .xml files of your maps (in the prebuild folder, see "4. File Paths and Naming" above).
    opening reference
  3. In this dialog, select the .xml file of your reference and click Open.
    After doing this, your reference will appear on the map as a brown rectangle:
    75 adding references 2
  4. Move and rotate your reference to put it to the necessary location on your map.
    76 adding references 3
  5. Then, deselect the reference by clicking somewhere on the map. The reference area will be displayed on the map in the simplified mode:
    77 adding references 4
  6. Perform the Rebuild Terrain operation (you can do it by right-clicking the terrain and selecting Rebuild Terrain from the context menu). After doing this, the content from the reference will appear on the map:
    78 adding references 5
  7. As you can see, objects from the imported reference are added to your map. Moreover, the height of the terrain and its material are also changed in the area of the reference (in the screenshot above the material of the reference was applied to all terrain blocks on which reference was located). Change of the material can be enabled or disabled in the properties of the reference (in the ApplyMaterials field, see below).
    79 adding references 6
  8. To correctly merge the imported reference with your map, you can:
    1. configure the properties of the reference that are displayed at the lower part of the Scene View panel when the reference is selected.
    2. Use the “RefMergeMask” brush to create a mask for merging a reference.
    3. Use Mutators to substitute values of settings of the reference and its objects according to a predefined mapping table (e.g. transform an autumn reference to a winter one).

5.10.1. Reference properties

To edit reference properties, select it in the References list in the Scene View panel. After doing this, you can edit properties of the selected reference in the lower part of the Scene View panel.

80 reference properties

The properties are the following:

  • Position - the coordinates of the reference on your map.
  • HeightOffset - the shift in the height that can be set for the terrain of the reference. Using this field, you can increase or decrease all terrain of the reference (as a whole).
  • Angle - the angle of rotation of the reference on your map.
  • Layer - the layer of the reference on the map that can be used in the case of the intersection of the references to determine what reference should be on top and what reference settings should have more priority. The higher the number of the layer is, the more priority the reference will have.
  • Flatten - whether or not the reference should flatten the terrain below it. If this parameter is True, the initial terrain of your map below the reference will be flattened, then the terrain of the reference will be applied above it, and the terrain on the edges of the reference will be normalized to fit into the terrain of the other part of your map. If this parameter is False, then the terrain of the reference (its height) is simply added to the terrain (height) of the initial map in this place.
  • ApplyMaterials - whether or not the reference should substitute the initial materials of the map below it with its own materials. Please note that if this parameter is True, the materials will be substituted for all terrain blocks the reference lies on, even if it does not cover them fully (see the screenshot of step #6 in "5.10" above). If set to False, the reference will use the materials of the map underneath (see the screenshot of step #7 in "5.10" above). The Materials used by the reference can be also substituted with other materials using Mutators (see "5.10.3. Usage of Mutators" below).
  • ApplyMergeMap - whether or not the reference should use the RefMergeMask map (the _ref_merge.tga texture) for merging the reference with the map. For details, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush" below.
  • MergeMaterialMasks - whether or not the reference should blend the materials of the reference and the map using the RefMergeMask mask. For details, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush" below.
  • MergeDistributions - whether or not the distributions specified in the reference should be added to the map.
  • WetnessBlendMode - specifies what should be done with the wetness of the reference (see "5.2.2. Wetness"). Possible values:
    • Replace - the wetness mask of the reference should replace the wetness mask of the map below it
    • Add - wetness values of the reference should be added to the wetness values of the map below it.
  • Snow - specifies what should be done with the depth of the snow of the reference (see "5.2.7. Snow" above). Possible values:
    • Replace - the depth of the snow of the reference should replace the depth of the snow of the map below it.
    • Add - the depth of the snow of the reference should be added to the depth of the snow of the map below it.
    • Ignore - the depth of the snow of the reference should be ignored. In this case, the depth of the snow of the map below the reference will remain the same.
  • STG - displays the name of the reference (it cannot be modified).

NOTE: After changing the properties of the reference, you need to perform the Rebuild Terrain operation to apply your changes. You can do it by right-clicking the terrain and selecting Rebuild Terrain from the context menu.

For recommendations on the setup of these properties, see "5.10.4. Recommendations for references" below.

5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush

The RefMergeMask brush is used for references. It allows you to create a mask for merging a reference with your map. This mask will affect the merging of objects of the reference, its plants, materials, height with the corresponding properties of your map. The created mask is stored in the _ref_merge.tga texture. However, this mask will be used only if the ApplyMergeMap property of the reference is set to “True”.

Since it is used only for references, the RefMergeMask brush is hidden in the UI by default. To display it, do the following:

  1. Open the reference map in the Editor.
  2. Right-click the Geometry section in the Scene View panel.
  3. In the context menu, select Create Ref Merge Map.
    81 showing refmergemask brush
  4. After doing this, the _ref_merge.tga texture will be created in the folder of the reference, and the RefMergeMask brush will be displayed in the Geometry section:
    82 showing refmergemask brush 2
  5. Now you can select this brush and paint the mask for merging a reference with your map.

When you select this brush, the main window will display the initial reference merging mask of the reference:

83 refmergemask 1

This mask allows you to perform smooth blending of the reference with the surrounding landscape, blending of the materials and plants.
Yellow color on the mask means that this area will be added to the map when this reference is imported to it. By default, the whole reference map has the same tone of yellow, i.e. it is all added to the map.

Using the brush, you can specify areas that you do not want to add to the map (by removing yellow color from them) and the areas where the content of the reference and content of the map should be blended (the weight of the content from the reference in this blending is defined by the tone of yellow it has on the mask).

The RefMergeMask brush works similarly to all over brushes from the Geometry section: if the value selected in the Value slider is greater than 0.50, the brush will add color to the mask; if it is less than 0.50, the brush will remove color. Painting is performed by holding the right mouse button.

When painting the mask, you need to paint below objects located on the reference map and below the water.
Typically, the resulting mask should be similar to the picture below, where the mask gradually fades to the borders of the reference:

84 refmergemask 2

NOTE: This mask allows you to blend the materials of the reference and the map. However, if layers of the materials are different then there will be a sharp difference in them on the borders of the terrain blocks of the map and the reference. To avoid that, you need to use the same base material in the reference and on the map. (Because of that, we recommend you to use only the base material on the edges of the reference.) Or, to avoid that you can use the appropriate Mutator.

5.10.3. Usage of Mutators

Mutators allow you to transform all references imported to a map to meet its settings. This is done by the substitution of the initial content of the reference with the content of the same type but matching the target map.
Particularly, using mutators, you can substitute such things as models, material layers, brushes used within distributions, standalone plants, and overlays.

Mutators that can be currently used by the Editor are defined in the initial.pak archive, in the [media]\classes\editor\mutators.xml file there. This XML file has a simple structure. Using corresponding tags, it defines “mutator” entities as objects that have an ID and a mapping table with IDs of objects, which maps the objects you want to substitute with alternative variants you want to use when this mutator is applied:

85 mutators 1 xml

If you want to apply this mutator to all references imported to the map, you need to specify its ID at the Mutator field in the properties of the Terrain:

86 mutator field in properties

NOTE: After changing the value of the Mutator field, you need to perform the Rebuild Terrain operation to apply your changes. You can do it by right-clicking the terrain and selecting Rebuild Terrain from the context menu.

NOTE: Mutators are applied only to references imported to the map. And to all such references at once.

For example, let’s assume that we have a reference which was initially created in the autumn setting and it does not fit well with the rest of the map, which is in summer and “Russian” setting:

87 reference without mutator

In this case, by using the mutator with the “rus” identifier for the terrain of the map, we can transform this reference to the more appropriate setting:

88 reference with mutator applied

5.10.4. Recommendations for references

If you do not plan to use Mutators and plan to use materials of the reference (i.e. ApplyMaterials is "True", see "5.10.1" above), then the base layer of the materials of the reference and the map should be the same. For information on materials, see "5.3. Assigning PBR Materials to Terrain" above.

Generally, there are two types of references:

  • Type #1 - “natural” references, where there is no water or objects
  • Type #2 - references that contain water or objects.

There are two sets of typical values of reference properties for these types.

For the type #1, you can use the ability to completely adjust the reference to the map. I.e. you can set up the reference so that it modifies the level for itself only slightly. In this case, typical settings of the reference are the following:

  • Flatten = "False"
  • ApplyMaterials = "False" (“True” is also possible)
  • ApplyMergeMap = "True" (so, typically you need to specify the RefMergeMask, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush").
  • MergeMaterialMasks = "True"
  • MergeDistributions = "True"
  • WetnessBlendMode = "Add" (“Replace” is also possible)
  • Snow = "Replace"

Type #2 is the most common and universal. We recommend you to make the terrain below it rather flat to avoid sharp differences in height at the reference border. For this type, the typical settings of the reference are the following:

  • Flatten = "True"
  • ApplyMaterials = "True"
  • ApplyMergeMap="True" (so, typically you need to specify the RefMergeMask, see "5.10.2. “RefMergeMask” brush").
  • MergeMaterialMasks = "True"
  • MergeDistributions = "True"
  • WetnessBlendMode = "Replace"
  • Snow = "Replace"

On the map, at the location of the reference, we recommend you to remove all plants. However, if necessary, you can leave some plants on the map at the edges of the reference area.

If your reference contains a river, the river colors from the reference may override the river colors of another river on the map near it. The usage of river colors from the reference is the default behavior in this case. However, if you set the AboveReferences field of your river on the map to "True", you will protect its river colors from overriding.

5.10.5. Set of In-Game References Provided with the Editor

NOTE: Currently, the set of in-game references is provided with the Public Test Version (PTS) version of the game. In the regular version, it is unavailable yet.

With the Editor, we provide the set of the references that were used for creation of original game levels. You can use these references for your custom maps.

By default, all these references are packed. To unpack them, select File > Unpack references from the main menu.

unpack references

After doing this, the system will ask you to confirm unpacking. If you have already unpacked these references before and have changed some of them, your changes to them will be lost after unpacking.

prompt

After confirming unpacking and a small delay, you will see the 3 new folders in your prebuild folder: usa, rus, and rus3.

reference folders

If you open these folders in Windows Explorer, you will see that they contain the regular source files of the references (the XML file + folder for each reference).

The references from this set are added to the map absolutely the same way as the regular references.
However, before adding a reference from this set to the map, you will need to:

  1. Open its source file in the Editor (this can be done from the File View panel).
  2. Perform the Rebuild Terrain operation.

Otherwise, there will be no compiled files of the reference (.dds files, and so on) and the Editor will not be able to add a reference to the map. In this case, you will see the corresponding message from the Editor:

error

5.11. Adding Trucks

NOTE: By default, trucks are added to the map in Locked mode. In this mode, the player cannot use the truck, until it is found.

NOTE: The truck in which the player starts the game must be marked as Active by setting True in the corresponding field (see below). By default, the new truck has this field set to False. At least one truck on the map must be Active for correct spawning!

89 active truck

To add a truck or trailer to the map, you need to right-click the map (or the Trucks section in the Scene View) and select Add Truck.

After doing this, the model of the truck will appear on the map. Now, in the properties of the truck, you can specify what particular truck will be spawned and set its addons and other settings. To specify these properties, you need to select the created truck object in the Trucks section of the Scene View. Properties are specified in the lower part of this panel.

90 truck properties

When described step by step, the process is the following:

  1. Right-click the map, select Add Truck.
  2. Select the created truck in the Scene View in the Trucks section. Its properties appear in the lower part of the panel.
  3. Now choose what truck you need. In the Truck parameter in the properties of the truck, click on the [press] button next to the Edit field. After doing this, the truck selection list will be displayed. In the same list, you can also find models of trailers.
    91 truck browser
  4. After adding a truck or a trailer to the map, you can set other settings for it. If the wrong truck or trailer was selected, then the Edit field can be cleared by clicking the [press] button next to the Сlear field.
  5. The truck on the map will appear in its standard version. However, you can put the necessary upgrades on it in the appropriate fields (see below). The name of the upgrade must be entered manually, in the format of the ID of this upgrade in the game.
    For example, you need to specify “g_scout_highway” for the highway gearbox. You can view the list of all possible addons for the selected truck and their IDs directly in the game. For instructions, see "5.11.1. How to identify IDs of truck parts" below.
    Using these IDs you can specify the following parameters:
    • Engine
    • Gearbox
    • WinchUpgrade
    • Suspension
    • Wheels - Tires and rims (without specifying their size):
      • Type - specifies the type of the tires, see "5.11.1." below. E.g. wheels_scout1
      • Rim - specifies the type of rims, see "5.11.1." below. E.g. rim_offroad.
      • Tire - specifies the type of tires, see "5.11.1." below. E.g. allterrain_2.
    • ● Customization - the number of the color/paint of the truck.
  6. After doing this, you can fill in all other fields:
    • Trailer - in this section, you can add a trailer to a truck. It is added the same way as the truck (see above).
    • Addons - in this section, you can add the necessary visual addons to the truck, similarly to the selection of the truck. However, in the addon selection window you can select multiple addons (by clicking on them) and add them to the truck at once.
    • Position/Rotation - these fields specify current coordinates and rotation angles of the truck.
    • Id - the identifier of this truck in the game.
    • Land - automatically sets the truck on the terrain surface.
    • Damage% - the amount of damage dealt to the functional components of the truck (engine, suspension, wheels, etc.).
    • Visual Damage% - the amount of damage that will be visually displayed on the truck (scuffs, dents, and so on).
    • Fuel% - how much fuel the truck has.
    • Locked - if this option is enabled, the player cannot use the truck, until he/she finds it on the map.
    • Active - allows you to select the truck in which the player will be spawned on the map (the value must be True in this case). There can be only one Active truck on the map. The default value for this field is False.
    • Install Default addons - this option automatically installs all default addons to the truck.

5.11.1. How to identify IDs of truck parts

When creating the truck in the Editor, you need to know the IDs of all truck parts, add-ons, etc. to fill in some of the fields. You can view these IDs in the game itself.

To do this:

  1. Open the Proving Grounds, by selecting MODS > Select map > any Proving Grounds map.
  2. At the Proving Grounds, select Garage in the TOOLS menu.
    92 proving grounds garage
  3. In the appearing menu, you can see all necessary IDs:
    93 proving grounds garage

To identify the type (Type) of tires, look at the first part of the line in the Change tires list. For example, wheels_scout1

94 change tires

To identify the type of tires (Tire), you need to look at the second part of the line in this list, before the size of tires. For example, highway_1 or allterrain_2.

To identify the type of rims (Rim), you need to look at the second part of the line in the Change rims list, before the size. For example rim_1 or rim_offroad.

95 change rims


END OF PART #2


Quick links to parts of this guide:

  • Part #1 - Introduction to SnowRunner™ Editor: First Launch, UI, File Paths (Chapters 1 to 4)
  • Part #2 - Creation of a Map, beginning (Chapter 5, from 5.1 to 5.11) that covers:
    • Terrain
    • “Geometry” Brushes
    • PBR Materials
    • Snow and Ice
    • Models
    • Plants
    • Distributions
    • Overlays
    • Rivers and Water Objects
    • References
    • Trucks
  • Part #3 - Creation of a Map, continuation (Chapter 5, from 5.12 to 5.15) that covers:
    • Sounds
    • Sound Domains
    • Zones
    • Objectives
  • Part #4 - Post-production operations: Packing a Map, Testing a Map, Publishing a Map, Playing on a Map (Chapters 6 to 10)
  • Part #5 - Viewing Trucks (Chapter 11)


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