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Technical Suggestions

Technical Map Hints:

  The following are various suggestions on the technical aspects of creating maps.
A map does not need to follow all these hints to be accepted, but following these hints will make for more interesting or playable maps.

  • If you are create a new archetype. <index>
    It only needs to go into the general archetype distribution if it has an image associated with it, or it has general use (a new monster).  Something that uses already existing images can be set up in the map file itself (through setting various variables).
  • When modifying an existing archetype into a new one (either new face or new type.) <index>
    Use the archetype that has the most variables in common.  Thus, if you want to create a monster called a 'boulder', it is probably best to take a monster of some sort and change its face instead of taking the existing boulder archetype and changing its type, hit points, speed, etc.
  • Changing color is no longer possible in maps. <index>
    Instead, a new face and image must be created, and then put in the standard distribution.  The archetype collection script will automatically pull out face information from archetype files.
  • Try to keep maps readable by other people who might edit them. <index>
    Thus, instead of modifying a woods space so it also acts as an exit, just put an invisible exit under the woods space.  This has the same functionality, but it makes it much easier for other players to see what this space does. (Side note - if you want it so that players actually need to apply the space to enter, you will need to change the face of the exit for this to work.  If you do this, you should also accompany it with a magic mouth.)
  • Make sure you set the difficulty field in the map attributes to something meaningful. <index>
    Crossfire will calculate a default difficulty, but its formula is hardly ideal.  The difficulty of a map determines how magical the treasure will be (and some treasure types won't show up unless the map has a certain difficulty level.)
  • Don't be too intimidated about writing new code. <index>
    If there is something you would like to be able to do, but just isn't supported, go for it.  If you are not the code writing type, make a suggestion.  Worst case is it gets ignored.  Many times, code has been written because someone had an  idea which was not possible at the time (ie, the apartment in the starting town required an expansion/change of the unique item code.)

  • Item Destruction. <index>
    The default behavior is for all items to be destructable (burn, icecube, etc.) by one means or another. -IF- an item is supposed to be indestructable it should be set that way on a per item basis. The reason for this is many maps depend on items getting destroyed to function correctly. Example: item gets burnt up and releases a button