In my previous post I showed how to properly place resources and starting locations in Starcraft 2's map editor, but didn't cover how to make a full map from there. Now, however, I will cover the rest of making your first melee map. So without further adieu, fire up the map editor, click file, click new, and follow my lead.
Our map today is going to be significantly larger than that last map we made. As I'm sure you discovered, 32x32 is hardly large enough to place even one starting location, so we're going to start this one off at 96x128.
It is important to have an idea of how you're going to lay out your map so you leave room for everything you want to include. For this map, we're going to make something very basic, with just two bases, one in the top left, one in the bottom right, we're going to have one natural expansion for each base (top right for the top player, bottom left for the bottom player), and we're going to put a Xel'Naga tower in the middle of the map.
We're going to start with the top left players base. Most starting points are going to be on raised ground compared to the rest of the map, so lets open up the Terrain Toolbox (Hotkey: T) and select the Cliff Brush, also known as "That button with a picture of a cliff looking thing with a green arrow." Now a series of options appears labeled "Operation." Select the Raise Cliff choice, which has the same icon as the Cliff Brush. Take note of the options we have here. There are some buttons under "Type", a slider labeled "Size", and some more buttons for "Shape." All of these are pretty self explanatory. The types choose weather you want the cliff to be a structure, or a natural cliff, the size dictates how big your brush is, and the shape dictates the shape of the brush. We're going to use the natural cliffs, the largest brush possible, and a circle, as our starting brush.
One Size 16 circle is not large enough to build a base. Sure, you can squeeze a Starting Point and some Resources on it, but keep in mind that when you're playing, you're going to need room for the rest of your buildings. For the basic design of this base, i'm going to start off with an inverted L shape made of three circles, one in the top left, one to its right, and one below it, as follows:
Notice I still have the Unit Placement Grid on. Toggle it on / off with Ctrl+Shift+H
Now go around with a smaller brush and touch it up as you'd like, unless you like this weird segmented look. Note: Once you have a cliff, its often easier to sculpt the rest of the area by using the "Same Level Cliff" operation ("That button thats just a green square") under the Cliff Brush. You can now click-drag outwards from your cliff to raise ground, or click-drag inwards from ground level to cut into your cliffs.
The last step to making our first base, we're going to switch the operation one more time to Add Ramp, or "That button that looks like a ramp." Now, on the top right of the base, we're going to add a ramp. Just brush it in there. Now you can go ahead and place your resources and starting point as I showed you in my last post. You should now have a single base that looks something like the following...
To create the second base, just repeat everything you just did, except in the bottom right corner of the screen. This part should be pretty simple.
We're close now. Technically, this map is now playable, however its ugly, its bland, and theres no expansions. We're going to start fixing this with the terrain, and the rest will be a cakewalk. Its important at this point to notice that the majority of Blizzard's Melee maps have the entire border of the map at a lower level than the rest of the map, so I'm going to carve down the rest of the map and build the rest of the terrain up from there. Take the Lower Cliff tool, and drop down the entire terrain except for your two main bases, and the area just outside of their ramps. Now, we will start building up the rest of our map from here. I built a path going from the entrance of each base, and put a Xel Naga Tower in the middle of the map. Then, I built some small expansions in the two empty corners, and connected them to the rest of the land. Your terrain should now be taking form, and look something like the following image.
Notice that I included separate paths from the expansions. I did this for one reason, and one reason alone. Without any chance of variety, a map is very boring, and has no replay value. If there is only one path to take, the game becomes incredibly linear. While it's not revolutionary, and it wont on its own make your map the greatest map since Big Game Hunters, not including a chance for variety will leave your map dead in the water.
There we go. Now you have your first functional Melee map. Obviously, this map could still be improved upon significantly. It has no doodads, the overall look is a little boring because everything is the same shade of green, and its kindof small. All of these will be taught in later tutorials.
Peace and Love / Happy Gaming.
Edit: I Just realized I forgot something you need to do for this map to actually run. You need to activate the players.
This step is simple. Just open the Map menu at the top of the screen, and click Player Properties. Since our map is two player, we only need to activate the first two players. Player 1 is activated by default, so we only need to activate the second player. Click, on the second player, and then go to the pulldown menu on the right labled "Control" and select user. Tada.