Part of the Atlas (Scenario Editor) Manual
The contents of the Map Tab
Map Name: Enter the name of your map to be displayed in-game. Currently only ASCII characters are available, but that will most likely be changed later so map names can contain other characters as well.
Map Description: Enter a description of your map. Again, only ASCII characters.
Preview: Name of the map preview image.
Reveal Map: This checkbox toggles whether or not the map will be revealed at the start of the game. If checked the map will be seen from the start, if not the player will have to explore to find the enemy, what the map looks like, resources etc. It will turn on/off both Fog-of-War and Shroud-of-Darkness, but if there's interest there may be separate settings for those eventually.
Game Type: This dropdown lets you select between different game types. Currently there's only Conquest (where you need to kill/destroy all your enemy's units and buildings) and Endless which is more suited for sandbox scenarios and requires the player to quit manually.
Lock Teams: If checked the players cannot change their team/alliances in the middle of a game, if unchecked they can. (Though not yet as diplomacy isn't implemented, but if you want to stop players from changing teams in the middle of a game once diplomacy is implemented it's a good idea to check this setting already and it should work once it is implemented.)'
Demo: Makes the map show up among the "Demo" games in the game setup.
Hidden: Hides the map from showing up in the in-game lists of maps.
The dropdown menu allows you to select between the different existing random maps. See the Random Map Generator documentation for more info on how to write your own random map scripts.
Change players: Shortcut to the Player settings tab.
Map size: The dropdown menu allows you to choose a size from Tiny (suitable for quick 1 vs 1 games) to Giant (enough room for 8 players and with space to expand).
Random seed: To generate the random map what's called a "random seed" is used. In other words, whenever the script needs to "make a choice" it does it based on this number. This means that as long as the number is the same the map will look the same even if you press the generate button several times (as long as you haven't changed any other settings of course), but by only changing this number the map will look slightly different. The position of trees, rocks, cliffs might be different etc.
R button: Picks a new random seed.
Generate map: Click to generate a new random map with the above settings (as well as the player settings on the Player tab).
Simulation/Testing the map
On the last row we've got the Simulation test buttons. When you start a simulation with the start button the map “becomes alive”. There are waves in the water and units starts to attack nearby enemies, and the in-game GUI is displayed. To hide the in-game GUI press the G key. That's of course very much like starting a game, but the difference is that while you're in Atlas you can do everything you normally can in Atlas, but while running the game. That's very good when you want to test how units react to each other or changes in the environment. You can move units around, add new units, change height of different parts of the terrain, etc. Except for the changes to units the new changes remain when you reset the simulation.
The buttons are fairly self-explanatory, but for completeness sake here is a list of the buttons and what they do:
- The Play button – starts the simulation
- The Fast button – makes the simulation run fast
- The Slow button – makes the simulation run slow
- The Pause button – pauses the simulation
- The Reset button – resets the units to the position they were in before the simulation started