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There you have it. You have just started your first map and created your first brush. You canâ€™t yet play it in the game and it doesnâ€™t look too fancy, but itâ€™s the start of something that might be played by thousands of gamers when youâ€™re done.
Maneuvering the 2D Window
Before you get back to resizing and building upon your first brush, you should get more familiar with the 2D window. You will be working in this window most of your mapping life, so itâ€™s important to understand how it works.
The 2D window contains a series of lines, like the graph paper you might have used in school. These are here as guides to help you line things up as you build the map. Understanding how the lines are spaced will eventually help you to better understand the editor and the maps it builds.
________________________Chapter 5: Creating Your First Game Map
Counting in power of two
The numbers in the world of mapping revolve around the power of two. All textures for a game are sized by using numbers such as 8, 64, 128, 256, 512, or some combination thereof. The reason is that when images are scaled from one size to another, they look best when they are scaled by powers of two.
Textures in many games are created by using a special format that already contains the scaling information for each texture size. So, a texture that is 512 x 512 might already contain the information for the same texture that is 256 x 256, 128 x 128, and so on.
A similar sizing pattern is found in the way the 2D window is laid out. The default setup places the grid lines eight units apart. The darker grid lines are 64 units apart.
Next, note that each unit in the editor is equal to one pixel in a texture. Placing a 64 x 64 texture on a brush face that is 64 units square results in an optimally sized texture-to-brush ratio.
Zooming and moving the view
Maneuvering inside the 2D window is pretty simple; you should be able to master it easily. If you need to move your view to the left, right, up, or down, right-click and drag the grid area as if you were sliding a piece of paper. It moves around quite easily.
When I need to zoom in or out, I find it easiest to use the mouse wheel. However, you also have two other options:
You can use the keyboard shortcuts Home and Delete. Home zooms out, and Delete zooms in.
You can press Alt as you right-click and drag to zoom in and out.
If you use the keyboard shortcuts, donâ€™t worry about pressing Delete â€” it wonâ€™t actually delete anything in your map. That function is reserved for the Backspace key.
If you want to change your grid size to something other than the default 8 units, do one of the following:
Press [ to decrease your grid size or ] to increase it.
Directly select the numbers 1 through 7, 1 being the smallest grid size and 7 being the largest.
Part II: Making Your Own Maps