Like every week: Map Creation

You probably read this thoughts very often. Many kids are spoiled by easy 5-minute map creators from other games, where you obtain visible results after at least 10 minutes.

I know the complex arma system of creating maps, associated with terrain areas for either walking sounds, streets, climatic changes and so on.

I'm a programmer and hence do not care much about these things. Oh well 4 years as webdesigner also didnt help the idea.
Within the last weeks i wrote some easy-going scripts like a very lightweight ai spawn script. It is not as hard as expected.
Then i started to create a map in my head. It seems to be fine, since i did not need to change it yet ;)
Now im trying to get into actually building it, but here goes my motivation.
Since im a programmer, my head simply doesnt suit the idea of map making (if it was pure code, maybe).

There are tons of easy-going tutorials about this topic, featuring at least 50 different tools and about 200 different ways. But they all share the same parameters: 1. They are absolutely not suited for productive usage. 2. They are mostly like outdated (some of the tools do not even exist anymore). 3. They only scratch on certain parts of the surface, never go into detail.

By browsing the net for instructions i came to a point which i share with pretty much everyone who ever wanted to establish the same: I have a job and cant afford to study the tools for 10 hours a day so i could get an output after 2-3 months.

What do i search for?
A brave guy who successfully made a map in the last 500 days.
A guy who remembers the steps, who could recreate one, who could describe the process not only for an example, but a final version. Or even somebody who would invest some real time.

Before you respond, please check on the topic and google similar requests. After you did that, count the amount of maps which are available for dayz at the moment in relation of map-creation requests.

What would be my goals?
Well easy said, if i had the map in my head before me, i would create something known but still unique, combining the thriller of classic dayz, the collecting mania from origins, the proudness of building bases from epoch, the goosebumps from playing namalsk. Everything in a long-term story to tell for each and every player him/herself.

Nonov Urbizniz

OpenDayZ Rockstar!
Staff member

That's how you learn to make a terrain in Arma. It's a 48 page guide to a 12 page tutorial.

On average, to build a "from scratch" terrain would take in the neighborhood of 1-2 years for an experienced terrain artist.

Almost anyone who is crazy enough to have learned how to work on terrains in Arma has a dream project that consumes ALL of their time, so I wish you the best of luck finding someone with the required knowledge, AND the desire to help someone else on a different concept/idea.

If you want anyone to take your request seriously it should be a LOT more fleshed out in detail, including global setting, climate, required custom models, and any other specifics.
This sure is better then anything i found via google.
Yet its almost too much.

I already made a png heightmap (10240x10240/bs10), drew streets, forrest areas, field/farm areas, beach areas, water areas (w. heightfield), footstep sound areas, (...) - everything within own layers.
Just need to get this raw stuff into some configuration files and if possible a simple pbo output, so i can use it as basic setup and start placing the real objects on it.

Thats exactly the step where either one of the required tools crashes, or the tutorial states "you need to test in between these 50 billion possible combinations because i cant tell what this is about".

Nonov Urbizniz

OpenDayZ Rockstar!
Staff member
Welcome to Arma Modding!

I'm 2 years in, and regularly have complete breakdowns in functionality of tools or the game itself due to install/modding issues... it's the most horrific modding platform in the universe I think.

It is crazy robust, capable, and addictive though :'-(

Armaholic is the most accurately named fan site ever.

You'll get VERY good/robust advice on the BI forums under the terrain section though, it's a very active and open community. One of the most welcoming, considering the frustrations, and dedication required.

If you have skype, you should add me, and I'll get you added to the right Skype Chat Channels where the terrain makers etc all discuss problems on a daily basis... you can get lots of direct input there, it's the best resource available, as you will get linked to the relevant tutorials as you get advice.

I'm "nonovurbizniz" on skype

Thanks Nonov for the excellent advice!
I already got all necessary planing on the map done. In my 3 weeks vacation this year im gonna study the usage and steps to actually get an usable output. Love the idea of the layers and textures which can be configured via scripting, just didnt understood the roadsystem yet.

At the moment im trying to understand the basics of server->client architecture in arma and writing a little interface (as far you can use programming terms for that), so i can create a static spawnset of vehicles like in the good old days of dayz (and origins for sure). Love the idea of a static amount of vehicles to make people actually fight for them (and use them with care, not like in epoch).

Also modifying some car models to make them look and behave more "survivor-made/modified" (also ideas from origins).
At the same time im writing a more detailed building script (like epoch, well mine can be snapped no matter what material), but also some sorts of quick time shelters (with stages, like origins). The modelingpart is really intense, but at least you can see results very quick.

Since im alone it will take me at least a year. Also having that wonderful idea of "not forking" dayz, instead just merging whatever suits my reqs ...

Lots to do :)

Oh yeah i forgot, sorry, im not using insecure communication tools :(
Im on it ;)
And it really takes a long time to get into it, but suddenly ... understanding everything.
Also i've decided on the balancing of my mod - events, building and so on - i believe it's gonna be a hearbeat of the dayz mod.