Tag Archives: map

Preparing the Playground

Having built the map type and a first script test map I will let the mode load and prepare the map properly and let players spawn in their correct spawns.

When the match is about to start I call my own function PrepareMap(). The function initialises the “Bases” of the map and collects all spawns and goals in global arrays.
I save the blocks because then I don’t have to search for them when I need them: For example when I want to check if a player is planting the bomb.
Pay attention to the fact that instead of saving the blocks I only save their ids. It’s an important approach that I will explain in another post.

The ids of the spawn blocks are saved in a two-dimensional array according to their orders which have been set by the map editor while building the map.
So I know which spawns belong to which team.

As bomb spots are represented by goal posts I save their ids as well in an additional array. This one doesn’t need to have any special keys because during each round only one team attacks and tries to plant the bomb while the other team needs to defend. There is no “owning” of goals involved.

Another global variable is the number of the currently attacking team.
This number is generated randomly for the first round of each match and switches between 1 (blue) and 2 (red) before each following round.
So Defusing will for now let the attacking and defending team switch while in the Bomb Defuse mode of Counter Strike you choose your team at the beginning of a match and you will always defend or attack based on that choice.
Later I will probably add a script setting that allows you to use the Counter Strike game play.

In order to properly switch sides I switch the spawn arrays. That may be difficult to understand so I will take a closer look at the idea behind it.

Imagine the spawns array like that:
G_ClanSpawnIds =
[1 => [SpawnId11, SpawnId12], // Spawns Team 1
2 => [SpawnId21, SpawnId22]]; // Spawns Team 2

This is how the array looks after the PrepareMap() function. In the array saved for the key 1 spawn ids for the attacking side are saved while key 2 holds the defender spawns.

Start: The blue team (clan 1) attacks. When I need to spawn a player I can simply take the array referenced by the current clan of the player.

declare SpawnIds = G_ClanSpawnIds[_Player.RequestedClan];

Now I can easily choose one out these spawn ids in order to find a correct spawn for the player.

// Choose a random id out of the array
declare SpawnId = G_ClanSpawnIds[MathLib::Rand(0, G_ClanSpawnIds.count-1)];

// Take the spawn block with the chosen id
declare Spawn <=> BlockSpawns[SpawnId];

The round ends.
For taking all necessary steps before the next round starts if have a function PrepareRound().
An example is that teams need to switch sides, so in order to accomplish that I will simply switch the spawn arrays saved for the keys 1 & 2.

declare Temp = G_ClanSpawnIds[1];
G_ClanSpawnIds[1] = G_ClanSpawnIds[2];
G_ClanSpawnIds[2] = Temp;

Thanks to these 3 lines I don’t have to worry about finding a proper spawn for a player during the running match because I can simply refer to the array of spawns referenced by her/his current/requested clan number.

Additionally to collecting and managing the spawns and poles I constantly update the Clan of the Bases.
So what exactly are “Bases”?
Well, when a map is loaded the game itself automatically connects blocks and pools them into Bases. The blocks considered for these collections are all block types that have lights or colourable elements on them. Especially Spawn, Goals, Heal/Laser/Arrow Pads, Speed Paths and similar stuff.

The class CSmBase has a property Clan that can be used to colour the blocks connected by that base. This colouring gives the map a better look as you spawn in or around blocks that are coloured like your own team. You feel like actually defending your own base instead of just fighting for no reason. That’s why I always try to pay attention to proper colouring of bases.

Each CSmBase needs to be “activated” first though. That’s easily done by setting it active during the preparation of maps. It will turn on the lights of the blocks so that you will be able to see their colours.

Base.IsActive = True;
Base.Clan = 1; // Base will have color of Team 1 (usually Blue)

Now we got a proper map on which the action will take place. Next step will be to actually let the action begin. :)
You can find the current version of the script here: Defusing3.Script.txt

It’s probably quite difficult to understand the steps I’m taking only by reading the posts. A suggestion by me would be to actually load up the script ingame and analyse what the lines I added do. Maybe even try to play around with other values like switching the Base coloring by changing their “Clan”.

I’m sorry if anything is badly described. I still need to figure out which parts I have to explain extensively and which I can leave behind.

Cheerio,
steeffeen

Map Crafting

Today I’ll show you the basic idea behind MapType scripts.
These are necessary in order to build maps that you can use for your game mode. You can’t just use any map as there are usually some requirements a map needs to implement. In the case of Defusing 2 different spawns for the teams and at least one bomb goal will be needed.

So I created the map type script accordingly which you can find here: DefusingArena.Script.txt
I called it DefusingArena because that’s the pattern for map types.

For the map type script I don’t extend another script because it isn’t very complex.

Some important facts that need to be mentioned:

#RequireContext CSmMapType

This directive defines the class in which the script is running. For the game mode the ModeBase script does this assignment for CSmMode. It’s a necessary statement in order to run the script as a map type or a game mode.

CustomEditAnchorData = True;

Enables the editing of anchors. In the map type you have access to anchors that hold metadata about spawns and goals. So you can enable the map makers to assign objectives like the corresponding team of spawns and names of goals.

yield;

yield; causes the script to sleep for a moment. It’s basically a server tick. During yield the environment variables are updated like for example the PendingEvents.
Keep in mind that events are only available for one single server tick, that’s why I process them after each tick in order not to “overlook” one.
In the game mode script yield is called inside the ModeBase script so we don’t have to worry about it.

In my own function UpdateValidability() I check for the presense of all necessary spawns and goals. It’s called whenever the map is modified. By updating the ValidationStatus of a map the flag at the bottom right of the map editor is changed accordingly.
It’s a key feature of map types as invalid maps can’t be used for the game mode and therefore the map type script requires the map maker to build a valid and usable map.

ValidabilityRequirementsMessage = "Error message";
ValidationStatus = CSmMapType::ValidationStatus::NotValidable;

These statements turn the flag red and show an error message when the user clicks on the red flag. That’s useful in order to show the map maker what’s wrong with his map so that he can fix it.
If all requirements are met I set the ValidationStatus to Validated which will turn the flag green.

When the map maker switches into anchor editing mode and clicks on an anchor there’s an EditAnchor event risen.
I handle the event by showing a manialink that offers possibilities to the metadata of spawns or goals.

The manialink is running an additional script which will need to communicate with the actual map type script.

For this process key-value-coding is used. The map type declares variables for the object ManialinkPage that is also available for the manialink script.
As soon as the user clicks on a button like 1 or 2 (representing the team assigned to a spawn) a variable is changed by the manialink script and the map type script recognises it because it’s observing the variable. This key-value-variable could be understood as a “shared” variable between the map type script itself and the manialink script.

The new value will then be assigned to the anchor and when the map is saved and loaded by a game mode the spawn and goal blocks will have the set .Order and .Tag

I will take a closer look on manialink scripts later.

For the development I always build a “ScriptTestMap” for the specific mode. This map serves as a playground for the coming work on the game mode. It usually only has the needed amount of spawns and goal so that you can reach them really quickly and don’t have to run from one side of a big map to the other in order to capture a goal for example.

Closing up I would like to point you to the Links Page I’ve created on which you can find further information about ManiaScript. Especially the ManiaScript Class Documentation is very helpful. It can be generated with the ManiaPlanet game client and covers all available classes and their properties.

For example you can find the validation variables in the class CMapType in case you forget them.
I myself use the documentation all the time in order to look up how exactly the properties are called and for looking up which other useful values the classes offer.

Cheerio,
steeffeen