Talk:MAPS

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Errr... need a bit of formatting help... see the page? I want to put on all the separate levels so that they are easily seen to readers. I managed to get the Skyranger showing as thumbnails, but the next heading should be below the thumbs, but isn't... :o( How can I get it to format right, or any other ideas would be appreciated! Cheers ---- Phoenix 18 April 2006 09:59 BST


One possible option would be to put a <BR clear="all"> after the image, so that all text that follows the image will continue underneath it.

For more image manipulators, check out Magic Words.

- NKF


Excellent! Cheers NKF!

- Phoenix

Extra/unused .MAP files?

Hi all,

I've been looking at UFO's .MAP files in quite a bit of depth and I've found a few that don't seem to be used in the game. I've done a cursory examination of them in Hex Workshop and listed some of their attributes below. In a plain steam distribution, the files are:

The below has been heavily edited by myself. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 02:33, 13 August 2014 (EDT)

  • MAP3.MAP - Seems to be a selection of buildings, unknown MCDs
32X48X3
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
  • MAP4.MAP - Seems to be a larger complex, unknown MCDs
32X48X3
Level 1

Here are the files I've built to view the above two maps in MapView, which must be independently configured to display them. Neither should be considered playable as they are. Both maps use the "map3" image set. MAP3.MAP has been edited to remove a few rubbish bytes from its header. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 02:33, 13 August 2014 (EDT)

  • PABDUCT.MAP - What appears to be two pyramids linked together, unknown MCDs
10X20X4
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
  • PHARVEST.MAP - Dome shaped craft, unknown MCDs
20X20X4
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
  • PSCOUT.MAP - Pyramid shaped craft, unknown MCDs persevering
10X10X4
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4

Here are the files I've built to view the above ships in MapView, which must be independently configured to display them (read further down in the below discussion for details). None should be considered playable as they are, though luke83 has been working on rebuilding them for OpenXcom. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 02:33, 13 August 2014 (EDT)

  • TEMP.MAP - Lowest level of URBAN17, same MCDs
10X10X1
  • TEMP1.MAP - VERY simplistic design looks a little like the medium scout, probably just a test like the other TEMP maps, unknown MCDs
10X10X1
  • TEMP2.MAP - Middle level of URBAN08, same MCDs
20X20X1
  • TEMP3.MAP - Same as TEMP2 but without stairs
20X20X1
  • NOSHIP.MAP - It's empty. created by xcomutil, no? Whoops, you're right... this map isn't included with the game
10X10X2
  • UFO_000.MAP - Smaller version of the medium scout, unknown MCDs
10X10X2
Level 1
Level 2
  • UFO_010.MAP - A smaller abductor, unknown MCDs
20X20X2
Level 1
Level 2

Here are the files I've built to view the above ships in MapView, which must be independently configured to display them. In this instance, the files are edited versions of the original maps built so that they work with the released game's tileset files. In theory they should be nearly playable, though they lack route nodes. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 02:33, 13 August 2014 (EDT)

  • UFO_1B.MAP - Smallest scout, MCD is a modified version of UFO1 that's fairly easy to determine - just subtract an index
2X2X3

Anybody know what they are? The first two are especially weird; there's no way they could fit into an X-Com map unless it was the same map every time, like a TFTD ship attack. Off the Rails 11:02, 8 February 2011 (EST)

There's also UFO_010, UFO1A and UFO1B. Obviously, some of these are early UFO designs (for which we haven't been able to determine a correct set of MCD files to use - we'd probably have to build an MCD from scratch if we ever wanted to see them), but some I'm outright unsure about. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 17:25, 8 February 2011 (EST)
Although I'm new here, I've been lurking for a while and, for a month or so, learning to make .MAP data my bitch. I've an idea: assuming the MCD array starts with BLANKS.MCD, we can figure out whether a particular map tile is empty or not (ie if the relevant byte in the file is 00, the tile contains nothing; otherwise it must contain something...) and therefore come up with a basic floorplan for the terrain. I'll have a crack at it and put the results on my user page. Off the Rails 16:04, 10 February 2011 (EST)
There's an easier way to actually 'see' what the files might contain using Daishiva's MapView. The question is that you don't know which MCD sets are required for each map (except for the UFOs) so it would take a lot of trial and error and mostly likely they are simply garbage (I've checked UFO_000, and it never made any sense, regardless of the MCD combination I tried). Hobbes 16:38, 10 February 2011 (EST)
Indeed, that's what I meant when I said we may need to build new MCDs; the ones needed to load the old UFO MAPs simply weren't included, best I can make out. I suspect we might be able to do wonders with a bit of tile re-ordering, but if may be we're outright missing some of the graphics we need. Anyway, Rails, I've taken the liberty of adding some additional info to your initial list. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 18:15, 10 February 2011 (EST)
Its indices are not out of bound and it can be displayed in OpenXCom (if incorrectly), but its 2x2xZ size bugs tools that expect 10*Nx10*NxZ. - TBeholder (talk) 09:54, 30 December 2015 (EST)
Level 1
actually UFO1A is the small scout it uses UFO1.MCD, UFO_010 is the medium scout. UFO1B.MAP (2x2x3) and UFO_000.MAP (10x10x2) are the two unknown ufos. - Daiky
Whoops, careful with the history buttons... attempting to edit a page while viewing an older version performs a revert to that version. Anyway, yes, my mistake with UFO1A, but you're confusing UFO_010 with UFO_110. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 18:43, 11 February 2011 (EST)

So it occurred to me late last night that rebuilding the MCDs was too much like hard work... Rebuilding the MAPs to work with existing MCDs would be much faster. I've performed a quick conversion of the PSCOUT map and added pics above. Not sure if the original hull was yellow (it probably would've been alloy-coloured), and I'm uncertain whether those are supposed to be seats in the hall on the lowest level, but other then those two points it should be nearly accurate.

Different wall tiles were used where the north-walls meet the west-walls, which typically isn't the case with the maps used in the finished game. When these two tiles meet, the game crops the sprites on the fly in order to prevent the overlap effect you get in Daishiva's MapView. I'm thinking this map was designed before the cropping feature was added, and so it would've used pre-cropped sprites. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 19:01, 12 February 2011 (EST)

Is MapView available for download anywhere? I've tried Daishiva's site and it hits me with a 404 every time. Off the Rails 19:24, 12 February 2011 (EST)
Here. I've done the Abductor now, images are above. It seems this one uses diagonal joins which have no equal in any of the tilesets I have access to; new sprites would need to be drawn to display the entire thing correctly. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 19:33, 12 February 2011 (EST)

I'm a bit stuck with the harvester; The hull and so on is obvious enough (the same converter proggie I used on the other two craft was able to deal with that in an instant), but the internals aren't quite so obvious. It seems to have its own unique walls, and a lot more unique sprites then the final version of the craft has.

After a bit of messing about, it struck me that I'd seen a rotated version of the dissected deer somewhere before, and it'd be perfect for a certain mass of unidentified tiles in the NW area of the craft (the usual deer is near the north end, but there's much more then that in there). Catch is, I can't remember WHERE I'd seen the rotated deer!! For all I know it's a figment of my imagination, or perhaps it was one of Hobbes' tweaks... I thought it might've been up on XCommand, but no... (that sounds like a tile I have for one my modded maps, where I took the cow image, and edited it to make it look like it is hanging from a chain Hobbes 14:02, 13 February 2011 (EST))

Anyways. I'll need to start my conversion script from scratch for the other craft (which are somewhat dissimilar to the ones I've looked at in terms of tile usage), but I thought I'd upload my work thus far and scribble out a brief tutorial on how to check it in MapView.

First off, extract this straight into your game folder. Now goto your MapView install folder and open "Images.dat" in Notepad or similar; you'll see a whole bunch of MCD sets listed, you need to add this line down the bottom:

U_PYRA:${ufoImg}

This is a butchered version of the U_BITS tileset that contains just the pyramid tiles from Cydonia, which I've been using for the craft hulls (they're the only shape that makes sense).

Now load the program and goto the Edit menu, select Paths. Select the Map Files tab, navigate to UFO's Alien Ships, and left click it once - so it's highlighted blue - then right click it. Use the context menu to add an "existing" map, then select one of the "P" ships (I've added a "2" onto the filenames of my edits, so they won't overwrite the original garbled versions).

If, after pressing the Open button, the craft doesn't appear on the alien ship list, then just repeat the process. Daishiva's proggy has a few bugs that were never ironed out, unfortunately. When you've got it listed, you can then select it and select MCD files for it to use. You can copy/paste MCD lists from other craft or define them manually.

  • PSCOUT2 uses U_EXT02, U_WALL02 and U_PYRA.
  • PABDUCT2 uses U_EXT02, U_WALL02, U_PYRA and U_OPER2.
  • PHARVEST2 uses U_EXT02, U_WALL02, U_PYRA and U_DISEC2.

Presumably the original craft maps used U_EXT01, but we don't have that set, so... -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 20:51, 12 February 2011 (EST)

Completed UFO_000 and UFO_010. These two are much closer to the craft designs we're used to, though there was some weirdness with the hulls that makes me think the externals didn't quite look like these conversions do. With the larger of the two, I'm unsure if the two siderooms should contain vats or not - the ship is certainly an abductor, though those items are indexed above the ranges of all the other abductor items the ship uses... so I just took my best guess. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 07:00, 13 February 2011 (EST)
Are there any chances to see them in mapeditor? I mean, appropriate tilesets for these UFOs, like U_EXT01 would be nice.--Volutar 02:08, 12 October 2011 (EDT)
Here. Rather then build MCD files for them, though, I just used a "search-and-replace" script to rebuild the MAP files to work with the pre-existing MCD files. You could, for eg, simply switch the medium scout map (UFO_110.MAP) with the converted version of UFO_000.MAP (UFO_0002.MAP), and it would probably work "as is" in-game (except for elerium placement, probably).
The conversion of UFO_010.MAP doesn't match the MCD combinations of any other craft, unfortunately. Could still be implemented in-game, would just require a tiny bit more work to get the game to load the correct MCDs. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 21:41, 12 October 2011 (EDT)

Giving up on the pyramid ships for now. Think they're about as well done as possible without starting to make outright guesses as to how they were intended to appear. The Harvester is really the only incomplete one anyways. Here's the terrain set I came up with. Not at all playable, but it gives a pretty good picture as to what the original tileset would've looked like.

MAP3 turned out to have the map dimensions repeated at the start of the file, offsetting all the tile indexes by three bytes. Moving them back makes the file a bit more clear - it's filled with buildings, same as MAP4. They also obviously use the same terrain set.

The outside area of of MAP3 contains what appears to be ice pools from the polar terrain. At first I thought they were craters from Mars, but some are too large, and others are of irregular shape - the pools are the only match.

But arctic terrain doesn't include buildings. The buildings we've got are alien, X-COM's, farm-style, and urban style... But the buildings in MAP3 use staircases and grav lifts. The lifts suggest alien architecture, but no alien tilesets have stairs... and no terrains with stairs have lifts! The internals are sparsely furnished, but strike me as too irregular to be of alien design.

Julian dropped mention that there had been plans for another alien-hunting group to show up in the game, similar to the Men in Black (keeping in mind that movie came out some years after the game...). At this stage I'm suspecting that these maps were going to be their bases. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 07:10, 20 February 2011 (EST)

A better set of MCDs for the pyramid ships. These ones are more or less playable, or would be if the game were to use them. Load them in the order of: U_EXT01.MCD, U_WALL01.MCD, U_DISEC1.MCD then U_OPER1.MCD. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 07:46, 16 May 2012 (EDT)

I've added mock-ups of MAP3.MAP and MAP4.MAP. Fairly simple structures. The art may've been much different originally - the only tiles I'm near-certain would've looked as they do here would be the wallpaper ones. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 07:15, 18 May 2012 (EDT)

Great work. This definitely has to be an additional unused terrain. Both maps are very similar to Laser Squad's set piece maps, so I'm guessing these would be for the missions that got dropped out. I'm guessing that on MAP3 should be either for to locate *something* that can be on either both large structures, with the small sniper towers, or could be to simply clear both buildings. On MAP4 you'd start on the central area and would have to find the cell which contained hostages/prisioners. The layout reminds me of the Rescue From The Mines scenario of Laser Squad. Both maps can also be a two-part mission, like TFTD. Clear the first map then go below to find the prisoners/hostages/doomsday device, etc. Hobbes 18:24, 21 June 2012 (EDT)
A little more speculation: on MAP4 the doors must be sliding doors. Otherwise the doors of the small corridor close to the central area would open and replace the wall on its opposite side. The white arctic ground should be dirt blocks like those found on alien/XCOM bases. The crates on those 4 rooms are another enigma - it is possible that another part of the mission would be to destroy them.
Another question, where do the XCOM craft land - MAP3 around 50x30, so you'd most likely start on the down left or upper right sides - those half lakes that you see on MAP3 you'd have the missing half on a hypothetical MAP1/2. Hobbes 10:07, 22 June 2012 (EDT)

Map Combination Example

I've looked at the example provided and there are quite a few details missing on how the game builds the Battlescape map. I'm going to try to reproduce the list of steps for map array building process. There are 2 options possible:

1) Game determines terrain, Dropship and UFO (if it's present)

2 a) Game places Dropship and UFO, then fills remaining empty spaces by picking randomly from the maps available for that terrain (with some exceptions on what it can choose) OR b) Game fills empty spaces by choosing randomly then places dropship and UFO.

2 b) is what is described on the example (extrapolating that when the game is determining the MCD array it is also building the map) but there are a few issues by using that method (based on my experience with battlefield generation rules on UFO2000):

Issue #1 - What happens in the case of a 20x20 map that the game decides to place a UFO or dropship occupying just 1 corner of it?

Answer #1 - the game would have to detect it and substitute the remaining 3/4 with 10x10 maps.

Answer #2 - the game only places dropships/UFOs on existing 10x10s but since you'll need more (just a dropship occupies 20x10 or 10x20 and a Battleship 30x30) that would make it almost impossible to place larger UFOs on battlefields that contain 20x20 individual maps because there would be no space for them!

Issue #2 - Every Terror Site map has a road but no UFOs. Following the process above, battlefield is generated (including the road), then the Dropship is placed. Same problem happens here - either the game checks so that the dropship isn't placed on a 20x20 or a road map, which could prevent that it would be placed if there isn't 2 10x10s joined. It would also have to adjust the map blocks around it to make sure that the front part of the Skyranger wasn't isn't a warehouse!

But with the 2 a) process the above issues don't happen.

Issue #1 - Game places Dropship and UFO randomly on the Battlescape. Engine then fills the remaining spaces with random 10x10 and 20x20 maps

Issue #2 - Game places Dropship on Terror Site. Engine then adds the roads and fills the remaining spaces.

My question is that I've seen Skyrangers placed over buildings and its tiles overlapping them, which is evidence for 2b). I've seen only using XComUtil though - it should have its own specific generation rules. Hobbes 11:12, 10 January 2012 (EST)

When placing craft on a battlescape, the games dedicate certain terrain modules as "landing zones" - clear areas without structures the craft would conflict with. Usually these are modules 0 and 1, but there are exceptions. I know that Scott's generator doesn't deal with this properly (hence why you only see weird overlaps with XCU), not sure if Blade fixed it or not. But note that the craft location is determined first, and the modules it sits in are only placed there because the craft was first assigned to that position. Everything else gets positioned after.
Anyway, the article isn't talking about how the locations of the modules are determined. It's talking about the actual combination process of the tile indexes inside these map files, which results in the final array which goes into MAP.DAT when you save the game - the one that keeps track of all the individual tiles in the battlescape, what's been blown up, and so on. It's saying that first the tiles in the terrain modules are added to the map array, then the the craft's tiles get superimposed on top. This is why if a SkyRanger IS incorrectly placed on a house, the Skyranger will take a chunk out of the building - the building won't take a chunk out of the SkyRanger.
All the info on where the modules are positioned is currently here. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 17:52, 10 January 2012 (EST)
Figured you might find this interesting/useful. Makes it fairly easy to spot many module placement patterns at a glance. I can give you the files needed to generate more, if you like. -  Bomb Bloke (Talk/Contribs) 18:09, 10 January 2012 (EST)
Makes sense everything then - maybe this should be on the Battleship Generation page. I've looked at the Maplogs, interesting, thanks. There are also specific maps assigned to be placed under the UFOs, just by looking at Farm, you can see 00, 07, 11, like for Dropships. This will actually be useful later when redesigning those terrains. Hobbes 19:11, 10 January 2012 (EST)


Most pictures here are broken, could someone please restore them? Bard (talk) 22:28, 26 March 2018 (CEST)

I've searched the wiki files to try to find the images but they seem to be gone. Try asking the original poster if he still has them available. Hobbes (talk) 01:59, 27 March 2018 (CEST)