The Art of Map Making


Heroes of Might and Magic V

The Basics of Heroes V Scripting, by Pitsu

A pdf file that describes the structure of script file. Teaches how to make functions and threads, what type of variables are there and how to trigger functions properly. A separate part is only about syntax. Finally, it includes also a few tips for debugging


Heroes of Might and Magic IV

The Basics of Scripting, by Thelonious

With this list you should be able to figure out how to script what you want. If you want to do it right the first time, and thus save testing time; always clearly write down what you want done, and then what step have to be taken to get it done.

On the Aesthetics of the Adventure Map, by Vladimir Kuzmanov

The purpose of this topic is to share my experience and get some feedback from other authors and players alike. It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, so I’ve included some examples. The screenshots were taken from my favorite scenarios and campaigns, although I do understand I may have missed some gems. Feel free to list your own favorites.
One will find a number of great posts dealing with gameplay, but few threads deal with the looks of the adventure map. Hardcore players, especially veterans who prefer online multiplayer, might say that you should stick to random maps. This missive will mostly discuss single player and RPG maps, where the settings are as important as the balance or the story.

Behind the Curtain: Mapmaker as Entertainer, by Charles Watkins

Essentially, the mapmaker is an entertainer. No matter what type of map it is - pictorial, battle, puzzle, RPG, or whatever - it will be judged by players according to whether they had a good time playing it. The different types may be enjoyed in different ways. A picture map may offer stunning graphics. A battle map may provide a venue for a fair fight. A puzzle map may present challenging problems. An RPG map may be populated with memorable characters. But from the players’ point of view, it comes down to a brief departure from the cares of the day to a world inhabited by Heroes of Might and Magic.

The Methodology of Heroes IV Mapmaking, by Ururam Tururam

The Heroes IV editor has got really a lot of features. Most of them are not used by an average mapmaker. I strongly advise you to explore the editor, trying (on your test map) every new functionality you encounter. What happens if...? What this option in scripts is for? What properties this location has got etc. This chapter is not a complete manual of the editor. It is only intended to spot the most interesting features.

The Map Editor Bug List, compiled by Jeff_G

While the map editor does not contain a lot of bugs, some of them can be particularly annoying. The Bug List is an extensive list of all editor-related problems, including some solutions and workarounds.

The Cartographer's Tower, by Lord Evenshade

"First, learning to use the Map Editor for Heroes of Might and Magic IV is essential. Full of new and unusual wonders, the Heroes IV Editor may at first be a challenging medium to overcome. Secondly, I will share some of my techniques for creating maps with ambience, intrigue, and in some cases beauty. Making a map that sets the stage for mighty events can be more difficult and sometimes more enjoyable than creating the layout for the story itself."

Improving HoMM4 AI, by MistWeaver

"I am not saying that it will make Heroes 4 adventure AI good or at least "acceptable", I am afraid that it is impossible without the source code. However, it will definitely make AI better. Also, I don’t want just to tell "what to do", I want to show you why it works, and actually, the way how I came across this."


Heroes of Might and Magic III

Map making, that painstaking process, by Jennifer Bullard

"Create a concept. Come up with a story line, a few ideas as to what you want and don't want on the map. Lay terrain in an interesting way, trying to use color and shape concepts to make them different and interesting."

Kristo's School of Quality Mapmaking, by Kristo

"Mapmaking, in my opinion, is as much art as it is designing a challenging and fun scenario. If you look at the maps that came with the game, you'll notice that each of them looks as though the land could actually exist. This is the biggest key to a high quality map."

- Kristo's School of Quality Mapmaking originally appeared on The Strategist's Corner. Reprinted with permission.

The Map Maker's Checklist, by Jenn

"Decorate, decorate, decorate. Large grass spaces are useless in most cases and boring! Tips on decorating: layer-several layers are often needed to achieve the look you want. Guys, don't be afraid of flowers, they are not gender issues."