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Q&A 18: The Map Maker

After a streak of highly interesting Q&As, today’s batch deals with an entirely new subject – StarCraft 2’s new and improved Map Editor, and can be summed up in a few words: It’s better in every way.

Karune, Blizzard’s RTS community manager, opens with a brief introduction to the map maker series:

For this batch, I’m pleased to announce the introduction of the Map Maker Series of Q&As, which will be mixed in periodically with our traditional batches of Q&As, to give map makers the ‘heads up’ on our powerful Map Editor for StarCraft II. I know many of you have great plans for mods and maps for StarCraft II, so I can’t wait to tell you more about the program you’ll be using.


Answering questions, we have Brett Wood, our StarCraft II Senior Software Engineer, but better known as our ‘Superfly Father of ScumEdit Programmer by Day Ninja by Night.’

And on to the answers:

1) Will doodad placement values increase? (ie, more than 256)


[Brett Wood] We expect the doodad placement value will be on the same order as Warcraft III, which I believe was something like 10,000, so definitely way more than 256.

Doodads in StarCraft 2 are bigger, very animated, and act as physical objects on the map. Do our readers remember the Harvester doodad?



2) Will the number of available locations/triggers increase? The current limit on locations really cramps some ideas.


[Brett Wood] Any limits on both regions and triggers will be at least in the thousands.


3) Will the new map editor include ALL the triggers in the program unlike Staredit?


[Brett Wood] Yes, even moreso than Warcraft IIIs WorldEdit. Weve been making a point of ensuring that ALL script functionality is also exposed in the Trigger Editor UI.


4) Will max unit limits increase? The current unit limit on maps is quite a crimper, and nobody likes CCMU (cannot create more units).


[Brett Wood] I dont recall the exact unit limit in the original StarCraft, but the StarCraft II limit will likely be a healthy boost over the limit in Warcraft III. The exact value hasnt been nailed down yet and will depend on optimizations near the end of the project (i.e. shortly before release).


5) Will the new map editor include unused units such as the crashed scouts, turrets, eggs, nukes, scarabs, crash command center, etc? Third party programs were needed to use these.


[Brett Wood] All units defined in the data files will be usable in the editor. I believe this was true in Warcraft III as well.

There you have it. The new “ScumEdit” map editor will be much more functional and free of artificial limitations. As well, it will be more user friendly for low level users who do not need access to the more complex features. StarCraft 2’s editor features a powerful proprietary C-type scripting language, along with a simplified editing mode which features a more intuitive graphic interface.

User created maps were very popular for both StarCraft and WarCraft 3 and are responsible for a large portion of Blizzard’s player base, with popular custom maps such as DotA forming full blown pro-gamer leagues. It is no surprise that Blizzard aims to provide the community with the best tools possible.

For more information on map making in StarCraft 2, check out this battle.net thread.

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