World Builder 101: Everything You Need to Know About the Powerful Map Editor for Command And Conquer Generals Zero Hour
Command And Conquer Generals Zero Hour World Builder Tutorial: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners
If you are a fan of Command And Conquer Generals and the Zero Hour expansion pack, you might have wondered how to create your own maps and missions using the World Builder program. World Builder is a scenario editor that allows you to customize the terrain, objects, scripts, and AI of your maps. In this tutorial, we will go over the basics of World Builder and show you how to make a simple map for C&C Generals: Zero Hour.
Command And Conquer Generals Zero Hour World Builder Tutorial
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How to Start World Builder
World Builder is included with the installation of C&C Generals and Zero Hour. To start World Builder, go to the folder where you installed the game (usually C:\Program Files\EA Games\Command and Conquer Generals Zero Hour) and look for the file named WorldBuilder.exe. Double-click on it to launch the program.
When you open World Builder, you will see a blank map with a grid of squares. This is where you will design your map. You will also see a toolbar at the top of the screen with various tools and options. You can hover your mouse over each tool to see its name and function.
Creating Your First Map
The first thing you need to do is to set up the size and height of your map. To do this, click on the New World Builder Level icon (A) on the toolbar. A window will pop up where you can choose how big your map is and how high the ground is. For this tutorial, we will use a map size of 200x200 and a height of 100.
Click OK and you will see your map change to a flat green surface with an orange boundary around it. The boundary marks the playable area of your map. Everything outside of the boundary will not show up in-game. You can change the size of the boundary by clicking on it and dragging the corners.
Making Mountains with World Builder
Now that you have your map size and height set up, you can start shaping the terrain. One of the most common features of maps is mountains. To create mountains, you will use the Mound tool (K) and the Dig tool (L) on the toolbar.
The Mound tool raises the height of the ground for hills, mountains, etc. The Dig tool digs into the ground for rivers, lower terrain, etc. You can adjust the size and strength of these tools by using the Object Properties window that pops up when you open World Builder. You can also use the Smooth Height tool (M) to smooth out any rough edges on your terrain.
To create a mountain, select the Mound tool and click on your map where you want to place it. Hold down the left mouse button and drag it around to shape your mountain. You can also use the arrow keys to rotate your view around your map. To create a valley or a river, select the Dig tool and do the same thing.
Another common feature of maps is water. To add water to your map, you will use the Water tool (O) on the toolbar. The Water tool creates a water area that fills up any lower terrain on your map.
To add water, select the Water tool and click on your map where you want to place it. A blue square will appear on your map. You can resize and move it by clicking on it and dragging the corners or sides. You can also change its properties by using the Object Properties window.
Some of the properties you can change are:
Water Type: The appearance of the water (clear, murky, etc.)
Water Level: The height of the water surface
Tint Color: The color of the water
Opacity: How transparent or opaque the water is
Reflectivity: How reflective or dull the water is
Ripple Magnitude: How big or small the waves are
Ripple Frequency: How fast or slow the waves are
Some Mapmaking Tips
Before we move on to adding buildings and objects to your map, here are some tips to make your map look more realistic and appealing:
Use different textures for different areas of your map. For example, use grass for flat areas, dirt for slopes, rock for mountains, etc. You can change the texture of your terrain by using the Paint Single Tile tool (P) or the Paint Large Tile tool (Q) on the toolbar. You can also use the Object Properties window to select which texture you want to use.
Use the Mesh Mold tool (N) to create roads, bridges, tunnels, etc. The Mesh Mold tool allows you to place a pre-made mesh object on your map and adjust its shape and size. You can find various mesh objects in the Object Palette window under the Meshes category.
Use the Height Tool (J) to adjust the height of individual tiles on your map. The Height Tool allows you to raise or lower the height of a single tile by clicking on it and dragging it up or down. You can also use the arrow keys to change the height by small increments.
Use the Ruler tool (G) to measure distances and angles on your map. The Ruler tool allows you to draw a line on your map and see its length and angle. You can also click on the circular measurement icon to see the radius and circumference of a circle.
Use the Show Weapon Ranges option in the View menu to see how far your units can shoot on your map. This option shows a red circle around each object that indicates its weapon range. This can help you balance your map and avoid placing objects too close or too far from each other.
Adding Buildings & Objects to the Map
Now that you have shaped your terrain, you can start adding buildings and objects to your map. Buildings and objects are anything that is not part of the terrain, such as units, structures, trees, rocks, etc. To add buildings and objects to your map, you will use the Object Palette window and the Arrow tool (H) on the toolbar.
The Object Palette window shows a list of categories and subcategories of objects that you can place on your map. You can browse through them by clicking on the plus (+) and minus (-) signs next to each category. You can also use the search box at the bottom of the window to find a specific object by name.
To add an object to your map, select it from the Object Palette window and drag it onto your map. You can also double-click on it to place it at the center of your view. You can move, rotate, resize, copy, delete, or edit any object on your map by using the Arrow tool and clicking on it.
Some of the properties you can change for each object are:
Name: The name of the object
Team: The player or faction that owns or controls the object
Health: The amount of damage the object can take before being destroyed
Veterancy: The level of experience and skill of the object
Angle: The direction that the object is facing
Scale: The size of the object
Tint Color: The color of the object
Physics Status: The physical behavior of the object (static, dynamic, etc.)
Scripts: The actions or events that are triggered by or affect the object
Adding Players to the Map & Setting up the Computer AI
The final step of making your map is to add players and set up the computer AI (Artificial Intelligence). This will allow you and other human or computer players to play on your map. To add players and set up the AI, you will use the Player List window and the Script List window.
The Player List window shows a list of players that can play on your map. You can add, remove, or edit players by using the buttons at the bottom of the window. You can also change the properties of each player by using the Object Properties window.
Some of the properties you can change for each player are:
Name: The name of the player
Side: The faction of the player (USA, China, GLA, etc.)
Color: The color of the player's units and buildings
Starting Location: The position on the map where the player starts
Starting Cash: The amount of money the player starts with
AI Personality: The type of computer AI that controls the player (if not human)
Team: The team that the player belongs to (for alliances)
The Script List window shows a list of script folders and scripts that control the events and actions on your map. You can create new script folders and scripts by using the buttons at the bottom of the window. You can also edit the details of each script by using the Script Editor window.
To set up the computer AI, you will need to create scripts that tell the computer what to do on your map, such as building bases, attacking enemies, defending allies, etc. You can use various conditions and actions to create these scripts, such as timers, triggers, objectives, commands, etc.
For example, let's say you want to create a simple script that tells the computer to build a barracks after 2 minutes. You would do something like this:
Create a new script folder and name it AI Scripts
Create a new script inside the folder and name it Build Barracks
Set the condition to Timer Expired and set it to 120 seconds
Set the action to Command Team To Build Object and select Barracks from the Object Palette window