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Old 03-23-2017, 11:02 PM   #1
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Default Process for creating maps

How are maps made for DCS? What tools are used, what is required, ect... I am curious because it seems like not too many maps are being made for this game compared to the amount of aircraft being made. It seems like we would have more by now then just what ED is working on. Frankly the Black Sea map looks like hell, and honestly the auto-gen in x-plane 11 looks better at times. I wish there were third party devs making maps for DCS, and I would love to see Vietnam, Korea, and the middle east/Africa. I have never seen any modded terrains either. I feel like at this point the lack of map variety is the single thing holding DCS back, as we have a collection of the most badass and beautifully created sim aircraft available. I look forwards to Normandy and the Strait of Hormuz, but I would love to be getting more. I know it is probably just fantasy, but having an auto-gen world map like x-plane's would be fantastic. Does anyone know more about this process?
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:07 PM   #2
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To gain access to the tool set you must first be accepted as a qualified 3rd party. To do that requires a substantial amount of up front work.

That, and the fact that it is a significant undertaking, once you have access to the tools, is why you don't see more maps.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:18 AM   #3
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Your not going to find a step by step anywhere.

There is some limited information out there though. Wags put some videos on his YT a while back.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...UuACTw-T8xYEZ9
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:23 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cichlidfan View Post
To gain access to the tool set you must first be accepted as a qualified 3rd party. To do that requires a substantial amount of up front work.

That, and the fact that it is a significant undertaking, once you have access to the tools, is why you don't see more maps.
Same goes for aircraft, to a degree. I know that the full flight and system modeling of DCS third party aircraft are only available to third party devs. Making a map is far from easy, but I would think it would take less time then re-creating an aircraft to exact specifications. I wish more third parties were interested, for the reasons stated above. Possibly ED isn't willing to give out the toolkit to a third party at the moment, which might explain why we don't see any maps being developed outside of ED. But then again, I know quite little so this is just speculation.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paganus View Post
Your not going to find a step by step anywhere.

There is some limited information out there though. Wags put some videos on his YT a while back.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...UuACTw-T8xYEZ9
Interesting. These seem to have more to do with the buildings and terrain objects. I wonder if anyone has attempted to improve/modify the Black Sea map other then just the basic re-texture.
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Old 05-30-2017, 01:12 PM   #6
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Look man, I looking same to you, I looking for hole airport mod add to every where,
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1pxKRIuw-58

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Old 05-31-2017, 01:49 PM   #7
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It's not that long ago when campaigns were also not possible for 3rd parties without tying it to a release of airplane module. The problem was with content protection and avoiding possible distribution out of ED's hands. ED created a platform where content creators are now protected and have an assurance that they will get something back for their work. Before it was not possible and charging money would be a futile attempt as people would simply share it.

Maps have a bit different problem now. The platform for it is already in works, ED created version 2.0 where maps are treated as modules and thus can be sold separately. But it's still in alpha phase. There are steps that need to happen before it will be possible to allow content creators access. If it will ever get into this phase anyway, maybe it will stay only as an inside thing.

The first step, maybe after 2.5 launch would be creating tools accessible by community for creating maps. No need to tie it to licence, everybody would be able to create maps.

Second step would be creating a QA process where content would undergo testing for those that would like to monetize their creations. This is the biggest part as you would probably not want to see maps that are out of fantasy world and content creators would be forced to stick to the reality. Also everybody who would like to sell their content via ED's shop would have support the product even after the release.


We would then see similar situation as it is now with missions and campaigns. A lot of free content would show up, a lot of it would be just small maps for small scenarios, but we could also see some highly sophisticated creations and it's only natural that it would in time evolve in a payware modules.

ED's has a big chance here. If they will release tools that will be free as is the ingame mission editor, they could only profit from it in the long run. Map creation is a long process which requires a ton of research so I do not worry that it would make any problem with their current business. They can even fish for new members of their team this way.

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Old 05-31-2017, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbik View Post

ED's has a big chance here. If they will release tools that will be free as is the ingame mission editor, they could only profit from it in the long run. Map creation is a long process which requires a ton of research so I do not worry that it would make any problem with their current business. They can even fish for new members of their team this way.
Not sure you can compare the map tools to the ME. The tools for map making are quite extensive. If you have the ability and skill to make maps, you can get the tools free through a license agreement.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:10 PM   #9
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Hmmm,
There's a chicken and egg scenario here i'm interested in Sith. I've personally been able to do anything I set my mind to, but I'm unsure what skills are required in order to demonstrate a proficiency, if that's what's required. Is this license agreement only availble if you intend to market your work? I've modelled, textured I can find elevation data, what are ED looking for precisely to go down that route?
Quote:
Originally Posted by SiThSpAwN View Post
Not sure you can compare the map tools to the ME. The tools for map making are quite extensive. If you have the ability and skill to make maps, you can get the tools free through a license agreement.
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Old 05-31-2017, 11:32 PM   #10
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A proof of concept with the ability to make the map.
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