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The Stronghold Editor

This article written by Inquizative* tells you all about the editor.
Jayhawk*

Starting a Scenario | Game Types  | The Editor Toolset - Basic Tools | The Editor Toolset - Terrain Specific Tools
The Editor Toolset - Building Specific Tools | Conclusion

Overview

If you have ever played the likes of Age of Kings, Empire Earth or Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds, no doubt you are used to a slightly difficult editor, with heavy emphasis on triggering effects.  I am happy to say that the Stronghold Editor is one of the more comprehensive Editors I have dealt with and is easy enough for a novice to pick up and begin mapping out cool terrain and castles.

One thing to note, before going on, is that using the Stronghold editor is almost as easy as playing the game, terrain and building-wise.  The same tools you would use to build up that castle before a siege are used here.  This guide is devoted to getting the appropriate size map and creating great looking terrain and Castles.

Starting a Scenario

     

Before even opening the actual editor, you must first choose what type of scenario you want to build.  There are three choices, 2 of which we'll discuss here.  The First is:  Stand-Alone Mission.  The second: 'Siege That' Mission and the third:  Multiplayer Maps. 

When you click on a New Stand Alone Mission, you are asked what size map you would like to create (from scratch).  As seen below, the choices are 160x160, 200x200, 300x300 and 400x400.  If you are planning on a multi-opponent scenario, it is advised that you go with the larger 400x400 map size.  For games with a one on one atmosphere, the 200x200 sized map generally works well for most game types.


Game Types 

In the Stand Alone Mission, there are 4 different game types that can be chosen from.  These being:

SIEGE - Allows you to build a castle, garrison it with defenders and specify the attacking army. Maps created here will appear in the 'play a siege' section of the combat options.
INVASION - Allows you to create single missions of the type used in the regular combat missions.  Maps created here will appear in the 'play an invasion' section of the combat options.
ECONOMIC - Allows you to create single missions of the type used in the economic campaign.  Maps created here will appear in the 'play an economic' mission section of the economic options.
LANDSCAPE - Allows you to create a simple landscape for use in the 'free build' section of the economics options.

After you have decided which type of scenario you want to design, it's time to move into actually building the terrain and castle using the Editor.



The Editor Toolset - Basic tools

This is the editor interface or group of toolsets available to you when you open a previously worked on scenario or create a new map.  Each of the symbols will be described in this article.

Menu Key.  This item, that looks like a key, plays an important role in scenario design as well as in the actual Stronghold game.  When editing your scenario, this key is used return to the initial scenario menu.  When you go to the menu, you have these choices:

Save Map
Edit scenario instructions and history
Edit scenario 'events' where you can trigger events such as raids, fires, pestilences, food theft, etc. by date.
Return to the map

Sizing Tool.  This tool is the basis for laying down varying sized terrain.  For example, if you'd like to place one tree at a time on your map (beneficial in pre-made villages and castles), you'd click this icon until you get the smallest circle available (in place of the large square as seen to the left).  After that has been selected, you can now freely place one tree at a time.  On the other hand, you may want to lay down a WIDE river or quickly create an entire forest.  To do so, you would use the large square that is seen to the left.  There are about 6 varying sized tools located in just this one icon.

Eraser.  What would an Editor be without this most useful tool.  Simply put, it is an eraser.  You can erase terrain and buildings with this tool.  It is a good idea to adjust the size of the "sizing tool" brush when erasing structures, as using too big a tool may result in the deletion of hard to re-create terrains and city segments.  Oh yeah, and headaches, to say the least.

  The Editor Toolset - Terrain Specific Tools 

Now that we have the "universal" tools spelled out for us, we'll discuss the various terrain tools that are available to you.

Height.  Using the sizing tool, in conjunction with the Height selections of tools, creates hills of varying heights and sizes.  The longer you hold down your left mouse button while the Hill tool is selected over your terrain, the higher your hill gets, resulting in a solid topped mountain.  Specific and exacting elevation changes in a scenario can be hard to create when using the Hill tool as height all depends on the amount of time the mouse button is pressed.  If you have a certain height you want to use, it is advisable to use the Mid Plain or Hi Plain tools.  If you go over an existing elevation with the Hill tool selected, that elevation will continue in height from its current position.  It will not revert to the initial flat starting point and then work its way up.  The Height menu consists of the following elevation change tools:

Hills Mountains  Min Height Max Height Equalize 
Raise Land Lower Land Mid Plain Hi Plain

                           
Land.  As the name suggests, this is the land tool menu icon .  If you have overshot the size of your Sea or River, you can use the Land tool within the Land Menu to backfill that water.  The Land menu enables you to make a few visual changes to the actual "earth" that the scenario sits on.  If you need to include makeshift roads to, from and inside your castle, you can use the Dirt icon.  Unfortunately, there are no Road or variances of Road terrain in this current installment of Stronghold.  Also, if you need to add Iron deposits to your map, this is the menu you would want to be in.  The Land menu consists of these land changing tools:

Pebbles Stones Rocks Boulders
Dirt Grass Land Iron


Vegetation.    Using this  menu will enable you to place 4 varieties of trees and a few varying bushes into your scenario. 


Animals.  Would you like to drop those pesky, forever multiplying Rabbits into your scenario, to give your peasants a devastating blow to the economics engine?  This is the menu tool you want to go into.  You can find, not only Rabbits, but Birds, Wolves, Bears and Deer in this menu.


Water.  Using this menu set, you can create pleasing aquatic locales for your scenario.  (See Waterfall design for step by step instruction on creating great water effects).  If you want to create a walkway for units and animals over a river, you would use the Ford tool.  Of course, every castle/village needs a supply of Pitch.  You can add oil to marshes using the Water menu also.  This Menu (Water) is pretty much self explanatory.  The Water Menu consists of these tools:

Sea Beach Ripple Feature River
Ford Foam Marsh Oil


Edit Features.  Last but not least, for the terrain toolsets, we have the Edit Features menu which only has 5 objects, these being 'Big Rock' facing to the North, South, East and West along with the ever so important 'Sign Post'.  Place the Sign Post in the locations where you want attacking armies to start their journey to the targeted castle.


  The Editor Toolset - Building Specific Tools    

By clicking on the Building icon in the editor, you are given the ability to populate your map with various military and economic structures.  Due to the fact that these buildings are used as an essential ingredient in the main game play of Stronghold, we will not be discussing this particular toolset. 


Conclusion

In conclusion, you can see how simple the Stronghold Editor is for creating various types of terrain for use in your scenarios.  If you have any questions regarding the use of the editor, please feel free to post your questions in the Stronghold Heaven Scenario Design Forums.  

For information on the differences between the original and the Crusader editor please read The Editor: Crusader Style by thurdl*

Mapmaking 101