In this blog I explain how to use the KME 2.0 and show how you can easily create your own multiplayer map for KKND2: Krossfire. The finished maps work with the normal CD version of KKND2: Krossfire as well as the Steam and GoG version.
The KME 2.0 can be found in the download area. I recommend the KME 2.0 which is very stable. I couldn't find out if the KME 2.0.7 is better than the original KME 2.0 from 0xaa55.
Start the .exe file and choose "File" and then "New". This window will appear.
We have the setting options of the "Map Dimension", The choice of whether it should be a "Single Player" or a "Multiplayer" map and the "File Path" of the tile sets. First of all, you should choose the size of your map. The scale goes from 48 to 255 tiles. Please note, from a size of over 200 tiles the KME can become unstable and crashed. So don't be surprised if your 255 x 255 map keeps crashing.
Notice: one tile consists of 32 pixels.
We now select "Multiplayer" and navigate the "File" of the "Tarrain Library" to KME2.0/Lib and select the tileset we want. There is only one tileset of KKND where all 3 terrains are integrated (Highland, Desert and Urban) they are available in many different variations. For KKND2: Krossfire there is a separate tileset for each terrain (Highland, Desert and Urban) also in many different variations.
When everything is set we press "OK" and the map will be generated. In the following picture you will already see a finished map but I would like to use this example to explain the most important elements of the KME 2.0.
In the red section are the tiles you have selected and you can choose the tiles you need for your map.
The blue section contains all the file operations you will need.
The green section offers you the creatures, tiles and the attributes.
The last one is the yellow section and in my opinion one of the most important. You will find here the "Ground Layer" the "Top Layer" the "Creatures Layer" and the "Attributes Layer" that you can switch on or off. On the far right you will find the "Grid Layer" which can be very useful in connection with the "Attributes Layer".
Now that you know how the KME is structured it's time to take a few tiles and start making a map out of them. Don't be surprised if it overkills you at the beginning. Over time you will learn which tiles fit together and which tiles do not and if you have mistyped you can undo your actions with Ctrl+Z. With Ctrl+Y you can also redo this.
If you have test it a bit and switch the different layers on and off, you may have noticed that some objects disappear with the creature layer but this is unimportant these are simply switched invisibly but if you turn off the top layer, some buildings or trees disappear as the next picture shows.
This is because the KME use layers. You have probably noticed while playing that units can be in the foreground of a building but they can also be behind or below. This is solved in the KME with the layer view. Think of it this way.
at the bottom is the "Ground Layer", tanks drive on it and buildings are built on it.
the second one is the "Creature Layer" (ingame the creature layer is between the ground and the top layer, in the KME the creature layer is located above the top layer)
on the third is the Top Layer that hides everything under it (Ingame there is another special feature with the creature layer, because the layer of the flying units is above the top layer).
In the next Picture you can see the top layer where you can see what is above the ground layer.
A little tip if you have built something and can no longer undo it with Ctrl+Z you can easily paint it over with other tiles. There is only one problem, you can't edit the top Layer with it. Of course, I wouldn't tell you that if I didn't have a solution for it.
Switch to the top layer and switch the "Grid Layer" to it. Then you go with the courser to the tile to be removed and hold down the left Mouse Button to mark it, press now the right mouse button to open the "Context Menu" and select "Put down to Ground Layer" to put it on the ground layer. Now you can overlay it normally with other tiles. If you only have the "Top Layer" active it is also possible to mark individual tiles in the top player and copy them to replace faulty or overlapping tiles, which can be very useful.
But now let's Continue with the Attributes Layer. This Layer represents the Logic of the Game. You know this, for example, when Tanks can shoot down on Cliffs but not Up. If you want to participate, switch to the Attributes Layer (the yellow buttom) in the yellow section you can also switch to the attributes in the green area.
I'm not going to explain every single attribute now, I just find them self-explanatory. The only important thing is that you can change, add or delete them. You can delete them with "Open" which does not result in a sin but no matter. It is only important for you to know that you do not have to connect each Tile individually with an attribute. If you now get a part from the tileset and have the attribute aayer on. You will see that each part already has attributes.
Slowly we come to the end, it is still about the creature layer in the yellow section and the creatures in general (green section). There are only a few things that count as creatures in multiplayer. These include, for example, the starting positions, the oil patch and the tech bunkers.
The starting points are as the name suggests starting points, you can only learn something like that here. In the multiplayer there are always 8 starting points and you always have to give away all 8. For example, if you create a 2v2 map you have to create 2 camps and one camp have 4 starting point and the other camp also 4 starting points, but not 4 points the same place if you do that the game will crashed. You can also do 1 and 7 that doesn't matter. There is nothing more to say about the starting points.
Everyone should know the oil patch. Simply place and make sure that they are also accessible. You can check something like this with the attribute layer.
The tech bunkers contain random 21st century units. The problem is you have to distribute all 8 bunkers here as well, you can not delete them. You can use the tech bunkers in the game, but they still have to be placed. But what if you have absolutely no space for these bunkers? For example, if you want to create a complete water world. This is not recommended, but I just couldn't think of a better example. Of course, I found a workaround for it, which I also found out myself. I was told there was no other way to go until I found another one. That alone is worth a small donation don't you think :)? On the picture you can see how I solved the problem. For example, if you don't want to have a single tech bunker, as in my case, just position it outside the map. The right or bottom edge is suitable for this because the left and upper edge are only 2 tiles wide. You can also place 2 or more bunkers and only position the remaining bunkers outside the map.
Now we really come to the end. If you have done everything and are really at peace with your map, I recommend you to do another 2 quality checks. First, the complete map goes off again and see if you find any irregularities. Second, switch to the Atributes layer and check if you have forgotten to give an attribute somewhere. If everything is good go to the menu item "File" and then at the bottom on "Export" choose a nice name and click on "Export". Congratulations on your first multiplayer map. Soon we will look at how we can create a custom mission.
If you have any questions or problems creating your own multiplayer maps, feel free to comment on this blog post and ask your questions. I am definitely trying to help you.