With minimal barrier to entry, a tile system that allows the connection of multiple bite-sized scenarios, all of which is built on one of the most popular engines ever, Alien Swarm is probably gonna have a few maps.
Maps are Awesome.
This thread is meant to be a good starting resource for individuals interested in map creation. It may also serve as a idea wall or a place to advertise. Mapping can be fun! or horribly frustrating.
Hopefully this thread will take (some of) the frustration out of mapping.
Consequently, any links to good tutorials or prop/texture collections would be appreciated.
Yes! let's get started:
how to play with tilegen:
download Alien Swarm SDK from Steam -> Library -> tools (Standard Development Kit)
Open Alien Swarm, go to options -> controls -> check enable console on the bottom
hit the tilde key -> type in sv_cheats 1, then type in asw_tilegen
Just select a room from the panel and plop them down on the grid. Make sure you have a start room. The blue lines indicate where they can connect, so any left hanging require a cap.
Now you can go to file -> export .vmf and play your new map.
I think missions can be defined in either the mission tiles, or in a mission file, which is generated by going to the missions tab, that also lets you generate a map based on rules and a theme.
(anyone know what all those mission variables mean?)
Right click on the rooms to edit doorway rules, or check flags. These flags are used in random map generating, so I don't think they have any effect on the tiles themselves.
My noobie tutorial on how to decorate your own tiles (hint copy stuff)
First open up tilegen and create a new theme, It helps to select windowless but not fullscreen in the options so you can easily alt tab. Then
go to steamapps/common/alien swarm/swarm/tilegen/roomtemplates,
copy the contents of the example folder and put them into your theme folder
Open these up in Hammer ,accessible via
and use the 3d camera to select stuff, press shift-a to apply textures (z toggles fps controls on camera) (use tools/nolight/ on the back of walls)
click the white bobblehead on the left to place objects/props/lights/spawners/mission objectives
use the top/front/side views to position stuff, click on its red frame to toggle rotate/skew/stretch mode, or press ctrl-m to give exact instructions
Click the brush tool to generate simple shapes, use the wireframe button to modify existing brushs.
use the '' keys to change grid size
hold shift and drag off an object to create a copy
You can copy lots of stuff from the example rooms such as doors, triggers, lights
Go to Map -> Entity Report, to go to specific entities
to make a room with custom tile size, go to alien swarm, use console for sv_cheats 1, asw_tilegen, use the dev theme to create a room
export to alien swarm/swarm/maps/output.vmf
then rename and move output.vmf to your theme folder
Once you are finished decorating your tile, go back to asw_tilegen. Hit new tile template on the bottom and open your finished *.vmf. Mark the appropriate doorways and flags. Right click the doorways to specify a name for which only doors with the same name can connect to. That way you don't end up with upstairs rooms connecting to downstairs rooms.
You may need to place them into the grid and hit create thumbnails, where it'll create a lit room to fill in the blank space it initially has on tilegen. You may need to restart the game to turn off the bright light mode
Also, after completing a tile, walls on the south side need to either be slanted for the camera, or some props need to be placed on the south side, so the camera always has a view of the character
3 of the Campaign .vmf files can be found in Alien Swarm/sdk_content/mapsrc
note: hammer isn't used to create textures (photoshop or paint.net) or models and animation (3DS Max or Blender)
I set up a Google Docs file repository: with only 1 crappy map
and a airduct tileset
and 3 unfinished engineering tunnels tileshttps://docs.google.com/leaf?id=0BzMAnBUBodvfODBlNDUzYTUtZTYxNS00N2Y5LTg2MDEtMDcyYjM2MjUxMDRl&hl=en&authkey=CMTGk60D
You need to add yourself to the list of people that can edit and have a gmail account before uploading.
!Alien Swarm does not have auto-download, all players must have the map first, either in thier alien swarm/swarm/maps folder or as a *.vpk in swarm/addons
Use 'map output' in the console to load map.
Right now I'm working on a base tile with automated turrets, infinite ammo, and a respawn beacon.
Then I can add like a desert area to the east, a snow level to the north, a infested settlement to the west, and a sealed off mine to the south. With the tile system, heaping smaller maps with its own objectives into a single one has never been easier!
If you've done something or found something cool, just upload to the google doc, and post a comment saying so.
Yes, this is the first OP I've done, so expect random changes.