Naked Foot’s Close Combat III Map Making Guide

Close Combat Mod & Map Tools Downloads including Guides and howto's.

Moderators: KG_Werfer, Sulla

Naked Foot’s Close Combat III Map Making Guide

Postby Sulla » Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:44 am

Naked Foot’s Close Combat III Map Making Guide

Edition 2

Contents

  • What’s New? 1
  • Introduction 2
  • Section I: Getting Started 3
  • Section II: Making the Roofs and Interiors 5
  • Section III: Creating Terrain Elements 7
  • Section IV: Creating a Line of Sight File 8
  • Section V: Creating the Map Monitor and Overview Map Files 8
  • Section VI: Finishing Off & Problem Solving 9
  • Section VII: Other (Useful) Tips 10
  • Frequently Asked Questions 11
  • Sources for Aerial Maps 15

What’s New?

The following changes have been made from Edition 1.33 of the Guide:

General

 Added the “What’s New?” section so you know how this version differs from its predecessor.
 Hyperlinks have been added to the Table of Contents for quicker navigation (by clicking on the page number).
 References to CC3 map making tools have been hyperlinked to a source from where they can be downloaded (the links can also be found in Annex C).
Sections
 Section I: Mapmaking overview to let you know what you’re in for. Tip added to make element coding easier.
 Section II: Some tips added on getting the most out of Roof Maker.
 Section III: Minor changes.
 Section IV: Minor changes.
 Section V: Re-written to reflect Tirpitz’s new OVMMMM Fix program.
 Section VI: Section deleted. Paragraphs relating to converting TGA images to CC3 format moved to Section II. Paragraphs relating to hex editing OVM and MMM files has been moved to Annex D.
 Section VII: Minor changes.
 Section VIII: Minor changes.

FAQ

 Frequently asked questions (and answers) are now covered in the Guide.
Annexes
 Annex A: No change.
 Annex B: No change.
 Annex C: Updated and includes hyperlinks.
 Annex D: The old hex editing part of Section VI has been placed here for people who might like to make the OVM and MMM files the hard way.

Introduction
The Close Combat series of wargames is undoubtedly the best type of game in its genre currently available. But what makes this game even better is that it can be modified relatively easily. This is not due to the programmers or developers making the game more accessible, but is a result of the efforts of the Close Combat community who have managed to unravel its programming mysteries. One of the outcomes of their efforts was to reveal how maps for the game can be made.

Intrigued with the idea of making Close Combat II last a bit longer on my hard drive by extending its life through the addition of new maps, I thought I would have a go at making a map myself. There were very few user-made maps available at this time (probably less than half a dozen) and so there were only a few people around how knew how to make them. With some assistance, I managed to produce Normandy. It was a bit rough, but it worked. I have since made about a dozen maps for Close Combat II and III.

Even though there are now many more user-made maps available - some of outstanding quality - how they are made remains a mystery to many people. What was obviously needed was a map making guide that could show someone how to make a Close Combat map from scratch. So, using my experience and the original MAP FAQ by Mick (Xe5), I’ve put together this guide which shows how you can make a map for Close Combat III.

The guide uses examples from two maps I have recently made for the Close Combat III Vietnam mod, the Special Forces camp at Plei Me, and a generic rice paddies map (that’s them below). These and my other maps can be downloaded from The CC3 and other map download sections on CSO.

Screen2.png
Screen2.png (88.6 KiB) Viewed 1660 times
Plei Me
Screen3.png
Screen3.png (59.95 KiB) Viewed 1660 times
Rice Paddies


Section I: Getting Started
1 To make a map for Close Combat III (CC3), you will need the following:
• An idea for a map. This can be based on reality or something you think would just make an interesting map to fight on. Get ideas from the 1000+ maps made for CC2/3 (a good source is the CSO - Close Combat Special Operations Clan site which has dozens of maps with previews) or from books, films etc.
• Tools. You will need a number of applications to make a CC3 map. Fortunately these can be obtained free off the net (you might want to buy a good paint program though if you intend to do a lot of map making). The tools are listed in Annex C.
• Some (very basic) DOS knowledge. Some of the tools you’ll need to use run through DOS. You need to know how to change directories in DOS and launch programs (very basic).
• Patience and time. Depending on what’s included in your map and the level of detail, it can take several days or even weeks to make a map.
• A web host. Why not share your hard work with others? If you can’t host your map yourself, there are plenty of people around who are happy to help out. Post a message on a CC3 forum if you’re looking for a place to show off your map.
2 Each CC3 map comprises six files which you will need to make. They are recognizable by their extensions. The following table gives an overview of the file type, what they do and the tools needed to make them.

Screen4-Table.png


3 Away we go. Okay, it’s usually a good idea to start with a sketch of what it is you intend to do, marking out where buildings, roads and other key features will roughly be positioned (see Image 1). Even better would be to use an aerial photo which looks straight down onto the area you plan to recreate (these, however, are pretty hard to come by) (see Image 2).

Image 1 - Roughly sketch where the main features of your map will be. This “mud map” was used to make Rice Paddies. As you can see from the final product in the Intro above, some of its features changed, but the main aspects of the map are there: the river and crossing, the rice paddies, the hills and the huts
Screen5-Ariel.png

Image 2 - An excellent source for your map are images of actual battlefields, although these can be hard to locate (see Annex 2 for some help on finding aerial photos). Especially useful are images that look directly down onto the area. This is an aerial photo of Camp Plei Me. The resultant map, Plei Me, was painted directly on top of the photo.
Screen-A-6.png


4 Making the Map Image. Create your map image using a paint program such as Paint Shop Pro or, if you’re exceedingly wealthy, Photoshop (okay, so I’m a little jealous of Photoshop owners). The map size should be in multiples of 120 pixels and no larger than 2880 x 2040, which is the largest size CC3 recognizes. Save the file as an uncompressed TGA file. A good starting point for graphic elements on your new map are existing maps. You can get these by converting your original CC3 maps (ie the mapname.BGM files found in your CC3\Maps folder) by using the method and tools described below.

5 Tip: If your map has buildings, you may want to paint the map with the interiors of the buildings exposed first (see Section II on making roofs), and then do the roofs last. I often do it the other way around, ie, do the map with the roofs on and then create the interiors later as it makes painting shadows easier (you know the shape of the roof looks like). Either way, if your map has a lot of buildings, it’s good to have at least a copy of the map with the interiors exposed. This will make it easier when it comes to coding the elements (see Section III), particularly those that are inside buildings like inner walls, doors and furniture.

Section II: Making the Roofs and Interiors
6 To create the exterior roof image, use the selection tool in your paint program and marquee the entire roof including any landscape outside the building as necessary to fit the entire roof inside the selection area. Buildings flush with the map edges (ie. at right angles to the edges) should have 1-2 pixels of landscape included with the roof selection. Buildings angled (ie. not flush) will have as much exterior landscape included in the selection as necessary. It is important that you make no changes to the landscape, including adding shadows, once you select and copy your roofs. At the point you select each roof to copy, note the corner pixel coordinates of the upper left and lower right corners (X1 and Y1). See Image 3. Keep a running list by naming each roof you copy (eg, ext1.TGA) including the coordinates.

Screen-7-I3.png

Image 3 - Marquee the area of your building and note the (X1 and Y1) coordinates.


7 Image coordinates MUST be accurate. If not, you will end up with a skewed roof/interior image on your map. The most accurate way of determining the correct coordinates is to note the X1, Y1 coordinates and add the image dimensions to this (use the view image information feature of your paint program to get this). This will give you the correct X2 and Y2 coordinates.

8 The way roofs work is that you view the .BGM map until teams enter the boundary defined by the corner coordinates of each building. When they do, the game imposes the interior image which you will create from a copy of the copy of the roof. When teams exit the boundaries of each building, the game doesn’t revert back to the .BGM but imposes the roof image you have copied. This is so that if there are dead soldier sprites in the building they will be 'covered' by the roof image. Otherwise, if the game reverted to the .BGM these dead men would suddenly be on top of the roof.

9 To create the interior images, make a copy of the roof (see Image 4) and 'hollow out' the interior by creating walls (~4 pixels wide) and adding a floor texture or color (see Image 5). Roof and interior images MUST be the same size. Larger interiors can include furniture and inner walls if you wish. Be as creative as you like when doing interiors. Name your finished interior image (eg Int1.TGA, etc) and place the roof and interior image 'pairs' in a folder. I prefer separate folders for the interior and exterior images.

Screen-1-5.png
Screen-1-5.png (10.56 KiB) Viewed 1653 times

Image 4 - This is the “external” roof image created by copying the area in Image 3.

Screen-1-6.png
Screen-1-6.png (10.1 KiB) Viewed 1653 times

Image 5 - This is the “internal” image made from the “external” graphic.

10 Converting the images from TGA to CC3 format. Once the interior and exterior roof pairs have been finished, use Texture Maker 3 to convert them from .TGA to CC3 format. Texture Maker 3 is a command line tool so you’ll need to open a DOS window to use it. Follow these steps:
• Place your.TGA files in the same folder as TM3.
• Open a DOS Window [Start Menu/Programs/MS DOS Prompt].
• Set your path to the folder which contains TM3 and the .TGA files.
• Type: tga2cc [space] ext1.tga [space] ext1 (where “ext1” is the name you’ve assigned your external roof file). Remember not to add an extension to the converted file as it’s not necessary.
• Repeat for all the external and internal images.
11 To create the .RFM (roof), file, use Dreaded88's Roof Maker. It’s very straightforward (see following paragraph). Run Roof Maker from the directory where you have your CC3-converted roof pair images. The program will generate a "map.RFM" file in the directory it's run from. Rename this and copy to the maps folder in your CC3 directory when done. Make sure the file name is the same as the other files for your map and is not longer than seven characters, otherwise CC3 will not recognize it.

12 After executing the Roof Maker program, you will be prompted for the following:

• the number of roofs to be in your roof file,
• the X1 coordinate for your first roof,
• the Y1 coordinate for your first roof,
• the X2 coordinate for your first roof,
• the Y2 coordinate for your first roof,
• the name of the exterior roof file (eg ext1), and
• the name of the interior roof file (eg int1)
13 After inputting the information for the first roof file, you will again be prompted for the coordinates for your second roof, and so on.
14 Do NOT remove the headers from the converted image (as you would do for a CC2 map)! The program will do it for you.
15 The X & Y values are the corner coordinates you noted when you copied the roofs off the map. X1,Y1 are the horizontal, vertical coordinates of the upper left corner, X2,Y2 are the coordinates for the lower right corner.

Section III: Creating Terrain Elements
16 Using your paint program, convert your finished map from .TGA to .JPG file format. Use Kwazydog’s Map Maker to specify a terrain element value and elevation for every 10x10 block of pixels on the map (see Image 6). Map Maker will output a map.TXT file (where “map” is the name you give to your map). Output your map.TXT in both CC2 & CC3 formats. The CC3 formatted file (map.TXT) will be used as part of the map file set in CC3/Maps while the CC2 format will be used in Vince Viaud’s LOS Maker to create the map.LOS file. Make sure you back up your work regularly as Map Maker is only a beta version and is a tad unstable at times.

Screen-6.png

Image 6 - Kwazydog’s CC3 Map maker is easy to use and an essential tool.

17 Tip: The best way to use this application is to fill in the details first, such as roads, rivers, houses, etc, leaving the largest area blank. This area may be the grass or sand etc. Once you’re ready to fill in this area, select an element (such as high grass), go to “Edit Options” and choose “Fill Clear Element with Selected”. After a few seconds the area yet to be “painted” will be automatically filled in with the element you selected. Doing it this way will ensure that every square has an element. If you chose to “paint” every square yourself, you will inevitably miss some which causes problems when you run the game later on (see next paragraph).

18 Tip: You might find, after completing your map, that it crashes the game. This may be caused by one of the elevation elements being -1 in value. This can be caused by not assigning an element to a square. It can also be caused by accident when you select something from the program’s menu. To make sure this doesn’t happen, open the TXT file in a text editor (such as Word Pad which comes with Windows) and make sure there is no -1 value (it’s usually the first one). If it’s there, change it to another value, usually the same as the value next to it, and save.

Section IV: Creating a Line of Sight File
19 Run the finished CC2 map.TXT file that was created by using Map Maker through Vince’s LOS Maker by using CplFilth's CC3 Batch. Do this by following these steps:
• rename the TXT file to mapxxx (eg, map400 - remember to remove the .TXT extension too).
• place the file in a directory which contains CCLOS.EXE and the CC3 Batch files.
• run the CC3 Batch file and enter the number of the map (eg 400) when prompted.
• go and watch a war documentary to get you back into the mood while the program does the calculations (this could take up to 45 minutes or more depending on the size of the map).
• rename the resultant .LOS file so that it has the same name as all the other parts of your map (eg zerstr.los). Remember not to make the file name greater than seven characters.
• place the LOS file in your CC3/Maps folder with the formatted map.TXT file.

Section V: Creating the Map Monitor and Overview Map Files
20 The next and close to last step in finishing your new map is to create the .OVM (Overview Map) and .MMM (Map Monitor Map) files by reducing the full map graphic you created. Proportions between the .BGM, .OVM & .MMM files are listed at the end of this Instruction (Annex A). Reduce your full map as necessary. Name the files something like BGM.TGA, OVM.TGA and MMM.TGA so you know which is which.

21 Tip: For maps that are not one of the standard sizes listed in Annex A, the following rules apply to the size of the MMM and OVM files:
• For the MMM file, the width should always be 160. The height is not critical.
• For the OVM file, neither dimension can be bigger than 1024 (width) or 716 (height). All you need to do is find a constrained reduction proportion where both dimensions are below those (ie 1024 x 716).

22 Now convert the reduced images from TGA to CC3 format using Texture Maker 3 (see how to use this tool under Section II).

23 Once you have reduced your map to make the MMM and OVM files, the next thing to do is to run them through another application so that CC3 will recognize them. This used to be a messy process using hex editing (see Annex D), but is now very easy using Tirpitiz’s OVMMMM Fix application. What used to take 15 minutes now takes 15 seconds.

24 Do this by following these steps:
• First, place the OVMMMM Fix program in a directory which also contains your OVM and MMM files.
• Then run the application. This will produce the following screen (without the data as has been entered in Image 7).
• Next, enter the name of your map, followed by the X and Y values of the images.
• Press “OK”.
• The files are now ready to use.

Screen-7.png
Screen-7.png (6.41 KiB) Viewed 1653 times

Image 7 - OVMMMM Fix is simple to use and saves a lot of time.

Section VI: Finishing Off & Problem Solving
25 Place all six new map files (.BGM, .OVM, .MMM, .RFM, .TXT & .LOS] in your CC3/Maps folder.
26 Run CC3 and in the Scenario Editor/New Scenarios, you should be able to select your new map from the image roster and create a battle for it.
27 If it doesn’t appear, then something is wrong (don’t be disappointed if this happens the first time, it almost always does for me). Here’s some possible causes and solutions:
• Not all the files are in your CC3/Map folder. Make sure you have all six files and that they all start with the same name (eg Pleime.XXX).
• One or more file names are more than seven (7) characters long (eg Pleime65.XXX) Reduce the number of characters to no more than seven.
• You can create a scenario but when you go to play it, it’s not listed. One cause of this is that the map is too large. Make sure the BGM file is not greater than 2880x2040.
• Roofs appear skewed. This is a very common problem and is caused by incorrect coordinates. Check the roof’s coordinates and either re-make the RFM file (this is the easiest way unless you have heaps of roofs), or edit the coordinates using a hex editor (this is much harder, but is quicker if you have a lot of roofs).
• The Overview (OVM) or Map Monitor Map (MMM) maps in Scenario Editor appear skewered or are otherwise completely illegible. This is most likely caused by incorrectly entering the size of the maps during your hex editing session. Recheck the dimensions and make sure the hex conversion is correct, properly reversed and in the correct place (see Section VI).
• If the map still doesn’t work, try isolating which file is causing the problem. Do this by renaming your map files (one at a time) to the name of an existing map which works and is the same size. Start with, say, the BGM file and make sure this file works. Next try the .TXT file and see if this works. Keep going until the game doesn’t work. Then you know which file is causing the problem. Try some of the above solutions to see if that fixes it. If you can’t work it out, you can always redo that particular file from scratch, carefully following the instructions outlined above.

Section VII: Other (Useful) Tips
Making Night Maps
28 Night fighting can be simulated very well graphically and, to a lesser extent (although still quite playable), in terms of game play. Any map can be made to simulate the effects of night by adjusting the overall contrast of the map graphics and by adjusting the map elements to reduce visibility. This guide assumes you will be making a night map from scratch, rather than converting an existing “day” map. Nevertheless, the many of the steps remain the same if you plan to convert an existing map. If you do plan to convert an exiting day map into a night one, all you need to do is to convert the .BGM file using TM3 to .TGA format. Once you’ve made your changes, convert the image back to .BGM using TM3. Don’t forget to also make the .MMM and .OVM files. However, you could leave these as “day” maps if you wish.

29 First, complete the graphics of the map as you would with a standard “day” map. If you intend the map to portray a moonless night, you may not want to add building shadows. I would probably advise against this, however, as some structures without shadows can look very two dimensional. Once completed, adjust the contrast of the entire image to an appropriate level. You may also like to readjust the contrast next to where the windows are in buildings to reflect light spilling out of the window. (See Image 8 below).

Screen-8.png
Screen-8.png (99.6 KiB) Viewed 1653 times

Image 8 - The right side of the image has been darkened to simulate night by adjusting the contrast in the paint program and then lightening up certain areas to reflect interior light spilling outside the building.

30 When this has been completed you will then need to create the roof file as described in Section II. If you are converting an existing “day” map you will need to apply the same level of contrast you did to the external roof images as you did to the larger map. If you don’t do this then your building will have a daylight colored roof pasted on to your map when your troops leave the building. Interiors can be made dark (ie lights out) or with light as you would normally. The choice is yours.

31 Once the graphics and other elements of your map are completed, you will then need to edit the Elements.TXT file located in your CC3\Data\Base folder. You should back this up first so that you can restore it to play “day” battles. Open the Elements.TXT file with a spreadsheet like MS Works or Excel. You will then need to add 200 to all the cover values to a maximum of 511. This makes units much harder to spot when they are in cover. The relevant columns in the file are headed Cover Prone, Low, Med, High. Add 200 to these values (to a max of 511). You’re now ready to fight in the night!

Frequently Asked Questions
32 Here are some (in)frequently asked questions and answers raised and answered by Close Combat mapmakers which may help resolve questions you have about CC3 mapmaking.

Q: Is there any manual using the mapmaker? [no, there isn’t - NF] I’m a bit confused about elevation and the tree thing. Is the height of a house added to the height of the ground and how do you make it look like you troops are under a tree.

A: When you code a house in the Map Maker, the height is automatically added. First floor is something like 3 meters above surrounding ground, second floor 6 meters and so on. Trees are coded with the tree-element, the game will automatically add a tree sprite in-game (you won't see the tree appearing in the Map Maker). To make sure that the tree affects LOS, code the elements surrounding the tree like brush. In this way the LOS is reduced the way it should be for a tree. [Thanks Atilla]

Q: I want to make map with a bridge that explodes like in Close Combat 2. How can I do it?

A. The best substitute for the CC2 bridge demolition is probably something like Dreaded88 did on his Trois Ponts map. The bridge was coded in the Map.RFM & Map.TXT files as being a building having explosives [eg. CC2's red munitions boxes]. There is no workaround for the CC2 function allowing teams to move over or under a bridge [which is why the CC3 version of the Arnhem Bridge map had to be graphically modified for CC3]. All in all - bridges cant be anything like in ABTF. [Thanks Mick]

Q: When in Map Maker I can 'export' in CC2 and CC3 formats. So far, I have determined that I make a CC2 .txt file and use it to convert the LOS file. Then I take the CC3 version of the .txt file and use it to make the actual mapname.txt file. Is this correct or do I use CC2 type files for everything? I can’t use the LOS program on the CC3 file.

A: The CC2 map.text file is only used to generate a LOS file (and you have to rename the CC2 Map.txt as Map### to run it in LOS Maker). The CC3 Map.txt file is used 'as-is' with the exception of stray -1 values it can leave behind, most likely in the first elevation value. Map Maker 3 never got beyond beta before Kwazy lost the source code in a HD crash so its performance can be kinda funky. [Thanks Mick].

[From GS_Marcks]: Looks like an invalid element or an invalid evaluation data. check the text file for -1 elevation numbers, or maybe you use a wrong element.txt for your cc3 copy.

[From mapmaker with question]: I did find a single -1 in the file. Thanks for the tip.

Q: I downloaded the CC3 map maker. How the hell does it work ? It says to download a map image, but when I go to my CC3 map files I can't find the maps. I think it may have to do something with Jpeg files which I don't have. Does anyone know of a place that teaches you to make maps [err, yes – NF]. Please someone out there help me !
A: In the CC3 map-section you will find the maps: they have 6 components each. The one you need for the mapmaker is the BGM-file. You will need to convert it to JPG-format first; the mapmaking-guide will tell you how to do that. [Thanks Atilla].




Sources for Aerial Maps
National Archives
You can either go there in person (save up some money if you live outside of the US) or hire someone to do research for your topic.

http://www.militaryunits.com

They actually have a listing for “in stock” materials which require no research fee...only cost of print.


Archival Research International & Pike's Military Research

James (Jim) Parker II, VP of Photo Operations,
Double Delta Industries, Inc., and
Photo Operations Office for
Archival Research International & Pike's Military Research
1920 Daisy Road, Woodbine, Maryland 21797, USA
Phone: (301) 854-5135 Fax: (301) 854-5136
E-mail: DoubleDelta@aol.com

Jim is the contact person for’ http://www.militaryunits.com’s photo research. If you don't see what you're looking for at the above website...contact Jim.

ASL/HASL Maps

These maps were created for the ASL system based on photographic research. Atomic's Stalingrad #2 & # 3 maps used Avalon Hill's Red Barricades map as a guide. There are many HASL maps by a) Avalon Hill b) Critical Hit c) Heat of Battle covering Stalingrad, Normandy, Berlin, Tarawa, Cassino and El Alamein


After The Battle

After The Battle publications. The magazines are good...the books are fantastic. Books exist for Normandy, Berlin, Bulge, France '40.

See Also:

http://members.xoom.com/flak88/games/asl/maps4asl.htm

The above link lists all the maps so far and has computer images...note: these are not the actual maps.

Mafi




All tools needed can be found in tools section and many functions above are now done by Groof / 3C or 5C

http://www.closecombat.org/Downloads/in ... s/&order=0

Sulla
User avatar
Sulla
 
Posts: 3363
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2003 1:00 pm
Location: UK
Like / Share CSO - Post

Return to Close Combat Mod & Map Tools Downloads + Guides

cron
This site is not affiliated to or has anything relating to the philosophies of any radical, political, racist or fascistic organizations. fight fascism! This site is dedicated and serves as an information-pool to all close combat gamers.

Copyright 2015 -- CloseCombat.Org All Rights are Reserved.