Mapping ABC

Guides about mapping and everything Teeworlds related.

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Mapping ABC

Postby Index » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:14 pm

Mapping ABC
written by Index

Mapping in general and especially making a good ddrace map is definitely not easy. It needs a lot of practise and you may not succeed at the first attempt. But don't be disappointed. I could barely place some tiles about a year ago and now I write this. So it’s all about not giving up and constantly trying. Eventually you'll get better and maybe we see your map here one day :3

The following guide covers the teeworlds editor and some general advice about mapping.


You should use the offical ddnet client (http://ddnet.tw/downloads) for mapping! It’s easier to acess all the additional features and you already have the right entities. However you don’t have to use it, the normal ddrace client or a similiar one should work as well. Just note, that you probably have to manually add the right entites files then.

If you don’t know the ddrace entites, take a look at the Great Entities Guide (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=1440).


Layers and Quads are the base of your map. WIth Quad-Layers you can add scaleable images. Tile-Layers are mostly for tilesets, so it's like placing selected parts of a bigger image on your map. You can transform any image and tileset into a quad. Just create a new quad layer, right-click select the image.

You can create soo many different things with the right tilesets. But alwas remember the overall graphic style of teeworlds. There might be exceptions, but I don’t feel like hyper-realistic tilesets are good.
► Show Spoiler: Realism Tilesets vs Teeworlds
► Show Spoiler: How to cut a quad


This layers is mostly used for switches like doors or (moving) lasers. Nevertheless you can also use it for time-based freeze and many other different things. The number of the switch allows you to combine multiple tiles with each other. It’s basically the same as teleporter numbers. The delay value always indicates the duration in seconds (or the amount of things, if you use the ddnet exclusive 'jumps' feature for example).
You can also activate and deactivate other things like weapons and deepfreeze with it.

As a often used example you can create freeze with x seconds duration via the switch layer (x=delay)

With the speedup layer you can create a speed arrow. The force value indicates the strenght, numbers >20 are usually not necessary and you should prevent them. With the max speed value you can limit the maximum amount of speed a tee can potentially get. That’s useful if you placed a few arrows next to each other and the tee would get an insane amount of speed if he passes all of them.
Arows always point to the right (>>), that’s the basic direction and you need to change the angle value for another direction. The arrow will spin clock-wise by the amount/degrees (°) you choosed. So for instance, if you want a left pointed arrow (<<) you have to enter 180 (the original arrow spinned by 180°), maximum value for that is obviously 359.

That feature allows you to play sound files in your map. Basically they are handled like images, you can embded them and then link with the sound layer. That function is ddnet exclusive and you’ll need the official ddnet client to use and hear the sounds ingame.
Detailed Tutorial by DoNe

This layer applies certain zones in your map, where the physics of the game or other basic behavements can be altered. The changes are written in a .cfg map. The feature is ddnet exclusive and you need the official ddnet client to use tune zones in your map but not for playing a map with tune zones.
Detailed Tutorial by Index, based on a version by Maple
All tuning commads by deen, ddnet.tw


Clipping is used to only display a layer or quad in a certain area of the map. You can enable it by right-clicking a layer and then select Use Clipping>Yes. Now change the ClipW (Width) and ClipH (Height) values and you’ll see a red square in the left upper corner. That’s the area where your layer content will be visible. Alter the position of the new square with the ClipX (horizontal) and ClipY (vertical) values.

This function shows you the area that is visible ingame.

Resolution doesn't matter, aspect ratio does. You have 16:10 (1680x1050, 1920x1200). Other common aspect ratios are 16:9 (1280x720, 1920x1080), 4:3 (1024x768, 1600x1200) and 5:4 (1280x1024). Your map should work with all of them.

The red proof rectangle shows you what a player with 5:4 aspect ratio will see. The green rectangle is 16:10, that should be your resolution. The white shape around is the maximum a player can see regardless of resolution. 16:9 is the widest resolution that lets you see further in Teeworlds, so anything higher than that, and your top is just cut off instead. In the other extreme you have to consider totally square resolution.
► Show Spoiler: Screenshot

This divides the working space into small squares, you may know that function from any image editing program. It allows you to seamlessly connect different quads, like jungle_background or desert_mountain.

Envelopes can be used for many things. Basically there are two different kind of envelopes (three with ddnet client): Position, Color (and Sound).
With the Position Envelopes you can create basic movements along the X and/or Y axis including rotations.
The Color Envelopes can be used to create a color sequences or just one color that appears and disappears again using the alpha curve (opacity). Even the sunrays of a sun are created using these color envelopes.
The Sound Envelopes are used to play custom sound files.
Detailed Envelopes Tutorial by TheDerero


Almost all ddrace maps use teleporters. They are an essential part of many maps.
Basically you have two different kind of teleporters: checkpoint tele (cp) and normal tele. Both in a red and blue version.
You place a FROM teleporter with any number (e.g. 1, chosen in the top toolbar of the editor while tele layer is selected) of any color somewhere. Then you place a yellow TO teleporter with the same number somewhere and it should teleport you there now.

Here are a few tips on how to place teleporters in your map.
Normally you should always use red teles except:
1) It is required to hook your partner even after a tele (eg dummydrag parts)
2) It is required to get speed for a jump

Red teles stop any movement and cut your hook.
Blue teles do not stop your movement and do not cut your hook.

Do not use checkpoint teleporters (cp tele) if it is not necessary.
You might create some unwanted cheats with them, it’s harder to go back and your mapping structure is more complicated. Nevertheless there are exceptions, a few mappers managed to use cp teles wisely and created unique maps like Purple Violence by Vasten100 or Lawrence by Themix.

You should consider adding unfreeze at almost all TO-tele tiles. It increases the playability and you don’t have to wait for hours.

You should always avoid too many teleporters if it's not needed. Countless tele tiles may cause lags for people with lower GPUs with enabled entties.


You can download custom tilesets (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewforum.php?f=42). Or just create your own tileset. The ressources for that are widely aviable (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2431)

Always think about tileset management.
You don’t want use 5252 different tilesets. Often you can use the same tileset for many things, like freeze and marked areas. There are also many pre-made tilesets and quite a few of them includes freeze and/or alphabets. So you do not have to use one tileset for freeze, one for unfreeze and one for your text. Always try to keep the amount of embded images as low as you can. Best example for a really good tileset management is ddnet-tiles. It includes freeze tiles, which you can use for all kind of marked areas including freeze, unfreeze, tune zones and so on. Furthermore it comes with game tile markers, a finish line, arrows and even numbers for small hint messages. So you only need this one tileset for almost all layers of your map. This will greatly reduce your file size and the map is better organized.

Don't forget to embded your custom tileset, otherwise it's not visible ingame!
► Show Spoiler: Screenshot

Automapper is a help for all the lazy mappers out there, it helps you place the tiles in your map. Just use it with an already made .rule file for a popular (standard) tileset or create your own rules and use automapper with any image you want.
It's hard at the beginning, but especially if you want to create many maps, it's the right tool for you.
Automapper tutorial by DoNe, ddnet.tw
Set up own automapper rules by jxsl13, teeworlds.com

There are certain tools, that can improve the quality of your used tilesets and quads. Furthermore it fixes minor bugs with transparancy.
Detailed Explanation
Download (‘Other Downloads’ Section)


You can create a basic ddrace map (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2426), but there are some special types of maps. Read on for a short list of the most popular ones with a short explanation. See also the topic about config lines (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=2430) to change some settings and prepare your maps for special types.

You may have seen maps like TakeUrLugage by Tuna & Index or Skychase by SickCunt. These are basically solo maps, only one tee can finish it but you’ll need a ‘dummy’ to reach the finish.
► Show Spoiler: How to deepfreeze

These maps mostly use the ddrace features but you can play and finish them alone. They should be not too short (<1:00 min) and the main weapon is not always the grenade launcher. These characteristics are not that strict, but they are the main differences to most race maps, another modification for teeworlds.

If you create a solo map you don’t need to add the solo on/off game tiles, most solo servers (including ddnet) are already configured right.

Sometimes it’s nice to combine two or more maps, doing that is easy. Open a map, use File>Append and select another map that you want to add.
You cannot append the game group. That means, all the layers of this group won’t be added to the other map. However, all other groups, layers, images, sounds and envelopes are copied to the other map.


Don't get me wrong, all maps are kinda nice. But there are always a few oustanding ones. Maps, that have something totally unique or used all the editor possibilities in a really good way. I want to mention Flappy Bird by Saavik, SpaceIsKey by Kintaro* & Delo and HDP_OnOff by El Futuro.
These are only examples. The shown maps impressed ME. Just play through the varitey ddnet offers you and find your favourites (:

You can also take a look at the Showroom (http://forum.ddnet.tw/viewforum.php?f=44)


That's it, I hope it helped you to BE A BETTER MAPPER.
The thread may be updated and expanded in the future, so its all under construction.
Totally re-structured on 30/11/15.

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