CS Graphics Under the Hood #2 – Open Terrain and Ground Conditions

Let's continue from the first post of the series, Biomes and Regions, into our very basic building blocks, the Open Terrain tiles, and how they interact with Ground Conditions, available in Scenario Editor.

Open Terrain

First, a look at the tiles themselves. This time they differ quite significantly between 2D and 3D.

2D Open Terrain files

In 2D the tiles depict the elevations changes with a color scheme from the light colors of the lower elevations to darker colors of the high elevations. That's at least how the vanilla implementation is, you as the Modder can fill them out as you wish of course!

Click to enlargen the image


The file comes with 50 rows, one each for all the elevation levels available. Notice the color scheme, which gets gradually darker the higher the elevation (row no) is. The first elevations have the highest color gradient, to make it easier to observe the changes from one elevation to another.

Another peculiarity with 2D open terrain files is that we hit the Windows 10 file height limit, and had to divide the 2D Zoom-In files to two pieces, say Normal8d.bmp and NormalHigh8d.bmp.

Normal[moniker].bmp is the file name for normal Ground Conditions, we'll get to those in a bit.

3D Open Terrain files

With 3D, the file is rather a simple one, as there the map actually builds the elevations visually, with Slopes (, Escarpments, Enbankments, ...) to mark an elevation change.

Here's the graphic file itself:

Click to enlargen the image


Five rows, no color changes per elevation, just the terrain itself.

There we have them, your basic Open Terrain tiles under Normal Ground Conditions. Let us look at Ground Conditions next.

Ground Conditions

Ground Conditions, as well a few other things to be discussed later, are defined per scenario with Scenario Editor, with its Conditions dialog:

There's six Ground Conditions available as a whole, with Middle East 2.0 regions having Normal, Soft, and Mud conditions available. Frozen, Snow, and Deep Snow will make their appearance with East Front, if not earlier.

Specifically, the Middle East 2.0 Conditions dialog allows the following Ground Conditions:

  • Desert: Normal, Mud
  • Mediterranean: Normal, Soft, Mud

Whether in 2D or 3D, the Open Terrain tiles are named accordingly:

  • Normal[view moniker].bmp
  • Soft[view moniker].bmp
  • Mud[view moniker].bmp

Open Terrain is very dependent on Biomes however, so what Middle East 2.0 ultimately contains is something like this: [Biome][Ground Condition][view moniker].bmp 

  • DesertNormal0d.bmp
  • MediterraneanSoft8d.bmp
  • etc...

That's the Open terrain covered, any questions let us know.

The next post will cover the topics of Terrain, Vegetation, and Trees. Until then!

2 Responses

  1. Will there one global map editor for every region/biomes/terrain type with 2.0, or have every CS 2.0 version its own selection of region/biomes/terrain?
    • Crossroads
      Map types are limited to Regions and Biomes present in each game. The Middle East Map Editor allows for Mediterranean and Desert map types, in North Africa and West Asia. All terrain types are available, while Ground Conditions are controlled to ensure all tiles are included in the game. For instance, Middle East 2.0 won't include Snow tiles, nor is Snow Ground Condition available.