Guide For Modders

Welcome to Part Four of the CS Graphics Under the Hood series! This time, let us look at the hex sides, which comes in the form of Sides, Blocked, and Slopes. Then there’s the Full Bridges and Side Bridges.

That leaves only the various Water tiles for the fifth and last edition of Map Graphics. There, we’ll discuss the new Night tiles as well,  before moving to various Unit and User Interface files in the coming episodes of these developer diaries.


Sides is a major exception to rule for having similarly named and composed files for both 2D and 3D.

In 2D, the following tiles are included in the one Sides[view moniker].bmp file

  1. Stream
  2. Minor River
  3. Gully
  4. Dune
  5. Ditch
  6. Crest


Here’s the 2D Sides7d.bmp Normal view file:

Click to enlargen the image

However, with 3D, due to its more complex layout, there’s a separate set of files for each of the rows within the composite Sides 2D file:

  • Streams[view moniker].bmp
  • MinorRivers[view moniker].bmp
  • Gullies[view moniker].bmp
  • Dune[view moniker].bmp
  • Ditch[view moniker].bmp
  • Crest[view moniker].bmp

Here’s 3D DesertDitches3d.bmp. Note how inherently more complex the 3D map can be, as each hex side can be viewed from various directions, when rotating the map around for instance:

Click to enlargen the image

Sides and the respective 3D sets of files use the Regions + Biomes convention to differentiate one map from another:

  • DesertSides8d.bmp
  • MediterraneanCrest0d.bmp


With Blocked, we are back to both 2D and 3D sets being similarly put together. The tiles available in Blocked are:

  1. High Wall
  2. Damaged High Wall
  3. Stone Wall
  4. Hedge
  5. Bocage
  6. -reserved-
  7. -reserved-
  8. Reef

Due to Hedge and Bocage tiles present in this file, Blocked follows the GreenBrownBarren Conditions as set in Scenario Editor.

Here’s the two file sets, first 2D with GreenBlocked7d.bmp:

Click to enlargen the image

And here’s 3D with GreenBlocked3d.bmp:

Click to enlargen the image


With Slopes, we have the second major set that differentiates between 2D and 3D map views. Slopes follow the Ground Condition notation of Normal (no prefix), Soft, and Mud versions of them. (Later, the Frozen, Snow and Deep Snow versions need to be added.)

2D again is quite easier to put together, containing just four rows with six columns:

  1. 3D Contours in 2D maps (not implemented yet)
  2. Cliff
  3. Embankment
  4. Escarpment

Here’s the file in all its simplicity, with Slopes8d.bmp as the sample:

Click to enlargen the image

3D Slopes is much the busier beast, as it needs to cover all the hex sides with Reverse Map views too. Here’s MudSlopes3d.bmp, with lots of Slope variants, like Caves, Streams and Minor Rivers, and Tunnels, flowing through them:

Click to enlargen the image


We’re not nearly done though. Hexes Galore! it is.


As name implies, these are the Hex Side Bridges (and a Fjord) for both 2D and 3D. Here’s the 2D SideBridges8d.bmp:

Click to enlargen the image

And here’s the respective 3D SideBridges0d.bmp:

Click to enlargen the image

Rows included are:

  1. Fjord
  2. Light Bridge
  3. Light Bridge, Destroyed
  4. Medium Bridge
  5. Medium Bridge, Destroyed
  6. Heavy Bridge
  7. Heavy Bridge, Destroyed

And since we need something to pass full hex obstacles as well (Rivers, Major Rivers, Canals, Major Canals, and Water one hex wide, we need to have…


Full Bridges include two bridge types: a Heavy large-span Bridge, and a Pontoon Bridge. And here they are.


Click to enlargen the image


Click to enlargen the image


And that’s the hex sides covered, for most parts at least. Wheew, this one was quite a biggie… Any questions, give us a holler.