Map builder guide

This page explain how to create new maps for iWars.

Notice that we have not yet put in place all the infrastructure for uploadable and downloadable content, so this documentation is mostly of use for the map designers which work with us.

Contact us if you would like to build new maps for iWars and have them downloadable from our servers for other players to play with them.

Map builder guide


  • Bitmap drawing software: Photoshop, GIMP,...
  • Map making software: Campaign Cartographer, Dundjinni... This software is optionnal, it can be used to create the background image of the map. If you use one take to use icons sets which are commercially re-usable. The best is to design your owns.
  • Vector graphics software: Illustrator, Inkscape,... This software must be able to export in SVG format and if possible with Tiny SVG 1.2 profile.

Map making basics

Creation of the background image with the bitmap drawing software

The background image is the main illustration of the game.

The result of this step should be a picture with a size which doesn’t exceed (yet) 1000 * 1000 pixels (maximum size of a texture in iWars/OpenGL on iPhone), in 24 bits depth and in PNG, with transparency if you wish.

The best is to save the picture in a folder named images/ . At the same level than this folder, create anotehr folder named datas/ in which you will save the territories SVG file (next step).

The folders structure should ressemble to something like this:

|- images
| `- mymap.png
`- datas
`- mymap.svg

Creation of the territories SVG file with the vector graphics software

In this step the goal is to create closed polygon on the background picture to represent the game’s territories.

To do this, open the PNG picture created at the previous step in the vector graphics software, then draw closed polygons on the map. Each group of polygon with the same color will represent a different faction in the game (for instance blue will be human, red dwarves...).

For the armies to be able to go from one territory to another, the polygons which represent the territories must be adjacents: the polygons must have at least to summits/points in common. Often to contiguous submits are represented by 2 polygons which have a side in common.

After you have created the territories, you must save the SVG picture.

To do this, with Illustrator, go in the menu File -> Save As...

Choose the SVG file format in the bottom select box, create this file in the folder datas/ created in the previous step. Validate. A new dialog window appear to let you choose the SVG format to use: you must use the format (profile) Tiny SVG 1.2 with linked images (not embedded).

Maps XML descriptor

This file must be created in the datas/ folder . It describe the map:
  • name
  • description
  • players

Here is the format:

<map uid="map3">
<name>The Savage Coast</name>
<desc>An epic map in an heroic fantasy world.</desc>
<ludo name="Humans" color="#784A9D" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<human name="Humans" color="#784A9D" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<jeff name="Dwarfs" color="#F5EB28" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<jeff name="Elves" color="#C389BC" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<jeff name="Chaos" color="#BE2826" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<ludo name="Orks" color="#71C9F1" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>
<ludo name="Neutral" color="#53C9ED" overlayColor="#FFFFFF"/>

The tags used in the <players/> tag are the following:
  • human : human player. Only one by map is allowed for the moment.
  • ludo : a basic IA.
  • jeff : a more powerful IA.

Final step

After having created these files compress the filders in a ZIP file and send them to me by mail for publication on the Effervens maps server.


How to link continents ?

To link continents and allow armies to pass from one to another, and if you do not plan to create sea territories in your SVG map, you can create bridges around continents: sea territories which link 2 territories of different continents, which can or not belong to the same players.

Saved maps format

Tiny SVG 1.2 with linked images