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Wiki -> Map and Theme Tips

Theme tips and Common Problems.

DO NOT UPLOAD COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL! Links to free art resources that can be used in Lux themes can be found here:

• When uploading a map the theme does not automatically accompany it, you must upload your theme files separetly using a different upload form. This form can be accessed after clicking on "Theme Upload form" from here: or at the bottom of the "Success" page after you have succesfully uploaded your map.

• The theme upload form is case sensitive! Before uploading your theme you must ensure that the name you enter in the theme name field of the Theme upload form (seen below)

matches EXACTLY what you have your theme folder titled, or what shows up in the Theme dropdown of the set Map Info panel (seen below)

In other words, text field 1 has to match exatly what it says in dropdown 2, otherwise the theme will not upload properly.

• Do not include ANY punctuation or uncommon characters in your theme name. It must strictly be alpha numeric. In other words, absolutely no dashes, commas, apostraphes, periods, colons, quotes, brackets, etc.

• If you are updating a map that has already been submitted, then before you can re-upload you must first change the version number of the map. The version number is found in the map info panel shown below:

• The background layer of your theme MUST be titled background and it MUST be formatted as a .jpg.

• If you have a foreground layer in your theme it MUST be titled foreground and it MUST be formatted as a .jpg

• If you have an overground layer in your theme it MUST be title overground and it MUST be formatted as a .png with transparency.

Do not omit the background layer and upload ONLY an overground layer. This tactic is more processer intensive for Lux and often leads to problems. The reason being is because after every players turn Lux "redraws" the overground, so putting everything in the overground causes Lux to have to "redraw" the entire screen after every turn. So, only put absolutely necessary elements into the overground layer and keep everything else in the background layer.

• In the map editor there is a function called Load Background Image. This tool does NOT set the theme background. This tool has nothing to do with creating a theme. The only thing this tool is for is to load an image into the map editor to help you draw the map accurately.

• It's best if foregrounds are desaturated or black and white as colored foregrounds can alter player colors on certain monitors, making similar hues difficult to distinguish between.

• Do not upload the map without a starting scenario because the mapLAB is just going to tell you to add one. If you don't know what a starting scenario is or how to make one, visit the StartingScenario tutorial.

• Name all countries and continents. Here are some links to some good random name generators:

• Naming a continent "Water" will cause the army icons to turn into boats when on that continent.

• Keep the end user in mind and try to look at the map through their eyes. All connections and rules should be 100% clear and intuitive. If you have an odd rule that is not intuitive then it should be described in detail in either the description or on the theme (preferable both since many users may overlook the description).

• Countries should be no smaller than a standard 10 army counter.

• When balancing a continent, a good starting point is to set the bonus value to be equivalent to the amount of border countries the continent has.

• Since most users have their border width set to the default middle width, you should keep that in mind and compensate for it when building your map. Your map should be clear and intuitive using all possible border widths.

• If the player can see the theme in between 2 countries, then they are going to assume that those 2 countries do NOT connect. If they do in fact connect then there should either be a connection line to illustrate it or the gap should be closed so that the 2 countries share a border and the connection is made obvious.

• It's best to avoid two countries meeting at a corner, because it can be unclear whether or not the corner is enough to constitute a connection. Corners can be frustrating and confusing for a player. So it's best to just avoid corners outright. If you want 2 countries to connect, then they should share an obvious, visible, clear border. If this is undoable, then at least be consistent and either make all corners connect, or none of them connect.

• If you want to have one country entirely inside another a country, the outside encompasing country must have a "hole" cut out of it in order to allow the inner country to "show through." DO NOT simply move 1 country inside another, this does not work properly.

• Do not cover an entire country with an opaque overground. If you need to do that then ensure you leave a hole or area that will show the occupants player color.

• If you are using the default ocean theme and need to make connection lines across the water, DO NOT use balck as the color of the conneciton lines. On some monitors, the balck lines are hard to see over the ocean, so it's best to use a lighter color that sticks out.

• If you are unsure on how to make a theme please read thoroughly the Theme Tutorial

• If you are having trouble or having an issue that you can’t resolve, there is an extensive community of mapmakers and players on the Sillysoft forums that are willing to help. Feel free to post a question, concern, idea, or anything else you wish. Or you could contact a member of the mapLAB to request help, they are: Dustin mbauer RandomGuy

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