To those of you that make the maps, how do you do it?

I too wish to get into making maps so that I can create my own alternate Almayer layout but I have no idea how and what programs to use. What do yall use for that?


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I know a little about mapping, to get started you’ll want to have strongDMM, your own repository of the codebase (I use github desktop, but others hate it and use Gitkracken).

Get VSC so that you can easily start and test changes (literally all it takes is a button press compared to localhosting to see changes)

Once you set up your repository of the codebase (and have it saved on local), open up strongDMM and go to strongDMM, open, go into cmss13/maps/map_files and choose a map to look at.
alternatively you can make your own map (do remember to open up CMSS13 enviroment so that you have objects).

if you need help just ping me in the discord.


So, you basically pull up dreammaker and begin placing stuff down (alternative map tools make you suffer less, but don’t have that BYOND feeling)


It’s fun but extremely time consuming. This was a project I worked on awhile ago for a different server but never finished:

Blocking things out is really fast and easy, it’s when you get to the small details that it bogs down, and then you’ve got all the playtesting to make sure doors work properly, lights are all placed, buttons work, spawns are placed and work, ID’s work, vents are all connected, APC’s and areas are properly set and shifted, wiring and atmos function (those two aren’t relevant for CM anymore though). There’s a ton of small details that add up hugely too - decals, special tiles, all the aesthetic environmental storytelling stuff. Oh and the pathfinding. That’s hugely important and everyone always overlooks it - like if you’ve got a room with 2 doors on opposite sides, don’t put a table smack in the middle, offset it so it doesn’t get in the way.

I’d recommend starting on something small. The first map I ever made was a prison station add-on for tgstation (unfortunately small because I lost the original) which helped me figure out how to get something actually functional and playable onto the server.

I only ever used the original mapping tools, none of the newer stuff so I don’t know if there’s any time saving things added, but I’d estimate weeks to months to make a huge CM-sized map on your own, give or take depending on your free time and how many new tiles and sprites you make for it.


do you have a link for the original mapping tool?

just use StrongDMM. we don’t support mapping in DreamMaker, and any maps you touch in DreamMaker won’t work correctly.

It comes with byond as far as I know, as long as you haven’t deleted stuff you should have dreammaker. @harryob, isn’t there a funny program for converting dreammaker maps to that TG format, however it is called?

i literally have no idea why you would want to use that over the tooling that’s been made for ss13. you can technically invoke the tgm converter with tools/mapmerge2/I Forgot To Map Merge.bat but, again, if you just use the modern tooling for ss13 map making, you won’t have an issue. it’s a single .exe it doesn’t even have an installer

If you want to get started, i’d start by making little event maps. Come up with a simple idea, then map around that. See how it goes.

Its been estimated that a full on CM style map would likely take you around 6 months to create. That’s a number from the other mappers who’ve made a map.

It is massively suggested that if you want to do mapping, start with nightmare inserts or othet small changes