ATF Scenario Builder
ATF Power Toolkit
in Raging Tiger
What's new in The
Falklands War: 1982
What's new in The
Star and the Crescent
How to Create a New Map
One of the most distinctive features of Armored Task Force is
its ultra-realistic maps, made from real, GIS topographic data of
real locations across the world. Now, with the ATF Power Toolkit,
for the first time in any ProSIM Company product, you can
build and add your own topographic maps.
The capability to import USGS format DEM's is a highly advanced
feature, and well beyond the scope of this Tutorial. It requires an
advanced understanding of cartographic principals and GIS data
formats. Should you want help doing this, contact us on our web
forum. In this tutorial, we will begin with topographic data in
the custom, ProSIM Company XDM format. You can download free
XDM format data at the Armored Task Force game board, at
the web forum.
In this tutorial, we are going to try to, as closely as possible,
exactly recreate the terrain around Bihac, Bosnia-Herzegovinia. If
you wish to create a map without exactly replicating real terrain, you can
skip several of the steps in this topic. These steps are indicated
as they arise. In order to recreate real terrain you will also need
a 1:50,000 or 1:100,000 map of the terrain you wish to replicate.
The map (military maps work best) needs to indicate UTM (Universal
Transverse Mercador) coordinates, as well as any trees, roads, or other
special terrain which are present on the actual terrain.
Create an Elevation Map:
Building Armored Task Force maps requires the ATF Power Toolkit.
To continue with the topics in this tutorial, you must open this application.
1. Select 'New Elevation Map' from the 'Map' menu in ATF Power
2. You will be prompted for an XDM from which to make the
map. If you wished to create a map from a USGS format DEM, you
could change the entry in 'Files of type:' to load a DEM.
|3. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN
ONLY. Go to the margin information of your 1:50,000 or 1:100,000
map of the terrain and look for the 'Magnetic Information'. We
need to extract the true north (TN) to grid north (GN) angle in
mils. A clockwise angle is positive. A counter-clockwise
angle is negative.
Also, from the margin information, you need to extract the two
letter, 100,000 meter grid zone designators for the map.
|4. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN
ONLY. Next, we need to figure out how many meters there are in an
arc-second of longitude. We need to find tick-marks along the
bottom of the map which indicate minutes of longitude (there are sixty
arc-seconds in an arc-minute). We are going to measure the
number of meters (in map scale) between these tic marks. Then we
are going to divide the number of meters by the number of seconds
(minutes X 60). This will give us the number of meters per
arc-second of longitude.
|5. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN
ONLY. We need to find the bottom left corner of the map.
It needs to be at a location where we can determine both the longitude
and latitude AND the UTM grid.
We also need to look at the map and decide the size of the map in
meters high and wide. A map of a region like Bihac, with lots of
trees and mountains, will bog down the engine if it is much larger
than 20 X 20 kilometers. A map of wide open terrain like Saudi
Arabia can be much larger. The maximum map size is 50 X 50 km.
|6. You will be presented with the 'Map
Production Information' dialog, which allows you to tell the Power
Toolkit how to extract data from the XDM data file you have
TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN ONLY. Enter the numbers you
have extracted from steps 3-5.
- Long. This is the longitude of the bottom left corner of
the map, in seconds (there are 60 seconds in a minute and 3600
seconds in a degree). Negative values are West (of
Greenwich, England) and positive values are East.
- Lat. The Latitude of the bottom left corner of the map in
seconds. Positive values are North (of the equator) and
negative values are South.
- X. The easting of the UTM eight-digit grid of the bottom
left corner. In an eight-digit grid, the ones column
represents tens of meters.
- Y. The northing of the UTM grid.
- Width. The horizontal size of the map in tens of
meters. The max is 5000.
- Height. The vertical size of the map in tens of
meters. Again, the max is 5000.
- Appearance. These settings decide the color of the color map
when it is drawn.
- Desert. Light-tan.
- Rocky. Red-brown.
- Grassland. Green.
- Frozen. White.
- Alpha. This is the rotation angle between the absolute
axes of the XDM file from which you are extracting data and the
data axes of the map you are creating. Clockwise is positive,
counter-clockwise negative. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN
ONLY. This is the True North-Grid North angle from step 3.
- m/sec. How the XDM data is "stretched"
horizontally to make the new map. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL
TERRAIN ONLY. The number of meters per arc-second of
longitude from step 4.
- Grid Zone Designators. The two letter designator in front
of the UTM grids that are displayed for the map. The bottom
left entry is always used. The other values are only used
when the easting and/or northing exceeds 9999. On real maps,
the second letter of the grid-zone designator increases as you
move north, and the first letter increases as you move
right. TO EXACTLY RECREATE REAL TERRAIN ONLY. The
100,000 meter grid-zone designators from step 3.
|7. This preview map indicates the
orientation of your new map in the XDM map set. TO EXACTLY
RECREATE REAL TERRAIN ONLY. Do not click in this map!
Doing this will alter the settings you have made in the previous step
and make your map inaccurate.
|8. ATF Power Toolkit builds
three components. A color map, a contour map, and an elevation
map. However, the contour map and color map must be converted to
DX maps (a ProSIM Company custom format) before they can be
imported into an Armored Task Force game map.
First, you are prompted to provide a name for saving the
temporary color map that you will then convert to a DX map.
|9. Provide a name for the custom
map. The map must reside in the 'Data' sub-directory of the Armored
Task Force install directory in order to be converted by the Power
|10. The contour interval is the
vertical difference between contour lines on the contour map.
Contour lines connect points of equal elevation on a map. This
value is entered in tens of meters. For flat terrain, you may
use '1'. For mountainous terrain, you may use anywhere from
2-4. The intent is that the contour map not be so saturated with
contour lines that it is unreadable.
|11. You must also specify the name for
the temporary contour map.
|12. Again, it must be in the 'Data'
sub-directory of the Armored Task Force install directory.
|13. Next, we must save the elevation
map. We recommend that you save all of the final map components
with the same file name and different extensions. This makes it
easy to identify what maps go with what components. This file
must also be in the 'Data' sub-directory of the Armored Task Force
install directory to be useable.
Convert Graphic Maps to DX Format Maps:
The maps drawn by the ATF Power Toolkit are normal Windows
bitmaps. In order for them to be used by Armored Task Force
in game maps, they must be converted to a custom ProSIM Company
format called DX format. The format is still a Windows bitmap, but
the map is cut up into rectangular sections that can be digested by the Armored
Task Force graphics engine.
Edit the Armored Task Force Game Map:
The only thing left to do is gather all of the pieces we have built
into an Armored Task Force game map. The game map (saved in
the .gmp file) 'points' to all of the components that make up the game
map. In order to continue with this topic, we will assume you have
already loaded a game map, either by responding 'yes' to the prompt to do
so during the map creation process, or by using 'Open' from the 'Map'
|1. Select 'Edit' from the 'Map' menu.
|2. You will be presented with the
'Edit Game Map' dialog. Enter the name of each file which makes
of up the game map. For a game map to function correctly in Armored
Task Force, it must have an entry in every block except 'AI Help
Map'. However, unless you have a map of completely open,
completely flat desert, hierarchies will not be able to execute
formations or Missions correctly without the help
|3. To use a file dialog to select
files, click on a 'Browse' button. Select the file name for the
file you wish to include in each entry. All of the specified
files must be in the 'Data' sub-directory of the Armored
Task Force install directory for the game map to load properly.
Make sure you save the map using 'Save'
from the 'Map' menu before continuing.
Next step : Add Terrain to a Map