Editing your Map

While the Automapper does a fairly good job automatically mapping simple areas, you will often want to tweak the map yourself to make it look better or more accurate. Sometimes, for example when mapping a maze, you might turn off the automapper and create a map completely from scratch. Once a map has been made, it is a very useful speedwalking tool, so even though you might have to create a map by hand, it still beats using paper. This section will cover all of the manual editing functions.

To use any manual editing functions, your mapper must be in Map Mode so that the drawing tools are shown to the left of your map.


Creating a map with the keyboard

To add rooms to a map quickly and easily, select "Keyboard Creation" from the Zone menu and the map will be put into Map mode. Now the keys on the keypad can be used to move around and create rooms as you go. These keypad keys will also work while the Room Properties window is open, so you can type the Room Name and Description, then press a keypad key to move in a direction and create a new room. This allows you to create a map offline very quickly.

Selecting Objects

To select a room of a link between rooms, click on it with the left mouse button. The selected object will highlight (default is red). To select multiple objects, hold down the Shift key when you click on new objects. Shift-clicking toggles the selection status of an object, so to de-select it, just Shift-click a second time.

You can also select multiple objects by drawing a box around all the objects you want selected. Simply click in an open area on the map, hold down the left mouse button, and move the mouse to display the selection box. When you release the mouse button, everything within the selection box will be selected.

Moving Rooms

To move a room (or all of the selected rooms), click on the room with the mouse, hold the left mouse button, and move the mouse to drag the room to a new location. Release the mouse button to drop the room in the new location.

You can also move a room or selection of rooms using the Move dialog in the Edit menu. This dialog allows you to specify the number of squares to move the room in any direction, including up and down. Using the Move menu is the only way to move rooms to a different level (up or down).

Deleting Objects

To delete objects, select the objects as described above, then click the Delete tool in the drawing toolbar on the left of the map. Or just press the Delete key on the keyboard. Objects that you have deleted can be recovered by clicking the Undo button on the toolbar. However, only one deletion can be undone.

If you use the Remove command, the rooms will be deleted, but the links to the rooms will remain (and will be cut in half). However, you cannot "Undo" a Remove command.

Adding New Rooms

To add a new, blank room to the map, click the Add button (rectangle tool) in the toolbar on the left of the map and click on the map where you want to add the room. Select Properties from the Edit menu to enter a room name and description for this blank room.

Linking Rooms

Connections between rooms are called links and are added with the Link (line) button in the toolbar on the left of the map. To connect two rooms together, click the link tool, then click the edge of the first room (or just inside the edge) then click the edge of the second room (or just inside the edge). A line will be drawn between the edges of the two rooms. The top edge of the room represents north, the bottom edge: south, the right edge: east, the left edge: west, and so on. The diagonal corners of the room represent the diagonal movement directions.

The above method for adding a link is called the two-click method (because you click twice: once on the first room, and once on the second). You can also add a link using the click and drag method. To do this, select the Link tool. Then, click on the edge of the first room, but hold down the mouse button. Then move the mouse to the edge of the second room and release the left button.

You also use the click-and-drag method to move a link. Click on the end of the link you want to move and hold down the left mouse button. Move the mouse to the new room you want the link connected to and release the button. The link will be changed to point to the new room.

Links are deleted just like rooms: select the link then click the Delete tool or press the Delete key.

Links can Bend

Sometimes you need to connect two rooms that are not adjacent to each other. While the mapper tries to draw the link properly, sometimes it will be drawn through other rooms making the map look ugly. You can add bends to a link to change how the link is draw so that it can be drawn around other objects.

To add a bend to a link, right click somewhere on the link and select Add Bend from the popup menu. When the link is selected, the bend is shown as a square box. You can click on this box, hold down the mouse button, and drag it to another location on the map. If the Snap To Grid option is on in the Options menu, the bend can only be placed in certain locations on the map to make it easier to line up straight lines. You can turn off the Snap To Grid option to drag the bend to any location on the map. You can add as many bends to a link as you want. Using this feature you can even create a circular link!

To delete a bend that you no longer need, right click on the square box that represents the bend and select Delete Bend from the popup menu.

One-way links and Doors

Sometimes on a MUD you move in a direction and then cannot go back. This is called a one-way link and is represented by an arrow on the map. To change a link into a one-way link, right click where you want to put the arrow-head and select One Way from the popup menu.

To add a door to a link, right-click the link and select Door from the popup menu. When you walk across a link that contains a door, the mapper will automatically send an "open door" command to your MUD that you can configure in the map properties.

Adding Labels

You can add text labels anywhere on the map by clicking the Text tool in the toolbar to the left of the map. Then, click on the place on the map you want to put the upper-left corner of the label. A text-edit box will be drawn on the map and you can type in the label you want. Press the Return key to finish adding the label, or press Escape to abort.

To move a label, just drag and drop it like you would move a room. Labels can be selected and deleted just like rooms. To change the text on a label, click the label once to select it, then click it again to open the text-edit box. When done making your changes, press Return to accept the changes, or press Escape to abort the changes and return the text to its previous value.

Stacking and Merging Rooms

Any number of rooms can occupy the same location on the map. If there is more than one room in the same spot on the map, a black border is drawn around the room to indicate the stack. To remove rooms from a stack, simply drag and drop the room somewhere else.

You can combine all rooms in a stack using the Merge command in the Edit menu. The name and description of the room on the top of the stack is used for the combined room.

Editing Object Properties

Rooms and Links have properties that you can edit by right-clicking them and selecting the Properties option. The properties of these objects are described in detail below:

Room Properties

The most obvious properties of a room are its name, description, and exits (links). The first page of the Room Property dialog allows you to view and edit the room name and description. Also, below the description, you can add notes about the room (such as what objects or monsters it contains). You can also add a script to be executed when you enter this room. For example, in a shop, you might put the "list" command into the script field so that it always displays a list of items when you enter the room.

On the second page of room properties you can edit the exits (links) attached to the room. These Link Properties are described in detail in the next section.

On the third page of room properties you can change the appearance of the room. By default, the room is displayed as a 3D box with the colors defined for the overall map. You can change the color of the room by clicking the room color button, and can also turn off the 3D look if desired.

You can also add a label that is attached to the room. Simply click on the direction you want the label to be drawn. By default, the name of the room is displayed in the Label. However, you can change this by editing the Shortcut Name field in the next page of the properties.

The fourth page of room properties allows you to edit miscellaneous information about the room. The VNUM is used by wizards to identify rooms by number. It is also used by all of the internal zMUD functions to access a room under script control. Make sure that two rooms in the same zone do not have the same number.

The Shortcut Name is a short name for the room used to display the room label from the Appearance properties. It is also used to identify the room with the #WALK command for scripted speedwalking.

The Cost to enter the room is used by the speedwalk algorithm to compute the shortest path between rooms. If your MUD implements different movement costs for rooms you can enter the value in this field. Note that at this time, zmud assigns costs to rooms and not links.

The number of mobs in the room and the number of objects in the room are left for compatibility with the old v4.x mapper and currently have no function in the new mapper. However, the values are saved and may be used in the display of the map in a future version.

The Reload flags on the right of the page are used to tell the mapper whether to reload part of the room information the next time the room is entered while in Map Mode. zMUD uses these options with the #LOOK command to reload all properties of a room, but you can use them manually if you like.

The Do Not Enter flag prevents this room from being entered during a speedwalk command. The Force Entry option forces the mapper to move you to this room without checking the MUD output first. Use this flag so that the mapper doesn't get lost if you have a room that is hard for the mapper to recognize.

Finally, the Room Name options on the right of the page allow you to override the default speedwalking detection for individual rooms. Normally, the first line of the room description is used to flag the success of a speedwalk step. You can use the room name and match either the beginning of the line, end of line, or both by changing these options. They only effect this individual room, and not the other rooms on the map (which are controlled by the master map properties).

Link Properties

You can change the properties of a link by right-clicking and selecting Properties from the popup menu. You can also edit links by selecting a room and displaying the Exits page of Room properties.

In any case, all of the links for a room will be displayed, with the currently selected Link highlighted. You can change the link that you are editing by selecting it from the list on the left side of the dialog.

In the center of the dialog, the properties for one side of the link are shown, and on the right side the properties for the other end of the link are shown. At the top of each section is the name of the room that the link is connected to. The room in the middle is the room that the room properties and list of links is displayed for. The room on the right is the destination room of the link. As you move the mouse over these room names, the corresponding rooms will highlight on the map. To move to the properties of the destination room on the right, click the Jump To Room button to the right of the room name.

For each end of a link you can control the direction used to draw the link and to speedwalk through the link. The 8 cardinal directions, as well as up and down are shown as buttons. As you click these buttons, the link will be displayed in the new direction on the map. You can unselect all directions to prevent the link from being drawn at all.

The Other button is used to create links for non-standard directions. If you click the Other direction, the link is shown as a small circle to the lower right of the room. In the field next to the Other button you enter the command that will move you on the MUD to the destination room of the link. For example, if you type "enter" to enter a room on your MUD, put the word "enter" in the Other direction box.

Note that entering a value into the Other Direction box overrides the normal movement command for the room no matter what link direction is selected. For example, if you have "enter" in the Other box, but have the North button selected, the link will be drawn to the north of the room, but you will still need to type the "enter" command on the MUD to traverse the link. Going North will not traverse the link. Thus, the way a link is drawn and the movement command used to cross the link are two different values. You can really get yourself confused with this, so be careful. For example, you can put "west" in the Other Direction box, but show the link to the East! What power.

Below the Link Directions are the options for One Way links and Doors. Note that doors can be one sided (select Door on one end of the link, but Normal on the other end). The open door command is only issued when traversing a link that is marked as a door. By default, the open door command just uses the direction of the door. For example, a door to the north is opened with the "open north" command. Some MUDs require the name of the door to be used. Place the name of the door in the field next to the Door button, and use the %2 parameter in the Door Command string of the Map properties to represent the name of the door in the open command. Doors can also be locked, but currently only two-sided doors can be locked. The locked door is only displayed visually and has no other function at this time.

Sometimes links connect rooms across the map rather than adjacent rooms. You can create a "broken" link with a label by entering a value into the Link Label field and turning off the Draw Link option. For example, you can put the text "A" in the Link Label and turn off the Draw Link option. At each end of the link, a short line stub will be drawn on the room in the proper direction, and the label "A" will be drawn next to the label.

Contents Creating a Map Automatically Using Zones