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Map Editor Tutorial - Working with Entities


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This part of the tutorial will go over placing and tagging entities, and it is where the fun begins.


If you encounter any issues, don't hesitate to ask in Skylords Reborn Map Making Discord.



  • Moving in the Editor
  • Placing Entities
  • Moving and Deleting Entities
    • Moving Entities
    • Deleting Entities
  • Entity Properties
  • Tag
  • Entity List
  • Render Filter
  • Next Chapter


 Moving in the Editor

Let's start by going over how you can control your camera in the editor.

  • Arrow Keys to move your camera
  • Home and End keys to tilt it up or down
  • Insert and Delete keys to rotate
  • Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

Alternatively, you can use:

  • Space bar + Left Mouse Button to rotate the camera
  • Space bar + Middle Mouse Button to zoom in and out
  • Space bar + Right Mouse Button to move the camera

If you want to adjust the speed of camera movement and zooming, or invert the direction. 
You can do that under
Camera -> Configure

You can also change the type of camera you will use in the editor - stick to the Editor Camera for now.



 Placing Entities

We went over how you can place entities in the previous step of the tutorial. But let's look at the entities you can actually place on the map.

In the Entity Placement window, we have several tabs that each contain different types of entities.


  • Squads gives you access to all the different units in the game
  • Buildings contain all the buildable structures such as towers
  • Objects are mostly map decorations, but there are some of them that have a functional use
    • You will find MOST decorative objects in the Mapart folder, and some under Leveldesign folder
  • Misc tab is only for placing the Starting Point, there is a dedicated tool to bring sounds to the map so ignore the Sound Emitter
  • Power Slots are the Power Wells, they all give power at the same rate - so they only differ visually and in how much power they contain
  • Token Slots are the Monuments
  • Fortification is where you can find the buildable Walls
  • Effect tab contains all the effects used in the game such as smoke, clouds, falling leaves, fire etc.



Note: Objects usually don't block unit movement, meaning you will be able to move your units through them and build buildings inside them. Unit collision on the map is handled via Blocking Tool, which we'll talk about later.

There are some objects that serve not only as map art, but also have a function in the game. These can be found under Leveldesign -> Blocking folder.
Flightblockers automatically block the movement of ground and flying units through them. When an object blocks unit movement, it also automatically prevent buildings structures.

There is one very important object, and that is the Vis Blocking Dummy. Under normal circumstances, units can shoot through objects and blockers, they will also aggro through them. To prevent these issues, we can place Vis Blocking Dummies - they are invisible in the game, but they prevent the units from aggroing and attacking each other through obstacles.




In the Squads and Buildings tabs, pay attention if you are in the Current cards or Non-player entities folder.

For NPC units, you want to use the Non-player entities - why? Because these entities are very unlikely to undergo any drastic balance or functional changes. They also automatically use their special abilities (if they have any), which the entities in Current cards do not do.

Entities in Current cards may undergo major reworks, changing the difficulty of the map drastically. And again - they do not use their special abilities, you would need to script that manually.



 Moving and Deleting Entities

• Moving Entities

Let's go over how you can move the entities around.

With an entity selected, you can:

  • Move it by holding the Right Mouse Button
  • Rotate it by holding the Middle Mouse Button (not all entities can be rotated)
    • You can change the axis along which you rotate the entity by holding down Shift / Ctrl keys
  • Change its height with Shift + Right Mouse Button (again, not all entities can be moved up and down)
    • You can also change the height in the Entity Properties window, if the entity allows it.

You can drag-select multiple entities by clicking and holding Left Mouse Button and dragging - forming a rectangle over the entities you want to select.


You can move multiple entities the same way as a single entity.

  • With multiple entities selected, rotating them rotates the individual entities along their individual axes
  • To rotate them all around a single pivot point, hold Alt while rotating them with the Middle Mouse Button
    This will rotate them around the location of your mouse cursor


image.png.0d849513b0ffeba5c98b0a738169e4ef.png   image.png.08d0811e4671b5e2124befe76e338b30.png


Note: You may have noticed the Lock Height option in Entity Properties. This can be a very valuable option, as under normal circumstances, moving objects along uneven terrain snaps them to the terrain in their set height.
Ticking this option will allow you to move the object without it changing its height when moved. It is especially useful when you want to create cliffs that are not made with the Cliff Tool.

Notice how the wall with Lock Height off, snapped on top of the cliffside, while the other wall went straight into the terrain.


image(32).jpg.85fc10e730497e4eec37934ba02ab9a4.jpg   image(33).jpg.9ccd04b45a58b4c22ce2f8bb63a7a4cf.jpg


• Deleting Entities

You have two ways to delete entities - the slow way and the fast way.

The slow way would be through the Entity List window - we will have a closer look at that in a little while.

The fast way is pressing Backspace to delete all selected entities - REMEMBER THIS SHORTCUT.


 Entity Properties

Let's look at properties of Entities.
Properties for Squads, Buildings, and other entity types are very much similar.

For this example, we will place a non-player Emberstrike onto the map.



Note: Notice there are actually two places with NPC fire units - under Fire Generic folder, and under RPvE -> Fire folder

For fire and nature NPC units, the ones in the RPvE folder are the most up-to-date ones, offering a larger unit roster that will actually use their special abilities.


Our Emberstrike will show these properties when selected:

  • Information - general info about the entity, this cannot be changed
    • One useful information is the database ID which is used by some script commands
  • World Coordinates - location of the entity on the map
  • Rotation - self-explanatory
  • Tag - The. Single. Most. Important. Thing.
  • Player Kit - who controls the entity
  • No Player Kit Acquire - doesn't work
  • Team - entity's relation to other teams and fog of war vision
  • Reset Properties - click this to reset any changes you made to the entity properties


We already went over the Player Kit before, now the most important thing in map making - the Tag.


Note: While Player Kit determines who controls the unit, the Team handles its relation to other units based on the Aggro Table and grants FOW vision to that team. Some of you may have already thought about how is this actually useful.
You can have a unit under Player1 control, that other units of Player1 will be able to attack and will aggro to. This isn't used under normal circumstances, but you are free to do with this knowledge what you want.



While the Tag falls under Entity Properties, because of its importance, I've split it into its own little chapter.

Tag is a text, or a number, that is unique to the entity. There cannot be multiple entities with the same tag on the map - the editor won't let you tag two entities with an identical tag.

While tag on its own doesn't have any function, it is the only thing that you can reference when scripting.
Name your tags carefully, it is easy to get lost in them.

Same as the map naming convention, you should also follow some best practises when tagging entities.

  • Don't use any special characters
  • Use only lower case letters
  • Use "_" instead of spaces or no spaces at all
  • Tag names in English
  • If you have multiple entities such as 3 Emberstrikes, and you want them to serve the same function, or be a part of one group - put numbers at the end of the tag such as - ember1 , ember2 , ember3
  • Don't tag an entity "default" - this is the only rule that you should strictly follow

While these rules are not strict, it helps with debugging and readability.
Remember - the
BF Editor is very finicky, and you never know when the game works with uppercase letters, lowercase letters and when the game might crash because of this.

To tag multiple entities at once, simply select them and write your tag (it's a good practice to put a "1" at the end). The editor will automatically tag the entities with that tag, and increase the number at the end for each selected entity.



 Entity List

Entity List is a window you won't use most of the time, but it can come in very handy.
Let's have a look at it now.


The top part of the Entity List are Entity Groups - you create these yourself.
They are useful in some cases, where you want to have easy access to - for example - a landmark tower you built out of objects.

These groups are only to ease work in the editor, they have no function in the game.

The bottom part is the entity list itself - you can search for entities here by name, tag, or database ID (DBID).


In this window, you can also Hide or Lock entities - Hidden entities cannot be seen when working in the editor and Locked entities cannot be edited in any way.

To Unhide entities, you have to find them in the Entity List, select them and press the Hide button again.

To Unlock locked entities, select them and press the Lock button again.

You can quickly snap your camera to an entity, by double-clicking it in the list.

Selecting an entity type parent in the list will select ALL the entities of that type on the map.




In combination with Entity Placement window's change Entity button, Entity List can be a very powerful tool.


To exchange an entity or multiple entities for another - follow these instructions:

  • First select the entities you want to change - do that with the Selection Tool or in the Entity List
  • Then click on the change Entity button
  • Lastly, select an entity from the Entity Placement list
  • Sometimes it is a bit finicky - repeat these steps if it doesn't work at first try


 Render Filter

Render Filter is another useful tool in the editor.

You can find it in the top bar of the editor.


In here, you can select which types of entities you want to hide in the editor. You can, e.g. filter out decoration Objects on the map, if you don't want them to get in the way of selecting and tagging your Squads or Buildings.


 Next Chapter

Now you have the knowledge to place entities and assign them to players. Feel free to place some enemy squads on the map. When you have something to fight against, the map is no longer as empty and boring!


The next chapter will go over how you can sculpt the terrain and add cliffs.


 Sculpting the Terrain and Blocking •



Edited by R4bitF00t
Metagross31 and Emmaerzeh like this
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