As of yesterday it was announced on Shacknews and reported on many fan sites such as IncGamer that blizzard plan to release there level editor with the next patch. This means for lucky Beta holders like myself we may finally be able to have a look over it. This is not only good news for production but for the concept side of things too, will finally be able to figure out what can work and what can't.
IncGamers wrote: According to Shacknews Blizzard will release the much awaited Galaxy editor together with a patch that will further balance the game. This is the official statement from the site.Yesterday, Blizzard revealed that the next beta patch should be launching this week along with the much-anticipated Galaxy Editor, which will allow gamers to create their own maps and script their own scenarios. At best, the patch could hit today along with another database reset, but should be released by the end of this week according to lead producer Chris Sigaty.
The editor will not allow users to publish creations to the Battle.net 2.0 cloud, which is planned for the retail release of the game, but it will give players an opportunity to learn the scripting engine and get to work on their creations. Eventually (a year after release) map-makers will be able to sell their creations on the Battle.net Marketplace.
Additionally, the Mac beta client will be made available 3-4 days following the patch.
As for balance changes in the patch, I’m told that Marauders will be buffed a bit following the “over-nerf” they received in Patch 8, according to lead designer Dustin Browder. This will most likely be tied to decreasing the cost and build-time of the concussive shells upgrade.
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor Features
* All unit abilities will be data driven, enabling great freedom when designing unit abilities.
* Every game database file is exposed for modification. The trigger editor features the ability to define custom functions and libraries.
* Galaxy maps are capable of holding thousands of triggers, locations and doodads. It will make all the triggers in the program available to mapmakers.
* Map “locking” will be enabled, which ensures that no one will lose credit for creating a map.
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor Graphics
* Climate graphical effects will be available in the map editor.
* The map editor will support text color.
* Lightning effects can be adjusted.
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor Terrain
* A number of tilesets will be available, such as wasteland (Mar Sara), volcanic (Char), twilight (Shakuras), space platforms, jungle and desert. A few new ones will also be available, such as a new Shattered City tileset.
* Terrain can be mixed and matched; you can define your own tileset in the editor. The terrain textures can be blended, so that a jungle can smoothly transition into a desert. Doodads such as traps can be freely added to any tileset. Maximum map size will be fixed at 256 x 256 and sizes of 32 to 256 are available. Map size can be artificially restricted by controlling the camera, preventing units from entering “off-screen” terrain or building there.
* Water (and lava) levels are adjustable.
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor Units
* Unit coloring and neutral units will be supported in the editor. Blizzard is adding and modifying unit models which will not even be in single-player to make them accessible to models.
* Many of the units and abilities that may not end up in the final version of the game, will still be accessible by modders.
* Some single-player-only units will be in the map editor. The tauren marine will be in the map editor.
* Units can be “attached” to other units, and units can even be used as special attacks (for instance, modifying spore crawlers to launch banelings as an anti-ground attack).
* Heroes can carry items in StarCraft II UMS maps through the use of a toggle, and can carry more items than heroes in World of Warcraft.
* Blizzard will try to ensure that heroes and units can also gain experience in Galaxy, although this ability will likely not be available in the campaign or standard multiplayer games. This will enable map styles such as Defense of the Ancients to be reproduced in StarCraft II.
* Map makers can define any number of custom attributes for a hero, based on their level. However, the UI can only display three attributes.
* The footprint of structures can be adjusted to whatever the editor desires (such as “square” buildings).
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor User Interface (UI)
* The UI can be customized, but it is not a user-friendly process. The files are externalized, and while they can be edited, there will not be support for that.
* The map editor is being designed to handle third-person shooting maps.
* Blizzard was able to design an old-fashioned “Lost Vikings” top-scrolling space shooter game within the editor.
* The map editor can create new HUDs, quest interfaces and dialogue. It even supports “mouselook”, so moving the mouse influences the player’s view.
Starcraft 2 Beta Galaxy Editor Miscellaneous
* Upgrades can be extended arbitrarily, and can be modified using triggers.
* Custom races are supported, even with melee maps.
* There will be support for one more resource.
* The AI will be script-driven and completely exposed. It will attempt to analyze data and see what the player is doing without “cheating”, instead scouting.
* The entire zerg reveal trailer was made in the level editor, including the Blizzard logo.
* “Wrap-around” maps can be made, so that units that walk off one edge will appear on the other side. However, they cannot exchange shots.
* Story Mode Space is all done in the map. Heroes from Story Mode can appear in-game, and in-game units such as the Thor can appear in Story Mode.
* Information can be stored in “banks”, such as characters, which can be moved from map to maps and games.
Were eagerly awaiting release and can't wait to get stuck into the development side of the mod.
Starcraft 2 Universe Development Team