So here we go,
- Title should be: ' [Map] (2) Blistering Sands' , or ' [M] Blistering Sands 1.0' etc.
- Top of OP a banner image (optional) , A nice opening image to catch the eye of the reader is always nice. The size should be something like 600x365 (not sure on max size here for TL without breaking the layout).
- Repeat the name of the map with the current version in bold. This will help people understand if they are looking at, or reading older map versions when you change things.
- Creation Details. Any personal details about the map; Why the name is what it is, How your little sister punched you in the balls when you were making the map, or How your power went out before you saved because your dog chewed the power cables and your room smells like burnt hair now.
- Map Pics. So we should start with a top down view as well as the in game angled viewpoints. In order to take screenshots in the map editor you need to go to: Data> Export Map Image. Here you can change the X and Y sizes for the resolution (usually something 1024 or higher should be good). Next you should change the camera angle, for a top view change it to 100.0, for a gameplay style view set it to 40.0. You can also click 'generate preview' on the right to see how it will look. Click OK and then your images should be saved either to desktop or the sc2 folder in my documents. These will be saved as .tga files, in order to upload them somewhere you need to have a program like Irfanview. Open the files with IV and hit Ctrl+S then Tab, J, J or Tab, J, Tab, J and then Enter. This will save them as Jpegs.
I recommend using http://imgur.com/ to upload the files as you can upload multiple images at once and then scroll through them as they are numbered. Copy the [img] blahblaj.jpg [ /img] tags.
It is also a good idea (optional) to copy the top down picture to write on with mspaint. Where the mains are, circle any D(estructable)-rocks or hard to see locations, ramps, etc.
- Extra Detailed pics (optional but recommended). These pics should show beautiful detailed terrain/doodads, some wall/bldg placements, how a natural expansion looks with the chokes, how a certain map gimmick looks, key points, some test game battles with a friend, etc. It's probably a good idea to spoiler these images as they can create a very large op quickly. You will need to go to: View>Camera>Reset to Gameplay View or View>View Entire Map. Then when you have the view you like just hit print screen (will save to sc2 document folder labeled as Terrain###.jpg). Or you can play around with the free camera options and get some cool shots. Mouse wheel is what you use to control the camera zoom and in free camera you must hold down alt+mouse wheel to rotate. You don't need to recreate the entire map with pictures, but a few to really illustrate some elements of a map or to show some placements are nice.
- Map Specifications and Numbers. This area is an essential core of the map thread. It should have a list of specific details of the map (as the name implies). Under the Smiles & BBCode when you make a post there is a [ list] option which allows you to make a list of bullet pointed items. This will help to organize this part of the OP so it's easier on the eyes of the reader. Good things to put under each bullet point: Map size, number of players, Main locations (with clock numbering), number of bases, mineral count on each base, number of islands/gold bases/mineral only/etc, locations of XWTs (xel naga watch towers), Locations of LoSBs (line of sight blockers), locations of unpathable terrain, locations of D-Rocks, etc. etc.
Basically any and every detail of the map and especially stuff that is not easily distinguished in the map pictures.
- Map Analyzer pictures. This is a really awesome tool recently created which shows length of pathing for air, ground, and cliff walkers. As well as tightness of paths/chokes, mineral counts of bases, as well as some other neat stuff. Here is the thread http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/viewmessage.php?topic_id=132627
- Change log. Here you should list any changes you have made since you first posted the map. It might be a good idea to use the [ list ] function here as well. It's also a good idea to separate the changes by version with a date so people can scroll through the thread and match the date.
- Final comments. Any self suggestions or questions/concerns about the map: Balance, base layout, map size, number of players, pathing, etc. Any specific strategies you were thinking about being used or preventing. Basically any ideas you may have rolling around and want feedback on. Another good way to get feedback would be by using a poll . It's probably not a good idea to get carried away with these, but if there is some major change that people seem to be disagreeing on it might be a good idea to settle it out.
- Download. Should be at the bottom on it's own line of the post so people don't have to fish around the op to find it. If you choose not to have a download link at this time (map isn't complete or whatever reason) then please at least have a line telling people this. I recommended using http://www.mediafire.com/ to upload a map. It will also let you upload multiple things.
Note* if you choose to post multiple maps in one thread, please divide them up and make note of which map in each subsequent post. I am not really a fan of multiple maps in a single thread because it gets cluttered and confusing, but it's not looked down upon. So feel free, just make it legible.
Here are some examples of good map threads:
(4) Cairo 2428
(4) Ground Xero
Here are pseudo lists of maps created in the sc2 forum.
Copy paste links above
PS- Let me know If I left anything out or if new tools come out that people should be using.