Homeworld 2 maps, like many space games on the PC, depict outer space as some gloriously lurid galactic sunset or a vividly saturated tableau of Technicolour clouds and exotic planets. The maps themselves are simply large volumes of empty space, populated with clumps of asteroids, space dust, some wreckage, and the odd nebula. They're not big 3D models or colossal bitmaps as you'd find in a ground based strategy game or a FPS: these maps are big empty volumes of space, with a shopping list of pre-defined objects arranged throughout.

Homeworld 2 maps come in their own .level file format. .level files are basically just text files, so you can edit them with a text editor like Notepad or Textpad. However, you won't find any readable files if you browse your Homeworld 2 install on your hard drive, unless you've downloaded some custom files or maps. All the default maps, campaign and other data files are all embedded within the game's main data files in the .big file format. You can read up more on .big files in the HW2 Custom Mods page. Anyone keen to try their hand at producing their own maps or editing the game will need to head over to the Relic Relic Developers' Network (RDN), register as a custom modder, and download the tools to do so.

Relic Developers' NetworkThe Relic Developers' Network has released some official map and modding tools. Interested parties may also want to peruse this mapping tutorial thread at Relic News' Forums. You may also want to check out these sources: Homeworld Spreadsheets - a page full of downloadable Excel spreadsheets and resources for map making in Homeworld 1 and 2. While Relic appears keen to share data and encourage custom modding, its not a free for all.

Resources are grouped in discrete pockets around Homeworld 2 skirmish maps. Like many regular RTS games, securing expansions and holding them are critical to success. There's invariably a starting patch and a series of expansions to annex and control. Your Resource Collectors will empty out a patch and then stop work, requiring fresh orders to proceed from you. There's no roaming harvesters in Homeworld 2 like there was in the first game: you never have to worry where your Resource Collectors have wandered off to.

If you want to peruse some homemade multiplayer maps you'll need to create a small directory structure inside your Homeworld 2/Data folder called Leveldata\multiplayer\deathmatch. When you download and save these map files, make sure they have .level for a suffix and not .level.txt. Some browsers append the .txt suffix when they save out anything written in text format.

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Homeworld 2 Map Links
Homeworld 2 multiplayer map archives are few and far between - and there doesn't seem to be any custom single player missions at all out there.

RTSC reckons: "This is a fantastic site to look at - or - map pack to download!"

Map Pack
A German megasite Homeworld contains a large Map Pack in its Map Modules downloads section.Back

Homeworld Game Modifications weblink

Homeworld Game Modifications: A fantastic little page with a collection of all kinds of modifications, the Map Collection v1.4 (fifteen maps in a 350Kb package), the Multiplayer Map Thumbnail Replacement v1.3, resources, tools, tutorials and other nifty odds and ends for both Homeworld 1 and 2. This page also contains the Homeworld Classic and Special Fleets game type mods for HW2. A great all round modding and mapping page, for both developers are players!Back

Homeworld Legacy
Map Pack
This is 130 odd maps in a single pack, with the likelihood of it expanding to 170. This is a mass of old fan built Homeworld maps being ported to Homeworld 2. These guys are trying to get some feedback and quality control, so download, try out and report back. These maps tend to be large and tax slower PC's. You can track the pack's progress or make comments at its forums at RelicNews. Current version: 2.0.Back
Homeworld 2 Maps
There weren't that many multiplayer maps released for Homeworld 2, and finally the first custom mapping pages are starting to appear. Here's the first I've found - you may want to check out SirRunOn's humble Homeworld main page.Back

Homeworld 2

A brand new, smartly laid out homepage for the TFL Homeworld 2 clan. It hosts a selection of multiplayer Deathmatch maps, and its own two TFL Map Packs. The packs are all playable, designed and refined through the rigours of online gaming, and are highly recommended for any keen Homeworlder. All of them start with six starting positions, but the map sizes range from very big to very small, so you can go for epic team battles or simple 1v1 skirmishes without any problems. Current version: 6.

The latest news about the TFL Map Packs and the site can be found at its RelicNews forum thread.Back

DIY Homeworld 2 Mapping Resources
How to Map
(using text files)

A RelicNews forum post on how to produce your own Homeworld 2 custom map just by using a text editor. It also contains a nice downloadable tutorial as well. To round this all off properly, here's two other relevant and related topics:

Basic Shapes: how to produce shaped clouds and other floating items using scripts and a bit of programming nouse; and

Mapping Functions: generating your own spherical and cylindrical shapes in your map.Back

How to Make
your own Thumbs
I'll try not to make some lame joke about missing fingers. This RelicNews forum post is referring making your Map's own portrait that is shown when the player selects your map from the multiplayer or Vs CPU menus.Back
Lathe of Sajuuk The Lathe of Sajuuk is a homegrown Homeworld 2 map generator and editing tool, developed and hosted at Vapidfire. This is an excellent tool that quickly establishes a basic map file for you to edit. This website only works properly in Internet Explorer. Current version: 1.0.9.Back
Map Maker
(Special Edition)
Or MBSE. This is a WYSIWYG styled map editor executed by the fans for visually editing Homeworld 2 maps. Its not too shabby, although there are still plenty of issues to iron out. it works well in conjunction with the Lathe of Sajuuk. You can also follow up the details and progress of this tool at Delphy's Mad Scientist Productions blog site. Current version: 1.9. Back
Random Homeworld 2
Map Generator
Apparently, HW2RandMap is a utility can conjure up a playable Homeworld 2 map for you, complete with preview image, fog settings, derelicts, nebulae, and its own music, with lots of options. Current version: 1.4.8. More on this when I get around to trying it out myself.Back

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Last modified Sat, Feb 4 2006by Lindsay Fleay.