I stumbled on this forum as I was looking for graphics in order to make maps for Squad Leader. I had started making a map from Lock N' Load maps, manually in Photoshop but it takes a lot of time and am missing graphics. Then I found this place and digging in forums I can see there is some ASL mod and homemade stuff (mods). I don't own a PC, only a Mac and unfortunately can't play the game yet, but I guess I could borrow my daughter's PC. My question is : how do you make custom maps with such nice graphics ? Where do they come from ? Does the game include a Map Editor ?
Thanks for your help.
Welcome to the forum. Here are many friends who know Squad Leader (SL) and also Advanced Squad Leader (ASL). I am one of them.
I am going to transmit to you the experience that I have obtained doing "Heroes and Leaders mod."
Lock N 'Load (LnL) maps for Squad Leader:
You have to keep in mind that each map of LnL has 8 height hexes and 15 horizontal hexes. That is, you can not literally copy the SL/ASL maps. However, 1 hex of LnL is 50 real meters and 1 hex of SL/ASL is 40 real meters, so that, finally, the boards of both games represent the same proportion of real terrain.
When I started doing the "Historical Module Barrikady" I wanted to maintain the scale of Historical Module "Red Barricades" of Avalon Hill Company (I guess you know it), but I understood that I could not easily maintain the scale between both games. You always have to sacrifice something to get a minimum of "playability".
How do you make custom maps:
You will not believe it, but all the "Heroes and Leaders mod" boards have been made using Paint and Paint.net. Of course, Photoshop can also be useful, but it is not necessary. I assure.
There are a lot of material available on the internet (textures, models, etc.). Also there is a lot of work done in this forum and in others. You can also build individual models (houses, bridges, roads, trees, etc). Little by little you get a library that makes work much easier.
You do not need to be a graphic expert to do an acceptable job.
Effectively, the game includes a map editor. The game editor allows defining the characteristics of each graphic element. But you have to make the graphic map first. Then, the editor gives you the characteristics that you want to define. For example, you will have drawn a house in Photoshop, but also you have to tell the editor. Not only do you have to tell him that there is a house in that hex, but you also have to trace his perimeter. Is not difficult.
The editor is a fantastic tool. Thanks to the Editor it is possible to introduce new properties in the game. Doing this is what I enjoy the most.
Something similar happened with the units. You can draw your own units and endow them with their own and individual characteristics.