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Map Development

Maps are the fields on which the battles are fought, made with the implicit contract that they shall not alter game mechanics. They are made up of images and text files which describe the environment and its features, such as height, colour, background, details features, atmosphere and lighting etc. These images and text files are then compressed into a 7zip archive for distribution.

In-Game Screenshot

Beginners Tutorial

This beginners tutorial is split into three parts, the basic stuff, the more advanced basic stuff, and how to compile and create a map archive for distribution. It is intended to get you started, when you are comfortable with the concepts, please look over the technical documentation to further your knowledge.


Due to the amount of boiler plate files needed to create a fairly feature complete map, Jk has created a blueprint map to get things started

Technical Documentation


Terrain Shading
Terrain Features




A big list of tools used in developing spring games and assets:


Specific to Map Development

Tools vs Platform
Tool Windows Linux MacOS
MapConv Yes
MapConvNG Yes Yes
Mapdeconv Yes
smf_decompiler Yes Yes Yes
Start Position Editor Yes
Das Bruce's Mapconv Frontend Yes
FrostRegen's SpringMapEdit yes yes yes
Enetheru's smf_tools yes

Spring Add-Ons

Common Problems

Pink Map

Renaming the SMT file and not defining the new name in mapinfo.lua will result in a map with a pink texture. Also don't put any spaces in the name.

Map doesn't show in spring after compressing with 7zip

The most likely cause is that it was compressed using the solid archive option.

FIXME: Add windows and MacOS solutions.

For linux the option -ms=off needs to be given on the command line. eg.

7z a -ms=off myarchivename.sd7 dem files I want to archive

Flipped Images

Heightmap images compiled into map files are inverted. It is necessary to use the -i parameter of Mapconv to vertically flip the image so that it matches the texture.

smt name defined in smf

The SMT file name is hardcoded in the SMF, and renaming the SMT used to cause pink map issues, but the SMT can now be manually defined in mapinfo.lua thereby bypassing the entire issue altogether.

Map Development Wiki

Deprecated but not Deleted

We plan on integrating any and all useful knowledge from these pages into the rest of the wiki, they are kept here so that they are not hidden away.

Full Guides For Map Making (Outdated)

The guides listed below are outdated and scheduled for archival.

Specific Guides (Extremely Outdated!)

The linked pages below are scheduled for archival.

Spring_Features is an Archive which contains Stones, rocks, trees, and can be used for your map.