Terraining - Dark Scenery

Tutorial By WastedSavior

I. The idea of this tutorial is to give you little hints on making a dark brooding terrain, also at the end is a list of dark doodads and potential uses.

II. Lets get Started

1. Make a map the size you want as the dalaran ruins tileset

2. Carve a part of the map into a lake or wide river of deep(or shallow) water depending on your prefence.

(Make sure to leave enough room)
Example Picture:

III. Now we wanna texture the ground and water..

1. If you chose deep water, place a dirt cliff (+1) and run it along the water. This will add some "sandbars" to the deep water, but it wont tower outta the water as cliffs.

2. If you used shallow water, use the terrain palette to raise the ground in the shallow water instead

3. Grab the terrain palette, and blend the terrain with an alternate texture to give it debth, i avoid making small single tile squares. They just dont look good.. you can use blight if you'd like, i simply used grass
Example Picture:

IV. after this, the fun part!
1. In most cases the northrend tree wall gives off the best "dead" tree effect, if you used blight any tree on the surface of blight will look dead

2. place your tree in moderation around the island, try to avoid putting many directly in the middle.. small clumps around the edges of the island, with a few stray ones works well

3. Throw in a few doodads, graves, chains, crypts (See list at end of tutorial for more)
Personal Suggestions:
I like to add in a few columns, a broken obelisk, and a normal one
on the columns, place a torch at the base of each one, then press the space bar to clear doodads
4. click on the torches, use ctrl+page up (next to home on right side of keyboard) this will rise the torches, so it looks like they are mounted on the column
Example Picture:

V. For this stage, we're gonna throw in some environment, to make things look run down..

1. First add a few cattail doodads along the outsides of the lake, to give that water's edge feel, you can add in a few rocks, even frogs and fish

2. Then we're gonna add a few flowers.. a few around the graves.. some inbetween, and some around the columns.. to express that(once apon a time) people cared, and brought flowers to the graves..

3. Then we'll add over-growth.. (this will give the effect that its abandoned) if you look in a garden, usually the weeds grow thickest at the corners and slowly movin inward, so well start with the crypt, build up a small wall of shrubs around and behind it, as you come away from it, make them further apart, then we'll throw in a few in the grass just to balance things out

4. After all placing has been done, go into object editor, then to the doodads tab, and look for your shrub/flower, and tint it to 150 (all variations)
it'll suck up that green look a bit, giving it a more "dying slowly" feeling..

Example Picture:
VI. next, for a cute effect, i will add the "Ghosts" for this i needed a dummy unit.. make a new unit out of a peon
How To:
A. Give the dummy unit locust

B. Changes its unit model to the ability model for possession missle (green transparent ghost)

C. Change the flying height to 140 (floating in the air so its halfway in the ground)

1. Place a few of these on your island, i also suggest trying other models.. wisp looks pretty cool in trees also

2. leave the dummy as it is, and give it the unit ability (wander) and they will wander around the island (without going over the water) or leaving, wander is a unit ability

A. simply add it in the abilities - normal (press W, while searching for it, should take you right to it Wander (neutral)

B. For a dark night effect, i used a little weather (light rain, or a fog)
you can use preset weather effects by going to Scenario>map options and chosing what global weather you want, or you can place a region over the lake

C. go to Window>New Palette>Regions, Place your region, the weather is usually a little larger then the region, so you might wanna make it a little bit smaller then where you want the weather to be

D. Now press the space bar to clear the mouse, double click on the region you just placed, check the "weather effect" box, and select a environment

3. for the sky, go to Scenario, scroll down to map prefences, then change the sky displey (i used felwood sky)
Example Picture:

- Be sure to make the dummies a neutral unit
- experiment take what you've learned and apply it to what your doing, certain things can be added that i haven't! it all depends on what your going for, below is a list of suggestions!

Additional Tricks and Bits
Doodads/Destructables - Little tid-bits and there potential uses
-The Spooky Tree (im not sure about this one darth.. where is this from? lol)
-Cages (good for bandit camps, or prisons, too add a little cooler effect, try placing a fire under neith the swaying cage, it'll look like someones being cooked alive)
-Eggs (eggs are great for dark cave corners)
-Portal (Portal goes well with the Dark Citadel doodad Statue Black Citadel)
-Bats (dark skys too dark? try adding some bats)
-Blighted Mist (this is in the felwood tileset, i personally love using this to make swamp gas in my swampy terrains"
-Brazier Skull (great for corridor or to spruce up a big castle room)
-Cauldron with heads (Bandits, witches, voodoo shamans, cauldron gives a "mystic but evil" feel to the area)
-Flame Grate (if the cages doodad is in a castle, i like to use this under it instead of fire pit, it just seems more organized :D )
-Chains ( come on? a good prison.. 3-4 rooms with some plague hay on the ground.. and a small dungeon gate)
-Corpses and Impaled Bodies (i like to raise the ground a little and have a corpse stickin out of it.. "fresh grave")
-Crypt (dont put too many of these, unless you shrink them they look funny with too many, always use moderation with doodads, sometimes a bigger doodad works better then many small ones)
-Northrend Iron Fences (using the ctrl page up/page down feature in the editor, you can add skulls or corpses to the fence. too look like they where impaled on them)
-Flies (add to corpses, wheat, bones, graves, whatever you want to add that musky air feeling)
-Graves (i like to place a few flowers around graves, it seems romantic somehow.. )
-Obstacles (in the black citadel its like a hedgehog from saving private ryan, it has obvious uses.. making an area look "TIME OF WAR!" or barricade a cave entrance, use your imagination :P)
-Remains (scorched remains are fun if you put an cinematic fire, or flies on it)
-Sewers (place along walls to get a sewer effect, you can even go as far as shrinking the waterfall doodad and tinting it a little green to make it look like its spilling out water)
-Skull Piles (its a pile of skulls, think lord of the rings (gollum) :P

Models - Great Sinister Unit Models
-Avatar of Vengeance
-Crypt Fiend
-Dalaran Mutant
-Dalaran Reject
-Dreadlord (Not a Druglord!)
-Frost Wyrm
-Gargoyle (Could look cool on a building in stone form)
-Banshee Ghost
-Ghoul (Can be used in many ways, make him small tint him black he can be a little shadow, or add a few fire attachments and have him run really fast, its all a matter of imagination)
-Kel'Thuzad (Ghost)
-Lich (i like to add all kinds of attachments to casters, usually to they're hands, try a bunch of ability and unit projectiles!)
-All the Skeletons
-Sludge Finger
-Spirit Wyvern
-Wisp (make a dummy ability with the attachment Frost Armor(lich ability))
-Zombie (make a dummy ability with 3 attachments, left hand, right hand, and origin of the doodad smoke smudge)
- Good Luck!
- Thx to darthfett for the list, i did a little improving on by adding uses, but he got me goin <3

Click here to comment on this tutorial.
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
Silkroad Online Forums
Team Griffonrawl Trains Muay Thai and MMA fighters in Ohio.
Apex Steel Pipe - Buys and sells Steel Pipe.