DotA 2 Getting Started!


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Hello aspiring Dota 2 mapmakers,

Valve released the workshop tools as early as possible in order for modders to start working on projects. Having that in mind, they added a bunch of tutorials on their website regarding the tools, which are a must-read for beginners in my opinion.

They can be found here

The Dota 2 Editor: Why, What, How?

If you have any previous experience with the Warcraft 3 map editor, some of what is done with these workshop tools will feel familiar... but most of it won't. Sadly, as it is still in alpha stage, most of the editing is done outside of the editor in .txt and .lua files, and that is excluding the textures, models, and particles. So, no pretty UI for us to work with, such as the easy object and trigger editors in Warcraft 3. On the good side, easy doesn't mean better. It was much more efficient to work into JASS directly during the Warcraft 3 than their memory leaks-filled GUI.

Obviously, the terrain is still done inside the editor, and is pretty much smooth, so that's a huge plus for aspiring terrainers.

The possibilities are still yet to be fully established with this newly-released editor.

For now, take note that models, textures, and particles can be edited inside their respective editors via the Asset browser. Also, object editing is done via various .txt files and are written in data driven C. If you don't know that means, it doesn't matter yet.

Triggers (scripts) take place in .lua files, and are written in, surprise!, lua.

Lua is a programming language.

These various .lua, .txt, and other files have to be associated with your map, or otherwise named, addon. By creating an addon, you are effectively creating a custom mod of Dota 2. And thus, it begins!

What you need

Many things can be changed from within the editor, unfortunately, many cannot be as well. For instance, custom units, abilities, items, tooltips, and triggers are made outside the editor, in separate text files. For this reason, here are a couple very useful softwares to get you started and maximize the efficiency of your editing:

Sublime Text Editor
- And the LUA snippet package that goes with it
- And the Dota KV packages that goes with it


For the veteran warcraft 3 map editors out there, imagine that these are the (current) replacements to the Jass NewGen Pack.

Sublime Text Editor is a good text editor for those who want to edit abilities, units, triggers, etc. The packages come with lists of functions, which are priceless and largely simplify the coding process.

GCFScape is a software made to extract Dota 2's default files. Simply put, what you're going to use it for, for now, is to know what you're doing. By extracting dota 2's units, abilities, and items files, it will be easier to see how it was done. This extracting process is covered in a separate tutorial, located here.

Once you have these, you're good to go!

If you have additional questions concerning the editor, post them in this forum!
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  • C Cherry.Grove:
    My one game was basically Among Us but you sabotaged an entire medieval city simulated drastically inefficiently with dynamic NPCs :S
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    of course I never finished it x D
  • jonas jonas:
  • jonas jonas:
    I think you can still run the original game, just there's a chance your map won't work with the newer patches
  • jonas jonas:
    what development framework have you been looking at for mobile development?
  • jonas jonas:
    I'm currently creating (as a hobby) a space invaders like game for mobile using Xamarin, after starting a few larger projects that I also may not have finished :rolleyes::p
  • The Helper The Helper:
    Awesome! you should look at the Atari VCS platform it does not have a huge user base but the one it has is super active at around 11k and they have no games in there store
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    basically it is linux
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    OMG it is BanLord as Blackveiled on the forum
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    what is up buddy
  • jonas jonas:
    thanks for the tip, that sounds cool. Never heard about the VCS before but seems like it should be a good match
  • tom_mai78101 tom_mai78101:
    The winter vacation left a toll on me. I missed staying up late and sleeping in late.
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    i haven't looked into it yet
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    If I could use something Python compatible it would save me some learning
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    But Unity might be easiest
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    looking at old posts here makes me happy. Makes me be all like "wow I was pretty smart in 2009"
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    mostly failing at life through adulthood really demotivated me for a while
  • C Cherry.Grove:
    ....what I don't get is why the fuck they would force us to permanently convert to a version of the game everyone fucking hated : \
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    Raid Shadow Legends texture pack smh
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    Most people fail at life throughout their adulthood. Sometimes we get to learn from it. Usually it just feels like crap.
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    What does not kill you makes you stronger is what they say
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    for real! :cool:
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    Are we still on the topic of failing? I failed lots!
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    If you ever want to talk about it we're here. The way I see it, you're still around. That required a few very difficult successes if you ask me:)

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