How to Create Maps for Homeworld Remastered

Visually create and edit maps for Homeworld Remastered v2.1 in 3d, using Skunks HW2 Map Editor on Windows 10/8/7/Vista.

First download Skunks HW2 Map Editor. This download includes the required drivers and documentation:

Instructions to install
Works on Windows Vista, 7, 8, 10

  1. Copy dx8vb.dll to:
    A. For 32 Bit OS: c:\windows\system32
    B. For 64 Bit OS: c:\windows\syswow64
  2. Run the Command Prompt (cmd.exe) as an Administrator.
  3. At the command prompt type cd\ and press Enter. Then type:
    A. For 32 Bit OS: regsvr32 c:\windows\system32\dx8vb.dll
    B. For 64 Bit OS: regsvr32 c:\windows\syswow64\dx8vb.dll
  4. Press Enter, a dialogue box showing successful registration should be displayed
  5. Run “Homeworld2 Map Editor v1.2.msi”
  6. Copy “Skunks HW2 Map Editor.exe” to your desktop. (Step 7 is very important! If you leave it in the default directory, you may get a comctl32.ocx error. If this happens, you may need to uninstall the program, and repeat step 5.)
  7. Run “Skunks HW2 Map Editor.exe”
  8. If outside the US/UK/China, ensure your Windows Decimal Symbol is set to a dot. Commas will cause a crash.

The “Skunks HW 2 Map Editor Tutorial.rtf” file has just about everything there is to know about the Map Editor. Credits for this document go to Dryson.
You can also download the Ace Map Pack for examples of maps, thumbnails and the new HWR .levels file:

Homeworld Remastered Notes

  1. Save often! The tool tends to crash sometimes. Also, sometimes the graphics glich out out if you alt-tab or minimize.
  2. The tool only saves starting locations for 6 players. You can edit the .level files in notepad to add a 7th and 8th player.
  3. Homeworld remastered requires a .levels file. This is basically a list of all the maps you want to be included for each GameType. A brief .levels tutorial is below.

".levels" Tutorial for HWR

  1. Create a text file in the following folder (path may vary): C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Homeworld\HomeworldRM\Data\leveldata\multiplayer
  2. Name it something like “MyMaps.levels”
  3. Open the file in notepad and copy and paste this code:

Next copy and paste the following code for each of your maps. The name is the filename without the .level extension.

Your maps will now be available in game. More details on the .levels files are here: Custom Maps - What you need to know!

HWR 2.0 Patch Map Changes
The following nebulas will appear as black boxes, and must be replaced with alternate code. The first 4 are identical replacements, however the last nebula must be substituted with a similar looking nebula.

  • addNebula(“polysurface5”, “M05_DustCloud_Nebula”,
    ---->addCloud(“polysurface5”, “Cloud_NoRes”,
  • addNebula(“polysurface5”, “M05_NebualDustCloud_NoRes”,
    ---->addCloud(“polysurface5”, “Cloud_NoRes”,
  • addNebula(“polysurface5”, “M05_NebualDustCloud_NoRes2”,
    ---->addCloud(“polysurface5”, “Cloud_NoRes2”,
  • addNebula(“polysurface5”, “M05_NebualDustCloud_NoRes3”,
    ---->addCloud(“polysurface5”, “Cloud_NoRes3”,
  • addNebula(“polysurface5”, “Nebula_Hiding”,
    ---->closest substitute: addNebula(“polysurface5”, “m11_bentusi_debris”,

PayDay’s Map Editor
PayDay’s Map Editor for HWR came out in September 2016, and is still under development. As of 2019, it has some advantages and disadvantages compared to Skunks map editor. Hopefully it will only get better!


Sounds cool, might use this in the future.

Though of course ideally we need an updated one that can handle 8 players, is more stable, and doesn’t need such an elaborate installation process. :3

Is it capable of using custom resources and random debris?


[quote=“Xercodo, post:2, topic:580751, full:true”]
Though of course ideally we need an updated one that can handle 8 players, is more stable, and doesn’t need such an elaborate installation process. :3[/quote]
Haha of course, but this is already a Cadillac as far as modding tools go. =)

It can do a lot and this is what most hw2c maps were made with, as its the only 3D map making software. There’s a few other map tools out there that can do some additional things with custom resources, but I’ve never had a need for them.

So now I can make a make that takes place in a solar system sized dust cloud? :stuck_out_tongue:

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Looks useful :smiley:

What do I do if I have a custom gamerule that the maps are supposed to be used with?

Haven’t tried that before. I’m guessing you just tweak these lines in the .levels file:
ExtFilter = “levels_dm,levels_hw2,levels_dm_hw2,levels_hw1,levels_dm_hw1”
Tags = “dm,hw2,dm_hw2,hw1,dm_hw1”

And these lines in the gamerule:
ExtFilter = “rules_dm,rules_hw2,rules_dm_hw2”
Level_Pass_Tags = “dm_hw2”

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Thx in for the good info, I’m an old vet of hw1 and am now getting back into the community, I like making maps and eventually want to get slowly into modding or at least helping the modding community. Right now im trying to recreate a version of an old map i helped to create for hw1 many years ago, it was called “OK Corral” i have installed skunks map maker and created/saved my map, i also followed the instructions here to get it loaded into my game… now here’s my problem = when i save the map in skunks it only creates a .level file, it does not create the .tga file that is associated with it, i have no doubt that this is critical to get the map to load, when i try to get the game to load now all it does is crash the game, so any help by anyone who can explain to me how to create the .tga needed for my map would be appreciated.


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I remember playing OK Corral, awesume blast from the past!

The .tga is just a map preview picture file. Its not required, but you can use (free) to create one. I think 1024x512 and save as a 32bit .tga file.

A few questions:
When exactly is the game crashing? When you try to start a game with your map selected?
Can you see your map in the list of maps?
Maybe PM me your map’s .level code and I can check whats wrong.

Edit: I usually debug maps by removing non-essential code until it works. If I had to guess, id say try deleting the music line of code, i think that maybe changed in HWR.

OK Corral is included with the Classic Maps mod.

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Thx gentlemen for the quick replies, in answer to the questions.

the map shows up on my map list, no problems there. after i made the game and go to select the map the screen just goes black and the game crashes, it never loads properly.

Cloaked, i will send you the .list file i made. This is my first day here on this forum, Im unsure on how to PM you here, feel free to email me if you want at or friend me on steam.

Makali, i did see that, however i am unsure how to unpack the huge file that the map is in, it appears to be inside a .big file and its been so long since i messed with those. Honestly it would be great to get a copy of the original OK Corral map that has already been formatted for HWR, but i would seriously like to start making maps and need to build up my knowledge for doing so. ive made many maps for other programs and would like to keep it going in HWR.


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This may help you unpack the big file:

I’ve never used it though.

Ya I haven’t tried that yet either, dunno if it works for mods or just the main HWR .big files.

I think a lot of people still use unfbig, which can be downloaded here:

Unfbig is super easy to use fyi.

I used this to make a (relatively bad ;)) map in 5 minutes so this helped me a lot!

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If you are familiar with making maps in HW1 and Cata, then you may like the level creation scripts I created for my own maps. The techniques are very similar.

Look in “data:scripts/MapFunctions.lua”. All the scripts are documented.

Otherwise look here:

This tutorial is for HW2 but may still work in HWRM.

Here is the first version of my old map OK Corral, thx again for all the quick help, much appreciated.

This version was the best i could do for a first try, i do plan on sprucing it up in time. Also the distances etc were just off of my memory from many years ago so its probably not 100% accurate. Feedback always encouraged.

many more to follow.

Sincerely enjoy


probably more for single player scenarios but it would be nice to know if there was a gearbox tool/scripts to make maps and setup single player triggers

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Did GearBox create any new maps? I thought they just converted HW1 & HW2 maps.

Someone a long time ago started making a 3D map maker in Flash for HW2. It was real pretty. He was going to incorporate my map scripts into it. I wish he had finished it.

Hi, I made a couple pretty killer maps. Where can I upload them? Is there an official site that everyone goes to? I got the Ace map pack and the Mazerguru pack, but from here in the forum somewhere.

Captain Freedom

I am a huge fan of tools in general. But it is often hard to balance the decision of when to reinvent the wheel or when to piggy back off of something already in place an alter it for a specific need.

I like the idea of this tool and tried to use it but I was limited by the non scalable viewing pane on my large LCD. Everything was too small for a map with many objects in it.

My 2nd attempt was to use something like 3ds or blender and import and export via script the assets from a .level file to the 3dtool. I believe someone with knowledge at writing blender scripts could facilitate this and be able to simulate a 3d map in blender… and conversely take a blender project and reverse it back to a .level file. This way the WYSIWYG tool code is already written for you in in blender (or 3ds).

But I decided not to go this way either… learning the scripting language and how to use blender took me too far off of schedule in what I wanted to do.

What I did instead, with help from this community, was use a camera tool inside of the game engine to easily pin point where I wanted objects to be and with a click of a button wrote the (X, Y, Z) of that object to the hw2 log file in an easy copy/paste format. Then I just cut and paste those coordinates into my .level file. This method, though not optimal, was very quick and effective and produced the results I needed. But might not be the best for everyone. :slight_smile:

That is my 2 cents.