The Battle of Midway Island (April 1st, 2008)

This map has been in the works for nearly a year. In April of 2007, Spazzy McGee and CannonBallGuy made a map based on the Battle of Normandy. It was a pretty complex map, full of world weapons, physics, trees, and obstacles. I thought this was a great idea, and thought I'd easily whip up a map based on the Battle of Midway Island for the Pacific campaign. After some work, this map got put on hold for nearly eight months while I learned just how hard mapping can be.

I originally thought I'd make this map out of 1.x objects, but promptly gave that idea up after seeing how an aircraft carrier turned out. At this point I was still a map making noob, my only experience had been messing around with iBZEdit and a limited amount of hand coding. By limited I mean adding spawn and flag zones. I had no idea the amount of grouping, physics, texturing, and positioning by hand that is needed for a complex map.

1.x Object Aircraft Carrier
Not very impressive

I picked up with my idea around September of 2007. I only sketched out a basic overview and made a few simple objects, mainly islands and some flags. Then I got wrapped up in finishing my Billiards Table map which was a Fall break project. After its release, I came back and tried to make the battleship model for the Midway map. That turned out to be a complete disaster and had to be scrapped. I'm fairly decent at making simple objects in Wings3d and sticking them together, but I tried to make the battleship as one solid object. That didn't work well at all, so I got frustrated with the entire project and abandoned it. While this map was forgotten, I made and released my Aztec Ballcourt map, which was a fun map to make.

Wings3d Wireframe Battleship
Wireframe drawing from Wings3d

Afterward, I found some scraps of the map file and decided to remake the battleship. Amazingly, this time everything went smoothly, and I used the hull to make the aircraft carriers. The islands and flags I'd made earlier were okay, so I added them without much trouble. About all that was left was tedious hand coding and generally putting things where I wanted them. This isn't that hard, just long and boring. One of the main problems is the multitude of synchronized world weapons. At last count there are over 100 which all have to be put into the right position, tilt and direction determined, and the timing set. By hand. That was very monotonous and really, one of the hardest parts of the map.

Battleship Firing
A Battleship. This uses 18 world weapons

BZFlag Fleet
The American fleet at sunset

I'd had this map practically done by mid March, but was unsure if it was finished enough to release. I have a hard time deciding when a map is good enough to release, so I was just holding on this map incase there was anything I'd missed and needed to do over. Finally I decided to quit putting it off and release this map as an April Fools joke. I changed my name on the forums and wrote a post from the viewpoint of a noob who had stumbled upon a test server and wanted to know if anyone else had seen the map. That thread had some good discussion, and It was funny seeing a server with no description holding the top of the list for an afternoon. This map is currently up at