note. See also: Preset Maps entry on the developer wiki.
Hedgewars is played on 'maps' which can either be pre-defined, or a randomly generated level which corresponds with a selected theme.
Pre-defined maps are a 32-bit .png image file named "map.png", and all modifications to the map (for example, terrain damage) are rendered in-game dynamically. a scaled version named "preview.png"(256 x 128) for post-game menu in same folder.
Pre-defined maps can be designed with many programs, as long as they support 32-bit alpha channels, and can export the image as a .png
Both Randomly generated and Pre-defined maps call for a 'theme'.
Randomly generated maps allow the player to select which theme to use in the frontend, and Pre-defined maps have a set theme which is specified within a file called map.cfg.
This .cfg file is effectively a text file that contains a single line of text that references the name of the theme to be used in conjunction with the terrain; and can be found inside: Installation Directory/share/hedgewars/maps/Data/Maps/Map_Name
When in the frontend, the player can choose what map to play, and alongside this is a preview icon which is a 256x128 image of the map the player is about to play.
The preview icon is simply a .png file that is a scaled down thumbnail of the corresponding map.
You can find this file here Installation Directory/share/hedgewars/maps/Data/Maps/Map_Name and it is named preview.png.
When in the frontend, if you wish to render a new randomly generated map, click on the image where the preview icon is.
Pre-defined maps are stored inside: Installation Directory/share/hedgewars/maps/Data/Maps/
The suggested map creation tool is Inkscape(http://inkscape.org), assisting with openclipart for items.