View Full Version : Map Altering

May 21st, 2011, 15:34
From time to time I like to click on join server's and see who's playing my maps.
And from time to time I join the server and thank the members for running my map.
It's the least I can do. Today I joined a server to do just that and was surprised
at what I found. Changes made to my map. A dozen or so iwi's were changed
to the clans images. Wall pictures, signs, vehicle plates, and more. Even the
Welcome to nuketown sign was defaced as well as the custom trailer I made for
Codutility and Capt.com.

About two years ago before I started doing my own maps, I was an admin on a
website and I ran the sniper server. I made the mistake of changing some of
the images in a SPS map and got my ASS handed to me on a silver platter
by the mapping community for doing so. And let me tell you, being called
a map thief is not something you get over with easy. Me and my clan suffered
greatly for something I did and was unaware of what I was doing was wrong
by the mapping community. I apologized so many times to so many people
just to make things right for my clan and me. That's why I started making
my own maps. But now that it's happened to me, I know how SPS felt. I can
understand if an image is offensive or racist in anyway, which I will
never put into any of my maps, can and should be removed from an iwd file
so it doesn't show in game. I'm cool with that. And I'm even cool if a clan
wants to add their logo somewhere in the map when they run it on their server.
But the guy who did this went a little overboard and changed way too many.
It almost didn't feel like my map any more. So I sent a email to the
admin of the website to please restore the map back the way it should be and
if they refuse, to remove the map from their server. I won't say who they are
right now. I want to give them time to restore the map. I will check back in
a few days to see. If they refuse and don't comply, then I'll let you know who
they are and the ass ripping can begin. I have no problem with mappers using
a image from my iwd to use in their map. Cool. But like most mappers, I don't like
my work being changed to suit a clans server the way NukeTown
was. And if you wish to make changes to any custom map, please contact
the maker of the map and ask first. We're always ready to help in anyway we can.
Just my 2 cents worth.


May 21st, 2011, 15:42
I completely agree with you. We have been part of those who condemned that publicly in the past and I thought this kind of STEALING was over.

Please do so, if they fail to put the map back the way it was before, please tell us.... They won't know what will hit them but it will hit hard, believe me!!!

Also tell me if they are members here on Codutility. They will be banned forever!!! :lis-ceci-795:

May 21st, 2011, 18:28
Iwi's are easy to re-edit, unfortunatly some have no respect at all for i.e. a map maker.
At least this clan or person could have contacted you by mail, and ask if it was OK to make changes to iwi files.
Yes, I also use models from other cod series for my cod4 maps, but I DO give credit to the respective owners in the readme file.
And I dont change iwi files.
Anyhow, it's totally rude to do things like that, without permission of it's owner.

Kudos : -10

May 21st, 2011, 19:58
Thanks guys. I just got a reply from one of the head admins of the site and
he said he will put the map back the way it should be. I thanked him for his
response and I'll check back later to confirm the change. Hopefully this will
be the last time this happens to any mapper's hard work.


May 21st, 2011, 20:43
Glad to see things working out Gunner:D

May 22nd, 2011, 02:21
I remember what happened in the past...

Cool that this admin put the map back ;)

May 22nd, 2011, 06:02
Hi guys...

these things make you change the way you see the community of cod, when we happened to us very few people helped us solve the problems (only captcom and joker) and we had to find the solution ourselves ... lock the new maps (not mine) to the clans continued to make these changes .... and the final lock maps for all ... sps bad, but the mappers were weary of these things ...

When this insurance solutions that will come behind others doing the same ... this can not be controlled in any way ...

Sps clan now, is closed and all is forgotten

Hope you do not spend more and everything will be solved soon.

Sorry for english traductor...lol

Best regards

May 22nd, 2011, 10:55
Now I know that you can password protect a rar file by selecting the
advance tab in winrar and set a password to prevent access. But my question
is if I do this, will the game or the server that the file is stored on be able to
access the file so the textures show? All the maps I've have downloaded in the past
have never been password protected which may seem to indicate that this would
cause a problem with the server reading the file. Anyone know if this is do able
or not?

May 22nd, 2011, 13:13
No, no you can't do that. Maps won't run if the rar is passworded. To open/move the files to the server redirect they will need the password.

There's is no way to lock the files. They are need to run the map.

The only way to stop people from stealing your stuffs is to publicly denounced them everywhere you can... the bad publicity will take care of the rest.

May 22nd, 2011, 13:19
Thanks Capt. Kinda figured that was why others wasn't doing it. :enaccord8:

May 22nd, 2011, 21:40
:enaccord8: I have a solution for you on the iwd problem. I need to test some more and if it works:icon_question: we'll add it to Ron's map as a test and then release to the community. It's simple and an easy code to add.:roll:

Just to prove I'm not full of sh!t. :mdr2: I changed one iwi in Ron's map. I added the messages to tell the admin why the map is rotating.

NEW: Added code to display error in games_log file.



May 23rd, 2011, 05:06
Very cool HM. :number-one-45:

May 23rd, 2011, 08:06
This is an extremely interesting solution!!!

Well Done!!!

May 23rd, 2011, 11:53
This won't effect changes made to a Mod iwd will it? If a map uses stock graffiti for example and altered graffiti placed in the mod iwd, it will override those images on all maps both stock and custom. If not then this raises another potential problem. What's to stop some one from altering an image and placing it in the mod iwd? The map file would remain unaltered and not effected by the integrity check and the mod will override the images anyway.

May 23rd, 2011, 12:40
Nothing is 100% fool proof and yes, this won't stop people from adding images to their mod to change images in maps. If they want to add all that extra weight to their mod then so be it but adding images to change one map may screw the looks of many others. Mappers need to be consistent when approaching these individuals and keep the pressure on when undesired changes are made. The map iwd check is a start and will keep the AVERAGE admin honest.

I can change just about everything in a map from the sky, background ambience, etc as long as a script is involved but I choose not to. It's not rocket science and the tools to do this are everywhere but it boils down to the mapper if they will allow changes. Some care and others not so much, so the script will be entirely up to you to use or not. If we all used the same mod then I could check that too and the same would happen for the mod files but that's not even a remote possibility.


May 23rd, 2011, 14:51
we at {BHC}Rangers, for some time now have used a custom texture pack ,made for us by Ze limper,
some of you who have used our server will know of this.

some have asked to use it, others are using it without asking,
Its primary function is to change some textures in stock maps, making them more akin to the style on mw2 (which our mod is based on)..

the unfortunate side effect of this is it also changes some textures on some mod maps, ie brickwork or wood colouring,..
many mappers have frequented our server , and ive yet to recieve a complaint about this texture pack,.
our packs objective was never intended to take anything away from the mappers work.. but merley to enhance the view on stock maps.

this post is very intresting to me ,in that obviously if there was any kind of objection from any mappers , we would immiedialtly stop using our pack.
we would instead try to find a way to implement it to affect stock maps only, maybe this is possible thru scripting. of that i',m not sure..
a complete list of mod maps we use on our server can be found here
all of these maps have links direct to codutility for anyone to down load them..

i will watch this post with intrest, obviously if just one mapper comes to my server and asks me to remove our texture pack , i will.

May 23rd, 2011, 15:51
As a mapper myself I found that very sad to see other people modifying maps and, especially, without asking the map creator.

It is also creating iwd mismatch errors when the players will go on other servers.

The way I'm thinking is if you want to modify someone else map, just do your own map.

Mappers spend tons of hours/weeks/months to create a nice and FREE product for the community. We don't like to see that. This is also why many mappers stopped making maps and others running them on private servers. And never submit them to the CoD community.

Its a shame and I strongly condemn these actions and will always show domain, server IP, clan names publicly.

I personally, spend tons of times on my maps and other stuffs ( look at my prefabs! ).

People asked me why the prefabs are not available for download.... well this is one of the reasons. I can show you a map completely made with prefabs I made... no credit and the mapper even submitted his map first on a site I won't name then submit it to Codutility like 2 or 3 weeks later ( always without credits! ).

No I choose to whom I'll share them. Its a pity because we have awesome prefabs ( by me and others ) on the prefabs' site.

I also make map per request only now.

May 23rd, 2011, 16:35
I know the texture pack Max is talking about. I'd have to agree that finding a script that only allows it to effect stock maps is the way to go. Although it makes the stock maps really pop....I've also seen the effect it has had on custom maps and in some cases it does the map a disservice. An example would be the window frames on Vacant 2. The intended textures are much more suitable than the injected version.

That being said, I think it is all about crediting the maker and informing the player. Those who take others work and pass it off as their own are the true scourge of the community. However, when a mod alters the map, can the host be accused of map corruption? Modders are allowed the same leeway as a mapper, is this not true, should they be limited? Where would you draw the line? Good form might include a disclaimer to the effect "textures altered by mod" and to always give credit to the creator of the content you use.

I agree with Capt in that a map iwd should never be altered and the hours of work put into making these maps should be thoroughly respected. However, open source mods like X4 and Open Warfare are designed for the specific purpose of giving freedom to groups to make personalized content and they are great for that reason. But that should never cross over into editing a map file. I guess the line gets blurred when the mod itself does the altering. I think the best stance is to then honor the wishes of the map creator and respect the effort that has gone into their work. Sadly though there will always be those who simply don't care and will do what they want and once a map is released there is little control to be had.

May 23rd, 2011, 17:34
Ive posted a poll on our forums
regarding the issues raised here , and how they affect our clans mod.


May 23rd, 2011, 18:46
I don't have a problem with a mod altering a map. I mean a mod that will add specials effects, planes, helicopters and other cool stuffs. Where it starts to bother me its when the map itself is changed. The textures have been chosen by the mapper to reflect his idea of the map. Even more if he added custom textures where he spent the time to find them and convert them to the game play. This is all hard work made by the mapper to for the benefit of all. I think this should be respected.

May 23rd, 2011, 19:05
I really don't have any gripe with mod packs. If they mostly effect stock textures
and overall color changes like saturation, light values. I was on another sever
the other night and their mod pack added a whole mountain range around the
one I had in the map and the skybox was purple. But every thing else was left
the same as I made it. Barrels and flags and things like that can all be re-skinned
in a mod pack so they can run their clan logos and what every. As long as no physical
changes in the mapper's iwd file is made, I don't have a problem. Custom made
mods have always done that most mappers know and expect that. It's like I said
before, I really don't mind when a clan wants to change just one image in the
iwd so they can add the clan logo if their mod doesn't do that already. It's sorta
my way of saying thanks for using my map. But if you wish to change more then
contact me or the maker of the map and ask. When they go in and make 22
changes to an iwd file, well that's just wrong. In some ways I do understand
some clans that don't have map makers wanting to personalize a map for thier
own clan use. When that's done, the map should be put on a locked sever or played
in matches that is password protected and never let loss to the public. Any changes
made to a map for public use does nothing but cause trouble. So in final,
Mod packs, I don't have a problem with as long as they don't overwrite
anything in the mapper's iwd file. So Max and you other guys, COOL.
But any modification done to a mappers iwd file itself, I have a nice pair of
cement shoe's for you to try on and a boat ride to some place deep. :mdr2:

We now return you to your regular programing. Good day.

May 23rd, 2011, 20:09
:icon_question: I often wondered if the mappers could have a clan_board added to their map. The image could be added into the mod iwd and as long as every map used the same designation for the iwi then it wouldn't alter the map in any way but give the admin a place to advertise their clan if needed. Flag_neutral could be another one as well............... Just a thought! Comments?

May 23rd, 2011, 20:48
That is also an idea. But with a standard brush for each map???

May 23rd, 2011, 21:25
It would also be no biggie for a mapper to just add a brush on a wall
and texture it with a blank or white texture. In the iwd file, leave a iwi
call blank_logo or clan_logo so they can add theirs if they wish without
removing a custom made one. This can be done for those that don't run
a custom mod. Very easy to do. :number-one-45:

May 24th, 2011, 05:04
Personally I dont like the idea of anything in my maps being adjusted. I prefer to be asked first and allow it to be my decision. I dont understand why any clan needs their advertising in a map that was made by the community for the community. What is the reasoning behind a clan wanting to have their signage in a map that they did not make unless of course a member of theirs made it?

Over the years we have all seen clan logos in various maps and to be honest most of them take away from the map and strikes at the very soul of the map. It dont look natural. Leave the map alone unless you personally made it or have come to some arrangement with a clan.

May 24th, 2011, 08:06
Just a qick note , in defence of my clan and its texture pack..
we are strong supporters of codutility and its ethics and purpose.
we link all the maps we use back to codutility, if any of our clients wishes to download them ,other than from server.
We also credit the main map contributers and codutility in our welcome messages,
and our votemaps menu has been altered to highlight the mappers name.
level.ex_maps[level.ex_maps.size] = spawnstruct();
level.ex_maps[level.ex_maps.size-1].mapname = "mp_sbase";
level.ex_maps[level.ex_maps.size-1].longname = "sbase";
level.ex_maps[level.ex_maps.size-1].loclname = &"(Large)^2Sub Base(MW2)^5Miregrobar";
level.ex_maps[level.ex_maps.size-1].gametype = "dom koth sab sd war ctf";

Ive added this disclaimer to our messeges,
set ex_motd_14 "^1DISCLAIMER ^3Our Texture Pack and Mod.ff, May Contain Image.iwi's, That Affect Or Change Some Stock Image.iwi's. This Is Not Intended To Take Any Credit Away From The Mapmakers."

I would love it if someone COULD come up with a way of scripting our texture pack to work on stock maps only.
coz it sure dioes bring out the best in stock maps, some very well xD.
it would be a shame if we had to lose it..

Obviously the reason im sticking my nose in on this thread is because some of the comments might affect us, i would not want to fall foul of the community, thats why im stating our clans stance and status in this matter, other clans can do whatever, but we will follow any guidance we get from codutilty, so far we have had no negativity toward us..

May 24th, 2011, 09:47
Personally I dont really care if modders use texture packs in the mods they make, its part of their creative process, that said I really dont like the idea of someone directly altering a maps IWD, primary reason is the iwd file sum missmatch's, we were once asked is a loadscreen could be modified for one of our maps and I gave permission to do so as the modder promised to leave credit on the new loadscreen.

We have added "subtle" credits in textures to maps we have made in the past, just small things to credit people who have helped during the mapping process, now this is credit to peoples hard work and I would be highly displeased if this was removed (or changed) from the map.

I do see why level designers add credits to there map or personalise it in some way but why do some of them ruin a beautiful looking map by adding there clan name in 8 foot high letters floating in mid air above the map, when looking for maps for my clan server I immediately disregard any map that has this, it looks out of place! I understand a little advertisement is a good idea but seriously 8 foot high letters is too much! Maybe if people stop modding iwds this will stop.

May 24th, 2011, 10:12
@ {BHC}Max... A mod like yours doesn't make changes to the original IWD. You textures pack is in a mod.ff. So the map downloaded from your server is still the original one. At the opposite some people who modify the original map's iwds. This is where it bothers.

Stock textures modified is acceptable when coming from a mod ( if not defacing the map ) but custom textures changed by whatever is unacceptable. Custom textures is what make the map what the map is supposed to be from the mapper's look/choice.

If a mapper decides to add credits to his map ( textures or brushes ) to whoever he wants this should not be modified.

May 24th, 2011, 15:28
I don't have a problem with a mod altering a map. I mean a mod that will add specials effects, planes, helicopters and other cool stuffs. Where it starts to bother me its when the map itself is changed. The textures have been chosen by the mapper to reflect his idea of the map. Even more if he added custom textures where he spent the time to find them and convert them to the game play. This is all hard work made by the mapper to for the benefit of all. I think this should be respected.

That pretty much boils it down! Well said Capt.. There has been a couple of incidents in the past regarding this matter.. Changing people IWIs whatever it is the custom textures, loadscreens or minimaps to promote a clan just shows peoples stupidity and ignorance! Most cases this happens in clans without a mapper connected to them and they dont know how much work mappers put in their maps so the community can enjoy it.. Worst thing for me is that I get the feeling that people are trying to take credit for a work that I did.. With their own loadscreen people would think they made the map.. Thats why I always have my name made in brushes or clanlogo inside mapfile!! Only way 2 feel secure!

May 24th, 2011, 18:42
So as Laze said, That pretty much boils it down to this. If Fred has a code that
stops the map from playing if the mappers iwd file is messed with and you want to
use it, use it. If it doesn't bother you that much or don't care, don't use it. At least
we have a workable option that can be used it needed. It's too bad we have to do
things like this, but until the 1% of those out there that feel once they download
something, they can do what ever they want to it, it's nice to have something
to protect our hard work from being corrupted. That's all from me on this.

May 24th, 2011, 22:21
Stealing work is not something I agree with and it has happened to me before and more than once, Even way back when I played Vietcong. This is something that is next to impossible to stop and no matter what you do it is not going to change. Fred, your approach is very smart, I like it . Another approach would be to put you name in the map right in front of the global. As long as your using patches and the camera is off map nobody would see your name except for when the entered the map after loading. There would be no name off in the sky, but nobody would be able to take credit for your work. Would take only minutes to setup too. Haven't tested it but it should work, either way it's just a thought.

May 25th, 2011, 01:52
Image for Map Integrity Program:


This was an idea I ran past a few mappers and they all liked it...........This would signify that your map uses the code and cannot be screwed with. Could be added in the corner of the loadscreen? I have different colors of course. Comments?

May 25th, 2011, 05:20
Works for me. :number-one-45:

May 25th, 2011, 05:34
I like what you have come up with and I like the image. Simple, not too much information to distract the player and just cryptic enough to make people wonder what it is.

This will get support and very quickly it should be an icon. Clans and server admins will come to recognize this image or whichever one becomes the standard. My group, and you know where I am, will be kept abreast of its development. I will support this initiative and promote it in various manners.

Im not trying to steal anything from this site in case it looks that way but Im not. This is an important topic and issue to the community of mappers and modders. After all, we are family. I hope that other community forums and groups will take up the rally for some sort of protection of our work. Additionally I hope that clans, non mapping ones, will start to display the logo to show their support. It might be an idea for you to consider....Perhaps another logo that can be used on sites stating "We Support MIP" You get what Im saying here? :number-one-45:

May 25th, 2011, 11:12
Perhaps another logo that can be used on sites stating "We Support MIP" You get what Im saying here? :number-one-45:

:enaccord8: Good idea!

May 25th, 2011, 15:02
Now, if only we could get community wide support for the integrity/protection of mods! If we could only get people to stop stealing work from other peoples mods by decompiling fastfiles and plagiarising code they shouldn't have, and didn't ask for. Because at the moment, it isn't condemned nearly as much as map theft/alteration is.

To date, there are 3 prominent COD community modders who have stolen code and assets from Demon mod without permission and without credit. If I named them, you would be shocked to hear their names. However, I am too tired these days to go into one about it, get myself all upset, just for people to turn round and say "Tally is always causing trouble; there is always some drama with him", like it was me that was to blame.

I really hope no one makes a fastfile decompiler for when the Black Ops mod tools come out, because they are far more trouble than they are worth. I actually have one I engineered myself, but I won't be releasing it.

May 25th, 2011, 23:04
I agree with everything you say Tally, except for making the FF decompiler.Might be a stupid question but I have to ask though, why make one then?? Either way, decompiling FastFiles shows a lack of artistry IMO. I won't use them. If I want to make a map I'll just use screens.

Demon mod is awesome, said it before, have to say it again. It's a real shame someone would steal his work. BTW where has Demonseed been lately, any idea?

May 26th, 2011, 03:12

May 26th, 2011, 03:20
I agree with everything you say Tally, except for making the FF decompiler.Might be a stupid question but I have to ask though, why make one then?? Either way, decompiling FastFiles shows a lack of artistry IMO. I won't use them. If I want to make a map I'll just use screens.

Demon mod is awesome, said it before, have to say it again. It's a real shame someone would steal his work. BTW where has Demonseed been lately, any idea?

I made it in absence of any RAW files from Blops. In other words, it was designed to get the GSC files out of the game's stock fastfiles, ahead of the release of official RAW files. Once the tools are out, it will be redundant, as we will have official files. Perhaps the only thing I might use it for after that is to check other people's mods to make sure they haven't stolen my stuff, or stuff demonSeed created.

Funny thing is, if those who have stolen the stuff had only asked, I would have said yes. Quite ironic when you think about it.

May 26th, 2011, 06:55
I hear ya, I asked Demonseed for something before and he was more than accommodating too. I find most people are if your nice about it, guess some will never learn.

September 12th, 2011, 12:41
maybe say the names anyway since if they did it to your map they prolly also did it to more maps, would be nice to inform the makers of the other maps they did it to...