actually the
best game.
i will fight
you on that
back 2 writings


Bitfighter is a game that is most like a cross between a multiplayer Asteroids and TF2. It's pretty old, tracable all the way back to 2005. Here's a wiki-like thing about it.


I'm too lazy right now to figure out how to do a link table of contents right now, so for right now you gotta scroll. When a superscript has a number enclosed in square brackets, use CTRL+F to navigate to that footnote.


So you want to make really good Bitfighter maps. Cool! New maps can hype up people to play them, seeding desperately-needed activity. There are two halves to making a good map: the gameplay, and the gamelook. A map can drop one and be okay, but to be a great map requires great execution of both.


Look For What Works! Above all, you should take influence from what already works. Think of maps that you really like (or if you haven't seen many, trawl through the Pleiades server for a while), and figure out what makes them play good.

Have A Central Trope! Like a good media, a good map seeks to do a specific thing, and most if not everything serves to reinforce that specific thing. It can be a gimmick, it can just be having a map that plays real solidly. It's always a good idea to think about pruning things that don't serve this trope, as doing so streamlines the map.

Know How To Play! This tenet is harsh, but true. To make something play good, you must play good (or steal a good player to serve your purposes).

Don't Count On Bots. This is a corrollary of Know How To Play. Bots do not know how to play. They get stuck on basic things, like forcefields or slightly weird geometry. They cannot use any module other than Shield. And possibly the most egregious: they do not know how to avoid damage beyond Shield. You must use yourself or other players to playtest your level.

And now for the more precise tips.

Be Smart With Your Turrets. Turrets are one of the best ways to

Make Things Snappy. Bips should interact often.

No Telefragging. It is incredibly annoying for a player to zap another player only to be killed very fast by that same player spawning right on top of them and immediately shooting them. This can be solved two ways: separate the spawn from important places, or delay the spawns. Each has their merits and flaws. Separation lets players nonetheless get into the game immediately, and possibly catch up to the player, while spawn delay rewards zaps, allowing you to manipulate how the game flows.


Look For What Works! Above all, you should take influence from what already works. Think of maps that you really like (or if you haven't seen many, trawl through the Pleiades server for a while), and figure out what makes them look good.

Motifs, Motifs, Motifs! Motifs are the bread and butter of a great map, acting to solidify the map's style. They don't have to be straight repetition, it can be as simple as everything having triangular symmetry, or being a certain type of shape, or aligning to a certain set of angles. The mapmaker just needs to stick to it (unless for good reason, like emphasis).

Know And Use Your Colors! Color theory is pretty important, it's going to be pretty much the first thing players notice about your map. I won't go into much depth about it here but what you'll be most using here is two or three color contrasts

Know And Use Your Geometry! This isn't required, but having an intuition for constructive geometry (think compass and straightedge) can really help you figure out how to make a certain thing.[1]

Don't Overdo It. Don't put lines Every Where and color in Every Thing. I did this once and it sucked for everyone else because they Could Not Discern Shit.


[1]: What can be constructed?

Bitfighter isn't exactly a compass-and-straightedge system. Rather, I describe it as wedges-and-pantograph. That is, anything made in the Bitfighter mapmaker is equivalent to a construction made with a scribe, an infinite set of wedges with 1 angle equal to any rational division of a full turn, and a pantograph that can arbitrarily scale or transpose an object, given a base point and a point on that object. Note that it is impossible to draw a circle: a circle includes not only rational divisions of a turn, but also every irrational division.

Here's some things I know are constructible:
Any length constructible in the compass-and-straightedge system. That is, the group of rationals as well as the square roots of rationals.
All angles produced by trigonometric functions on constructible lengths, on top of by-definition rational divisions of a turn.
Several types of triangle centers, including the centroids, circumcenter, incenter, nine-point center, and orthocenter, as well as equivalents of these centers for arbitrary polygons.
Among other things.


(Ctrl+F is your friend!)


Module. Turbo allows you to go faster with a constant use of energy, or double-tap to pulse using all of your energy. It is useful in most circumstances, but shines in tight spaces.

Module. Sensor allows you to see farther, see Cloaked players within a small radius, place Spybugs which let you see on the command map, and sensorboost. It is useful in most circumstances, but shines with sensorboosting through straightaways.

Module. Cloak allows you to go invisible with a slow, constant use of energy and a little noise. It is useful in circumstances where there are several paths, but all are visible. When there are Sensor players, it becomes a little less useful.

Module. Repair allows you to repair yourself, allied bips, turrets, forcefields, and cores (though not usefully), and claim neutral turrets and forcefields. It is, quite plainly, useful when there are turrets and forcefields.

Module. Shield allows you to negate all damage with a high, constant use of energy. It is nearly vital for offensive play, as normally bips do not have much health.

Module. Armor doubles your healthpool, and makes you much more massive. It is useful in most circumstances, but shines when combined with Repair or Shield.

Module. Engineer, in levels that support it, allows you to pick up resourceItems to create turrets, forcefields, or teleporters. It is expanded upon later.


Weapon. Phaser is a fast-firing, low-energy, low-damage bullet with no special effects. It is nearly vital, as an always-useful fallback.

Weapon. Triple is a moderate-firing, moderate-energy, low-damage bullet that fires three at a time, like a shotgun. It is useful for doing a lot of damage to stationary targets, i.e. turrets, forcefields, and cores, or otherwise at very close range. Without Cloak, it isn't very useful against other bips.

Weapon. Bouncer is a fast-firing, moderate-energy, low-damage bullet that bounces off of walls and may do damage to the firer. It is useful in tight spaces, but must be used cautiously to prevent hitting yourself.

Burst Weapon. Burst is a slow-firing, moderate-energy, high-damage grenade that is a physics object and explodes after a short time. It is useful as cover fire and in tight spaces. It explodes instantly when it contacts a Spybug, opening up novel techniques with Sensor.

Mine Weapon. Mine is a very-slow-firing, high-energy, high-damage mine that is stationary and explodes when anything comes close to it or when it is hit. It is useful for denying passage through spaces. *Do not* put it on your flag or goalzones, that just sets up your teammates or yourself for a nasty surprise.

Seeker Weapon. Seeker is a moderate-firing, moderate-energy, high-damage missile that seeks enemy players and explodes. It is useful in open spaces, and less so around corners.

Weapon. Railgun is a very-slow-firing, high-energy, extreme-damage bullet that travels very fast and very far. It is useful in tight hallways, and less so in open spaces. With Sensor, it becomes somewhat more useful. There are multiple complications to using it. *It is completely nullified by Shield*, do not use it against already threatened bips! *It does not do 100% damage*, do not use it against healthy bips! *It has a slow cooldown time*, do not use it when you are threatened! Ideally, Railgun is used like an assassin, finishing off lone players with precision.


Bitmatch, B
Gamemode. Bitmatch is just another name for deathmatch, where bips score by zapping other bips.

Capture the Flag, CTF
Gamemode. Capture the Flag is self-explanatory: bips take neutral or enemy flags, and return them to their own.

Retrieve, R
Gamemode. Retrieve is much like CTF, but instead of returning flags to their own, bips return flags to their goalzones. Team flags can only be picked up by that team. Filling all goalzones or retrieving all flags gives a team a Touchdown, returning all flags to their spawns and letting the team keep the points.

Hold the Flag, HTF Gamemode. HTF is much like Retrieve, but instead of gaining a single point for each flag in a goalzone, points are gained over time by flags in goalzones. Having all flags or filling all goalzones does not give a Touchdown, rather the flags stay there.

Zone Control, ZC
Gamemode. Zone Control is somewhat like Retrieve, but instead of flags being held in goalzones, moving over a goalzone while holding the flag captures that goalzone. Like Retrieve, capturing all zones gives a team a Touchdown, returning all flags, resetting the goalzones to neutral team, and letting the team keep the points.

Nexus, N
Gamemode. Nexus is much like Bitmatch, but instead of gaining points for zaps, points are gained by returning dropped flags to the Nexus when it is open. The nexus is open when it is green, and closed when it is brown. Each additional flag returned at once by a player makes the points gained grow triangularly, with 10, 30, 60, 100 points given for 1, 2, 3, 4 flags returned at once.

Rabbit, R
Gamemode. Rabbit is most like a combination of Bitmatch and HTF. There is an orange flag, called the Carrot, and picking up this flag makes a bip a Rabbit. Rabbits gain points over time, and also may gain 5 points by zapping other players. Likewise, non-Rabbits may gain 5 points by zapping Rabbits.

Core, C
Gamemode. Core is a unique gamemode, where bips seek to destroy enemy Cores, large stationary objects that may spin and have 10 sides, each with a separate health-pool. In multi-team maps, when all cores of a team are destroyed, they are autobalanced to other teams, with more players going to teams with less cores remaining.
Soccer, S
Gamemode. Soccer is a unique gamemode, where bips seek to move a Ball to neutral or enemy goals. Each goal gives a team 1 point. In FFA, goals instead score 5 points, with zaps giving 1 point, making for a weird hybrid of Soccer and Bitmatch.

Gamemode, unofficial. Race maps involve two or more teams trying to move through the map as fast as possible, beating the other team. It may be Soccer, CTF, or Retrieve.

Gamemode, unofficial. Dungeon maps are like Race maps, but only one team goes through the map, while obstacles or an optional other team try to prevent them. It may be Soccer, CTF, or Retrieve.

Gamemode, unofficial. Survival maps are like Bitmatch maps, but rather than infinite lives, teams have a limited number of lives. The aim is to exhaust all of the opponent team's lives before they exhaust yours. I'd imagine Survival could be implemented with any other gamemode (except probably Soccer), even able to be combined with others for multiple ways of winning.

Gamemode, unofficial. Zombie maps are like Survival maps, but usually have a large amount of teams. Human teams have only one life, while Zombies are not constrained by lives. The zombies try to zap all of the humans, while the humans try to survive until the map ends. Zombie maps work by using Cores in a specific way: whenever a human bip is zapped, they open up a Forcefield so a constantly-shooting turret can destroy their core. They are then soon switched to the Zombie team. The humans usually have a small head-start, because the Zombies are prevented from immediately attacking them by a core blocking their teleporters.

Gamemode, unofficial. Sumo maps (for lack of a better term) are unlike any other gamemode, where bips are automatically set to a loadout with only Spybugs, preventing them from doing any direct damage. Sumo maps center around bips forcing other bips into hazards, such as asteroids or killzones, optionally with some module, usually Turbo and secondly Shield. Due to their unique style of play, they require a levelgen to enforce only spybugs.


Object. Asteroids are the asteroids from Asteroids, and do 100% damage to bips that collide with them, instantly killing bips without Armor. They should be used with care, as they can easily ruin a perfectly good map.

Ball Object. Balls are white circles, and score points in Soccer. Otherwise, they may be used as a regular physics object just like TestItems and ResourceItems, but be warned that flags may spawn on them.

Object. Bips are players, and do most of the game's actions. You zap enemy ones and work with friendly ones.

Object. Bots are fake players, with a brain of code rather than flesh. The most common and default bot is S_bot. Like most computer players, they excel in aiming and reflexes, but get confused by complex levels. They also blindly follow enemy bips, making for an easy zap.

Burst turret cannon
Object. A burst turret cannon is an object I invented that launches any other mobile object via burst turrets aimed at a center immobile ResourceItem. It can theoretically be scaled to any size, but it becomes uncoordinated as it gets larger.

Command map
Mechanic. The command map is a fullscreen map, by default brought up with C. A bip can see walls, balls, teleporters, flags, . Additionally, a bip can see anything within a rectangular area of an ally bip (corresponding to what they could see normally), or anything within a hexagonal area of an ally Spybug.

Dud, dudding
Jargon. To dud is to mistime a sensorboost or superboost, placing a Spybug without exploding it, wasting a good amount of energy. It is prevented by not moving away from the Spybug as you place it, because velocity is conserved in fired bullets. Even I dud sometimes, despite arguably having the most experience with sensorboosting.

Object. GoalZones are used in Retrieve, HTF, ZC, and Soccer, and are where points are gained. Outside of that, they can be used as fluff.

Object, unofficial. Killzones are Zones levelgenned to zap players when they enter them.

Object. LineItems are just that, a line. They can be used to direct bips, or as fluff.

Object. LoadoutZones are where bips change their loadout. If the map doesn't have any, bips change their loadout upon respawning.

Momentum canceler
Object. Momentum cancelers consist of a ResourceItem or Asteroid that is prevented from moving by walls inside of its hitbox. This uses some bug in the physics system to completely remove all momentum from an object that hits it, which is very useful when things go really fast and/or have to stop dead.

Technique. Pulsing involves double-tapping Turbo, flinging you in the direction of travel, using all of your remaining energy. It is much less efficient than Sensor, but a bip tends to only pulse when they absolutely need it, e.g. capturing or returning flags at the last second.

Object. ResourceItems are small white stars that move and collide. On maps that allow it, they can be picked up by Engineer bips and consumed to create objects, which drop the ResourceItem upon destruction. They are useful in many complex objects, such as BTCs, momentum cancelers, and constant turrets.

Technique. Sensorboosting involves placing a Spybug and firing a weapon at the same time, instantly hitting the Spybug and causing it to explode. This flings the bip a good distance more efficiently than a Turbo Pulse, but comes with the tradeoff of being crude and sometimes dudding.

Object. SlipZones are a hidden type of Zone that make bips within them harder to handle. They are always green.

Object. Speedzones are red arrows, which move a bip, and only bips, in the direction they point. They are useful for forcing specific movement through a level, or otherwise allowing a bip to travel to a specific place very quickly.

Object. Spybugs are small hexagons embossed with an S, and they allow

Technique. Superboosting is sensorboosting taken Up To Eleven, where the bip fires a *burst* with the placed Spybug. This flings the bip with an astronomical speed, capable of clearing vast distances. This is the fastest method of movement in the game, but comes at the cost of damaging the bip and about 2/3 energy, and anything in the way can send the bip far off trajectory. It is a very specific technique, only effective on some maps, but it can be very broken on these maps.

Object. TestItems are large yellow heptagons that move and collide. They do nothing else. They tend to clog up bottlenecks, or just serve as an obstacle.

Object. TextItems are just that, text. It can be used as a comment, as a way to direct bips, or just as fluff. If you type BITFIGHTER into it, it'll spit out the bitfighter logo, which can be used as green in a level without a green team.

Object. Walls are stationary blue barriers that play a major part in determining how a level plays. They can either be Walls, which are determined by a line and a length, or Polywalls, which are determined by vertices.

Jargon. Another word for kill.