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Hey guys,

Here is a teaser on another map I have been working on since a few time. Crete Island. This should be nice for 4 players.

Here is Crete:

56e1bc1eb3e98_cretemap.thumb.jpg.6a40eb5

And here is my ongoing map:

56e1bc5434994_creteongoing.thumb.png.58d

As usual, I tried to do my best to respect the topography, with exact coast drawing, hills/mountain position, and even respecting the oceanographic topography. So players can start from Heraklio, Rethymno, Agios Nikolaos, and Chania. Obvioulsy, I need some more work on texturing and stuff.

Actually, what I really have in mind is to set up a campaign on the island, based on the history of the Island. Here are the major points of the campaign I have in mind :

Sparta, Athen, and Macedonians will start to fight on a first scenario (Crete1) - almost a squirmish mode with these 3 factions - it will correspond to the conquest of Crete Mynoian people by The Greek

Roma attacks the Island and fight established factions (Crete 2) - a scenario with a map including fortified Athenians - it will correspond to the attack in 67 AD by Roma.

Persians attacks the Island and fight established Romanians camps (Crete3) - a scenario with fortified Romanians structures, much more difficult to conquer than the previous scenario with an appropriate design - it will correspond to the conquest in 400 by the Byzantin empire (they were actualy a mix of tribes, slavs and vandals, but the closest faction available in the game is Persians/Achaemenid faction).

 

So what is required to create a campaign ? Is a succession of scenarios ok ? What are the major problems with campaign and are some campaigns already planned ? Is my project possible and compatible with your objectives ?

Looking forward your feedback, thanks!

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That's a very nice map again. Are you drawing that all by hand, or are you using the heightmap import? I can't remember our heightmap import to be that good, and neither is it easy to get black-and-white heightmaps (though that shouldn't be such a big problem for someone who prefers OSM over Google Maps).

For campaigns, the main problem is that they're not designed yet. If someone would come up with a good first storyline, and a good GUI design, I think it would be enough to kick off the implementation.

But I guess that most campaigns would need good triggers, and we're still a bit experimental when it comes to triggers (we don't know yet which ones work well and which don't).

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7 minutes ago, sanderd17 said:

I can't remember out heightmap import to be that good

Indeed, but with extensive image editing in Gimp / Photoshop and the Atlas terrain tools it is possible to create something from it. I did that with Northern Island which is packed with Alpha 19. (that one's also based on a real world island btw)

17 minutes ago, AtlasMapper said:

So what is required to create a campaign ? Is a succession of scenarios ok ? What are the major problems with campaign and are some campaigns already planned ? Is my project possible and compatible with your objectives ?

There are no planned campaigns since it hasn't been clear to what a campaign should look like (should it be a Total War style map, should it be a succession of scenario's, etc.)

Triggers are indeed experimental. There is no clear approach to a good working scenario and there are many unexplored (possible) pitfalls)

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Thanks. I draw it by hand, that's why it takes me some time. Actualy, I have no idea what the heightmap tool is, I saw it in the Atlas tools, by I wasn't able to find any information about how to use it. All I am expecting now is that I didn't wasted my time by doing it by hand if a nice tool was able !

Anyway, the map is almost done now (the hardest work is behind me).

I'm working on another scenario, to try to manage the scripting problem. I guess I will have some help with it soon. I always have fast answers I think the community is very active! So I hope I'll be able to create good scenario from this map too. And in the end, the idea of creating a campaign is really stimulating. Let's see if some other like the idea. Thanks for your feedback!

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The heightmap tool just takes a greyscale, square image, and interprets the grey value as a height. But there are no settings on it, so you need to find a good greyscale image that has the right grey values, or do many iterations of fixing the image and importing it again. Of course, you need to find a heightmap image first, or create one using a renderer and height data (like NASA SRTM). And then you just have the heights and still need to texture it. So it's not a tool that you just click and it works, you also need to invest a lot of time into it. The times I tried it, I always felt the tool was putting too much false detail in the map, and creating some sort of sawtooth relief, with a flat view when looking from far, but with every tile impassable.

Then again, as you say this is done by hand, it makes it even more impressive.

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@sanderd17: Oh I see. Is there any prerequisites about the image (size, resolution, grayscale depth..) ?And is the white interpreted as the highest or lowest point ? It should be nice to post these informations on the Atlas Wiki page too. Even if the tool is quite rudimentary, it is always nice to inform potential users they could use it. It might inspire some more mappers too.

That's a pity about the missing settings. Let's say I have a 8 bits grayscale image, with 0 interpreted as the lowest Z point, and 255 interpreted as the highest Z point. If I follow you the heightmap tool will draw a map with insane depth on the Z axis, especially because after a recent update, the maximum depth has been increased. So we need to finely tune the min and max grey values, and the overall contrast of the image in order to find the proper depth on the map. That would be amazing if we could have a "factorize" option that would scale the max and min values acording to a specified factor. Do you have any idea if it is possible to implement easily ?

Anyway, I'll take a try on the heightmap tool on my next project. I might have a nice surprise.

@heyalex: That's good to hear, thank you. You could also start to familiarize with scripting on the other map I recently uploaded (see https://wildfiregames.com/forum/index.php?/topic/20547-new-scenario-map-malta-island/#comment-314128), you can download the scenario map from there. I described on that post what I had in mind about scripting, and controlling the events of the scenario. Your help is welcome!

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The image should be a square image, with binary size (32x32, 64x64, 128x128, ...) and the size of the map is deduced from the image size too.

I have no idea how hard it is to edit that Atlas code (never worked a lot in Atlas), but I'll ask trompetin17, who should know more about it.

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I finally figured out how to manage the heightmap tool, thanks to your informations. Indeed, it takes some time to create a file that gives correct render results. There are different strategies to achieve this goal. But in the end, it is probably faster to use the heightmap tool : when I draw the map by hand, I start from nothing so I have to draw first the coast. So I can as well draw it on a blank picture file. There are pros and cons, I still need to improve my use of this tool. But I started a new project from this tool (let's continue with the Mediterranean area!)

Here is Cyprus:

map.thumb.jpg.91ca5b8b8f8eb5850c0176ae92

And here is my map, created from the heightmap tool (still an ongoing stuff even with topography only, I need to correct the mess the tool do in some parts of the map, I started to correct it a bit already):

screenshot0019.thumb.png.98d807835106708

The problem is it created a lot of relief/mountains/hills, with still too much depth, so there is almost no place for players on this map! I need to fix it and create a playable and fun map, not only something nice to see/respecting the topographic truth. Will be done after the Crete map will be completed.

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On 10.03.2016 at 10:02 PM, AtlasMapper said:

Actualy, I have no idea what the heightmap tool is, I saw it in the Atlas tools, by I wasn't able to find any information about how to use it.

I created a wiki page (Atlas Manual: Heightmap Import) based on the information in Sander's comments. Any corrections/additions are welcome :) (one thing which is definitely missing is images (source heightmap and resulting map in Atlas), but I don't have decent-enough-looking ones yet)

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I would love logistics to be sent to me that way I can work them out. I would need: objects to deliver, timing of the deliveries, damage impact of the deliveries, formations of the deliveries, objectives of the deliveries, messages to display, alliance impacts, etc..

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@heyalex: I don't understand what deliveries are. But it is too early for me to give you so much details about the whole scenarii, if it is what you're asking. I need to (1) finish designing the map (including textures), (2) play on the map skirmishes to test the possibilities of the map  - map design comes from reality, I must adapt the gameplay - balance resources and adjust the land accordingly (3) create and design towns according to the scenario I have in mind. Then I will need to set up scripts to control the game. If I understand well, I can't give you the information you're looking for. I'm still between steps (1) and (2).

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  • 2 weeks later...

More pics on the ongoing project. Still need to refine the texture, and balance resources and gameplay. But I'm almost done with that map!

Global Crete map:

Spoiler

screenshot0083.thumb.png.3549303eee25d68

The landscapes of Crete are really complex and various, so it is very hard to texture that map. Here are examples on how Crete looks like:

Spoiler

HaGorge.jpg.c06cbac92b9557392a3fbe528a47

aradaina.jpg.77693a96399950d4ee4b1cc4a19

spili.jpg.5f89f62ef9db5e1f88e1e485833838

skafion.jpg.de099fde3927f6f597ef7c6ebdbc

Balos_1.jpg.39eea1b22a631cd8c44e0316905e

 

And here are some more samples of my map:

Chania:

Spoiler

screenshot0084.thumb.png.554ce9855e1ab5e

Rethymno:

Spoiler

screenshot0085.thumb.png.a93c83ec6427d9e

Heraklyo:

Spoiler

screenshot0086.thumb.png.88afae880c290cf

Agios Nikolaos:

Spoiler

screenshot0087.thumb.png.6be3c34514a0b1c

After a few plays on skirmish modes with this map, I'll start to try to set up my three scenarios on the map. I hope it will be fun to play.

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Still improving the map. Some areas are now even more close to the reality (sitia, messara, chania, lassihti, etc..).

Spoiler

screenshot0100.thumb.png.ca83a4ce4edd19b

screenshot0102.thumb.png.4fb9ff0ab62f79c

screenshot0107.thumb.png.32c4588bf2aaa16

I tried a few skirmishes modes, with 4 CC on the map for testing purposes. Despite the little room available at start, it is easy to build consequent cities (as usual, AI naturally put some new buildings and colonize places that are actually real cities on Crete, that's funny):

Spoiler

screenshot0110.thumb.png.f394579803b8b2cscreenshot0111.thumb.png.a9a2c2d683cc3aescreenshot0113.thumb.png.2d1db5849b88fdc

It is possible to build quite big armies, and the landscapes allows also to set up surprise attack (eg. not only naval, but also along the south rocky coast, however, units will be naturally slowed down there).

Spoiler

screenshot0114.thumb.png.84f074307d912d2screenshot0117.thumb.png.b8719aab4c484a8screenshot0118.thumb.png.01b122927b5bf32

My tests were fun, I will now start to set up the three scenarios I did describe in the first post.

Edited by AtlasMapper
yet another mistyping
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