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[Coordinated Project] Continent Overview

world maps makiltur butler discussion

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#1 butler

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Posted 18 November 2014 - 05:36 PM

Me and Makiltur were talking about working together on drawing up a large map together, and work through it together. This will also have a large impact on how the World History project goes as well, as geography does impact a lot on what happens in history, as well as the modern day (say, your quests). This will hopefully let us make a nice, and better tied in world (again, hopefully).

So here you go

Facebook said:

butler
Snow is a no no
Maybe used sparing on mountain top maps
Also, a few adjustments to make it play a little better
makiltur
The idea of larger rivers as map borders and connecting mountain ranges allows us to expand the continent more than 1 map around the inland sea... This would be like the NE corner, generally
butler
Big hate of mine are purely square maps
That just breaks reality
makiltur
.... I could find you examples of natural very square things >.>
but I agree that generally it looks stupid
butler
i mean, instead of EVERYTHING being square
makiltur
yesh XD
Rivers always bother me... big rivers need a delta
butler
Bangladesh
makiltur
makes for nice diagonal map edges
butler
Poor Bangladesh
Also, the geographic relations will greatly effect the political and racial make up
makiltur
New Orleans is just a bad idea as well >.> Unsustainable geography
butler
We need to add in the ugly side of a world, as well as "pretty things"
makiltur
back alleys where the fem gobs whore themselves out and the armed gobs are there pimps? male gobs are the young drug-runners selling crack to the schoolkids
Their* omg I did a they're there their
butler
slums, poor regions, poverty, floods, pestilence
makiltur
so in map terms, marsh and shacks mostly
butler
We can build our own buildings, as long as sparingly
some of scarrs tactics were cunning as hell
makiltur
hmmmmm I'll have to work with the map editor more before I really know limitations/possibilites
butler
Quite a lot of imitations, some of it's nuances (and there are many) can only really be learnt after much error
I made and broke an entire map before I learnt it
makiltur
in about 2 hours I got it working, made a very small island (with heights) and placed a tree and a bush, and made some beach. That's about as far as I got
butler
It's getting things looking nice. That bit on the Isthmus, with buildings, and the execution area are what I like the most ( on top of an arch)
The way to make the best maps with it, you need to be very imaginative.
Me and Scarr have made peculiar maps by ignoring what things were designed for
makiltur
awesome XD
butler
btw, can I post some of the stuff near the start on the forum
makiltur
I think I'd be good at roughing out things and giving the maps to someone else to add 3d things and make pretty
sure
butler
you need to remember heights a lot
Really, I need to use ashs info to get the mapmaker running on 64 bit
makiltur
heights don't seem to bother me, but I haven't made much yet.... I think experience in RL field mapping and etc might be helping with that


#2 Fire

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:18 AM

Nice to hear man, I can help I think whenever I finish my things ;) is that 256x256 map you plan?

#3 butler

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 12:57 PM

No this is a series of maps (so same size as L said, Medium)

Makiltur gave me and outline, I'm going to try and smooth it out, give the very basic outlines and sets for this (showing what kind of shapes we should work in). I also have to factor in the Flying Citadel into it. Basically, working out our set of maps, so there is a greater feeling of unity in them.

I'm not sure if it's just going to be me and Makiltur working on this (large) island of (multiple) maps. Less people, the simpler it is to have coordinate everything to work together. This might just be a heads up.

Need makilturs opinion on this. We had a couple of ideas we would like to do, so we'll probably split map duties among ourselves before we open any other regions in it for you. Again, need Makilturs opinion on this.

#4 Fire

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Posted 19 November 2014 - 01:16 PM

I think before you guys start do to any maps with cities/towns, we have to plan how whole world will look like.Other thing with wild areas, which is never too much.
okey lets wait for makiltire le'tibia player

#5 Makiltur

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 09:20 AM

Pretty sure we're going to need Fire making some of the maps, I have very very very little experience with mapmaker myself whereas he's made a fully-functioning map + fixed others. I think once we get a general outline of the continent done, with climatic zones and racial homes, we only need to coordinate borders and who is doing which map.
I'd probably only do 1 map completely myself, but would be able to rough out borders and things (just ground tiles, for example) for a pile so that things line up.
I have the general idea that those races prone to city-building may have a city of some sort (humans, elves, dwarves) but none planned beyond that really - sticking with the cliches of dwarves in the mountains and elves in the forest of course.

The way it seems like it will work, we should be able to use both RI and Fire's map basically as they are.

Once we get some world history done, I anticipate being able to get a few textures made related to gods and things that we can throw in to give it a bit more cohesion.

#6 Fire

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 09:40 AM

Was thinking we can split roles who is doing what, depending on who is best in each subject.For example I can put/plan 3d content, butler can put 2d stuff+ look for visible bugs, makilture can put walkables etc..
Yes, would be great to plan in while thinking about world history/races.Actually I am busy and probably will for next 2/3 weeks (working on other project ;) )

#7 butler

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 12:16 PM

Yes.

I'm drawing up the plan right now, from pictures Makiltur sent me.

I will give outlines of map boundaries (they're not all going to be square) and we can split up who's doing which region with the very basic briefs.

I also need to have a proper look at fire's map. I think I know where to put RI in perspective, but it really doesn't matter, since it's pretty adaptable to everything.

#8 Fire

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 12:47 PM

Well, if you have problem with each map, where to put and suit it, you can easily edit that, add plateaus/forest to map edge to make it being able for your plans.
Nothing is impossible.

#9 butler

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Posted 20 November 2014 - 03:50 PM

I know, but if it's all to fit nicely together, we need to figure out the common or basic routes, so it looks convincing.
Also, I was hoping (and I think makiltur agrees) to have maps that aren't necessarily square, which means cutting lumps out of the maps so that the geography looks a bit more convincing than EL's blocked maps

#10 butler

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Posted 14 December 2014 - 11:03 AM

Just a small update; Me and Makiltur, after many hours of work, have drawn up a fairly detailed and convincing continent. All that we've got left to do is split it up into map shapes, and explain the Geography of it. Basically, we have tonnes of different types of map edges, areas for mountain maps, a completely open space for an archipegalo and more Islands, as well as some inland lakes.

Once we finalise the map design (hopefully not too long away in the future), I'll put it together with some zoomed in details into a pdf document so that it's as easy as possible for every map contributer to make maps that gentle change into others, and allow for the greatest amount of continuity that we can.

Watch this space.

#11 Makiltur

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 04:14 AM

Hoooooooookay Long time no update, but we have a working draft done. This is basically what we're using for planning purposes...changes to this plan are inevitable, but it's a place to start. The N/NE border is where we can expand the continent in the future, the borders there are provisional. Purple boxes show the borders of individual 'maps', which will (with very few exceptions) fit on a 64x64 Map Editor tile (192x192m) map. Raven's Isle is in the SW corner if you're wondering how the scale translates into in-game real estate.

Yes, that means we have about 60 PL-sized maps planned.

Posted Image

Download a bit higher res here:
https://www.dropbox....tDraft.png?dl=1

Cheers,
Maki

p.s. There is actually a series of maps we're using for planning purposes, as well as organizational tables and (very soon) a geodatabase. History, races, factions, PK, combat level and etc is being considered and taken into account on a continent-level scale.

#12 butler

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 06:38 AM

We spent a good long time doing this (especially you, mak). It's nice to be able to move further on with this.

If anybody is interested in contributing to map making, please talk to me and/or Makiltur, and we'll try and tell you what it entails and get you into the coordinated effort if you want to go forward. Just be aware maps take a lot of effort and time, and that you will have to take on a lot of consideration from the history and Map overview.

#13 winter

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Posted 11 May 2015 - 10:55 AM

All Hail Lady Makiltur!

This is a hugely important milestone in our content development.  This clears the way for and makes easier the rest of the content development, which can happen mostly in parallel.  Now it's just a matter of coordinated person-hours being volunteered.

#14 Makiltur

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Posted 21 July 2015 - 08:39 AM

Time for an update methinks
Wanted to give people an idea of the relative scale of this continent and the work that is being done on it, and the progress we've made so far. Also wanted to thank people who are making this possible, as well as those who have contributed and moved on. I'm basically just organizing things atm.

linky: https://www.dropbox...._Large.png?dl=1
low-res preview:
Posted Image


butler: designing the entire continent; The Flying Citadel; many fruitful discussions
Zian: the entire SW section; mapping advice for the rest of us nubs
Winter: maps 17-19
Kiwi06: Mystic Haven (with insides and undergrounds \o/); history, race and CL planning
EatsAllLife: Map 9
fire: base and undergrounds of Anaith Fallora; Isle of Life/Westernlands if we can figure out how to use it.
scarr: RI (which we have integrated into the history/plan)

I'll try to do semi-regular progress updates, but really, I'll update when there's been progress!

#15 winter

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 05:43 PM

As noted in another thread somewhere near the beginning of this calendar year, a group of us started to coordinate and track our work.  We work mostly independantly, and coordinate efforts and bounce ideas off each other when necessary.  We have weekly checkins WITHIN the group of contributers.  We touch base every week just to keep each other up to date and keep the lines of communication open.  In my RL job, I find this is a useful tool, and it seems to be proving beneficial in our content development efforts here.

Please keep in mind that the development effort of this scale (see above) is VERY LARGE.  Also consider that each of us that is contributing to the mapping project is doing so on our own time, when we have time.  See, the thing with people who volunteer for things (like this, and otherwise) are generally otherwise busy.  It just seems to be a character trait; this has not been scientifically proven to my knowledge.  Speaking for myself, I split the little gaming time I have between playing the game (pretty much just Saturday mornings for a couple hours) and mapping - maybe an hour or two a week.  Some others spend more time on it than me some weeks, and other times less time.  I'll tell you tho, if someone could pay my salary to work on this game full time - ooohhh  wweeeee, would we see changes!

Please also keep in mind that the art of map making is VERY labor intensive.  It can take a very long time to do anything significant.  Multiply that by a heck of a lot of significant stuff across many many maps.  You get the idea of the scope of this undertaking.  It is possible that if we had more sophistocated tools, the process may go quicker.  But WAIT! trying to improve our tools is something we are ALSO doing, in addition to actual content development.  So, we are using antiquated tools to build our content while trying to improve the tools at the same time.

That said, I will throw you a bone.  I will give you a glimpse of our current state of things as I see it.  Please tho, try not to continue to ask for status updates.  The project is coming, but oh so very slowly - and when we have something significant to show, we will.
  • Basic geography has been laid out for many of the maps.
  • a few maps are actively being detailed and are progressing well, albeit slowly.
  • some quest ideas have been outlined and many more have been brainstormed.
  • Basic histories have been compiled for the continent and many of the areas therein.
  • Much work has been done on ways to improve our development process, although there is still very much more work to do before there things change significantly to improve our throughput.
  • Some work has been done for new graphics (signs and the like) for the new areas.
I will post an overview pic of one of the areas shortly, but I can't do so atm.  stay tuned.

#16 winter

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Posted 28 September 2015 - 06:30 PM

Here are some scenes from one of the low level maps, serving pretty much the same difficulty as DP, if you want a comparison.  This is essentially a relatively prospering village.  NOTE: THIS IS NOT FINISHED BY A LONG SHOT - so please don't start making suggestions.  I'm hesitant to even post these, as the other developers haven't seen this stuff yet and peer reviewed it... but I'm tired and weak, so here are some shots:
(I seem to have trouble putting images in this post, so here are some links)

NPDunfinished.png
Arenaunfinished.png
BridgeWillowFarmunfinished.png
DojoriansHillunfinished.png
NPDVillageunfinished.png
orchardunfinished.png

#17 Makiltur

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Posted 11 October 2015 - 02:55 PM

General report for the group progress on maps since the last update I posted:
DTF map complete and in-game. Tweaking is ongoing
Progress in two areas on the continent: the areas which Winter has showed, and one map near the East of the map.
https://www.dropbox....Update.png?dl=1
We have also been playing around with the idea of getting the basic geography done automatically, using the shapefiles of each area and going through a variety of programs to get it to write the .elm directly - no more fiddling around with river edges and mountains and crap.
Work that will allow us to upload/test maps without bothering L also continues.
Mystic Haven will be made publicly available on Test shortly

Personally, my todo list is:
  • Finish the fekking ice map and get that onto test
  • Coordinate testing for MH and get spawns and boats sorted
  • Do RI insides and fixes and get spawns sorted (dwarves!)
  • Figure out the status of the Flying Citadel, add insides and .def if necessary

With those 3 maps in place, the main ports/transit system for the new continent will be useable, all 3 coming from the new harbour in WS, where the RI boat already is. Once that is in place, any/all maps that others finish will be easily accesible from one or more of those main islands.
That said, I'm mainly just coordinating/compiling crap atm 'cause I have a lot of crap going on.

#18 butler

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 07:20 AM

I'm back, and I'm going to begin work on the continent again. What does this mean? Well, I want to go over ever map that is currently being worked on or is for the new continent and check it for design flaws.

For those that don't know, I'm currently studying Product Design, which is done joint with a type of User Experience Design for the first year. Apparently I'm reasonably good. And what I'm going to try and do is bring in the type of design thinking that we are being taught to this project, and try and help make the products more finished and a bit more professional. That's probably going to result in me giving you an MOT style break down of what's wrong, advisory ideas, and a bunch of suggestions. But for now, I'll write something a little more general. I'm going to throw ideas out about what you should consider, and best practices.

So feast your eyes on the list:
  • Draw out your map on some paper before hand. This will let you see lots of potential problems before you hit them.
  • Consider spawns from the get go? What will spawn? Where? Why?
  • Consider a purpose. Why would someone go to your map? Have you given them a reason? Have you given some purpose to most of your map?
  • Don't put aesthetic above design. There is no point in something "looking nice" if it doesn't work. That just makes it off and you might as well not have made that bit.
    • Does it have a purpose?
    • Does it achieve that purpose?
    • Does it fit naturally in the situation?
  • That said, do make things look natural. Mountains don't suddenly go vertically out of the ground (well, mostly). Give some variety to your map edges, give some grass enbankments, change heights and create some cliffs or scree, or a corrie or something. don't just line a map with lots of mountains at the exact same height. Looks lazy and looks pretty bad.
  • Don't do everything simply as tiles. Everything shouldn't be gridlocked. This is especially annoying when making a map that is wilderness or agricultural. It looks so artificial you might as well paint it neon and call it tron. It ruins the entire feel.
  • Consider how players will move. Where, realistically, will they go in the map?
  • Consider how monsters will move. Same issues.
  • Consider invasion spawns. Give several reasonably sized areas for them to spawn, and consider making different types of natural routes they could follow or wonder.
  • Give the map a feeling of space. This doesn't mean make the map very open. Objects often give a good perspective and create a good sense of space. Just try and find a balance between empty and crowded.
  • Consider neighbouring maps. Otherwise you get the stupid unnatural divisions between maps appearance like EL.
  • Be clever about your map dividers.
  • Consider possible surprises.
  • Consider NPCs.
  • Consider connections. Does your map have meaningful connections? No? That's a very big problem then.
  • Create a thread on this forum, and have an open dialogue and post meaningful, illustrative updates. There's no point in you developing a map in a bubble. You'll mess up and waste your time. There's no point being shy about the map in case there are mistakes. That's the reason to share. Get them out before you launch the map. Every single person is going to fuck up. Don't stop yourself from fixing them by not letting us help you. This is why I think the entire dev group on google groups should move onto the official forums. There is no good reason to have it divorced. Just use a personal dropbox and post links here.
And on the theme of that last point:
  • I'd like everyone to send me a link with their map files in it, as up to date as possible.
  • I am going to go through and post in this thread, or your own thread in the map forums, a critical break down of the map and make suggestions.
  • I am not going to try and fundamentally change your map.
  • I am going to fix any minor aesthetic things is they just look plain dead wrong. And I will explain why.
  • I am going to give lots of advisory information.
  • I am probably going to say at least once per map that something is needs to be changed.
  • Please do not get self defensive. I am doing this to actually try and ensure a standard of quality is maintained.
  • I will post critical breakdowns on my own map, since I know better now.
  • I will do once overs on Ravens Isle, Defend The Fort, and the insides to get to defend the fort.
  • I will try and back up my reasoning. And if you disagree, I will expect you to do so as well.
I am going to ask that any new maps do this:
  • Draw the map out on paper or photoshop or paint or something before you begin and post it on the forums and get feedback right at the start.
  • Explain the purpose of the map.
  • Post a rolling update of how things are developing in a thread.
    • Ideally with pictures.
    • Ideally explaining concepts as well
  • Be prepared to be flexible with your vision for the map.
  • Be prepared to take criticisms, have discussions and defend ideas.
  • Be prepared to take advice on.
  • Be willing to share files with the likes of me and Makiltur.
So, at this point, the main thing is:
  • Please can everyone send me the up to date files for EVERY map. Preferably by dropbox.
  • Please can people draw their ideas out first, even if you can't draw, it gives me a far better idea of what you're thinking. This is a good idea THROUGHOUT making the map.
  • Can we move ALL discussion onto public forums and stop hurting our own development.
  • Can we make an individual thread for every map.
  • Can nobody take any criticism personally.
Right, it's nice to be back. I'll want to try and give most of my feed back over the Christmas holidays, with most of it done by January/February. This is what I'm hoping for.

#19 winter

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 08:54 AM

Yay, Butler, I'm glad you're back.  I look forward to your input.

Ok, so, I was going to send you a personal email, but one of the main themes of your post is transparency and openness to the community... so I'll keep this response open.  Here are some points I would like to reflect upon - and tho they are directed to (not at) you, these are things I try to abide by and everyone should consider:

1. I appreciate that you are learning elements of design, and I think that will be hugely valuable to our efforts.  Beware of hubris, however, because he can be a very bad influence.  There are many things that many people learn outside of class, and in the end your opinions are your opinions.  Here, we are all peers, and no one of us should think that we are speaking from a position of authority.  Any authority you end up with will stem from the validity of your ideas and the respect you garner from your peers.  Many/most of the following items below follow from this theme.

2. Watch HOW you say things, not just what you say, when reviewing other people's work.  Remember that we are all volunteers, and practically none of us are professionally trained in what we are doing here.  Respect the time and effort people have put into things and remember that people are sensitive to different degrees to how you refer to their work.  Just saying "oh, don't take offense" doesn't mean they won't - or that they can even control that.

3. Try to avoid using subjective terms about what you think about people's work - communicate objectively.  If you think something is S&%# or that someone F#!~ed up - that's an opinion and that language has no place in a cooperative design environment.  Your opinions DO matter, but only insofar as you can back them up with reasons - focus your writing on those reasons and your opinions will have much more weight in the conversation.

4. Try to avoid telling people that they need to change things or otherwise state or imply that you have firm oversight of other people's work.  If you (or anyone) want to take official management of this whole thing, then state that.  If that is what you (or anyone) wants, then that will have to be agreed on by the folks doing the development.  If you (or someone) are "elected" project manager, then you can make demands like that.  Short of have agreed upon oversight, we are all just working together out of a sense of shared purpose.  I should hope that sense of purpose would drive us to work in open minded coordination with each other.

5. I disagree with your assertions that all development should be open and shared with the entire community.  My opinion on this has been openly stated and clear, I believe - and has been formed from professional software design experience for longer than you have been alive.  I do understand your stance here, I believe, and respect your opinion.  I think we should discuss the merits of this more and come to an agreement among those who are spending their time designing.

So, I have to go to a meeting now (with graphic artists, about user interface design, of all things) - so I'll cut this post short here, and see how it rolls. I'll probably read this again later and wince at how I'm said some things - but I simply don't have time to craft a better worded response... sorry.

#20 butler

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Posted 07 December 2015 - 09:19 AM

I am fully aware of all those things. I know how to be polite in giving back feedback. I know I do not know all the things and useful insight comes from outside. I am not going to be cocky. Going over my own map, I screwed up a hell of a lot in places. I just want to go through all the maps to work on keeping some continuinity and try and source issues. I am also still a noob at this. That's why I suggest we keep everything in the open, since in the terms of what we're doing right now, it doesn't have any advantage. It also defeats the purpose of a community driven game if we're spliting the community up more. Also helps to show everyone there is visible work being achieved. The bit about needs is basically, if something is broken, I'm going to say it needs fixing. Again, I probably shouldn't have said fix aesthetic things, but I will recommend things. There are lots of problems I pick up when I look at the maps and I just want to have a good look over everything to try and help and achieve this contuinity which was always the aim when I made the continent. Really, what I am doing is basically trying to help by taking the baton that Maki took from me after the continent was done, has done well with, and now I want to help build on the progress.

I am not claiming to be all knowing in this.
Some of this is written maybe oddly in tone. I'll admit it's a bit more confident and possibly aggressive my writing. That's mostly down to sleep deprivation. Maybe that's also the reason I find your response a little bit demeaning towards me. *Shrugs* Will know better when I've had a proper sleep.
A lot of the points I've said before.
I obviously can't force anybody to do anything. But I do think going over all the maps critically will help.

The keeping in contact with the wider community though is something I believe in, because generally the type of people in the dev group is relatively narrow, and most of the people there are the active forum posters. You're just complicating things for what is, if any, is a negligible gain.

I am not taking over the project entirely, I just want to use some time to actually help things by doing a broad and universal go over the maps. Maybe I was too blunt for you. Sorry if it offended you. But you don't really need to worry about anything you wrote there, because quite genuinely, if you knew anything about me, you'd know that I'm not characteristically like that.





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