Author Topic: The Big New Maps Cooperation  (Read 8420 times)

Tom

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The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Topic Start: July 23, 2011, 01:09:24 PM »
This is a call for a cooperative effort, open for everyone who wants to contribute. It will benefit both BM and BM:WI and more.

The goal of this project is to create new maps for the games. Maps that are not limited to a single perspective or zoom level.
Here is a render of what the end result could look like. This is the result of an old attempt at this:


This one has many limitations still. Together we can be even better.


I've thrown up a wiki page with a draft workflow. This is how it could work. This thread is for discussing the best way to actually do it.


What we need especially:
  • people who figure out the best way to generate heightmaps and splatmaps
  • people to write shaders for Terragen 2 for good-looking land-types (grassland, desert, plains, mountains, etc. etc.) - I will gladly provide the shaders I made for the image above as starting points
  • people who can make models of cities and towns. Low-poly, to-scale. Nothing like this seems to exist on the market. This page contains some inspirations, from the boardgame Mighty Empires.
  • people who tie everything together, figure out the best ways to import/export from the various tools in the workflow, etc.

Solari

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #1: July 23, 2011, 01:29:37 PM »
So is this where we pipe up if we're interested in helping?  It's not GIS, but it's still spatial... count me in.

Before I forget: regarding the models for "urbanized" areas... What about using "tiles?". The best way I can think to describe this is similar to a game of Carcassone, with modular tiles that can be combined in a variety of different iterations.  It doesn't have to be random, but it can be.  You can have a certain number of "cultural" or architectural styles, each using the same "set" of tiles but with a little aesthetic differentiation.  Hovel tiles, farm tiles, a "town center" tile, etc.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2011, 02:53:04 PM by Solari »

Chenier

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #2: July 23, 2011, 03:34:21 PM »
So is this where we pipe up if we're interested in helping?  It's not GIS, but it's still spatial... count me in.

Before I forget: regarding the models for "urbanized" areas... What about using "tiles?". The best way I can think to describe this is similar to a game of Carcassone, with modular tiles that can be combined in a variety of different iterations.  It doesn't have to be random, but it can be.  You can have a certain number of "cultural" or architectural styles, each using the same "set" of tiles but with a little aesthetic differentiation.  Hovel tiles, farm tiles, a "town center" tile, etc.

Indeed, it's not GIS... I've gotten pretty comfortable with GIS, but I wouldn't be able to produce maps that resemble inclined aerial photography. I *could* do 3d models, but it wouldn't look as nice as that.
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Nathan

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #3: July 23, 2011, 04:11:16 PM »
What we need especially:
  • people who figure out the best way to generate heightmaps and splatmaps
  • people to write shaders for Terragen 2 for good-looking land-types (grassland, desert, plains, mountains, etc. etc.) - I will gladly provide the shaders I made for the image above as starting points
  • people who can make models of cities and towns. Low-poly, to-scale. Nothing like this seems to exist on the market. This page contains some inspirations, from the boardgame Mighty Empires.
  • people who tie everything together, figure out the best ways to import/export from the various tools in the workflow, etc.

Doesn't Terragen give you a heightmap?

As for splatmaps, in the process of finding out what they are I came across this. Not sure if that's what you're after.

I've asked a guy I know from the Games Design course at my uni if he can supply/create any, he's pretty good at low poly work. He'll probably just want crediting for it so it can go into his portfolio/CV. Here is his stuff.

Tom

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #4: July 23, 2011, 04:53:40 PM »
Doesn't Terragen give you a heightmap?
Yes, but it does procedural (perlin, etc.) terrains - no really good way to "design" your map.

Quote
As for splatmaps, in the process of finding out what they are I came across this. Not sure if that's what you're after.
I'm the author of a toolset for Unity that makes importing splatmaps easy. I also know how to generate them in TG2. That part is easy. Placement is a bit more difficult if you don't want it 100% procedural.

 
Quote
I've asked a guy I know from the Games Design course at my uni if he can supply/create any, he's pretty good at low poly work. He'll probably just want crediting for it so it can go into his portfolio/CV. Here is his stuff.
That'd be fantastic. I wouldn't even mind paying a few bucks for good models - but there is nothing even close to what I need on the market, at least nowhere I looked.


Adriddae

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #5: July 23, 2011, 05:26:18 PM »
Might I recommend Google Sketchup for the buildings? Its free and easy to use for architectural 3d modelling.

Here are examples of what could be done: http://sketchup.google.com/intl/en/community/gallery.html

Tom

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #6: July 23, 2011, 05:38:30 PM »
Our models are fairly simple, so any 3D modelling software should do. What's important is that the artist is familiar with it so he can create results quickly.

Laurens88

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #7: July 24, 2011, 11:12:15 AM »
I've 2 left hands when it comes to wood, nails, hammers, wires and everything handyman like. I've 3 left hands when it comes to moddeling, software and design but I can draw great stickmans with paint XD.

Serious, that map looks great and I hope in the deepest dreams, it can become interactive. Like when a city is looted to the ground or in the middle of rebuilding after a war you see a destroyed model of a city or town on the map. Or when a strongold is in the middle of building level 4 or 5 walls you could see this on the map (don't know if it is possible but it would be lighting!)

Tom

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #8: July 24, 2011, 04:27:08 PM »
That is why I put "realtime engine" in there. That's the only realistic option of making it interactive. Continually re-rendering the map in TG2 is not, at the resolutions required it would take most of the day to re-render all maps for the changes of the day. :-)


Zakilevo

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #9: July 24, 2011, 11:02:45 PM »
How long did it take you to make that map, Tom? After watching some tutorial videos of TG, it must have taken some time.

Tom

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #10: July 25, 2011, 12:08:06 AM »
I've done a lot of work with TG2, and while I'm no expert and many people in the forums beat me hands down, it does make things easier if you've done it before. :-)

Attached is an improved version of the .tgd that I used to create that scene. This one is the source of the images I'll be posting shortly (they are still rendering). When you load it, it will be missing the tree objects and the heightmap - substitute your own or make a random fractal terrain. The map is not 1:1 scale, the highest mountain peaks should be at most 500 units (anything above 400 will be covered in snow). Water level is at 0.

You can use this file as a start if you want to work on shaders or the TG2 end of the project.


Tom

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #11: July 25, 2011, 12:40:38 AM »
Here's a few shots from that file, two more have been added go my Google+ album:




and here's my attempt at making a map out of it:




Fleugs

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #12: July 25, 2011, 03:35:00 AM »
It looks like the maps of a Total War game (the textures and such). If it's very hard to fix cities onto the maps, you might consider sprites to be used.
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Zakilevo

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #13: July 25, 2011, 07:33:12 AM »
urgh it is going to take awhile for me to learn this  :o I think maybe we should add a bit of realistic climate factors? Like how deserts would form along 30 degrees north and 30 degrees south or jungles located within 20 N and 20 S?

Laurens88

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Re: The Big New Maps Cooperation
« Reply #14: July 25, 2011, 10:29:20 AM »
dammed.....that looks cool  8)