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Map collaboration (some volunteers found :D )- Engine of War

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 16:08
by SeanHeron
Edit: it seems like we've found a number of happy helpers :D. Do read on if you're interested though (I'd like to see this map being really kick ass :D).
Original post:
Hope this is not too cheeky a request, but I could do with a map for an upcoming game bobthedinosaur and I are currently working on (Engines of War).

It's actually a double request - since I want to release the entire game under (a) free licences (ie GPL and/or CC-share alike), I would very much like to have the map under such a licence as well...

What I'm looking for is a mixed city and hill/mountain map with some coast / a bay to one side. More city than hill actually.

I have a pretty fixed idea on what the scale is to be (though to be honest - it's self-conflicting somewhat...). Gameplay wise there'd be two main land routes from one "base" area to the other, with some crosslinks, and other freed up spots. But the passable routes would have to stick pretty tightly to the specification.

A big bonus would be a massive bridge that links the two "base" areas - but that's more for visual prettiness, and certainly not a must.

I'm happy to expand on the concept if anyone is interested :) !

P.S. All levels of quality are appreciated - better a rough map that is pretty much what I want gameplay wise, than makedo with one of the few "libre-free" maps I've been able to find so far (I stand to be corrected! Sorry if I'm doing someone unjustice here).

P.P.S. Apologies for having spammed a different thread with this request previously

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 16:19
by Regret
Mabe draw a simple picture of what it should look like.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 17:49
by Neddie
bob should really know to come to me with these things. :|

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 18:42
by SeanHeron
Well, Bob sees me very much as lead on this project - so it's only fair to expect me to pull the strings I guess :).
Plus I put this request forwards without checking back with him about it - and hadn't discussed the issue much with him before (there's been plenty other stuff to talk about). So I would take it too hard on him, if I were you - no ill intent I'm quite sure.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 18:50
by Neddie
Well, I mean, I can help and I'm very willing to help him, and thus you. I'm hardly ever hard on anybody, besides BrainDamage, who gives as good as he gets.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 20:53
by KaiserJ
would it be anything like the maps needed to play blood and steel?

i have a map; that while it doesnt fit the criteria you've stated, was designed for that mod... got sidetracked as usual and never rendered it.


ok, i read the other post... and now i know it's going to be nothing like blood and steel. i've played DotA before; do you have anything in mind in terms of mapsize / number of pathways etc? im guessing metal is a non-issue...

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 22:27
by SeanHeron
Thanks for the clarification Neddie! And seeing my long term vision for the map, I'm sure there's room for some teamwork :D!

Kaiser, nice you caught on :). I'm thinking three principle routes of attack - ie lines. One of which I dream of being a big Highway bridge over a bay... (but that is really just dreaming, as Argh has clarified in the WIP thread...).

So anyways, my inspiration is Busan, which is a city on the coast but with mountains rising up inbetween districts.

And yes, metal would likely not be important - though I am considering using a land based resource for some elements (perhaps required for base upgrading and expansion - which would be automated though).

I really will sketch something up now though (I have something on paper, but thats elsewhere unfortunately....)!

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 23:08
by KaiserJ
i dont see why a bridge is out of the question, unless you plan on having sea units that would move under it... i think we could get away with a breakwater or dam or solid bridge (folsom dam flooded springs to mind)

anyways have a look at what i posted today in random WiP and my map new_lammas_v2 and frostregens map district war... its not really all that hard to whip together a map that includes both natural and manmade features once you have a reasonable amount of prefabbed buildings and such. maybe it will inspire your design; let me know what you think/

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 04 Jan 2010, 23:50
by SeanHeron
No, no units would need to move under the bridge. However, if you look at the pic I linked to, it's a beautiful suspension bridge, and it would do it no justice to just make it a tower of concrete instead :P.

I'll have a look at those maps! I did see some maps Argh is using, with worldbuilder buildings, that looked somewhat like what I have in mind. You're definitely right - you just need loads of prefabbed buildings, but I would have thought that alone would be a problem - especially if they're all to match scale to each other (and the games units...).
Plus Busan wouldn't be Busan without a harbour area! Thankfully I saw that Smoth put together some very sweet looking Harbour features just recently :)!

If you see the image, pretty much all of the white area would be residential/ urban - ie almost the whole map!
I'm still a bit unsure on the scale/ size of the thing - but it certainly should be equivalent to the DotA map at least, regarding how long you take from one side of the map to the other. I was tending to think a bit larger perhaps (we might implement a "run" feature for the Engines - so swifter travelling over the map).

Edit 2: The hell with it - might as well show the image here, or people will be too lazy to look :P.


Edit: The grey buildings are where the base sections of each of the three players (of each team) would be. The black ones (Carrier and Mountain Fort) are the main buildings that need to be destroyed to win. And the red and yellow dots are defensive emplacements of one of the two teams.
Some of the distances are distorted - The bridge route should probably not be much longer than the other two. And the base sections (top and bottom) are both a bit scrunched up - would probably be more spaced out.
Edit3: the large green patches (with smaller patches inside) depict mountains.
Another edit: The highways can/should partly/ mostly be "high" ways - ie passing over groundlevel (that's the way a lot of them are in Busan - and the raised level may be interesting - will have to see). With ramps going up and down at not too longish distances, would be good. Dunno if making this look good will be possible later on.. (I was hoping for using some feature geometry to hide the edge of the "highway" ground section - perhaps too difficult).

See an arial of Busan for a better general idea of the location (I have screwed with dimentions and fused some areas though - plus you'll have to think upside down :P). And my north arrow is not accurate... and the area shown is larger than that depicted in the paint, etc.

Extra pics: To capture the style a bit.
Equivalent to top left corner /harbor area

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 05 Jan 2010, 04:34
by Saktoth
Maps you may consider to use for now until you get a custom map:
Altored Divide (3 paths, with routes between them).
Avalanche v2 (3 paths, one low, one middle, one high).
CentreRock (3 paths, with some diversions- good candidate).
The various chicken maps (many paths, asymmetrical).
Emain Macha (3/4 paths, crossover).
Eye of Horus (3 paths, crossover)
Folsom Dam (3 paths, no crossover, direct route probably too direct).
Nuclear Winter (3 paths, crossover).
Speed Balls 16 way (many paths, lots of crossover).
Talus (several paths, crossover).

There are probably a bunch of other DSD-stlye maps you could use, especially if you dont care about the middle path being more open than the others. CentreRock is the best candidate id say.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 05 Jan 2010, 13:46
by SirArtturi
SeanHeron wrote: P.S. All levels of quality are appreciated - better a rough map that is pretty much what I want gameplay wise, than makedo with one of the few "libre-free" maps I've been able to find so far (I stand to be corrected! Sorry if I'm doing someone unjustice here).
I don't get this part. Actually I don't understand this at all... Could you clarify a bit?

Whatsoever, I'm working on a map, that will include some of the things you are wishing, but I'm not sure if it will match for your request.

The request is good. I really want to see more maps with infrastructure and features. Smoth's harbor set would work really good for this kind of map...

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 05 Jan 2010, 16:10
by Beherith
All of my maps are freely released and do whatever you want with them.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 05 Jan 2010, 16:59
by SeanHeron
Saktoth - I'd rather start of by takeing any free map than a non-free one that suits the gameplay better. But thanks anyway.

SirrArtturri, what you were referring to is me saying I'd like to have the map under either the GNU-GPL, CC-by, or public domain - ie I have both full right to redistribute, and can change if required. The advance apology was for the case of, eg what Beherith said :)! And for sure, I'll have a look at your map when it's done.

And with that: Many thanks Beherith! Sorry I didn't realise that. I'll be having a root around your maps soon :D. I'm sure there'll be something for us to start out with, even if it might not be what we want long term.

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 12 Jan 2010, 12:57
by 1v0ry_k1ng
if you still need a DOTA map, I'll knock one together for you quick on the weekend no problem

although I warn you it wont be urban and it will share the colour palette of my other maps, it should be ok for testing till beherith/atturi knock out somthing stunning

Re: Map request - (unreleased) game specific :P

Posted: 13 Jan 2010, 20:46
by PicassoCT
if i made it urban, and you planted the features, how big would you want the map? - and can i mess around with the harbour area? and what are the green areas - Wood? or InnerCityParks?

and near future citystyle- that can include a lot- from fith element to halo to bladerunner there is pretty mutch anything possible. also heightlevels, rough description

Re: Map collaboration (volunteers found)- Engine of War specific

Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 01:11
by SeanHeron
Added some extra info to the post with rough map pic (and some links).

OK - I'd kinda forgotten to mention that I'd been in contact with KaiserJ and Neddie, and Kaiser has given me a pretty solid go ahead assurance :). Changed the threads title appropriately.

This doesn't mean that I want to turn down the various offers for help, however! The more the merrier, is my opinion :D! I think Ivory, if you set up a first "mockup" (obviously, as you stated without the urban side of things), that might be helpful for me to get a feel of whether that might work, and what probably needs to be changed (however - seeing that the game itself is not yet too far progressed, the "balancing" view will be limited...).

Picasso, yes, those are questions I still need to answer! One thing I can say - my guess is that we would use the Highrises/skyscrapers from Worldbuilder - they look all kinds of awesome, fit in with my wishes licence wise, and are destructible to boot (who doesn't want to destroy some city at heart ;P) !

More "coordination"/collaboration info upcoming (ie tomorrow...).

Edit: P.S. Another thing I'd forgotten to mention is that I've been using ContestedCanyon by Beherith as playtesting map so far - makes for three nice lines (only using one atm), and some good terrain for the Knight to jump around in :).
That's been out of force of habit though, since KaiserJ offered me to use ("do what you want" licence :P) his map New_Lammas, which is urban style, offers a number of attack routes, plus terrain to use!

Re: Map collaboration (some volunteers found :D )- Engine of War

Posted: 14 Jan 2010, 21:36
by SeanHeron
New post made more sense than another edit after all:
Okay, my somewhat hopeful lineup is as such:
- Ivory King takes a first bout at making a map that resembles my sketch in heightmap if little else - great to see if anything is totally broken with the concept, and play on a map resembling what we plan to use later

Neddiedrow (to be confirmed), KaiserJ, and PicassoCT (of whom I don't know what he thinks of the teamwork suggestion...), working on further input from me would then piece together the puzzle of the first version Busan map.

KaiserJ has already stated he's more than happy to stick to the texture/ art side of thing.

I see three parts we could relatively cleanly split the process into, perhaps:
1) Setting up the heightmap (possibly based on Ivoryies), and designating different areas via simple colors on a "sketch" texture (ie city block, highway, city park, side roads, harbor, etc).
2) making the actual texture (or whatever you guys call the color that goes on the map)
3) Placing a hell of a load of features (I should probably be doing some Worldbuilder testing to see how much Spring will take before opening my mouth too wide here...)

It'll probably be easiest to sort these things out in chat with you guys. Maybe we can try to get together sometime over the weekend? I'll PM the three of you tomorrow.

Just to repeat (rather than have pain later) - condition for the the map being used would be licencing under CC-by-sa, or GPL (or perhaps even dual licence, so that we can choose later...). Source files would be a must, as well as willingness to see your product be taken apart and changed by someone else later... (I do see the map going through a few iterations).

As a bonus job - we would still have making the suspension bridge :P. It would only be for looks at the moment, however. (I'll could/probably will be asking on the art forum/seeing if someone from the team might be up to this as well though)

Re: Map collaboration (some volunteers found :D )- Engine of War

Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 18:51
by SeanHeron
The info that's been most lacking so far has been "dimensions". I think it should be twice the side length of ContestedCanyon - at least. Three times the sidelength (ie 9 times the area) is probably more like it. I'd think 4 times would be the very max, and probably starting to get too big.

That's still just a rough range I'm giving, I know, but I hope you can start something with it (I guess go for around 3x ContestedCanyon Height+width). Sorry I don't have a different metric to express the size in...

Oh - something else pretty important also:
The map-sketch (and the dimensions described above) are just the playing area. However a "border" (ie at least one screen wide) all around the map is an absolute must! I don't plan on having any map edge visible. While there are other solutions to this, and I think Beherith especially has come up with some very creative and good looking ones, the cleanest to me seems to be to limit the viewing angle and leave some space at the sides.

So please take this into account! For the surrounding terrain, either just expand that from the sketch somewhat, or (better) look at the aerial (or a map) of Busan. I'll make an expanded "borderincluded" version of the mapsketch - but its prob going to be later rather than sooner.

And another important thing... it came to me that there are various, not to say very many methods of making the maptexture - rendering in WICed, Bryce, etc. , editing in Photoshop, Gimp, or using SME to name just a few.
Now, I've tried to hint (just slightly :P) that I'd like to be able to take the finished map and make changes to it - for the texture, that is only really possible if the tool(s) used are also accessible... :/.

So for me WICed and I think also Bryce would be out of the window, for example... The problem I have is that it might turn out to be a brilliant looking map, but then if heightmap or other changes are necessary, I'd rather be able to make all necessary steps myself - rather than require someone else to do it for me. Hope my reasoning is somewhat clear (and it'd be convenient if you could tell me yourself if your tools are free to use).

@Kaiser: I've been playing some recent games on NewLammas - but I'm getting some slowup at the beginning of the games (sometimes). My comp is a really old rig, and I can't play on it, so I reckon that's the problem... . When it's started (slowup is just temporary) it does look a lot more like what I imagine the later game to look like though :D .

Re: Map collaboration (some volunteers found :D )- Engine of War

Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 21:38
by KaiserJ
heh im glad you enjoyed the map; i think it would provide a nice setting for your battle :mrgreen:
I'd like to be able to take the finished map and make changes to it
this is what i was talking about when we discussed the mapmaking and design process; im not sure *exactly* whats required as far as slope tolerances and heights

i think if you roughed out a heightmap in SME (or check out what ivory is making for you) and went from there it would be the best option; i'd love to help, and you understand that texturing a map to look really nice can take a while; if i can get something basic to work with and add to then that's probably the best option (as there is a lot less chance of me making something that doesnt work)

however. that been said; i've played more than my share of DotA in my day; and if slope tolerances will be roughly the same as TA tolerances, then i can probably get to work on something.


quick mockup showing a 3 route map, inspired by your harbour layout.

the green is elevated above the grey; which is a city area; and which in turn is elevated above the beach and water area.

the concept shows 3 main paths; as well as some flanking paths. smaller "secret" paths can also be included between hills and structures. the red boxes are to indicate base areas.

how is lammas? about the right size? one of my big bottlenecks with mapping in max is that the polies really start to pile up once the map size gets beyond a certain point.

Re: Map collaboration (some volunteers found :D )- Engine of War

Posted: 15 Jan 2010, 22:07
by SeanHeron
Some info first, then a number of thoughts:
Contested canyon is 12*12 so ~ 3 times that would be 36*36... that's certainly a good bit larger than New Lammas.

I was first thinking maybe 24*24 would do it, but I have the feeling that'd still be pretty smallish - one of the strengths of the Spring Engine is that it depicts epic battles really well (wereas up close I always think it's so so - though some of Argh's screenies from PURE should perhaps teach me better).
Anyhows, I guess the "epic" thing gave me the notion I'd like it to be a whole city that's being fought for - which leads to my shizophrenic problem: a map that'd be anything near the size of a real city would Huuuge, and certainly unplayable. But making a smaller map "seem" like a whole city/multiple districts of a city is a pretty tough job, and I don't even know if it's really possible... :/.

So to end my rant, I guess I should perhaps be more flexible with the concept than I intended too. I think it'd probably also be good if I checked back with bob, cause I've not actually talked with him about his take on what a map best look like yet.

@ KaiserJ: In short - I think it's better if you still wait up a bit Kaiser, and wait for the first iteration or two of maplayouts before you really go at making a pretty texture. Catch you in chat maybe? I'm "SeanCJHeron" and usually hang out in #main if I am online.