Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Discuss maps & map creation - from concept to execution to the ever elusive release.

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smoth
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Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by smoth » 04 Sep 2011, 21:01

Image
They look so unprofessional and make spring look like a college senior independent study project.

Map edges are one of my biggest points of frustration.

Image
so we have something that looks like this.
but when we move the camera to a south edge:
Image

I have tried everything, terrain around the map:
Image

Then there is well, make your map an island.. yeah I pioneered that in the old map format not all your maps can reasonably be floating islands.

What about camera control?
Camera control this can help, it would be a lot of work to write a custom widget that locks all camera modes into the map area. it also doesn't cut it for long maps like the one at the top of my post.

or BD's map edges widgets?
this works fine but there are some issues
- starts can be placed outside
- area reclaim can result in moving outside
- - so basically, all area commands that have their center inside the boundaries, but have items outside the map boundaries will be a tad broken

We have some areas that we as content developers have no control over. So this needs to be a discussion between content devs AND engine/lobby devs.

we need some kind of way to have the engine believe that a specific section of a map is playable where as outside of it, it doesn't bother, only renders.
Image

or maybe some kind of way to have the map repeat outside of the map area?
Image
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hoijui
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by hoijui » 04 Sep 2011, 21:18

Beherith made a map that has this unpassable/only-render map border, Moor(_v2):
http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=23411
it also has fog around the visual map edges, but that one is quite a performance eater on many systems.
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knorke
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by knorke » 04 Sep 2011, 21:20

- starts can be placed outside
AllowStartPosition()

Code: Select all

- area reclaim can result in moving outside
maybe possible to get area reclaim circles that lay outside and replace them with valid orders. (lua) or just do not have reclaimable stuff outside the map border.
There are more problems but I think most could be worked around...at least telling units not to leave an area is kind of easy (see ie downcount map)
or maybe some kind of way to have the map repeat outside of the map area?
maybe possible with lua, seeing how zwzsg's random map draws terrain, it should be possible to draw more terrain outside the map and make it line up with the heightmap.
For flat&ugly maps like comet catcher it would even be enough to place 4 gl.Rect() around the map...
imo drawing stuff around the map is the way to go, also see http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=23411
we need some kind of way to have the engine believe that a specific section of a map is playable where as outside of it, it doesn't bother, only renders.
C&C Generals does that but its camera is much more restricted. With Spring's free camera it would always be possible to get a view of the map edge unless you put a 4x4 map in a 16x16 map or something.
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smoth
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by smoth » 04 Sep 2011, 21:26

knorke wrote:
or maybe some kind of way to have the map repeat outside of the map area?
maybe possible with lua, seeing how zwzsg's random map draws terrain, it should be possible to draw more terrain outside the map and make it line up with the heightmap.
yes but you run into it not matching up with your ssmf. Z's random map is neat but it is sort of a hack.

knorke wrote:For flat&ugly maps like comet catcher it would even be enough to place 4 gl.Rect() around the map...
imo drawing stuff around the map is the way to go, also see http://springrts.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=23411
That fog widget is a terrible version of the already terrible fog widget but that IS how many other games handle map edges.
knorke wrote:
we need some kind of way to have the engine believe that a specific section of a map is playable where as outside of it, it doesn't bother, only renders.
C&C Generals does that but its camera is much more restricted. With Spring's free camera it would always be possible to get a view of the map edge unless you put a 4x4 map in a 16x16 map or something.

perhaps the terrain could fade at the far edge a bit? that way there is no rough transition?
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hoijui
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by hoijui » 04 Sep 2011, 21:27

an other option is to do it like RUSE:
Act as if the spring battlefield is only a model on a table, or a holographic projection of a real battlefield, if you want so.
i think this should also be possible with spring already.
Image
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smoth
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by smoth » 04 Sep 2011, 21:35

that forces a visual aesthetic on the games though. Not sure I would be too keen on that. but it is a thought. sup com does something similar.
Image
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tizbac
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by tizbac » 04 Sep 2011, 23:00

I have two suggestions about maps , 1. Implement a random map generation system ( shared lua file between players and shared random seed ) like on age of mythology
2. to generate map outside playable bounds use some fractal algorithm
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Beherith
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Beherith » 04 Sep 2011, 23:53

The way I did it in Moor was a hackish, ugly, sub-optimal and very buggy way of doing map edges. Any better solution or idea is welcome.
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Forboding Angel
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Forboding Angel » 05 Sep 2011, 00:17

hoijui wrote:an other option is to do it like RUSE:
Act as if the spring battlefield is only a model on a table, or a holographic projection of a real battlefield, if you want so.
i think this should also be possible with spring already.
Image

I suggested this to smoth back when RUSE came out, but suffice it to say, spring's map edges just tend to look awful regardless. Also, the only way to do this is to put it in a skybox, so goodbye atmosphere.

Something like this would be perfect: Image
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smoth
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by smoth » 05 Sep 2011, 00:36

-_- I had already seen ruse when you "suggested" that forb.

I don't really want a terrain cutaway either. The who reason for wanting to do away with the map edge is so that I do see a plane floating in space. It ruins the whole feel of being at a location.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by PicassoCT » 05 Sep 2011, 01:28

Sorry, if i type stupstuff, im tired like hell. But im not quiting until i gave my tube of mustard.

We could hae them map fade away into something more abstract like smoth said, the ilusion of a hologram fading out on the edges.

Image

Im actually against this Layers of Stones thing- mostly because then you have to rewrite watershaders for subs, and you would have to redo a layertexture for every map...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1q2IB5yr ... re=related

Another favourite of mine is this bleeding out fx of lortrs, like the map is coloured dust transported by wind into the dark void. But thats taste again, and as we have many mods, with many settings, this will be hard to agree upon.

I think there are two directions to ponder here.
Skyboxxy vs Ilusions

If i had to go fo a realistic option, i would go for the mirrored edges, vanishing into fog.

Image



My biggest concern actually are was that the maps except of water, the trees and the grass were to static. No Rivers moving, no birds flying. But well thats taste.And as not all maps play in earthlike enviroment, it could be loads of work gone to waste.
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hoijui
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by hoijui » 05 Sep 2011, 11:15

ahh.. that mirroring thing looks like a nice solution, but comes down to whether you can implemented it effectively, as in.. completely sharing the memory, and probably other stuff.
btw, you could/would have to also mirror it into the edges, the 4 white squares in that image.
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PicassoCT
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by PicassoCT » 05 Sep 2011, 13:26

All this wouldnt have happened, if we implemented the round world or (as AF never fails to post) Donutshapped world. But Smoth shouted it down ;)

I want this noted in the Spring chronics.
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hoijui
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by hoijui » 05 Sep 2011, 14:49

well, if the mirroring can be done with practically no performance impact, you could abuse it to make a near spherical or donut shaped world.
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Das Bruce
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Das Bruce » 05 Sep 2011, 14:51

Tangential question.

I wrote an unweighted A* algorithm to navigate a obstical laden grid. Seems like it could generalise to any node mesh, can it?
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TheFatController
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by TheFatController » 05 Sep 2011, 15:16

Just need a random height map and someone to recreate adobes content aware fill algorithm :regret:

I like the idea of the map terrain fading off into nano-frame, configurable by mod/map would be sweet.
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AF
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by AF » 06 Sep 2011, 15:15

I would note that in forged alliance, supreme commander does away with the planet background, and puts in a 3d panel styled in the decor of your faction that is an immense improvement.

Also the cut away style is something Argh of all people pioneered. You can find code for it in P.U.R.E
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Karl
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Karl » 06 Sep 2011, 15:47

AF wrote:I would note that in forged alliance, supreme commander
in forged alliance they replaced it with some weird Black Blocks and blue lines around the map simulating virtual reality.
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Pxtl
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Pxtl » 06 Sep 2011, 16:04

Imho, the best approach would be two-pronged:

1) support for various ways to fade-out the edge of the map (nanoframe-style, fog, etc). I'd go with the "continue terrain to infinity with random noise" approach and then let people define various means for how it looks along that edge - fade-out, nanoframe, fog, etc.

2) limited map play area.

Those combined would mean the ugliness of (1) could be off in the distance.

Of course, all of this would be an *assload* of work and wouldn't be backwards compatible.
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Karl
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Re: Map edges, how can they be fixed?

Post by Karl » 06 Sep 2011, 16:08

Pxtl wrote: 2) limited map play area.
Could be faked with Invisible models that got huge collision boxes. this would prevent everything going inside and outside and possible it would look less "boxy" for the play area.
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