View Full Version : [Unpaid - Taken] Online Gaming Map Project

07-26-2010, 11:28 PM
Hey, im looking for 1 or more people to please help me build an online interactive game for users to play.

Heres my story:

I created an online game 3 years ago which failed.... but there was one great feature i made that put the game uniquely above the rest. It was an interactive map. So i thought - ok i failed that game so time to try again and not make the same mistakes. So i have started again and now have 300 active daily users (and i opened less than 2 months ago) this is steadily increasing. Eventually based on competitors and as long as the features are good i could be getting 500,000 + daily users which is very exciting. Now the game is in an "Egyptian" setting (Ancient egypt). And users train their character and battle other players online. Currently its all text based leaving it to the imagination at most. But i kept the original script for allowing users to interact with a map image.

My game is not for profit - it is free to play and your welcome to play it any time! To avoid my gaming users finding this out i will not post the link to my site directly i don't want to ruin the surprise. But i can tell you in private if you are involved in the project what the site is so you can understand how exciting the potential it can achieve.

Before i start talking about the project:
A little bit about this can work, firstly communication is going to be important to make sure everything works with my coding + the images which is the harder part. I have MSN/Email & Skype all available to communicate via to get this project organised.

If interested:
If you are interested please ether reply here or PM me to exchange email or something so we can discuss as i do not wish to post my email directly in here due to possible spam attacks. Thanks :)

Now on to what the project is about:

I'm looking for a birds eye view of Egypt with nice realistic desert textures - the river nile + the green vegetation surrounding it also and some of the ocean where the river mouth is.

Quality & Size
The whole of egypt will be split up in to sections so each area of Egypt (lets call them regions) can be worked on one at a time. Its a little complex but theres different zooms.
I can show you photoshop designs of the regions over the map as it forms using simple lines - as that is the most i can do when it comes to images lol!

Time Constraints
I have no time constraints.... the players can wait for the feature and get all excited :) I don't want rush an artist as you all have other things to do in life aswell etc.

Description of Map
Firstly its desert based as you can guess because its Ancient Egypt. The main important features are the monuments when in a region zoom and city zoom and the river nile with the green vegetation around it eventually leading to the sea. Do not worry about applying villages/towns/cities as currently that is just an after thought - need to get the map done before i lay anything on top.

Reference for geography for egypt : http://www.nil-egypte.net/egypt/map-egypt-touristic.jpg - this is not how the zoom of the map would appear this is just so you know the river and where mountains are.

Quality & Size
Well size wise i will set a specific size when we have formed discussions on where we start, and all agree on which is best to work with - obviously it needs to be of a size that will match my site layout + user friendlyness + keeping it as easy to make as possible for you the artists. For quality - well im not fussy on quality although i will imagine users are - so quality would be discussed during project briefing prior to starting.

Well i don't like to ask for copyright of some one elses work but at the same time it could damage my site if another site gets hold of the project to use for their game. So i just urge with a strong PLEASE do not share the image/project for others to use - if you want to show it as a reference to your work please watermark clearly, that will protect both of us, so no one can use it for their own. Thanks.

07-30-2010, 08:50 PM
Hmm 78 views no takers - maybe im asking for too much =/

07-31-2010, 12:23 AM
You should probably put up a few examples that you like so that those who do such things may gain interest. If you're wanting total satellite realism and accuracy on a regional scale (to allow for zooming and such) then that's probably beyond what most of us here can do...that's the realm of GIS and only a few folks here do that. You're asking for pro-bono work so don't expect to get a masterpiece unless you get lucky and someone has nothing better to do but this being summertime (in the northern hemisphere) things always slow down. Second, I used to play MUDs all the time when I was younger and for one game (Dragonrealms) me and Salius made all the maps ourselves. They were basic but so was the software of the time...things are much better now. Maybe you have an obsessive mapper as a player like me n Salius. As a reward, instead of paying him, you could give him a nice sword or extra spells. In one MUD back in college I got to create my own area within the game and I also got to be a demigod with super cool powers like I could take over a dragon and walk around town and talk to people...they'd always attack first, stupid humans, and when I'd say "ouch" they were not expecting that (normal dragons didn't talk in the game) and they'd get all freaked out then we'd have some ales, sing songs, and go cow tipping. At any rate, if you reward them they will come.

07-31-2010, 03:15 AM
Have to agree with Ascension, I feel like this would be a stretch for me at the moment. Mainly because while I'm pretty good artistically I'm still learning a lot about doing it digitally as well as map making in general.

It sounds interesting and having a map that is being seen by a bunch of folks would be cool.

07-31-2010, 12:35 PM
The geographical accuracy is not important in terms of scale - colours etc, it just needs to have desert appearance a river going from the south to the north so users see it and go "thats the nile" where the water would be - as for how accurate the meandering direction is doesn't matter - not to the users. What i meant by the "accuracy" was things like theres green vegetation around the river and then desert further out instead of just a river and sand :) The satellite image was to show you the main zoom level for the first layer.

For the map type i would say something like : http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9660&d=1233094574

Thats more than amazing but i would need to chat with all who take part (the more people the quicker it be done by using project sharing via my server) prior to starting so theres no confusing on what is needed for the game engine to work - because as the maps are made im coding the game engine to go with it. :)

It sounds interesting and having a map that is being seen by a bunch of folks would be cool.

Thats only part of the exciting bit - the main excitement is the fact people can walk around the map and visit buildings etc like a proper game :) Though that stuff is what i have to do.

The structure is like this:

3 Tier zoom:
North Region > Zooms - Mini regions inside north regions > Zooms - Towns in the mini reigion
South Region > Zooms - Mini regions inside north regions > Zooms - Towns in the mini reigion

I know the towns/locations etc i can place them on via my scripts :)

08-02-2010, 01:09 AM
ill have to abandon this due to lack of interest - shame was hopeing to change the way these maps interacted in a game environment :(

08-02-2010, 08:08 AM
If you could get a pic up of the region boundary of the part of Egypt that your interested in then maybe I could download the real satellite DEM data for it. Then I can run it through a script of mine to color the DEM into a map - a big one -> really big and then you can chop up the zooms off of it - at least two of the levels I think. How does that sound ? That sounds quite doable to me. At least then you only have the towns to map. You may have to help me out with the vegetation placement a bit but the rest I think I can whoop up no problem. Also, I care not about the copyright - more about the time it takes cos really, I am a bit swamped at mo. Maybe my result could be used as a starting point for someone else anyway.

08-02-2010, 11:41 AM
Thanks for the reply, yes it is a bit of work but the project once hundreads of people play it will be worth it.

Map boundry:

Then this will help for the colours of the desert:

08-02-2010, 11:43 AM
Ok, ill take a look at it. Dont know if ill be able to replicate the many colors of sand tho. It may look a bit flat. Still, lets try and see what we get.

08-02-2010, 11:53 AM
RR those colors look a lot like sandstone tiles we have all over the place here in Arizona. I see them constantly, it would be no problem for me to take a close up photograph of some of the more interesting ones to use as a background texture. I've been thinking of doing this anyway but this would give me added impetus. Not sure if I have a good enough camera but if you are interested I will post back. If not, I may just create one for myself.

08-02-2010, 12:00 PM
Well, just a mo Jax...

Cu11, if I got you this map on left at this detail on right (i.e. 4K x 3K total) would that be ok ? Because this is the Blue Marble map from NASA which is public domain and not copyright (or if not its a free to use map anyway). I.e. you dont get to own the map but you can use it for free in your app ? Im not sure what it is you want me to do to *a* map to make it more like this one as it stands. You can edit the map and make the edits of it copyright but as far as I can tell your after real Egypt in real satellite colors... so is this ok ?

Edit: see http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/view_set.php?categoryID=2363 and click on Terms of use, note

"For all non-private uses, NASA's Terms Of Use are as follows:

1. The imagery is free of licensing fees
2. NASA requires that they be provided a credit as the owners of the imagery

Visible Earth Addendum

Beyond the NASA Terms, the Visible Earth team requests, but does not require:

1. The Visible Earth be provided a credit as the location that the imagery was found at
2. A URL be provided, either to the Visible Earth (http://visibleearth.nasa.gov/) or to the page providing the link to the used image.

EDIT 2: Also, I am using the 52K x 26K image. There was released an even higher res version and we linked to that one here too: Check out.

i.e, Download (RIGHT CLICK SAVE AS) this link below. NOTE - DO NOT CLICK ON IT - its too big for a browser. Note, this one is CC-BY licensed so again, a very liberal license to use and one you can make your game with and still sell it.

08-02-2010, 12:23 PM
A plain colour with a texture of sand will do me - doesn't need to be many shades of sand - photo realism might be "too" real plus its too hard to get it too realistic when the users won't notice :P

EDIT: i could use that as the initial first zoom image then the next zooms would need to be created (north and south). The concern with it - is the image doesn't look like part of a game due to how strong the realism is.

08-02-2010, 12:27 PM
If your getting updates via email, your a few posts behind. Regarding post #11 is this ok ?

08-02-2010, 12:29 PM
If u would like i can make a demo page to show you how it would look on my site so you can see how it will be applied..

Regarding post 11 (sorry im behind) - the photos of them are too realistic they would not look right with the game colours, a plain colour of sand for the whole country will probably suit more with a texture layer style or something to make it look like sand...

08-02-2010, 12:34 PM
Ok no worries, ill get some DEM data then. Jax, if you want to post some sandy textured tiles then that would be way cool :) I have some sand but its more from a beach. I think it will probably be ok but if you have some good shots then it would be great to see some. Dont sweat it tho cos I think I have it covered if not.

If you would like to post a demo page then that would be cool and quite useful.

08-02-2010, 12:38 PM
Whilst you do that ill make a template on my site so you can see how it looks - ill edit this when i've done it with the link.


You need to sign up and have a Game Name to see the page (dont need to activate your email) - but once you have and you are in the game edit the php url to /map.php this will take you to the preview page.

I applied the satellite image for demonstration purposes..and as you can probably see it just looks too real for the rest of the game.

EDIT: If you let me know your gamer name i can message you the map link.

08-02-2010, 06:17 PM
I can get some better shots Thursday but let me know if these are along the right lines. I have not done much texture creating so this is a learning process for me. Let me know what I can do to make these better in future. I already see that I need to make sure there are no stray bits of dirt or grass on the surface....go figure.

Anyway, here are some shots I took of some Sandstone I saw today as well as one of the tiles used on the floor of my house (image5) since it is similar to the map images as well. Like I said, if this type of thing will work I can get some better images Thursday. Unless you like the house tile because that I can work on right now :)

With just a little color tweaking it matches pretty closely the colors in the satellite photos I think. Not sure if the quality is what we need though.

Edit: Btw, I didn't realize my stupid camera (<--operator really) was set to post date/time. I turned it off for the last one but I can get more Sandstone easily.

08-02-2010, 06:21 PM
Thats fine. Great actually. Ill try to use these as the sand texture. I downloaded the world as a DEM and writing a little prog to extract it now. 3Gb file - nice ! And thats the low res one....

08-02-2010, 06:50 PM
Got the DEM now so it should be pretty easy from here...

08-02-2010, 07:49 PM
That's cool I like the fact that it has the terrain showing. I was just dorking around using my floor tile, which I get a kick out of, and I created this by tracing, selecting, hand painting and tweaking the colors. I'm not trying to get in your way here Redrobes, I just wanted to see what I could do with it. I don't know what Cu is after as far as looks go although he did say the satellite was too realistic. I spent about an hour fiddling around with this. I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of the process you are taking.

Done with my floor tile as the base:

08-02-2010, 08:45 PM
Wow you hand painted that thtats really good skill you have!

Whats DEM ? Never heard of that before but the image you uploaded showing the contours of the land really looks great!

08-02-2010, 10:11 PM
LOL, no I didn't hand paint all that. I used the Tile background and created layers over that. I used one of the images you had provided and traced over where the river was and so on. That's why it's very close to the original just dumbed down a bit. Hehe, if I could paint that in a hour by hand I think I'd be famous already. :)

08-02-2010, 10:20 PM
Yeah but you have to be dead to be a famous painter :( Bit of a dead end job (pardon the pun) *chuckles*

08-02-2010, 10:35 PM
LOL, yeah there is that, I forgot that bit about not being around to enjoy it.

08-03-2010, 05:33 AM
A DEM is a digital elevation model. You get the space shuttle flying over the earth with a radar on board and it measures the height of the ground in sweeps so that there is a 3D terrain model you can extract from it. Since it provides the height for the map we can get the sea and coast outline and get some scripts to shade it all in any way you want. You can go as far as to create a climate model for it and use that to determine where the rain falls, where the rivers flow and what vegetation would grow there. Normally, making a fantasy DEM is quite hard but its fairly easy to get one of a real place from NASA data if you have a bit of programming skills or the data format matches a tool which understands whatever format you have. The DEMs are out there in a variety of formats so often you need to code a converter.

Jax, ill run my script a bit later on when I have some spare time and you can mess about with the resulting images if you want. I'm no artists - famous, dead or otherwise ;)

08-03-2010, 08:12 AM
Hows this one looking ? I have gone for a simple look - barely any features. Is that what your after ? And added a border if you want to use it like in middle pic.

08-03-2010, 11:27 AM
This is mostly sand - I look at the example of type you want and it's loaded with beautiful greens and white peaks, so, do you want the map on the left here made a bit prettier with that slightly cartoonish look? (Not sure the example is cartoonish but that's what I'll call it.)

08-03-2010, 12:14 PM
Umm if you want to Jaxilon as ive know idea otherwise cos cartoonish was what i was trying to avoid.. if you can show me what you mean that would help :)

@Redrobes that does look fantastic - although the water is a bit dark if you can make it a bit more tropical blue that be awesome :)

08-03-2010, 12:32 PM
No problem... No idea why the forum has some trouble with these attachments. One with, one without the border.

08-03-2010, 01:02 PM
Looking great, just quick question is there a way to get the water to be less patterned? For example if you look at: http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=9660&d=1233094574 it uses difference clouds i think to get the water body texture. Ignore the fact you can see the continental shelf's i don't require them.. but was wondering if you can get that kinda texture on the ocean ?

08-03-2010, 04:12 PM
It looks like RR is on the right track I'm going to let you guys hash it out at this point. I'm just an amateur trying to help out anyway. The link you posted there is what I meant by cartoon-ish. It is more cartoon than a real satellite image but it's not really cartoon because that would look kind of silly.

Let me know if there is anything else I can help you guys with. I'm going to go brainstorm on the challenges now :)


08-03-2010, 04:19 PM
More like this maybe ?

Cheers Jax, when we get the main pic done with the script then maybe there will be some art time needed...

08-03-2010, 05:19 PM
Thats great RR :) I will add it to the script now to see how it looks!

Thanks alot :D Im getting excited now this is coming along :D

08-03-2010, 05:48 PM
If you could - can you extend your vegetation to include the major oasis' that are found in Egypt. And also can the river reach the bottom of the image.. See:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Ancient_Egypt_map-en.svg for a reference of where the Osasis' are and the river - doesn't need to be pin point in the right place, just rough guess will do, as i have some quests relating to them :)

08-04-2010, 09:29 AM
No problems. Let me know if I have them all. Since I was stealing the locations of the oasis, I have put on the river as well. Let me know if you want the river in a different color.

08-04-2010, 12:37 PM
Thanks fab!! Thanks alot RR :D

08-04-2010, 12:41 PM
Is that finished ? Do you want a big version of that ?

08-04-2010, 04:19 PM
Sure! Its finished for this zoom level yes :) Eventually i got to go zoomed in which will show details a bit more. But i got to get the basic labels on this image for the game sorted first. With the zoom in maps i need sprites as the over lay so they are clickable to visit

08-04-2010, 05:54 PM
I'll mark this as 'taken' then!

08-04-2010, 09:00 PM
Hmm not sure that might put others off from helping out - any one can join in - the more the quicker things get done ^_^

08-05-2010, 12:31 PM
Lol! Don't get greedy! :)

08-05-2010, 03:15 PM
Lol. I can easily do a zoomed in version if the map I supplied has the information and detail already in it. I suspect tho that you need to zoom in a very long way so that all you would see would be plain sand. You probably need new maps to link to and im less inclined to do cities and stuff like that esp in ISO view. But theres scope here for several people to wade in a do something. I'll post some masks and textures here so you have something to use if you want to modify it. I dont have a specific paint package file for it tho.

There, 4 files, all uploaded at the same time. Two of which are same size, same format, same color palette and yet one of them doesnt come out in the thumbs. Something is very odd about the attachment system in this vBulletin V4 software. Anyhoo, you also have the land sea border and light map above. Thats about it. I have included the height map too which is a coarser version of the one used to generate the light map and for anyone else to mess about with Egypt in general. You will need a green veg texture and some sand but im using some pretty generic veg and sand so almost anything will do.

08-05-2010, 03:51 PM
@ravells sorry not trying to be greedy - its just the project is a big one which i doubt one person would do alone, i did mention it in the first post :P Very few websites out there have done MMO's with cartography type maps which you interact socially with other players which is free.

@RR the cities will be constructed as a secondary layer on the website by my game engine so none of that is an issue - so only bare landscapes is what i was missing. The one issue is at this point, in a zoom in posistion the heights / dunes would change for example...the heights would appear more exagerrated (though i guess a shadow effect would pull off the same visual illusion)

Say you visit a city on the left side of the nile's edge, then the landscape would show a large river's edge on the left of the landscape in the "zoomed" in mode.

From what i predict ( although this does not need to be done for ages yet - like weeks..) would be a basic sandy landscape, no trees... but the rivier position in different places :
Top Left/Right
Top Across
Bottom Across
Bottom Left/Right
Middle Down (city would be on both sides of the nile in this case)
No river at all - but some green vegetation
No river at all - no green vegetation

This would cover each city position that was possible. If needs be when the time comes i can just make a new thread requesting which is not for some weeks yet cos the game engine will take some time.

08-05-2010, 08:03 PM
Sure, I think post a new request as it sounds like a different sort of map and mapper might be needed.

08-05-2010, 08:19 PM
Okies will do :)