View Full Version : Midnight/MU scenario map - The Brave

04-01-2011, 05:10 AM
This is my first WIP here and there's been much humming and hawing about the style to go with but I've decided upon a hand-drawn style for this.

Midnight/MU is an online turn-based war/strategy game based on the Lords of Midnight game from Mike Singleton, originally based on the ZX Spectrum. The M/MU community have created more scenarios over the last few years for us lovers of the originals (LoM and the sequel Doomdark's Revenge) and this is going to be the map initially available to players of the latest scenario: The Brave by Ralph Wijnmaalen (aka Brandal The Ur).

The actual map is done, the locations all set and named, lords created and a history set up. What I've done is taken the data (housed in an Access database I created for my own couple of scenarios) and generated the map as produced by the game engine. What we like to do is create a more artistic map, hiding some of the actual detail (like where lords start and such). Anyway, that map is now acting as the template for the "cover art" map. For a first WIP posting I suppose it's somewhat ironic that instead of having a rough idea and fleshing it out I've got the actual map and have to create something more artistic than actual representation.

So, here is what I've got so far:

The southern lands have yet to get their mountains and forests added. I've also got hills to add and then I'll be putting in some details such as citadels, henges, lakes (which a small, single location features). Ralph has chosen to use on the original terrain features so there are no rivers/seas or swamps. I may well post up the actual map so that you can compare what I'm doing to the actual lay-of-the-land as it will be in-game. However, doing that just now might be a bit too much of a spoiler for Ralph. http://forum.midnightmu.com/images/smiles/pb_grin.gif

Oh, the final image will probably the size of the current... possibly.

Oh, and also, the land is surrounded by the "Frozen Wastes" (on all sides) so I'll definitely be needing a border come the final release...

Any and all suggestions welcome. Thankyouverymuch.

04-01-2011, 08:23 AM
OK.. good start as a I noted earlier. My first suggestion is lower the opacity on the texture as it is a bit regular and overwhelming, but that's just me so not a big deal.

Most importantly are the trees. While they look ok individually, they are a bit sloppily laid down in places and it detracts from the whole. Of course, if the idea is to do this super quick, then ignore that.. I would also suggest adding a bit of shading to the trees themselves(not in the tutorial) to give the impression of depth. In this case, a bit darker on the right(or more bottom right) and a bit lighter on the left/top left. It takes more work and time for each one, but really makes them "pop".

Mountains look good, but I would shy away from using the white for hightlights as it is to big a contrast IMO. go with a lighter shade of brown OR if you put a more cream color on a separate layer and blur it a bit and then clean up any over runs, that should work well. A bit of blur would be good in either case... You might also consider increasing the size of the mountains by about 50-100% either in the original images OR preferably as you paint using the scale on the brush. As it is now, they are quite close in size to the trees themselves.

04-01-2011, 09:05 AM
Aye, the trees were done, from start to finish, in about 2 hours (which includes learning how to do animated brushes). The problem I gave myself was doing them at the scale in the tutorial as opposed to on more suited to this map. I'll be revisiting that very soon, and not starting at midnight like last time. http://forum.midnightmu.com/images/smiles/pb_rolleyes.gif

The texture background was just plopped in to give a canvas — totally mutable, especially since at small scales like the thumbnail it really stands out (sore-thumbnail?). Given the nature of the lands depicted in most M/MU scenarios, more white would actually be appropriate funnily enough; all snow-bound terrains were a feature of the originals. However, as you'll possibly note from the central-eastern mountains, I've had a play with toning down the white (and the whole mountain come to that). I may opt to vary the overall range themes, depending upon whether Ralph has any specific desires on it. He's done all the shields for the various lords of the lands so I may take a steer from the local potentates' arms...

Thanks for the tips though JF, much appreciated.

04-01-2011, 10:33 AM
Ok folks, Ralph has said to go ahead and post up the actual map. Get your shades on and behold the "Beyond" yellow map in all its glory

04-01-2011, 09:18 PM
OK, revisited the forests brush (made a new one, smaller scale with more trees). Completed the mountains and started playing around with downs (aka hills).

05-05-2011, 12:45 PM
Right, after something of a hiatus and a couple more experiments with what Fireworks can do I finally got stuff together to get the world that this map is for collated and all the various database insertion statements sorted out. That done I realised that I had about 5 different, unfinished versions of a map to go with Ralph's scenario and so it would seem that this is the version to be used... or a variant of it.

05-05-2011, 04:25 PM
Small but it has a lot of character, pretty cool lookin, man.

05-06-2011, 04:05 AM
Thanks Ascension, much appreciated. I'd been faffing around with one style and then another and never being too happy with any of the overall effects, although bits-n-pieces from each were good enough. I think I got this one down because I figured if I was hand-drawing the mountains, and then hilly bits why the hell was I not doing the same for the forests... one of those duhhh moments I guess.