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View Full Version : Battle for Wesnoth - various maps



zookeeper
02-26-2013, 05:46 AM
Hi, I'm new here.

I've created a bunch of maps for the (free and open source) game Battle for Wesnoth (http://www.wesnoth.org), and in the process I found this forum a great source of ideas and inspiration (as well as providing me with the invaluable TreeThing). So, even though I never started a WIP thread here, I figured I'd still showcase the results. This is the first time I've done any cartography, and likely the best pieces of art I've ever created. There's more maps than these these four (currently 10 in total, with a few more coming up), but the others are mostly just close-ups of some of the regions seen here, so they tend to be a bit more sparse and not as interesting.

I haven't designed most of the geography since it has already been established a long time ago, so what I've done is largely just joining previously disconnected maps into a consistent whole and creating a new visual style, along with a handful of new features and names. The geography is surely far from realistic, but a hyper-realistic world isn't really needed for this sort of game so I haven't particularly tried to make things more realistic than they've been before.

I have a very elaborate but mechanical process for creating new maps from a basic set of masks (land/water, forests, hills, mountains, swamps, deserts) and I've used very very little painting by hand in these (mostly to correct little glitches and for the torn edge outlines and a few textures like the border decorations), so aside from the background and the parchment textures, I think what you see can be considered about 90% procedurally generated. The background was made from a photo I took of a wooden table, with very very heavy editing. The parchment textures were not originally by me, but I created the heightmaps to match the folds.

Software used:

Paint.net (for most of the basic work)
GIMP (for the displacement effects)
Photoshop (for text and creating the background)
TreeThing (http://www.cartographersguild.com/mapping-elements/11361-treething.html) (for forests)
Wilbur (http://www.ridgenet.net/~jslayton/wilbur.html) (for mountain heightmaps)
3ds Max (for rendering mountains and hills)

Redrobes
02-26-2013, 07:30 AM
Wow - really cool ! I like the crispness of these. I think if I had these in a box set game I would be well pleased. I'll just add that I do most of my maps procedurally in a similar sense to how you have done these and its an unusual way to do them so double kudos from this direction.

Mornagest
02-26-2013, 09:19 AM
Hi,

Great stuff ! Do you plan to offer those maps to the conceptors of Wesnoth ?

zookeeper
02-26-2013, 09:33 AM
Thanks!


Hi,

Great stuff ! Do you plan to offer those maps to the conceptors of Wesnoth ?
Well, yes, I'm one of the developers myself and I made these expressly for the purpose of replacing the current map(s) and to give (almost) every campaign a proper map. ;)

Larb
02-26-2013, 11:01 AM
Very nice maps! Those will look great in the game. I've actually played quite a bit of Wesnoth. I particularly like the music. =P

arsheesh
02-26-2013, 02:55 PM
I have not had the opportunity to play this game, but I like these maps quite a bit. Lovely work.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Jaxilon
02-27-2013, 01:35 AM
Fantastic, I really like the look. I have played the game and it was lots of fun. I may have to try it out again just to see the new maps in action :)

darkfox
02-27-2013, 11:16 AM
i like the detail and the wear effects. looks great

sreynders
02-28-2013, 03:51 AM
nice details on the edges of the map! i love the green you used in the woods. nice map overal!

Hai-Etlik
03-01-2013, 08:50 PM
They seem to have a bit of a stylistic mismatch to me. The trees, the forest labels, and the compasses all kind of shout "Computer" while the rest of the map is trying to look hand drawn.

Some of the area labels also look a bit off. You usually want to align them to the largest extent of the area, and then use letter spacing to fit them to that extent.

zookeeper
03-02-2013, 11:45 AM
They seem to have a bit of a stylistic mismatch to me. The trees, the forest labels, and the compasses all kind of shout "Computer" while the rest of the map is trying to look hand drawn.
Yeah, you're not the first to mention that, at least regarding forests. Basically, I never found the compasses particularly mismatching, I didn't find a way to give the forests a more drawn/painted look while still having them look as nice, and for forest labels I didn't come up with any good-looking alternatives either. Well, given enough time I'm sure I eventually could have, but having already spent several months on this and really wanting to get things finished ASAP, I wasn't tempted enough. :lol:


Some of the area labels also look a bit off. You usually want to align them to the largest extent of the area, and then use letter spacing to fit them to that extent.
Could you give a specific example or two? I think I know what you mean, but it wouldn't hurt to be sure.

Hai-Etlik
03-04-2013, 04:06 AM
Yeah, you're not the first to mention that, at least regarding forests. Basically, I never found the compasses particularly mismatching, I didn't find a way to give the forests a more drawn/painted look while still having them look as nice, and for forest labels I didn't come up with any good-looking alternatives either. Well, given enough time I'm sure I eventually could have, but having already spent several months on this and really wanting to get things finished ASAP, I wasn't tempted enough. :lol:


Could you give a specific example or two? I think I know what you mean, but it wouldn't hurt to be sure.

On the second map, the "Forest of Thelien" and "Greenwood", "Frosty Wastes", and "Desert of Death" are examples. They'd both look better if they were put along paths and spaced out to cover the extent. The "Black Marshes" and "Mountains of Haag" also look like they might benefit from a bit more letter spacing.

I found I get the best results when combining mountains in that hand drawn style with labels by doing careful adjustment to both individual letter kerning and symbol placement, along with a few careful edits to individual symbols. That requires that you either keep each mountain symbol on separate layer, or that you use vector graphics (which is what I do). It also requires advanced typographic control which is more common in vector software than raster, and it requires quite a bit of manual editing. When I'm being fancy, I likewise delete the trees around the labels to make room rather than using a halo around the text. Or I represent forests as areas with scalloped edges rather than by discrete tree symbols. That works quite well with a hand drawn look.

Here are a couple of my maps that demonstrate:

Picture 1 of 4 from Other (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/hai-etlik-albums-other-picture52614-britannia-ultima-games.html)
Picture 4 of 4 from Other (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/hai-etlik-albums-other-picture39598-b-koi-map-i-made-inkscape-mostly-practice-some-new-ideas.html)

zookeeper
03-04-2013, 07:28 AM
On the second map, the "Forest of Thelien" and "Greenwood", "Frosty Wastes", and "Desert of Death" are examples. They'd both look better if they were put along paths and spaced out to cover the extent. The "Black Marshes" and "Mountains of Haag" also look like they might benefit from a bit more letter spacing.

I found I get the best results when combining mountains in that hand drawn style with labels by doing careful adjustment to both individual letter kerning and symbol placement, along with a few careful edits to individual symbols. That requires that you either keep each mountain symbol on separate layer, or that you use vector graphics (which is what I do). It also requires advanced typographic control which is more common in vector software than raster, and it requires quite a bit of manual editing. When I'm being fancy, I likewise delete the trees around the labels to make room rather than using a halo around the text. Or I represent forests as areas with scalloped edges rather than by discrete tree symbols. That works quite well with a hand drawn look.

Here are a couple of my maps that demonstrate:

Picture 1 of 4 from Other (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/hai-etlik-albums-other-picture52614-britannia-ultima-games.html)
Picture 4 of 4 from Other (http://www.cartographersguild.com/members/hai-etlik-albums-other-picture39598-b-koi-map-i-made-inkscape-mostly-practice-some-new-ideas.html)

Right, thanks, I see what you mean. In hindsight, that would indeed have been a better idea for the regional labels. :| One consideration I haven't mentioned which did put some practical limitations on the text is the requirement that the labels needed to be localizable by non-artists; for each language the game supports, the translators may provide localized versions of images containing text (such as the maps), and while I've managed to make the process pretty simple for them (they just need to place the text and run a script), it still rules out some visual choices. One of those is removing the trees from underneath forest labels, which would probably have been my #1 choice if not for the fact that the labels will be of different size and length in different languages. That's also why I'd be hesitant to use elaborate tweaks on the text such as individual letter kerning on this particular project.

Still, that's good advice and I'll keep it in mind for any possible future projects.

Shadow Knight
03-04-2013, 10:10 PM
I always enjoyed the maps and the game. Some rep for you. :)

nyogtha
03-05-2013, 08:20 AM
"Clap clap" ! Very nice work, like it !

SirGalahad
07-08-2014, 02:48 AM
What's up, man? I've been developing a campaign for Wesnoth and I want to know if I can use your maps for it. If you like, I can send you the campaign if you wanna test it.

I just wanna be completely sure I can use your maps with no problem.

zookeeper
07-30-2014, 07:05 AM
What's up, man? I've been developing a campaign for Wesnoth and I want to know if I can use your maps for it. If you like, I can send you the campaign if you wanna test it.

I just wanna be completely sure I can use your maps with no problem.

Well, of course you can use them (as well as edit, if you need to), just like any other assets in the game.

If you have any further questions you should do it through the Wesnoth forums though, because as you can see, I don't exactly check here very often. I took a look at this thread purely by chance. :o