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RonnyRulz
10-09-2013, 04:43 PM
Hello! I have purchased CC3 and the 2012 Annual for Herwin Wielink's gorgeous CC3 symbols. I even got permission to use them as symbols in my video game! Hazzah!

To be brief about the game, it is inspired by the classic MUD's, Roguelikes, early MMO's such as Ultima Online, Shadowbane and Everquest 1, easy to play game mechanics (i.e. League of Legend's handful of abilities), character customization (insuring two of the same character type are capably unique), fiction such as Tolkien's work and A Game of Thrones style, and fantasy roleplaying games such as Earthdawn.
It is a 2D isometric online rpg, with a focus on randomized content and shorter play sessions (i.e. Roguelikes, random encounters, character death, extremely fast progression), rewarding players over punishing them (death/losing should be rewarding, not frustrating), friend-friendly design (you should always be able to play with your friends, without those stupid time sinks), universal progress despite character death (unlocking characters and components to enhance characters you create, and soul points to spend creating new characters), and 64 different factions- each with 4 different character types (i.e. Orc Warrior, Orc Archer, Orc Mage, Orc Rider, etc.). Being a big fan of character creation, I look forward to (eventually) having 256+ character types to choose from, in an organized format to not overwhelm the player.

One of the major features of the game, is traveling and exploration. Remembering back to my days of playing Everquest 1 and its meaningful but long travel times, and the adventure I'd feel reading The Hobbit and Tolkien-based "Choose Your Own Adventure!" softcover books, I love "The Journey". My favorite journey, being The Hobbit. Unlike Lord of the Rings, it is far less epic, far simpler, but ultimately a legendary adventure of a lifetime for Bilbo. To accomplish this, I accidentally and coincidentally reinvented the same World Map Travel that Fallout 1 & 2 used. Although slightly different and created years before I ever even knew what the Fallout PC games were, I somehow recreated something similar to it, except post-apocalyptic fantasy, instead of post-apocalyptic 1950's. Dur! Fortunately, or unfortunately if you love those games, that is where the similarities end. I hope. (I want to be creative, not clone a game without realizing it! haha :P )


Doing my research on travel times, I came up with a good set of numbers for my game, such as how far a person can walk in miles, in one day. This formula, combined with the high resolution World Map, will be a large part of the game as the player moves about the worldmap, until an event occurs in which they enter the game map with their characters visible.

Here is an example, using a Middle Earth map that inspired the game concept, of traveling in the "World Map".

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And here is a prototype of a human and lizardman performing some combat.

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To make a long story short, I am creating a nearly 2.5 million square mile map for this game. The map is divided into 8 regions, and each region houses 8 races/factions.
This is what I have right now:

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RonnyRulz
10-09-2013, 04:53 PM
The labels are only temporary. I decided that since this is for a game, and placement of each race and their primary area or city matters significantly in the design, I need to place them and map out each region BEFORE doing anything visual to the actual map.

This is the final continent however, so all critiques are welcomed on the continent. Obviously, there are not even rivers in this, but I will most likely have rivers alongside all of the cities, or most of them.

I was quite impressed with my placement of 8 regions, along with the placement of 64 factions that will eventually be in the game (for a total of 256 character choices, once the game is absolutely complete or has many expansions to it to allow them to turn from NPC/Monster to Playable character.)

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Here are the regions, open to critique and advice:


The North (Light Blue) - Tundra & Taiga. To the south where it says "Mountains" repeatedly, bordering the gray region, is a wall-like set of mountains. The North is mostly a barren Tundra to the west, and towards the east begins to fill with Taiga, which blends into "The Forest" region (Dark Green color) which is a heavily forested region with both Taiga in the north and normal forests in the majority. The cold environment is actually slanted a bit (think an arrow pointing NORTH WEST) So the NorthWest is actually the coldest, while the east begins to warm up some, which along with the mountains, explains why The North's west side is frozen wasteland, while its east side gets smaller and more forested.

"The Forest" (Dark Green) is magical land, with waterfalls, rivers, lakes full of faeries, and home to the wood elves and underground city of the Gnomes who harvest magical mushrooms which grow from the enchanted soil.

The Iron Kingdom (Gray) is a cold, snowy environment- and extremely mountainous. To the south, is the region "The Hills", so on the border of The Hills (Orange-ish color) are smaller mountains, up until it tapers off into grassland hills. The more north of The Iron Kingdom, the higher the peaks of the mountains. The mountains and rocky terrain cover the majority of The Iron Kingdom, which is rich in Metals & precious, magical stone gems.

The Hills (Orange-ish color) is luxurious farmland, and what is the best land in the continent. Lakes, rivers, and fertile land, it has a lot of hills in the north, and tapers off into plains and flatland in the south. To the east of "The Hills" (Orange) are low mountains, which create The Desert region (White/Pale color). This is mostly desert and oasis.

"Paradise Cove" (white/pale color, just below The Forest) is the world's largest city, and the city of Trade. This is *THE* city to live if you like urban environments. It is a coastal city, and I plan to have a lot of rivers to assist it in having a good reason for being "The City of Trade". This is home to pirates and sailors, among other merchants.

"The Plains" (Pink) is not very developed, but I assume it will be mostly flatland, grassland, and Savannah. To the south, is the "City of Angels" where Angels, Paladins, and Cleric type humans protect its borders from the "HellFire" region (Dark Red). I imagine I will have either mountains or a "Great Wall" on the border, with the City of Angels as a central point, that the church types built to protect from the "Evil City of Demons". The giants/elementals, walls, and mountains are meant to separate or collect Trade into specific areas. Paradise Cove is suppose to be amazing at Trade because it has lush rivers and openings in the mountains to acces the Hills and The Plains, an open sea to access the jungle region and forest region, along with diplomacy with the various races to trade with the Hellfire and Iron Kingdom.

"HellFire Region" (red) is a burnt ash land, volcanoes, and rivers of streaming lava and fire. The creatures which reside are immune to this fire, and either live in volcanoes, or in safer regions such as the human's "City of Madness" which is cooled off some by the ocean. The Minotaurs live in labyrinths underneath the border between the City of Angels and Hellfire region.

Finally, is the "Jungle" region (light green, most southeast). This is thick jungle to the north of it, tropical islands to the east, and marshes to the south.



That is about it, for details on why each region is the way it is, and the big mountains which separate some of the regions.

RonnyRulz
10-11-2013, 12:48 PM
Wow, this is a lot more work than I thought. This is going to take me as long as a real artist takes to accomplish a painting/drawing, maybe longer because more experienced artists and mappers can work so much faster. I guess I never really thought of how much work goes into it. It looked easy enough, lol.
Unfortunately, unlike those skilled artists, my map will probably be very amateur. However, I am trying my best. This is the first map I've ever done, and the first time I've ever used CC3. And the only tutorials I could find on CC3 were the ones off of youtube that make the parrot pirate island.

Anyways, I have nearly finished the "Hellfire Region" and added plains to "The Plains" as well as the "City of Angels" and the massive wall they constructed to keep the evil creatures out.

Most importantly, I finished placing ALL OF THE MOUNTAINS. I am unsure of the finishing details, but for the most part these are all the mountains.
So anyone who wishes to critique or advise my mountain placement, please do!

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Llannagh
10-11-2013, 05:57 PM
Kudos for starting with such an ambitious project. I am myself currently working on a quite large map with the scale of Europe (1.5 million squaremiles). It is A LOT of work indeed! ;)

In my opinion, you should spread out the mountains a little more. Right now they look a little blocky. Also, at the moment there is no sense of scale. You said the world has 2.5 mill squaremiles, so it's pretty huge. It being a map for players makes it necessary for a good sense of scale.

I admit I haven't read the discriptions for the regions yet, since it's already late where I'm at. I will do that later though, and give you critique. Are you programming yourself?

Viking
10-11-2013, 08:14 PM
Wow yes, this definitely seems like an ambitious project! :) When you finish it will be quite marvellous though I'm sure.

RonnyRulz
10-12-2013, 01:34 AM
Thank you for the support and kind words, both of you! Thank you for the advice/critique as well.


Kudos for starting with such an ambitious project. I am myself currently working on a quite large map with the scale of Europe (1.5 million squaremiles). It is A LOT of work indeed! ;)

In my opinion, you should spread out the mountains a little more. Right now they look a little blocky. Also, at the moment there is no sense of scale. You said the world has 2.5 mill squaremiles, so it's pretty huge. It being a map for players makes it necessary for a good sense of scale.

I admit I haven't read the discriptions for the regions yet, since it's already late where I'm at. I will do that later though, and give you critique. Are you programming yourself?

Thank you. I am redoing the mountains and terrain for the entire map, especially due to the lack of a proper scale. I didn't realize that CC3 did Grids so easily- although I should have known better, lol. I am going to cut up sections of the World Map, in 100x100 mile "Regions", and then use a 10x10 mile Grid to place Structures and Landmarks.

I realize that a 100 square mile area for a single landmark is a lot. However, I plan on doing this for two reasons.

1) My interest in City Cartography. There are some beautiful City Maps around here. In Game, this means that Cities, Towns, and Locations can go into a "City Map", using something wonderfully beautiful like City Designer 3. So, it would go World Map -> Region Map (100x100) -> Section (10x10) -> City Map (A map of the specific 10x10, but instead of a single icon representing a town or castle, it would be the full town and castle, all buildings, and surrounding area). Either that, or have three total maps: World Map for travel, Section Map for details, and Game Map for actual gameplay. I thought that the possibility of using beautiful city maps, might make for some fun gameplay. This might not work, but it interests me at least. Would be interesting to allow fast travel within a large city. I always found it boring in World of Warcraft, having to travel all around Storm Wind or Orgrimmar, just to do basic city tasks like bank or train.

2) Procedurally Generated, Random Content. If I place a "Dungeon" symbol in a 10x10 section, then that "Dungeon" is not a specific dungeon that I have to design myself. Instead, it is a 100 square mile area with 'Dungeons scattered around them." This can more realistically justify making all dungeons randomized. You explore one dungeon in that 10x10 section by going to the Icon, and the second and third time you go- completely different dungeons. Why? Because 100 square miles is HUGE! There's tons of [insert monster type] in that area.


Yes, I am programming it myself. I decided that I need to prototype the World Map & Long Travel Times. To do this, I need a correctly scaled map, and the possibility of a good looking one at that. Plus, it has been quite fun to create some maps in CC3 and learn about Mapping. It was even exciting to research medieval travel, such as how far someone can walk in a day.

RonnyRulz
10-12-2013, 06:37 PM
Alright, I have thought it through and finally decided how to handle the Game's Cartography.

I will be using 100x100 mile regions, and filling them with content. Randomly generated worlds do not appeal to this game, as the worlds are so massive that it doesn't benefit as much from a new map every game, and if the map is multiplayer on servers, then there would only ever need to be a single map. So tons of programming to create great random worlds...to end up only using 1, maybe a handful at best. It would be far better to create the world myself, insuring the higher quality.

Within each 100x100 mile region, there are 10x10 mile square sections. Each section, is a "Map Location" in game terms. These Map Location sections hold the data for random encounters, procedurally generated dungeons, and "City Maps" for specific locations.

Without further ado, I have created, and excluding the rivers- finished the capital city Region in "The Hills".

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In game terms, here is what I am talking about:

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Each square is 10x10, and the formula for traveling is something along the lines of, Walking: Miles Traveled per Day = [Strength Factor] * 10 * [Weather Factor] * [Terrain Factor].
A weak character, with normal terrain and good weather, would travel 10 miles per day. That same character walking with good strength, 20. Amazing strength, 30.


For the town in the west of the city and the village to the northwest, I made it about 1 days travel. To the southeast, a smaller village half a day away. Guard towers which station soldiers are half a day away from every town.
A player could perform Trade in these areas for small profits, or they could travel greater distances for greater rewards. I plan to make each region house certain resources better than others. This way, someone from The Iron Kingdom could get rare ore, which is quite cheap locally, and travel a great distance and make an enormous profit because of how uncommon those ores are in a region across the continent.

Game Time travels by quite rapidly, so a days travel isn't a big deal, but traveling across regions starts to become more of a challenge. Across the continent, is a long journey. It is less about being a time sink (travel is fast) and more about the dangers in traveling (random events and encounters). Traveling with small amounts of resources amounts to no increase in challenge. However, a specialized Merchant player would travel slower, and may or may not make it to their destination with their goods. The fun aspect of design is that theoretically, the further one travels, the greater the reward for selling rarer and rarer resources- but the greater the dangers due to traveling longer distances. This way, a player can journey or struggle through encounters and perhaps land at a town a bit away from their destination, but find that the price is excellent and decide to sell their goods there to avoid potential loss.

I made the World Map with the intentions that there are choke points in traveling to other regions. This opens up a world of opportunity for things like Travel Items, which are designed to help avoid some of the nastier encounters in these choke points. This aspect of gameplay will probably be similar to Oregon Trail or a text based MUD, with lots of text events and multiple decisions during each event.

Llannagh
10-13-2013, 04:36 AM
Good to see you making progress.

I like the new scaling and you have obviously given it a lot of thought. I got confused first because I use the metric system, but 10 miles per day seems reasonable.

-One thing though: I think you should still scale down the icons (that's pretty easy in CC3, can't remember how, though). Right now it looks like the towns are 10X10 in size, which I am assuming they're not. If they're smaller, you can also make small stretches of forest. That would give the whole world a lot more detail.
I realize that means even more work, but a project as ambitious as that will keep doing that! ;)

I really, really like your hilly fields! That's the kind of detail I want for my maps, too!

RonnyRulz
10-13-2013, 11:13 PM
Good to see you making progress.

I like the new scaling and you have obviously given it a lot of thought. I got confused first because I use the metric system, but 10 miles per day seems reasonable.

-One thing though: I think you should still scale down the icons (that's pretty easy in CC3, can't remember how, though). Right now it looks like the towns are 10X10 in size, which I am assuming they're not. If they're smaller, you can also make small stretches of forest. That would give the whole world a lot more detail.
I realize that means even more work, but a project as ambitious as that will keep doing that! ;)

I really, really like your hilly fields! That's the kind of detail I want for my maps, too!

Wow, thank you for that idea. That is a wonderful idea, I didn't think of scaling it to tons of tiny buildings, forest, and other symbols. That could look pretty awesome if done right.

I will revamp it, and submit the change. That way we can see the differences. I'm almost certain you are right, and that it will look even better with your tip to scale down the icons even more.

RonnyRulz
10-14-2013, 02:36 AM
Unfortunately, this didn't turn out very well. The normal scale for the symbols is 0.5.
I tried 0.25 scale, which seemed appropriate (the smallest I could get, without being too small. It still isn't to a realistic scale, but it is as close as I can get, with towns being 2x2 miles I believe, instead of 10x10.

I actually thought it would look better, but it just doesn't.

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I tried something bigger, like 0.3, but it still gives the very small feeling. A scale of 0.4 looks just as big as the .5 because it consumes most of the section.

It is more important that players see a representation of a town, than a scale town.
I think I'm going to, at least for now, stick with non-scale towns that look like they're 10x10 mile symbols, just because it represents the world better. I might later scale them down a tiny bit so I can place red markers to represent where the town actually is on the map, down to the 1 square mile.



Edit: I shrunk everything to 0.45 scale, instead of 0.5. This may only be 90% smaller than before, but it did help with the oversized village huts and to make everything a lot better. I also fixed some messed up scale, such as the docks being 1.0, instead of 0.5 (a bit bigger than the 0.45 scale of everything else, but it needs to be a bit bigger.)

I also changed things around, for it to make more sense. The town is actually closer, while the little villages are nearer to water, with only one village far away. I also added a lighthouse, and rivers throughout the world.

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Llannagh
10-14-2013, 03:48 AM
Hm, what a pity. I'm no expert on CC3, but as far as I know you can import your own symbols. I don't know how, though. Maybe you can make your own in the right scale?
Otherwise you're probably right, functionality is more important than looks, right now!

RonnyRulz
10-14-2013, 04:06 AM
Before scrapping the map to restart it, to make it more detailed by doing 100x100 regions, making each 100x100 Region look like a game's "Zone" with lots to do for the gamer, I actually ended up with this rough world map of the regions:

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To create that, I used the colored regions from earlier, along with the names. Then I combined it all to form this:

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I read the glorious thread here on rivers and how they're formed. Using a general idea of where the mountains/hills (high ground) is with the rough world map, the names and region colors, and keeping the grid in mind for each 100x100 game "Zone", I was easily able to form the rivers for most of the continent. I may add a few rivers later, but for the most part these are done, along with all of the major lakes. The exception, is the "Hellfire Region" where lava occurs, and I have yet to research what happens when rivers meet such a heated environment. The article I read did explain how hot springs form- and this is wonderful because it changed the Minotaurs from living in a crappy underground mountain area, to a wonderfully relaxing hot springs area. Looks like the Minotaur's comfort level just upgraded significantly :P

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All of the rivers and lakes obey the River Police's rules. Lakes are formed when surrounded by uphill areas, but two of them overflow (both) to form a new river which leads to the sea. There are only 4 rivers that don't lead to the sea. Three are lakes (one is a tiny lake, one is a massive lake, and another is a large lake). The 4th is the most southwest river. It leads into the mountains, and then underground to become the hot springs.

RonnyRulz
10-15-2013, 04:45 AM
The second "Zone" is completed. It is the primary region of the halflings: The Riverlands.

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The symbols are custom made by me, using Herwin Wielink's hills, a cutout of the cave entrance, and doors from the Towns turned a bit more circular. I made a total of 5 variations of the halfling homes.

The primary halfling city is in the northeast, and just above it is a fun forest which I figured I could add some interesting things in.
To the west of the city, is a large village. To the north of it are scattered homes of the more skeptical (not to mention practical) halflings who choose to live a bit further from society. They live inbetween the forest and the nearby caves, so they know better than most the dangers of comfort.

To the south and southeast are two more villages, all bound together with 3 bridges very close to one another. To help centralize the entire region, as well as to help protect the rural homes of the halfling populous- is a central fort. This is home to the Halfling Militia, who often achieve a bit of wealth by allowing merchants to trade in the safety of the militia.

Halflings refrain from developing into cities, and prefer their smaller villages. They are a social race who relies on their community for survival, but they also enjoy the peaceful comforts of fewer bothersome neighbors.


A note on the Game Item: Maps

The cave itself, is actually in a different region, but Players will have an unrealistic view of the world- far beyond what they could see in real life. However, I will achieve this through an item that increases Line of Sight.
It may seem odd, but I like the idea of the "torch" in the darkness being a Map item.
The better the Map, the further out the player can see. All players of course, begin with at least a basic map of their surrounding area. Map items can work in regions (high LoS in region, medium LoS outside region, low LoS in a different Biome), as well as world maps (the most powerful type of map, giving high LoS everywhere).

I actually plan on a good portion of items to be used specifically for travel on the World Map.
Those minor PnP RPG items I have always loved so much: Tents, torches, flint & steel, rope, Rations, climbing gear, maps, etc. I will have a use for them, and the best part is that players will be limited by their Strength attribute as to how much they can carry because it is a "sustained carry" when traveling. This brings Strength to be an important attribute, even for Wizards. Items will be used, lost, and created on the road. I was inspired by some of these ideas when I was playing "Organ Trail", which is a zombie version of Oregon Trail.



No Map
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Low Quality Map
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Great Map
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Of course, a World Map would remove all darkness.

- Max -
10-15-2013, 05:07 AM
Looks nice though the rivers looks a bit off regarding the other elements and the western bridge is bad oriented (nearly don't cross the river)

RonnyRulz
10-15-2013, 05:46 AM
Looks nice though the rivers looks a bit off regarding the other elements and the western bridge is bad oriented (nearly don't cross the river)

Can you be more specific as to what is wrong with the rivers? Is it the placement that is off, the flow, or the effects (transparency)?

- Max -
10-15-2013, 07:53 AM
The placement is good but the drawing and the transparency don't really fit the quality of the other geographic CC3 elements.

RonnyRulz
10-15-2013, 05:11 PM
For now, I hope this is better:

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RonnyRulz
10-16-2013, 12:13 AM
After spending a lot more time on it, this is what I finally came up with:

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RonnyRulz
10-16-2013, 04:41 AM
I'm not so sure about this, but it's a start.

The area inbetween the Halflings and the Goblins. There is only this land separating the two.

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RonnyRulz
10-18-2013, 09:55 AM
Updated the rivers, to be more realistic. Right now, I have three "zones" completed for the game. The City of Men, The Riverlands, and The Misty Hills.

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Gallien
10-20-2013, 03:20 PM
It lookes very good! The rivers are much better now.

RonnyRulz
10-23-2013, 02:33 AM
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Here are two areas, which are the two which separate Kwaynos, City of Men from the Halfling Riverlands.

The hills are just to the west of Kwaynos, and lead into a creepy forest which is adjacent to the major halfling city.

RonnyRulz
10-30-2013, 07:46 AM
I wanted to include City Maps as well, for every major location.

The idea is, from what I was told, apparently another accidental recreation of a popular 1990's game's feature. Baldurs Gate 1, 2, and Dragon Age 1. It's a city map, with "zones" in the city that are visitable. Like the worldmap, anything that is not a static designed location is procedurally generated.

I want everyone to know: I did NOT create the actual map in the following image. Instead, I used the creator's tutorial to come up with my own blend of photoshop layers (oil painting effects, high pass layer, hue alternation, saturation effect, map texture, brightness/constrast, etc.)
The result looks quite different from his, but I am happy with the result. With the exception of the water, I think it looks like it fits my WorldMap's theme well. As much as it can, using completely different artwork and a different system (City Designer 3 instead of CC3).

The map was created using all of the symbols I have for CD3, so my maps will look like this, as soon as I can look how to use CD3.
However, I will use the same texture for the water as I did in the World Maps.

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