# Thread: December Entry: Most 'Excel'-lent!

1. ## December Entry: Most 'Excel'-lent!

A totally spur-of-the-moment idea. Probably has very little chance of winning the coveted Golden Compass, but I think it might score some points for novelty.

I decided to go old-school with my mapping software... No, not pen and paper - that's the Light Challenge. EXCEL!!! Woohoo!!! Party Time! Excellent!

Using a Surface Chart and a bunch of random numbers and formulas, here is a prospective view of a part of the floor of a cavern. Note that because it's using random numbers in there, the final version is guaranteed to actually look nothing like this. This is mostly just proof of concept.
### Latest WIP ###

2. You definitely get Novelty points! Very different. Be interesting to see how this turns out.

3. Novelty points, geek points, and no doubt insanity points. I can not WAIT to see how this winds up.

<bows>

4. - very cool...

5. Number crunchy!

6. Very cool idea! Looking forward to seeing this one fly!

7. hehe looks good, fun idea... I remember once seeing a portrait done with excell - that is after rotating the graphs in 3D space the portrait appeared

8. I don't know if I've ever tried this stunt before or not. If I have, it was a VERY long time ago. I am a self-proclaimed Excel Expert though, so if I can't do it, it will take someone better than me to do it.

Planning: I'll do a scale of 1 point = 1'

Hurdle #1: Excel Surface charts have a limit of 4000 points, which is approximately 63x63 if I go square. For simplicity's sake, I will use 50'x50' tiles.

Hurdle #2: Surface charts use category axes, not numeric, so I can't define the chart axis min/maxes and then stack multiple charts with transparency and expect them to line up.

Solution: Create a Master Grid that is clear, except for gridlines, at the proper rotation. Export the individual charts into images, then line up and resize them to fit in the Master Grid.

Hurdle #3: Surface Charts do not do holes or gaps. If I want to overlap or not have boundaries right at the tile edges this is a problem.

Solution: I'll have to erase parts by hand, or set the color to white and let the transparency handle it somehow. I'll have to figure it out differently for each instance where I want a hole or gap for overlaying purposes.

Hurdle #4: With this amount of preplanning needed, I can't just slap a grid of formulas together as I had originally planned and see what happens. I'll have to lay out the size and general direction of the lair in order to determine the number of tiles and best rotation to use.

9. I MUST see how this turns out. You have a very creative and interesting idea there.

10. Using a 4x5 Master Grid, so there will be 20 50x50 tiles. Might be a touch excessive, but better to overshoot than under. Actually, more than 20 tiles. Probably more like 30-35, since some of the grids will require more than one tile.

I'm starting out with a water tile as a simple starting point. There will be 4 of them along the front as the edge of a river. At the moment it looks rather jagged, so I'm going to see if I can't smooth it out some, but if not, not. Jagged water may fit in quite nicely with the probable jaggedness of the rest of the map.

I've already found some things I can do to make it easier. Surface Charts don't do gaps, but I can set certain elevation ranges to transparent fill.

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