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Thread: [WIP] World Map for my Online Roleplaying Game

  1. #1

    Wip [WIP] World Map for my Online Roleplaying Game

    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 )


    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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    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-09-2013 at 05:50 PM.

  2. #2

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    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.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-09-2013 at 11:41 PM.

  3. #3

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    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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  4. #4
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    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?
    Last edited by Llannagh; 10-11-2013 at 08:36 PM.

  5. #5
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    Wow yes, this definitely seems like an ambitious project! When you finish it will be quite marvellous though I'm sure.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Finished Maps: Skenth - Prints Available!
    Works in Progress: Arinthia - region of Skenth

    Need something commissioned? Send me a message!

  6. #6

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    Thank you for the support and kind words, both of you! Thank you for the advice/critique as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by Llannagh View Post
    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.

  7. #7

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    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.
    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-12-2013 at 09:34 PM.

  8. #8
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    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!

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Llannagh View Post
    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.

  10. #10

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    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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    Last edited by RonnyRulz; 10-14-2013 at 04:50 AM.

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