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Thread: Hi all, new member on board.

  1. #1
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    Post Hi all, new member on board.

    Hi all,

    Just signed up and browsing around this site I see some mindblowing talent.

    I run a MUD (multi-user dungeon) that has been online since 1996. The game has an "ASCII based map" generated on the fly by the game code. It was always designed with the idea of one day the ASCII would be replaced with real graphical tiles, and I'm at the start of that process.

    The address of the game is www.aardwolf.com and you can see a couple of the example maps in the links below. Detail is sparse because it is ASCII, but each 'square' on the map also has a detailed room description that better sets the theme.

    The City of Aylor : http://www.aardwolf.com/temp/aylor-realmap.jpg
    A small maze area: http://www.aardwolf.com/temp/labyrinth-realmap.jpg

    And the monster 3000 room Continent of Mesolar: http://www.aardwolf.com/temp/mesolar-realmap.jpg

    The whole game is almost 40,000 rooms in total so we have our work cut out and this isn't going to happen overnight. Each 'tile' will be 24x24 pixels, although of course many will be re-used/recolored over and over.

    I suspect we'll be making good use of the "paid work" section once we really start rolling. Feel free to contact me in the meantime if this sounds like something you'd be interested in. The 'Shadowfell' map in the showcase section is a perfect example of the kind of thing we'll be making and some of the continent maps also in the showcase section would be a perfect fit for 'Mesolar'.

    Hope this intro wasn't too long!

    Derek.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Welcome Aboard!

    If you're looking for someone to create maps for you I would suggest you put a post in the "Map Request" forum. Be sure to read the "FAQ" sticky'd at the top.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



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    Thanks Steel, just read the FAQ and seems clear enough. Mostly just an intro at this point rather than a "request for maps". But anyone interested is welcome to contact me.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. I've heard of Aardwolf but never played it...I was heavy into DragonRealms back in the mid to late 90s and started mudding back in college (late 80s). Good times, good times.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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    Thanks Ascension! Amazing how many people I run into who have heard of Aardwolf considering it's a relatively small game. I emailed Profantasy once to ask a question about the license and the lady who replied had once been an Aardwolf player.

    Unfortunately MUDs aren't doing well these days, we need to become something more than a MUD to stay relevant. It's an exciting time for us, taking 300 game areas and making them tile based, but also a little daunting!

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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Got a friend of mine who runs a really old MUD. I can dig out the name if you like but I dont know it off top of my head.

    So do you have the tile features in any kind of data base whatsoever. Ideally do you have them mapped already in some ascii way cos even on this site I have an ascii to map generator.

    But even if the maps just knew the numbers of exits then I reckon we could script up the basic shapes. From there we have scripts which will convert basic shapes into nice rendered maps.

    So whats the starting point ?

    Welcome BTW.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    Got a friend of mine who runs a really old MUD. I can dig out the name if you like but I dont know it off top of my head.

    So do you have the tile features in any kind of data base whatsoever. Ideally do you have them mapped already in some ascii way cos even on this site I have an ascii to map generator.

    But even if the maps just knew the numbers of exits then I reckon we could script up the basic shapes. From there we have scripts which will convert basic shapes into nice rendered maps.

    So whats the starting point ?

    Welcome BTW.

    Hi Redrobes,

    Those maps I linked to above were generated from the exits by a program in the game. The map starts at the center square and follows the exits drawing as it goes, so the data is there. The "edge" is variable, the players see a 7x7 section of the map for now, but could just as easily see the entire area. The game also tracks which rooms a player has already explored, so could also display the entire area but only what's already been visited, perhaps with a couple of rooms "line of sight" in the rooms they haven't.

    Each room has a "terrain" Id such as "forest1" "forest2" "road-nw" "road-ew" etc which maps to a different ASCII tile. We'd have to be much more granular with graphical tiles, but I don't think the basic premise would change much - it was always designed with graphical tiles in mind.

    Does that help answer your question? Open to all options at this point but after seeing Tom's Shadowfell map I have a pretty good idea of where we want to go.

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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I didnt read your opening post at all well did I ?

    It seems really clear to me that your looking at a scripted solution since you have all the data you need its just a conversion job and a prettying up job. My little script I posted just does black and white squares but you can convert those into real nice dungeons. I'll edit some links in, in a mo but RobA has his dungeon map prittifier script for Gimp and I use some homebrew solutions too.

    So if you have this information already then it can be turned into nice high res bitmaps without too much fuss and I do think that once the format has been translated correctly then you really might well be looking at doing your 40,000 maps overnight. Well maybe over two or three nights anyway depending on your PC capabilities

    For example I can convert a black and white map into full textured one in about 10 seconds. So if you can get your data into a format that can make a set of black and white masks then I can make the bitmaps.

    So.... looking at your ascii maps, what do the symbols mean ? Can you take a bit of one map, post the ascii for it and maybe sketch out with a pen what that might look like, or at least describe in detail what were experiencing in that sector.

    From where I am looking at this point its not all that difficult a job. (Not that I don't have about six billion other jobs like that to do but hey...). Its not just me that does a lot of scripting here tho so you might get more interest too.

    Edit:
    Rob's http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2759
    Mine http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2659
    Last edited by Redrobes; 09-23-2009 at 09:15 PM.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrobes View Post
    I'm sorry I didnt read your opening post at all well did I ?

    It seems really clear to me that your looking at a scripted solution since you have all the data you need its just a conversion job and a prettying up job. My little script I posted just does black and white squares but you can convert those into real nice dungeons. I'll edit some links in, in a mo but RobA has his dungeon map prittifier script for Gimp and I use some homebrew solutions too.

    So if you have this information already then it can be turned into nice high res bitmaps without too much fuss and I do think that once the format has been translated correctly then you really might well be looking at doing your 40,000 maps overnight. Well maybe over two or three nights anyway depending on your PC capabilities

    For example I can convert a black and white map into full textured one in about 10 seconds. So if you can get your data into a format that can make a set of black and white masks then I can make the bitmaps.

    So.... looking at your ascii maps, what do the symbols mean ? Can you take a bit of one map, post the ascii for it and maybe sketch out with a pen what that might look like, or at least describe in detail what were experiencing in that sector.

    From where I am looking at this point its not all that difficult a job. (Not that I don't have about six billion other jobs like that to do but hey...). Its not just me that does a lot of scripting here tho so you might get more interest too.

    Edit:
    Rob's http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2759
    Mine http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2659

    Wow, I just took a look at your script (pasted in the sample file). Converting all rooms via scripts even as a starting point sure would be nice.

    I'm not sure we actually need to generate the maps though - the game itself will do that. After seeing some of the maps on here I thought they would be great to break down into 'tiles' to build the maps as we go and it would be easier for mappers to just draw a map and let us worry about breaking it down / serving up the pieces. So, we'd start from a full map of an area to get the "feel" for the whole thing but break it down into the individual tiles and let the game generate the map as you move.

    I may not be explaining this well, after 12 years of working on a text game I feel like I'm learning a completely new world - but the game wouldn't store a huge jpg (or whatever) of a map then display the appropriate part, more that it would know you're in a room where the sector type is 'cave231' or and display that tile. Seeing that the room to the east is sector 'cave232' which (graphically) meshes nicely with 'cave231' it would display that tile to the east, etc etc. Hopefully we'd be able to re-use a lot of the tiles in various places, if only to keep down the amount of data the server has to push to the client.

    After seeing your online script though, it sure would be easier to generate the outline maps with something like that, fill in the details and break _that_ back down into its pieces.

    On the map itself btw, the symbols don't mean much. The yellow '!' symbols mean a monster is in the room. The red * means another player. Most of the other area just the ASCII tiles that correspond to sectors. The green * ) is a forest. As it's all ascii, we just have a couple of forest sectors, not the dozens we'd be dealing with in graphics. The map of 'Aylor' has more "detail", but it's just different sector types that (other than the center character) will always output the same thing. The blue ~ ~ at the bottom is water. If we want 'waves' (ocean) there's also a couple of ^ ~ and ~ ^. It sounds primitive (and it is), but within the context of a text game actually works.

    Btw, is it ok for us to keep this going in the intro area? Really appreciate the interest you've shown in this (thanks!), just want to make sure we're in the right place.

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    Edit: I should have read your links before responding. After reading through all of your thread and the way you changed the terrains, now I really see the potential in what you're saying.

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