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Thread: Suggestions for a newcomer to Town/Village mapping?

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      vortex is offline
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    Post Suggestions for a newcomer to Town/Village mapping?

    Hi folks, I'm rather new here, but I have a specific plan in mind. I'm in the process of writing a browser-based game which is is need of some very simple top-down views of small villages / towns which will be image-mapped to allow the user direct access to various areas in each location.

    I've been looking around at some of the work presented here and am rather impressed with the quality of the artwork, although I'm still struggling with the best course of action.

    I experimented briefly with scripting a random based town -- and while it does look vaguely possible, I'm not sure the time spent on the code would be justifiable - rivers, roads, fields, buildings -- all possible, but time consuming to get looking right.

    So, instead of using my existing skills, I though I'd inquire as to a set of suitable tools and/or tutorials that would be worth obtaining / reading.

    For reference, my OS platform of choice is BSD, so that limits me rather badly when it comes to the tools available as far as I can see. My graphical skills are limited - I've used PoVRay a bit, and have a (very) limited experience of the GIMP as well.

    The type of maps I'm currently looking at will be based in a jungle so no pretty beaches I'm afraid, although that may make life easier. Simple top-down views are all that is needed, possibly a few variants of trees/bushes, perhaps a wooden fence, cleared ground, several building designs, simple rough tracks / roads, the odd small river with bridges if necessary etc. The images will not need to be generated in real time -- rather they are static for each location in the jungle, and there will be perhaps up to 15-20 different town / village plans needed.

    Suggestions gratefully received.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    You could try using RPG Citymap Generator to at least give you your basic layout.
    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.



  3. #3
      Redrobes is offline
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    Welcome Vortex. I think I have seen that handle somewhere else struggling to think where tho.

    BSD. Ohh thats a rarity - Free or Open ? Nobody's going to be hacking your site then ! That runs java tho right ? There are a fair few tools that run in that. Also some tools run under flash using the browser so it ought to be able to go with just firefox. The majority of maps here are made on Gimp. Install python for it and theres some scripting going on where you can place down house tokens and get the script to do all the roofs and shadows for the houses.

    Another option I use is to run ImageMagick or Perl Magick and script up from that way. I have done 3D maps like that and also labeling a 2D map with lots of place names too.

    RobA is probably a good chap to mail some questions to. He uses Gimp and python, does a lot of scripting and is a Povray user too.

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      vortex is offline
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    @Redrobes: Thank you, "Free" in fact - and yes, Java is fairly well supported at last, however Flash is not (at least not on my architecture).

    I've been looking around here at some of the plugins for the Gimp, and yes RobA does look like a good person for more detailed inquiries.

    As for my handle, perhaps you mistake me for somebody else - personally, I've seldom used this moniker outside of my own network.



    @Steel General: Again, Thank you, however I believe RPG Citymap Generator is/was a Windows specific product, and while I realize certain windows applications can be run under an emulator (WINE) on BSD, I feel appalled at such a thought having vowed never again to touch the dreaded M$ system (Although, I do like the look of CC3...)

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      Sigurd is offline
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    BSD has a huge server install base. Its not on a lot of desktops(by comparison to windows or Linux) but ISPs love it. If the game is browser based, there's no need for windows so long as windows has a standards compliant browser like Firefox. NOT using windows is a huge advantage.


    So how would this work.

    Your program would generate a list of building types for a settlement. The type list would be compared to a population and region style for the settlement. eg. program says 'Hospital'. Climate = jungle, settlement sz = tiny - 'hospital' is selected as a healing hut with 2 rooms - maybe a clear pool of water or a healer symbol on it?

    Are you hoping to have meaningful maps or just active regions on a graphic pack?

    Curious


    Sigurd
    Last edited by Sigurd; 03-06-2009 at 07:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vortex View Post
    @Steel General: Again, Thank you, however I believe RPG Citymap Generator is/was a Windows specific product, and while I realize certain windows applications can be run under an emulator (WINE) on BSD, I feel appalled at such a thought having vowed never again to touch the dreaded M$ system (Although, I do like the look of CC3...)
    Sorry I completely missed the part of your post where you specified your operating system.

    *reminder to self: read posts more carefully*
    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.



  7. #7
      vortex is offline
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    @Sigurd: Well it's a little simpler:

    Players are effectively based in a number of locations -- and while most locations will have similar resources, there are some differences.

    For example, Location #1 where everybody starts, has a limited number of buildings, however the map ideally would show a lot more.

    As the players travel around the world, they will encounter different villages / towns -- each with a different map. On some of these, new buildings will appear.

    Personally, I'd like each building "shape" to be consistent across the different maps, however from a realism point of view, this is unlikely to happen, plus there is the enjoyment factor of watching players stumble around trying to find the appropriate building for their current needs

    As for population sizes, they wouldn't be a concern as while the player may be based "in" a town/village, in actual fact, they live outside but within easy access to the area.

    The maps themselves will be simple .png files imagemapped to suit each town, so no, the maps are not really meaingful (as yet).

    Currently, the game has a number of locations all within the jungle - so no real need for any specialized stuff - my aim is to generate the 10-15 images (or if necessary pay for them) and even if I just have a basic town/village layout to start with, that will suffice for the moment.

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