Friday, February 06, 2009

Britain in Winter Shocker!

OK, it's been snowing over here for a week. I can look out my window I see this. I can be stuck on a train going nowhere and see this. I can be shunted onto a replacement bus service only for the bus to get stuck halfway up a hill and start sliding back down on the ice-covered roads. THis is ok, and makes a nice change to the normal commute into work. But the constant media coverage of it is driving me insane. Not just reporting that it's snowing, but finding umpteen inane realted storeies to analyse. Does me managing to get into work in a slow-clogged London really 'symbolise the great industrious spirit of our nation'? Nah.. especially not the fact that I later slunk off early, managed to get lucky on the trains, and spent the afternoon playing on the toolset...

Gotta say, I do like the overland map system. Been trawling through the scripts and peeling things apart, and its a nice way of handling things. A few slight queries - like why, whene everything else is handled with local variables, does the ginc_overland file define the number of terrain maps for random encounters there, as opposed to on the map area or something - but I like the way it handles the encounters, and the use of 2da's to store data is funky.

Below show my early attempts at making an overland map (bonus points for people guessing the region!). I first made a custom vfx of the region from the FR map, and then scaled it to fit the area I had, then traced out the main features - black roads, green forests, blue rivers etc. That really helped with scale, and getting the right relative distances. As Phoenixus mentions in his post (with some very nice screenies), because you are dealing with things on a shrunken scale, it makes terrain texture management a little more tricky. For example, the Anauroch desert suddenly found itself moved slightly to buy me an extra texture block in a neighbouring megatile.

One thing that has struck me, is a great resource for future overland maps would be to have one core encounter 2da + blueprints that contained all the encounters you might expect in an FR campaign, which builders could then trim as they see fit for their own use depending on their setting/region/terrain. Might have a go at that myself...


Jclef said...

Hey bud - the olm map is looking good. I like how you stenciled out the different terrains beforehand.

Good luck with the snow, man. So crazy... global warming my arse! ;)

E.C.Patterson said...

That first pic is of the Desertmouth Mountains and we can see Shadowdale on the Ashaba in the top right! Correct?

What I would not do for bonus points! ;)

Smart idea that VFX stencil. Results so far look very convincing.

Media talk about the snow all the time here too. Every year. It never gets old. Mostly to wonder why it doesn't get carted away quickly enough.

I can imagine that it is quite the event in London. Earlier this year they had a ridiculous snowfall in Marseille! What is this earth coming to!? ;)

Jason said...

Nice job Wyrin. I really dig the overland map stuff. I used a VFX approach with the Ultima maps too, it can be a big help.


Wyrin said...

thanks all

EC - got it in one ;) Now I need to find a mystery bo to offer you in exchange for the bonus points...

Jason - yeah, I liked your run from Trinsic through Paws up to Britain. The vfx thing was really handy, making ol maps more fun to make in a way

Phoenixus said...

Whoa, cool.

I admit Wyrin when you said you were making a VFX to set an outline for your map I didn't think it would come out as well as it did, but this would have exceded my expectations as well.

Lance Botelle (Bard of Althéa) said...

Hi Wyrin,

Neat map! And now my question is, what do you mean by "I first made a custom vfx of the region from the FR map, and then scaled it to fit the area I had, then traced out the main features - black roads, green forests, blue rivers etc."

I see others understand what you meant by that, but I do not understand what you have done here? :( Any chance of a very quick step by step procedure (in a later blog post) of what you did to achieve this? Pretty please with snow ... I mean sugar ... on top. ;)

Also, maybe you could answer another map question for me, in case you already know: Does travelling across the SoZ style map add time? I mean if I made an OM and a player walked across it from one location to another, does it have any way of calculating the time taken to make the journey and add it to the clock/calendar?

I need this time calculation facility and if it is not included alreay, then it would have to be another thing for me to consider if I decide to use the SoZ system. (I know the MotB map system calculates time if need be, but I would like to know if the SoZ option is possible?)

Thanks in advance,

Wyrin said...

Hi Lance
funnily enough i was goign to sketch out a tutorial, but then figured most reading this blog know more about these things than me! But, I'll try and egt something up soon, as I have another fun feature i wanted to share

IIRC, time on the Overland map is sped up to reflect the scale - I remeber seeing this in one function, but will have to hunt for it to be sure