Working on Worldmaps for the Modern and Historical Kits

Chris H.'s Ultima / ACS-style game development system!

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Garth's Equipment Shop
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Working on Worldmaps for the Modern and Historical Kits

Post by Garth's Equipment Shop » Fri Dec 04, 2009 10:51 pm

For some reason I have an obsession with making maps. Guess it has something to do with the good ol' days when we had to draw up our own maps while exploring early dungeon crawl CRPGs. Lately, I've put a lot of work into designing a convincing reproduction of earth as an ACK worldmap for the modern and historical design kits. I've had to push the worldmap editor to it's limits for this project as you can imagine.

At first I had planned [in Photoshop where I lay everything out on a grid before going to the ACK editor] on squeezing all the continents into a single worldmap but I quickly realized it wasnt big enough and would have made the continents far too small to be believable as continents. So I settled on a comprimise, breaking them up into two main world maps, one for the Americas and another for Eurasia, Africa, India, Australia, Japan, Etc. Antarctica stretches across the bottom of both. I'm debating whether or not to correct the large landmass distortion created by the Mercator projection.

I'd like to do the maps in several scales so that designers have a choice for their own games. Also having them in different scales could allow us to say use a main world map showing all continents at once but mostly for show and then have scaled up versions of each continent traveled to by whatever in game mechanism and then within each of those maps tie in more detailed local maps. So a series of worldmaps starting with the world, then continents, then specific areas of continents [nations, kingdoms, tribal territory, whatever] and then specific towns.

Oh also, in the process of doing this I have collected an extensive collection of very nice tiles from the classic tactical RPG series from Japan, Fire Emblem. There is a tileset floating around the net for Fire Emblem which often gets misrepresented as the tileset for all the games in the series. It is actually the worst looking one of them all. To get the really good ones I had to actually rip them myself.

Dont worry though, I didnt actually have to play through every game to get them, I found a way to cheat. I somehow managed to navigate through some Japanese Fire Emblem sites to their game map pages [or chapters as the Fire Emblem people call them] and was able to find enough clean uncompressed PNG screen caps to build a complete chipset or tileset. The toughest part for me now is deciding which Fire Emblem in the series to draw tiles from since most of them are colored slightly differently and each looks great in it's own way. Mainly different hues, saturation, and some shaded a little lighter, others darker. All of them thankfully are 16x16 tiles though.

The most realistic one is the last Fire Emblem to use 2d top down tiles and it was the most difficult to find uncompressed clean tiles for. I managed to grab good screen caps from one Japanese site that had them locked up in flash animated maps. I grabbed them with Firefox's media saver hidden under Tools/Pageinfo and then I used the free trial of Flashdigger Plus to save 256 color BMPs from them.

With a bit more work I will have some screen shots and perhaps some downloads as well to share of all this stuff.
Which of you is interested in my fine wares?

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