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Author Topic: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")  (Read 1301 times)

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September 20, 2017, 04:07:35 PMReply #20

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #20 on: September 20, 2017, 04:07:35 PM »
Maybe meant Utapau?

I used the file name, but sounds right - I can't check right now though, I'm not at home. They basically used a custom prop to  create thst chasm in the middle of the map, in a way that I had to click on it to determine it's not the real thing :D. That's also why I was kinda sad that building custom props is so damn difficult nowadays, let alone all the missed opportunities with many of the planets, for which Petroglyph almost always used the same props. I think much of the dislike for ground battles stems from the maps usually being bland and almost carbon copies. they wasted a lot of potential there :\.

Thanks though, Corey, guess I'll just need to practice :).

September 20, 2017, 07:33:46 PMReply #21

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2017, 07:33:46 PM »
I'm just realising a lot of things now as I go. Burying structures into the edges of terrain to make the neat slopes, overlapping the terrain with them, or bringing spires of terrain invisibly up through the middle of props to use their upper surfaces as terrain. I was wondering if there's any way to over-ride the minimap terrain shaders; some maps show lower ground as being bright blue, meant to signify water, even though they're clearly above ground. Does the terrain need to be a distance above zero to ensure the map doesn't try to see these sections as water, or is it something else?

Thank-you Corey for weighing in. While you're here, if you have any thoughts on mapping or Pantolomin in general, hit me up. It's your mod after all; I could save some serious effort by making sure I don't place factories or other stuff you absolutely don't want to see there (I was going to ditch on old Rebel factory on a small island next a mining facility, to reward a little micro- go over there with an amphibious transport and infantry and it'll give you some cash and a company of swamp speeders for your exploration) also, unless there's any complaints (or the engine will just die, unable to make sense of it all), I did put an extra shield generator in th city, and an extra power plant, to make it look like the rich tax-haven-exploiting elite of the universe are screwing your government for extra protection generally not seen off of Coruscant. This is just me trying to add some richness to a scenario; that said I may be off target, as I writer-aspirant I'm used to making the lore, not having to follow it.

Update: I am probably twelve percent done at making my test map, mainly because the city area, meant to represent the high-income elite place to stay, not unlike Aspen or Hawaii, is taking a lot of time to make neat. It's also a little bit too... Ninety degrees square, if you catch my drift? So it needs some more massaging, much like the hills. I think I'm doing alright considering this is my first attempt using the editor- but everything I do takes a very long time. Building a small city, meant to look pretty and upper-class? Could be done in around twelve hours in minecraft for one draw distance, two days if it was stuffed with triggers and effects. I spent all of yesterday making one and I'm still not done; each wall has to be slid into place with the care and attention-to-detail normally reserved for docking a space shuttle. That said, these areas I've done first, being the base and city, are easily the most detailed and precise parts- I should be done in a around a week.

Any lore or other info for Pantolomin? Post it. More lore equals a better represented map, ;)

September 21, 2017, 12:24:21 AMReply #22

Online Corey

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2017, 12:24:21 AM »
I used the file name, but sounds right - I can't check right now though, I'm not at home. They basically used a custom prop to  create thst chasm in the middle of the map, in a way that I had to click on it to determine it's not the real thing :D. That's also why I was kinda sad that building custom props is so damn difficult nowadays, let alone all the missed opportunities with many of the planets, for which Petroglyph almost always used the same props. I think much of the dislike for ground battles stems from the maps usually being bland and almost carbon copies. they wasted a lot of potential there :\.

Thanks though, Corey, guess I'll just need to practice :).

The prop you're talking about was made by Petro the base game Utapau map (unless AotR has changed it from when I last saw it- it's definitely how the base game map worked)
« Last Edit: September 21, 2017, 12:25:58 AM by Corey »
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September 21, 2017, 05:47:12 AMReply #23

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2017, 05:47:12 AM »
The prop you're talking about was made by Petro the base game Utapau map (unless AotR has changed it from when I last saw it- it's definitely how the base game map worked)

Whoops, seems like I have to stop bashing Petroglyph that much, at least a little ;>. Been a while since I last played the base game, I really couldn't remember... still, it's a nice map to learn from.

September 21, 2017, 01:44:23 PMReply #24

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #24 on: September 21, 2017, 01:44:23 PM »
There's a lot you can criticize in EaW, but I really don't think map design is one of those things, especially aesthetically. I've not seen any maps, from any mods, which have ever really come close to being as good as the base game maps (especially in base EaW- I don't love some of the FoC maps, like Muunilinst, because they jumped on the bigger is better train that a lot of mods, including us, fell into). Ground battles are bad because of other reasons. Sure, there wasn't much extra prop variety for other people to create new maps with, but really, making extra assets so other people can make maps isn't really their problem, and people barely used what was there anyways.
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September 21, 2017, 01:53:54 PMReply #25

Offline t78

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #25 on: September 21, 2017, 01:53:54 PM »
I'm not sure if this question is the right one for this thread, but it is mapping related, so here goes. Is there an ideal type of map, or can there be some with lots of narrow corridors (i.e.: Coruscant), some with lots of flat open plains (Chandrila?) and some in between? The former seems good for foreward firing tanks, the latter for hover-tank manouvre warfare. However, many might say that flat maps, even a few in a galaxy of more diverse maps, are boring.

Here is the killer question: Is it possible to make a map with some flat open spaces, but keep it interesting?

September 21, 2017, 02:12:07 PMReply #26

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #26 on: September 21, 2017, 02:12:07 PM »
There's a lot you can criticize in EaW, but I really don't think map design is one of those things, especially aesthetically. I've not seen any maps, from any mods, which have ever really come close to being as good as the base game maps (especially in base EaW- I don't love some of the FoC maps, like Muunilinst, because they jumped on the bigger is better train that a lot of mods, including us, fell into). Ground battles are bad because of other reasons. Sure, there wasn't much extra prop variety for other people to create new maps with, but really, making extra assets so other people can make maps isn't really their problem, and people barely used what was there anyways.

Of course, it wasn't the major problem ground battles had, more the horrible/cheap balancing, but I personally felt that the uniqueness of many planets didn't really come out the way I would have liked it. Dagobah or Dathomir, for instance, didn't look like they were supposed to look (at least in my eyes), making me feel more like I'm about to visit forest planet no. 14763 than the iconic landscapes described in many novels and the movies themselves. Still, they didn't do an overall bad job and it was still enjoyable, but, as another example, what you guys did with the space battles (raid fleets concept e.g.) could have complimented vanilla in so many ways... and of course, I'm nitpicking, but I feel like exposing any shortcoming, however small it may have been, in a forum for a mod dedicated to make EAW an even better game, is warranted, isn't it ;>?

September 22, 2017, 01:32:04 AMReply #27

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2017, 01:32:04 AM »
T78: There are certainly basic precepts that are both normally followed, and generally are wise to follow for good measure. According to the guidelines in the map-maker tutorial files that come along with the mapmaker, and those found on the official sit where you get it from, your maps should have at least two approaches to the main base, to permit flanking attacks, as is seen on the Eriadu base game map (and most others in vanilla. They do follow their own rules), seven base build slots, even if the ground base isn't intended to have that many ground build slots, so you can move your buildings around. It requires some perfectly open space to serve as reinforcement points- failure to properly accommodate these with flat terrain can lead to ground units getting stuck on when you call them in. There's a lot of basic stuff you can find if you google "sweaw map editor tutorial."

That said, there's no single "perfect" map. I'm doing my best to create interesting and rewarding maps to play that work, look good, and support strong decisions- in exactly that order. Placing a base and an attacker entry point are first- this lets you see the avenues units will use to either attack or defend. Then place other structures and buildables and such to suit the terrain. A mix of open and tight space offers tactical opportunities, so I'm aiming to mesh both, with larger open areas and tighter city streets and ravines to traverse. An excessively open map makes it harder to find enemy units as there's so much space to get lost in- too little open space and they won't be able to move effectively, or in extreme cases, get stuck. So there's something of a balance to strive for with terrain open-ness.

But before that, you have to make sure the map works and the placement of things makes sense. You may not appreciate how much you can change a map by moving one structure on it. Example: The buildpad guarding the open water on aforementioned Eriadu. Take that away and waterborne attack are extremely difficult to repel, even though you didn't add more water. On the same map: move the base out of the city, and the defender won't feel like they're under so much early pressure. Any change affects how the map plays- a lot of maps that are annoying just need a few tweaks to be made far more satisfying to play. Bunker pads at the end of dead-ends moved to choke points, reinforcement points that are currently broken can be fixed with little effort once detected. It's really these things that decide how the maps are to play, not how open they are, in a lot of cases (there's one in the mod that's FAR too open; a desert map with a single assault avenue to the map's east, and all four reinforcement points in a huge open plain. I dislike this map for being too open, but it's an extreme case. It could be absolutely remedied by the addition of one, maybe two, abandoned sensor platforms. Seriously; that one change and the problem would just melt away.

I hope this helps, mate. Please, hit me up if you have any more questions. The more people know about the mapmaker the more likely some other folks will start mapping, which would make me happy. Also, a huge long shot but I don't want to pester Corey again, so: do you have any idea how populous Pantolomin (Panto Prime) is? I have trawled every lore source I know about and can't find much of any lore, let alone a query so specific. But, in this place I'm surrounded by people who know even more about Star Wars than I do, so maybe I'll get lucky :) Just want to know how densely to scatter civilian spawners.

Tom, Corey- sorry to interrupt,

September 22, 2017, 01:36:53 AMReply #28

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2017, 01:36:53 AM »
TomPhanan: I agree there was a slight lack of uniqueness to some of the maps, but they only had so many models to work with. I have to second Corey's opinion here- the base game maps were really good. I still remember several of them fondly- Coruscant, giving me extra shields and power. Mon Calamari- defenders paradise. Just like Nal Hutta. Kessel and Dagobah: both uniquely sparse in comparison to the other maps. Though, with a few hundred more props to place, there could have been some room for improvement.

September 26, 2017, 02:53:50 AMReply #29

Offline briG

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #29 on: September 26, 2017, 02:53:50 AM »
One thing I did particularly think was neat about Mon Calamari(or does ICW have a version of MonCal? idk)  is that you could go in the backside of the defender base using repulsorlift vehicles and get at their power generator that way.

Unfortunately air units trivialize ground combat in GC. Skirmish can be fun though.

September 27, 2017, 07:55:12 PMReply #30

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #30 on: September 27, 2017, 07:55:12 PM »
Tom: I don't think the map editor is too bad for a dev tool. She's a pain, naturally- and every bloody autosave makes me drop a patch of soft rocky ground onto my clean and immaculate roads- but she gets the job done. I'd like more assets for it- a cafe fresco prop would be nice, a few normal houses, a few farm props to make crop fields, a bunch of knick-knack props... But as is she works. She even crashes rarely- about once per day is my standing average (and I am abusing the poor girl; every day of texturing seems to increase the time needed to save or load... I'm around the load time of Belsavis right now, which is bad). I dunno; it is a tool never meant for public release. I'm pleasantly surprised by it; I've seen far, far worse in my travels.

September 28, 2017, 09:47:33 AMReply #31

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #31 on: September 28, 2017, 09:47:33 AM »
Tom: I don't think the map editor is too bad for a dev tool. She's a pain, naturally- and every bloody autosave makes me drop a patch of soft rocky ground onto my clean and immaculate roads- but she gets the job done. I'd like more assets for it- a cafe fresco prop would be nice, a few normal houses, a few farm props to make crop fields, a bunch of knick-knack props... But as is she works. She even crashes rarely- about once per day is my standing average (and I am abusing the poor girl; every day of texturing seems to increase the time needed to save or load... I'm around the load time of Belsavis right now, which is bad). I dunno; it is a tool never meant for public release. I'm pleasantly surprised by it; I've seen far, far worse in my travels.

I'm kind of exaggerating a bit, of course ;>, though the height tool is a pain in the ass, hehe. Regarding props - yeah, more variety is always nice, but I understand why they only have their limited assets, since, as you said, it was most likely primarily a tool used by their dev team and only second meant to be released to the public (and why waste time and money on stuff you ain't gonna use anyway). The only frustrating aspect about that is the lack of options regarding creating your own props, since the alo-tools aren't supported anymore. I also trashed 2 or 3 maps already due to the fact that 1) they came out too small or too big and 2) I went a bit overboard with details ;D. Though it feels nice to do some stuff like that again, haven't touched these kind of tools in years. Only had it crash once yet, but I'm not sure what caused it, maybe some sort of overflow. Hopefully, and if I find some time the next days, I'll be able to finish my first map - I'm also curious what you came up with :D, happy mapping!

EDIT: BTW, is there some sort of spreadsheet somewhere, with all the new planets added by ICW that would need a new map?
« Last Edit: September 28, 2017, 10:08:25 AM by TonPhanan »

September 28, 2017, 08:15:25 PMReply #32

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #32 on: September 28, 2017, 08:15:25 PM »
I wish very hard there was a list, but the planets requiring replacement maps are not currently determined. My strategy is to pick a map that I saw repeated and go from there for the time being. And I had a very similar trouble to you- first map was excessively large, and the second is just starting to develop now- I am slow, because my methods involve a significant amount of reiteration- and then testing, and retooling, and such. Making absolutely sure the spawn locations work as intended and other basic requirements were met is a hard priority- I will be taking my sweet time on it. And naturally you're exaggerating a bit mate- all cool,

September 29, 2017, 12:06:40 PMReply #33

Offline Slornie

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2017, 12:06:40 PM »
I believe Corey and I will be going through the planet lists at some point (for both ICW and FotR) to identify where additional maps would be useful - either specific planets which deserve bespoke maps or more generally planet types/biomes which need more variety.

One thing to bear in mind when working on your maps is things like civ spawns can restrict where a map can be re-used - not only in terms of species (Bothan, Mon Calamari, Ewoks etc) but also factional affiliation (some planets were very pro or anti- Empire even decades after Endor).
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September 29, 2017, 12:49:30 PMReply #34

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2017, 12:49:30 PM »
I believe Corey and I will be going through the planet lists at some point (for both ICW and FotR) to identify where additional maps would be useful - either specific planets which deserve bespoke maps or more generally planet types/biomes which need more variety.

One thing to bear in mind when working on your maps is things like civ spawns can restrict where a map can be re-used - not only in terms of species (Bothan, Mon Calamari, Ewoks etc) but also factional affiliation (some planets were very pro or anti- Empire even decades after Endor).

Okay, thanks for the info. I'm gonna restrain myself and do some more generic themed maps first or - if - only the ones I have a good idea (or at least what I think is one) for. Though, first and foremost ;>, I'll finish the one map I'm currently working on to show it to you guys, if it even fulfills your standards ;D and fits into your overall concept. I hope that I can streamline the process in the future to approach mapping a bit more effectively, so I won't spend half a decade creating a single one... thank the force xD for Wookiepedia though, it actually helps a lot evaluating what could fit and what not.   
« Last Edit: September 29, 2017, 01:03:53 PM by TonPhanan »

October 10, 2017, 06:19:49 AMReply #35

Offline nightraven1901

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2017, 06:19:49 AM »
I have brought a map to testing phase. Though I'm not precisely sure how to test a GC map without messing with my install, I figure it might be worth providing a link to the .ted file for any critique you guys may have: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3k86h47yz516cjp/City%20Test%20Map%202.ted?dl=0 Considering this is my second map in this editor, I don't think I did too badly- and obviously this is just entering testing and therefore subject to change.

Thoughts, people?

October 10, 2017, 11:46:40 AMReply #36

Offline TonPhanan

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #36 on: October 10, 2017, 11:46:40 AM »
You could just replace an existing one or edit the planets.xml, if I remember its name correctly.

November 02, 2017, 06:59:51 PMReply #37

Offline Rinnosuke

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #37 on: November 02, 2017, 06:59:51 PM »
Is it possible to give a prop passable terrain? For example use XML or LUA so a bridge prop can be placed and have units walk across it? Or maybe "paint" the passable terrain onto the object as its own layer. I think paint would be better since units would be limited to the middle or to a path. If the whole object is passable units could do wonky pathing on the sides or underneath it (upside down).

November 03, 2017, 02:49:01 AMReply #38

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Re: Master Mapping Thread: (Formerly "Build-pads: how many...")
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2017, 02:49:01 AM »
No, you can't do that, you can on;y have stuff walking on the actual terrain. You have to turn the terrain into the bridge, use the hole texture so the bottom is see-through, and then use props to fill that hole.
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