Hello everyone, I'm Tegus, one of the programmers working on Crusader
Kings II. Welcome to the fifth dev diary for CK2 and the first one written
by me. In today's dev diary I'm going to talk a bit about the map and why
we've chosen to implement a new one in CK2.
As you all know, in our games the map is an important tool for both
displaying information and setting the mood of the game. In HoI3 we had a
grayish map that we felt was appropriate for a war game. We took this map
and altered it slightly when making Victoria 2, but this time the map was
drawn with vivid colors to portray the progress of the era. The next game to
use the map was Divine Wind because we all felt that EU3 was in need of a
graphical face lift. While this map technology looked good in the
mentioned games, there were certain technological limitations which we
wanted to improve upon or get rid of.
With CK2, we have devoted time to rewrite the graphics code for the map
from scratch. We are back to a pure 3D map similar to the one used in EU3:
Rome. We have visible topology and you will be able to rotate the world
around the way you please. While neither the technology nor the art assets
are in any way final, we do feel that the new map already has great
potential and is a big step in the right direction towards our visual
goals. Hopefully this new tech will also span multiple games, so we
can steadily improve it.
To be fair, if I would describe what we have done with the map so far, it
would just be sentence after sentence of technical mumbo-jumbo, so I'll
spare you the details. Let's instead focus on what visual details that
have been improved and what we want to add before the game is shipped.
We've improved the looks of the water significantly and added refraction
so you can actually see topology under the ocean surface. Aerie has taken
the time to find real-world topology data(although we've exaggerated it
somewhat), it definitely gives a cool feel to the terrain. Borders have
also gotten some love and now use a new system which enables us to make
them much smoother. Much of the previous jaggedness is gone. We've also
begun to implement and test a more detailed lighting model, which we will
continue to improve upon until we release the game. Another cool
feature(which isn't really part of the map) are the units, whose tabards
now show the heraldic flag of the unit leader.
But there are still some things which we're missing. We need trees and
rivers. We need to add province names and realm names, which exist in all
our latest games. I'd like to add more information to borders, so borders
between two realms are colored by the realms' respective colors. There are
of course lots of more things we want to do, but I won't spill the beans
All in all, we are very happy with the way the new map is coming along.
Hopefully you will enjoy it as well once you get to play the game!
Fredrik Zetterman, Deluxe programmer, currently working on Crusader Kings