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Andrei Gijgorev

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POC for the map I'm eventually going to make, inspired by Victoria and Two Thrones:

ppShpZp.png


You can try it yourself; just unpack the attached archive to \GFX\Map\Provinces\English\.

(This is for the WATKABAOI map, in case it isn't obvious.)
 

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Prinnt

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Looks awesome.

There are no attached files btw.
 
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Therion

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That's fabulous. Did you make different graphics for each terrain type?

(and yeah, there's no attachment)
 

Andrei Gijgorev

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Crud. Fixed.

Did you make different graphics for each terrain type?
No, I made different graphics for each province. So the process for the whole map would be to first paint the whole map, then export province gfx based on the ID layer.

I also considered a hand-drawn look, but for the POC it was simpler to just take a satellite image.

There are a couple of (visual) problems with this though. The most obvious one is that you can't "select" a province anymore. That is to say, you can select it, but there's no visual feedback for it. Also you'd need another graphic for winter conditions. And the FOW doesn't apply to province background gfx. And...
 

Therion

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There are a couple of (visual) problems with this though. The most obvious one is that you can't "select" a province anymore. That is to say, you can select it, but there's no visual feedback for it. Also you'd need another graphic for winter conditions. And the FOW doesn't apply to province background gfx. And...
That sounds like the most pressing concern. How will the graphic change automatically in winter conditions?

I'm thinking the satellite image could be embedded in the map's shading layer itself although I'm not sure how Magellan handles non-grayscale colours in that layer. I'll try it out tonight.
 

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That was the first thing I tried and it's not possible. Apparently the game only takes the value of the shading layer and ignores hue and saturation.

It wouldn't have helped anyway. If you have a province that's mostly green with a couple of other colours, then the terrain colour would need to be white in order not to skew the colours, so you couldn't make it any whiter with the winter colour.

If background gfx aren't an option then I would bake something like a stylized hand-drawn map onto the shading layer, and only use very weak terrain colours. Something along these lines:

UmwPabe.jpg


a99gNlg.jpg


It might look like this in the game:

YgL18pa.jpg


You can't have snow-tipped mountaintops this way though. They'd be green too.
 

MichaelM

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Are you familiar with the Victoria 1 map system? FTG has some code to handle tiles.bmp if it's present, but just using the Victoria tiles.bmp makes it come out all weird because index.tbl doesn't match.
 

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I'm familiar with Victoria in general, but never did anything with the map.

I just tried copying tiles.bmp from Victoria to the FtG map folder, and when loading the game I got an error message about a missing tile.bmp palette file, which I also copied, but in the end no gfx were actually added. Judging by RAM usage the tiles were definitely loaded though.

Two Thrones and Crown of the North both have mapsurface.bmp files that cover the entire map, and both games are much more similar to EU2 than Victoria is. I don't suppose FtG has code to use something like that? Crusader Kings is similar I think, but I can't find the CD right now (I thought it was part of the Strategy Pack 6 but apparently not).

Anyway, if FtG in theory knows how tiles.bmp works, what about loading an entire map in the Victoria map format?
 

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It uses the data from index.tbl to determine what tiles to show where. Index.tbl is simply a table of indices into tiles.bmp.

There is no existing code in FTG for mapsurface.bmp. I do have the Svea Rike code available, but I've never really looked at it.
 

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With the Vicky index.tbl the tiles do show up, but like you say they are all positioned wrong. I'm not really sure how index.tbl is structured but this seems like a trivial problem to figure out. The most obvious issue I noticed is that the tiles don't blend well with the white terra incognita -- it looks like they are drawn above the terra incognita gradient, but below 100% terra incognita, so unexplored provinces have hard edges.

In any case, I'm removing the province background gfx related issues from the list since it's clearly not the best way to go about adding terrain features.
 

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index.tbl is a list of 4-byte ints with one for each 32x32 block of the map. That's all there is to it. The map code looks up the appropriate block's index in index.tbl and pulls that tile from tiles.bmp.
 

Andrei Gijgorev

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That's how it works in Victoria, but EU2 seems to be different. First of all I'm pretty sure it's 16-bit, which is a problem since a 18944x7296 map has 134976 32x32 tiles, more than twice as many as 16 bits (65536).

I made a 16-bit index.tbl with indices from 0 to FFFF, padded with zeroes after FFFF:

uDgyma9.png


Then I made a bitmap in map size and found that the game crashes when moving the camera near the map wrap depending on the bitmap's orientation. I.e. if tiles.bmp is 18944x7296 the game crashes, but if tiles.bmp is 7296x18944 it doesn't.

Next, I made a bitmap with the width of the map height and ~65536 tiles, so 9184x7296 pixels. The upper left corner of this bitmap looks like this:

txWbaXN.png


So basically I colour-coded some tiles where I assumed the indices started, and left the rest of the bitmap green/transparent.

In the game, it looks like this:

IwZntGt.png


Obviously, the tiles.bmp indices start in the upper-left corner and go horizontally, while the map indices start in the upper left corner and go vertically:

VncAJkO.png


C1R54aS.png


Also obviously, there is something very, very wrong:

podUjqE.png


I guess the Victoria terrain tiles were never properly implemented in EU2. I would be nice if we could get this to get to work since I find the Victoria terrain simply beautiful and would love to have something like that in FtG, but considering the limited 1.3 time budget I'd honestly prefer gameplay improvements or a larger map over pure eye candy, and as discussed earlier there's still some stuff that can be done with the shading layer. Although having a terrain overlay would have minor effects on map design since you wouldn't need river provinces.

(BTW wasn't it originally planned that FtG would get a completely new map? Whatever happened to that?)
 

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(BTW wasn't it originally planned that FtG would get a completely new map? Whatever happened to that?)
I don't know the exact details but that project which had started back in the time of EU2 AGCEEP was discontinued during the development of FTG.

The psd file of the map is still available here: http://norrefeldt.ownit.nu/map_psd/

Unfortunately it's a bit problematic to work with (at least for my level of knowledge of photoshop) because the ID layer has a lot of empty space (beneath the borders) and the whole layer is anti-aliased.
 

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That's how it works in Victoria, but EU2 seems to be different. First of all I'm pretty sure it's 16-bit, which is a problem since a 18944x7296 map has 134976 32x32 tiles, more than twice as many as 16 bits (65536).
Yep, good call. I was reading the Victoria code when I posted that.

Running a diff, I can also see that the Victoria code includes a few lines to wrap the tiles at the edge of the map.
 

Andrei Gijgorev

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The psd file of the map is still available here: http://norrefeldt.ownit.nu/map_psd/

Unfortunately it's a bit problematic to work with (at least for my level of knowledge of photoshop) because the ID layer has a lot of empty space (beneath the borders) and the whole layer is anti-aliased.
It's interesting for me to finally to see the map that was at one point supposed to be the big difference between EU2 and FTG, but honestly I think the Watkabaoi map is way better. It clearly does follow the style of the vanilla EU2 map, though.

Anyway, I did some work on my own map during the last couple of days, here's a preview of what I have:

HYaVqYm.png


I prefer to start with many provinces and remove/merge them later, although in some places (e.g. Bohemia) I might actually still add provinces. In general, I'm aiming to have a similar number of provinces in Europe as Watkabaoi. I'll also make some of the really small provinces like Ragusa larger, and smoothen the borders a bit.

Here's a (very crude) mockup how it might look with a height relief added to the shading layer:

hy32hev.jpg


I'm not sure if I really like it, though. In my opinion it looks better with simple borders instead of embossed provinces:

yY3JmOY.jpg


What do you guys think?
 
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I personally prefer the good ol' Eu2 Style; so without the relief

But it's glad to see some works on FTG
 

Andrei Gijgorev

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MichaelM fixed the code for Vicky-style tiles so we can basically return to my original post and add full-colour terrain. I really want to have mountain ridges displayed since they're important natural borders like rivers. Speaking of which, can we get a defense modifier for winter adjacencies? I'd love to plaster the Alps and Carpathians with strategic passes that can't be traversed in winter.

Anyway, here's what I came up with for the terrain layer (missing forests and rivers):

iIvUrgF.jpg


I think it looks way better than just the greyscale relief, and since this only affects the terrain map mode the political map could look completely different, e.g. like this:

yFoCTHD.jpg


Opinions?
 
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Those are really awesome; well done.

BTW, how are you planning to have a separate shading for the political map mode? AFAIK, the map modes are distinguished only from the colourscales.