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Re: [liquidwar-user] A Map

From: Jan Gretschuskin
Subject: Re: [liquidwar-user] A Map
Date: Sat, 6 Jul 2002 11:39:04 +0200

I think the best way is c - but that's only my oppinion.
Maybe this is only because I can't programm, and don't know how hard a and b 
would b 
to  programm, but c is the easiest , I think.


On 5 Jul 2002 at 10:44, Christian Mauduit wrote:

> Hi,
> On Wed, Jul 03, 2002 at 02:27:49AM -0400, Mouse wrote:
> >
> Just tried it, and lost against the CPU 8-) Nice map.
> > Files contents:
> > map3d_m.bmp - The map, custom/map.
> > map3d_t1.bmp - The background, custom/texture.
> > map3d_t2.bmp - The foreground, custom/texture.
> > 
> > All three are intended to be used together.  No real thought went into play 
> > balance, just experimentation.
> Your method of creating a map, that is create a "shape" bitmap and an
> "appearance" bitmap raises an interesting problem: maps in LW5 look
> rather "flat" and this is not very nice to look at. So you decided to
> give it a "3D" effect. 
> FYI, at the old times of LW3 - back in 1995 - maps used to have that 
> kind of 3D effects. With my friend Thomas we created maps using Deluxe 
> Paint under DOS and used some "shape gradient" function to give some 
> basic graphical effects to the maps. To make the difference between
> the "walls" and the rest of the map (where armies can go) we used a
> convention which was something like "if color index is between 32 and 63
> it's a wall and if it's between 64 and 95 it's not". This was a good
> choice because we used Deluxe Paint and it was very easy to create such
> map with this software. However, I've never found any graphical tool
> which did this as well as Deluxe Paint, and I didn't like the idea of
> being dependent of a given program to create maps, especially when it's
> a DOS program.
> So for LW5, I decided that maps would contain basic information about
> where the walls are, and people would be able to apply textures on them.
> This has several advantages, which are:
> - it saves place. If you think that disk place is not a problem anymore,
>   think of people who download LW with a 56K modem and pay the phone
>   while doing it. These people care about how big the game is.
> - it avoids the problem of "artistic but unplayable maps". If the map is
>   drawn once for all with fixed colors, some people might not like it,
>   and some other might not see where the walls are because they are on a
>   dusty laptop. Anyway, I think it's good to leave some choice to the
>   player.
> But the drawbacks are:
> - barely possible to make a really good looking map
> - some players might be confused by the number of textures/colors
>   available. In many cases, people want to play on a map, final dot.
>   They'll just pick up a nice map, and won't take the time to fiddle
>   with all the available options.
> So I think it might be time to change the way maps are "skinned" with
> textures.
> I have thought about several solutions, but I'm opened to suggestions:
> a) associate each map to a given couple of background/foreground
> textures. This will require some work, for someone will need to
> associate textures to all the existing maps, and each new map will
> require some default textures to be specified. It won't be easy to
> handle custom textures nicely - we're likely to need to choose some
> "generic custom map default textures". From a GUI point of view, one
> could simply add a "use default textures" in the map screen. With this
> option set on, switching between maps would automatically select the
> corresponding textures. With the option set off, the behavior would be
> the current behavior.
> b) code a "3D effect" filter which would enhance the border of the
> walls. The major advantage is that it requires a coding effort only.
> Once the engine will be coded, no additionnal effort will be required
> when designing maps, and custom textures will work as well as other
> maps. The only difficulty when implementing it is that textures have 32
> colors allocated only, and it might be hard to make some nice smooth
> shading on them in these conditions. Still, I stay optimistic.
> c) allow some maps to have textures "stored in them". This way,
> everything would work like now, except that for "some" maps, there would
> be specific textures. These textures would not appear when selection
> textures for other map. They would just be associated to one _single_
> map. In fact, one would not draw a couple of textures, but a full bitmap
> which would be the exact representation of the map. So for these
> "special" map, one would need to draw the current "dark and light"
> bitmap to specify where the walls are and then a second bitmap to
> specify the way the map should look like. The only problem with this
> method is that it might make the game get bigger.
> So that's it for my ideas, I'm waiting for yours 8-)
> Personnally, my favorite solution is b), but that's _my_ opinion only.
> Last thing: all these evolutions would be for 5.6.0 which will be a
> "relooking" of the game. That's to say new colors for the menus, and
> maybe theme support and other enhancements such as the one mentionned
> above. And 5.6.0 is not scheduled for the near future. 5.5.3 is, and
> will include some minor bug-fixes plus the possibility to chat within
> the game.
> Thanks for reading me and have a nice day.
> Christian.
> PS: I think including map3d_m.bmp in the current CVS tree is a good
> idea. However, I don't think I'll include the textures until we've 
> found a way to handle them "cleanly". Is it OK to include map3d_m.bmp
> (GNU GPL etc...) ?
> -- 
> Christian Mauduit
> mailto:address@hidden
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