BW1 Mapping FAQ

Mahu

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Thanks people.

While I'm asking....

When I load my map in BW theres a kind of light green/blue texture that fills the blocks that I haven't used, when I go near to them they dissapear, any ideas?

(this also happens around the coast so I can't just delete the blocks  ??? )

Thanks again
 

Mahu

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Sorry about the double post, it wouldn't let me edit the previous one, maybe it's been posted for too long or something.

I have another question ( :D Well this is an FAQ)

All of a sudden, creatures cannot move on my map, when I try to move my crt it tells me that the destination is unaccessible, I've tried it with an earlier backup of the Land and it's fine.  Is there a way to fix this or is my land currupted?

Thanks  :)
 

fenton_pat

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This happened me when I was making my CI map.  Thought it was just the B&W engine having a problem recognising the CI Island.  You've got zero influence too, right?  Don't know the fix to this I'm afraid :( .  If ya find it, let me know, then perhaps ordinary B&W players can play my map too :D .
 

Mahu

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Hmmmmm, will do!

How come Lionhead never released an official editor? surely its a great way to keep players interested?

???
 

Nauge

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Too lazy i suppose  :D
Were doing well with the tools we have at the moment. Why bother?</font>



 

Nauge

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Heres another guide for making coasts... By BattleF08

---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Anyway here's the picture:

shores.txt


Yeah i guess that needs some explanations .

The best way to get the shores right is first to go to wire frame mode. The button for it is also in the picture . It might take a minute to get used to but it's quite helpful.
To change the elevation of a single space you should change the 'brush' size to 0 and click the rumble button. using this you can change the smallest details possible in the editor.

When i started my landscape i made the basic shape of the land height 5. That's picture 1. The shore went from height 0 to 5 in a single space, which of course resulted in that ugly shore affect you see in the picture above the bottom right one.

Now a solution to prevent that is to use height 3 as the start height. Height 3 is just beneath the water surface(as seen in the picture), but still looks the same as the land above it. height 3 by the shore prevents that 'look under the shore' effect. So what i did from then on was make the new land with height 3. Then on top that use height 5 and then do the hills and other landscaping. This got me picture 3 or when i aimed the brush wrong picture 2.

But the problem is with a steep drop-of like from height 3 to 0 in one space you end op with really square not very beautiful shore.

Which brings us to picture 4. This is how it should be! A beautiful shore should at least be one space wide with height 3 drops of to height 2. This creates the smooth transition between water and land you see in B&W maps.

Picture 5 shows how you can make the shore drop-off look smoother but that should all make sense. As long as you use height 3 and 2 you will have a pretty good shore. The other values to the left of in on the picture are not really important. As you see on the picture of the wire frame mode in the bottom right coming up from the shore you can easily go from height 3 to height 8 or higher without messing up the shore.

Last thing. Picture 6. It's not necessary to use height 1 after height two. Lower then height 2 and you can't see it anymore. So height 1 is not necessary when building shores.

Now i'm adjusting the shores all manually now. Space by space, because i finished the land before i figured out how to make the shores looks good so other people that read these instructions first might be able to find faster ways. Best way would probably to start at height 2 and then cover this with height 3 and then build the rest of the land on it.

Good luck people . I'd like to see the results when it's done .

(I hope my explinations make sense. I can be unclear at times  )
 

iRFNA

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I'd say the easiest way to have good coasts is to use your favorite image editor (not paint) that supports the border effect, which is rather simple and should be included in the gimp, for instance.  Just make your terrain in a 8-bit black and white 512x512 bmp with a black background and no alpha channel (bmp should take care of that).  White is the highest possible, black is the lowest.  Put your land in the middle of the image for best results, haha.  If you have islands, connect them with a bridge of 1s to prevent errors.  If you're wondering how many tiles you are taking up, go into your grid options in your graphics editor and set them to 32x32.  If you have lots of really low terrain and you can't tell it apart from black, use your selector tool on just absolute black to see where the borders are.  I haven't found a way to make it automatically count the tiles, but you can get a rough idea using this.

When you're done, you just need to border your way down to 0, so it's easiest to blur your map edges into the black (or not, it's at your discretion), go back a bit on the blur using the fuzzy select tool on the blackness with an option of 9 and convert to all black.  Afterward, invert your selection and then you need to border your land (with 2 thickness to prevent mess-ups) with first 9, then 5, 3, 2, and (maybe? the post above says it is unnecessary) 1.  Tada, no need to click and edit eeeevery single tile.  Just use lndromat to turn it into a land map after exporting the file in the .raw format.  If your file size isn't 262144 bytes, you did something wrong (probably an alpha channel or not 8-bit).

I find it fun to use a fractal creator, a free one can be obtained for the gimp.  Make a suitable fractal then use THAT as a landscape, it's pretty awesome.

For lndromat, use all the default files except for the .raw heightmap you made.  Next, you need to put in your terrain textures.  You can only add one terrain type when you do this process.  To be able to get all the terrains you want, you have to follow a quick process.  First, I'd suggest you preview your terrain in surveyor to make sure it looks like what you want.

Use eden project to setup all your textures and such.  Yes, I know, eden project is evil.  However, there is a way to fix the errors it places in your map!

You may need to open the map in surveyor after using eden project to insert your textures before the next step, then just save and close.  I'm not sure if that is necessary to put the broken but "correct" low res textures in the map to overwrite the default texture put in by lndromat, it's what I did, though.  At the very least, you can do this while you are previewing the map with its correct countries.  Experiment and find out, preferably telling everyone here if it worked or not, haha.

Finally, simply use the lnd tools, made by the same guy who made lndromat.  Just run lndsertx!  It will put up two prompts, the first lets you pick the map you want to fix.  The next picks the output, but you can just pick the same map and overwrite it with the fixed version.  Afterward, all you gotta do is type 4 and hit enter, and bam, it's all fixed!  Yep, that's right, this can fix everything.

I used this process to create a totally original, 244 tile map based on a fractal.  It works!  The only flaw is that the coast tiles show up as solid 2 terrain land until you zoom in, then it's better forever.  That's incredibly minor, IMO.

I also created a random city generator (people with corresponding houses, buildings, everything.. all according to specifications, such as pop; if it has a creche, etc; size; blah blah... it even prevents building collisions!  no manual crap, just click a button and it's in your clipboard.  i love abusing parenthesis), an automatic tree creator that imports your .raw heightmap to make the trees at specific altitudes and bases their type off of the nearby trees, and a random rock creator that also uses an altitude range based off the heightmap.  They're really sloppy right now, though.. I might fix them up and upload them if there's any interest.

Of course, I used worldmod to find coordinates and touch up and everything.  If you can't get worldmod to work, rename "readme1.txt" in its install directory to "readme.txt".  That should fix it. 

If you do all this stuff, making a map is no longer torture.
 

Kays

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It sounds interesting. Have you got a screenshot of that landscape?
 

iRFNA

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It's a six player map, something that seems to be rather lacking in the public map selection.  24 villages lol

Raw heightmap


Map in action


What the coast problem looks like, in case you are curious


I think it is rather unobtrusive, although I just noticed that some villages don't appear.  I think you don't need to get as close as for the coasts, but you still need to be kinda close to make the villages appear (of course, only once, then they stay).

Asymmetrical fractals would probably look a lot cooler, but I was going after a stringent balance for this map.  It's hard to resist the temptation to make a heightmap consisting of beveled lens flares.

If anyone wants to try their hand at fractals, here's fractal explorer.  It's freeware and also what I used for my map.  All you need is this and the freeware graphics editor the gimp, unless you have something better.

Also, here's 3 fractals (not yet processed in an image editor, where I blur, adjust color thresholds, etc) that I have incase I want to make another map
 

iRFNA

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Also, this is the sort of processing that is needed to turn these fractals into an actual, semi-sane landscape:

to

I also forgot to mention that if you use fractal explorer, it actually has a 3d landscape view built in.  Yes, you can see your fractal landscape inside the fractal maker in a 3d view without having to export and deal with all that crap.  It's pretty sweet.
 

Andux

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iRFNA said:
For lndromat, use all the default files except for the .raw heightmap you made.  Next, you need to put in your terrain textures.  You can only add one terrain type when you do this process.

That's twice I've had to fix the multi-select handling. :p I blame gremlins. :fixed in v0.98.


iRFNA said:
I also created a random city generator (people with corresponding houses, buildings, everything.. all according to specifications, such as pop; if it has a creche, etc; size; blah blah... it even prevents building collisions!  no manual crap, just click a button and it's in your clipboard.  i love abusing parenthesis), an automatic tree creator that imports your .raw heightmap to make the trees at specific altitudes and bases their type off of the nearby trees, and a random rock creator that also uses an altitude range based off the heightmap.  They're really sloppy right now, though.. I might fix them up and upload them if there's any interest.

Neat.
 

Nospher

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iRFNA, did you just made that map from scratch?? Tell me how you do it, please. I mean, the exact image editor you use.
You seem to be poping out maps out of nowhere!! Share that knowledge with me :)
I just wanted to be able to add new blocks to a landscape but you seem to be ramming that problem by incredibly creating a map from a blank canvas  :shocked
Enlighten me, please.
 

Castaras

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Hey, I tried to get that Tree Program that you mention in one of your posts, but the link is broken or the site's gone down or whatever.

Is there anywhere else I can get this program?  =)
 

Kays

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Nauge give up on his site a number of years ago. But since we were hosting it for a while I did manage to find that program in one of our backups. I have added it to our downloads.

http://www.bwfiles.com/files/index.php?action=file&id=1003
 
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