How to make a map from scratch

Nospher

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Hi everyone,
No matter what I do, I can't seem to be able to add a new block to any landscape in Black and White. Eden Project appears to be the only editor with this feature, however, every single block I add to a map doesn't shows up when I'm playing. Does anyone knows how I can solve this problem? I mean, if Eden Project has a "create block" feature it means that, somehow when Eden Project was created, it was possible to add new blocks, right? Now, I read LihavaApiba's topic ("How to add new blocks to landscape files?") and couldn't find much help there, or perhaps I missed something, but I was wondering if there's ANYONE out there who can successfuly add blocks to a map.
It's just that adding a block to a landscape would be my biggest dream concerning Black and White map editing, because adding new blocks necessarily means making a map bigger, and therefore, creating more space for villages, forests, etc etc etc, which on its own increases, exponentialy, the gameplay experience.
I mean, is map editing restricted to increasing/decreasing heights and changing ground types? I hope not! There must be a way to successfuly add blocks to maps... Do any .tga/.bmp/.dds/.fot/noisemap/bumpmap/ files need to be modified?
I'm calling for your help, please.
 

Nospher

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Sorry for posting in both forums, I just want to reach every potential person who can provide help.

There is no way to add blocks successfully with any known editor. The sculped ed blacks are not compatible with the game.
I used to use BWSurveyer this was the last and best of the editors, but even with this the landscapes start to have the grid bleed through after several saves.
My best landscapes were made By cutting down L5 the landscape is vast when you level it out miles to big for a playable map.

Man, that is not good to know :(
Thanks for the help, gremxula, although I wish land5 was bigger and have a more square shape.
But I just can't believe it (or perhaps I don't wanna believe  :D)
You know, if it was some kind of hard-coded limit I was trying to break, like a maximum for the map size, I wouldn't give much hope to that quest of mine... but a simple thing like adding a single block? There must be a way... :) please pardon my optimism (or stubbornness :D)
What about making a map from scratch? Is it possible? Please, if anyone knows how to perform such a miracle, tell me how. No matter how difficult and time-consuming it may be, tell me.
Dang, if the year wasn't 2008 (7 years after the game being released) I would call Lionhead Studios asking some tips.
By the way, look at this:

http://www.bwfiles.com/boards/index.php?topic=1743.0;all

If you scroll down the page you can see some images of iRFNA, and he/she (sorry) seems to be poping maps out of nowhere.
 

Kays

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iRFNA does explain how it's done in that thread. 00dins Castle project does have a fairly large flat landscape. I don't know if it would be suitable for your purpose.

http://www.bwfiles.com/files/index.php?action=file&id=181
 

Nospher

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It's flat and large alright, I will certainly use it in a few of my projects, thanks Kays.
Now, you've provided me with a finished blank map and I thank you for that, but then, it's just the final stage. I wanna be able to make my way from the first stage which is creating a blank map.
Kays, you say iRFNA already explained how to do it, so can you through his/her words create a blank map? I'm still trying to figure out a few things he/she writes about, so if you try can you give feedback?
Also, that Castle Project, you think the author created a map from blank or did he/she cut down an existing landscape to a square?
Again, thanks for all the help that might be given.
 

Nospher

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I hope you don't mind, gremxula, that I quote you from the other forums, it's just so that everyone can get the entire post.

gremxula says:
As you are aware this is one of the threads I post in.
While it is semi interesting to do fractal based maps, nowhere is it claimed that these maps create new blocks, it is just a way to make editing existing lands "easier" if you want that look. To me it looks much like the standard practice of many mappers in the past flatten the land build up what you want and discard the unused blocks.
As far as I am aware the Lionhead land creation software will not run on a single PC it need-s/ed a server system.

It's not the fractal part of the map creation that interests me, it's the fact that iRFNA is creating maps from scratch. At least that's what it seems to me. And if he/she is in fact building maps without ever requiring to use any already existant landscapes, then he/she is performing miracles :)
Sorry, I started this post searching a way to simply add blocks to a map, but now that I found out that it is (seemingly) possible to simply create (create, as in building from the beginning) a new map... Well, let's just say that if I were able to create a new map, I would no longer need to know how to add blocks to existing landscapes, because then I could build my own landscapes.

I hope I'm making myself clear, my initial objective was to create my own maps, you know, without any similarities with any of the default lands. And the best way I thought I could do it was to simply add blocks to one of the landscapes (like land5 which is big) until it add a shape that favoured my needs. But I found out of iRFNA promising images where he/she (sorry again) shows a landscape like anyother that I've seen, so I take it he/she made that map from scratch. Unless he did (like you say they did in the past) simply remove blocks until the map had that shape, though I very much doubt that because of the eliptical shape and shear size of his/her land.

So I would immensely thank any tiny bit of help on creating new maps, you know, some basic steps, like going throught gimp (or any other graphic editor), then exporting to .raw, then doing whatever else that is required and that I grant for unknown and misterious.
 

Nospher

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Ok, so I decided to give lndromat 0.98 a try. Below I'll present my doubts and questions, a few images and some feedback.

After some research on topics and comments both in the downloads area and in this forums I decided to give it a try:

I used Adobe Photoshop CS3 to create my HeightMap.raw from scratch. I made a 512x512 8-bit bmp image with a black background. In the middle of it I draw a very simple island with a small hill in it, but then the first problem appeared. I saved the file as .raw but lndromat 0.98 wouldn't accepted; after prompting for the HeightMap.raw file, lndromat 0.98 simply closed and no matter the shape and size of the island, the little tool wouldn't like it. So I used the file 3p_andux.raw that comes as an example with the tool and I changed it a little bit with Photoshop. Here's the result(Please don't make fun of it :)):



After this, I again used lndromat and this time everything went alright, I used the other example files that came with lndromat when it prompted me for those; and I used land5.lnd as the file to import texture data from. I chose an output file name and it saved successfuly  :D

But as I opened BWWorld Mod 1.0 in order to put some scripting in action I looked astonished at the very useful landscape preview(after inserting the necessary LOAD_LANDSCAPE script):

pretty messed up, right?

I tried other editors and visualizers to confirm this anomaly.

This is seen through BWSurveyor

Through Sacha's Land Visualizer

Dark Yoda's Land Visualizer

Eden Project

SculptEd

And here is the script:

Code:
LOAD_LANDSCAPE(".\DATA\LANDSCAPE\Test5,1,1.lnd")
ADD_GAME_MESSAGE_LINE("Battle another god for this realm", 2)
VERSION(2.300000)
START_GAME_MESSAGE("Two Gods", 2)
START_CAMERA_POS("3406.27,2566.46")
SET_TOWN_INFLUENCE_MULTIPLIER(0.400000)
SET_TOWN_INFLUENCE_MULTIPLIER(1.000000)
SET_NIGHTTIME(1700.000000, 0.083000, 0.070000)
SET_LAND_NUMBER(0)
SET_GLOBAL_LAND_BALANCE(4, 2.750000)
CREATE_TOWN(0, "3310.63,2558.71", "PLAYER_ONE", 0, "CELTIC")
CREATE_CITADEL("3419.19,2558.71", 0, "PLAYER_ONE", 0, 1000)
CREATE_TOWN_CENTRE(0, "3300.29,2563.88", "CELTIC_ABODE_TOWN_CENTRE", -5302, 1000, 0)
CREATE_NEW_TREE(-1, "3114.18,2323.49", 6, 1, 3.093607, 1.021000, 1.021000)
CREATE_TOWN_VILLAGER(0, "3199.48,2563.88", CELTIC_FISHERMAN, 20)
CREATE_TOWN_VILLAGER(0, "3240.84,2587.14", CELTIC_HOUSEWIFE, 20)
CREATE_ANIMAL("3132.28,2346.75", 8, 0, -1)
CREATE_TOWN_FISH_FARM(0, "3132.28,2230.44", 0)
Now, the script being so short I wouldn't be surprised if there's alot of necessary lines missing, but my biggest doubt concerns the messed up red-and-white landscape. In the lndromat readme file it says:
Limitations
-----------
Currently, the program loads one DDS image, which is then
duplicated to fill the required number of LowResTexture
structs; another tool is required to replace these with
accurate low-res textures for each block.

Question: What would be that necessary tool that replaces the LowResTexture with more accurate LowResTexture? I guess that's why the landscape appears that way, all red-and-white squared.

I believe that's the main reason why my game crashes every time I chose to play this map in skirmish mode. However (just a point) the way the game crashes is the exact same way that the game crashes when there's an error in the script, you know, the usual sudden blank screen during loading and we get back to desktop, hence my doubts about the script code mentioned above.

Well, here is all my feedback, sorry if I write too much, this way I can explain correctly and everyone understands (so I wish :)) my doubts and troubles.

So, after all this, I need help correcting that landscape textures and finding any missing lines in the script code.
Any help?
 

Nospher

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Ohh... I did it!



Ok, the coasts need some serious job and the overall land shape is, to say the least, funny, but it's a completed map! It can be played, scripted and everything else. And as you can see, I zoomed out and none of those blured squares appeared like they do when one uses Eden Project.
I used BWSurveyor to fix those messed-up textures.

Now, besides the coasts, I found another problem:
When I zoom in near the temple, the whole world darkens and it becomes kinda difficult to even see what your hand is pointing at.
Here's a picture showing when I'm about to approach the temple:



Now here's another after the whole landscape started to darken:



And here's one nearer to the ground:



Note: It's full daylight!

After this, I opened Eden Project to try out and texture a few hills. Look what happened as soon as I zoomed out:



The land suddenly seems to be engulfed my space-time distortions of some sort... until you zoom in and the world goes back to it's place.
:shocked
It's a naughty program indeed :) But I guess being one of the first editors to be made, it's a pretty good tool.

I don't have much time right now, but tomorrow maybe I'll write down how I did it, step-by-step and in an easy simple way incase there's still someone out there who still plays good old black and white :) and enjoys map editing aswell.

Though I still need help with the darkening-world problem, I can't even think of how such anomaly happens. It can't be texture-related... Perhaps it has to do with heights.

So if there's still any black and white players, please give feedback on this subject or simply write here your experiences.
Oh, can anyone change the name of this post? Something like "Making a map out of nowhere" or "How to make a map from scratch"
 

Kays

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It's interesting what you're doing. Thanks for posting it. Unfortunatly, I don't have much experiance with any of the editors so I can't be of much help there.

Changed the title of the topic to "How to make a map from scratch"

 

Nospher

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Thanks.
I'm making a simple guide (though I don't think I'll finish it until tomorrow) for any B&W players still addicted to this awesome game. But I can't have much hope :( it's been 7 years since Black and White 1 was released, and the world is different... well, at least the new games are :) with all those luxurious and neat graphics and such... well, boohoo Black and White is better in other gameplay aspects. True, I'm yet to see a game with such AI experience.

Since yesterday, I've created a lot of successful maps but I keep getting that darkening effect whenever I get near a building. Need help here!

So, any interested people out there please post here some comments, suggestions, questions, doubts, everything that goes through your mind (related to this subject!)
 

Gremxula

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The  blue  areas are normal for  Eden project it where the  high res map is not available. It was about 5y ago that I last used it so  memory being what it is  :laugh2 .

All the official playable lands have both XYZ.lnd and XYZ.fot files. I seem to rember  the  .fot  is for the zoomed out view.
Worldmod V1.0  can only see the original  maps correctly  maps  edited by any editor come out wrong but mostly you can live with it.
 

Nospher

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But the blues areas can be corrected using one of Andux's land tools, the tool is lndsert. It fixes all the zoomed-out textures. It's awesome and the landscape turns out perfect, both zoomed in and zoomed out.
The biggest challenge I face is when I get near any building in the maps created by me. As I said in the replies above, the environment gets darker to the point of difficulting my gameplay (I can't even clearly see what I'm pointing at). Until, I zoom-out, then everything becomes fine.
 

Nospher

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I figured out something about that nasty darkening effect. It doesn't happens when I near a building... It happens when I zoom in (near, approach, whatever you may call it) the ground inside my influence area, you know, that (supposely) red ring that limits your ability to interact with everything outside your area.
Just saying, incase it helps someone with the same problem.
Dang, I want to fix this. It's the only thing that prevents me from playing my own created maps :(
 

Gremxula

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I wish you well  but none  of the  LHS fans managed it in several years while the game was popular.........
Now  B&W fans  are sometimes single digits even if you add all the forums together.
 

iRFNA

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I noticed that darkening effect as well, although mine isn't as bad as what you're showing.. I could atleast make out buildings and villagers.  Strange.  Besides that, though, this really does work.  You can make whatever crazy custom maps you want.
 

Kratzean

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The last posting is very old, but I want to say something, what is very important. I have found a way, to make from a dark world a light world, so that the map is not to dark. I have made it with hexediting.
Here is a proof:

My "Land14 Map" as a "dark world", bevore I have restored the map:
Land14.JPG


My "Land14 Map" after I have restored the map:
Land14b.JPG

(The water on the second picture is modified water from my mod and not from the restoration).

Perhaps I post, why I have do it!
 

Kays

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Yes, that was posted just over a year ago.

If you could post how it's done. I'm sure that someone might find the information to be useful.
 

Andux

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:fixed
I've added some basic lighting calculations to Lndromat v0.99. The download submission widget doesn't like my .zip package, so I'll try attaching the new program (without sample images) here.
 
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