How to make a map (updated 17-Mar-2006)

Topics that are not maps. Discuss general map making concepts, techniques, contests, etc, here.

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Postby Nobunaga on Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:55 pm

... I was under the impression that the dark, semi-transparent circles, the background for army numbers, on the maps, were a single graphic created and placed by with code over a map.

... Is this not the case? Are we to create these backgrounds, one for each territory?

... Just checking. It's not a problem. Please advise.
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Postby Marvaddin on Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:36 pm

Yeah, you need create the numbers little background. They dont exist in Middle East map, you see...

And, about the coordinates, yes, they are only significant for the positioning of the numbers. The map picture itself has no influence in the game, all information about borders and attack routes is in xml file.
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Postby Nobunaga on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:06 pm

... Gottcha! Thanks!
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Postby lackattack on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:21 pm

You don't need to make background circles for the armies - in the Middle East map there are none because it is easy to read the numbers.
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Postby Nobunaga on Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:21 am

... XML question here. Lack, any other experienced map-makers, I would appreciate your help.

... For each country in the XML, the x & y coordinates are entered. What location, specifically, are those coordinates marking?

... Is that the x & y of the upper-left corner of the number used to show armies present? Is it the x & y of the center of where that graphic will be drawn?

... Finding the x & y is easy enough with Photoshop, I just need to know what I'm trying to pinpoint exactly.

... Thanks!
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Postby Marvaddin on Sun Mar 26, 2006 1:48 am

Well, the 0,0 point is the upper left corner. But I had problems when I put X and Y coordinates in xml. I tested, and I needed to correct the coordinates. There is a fixed error for X axis, and another error to Y axis. Once you discover it, change all coordinates in xml using that rate. Here is a link to the test page:

http://www.conquerclub.com/mapmaker
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Postby SMITH197 on Sun Apr 09, 2006 9:50 am

ok....I've got myself a nice happy vector drawing program (Macromedia FreeHand MX) and now i want to ask you guys this....Do you just draw a map or do you import a map from various files online and modify? What do you find easier?
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Postby Nobunaga on Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:28 am

.... For "British Isles", I downloaded several maps of Scotland, England, Ireland, etc... and of course the entire UK maps as well. Used them to get the map outline and borders. Then from there it was all "creativity".

... Published maps are often copyrighted, so unusable, but nobody owns the rights to the shape of Ireland, eh? (for example)
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Postby Marvaddin on Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:13 am

I simply couldnt draw a Brazil map. Modifying is much easier. Im surprised by your question, its pretty obvious. :shock: :lol:
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Postby Haydena on Mon Apr 10, 2006 11:42 am

I did the same with my Japan map, took a map of japan from Wikipedia, was already split into 47 sections, merged two of them together, took one out (was way too small) and changed the colour, added text and circles, tarted it up a bit, pretty simple really.
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Postby ThuMp on Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:36 pm

Nobunaga wrote:... For each country in the XML, the x & y coordinates are entered. What location, specifically, are those coordinates marking?

... Is that the x & y of the upper-left corner of the number used to show armies present? Is it the x & y of the center of where that graphic will be drawn?


Did you ever get an answer to this?
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Postby lackattack on Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:17 am

x and y coordinates are from the top left.
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Postby mjs94 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:42 pm

since you have a copywrite "clause", why not give credit to the map maker? For instance, on the Asia map (Far East) you could post a credit to Prussian and who ever updated it...
guess I'm not a newbie anymore...
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Postby lackattack on Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:37 am

Thanks to Jota, who provided the XML checking code, there is a new form on the mapmaker page that tests your XML for errors such as a territory that can't be attacked. This should reduce the cycle of bug reports and fixes when a new map is published.
Last edited by lackattack on Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Nobunaga on Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:48 am

Way to go, JOTA!!! :lol:
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Postby Hoff on Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:05 pm

I'm having trouble with the small map. I go to test the coordinates and when the map loads its too big and you cant see the whole thing. But I know the map is within the coordinates of what you said in your first post. What can i do? help please!
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Postby thegrimsleeper on Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:13 pm

It sounds like your image is larger than what you specified in the xml. Double-check the beginning of your xml to make sure you correctly entered the dimensions of each size.
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Postby Hoff on Fri Apr 21, 2006 4:20 pm

thanks it worked!
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Postby AndyDufresne on Thu Apr 27, 2006 8:01 pm

Though I don't make maps, I do have one piece of advice to contribute to those that do. Don't rush. Let me say that again. Don't rush. Too often a map is in development and after only a day or two with little edits it has instantly become 'playable'. All good maps need to go through some sort of evaluation process to work out the kinks and bugs. It's rather sad to see a good map with potential, gone to waste due to bugginess and unbalance.

Edit: And to add what I said above, be open to suggestions. People in the Foundry are always looking to make the map making process more efficient so that the quality of the maps can be upped now that we have a good quantity.

Also, try to find something unique that can distinguish your map from the rest, so it isn't just 'another map'. That uniqueness could be an interesting feature, or perhaps the base location for the map, or any number of things, but something must set your map apart from others.

--Andy
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Postby freakshow on Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:38 am

It might seem odd to see me say this (beacuse I know Andy's post is directed at me) but he makes a good point, trust me, rushing a map doesn't help even if you end up with the balance right is more work then it's worth fixing mistakes once it's up. In addition I'd like to recomend some programs for people who would like to make maps but currently only have paint installed on their computer.

The Gimp (http://www.gimp.org) This is an open source alternative to photoshop. Since it's open sourced versions are available in most languages for every operateing system. There are tons of online forums and tutorials which will help you learn everyaspect of this program. My advice is to learn the power of the path tool, it's all to often over looked but it offers a very easy way to draw perfectly even lines, even if you aren't artistically inclined.

Inkscape (http://www.inkscape.org) I've seen the term vector graphics thrown around alittle here, for those of you who don't understand the diffrence between vector graphics and pixel graphics don't worry. Inkscape while tricky to use provides a free alternative to programs that sell for several hundred dollars. Like the Gimp it too is open sourced which means that it will run on your computer, no matter what operating system your running.

Blender 3d (Blender3d.org) For those of you adventureous enough to consider doing some 3d modeling as part of your map creation this would be a good start. Alternatively if you don't know how to model in 3d it's always a good time to learn how. Blender is by far the best open source 3d modeler available, it can do anything that programs costing several thousand dollars more can. Again there are tutorials available if you find yourself lost in the interface (you will).

All the programs listed above are totally free, most of them are pretty intuitive once you get past the inital learning. I'd also be willing to post a map making 101 if anyone is interested, I'm sure other mappers would be willing to help.
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Postby kevinc on Wed May 17, 2006 3:58 pm

To add to Freakshow's software suggestoins Paint.NET is also a really decent tool. It's like a basic version of Photoshop, and would be quite suitable. I would second Inkscape's recommendation aswell, it's a great tool.
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Postby gavin_sidhu on Thu Jul 06, 2006 7:07 am

I think this should be made a sticky. I am making a map atm (sort of, just playing around to see if it works), and found it heaps useful to read all the comments in here made by users who ran into problems that i am running into.

And freakshow, im not sure if u have done it, but if you havent can u publish the map-making 101? (I need all the help i can get).
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Postby Haydena on Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:22 am

Obviously you don't read.

And I don't think freakshow is still very active on the forums because his Indochina map hasn't been finished off.
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Postby gavin_sidhu on Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:09 pm

Haydena wrote:Obviously you don't read.

And I don't think freakshow is still very active on the forums because his Indochina map hasn't been finished off.


Ive read that, but it doesnt have solutions to common problems like this has.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:59 am

Really this post has little more to offer, hence the reason it was unstickied a while ago. You've ressurected it from the ashes of the Foundry Furnace.


--Andy
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