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RE: Map Making Steps - 5/22/2013 3:27:26 AM   
MikeAP

 

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Mad Russian,

In this photo;
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/28652/54156CEC8C4F4634AF0700968957B042.jpg

Did you hand place the fields and forests?

When you have time, you'll have to share more HexDraw tips. I like how you did elevation and lakes.

Did you also hand place the roads as overlays? I don't like how the roads in HexDraw appear..very bland, even with a good texture.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 31
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/22/2013 12:34:51 PM   
Capn Darwin


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Mad is on a well deserved vacation right now and should be back later this week. I'll answer what I know and he can fill in the blanks when he gets back.

1. Yes. We do hand place the forest, fields and cities. We have several pieces of art for each and position them to achieve the look we want and to best match up to the google earth reference for the location.

2. Roads and rivers are placed using the program. Roads run through hex centers and we adjust the road splines by hand. Rivers on the hex edge and we adjust those splines too. Again to best match the reference map.

As I stated elsewhere, we plan on releasing the templates and map art assets with the game along with instructions. Mad Russian has done a couple quick tutorials on his method (which we use in the documentation).

Thanks for the questions!

_____________________________

Working Mod Guide 4 and waiting for the Installer package to test it.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations Developer,
and resident Rocket Scientist

(in reply to MikeAP)
Post #: 32
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/23/2013 12:17:01 AM   
The Plodder


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Could you create a map in paint.net, for example, using the basic colours to auto-generate the map data, then swap out the map image for something a bit more fancy but keep the underlying map data?

_____________________________

Gen. Montgomery: "Your men don't salute much."
Gen. Freyberg: "Well, if you wave at them they'll usually wave back."

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Post #: 33
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/23/2013 1:41:58 AM   
Capn Darwin


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@ The Plodder - yes, you could in fact do that. The map art and data are two separate files.

_____________________________

Working Mod Guide 4 and waiting for the Installer package to test it.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations Developer,
and resident Rocket Scientist

(in reply to The Plodder)
Post #: 34
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/23/2013 6:16:49 AM   
The Plodder


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Sweet. It sounds like it's pretty flexible then.

_____________________________

Gen. Montgomery: "Your men don't salute much."
Gen. Freyberg: "Well, if you wave at them they'll usually wave back."

(in reply to Capn Darwin)
Post #: 35
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 8:01:58 PM   
Mad Russian


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quote:

ORIGINAL: MikeAP

Mad Russian,

In this photo;
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/upfiles/28652/54156CEC8C4F4634AF0700968957B042.jpg

Did you hand place the fields and forests?


Yes, every graphic is hand placed and oriented on the map.

I normally start with the terrain elevations first. Add whatever water obstacles there are second. That is not set in stone and either can be done in any order. You just need the two of them done before you add the roads. After putting elevations and water obstacles I add the roads to the map. The reasoning for my creating the map in that order is for me that is the logical progression towards the toughest part of making the map; sculpting the woods around the elevations, water and roads.

Elevations are determined by the map creator. At times, as often as I can make it happen on my maps, it is actual terrain that gets taken over directly. At other times it's the most prominent feature within the 500 meter area that gets put in a hex. When I have to use prominent feature I look to see whether that feature would affect combat, movement, or LOS. If it does then I add it to the map, even though it may actually be only a small portion of the overall area of the 500 meter hex.

Water obstacles will make you adjust your game map more from the actual map than any other real life terrain feature. On the Google Earth maps the Rhine River does not come into HexDraw in scale, while in game terms it is 1000 meters across which is 2 hexes. On the actual map it only occupies one hex.

Once I have both elevations and water obstacles on the map I create the roads.



quote:


Did you also hand place the roads as overlays? I don't like how the roads in HexDraw appear..very bland, even with a good texture.


Yes, roads are hand placed to follow elevation and water obstacle terrain features. Depending if the water obstacle takes the entire hex or is a hexside obstacle depends on where my roads end up. I try to keep the road net as factual as possible. By that I mean that if the road follows a river on the north, I try to the best of my abilities to put the road to the north of the river. Where the water is bridged I try to put a bridge.


Good Hunting.

MR








Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/27/2013 11:26:17 PM >


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to MikeAP)
Post #: 36
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 9:37:13 PM   
Mad Russian


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After elevations, water and forest I put in the villages, towns and cities. Make sure you select the Top Text tab when creating the names so they will display over the top of all other terrain types. That little selection tab alone cost me HOURS of redoing my map work.


The last thing I put on the map are the fields. I only put those in hexes with no other terrain in them at elevations 1 and 2. There are 5 main field graphics and I put them on the maps where no two adjacent hexes have the same graphics.

Between the forest sculpting and the fields at lower elevations the map elevations can be seen pretty much at a glance without having to use in-game tools.

A lot of thought went into the functionality of the maps.

Good Hunting.

MR

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/27/2013 11:29:04 PM >


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 37
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 10:43:28 PM   
Mad Russian


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Here you can see where I put the rivers down on the map. This is by far where the map designer will use his/her artistic license to the best of his ability if he/she is trying to create an accurate depiction of the terrain being modeled.





You can see just south of Lichtenau where I could have taken the stream course in several different hexsides other than the ones I chose.

Good Hunting.

MR

Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 38
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 10:58:30 PM   
Mad Russian


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After my water I'm going to add the elevations. This time I decided to do the water first since there wasn't anything larger than streams and it will take very little time to do it.

With elevations I often add flood plains for moving water areas. Depending on the surrounding terrain and what the actual terrain elevations are. It gives the river valley affect from both small to very large and makes the map feel right.

When switching back and forth between my elevation and terrain map I make sure my alignment spot matches up each time.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 39
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 11:05:47 PM   
Mad Russian


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To make absolutely sure I can identify my alignment hex I pick a town. Normally in the center of the map but it doesn't really matter where it is on the map as long as it is easily identifiable.

Once I have it marked, usually with town name and road net we can go on to add the roads to the rest of the map.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 40
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 11:26:18 PM   
Mad Russian


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Keep in mind that water sources usually start in higher elevation and flow downhill from there. So, if the terrain elevation is right on the line I put a water source at higher elevation. Just because it feels, and looks, right.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 41
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 11:30:54 PM   
MikeAP

 

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I just learned how to manually bend rivers/roads in HexDraw. Doh!

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Post #: 42
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/27/2013 11:33:56 PM   
Mad Russian


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Bringing roads together in HexDraw can get interesting at times when it automatically morphs them for you. Whether or not you want them morphed.

On a normal map, the road net takes me the longest to create of any part of making a map. Mainly because you can only do 4 hexes of road at a time in HexDraw.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/27/2013 11:34:33 PM >


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to MikeAP)
Post #: 43
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 3:45:14 AM   
Mad Russian


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Once I have the elevations done I use the terrain map to draw in all other features.

To do this I set the Transparency at the second setting from the left and I put Zoom almost centered under the white transparency box. I want just enough of the underlying map to show through to see where I need the road net. If I need to I can add more transparency to see what I need to do.

When creating the road net I want right down as close as I can get when it comes to lining up the ends of the road net. I usually am at maximum zoom or at the location shown in the screen shot.

Good Hunting.

MR

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 44
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 3:47:03 AM   
Mad Russian


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Then I start to place and form the roads. Each road section has 4 set points you can use to move them. Stream/river sections have the same 4 set points.

When doing roads or rivers that go through hexsides I make sure that I get a clean identity for the hex. I do not want the AI to have to determine which hex it is in if it goes down a hexspine. Make your roads and rivers cross a single hexside.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 45
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 3:53:33 AM   
MikeAP

 

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The roads are time consuming but worth it. They look much better with natural curves.


I wish there was a better way to outline hills. When hexes start to fill up, hills can get lost or difficult to see. Maybe an outline around them? You can also shape the outlines with natural curves.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 46
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 5:55:43 AM   
Mad Russian


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FPC has an LOS tool in the game that can help to show where the height obstructions are if they get too hard to determine.

Hill outlines have been discussed.

At the moment structuring the terrain to show the hills was determined to be the best answer.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to MikeAP)
Post #: 47
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 1:24:02 PM   
Jamm


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Question:
Are the farmland tiles just for window dressing, or do they have a modifier?

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Post #: 48
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/28/2013 1:27:02 PM   
Mad Russian


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Nothing on the map is window dressing. Everything has a modifier.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Jamm)
Post #: 49
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 9:52:49 AM   
Koesj

 

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Let me get this straight because I'm afraid I'm a bit confused: HexDraw is only there to create an image file, the visual representation of the map, whose modifiers, the map's values so to speak, have to be added in-game or in a proprietary editor seperately, right?

As in: I can just do my own magic in Illustrator, which is of course vector based, and output a file at the appropriate size?

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 50
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 12:12:52 PM   
Capn Darwin


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@Koesj - Yes, As long as you have a map with the proper scaled size and hex locations (where the hexes line up), you can bring that image into the game's Map Values Editor and add the necessary sets of map values needed by the game. Once you have the correct hex grid overlay set to the proper size and scale you can go crazy making map images. More details will of the process will be in the game documents and we can talk a bit more about it on the forums.

_____________________________

Working Mod Guide 4 and waiting for the Installer package to test it.

Cap'n Darwin aka Jim Snyder
On Target Simulations Developer,
and resident Rocket Scientist

(in reply to Koesj)
Post #: 51
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 2:40:15 PM   
benpark


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I'm not a post 1945 gaming fan, but I'll try nearly anything with a map maker.

It might be helpful to have an "export hex grid" as the appropriate image format (or .png for transparency) from the editor (at the size of the set map). This would allow any program (Photoshop, Illustrator) to edit the files.



_____________________________

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Post #: 52
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 2:45:45 PM   
MikeAP

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: benpark

I'm not a post 1945 gaming fan, but I'll try nearly anything with a map maker.

It might be helpful to have an "export hex grid" as the appropriate image format (or .png for transparency) from the editor (at the size of the set map). This would allow any program (Photoshop, Illustrator) to edit the files.


I did just that for Photoshop. I will release it when the game is released, and I can confirm that the scale is correct.

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Post #: 53
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 4:57:01 PM   
Mad Russian


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Nice to see you in here Ben!

As you know I'm a HUGE FAN of your work!!

This series won't stay post 1945 for very long.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to MikeAP)
Post #: 54
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 4:58:18 PM   
Mad Russian


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The reason I'm using HexDraw as the example of how to create a map is simply because that's what I used.

I already owned HexDraw when I joined this project so it was easy for us to use a standard format to get the basic maps for the game done. Especially because I planned to do so many of them for this game.

Once the rest of you start making maps mine are going to look like they were made by a child in Kindergarten.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 55
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 8:49:49 PM   
benpark


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Mad Russian

Nice to see you in here Ben!

As you know I'm a HUGE FAN of your work!!

This series won't stay post 1945 for very long.

Good Hunting.

MR


You as well, old friend.

Despite my last statement, this looks very good. I also appreciate seeing the map making process.


_____________________________

"Fear is a darkroom where the devil develops his negatives" Gary Busey


(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 56
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/29/2013 9:24:43 PM   
Mad Russian


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At least I've not been hounding you for map graphics this time around!

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to benpark)
Post #: 57
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/30/2013 2:19:30 AM   
Mad Russian


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After applying the water obstacles I go in and rough up the water's path.

To do that I grab the adjustment point at the hex point and move the water away from the hex point - towards the center of the hex. That rounds off the turn. I can adjust all 4 points if I need to that will take the water obstacle in any direction or form I like it.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Mad Russian -- 5/30/2013 2:41:52 AM >


_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 58
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/30/2013 2:24:35 AM   
Mad Russian


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What I do when I create a map is to paint a picture in essence.

I want my picture to be as believable and accurate as possible. Everything I do to my maps is with that in mind.

Good Hunting.

MR

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 59
RE: Map Making Steps - 5/30/2013 3:01:03 AM   
Mad Russian


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When putting roads together HexDraw will 'help' you at times by morphing the road sections where it thinks you want them. To keep that from happening you have to learn not to run road sections too close before tying them together.

Good Hunting.

MR




Attachment (1)

_____________________________

The most expensive thing in the world is free time.

Founder of HSG scenario design group for Combat Mission.
Panzer Command Ostfront Development Team.
Flashpoint Campaigns: Red Storm Development Team.

(in reply to Mad Russian)
Post #: 60
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