ORIGINAL: el cid again
I look at AE as a system. Originally an electronics technician and
machine language programmer, and a pioneer of early digital computers
(even pre-electronic digital computers, which used relays), I think in
terms of how the program works more than in terms of art. Most of my
time involved with maps is down at the level of the codes which define
the "real map" from the computer's point of view. Art is simply what
players see and has essentially nothing to do with how the program works.
I'll make this clear(er).
MAPGEN is a program designed to read that underlying binary data contained in pwhexe.dat and then render it graphically.
This is some code from MAPGEN's map dumping program:
ReadByte = [HexFileData.read(1)] # Read One Byte from file as a character.
if ReadByte == [b'\x00']: #x00 Deep Ocean
MapImage.paste(Hex_Blue_1, (int(PIXLOC_X_MODIFIER),int(PIXLOC_Y_MODIFIER)), Hex_AlphaChannel)
if ReadByte == [b'\x01']: #x01 Clear
MapImage.paste(Hex_Green_4, (int(PIXLOC_X_MODIFIER),int(PIXLOC_Y_MODIFIER)), Hex_AlphaChannel)
if ReadByte == [b'\x02']: #x02 Jungle
MapImage.paste(Hex_Green_2, (int(PIXLOC_X_MODIFIER),int(PIXLOC_Y_MODIFIER)), Hex_AlphaChannel)
if ReadByte == [b'\x03']: #x03 Mountain
MapImage.paste(Hex_Brown_1, (int(PIXLOC_X_MODIFIER),int(PIXLOC_Y_MODIFIER)), Hex_AlphaChannel)
Basically, this snippet reads one byte from pwhexe.dat; and it then does different things:
If the byte has a hexadecimal value of x00 (aka deep ocean); it pastes the "BLUE 1" hex.
If it's got a hexadecimal value of x02 (Jungle), it pastes "GREEN 2" hex.
The repacker does this in reverse. It looks at the graphical image and converts the GREEN 2 color into hexadecimal value of x02 and puts that into the binary file.