Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Any good fortification map tile mods?

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Mods and Scenarios >> Mods >> Any good fortification map tile mods? Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/8/2019 9:49:43 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
I've always found the default "circle" fortification graphic a bit "lacking".
These are the two entires in "h_tiles_misc.png".

What I'd love to have is something showing ala actual trenches or fortifications, or even something similar to the "fortified line" tiles (h_tiles_fortifiedline) would look a lot better.

My graphic skills are not really good enough to create something from scratch. Does anyone have any suggestions or would be willing to try create something?

EDIT; fortifications, not entrenchment, for clarification.

< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/8/2019 10:05:06 PM >
Post #: 1
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/8/2019 11:28:52 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 230
Joined: 12/11/2017
Status: offline
I think the circle is great for a simple reason: it's symmetric and symbolic. The problem is that you only have a single hex option for fortification, not a whole set of tiles, as is the case for fortified line. If you try to make a more "organic" shape, it will be asymmetric and the shape will repeat itself all around creating a strange unnatural pattern. As a circle, it repeats itself already in a brick like pattern, but at least it is explicitly symbolic.

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 2
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/9/2019 12:18:22 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
Thanks for the reply Cabido. Yes, I understand that using "trenches" would probably not work, as well as being mostly illegible on most map tiles. It needs to stand out, and like you said it's symbolic. For your (awesome) map mod it would work fine as it goes for a board game look. On the more realistic default tiles it looks out of place to me.

Maybe if it was more "fortress-like". I've actually experimented today with stealing this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastion_fort#/media/File:StarFort.svg
Using the central star as a template I was able to create something like this, which is better (more fortress-like) but still not satisfied with how it looks.



My Gimp skills are sufficient to use something created elsewhere I guess, but not to create something from scratch, so any pointers to other things I could try would be appreciated

< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/9/2019 12:19:17 PM >

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 3
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/9/2019 4:14:47 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 230
Joined: 12/11/2017
Status: offline
It's not a bad shape. I just think it seems more robust than the original fortified line.

Also, try to place it all around and see how it will look after zooming out. I have tried some shapes that have created some unpleasant patterns when zoomed out. Remember that a lot of those things will be on the map during a game. This one may create some flowery pattern when zoomed out.

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 4
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/9/2019 8:52:12 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
Yeah, I just thought it looked more "aggressive" which I liked. But when zoomed out it doesn't really improve on the original, and also looks bad when a lot of them are clustered together - like the original.

A couple of questions I've come across now when trying stuff, I'm sure you've encountered them too:

1. The original small (s_tiles_misc) files do not have the size aspect ratio dimensions as the other files. For instance:
h_tiles_misc.png - 1020 x 704 Pixels (1.44)
tiles_misc.png - 510 x 352 Pixels (1.44)
s_tiles_misc.png - 270 x 192 Pixels (1.40)

If you try to make the s_tiles_misc follow the same 1.44 AR it results in glitches when zoomed out. I'm sure you've encountered this in your modding too?

2. Have you found what the best interpolation method for resizing to smaller, and still keeping it crisp? I use the Gimp. "Cubic" is the standard I think, but makes things washed out. "None" makes things crisper but also causes artifacts on some icons.


< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/9/2019 8:54:12 PM >

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 5
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/9/2019 9:22:20 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 230
Joined: 12/11/2017
Status: offline
1. Yes, it doesn't follow the same aspect ratio. You'll have to change it. Just scale to the 270x192 resolution.

2. I have already recommended GIMP in this forum, but I use Photoshop. I used to work with computer graphics and I still have an older version of it. For the mod, I used the bicubic sharper (photoshop has 3 bicubic interpolation methods). Nearest neighbor tends to present sharp results, but usually causes jagged edges. I would have to open GIMP (it's installed on another computer) to remember the methods available. Anyway, if you can't find a decent method, send me the files and I'll try to scale them in Photoshop for you. Yet, for the smaller size, because of the different aspect ratio, you'll necessarily have some loss. You can try to sharpen it after scaling, too. Just place some TOAW map on a lower layer and work on it with filters and manually, if necessary. There's only three tiles for dug-in positions.

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 6
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/9/2019 10:55:58 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido
1. Yes, it doesn't follow the same aspect ratio. You'll have to change it. Just scale to the 270x192 resolution.


Yes, that's what I've been doing. Takes a bit more time having to unlock the AR and type the different res, especially when testing what works best when rescaling... oh well, no idea why they would've chosen to do this. Probably something left-over from the older games.

quote:

ORIGINAL: Cabido
2. I have already recommended GIMP in this forum, but I use Photoshop. I used to work with computer graphics and I still have an older version of it. For the mod, I used the bicubic sharper (photoshop has 3 bicubic interpolation methods). Nearest neighbor tends to present sharp results, but usually causes jagged edges. I would have to open GIMP (it's installed on another computer) to remember the methods available. Anyway, if you can't find a decent method, send me the files and I'll try to scale them in Photoshop for you. Yet, for the smaller size, because of the different aspect ratio, you'll necessarily have some loss. You can try to sharpen it after scaling, too. Just place some TOAW map on a lower layer and work on it with filters and manually, if necessary. There's only three tiles for dug-in positions.


Yes, I would guess PS probably has more options, and higher quality, given it's a paid product and used by the pros.

In Gimp 2.10 there's:
- None
- Linear
- Cubic (Is this is the same as bicubic?)
- NoHalo
- LoHalo

Apparently, the last two replaced the old Sinc/Lanczos I remember from older versions. Not sure if these new ones are better.
LoHalo is supposed to be better for downscaling more than half, but I think Cubic seems to be better.
Linear is maybe "nearest neighbor"?

I think the game does some scaling as well, so probably it doesn't matter much when zoomed out anyway.

I've used Gimp for many years but not regularly, so I only know the basics, what I've needed for small modding projects. I like it though, the new 2.10 is really good, and with a dark theme so it looks like PS


< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/9/2019 10:59:23 PM >

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 7
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/10/2019 2:08:42 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 230
Joined: 12/11/2017
Status: offline
I suppose linear is bilinear and cubic is bicubic, in fact. They will use a 2x2 grid. Nearest neighbor doesn't calculate an intermediate color. It just duplicate or suppresses pixels. That's why it is sharp, but also why it results in a jaggy image.

I think cubic should do it. Perhaps the cubic sharper algorithm in Photoshop does some extra work in increasing contrast.

< Message edited by Cabido -- 3/10/2019 2:09:54 PM >

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 8
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/10/2019 8:22:03 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
So I've been tinkering a bit - and I think I've found something that works for me. Basically just stealing the fortified line graphics, with bunkers for 100% fortification. I think it looks really good, and a lot better than the defaults. Hopefully it will not lead to gameplay issues - I think 100% entrenchment is also 100% fortification, so there should be no difference combat-wise for the two.

This is how it looks:



Also good when clustered and zoomed out:



This is the file itself. Cabido, would you be able to see if PS does better work on the rescale to small and medium sizes than Gimp? I wouldn't think it matters much anyway, but would be nice to know.
NOTE; I've attached the original as imgur changes the uploaded image.



Also you will note I've shamelessly stolen several of your icons

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shadrach -- 3/10/2019 8:26:05 PM >

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 9
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/10/2019 10:33:10 PM   
Cabido

 

Posts: 230
Joined: 12/11/2017
Status: offline
Here you go. I didn't test it. See if it makes any difference.

There is only one little aspect about your solution that can affect game play: the 100% entrenchment position can be reduced; players won't know what is fortified line and what is reducible entrenchment. Perhaps changing the color of bunkers a little could help.

Attachment (1)

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 10
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/10/2019 11:12:46 PM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
Thanks for that Cabido - the new ones are a little bit sharper, but it's so subtle it's nearly impossible to tell unless examined in high zoom.

I was thinking maybe I copy the ones from the original tiles_fortifiedline.png into the medium size one, in that way using the texture intended for the game. They are a bit more subtle than the ones that are resized so don't stand out so much.

quote:

There is only one little aspect about your solution that can affect game play: the 100% entrenchment position can be reduced; players won't know what is fortified line and what is reducible entrenchment. Perhaps changing the color of bunkers a little could help.


Yeah, might be an issue there. Although, I think when fortified line, it will have ONLY 100% FORT. But when entrenched by a unit it will be BOTH 100% FORT and 100% entrenchment... Not sure.

I was thinking maybe using wooden bunkers, so looking around if I can find something to steal, they'd need to be square instead of round, and I can't just colourise the existing ones to look like wood. For some reason google does not want to find me some wooden bunkers from above... :(

Also for some weird reason the bunkers in the high-res one is darker than the ones in the medium size, so when sizing down they keep this colour. Might be good to separate from the fortified line tiles.

(in reply to Cabido)
Post #: 11
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/11/2019 12:43:19 AM   
Curtis Lemay


Posts: 11206
Joined: 9/17/2004
From: Houston, TX
Status: online
Entrenchment % doesn't give any defensive benefit - unlike Fortified Line.

Entrenchment % only impacts speed of digging in.

_____________________________

My TOAW web site:

Bob Cross's TOAW Site

(in reply to Shadrach)
Post #: 12
RE: Any good fortification map tile mods? - 3/11/2019 9:51:02 AM   
Shadrach


Posts: 462
Joined: 10/16/2001
From: Oslo, Norway
Status: offline
Thanks for the clarification Bob, I think the manual is not very clear on this point, and seems to use Entrenchment level and Fortification level interchangeably. It's kind of murky.

I don't really think it will make much difference to this though, this is a personal mod and I will probably be the only one using it, so I will quickly understand if it doesn't work as intended.

BTW, there seems to be an older tiles_misc.bmp containing a more 'fortified hex' look, for instance:
Graphics Override\Race for Tunis 1942 v.4.0\Tiles_misc.bmp



However it's ****ty quality and pretty much useless for TOAW4. Maybe someone has a higher quality one somewhere?

(in reply to Curtis Lemay)
Post #: 13
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [New Releases from Matrix Games] >> The Operational Art of War IV >> Mods and Scenarios >> Mods >> Any good fortification map tile mods? Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.188