I should not have begun to do this thing in the first place. I have done graphics for years and it seemed a very easy task to "tweak" these tiles in order to make a flat looking (board game like) mod of the map, much less sophisticated, in appearance, then the look of works I have done before. How wrong can one be?
This was hell. To adjust those tiles to fit one another on the borders, to produce an organic look on patterns that will repeat themselves multiple times, to make fit all kind of terrain combinations in the same hex keeping the necessary clearness etc. F...k, this was painful and I wouldn't finish the job wasn't it for the obsession that pops up after I have accepted a challenge.
My inspiration was Devil's Cauldron board game. In fact, two tiles (dense urban and cultivated terrain) were directly derived from this game, with some changes. Since there will be no commercial use here, I don't think it is a problem. Anyway, this could be easily changed, I just don't see the need.
The goal was to get as close to a board game look as possible. I have used some 3D look with shadows for objects that aren't part of the map to enhance the effect. All tiles have a drawing like look. This is the only way to get the desired effect, since if we use realistic looking terrain, the only way to make them look as if printed would be to use perspective (in which case we can tell the image is flat) or to have a whole screen graphic layer on top of the board so that lighting conditions and reflexes could reproduce the aspect of a flat cardboard. As it is, Toaw only allow individual hexes adjusts that will reproduce themselves in a brick like pattern. We can't have different lighting conditions in different parts of the board as we can't have reflexes covering the whole of the board.
I have created a quick draft of a website using a hosting service I have never used before, just to host the example images and the link, so if there is some issue with the site or the link, just report it.
Some suggestions to the development team, to enhance the look of graphics:
- The instantaneous update of the movement arrow is very annoying; visually unpleasant and distracting. A simple solution (it must be very easy to implement) would be to allow for a half second, or so, delay after entering an hex, so that it doesn't snake around after the cursor in a kite tail fashion. A better solution would be to display the arrow after a first right click and the moving option menu on a second right click. The cursor change already shows if the hex is electable for movement. This would, additionally, prevent the accidental move problem.
- Adjust the mask that clips the text below the counters. As it is, the illusion of printed text is defeated by the text partially displaying above the counter's borders.
- Allow changing the objective flags mask. It seems to be set programatically (at least, I wasn't able to find a mask for it). Since objectives are useful when kept visible, making them look as a physical game piece set upon the board for a specific scenario would enhance the board like aspect. Ok, this suggestion is serving my personal goal, but even other mods would benefit from this freedom. I have tried to offset the font in order to use the square mask where it is, but the same font is used for all zoom levels, which makes it drift around when zooming if it isn't centered.
I hope you guys like it. I think it would be nice to have a sound set more appropriate for board games, with things like dices, perhaps some sound of pieces on cardboard when moving and so on, but I just don't have the time for it now. And I don't want to go obsessive again.