Terrain Mod (v2.4) - Update

Moderator: Vic

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bootlegger267
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by bootlegger267 »

I've got a brain fart. Do we place the MOD into...

C:\Matrix Games\Shadow Empire\graphics

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mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

Do we place the MOD into...
C:\Matrix Games\Shadow Empire\graphics

One level up...
C:\Matrix Games\Shadow Empire

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bootlegger267
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by bootlegger267 »

Thanks! (duh...lol)
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

ORIGINAL: bootlegger267

Thanks! (duh...lol)

[:)]

Panzer Blitz! One of my favorite games, way back when I was high-school age in the 1970's.

-Mark R.
Whiskiz
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by Whiskiz »

Forgive my ignorance, but for installation it says "Unpack the zip file contents to your ...\GraphicsAlt and ...\Graphics folders"

The only file this download comes with is GraphicsAlt - so we're supposed to copy and paste it both in GraphicsAlt and Graphics folders?

I did that and it didn't work.

Is this only an update and not the actual base Terrain mod? I looked around and couldn't find one.

Much confuse.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

ORIGINAL: Whiskiz

Forgive my ignorance, but for installation it says "Unpack the zip file contents to your ...\GraphicsAlt and ...\Graphics folders"

The only file this download comes with is GraphicsAlt - so we're supposed to copy and paste it both in GraphicsAlt and Graphics folders?

I did that and it didn't work.

Is this only an update and not the actual base Terrain mod? I looked around and couldn't find one.

Much confuse.

I clarified the opening post instructions.

The file is unzipped ONLY to the GraphicsAlt folder. The reference to the Graphics folder is a holdover from earlier versions of ShadowEmpire before Vic created GraphicsAlt.

Note: if it is your first time unpacking a mod, GraphicsAlt won't exist. It is created when you unpack.

Sorry for any confusion,
-Mark R.

Whiskiz
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by Whiskiz »

I became even more confused, because i tried that first haha - Just copying over GraphicsAlt because that's all there was.

It didn't seem to work so that's when i tried copying to both and thought i was doing something else wrong.

After some testing - it turns out the issue is Das's awesome tile icons mod overwriting/being incompatible with this mod, which is a major shame.

Any possibility of making them compatible, so we get his clear environment icons on your awesomely detailed and also clearer defined environment textures?

Otherwise if your mod is first then his copied over it's his icons and maybe your detailed roads but mostly base blurry hexes. If his is done first with yours copied over after there's no more icons but detailed textures.
stryc
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by stryc »

If a combined effort with Das's icons does go ahead, please be certain _NOT_ to make them both obligatory, i.e., you get both or none. I, personally, dislike the look of this terrain mod but I find great value in Das's icon mod.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

After some testing - it turns out the issue is Das's awesome tile icons mod overwriting/being incompatible with this mod

You are correct. As both mods modify many of the same graphic image files, the last one installed wins.
Any possibility of making them compatible, so we get his clear environment icons on your awesomely detailed and also clearer defined environment textures?

It is definitely technically possible. It would just need blessing from both DasTactic and myself. For my part, I am all for anything that makes each player's playing experience more enjoyable. One of us would need to give the other our raw images to execute on the suggestion.

An even better solution would be if Vic ever took up the suggestion to make the DasTactic icons toggleable (as per suggestions in the DasTactic terrain thread). Then the DasTactic icons could be toggleable over any other terrain mod.
If a combined effort with Das's icons does go ahead, please be certain _NOT_ to make them both obligatory, i.e., you get both or none. I, personally, dislike the look of this terrain mod but I find great value in Das's icon mod.

Absolutely! If I were to do it, I would make an entirely new mod of combined imagery. IMO, the main purpose of graphics mods is to allow players to customize the look of the game to suit their own personal taste.

-Mark R.

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Tchey
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by Tchey »

Please make a combo mod with Das, it really improve visual AND gameplay (makeing it easier to read and understand what is what).
* Jeux1d100 ? Le blog Jeux1d100.net sur les jeux indécents et Linux, et la chaîne YouTube *
Whiskiz
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by Whiskiz »

An even better solution would be if Vic ever took up the suggestion to make the DasTactic icons toggleable (as per suggestions in the DasTactic terrain thread). Then the DasTactic icons could be toggleable over any other terrain mod.

True. The base game needs a hex/environment icon overlay toggle by default, due to how hard it is to tell the environment apart sometimes. Would be great.

Or if it's too much hassle since even being able to rebind keys or a menu that even shows what the keybinds are, seems to be too much of a hassle, maybe you could make your own awesome set of icons to go with your awesome environments.

Or see 2 awesome modders combine their powers for the good of all mankind. Mostly just players of Shadow Empire, but still [:'(]

The options are endless!

reapercorfu
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.3) - Update

Post by reapercorfu »

Hello there , i find it very difficult to install this mod , i unzip the file and i place the graphicsalt folder inside tha games folder but i can not run the mod , could you please help a bit ?
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.3) - Update

Post by mroyer »

ORIGINAL: reapercorfu

Hello there , i find it very difficult to install this mod , i unzip the file and i place the graphicsalt folder inside tha games folder but i can not run the mod , could you please help a bit ?


The zip file should be unpacked to your Shadow Empire folder creating a GraphicsAlt folder there,
typically C:\Matrix Games\Shadow Empire\Shadow Empire\ (see image below).

You don't 'run' the mod. Once the zip is unpacked, you run the game normally and you should see the alternate terrain imagery.

Image

-Mark R.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »


v2.4 update available - download link in opening post.

Terrain Mod v2.4
(1) Fixed the weird dead-end hook on some dirt roads
(2) Made more minor touch-up fixes of road hex joins
(3) Escarpment updates (e.g., less saturated coloration)
(4) Rounded off star-like look of forest/woods/jungle when clumped in 7-hex groups
Note: this version is combined with DasTactics icons in a separate DasTactic-Mroyer mod (v1.0)

stryc
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by stryc »

I like parts of this but the high contrast is hard on the eyes. Also, adding dark shadows to DasTactic's icons only exacerbates the problem.

Shame because the jungle, mountains and canyon adjustments are rather needed. Alas, replacing one visual problem with another isn't a good trade.

Suggest you pull back the contrast on everything; ease back on the saturation as well; dump the shadows on Das's icons.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

I like parts of this but the high contrast is hard on the eyes. Also, adding dark shadows to DasTactic's icons only exacerbates the problem.

Shame because the jungle, mountains and canyon adjustments are rather needed. Alas, replacing one visual problem with another isn't a good trade.

Suggest you pull back the contrast on everything; ease back on the saturation as well; dump the shadows on Das's icons.

I've taken your earlier comments under advisement, but I'm not really sure exactly how to help or improve. I think you're referring to the the contrast of certain terrain features (mountains, trees, etc) relative to the base, background terrain textures (grass, rocky plains, etc). I suppose that is partly a matter of personal taste. I didn't really increase the contrast of much over the original graphics with notable exception of trees and mountains (and, of course, the shadows behind the DasTactic icons in that version of the mod).


Especially if it might have broad appeal, I could try to create another flavor of these terrain mods that
(a) removes the shadows from the DasTactic icons (that's easy to do), and
(b) reduces the contrast of the trees, jungle, mountains, escarpments and roads/rails.


The latter (b) is a bit more tricky since its a judgement call and may be partly related to settings of individual monitors. You may not be seeing exactly what I see, for example. In my case, with the original, 'vanilla' graphics that came with the game it was very difficult to distinguish certain terrain features so I took to increasing the sharpness (which involves increased contrast).

But, I only sharpened up a few features: mountains, hills and trees, if I recall correctly. I also added some yellow to the savanna. Hills and savanna were especially difficult to distinguish from grassy plains in the vanilla offering.

The jungle and tundra terrain imagery that I used actually came with the original game. They were unused graphics that I activated. In the vanilla graphics, jungle was almost indistinguishable from forest and tundra from grassy plains.

The roads/rails, canyons and escarpments are entirely my own concoction. While overall I quite like the original vanilla graphics, I found these features to be specifically underwhelming and did my best to improve on them. DasTactics canyons and escarpments are arguably better than mine and could be used instead.

Otherwise, the imagery seen with this mod is largely the original vanilla imagery.


I will try to experiment along your suggested lines and see what I can do.

Thanks for the feedback,
-Mark R.

stryc
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by stryc »

Appreciate that a lot of this will be a matter of taste, as you said.

Most of it looks great, lets get that part clear first. I'm not trying to p1ss all over your carpet.

Trees, mountains and rail are the ones that suffer from too much contrast. (Adding 'sharpness' has the same effect as increasing contrast, applied only to areas of the bitmap that already had the highest contrast.)
- The trees have a bright, saturated left side and a near-black shadow. The original trees had about the correct level of contrast and saturation; that was never the problem with the originals - it was being unable to tell woods-from-forest-from-jungle, particularly when on low mountains.
- Mountains have near-white 'light-side' elements and near-black 'dark-side' elements. Low mountains look okay.
- Rail lines are all but pure black on very-nearly-white. Both forms of roads look great but the bright white/black snake of rail looks far too harsh.
- The escarpments just don't look right at all, to my eye. Granted, the original ones did no better.

Low and high mountains were pretty much indistinguishable in the original. I would suggest pulling your high mounts down to the saturation and contrast you currently have your low mountains at, and bring the low mounts down accordingly. With the presence of Das's icons (no shadow) the differences should be clear enough.

As I said above, everything else looks pretty good.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »



Hi stryc,

Thanks for taking the time to articulate the excellent, detailed feedback. I can work with those suggestions to see if I can improve. (Also, I didn't take it negatively at all - don't worry about that. I'd rather know people's thoughts.)

As an FYI, I just did an internet search and found the following real-life aerial of a rail bed. This is pretty much what I had in mind when I did the rail lines. I put the mod image there too for comparison. I can surely lighten the rails and ties a tiny bit and make the gravel bed a darker grey. I think that may have the effect you're talking about.

Image

-Mark R.
stryc
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by stryc »

Yeah, medium-grey. Not white. It's the harsh contrast that's the issue; black on white. Black on medium-grey might be okay.
mroyer
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RE: Terrain Mod (v2.1) Update

Post by mroyer »

It's actually a light, grainy grey to simulate gravel. I'll darken the grey. If you see it as white, others probably are too.
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