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Frozen Waters

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sado1

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Post 07 Mar 2013, 23:30

Frozen Waters

Original post (not up to date anymore :) ):
So, sado is a mapmaker now. Well, kind of. My first map, Frozen Waters, is a work in progress and while it has no objects, trees are awkward, the mountains might look bad (I just quickly came up with something random in Krom's editor, I plan to remake them later) and the whole map is flat, I want to hear some feedback about the locations and possible balance. I don't want to finish a map if the balance makes no sense. On the first sight it might seem very unbalanced between both sides, although left side has most stuff closer and not much space, and right side has lots of space while the resources are usually further away. This should be playable at the moment, everything necessary should be here. Just ****cking ugly. But I promise to improve it, given there's enough positive feedback to actually continue it.


Update (20 May 2013): I've improved the elevation on the whole map much, changed the style of the mountains a bit, fixed some inconsistencies (mixing different types of forests etc.)
Update (16 June 2013): After a game we played on the map a week ago or so, I figured I have to change location 4 completely, because stone placement in the corner was slowing down the city so much (especially last 20min before pt). Also, deleted a bit of the river between locs 3 and 4, so loc 3 has a bit more space now.
Huge update (15 Feb 2014): Complete rework of the entire map, everything changed, see post from the same day for details and screenshots.
Image
Download: kamrepos/upload/sado1/Frozen%20Waters/Frozen%20Waters%2015Feb2014.zip
mirror: http://ubuntuone.com/6dphicPFv74Cz16mH27IFS
Last edited by sado1 on 15 Feb 2014, 00:28, edited 10 times in total.
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Ben

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 09:49

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Alright, Sado. I know that this is an old topic by now, but I don't want to see you give up on map-making. I enjoy your company on TS, but you haven't been playing much lately, so I'm afraid that you are losing interest in KaM :( Hopefully, if you are tired of playing, maybe I can awaken your interest in map making ;)

There is potential in every map maker. I believe that. I understand that you were aiming for balance-- not looks-- in this map, so I'll try to keep that in mind, but understand I'm trying to be helpful when I say that this map is not pleasing to look at. I can't give individual tips on this map at the moment-- there are just so many things that need to be fixed, but that's understandable, because this map is huge. Seriously, there is so much open terrain, even The Dark Lord would have a terribly hard time making the map look good.
My advice is practice on smaller maps. Try making 2v2 maps, battle maps, or other things that can have a small map. Large maps take literally dozens of hours to make, and it can be quite cumbersome for expert map-makers like To, and rather impossible for beginners such as yourself.
Also, Sado, note that a lot of good map-makers have themes. This may make some maps look repetitive, but it enables map-makers focus on specific kinds of maps. For example, To is known for this deserts. Personally, I find deserts to be very hard to make, and I also think that they are quite ugly. However, To has done an excellent job at making deserts. They look alive and beautiful. I can't make good deserts (look at Oasis Struggle-- terrible), but I don't particular mind because that isn't where I focus my time and energy. So, in short, what I'm trying to tell you is to find a theme that you like, and practice it until you are comfortable with the editors.
Although being creative and having personal touch is important, KaM does have "rules" regarding how certain things are done on maps. For example, some tress cannot be placed on certain terrain (E.g., deciduous trees trees cannot be placed on snow) Similarly, some objects cannot be placed near other objects because they clash (E.g., palm trees cannot be placed next to evergreens). I am considering starting a user-blog on many of these "rules," but for now, look Joymania's (The makers of TSK campaign) and The Dark Lord's maps for advice on what terrain is affiliated with what objects, and which objects go together, etc.

Okay, that was all general stuff, but I think that it will be more helpful to you than specific things. Nevertheless, I'll still give some deeper tips, too.
I see that you are already experimenting with terrain. Very good. I personally think that terrain is the hardest part of making a map. Making it blend enough and using it correctly takes years of experience. For now, I'll say that certain areas of you map have way too much of the same terrain (espically the large patches of snow and dirt) try to mix it up a bit.
Mountains are tricky, and I think that they are the 2nd hardest thing to get right. there are so many different ways of making mountains, and different tricks to make them look more natural, that writing all of them here would take an hour and really wouldn't be all that useful. For now, try this trick that The Dark Lord told me a short time ago: When starting your mountains, use a size 2 brush to elevate your mountains just a little. Then, use a size 1 brush to give your mountains "peaks." Also, use the size 1 brush to give the sides of your mountains variation so they look more sheer. Example:Image

For a long time, I was not good at making coal fields. After some tips from The Dark Lord, I realized that the easiest way to make a coalfield is to place each tile individually. Make sure that the tranisiton of "heavy coal" to "Light coal" is smooth. The Dark Lord gave an excellent example of this with a picture: Image

The whole map is rather flat. In the Remake editor, I use a size 2 brush, size 4 slope, and a speed of 6 to elevate "walkable" terrain. Just move the mouse in semi-circular patterns to give the area a "hilly" look.

For balance issues, I won't say much, because I'm not good at that. I will say; however, that your map gives WAY too much space to build. Seriously, in the tightest location, you can still build a "Revolution" size city. Give less room to players so they actually need to plan in order for them to have a good city. It's just boring when you have so much room and you don't need to plan at all.

Keep at it, Sado. It takes a lot of practice, but it is a lot of fun, and it's great to see yourself improve. I've been making maps for over four years now, and To and The Dark Lord have been for over six, so it doesn't happen overnight. Still, it's not like we've been making maps every day, so don't worry. It'll come faster than you think ;)

Oh, and one more thing: Do NOT use my maps in the Remake for advice on making good maps. They are horrible!!


Have a good day, and good luck!
#thunderposting #greentornado
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The Dark Lord

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 13:12

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Ben, once again, you're too humble and you give me too much honour. :P

Sado, please let me know if you still work on this map or if you have any intention continuing with it. You see, the other day I was chatting with Disco and we were talking about maps. My next map will be some snow/ice-themed wasteland (the name 'Plains of Despair' has been stuck in my head for a while :P), and then Disco told me about your map and your 'walkable ice'-idea. It sounded to me as a perfect combination with my own idea. So if you still want to make this map let me know, I don't want to steal your ideas from you. :)
And if you'll continue I'll also give further tips/comments.
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sado1

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 13:52

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Thanks Ben for that wall of text :P Well, I know the proper way to start mapmaking is a small map, but on the other hand, I actually want people to play this map, and there's no need for another 2v2/3v3 map at the moment, so I decided I'll try to do 4v4 even if it's difficult. The advice about themes is a nice one generally, but well... I think just seeing the screenshot can tell you I had a theme in mind :P I didn't even touch the elevation in the version uploaded above, actually, now I have it ready on the whole map, but I'm pretty sure I need to make it more interesting in many places (I guess I'll wait for one of the mapmakers to join TS so I can ask what should I improve specifically) About the balance... eh, everyone kept telling me there's not enough place on the left side, and I actually expanded loc4 much since then. We'll see how it works.

TDL: feel free to steal my ideas, I'd love to see a proper snowy map from a good mapmaker, and using walkable ice in the location entrances seems too good of an idea to not use on such a map. Also, there's a lack of snow maps in Remake anyway, that's why I'm making one. And I'm not even making a 100% snow map anyway, more like 50-50.
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The Dark Lord

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 14:44

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Ok thanks sado. :) As a matter of fact (let's call it coincidence?) I started working on this map yesterday when I was bored. It will be focused on gameplay mostly, I'll start a topic about it in a minute.
If you have any questions or need tips/advice, don't hesitate to ask!
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Ben

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 21:29

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Sado wrote:Also, there's a lack of snow maps in Remake...

Personally, I don't like snow in RTS games. In AoK heaven, most users don't seem to like snow maps there, either. For me, I think it is because I live in a cold climate. There is snow 7 months out of the year sometimes around here, so I don't want to see it in my video games :P However, out of other RTS games, KaM has the best snow maps/ terrain of all.

But I digress...Now maybe I'll go make a multiplayer map based on the Icereala mountains (the land in which my single mission "Vortamic" takes place).

Oh, and Sado, if you do wish to continue working on this map, I will continue to give feedback. Does that sound fair? :) ;)
#thunderposting #greentornado
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sado1

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Post 17 Mar 2013, 23:04

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Sounds fair. Don't worry, if that's the case you'll just play on the right side only, there's plenty of grass there :) I guess TS will remain my primary source of feedback until the map is finished, and I'd appreciate if TDL or you would come there in a few days, when I'll hopefully have objects and stuff done as well.
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sado1

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Post 25 Mar 2013, 00:39

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

I updated download link and screenshot in the first post. The map isn't yet looking exactly as I'd want it to look like (after seeing my mistakes like big patches of same terrain type, or some straight lines here and there...), but I think I will not try to fix it manually (can't use krom's editor anymore). It's still looking alright compared to quite some maps out there I think, come on, I won't become TDL overnight :P I just know what to (not) do in my next maps, and Frozen Waters seems to be playable and not that ugly to me. If the whole world will convince me that my map is going to become the next BitD or something, I'll probably either fix the looks manually or wait for the next RC/normal version which should have the brushes.
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pawel95

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Post 25 Mar 2013, 10:41

Re: Frozen Waters - WIP

Yeah the map is looking better and better. However you can still see that the trees arent placed like "real" :D
Espacially when you outzoom,like the screenshot, you see that they are places with Trees and 20 meters of that point there is just no object and no tree :D So it´s good when you place small forests. However you should also place some more trees "randomly" on the map, like it is in all other good maps also. Just look at bottom right corner, there is just nothing to see really.
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sado1

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Post 20 Apr 2013, 12:56

Frozen Waters

Final version (so far) uploaded. Objects are here, I also had to rearrange the left side - now it should have a better chance against right, and be more fun to play. If Lewin is reading this, I hope to include this version in the Remake.
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sado1

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Post 15 Feb 2014, 00:26

Re: Frozen Waters

The time has come, to share with the world, what I've been working on for last 3 months. I present you the new Frozen Waters. The idea stays the same, locations look similar, yet I can safely tell that everything has changed. It's quite possible there will be some improvements to this version, so I'm waiting for all the forum feedback :)
Overview: http://ubuntuone.com/315Doksj2mvwn2FxzL2zEE
Shortly speaking:
-first thing I did was making sure I start from scratch - I flattened the entire map, removed all the objects, then started fixing locations, terrain, made new elevation then finally new objects
-now twice as much snow! :D
-map size is now 208x208 - lots of building space now!
-all locations were resized to fit the new map size
-all the entrances were checked - locations that seemed too campy were given wider/new entrances
Quick look at per-loc changes:
Location 1 http://ubuntuone.com/17XXsybgzB9UJXi2k14tlK
-changed the placement of gold, small coalfield and trees on the right
-bridge is bigger now, and seems to be lower (thanks to the map being stretched)
-new, huge icy entrance
Location 2 and 3: http://ubuntuone.com/0H9niOwaw8nHBm7twa2ifn
2:
-trees are closer
-more space closer to the storehouse, which also got replaced
3:
-replaced crucial resources to make it easier to build, and to get iron
Location 4: http://ubuntuone.com/1HrNpw1SWBq6DkcPD7k2DC
-now has 300 iron (I have no idea how I couldn't notice it before :D)
-easier to build, and to cut trees
Location 5: http://ubuntuone.com/2K1zhNlJJhYYf8LWkyKL6r
-moved the location further away from 1
-way, way harder to defend entrance
Location 6: http://ubuntuone.com/275MiKbnPeOVuRTCkZr91s
-relocated main resources to make building a bit more sane
Location 7: http://ubuntuone.com/7YGZ8eZw9vvGsoCP8IkV6m
-relocated gold, storehouse, trees a bit
Location 8: http://ubuntuone.com/1gwPbumZ71S9mJZUaLjMMM
-much harder to defend (I hope :) )

Download: kamrepos/upload/sado1/Frozen%20Waters/Frozen%20Waters%2015Feb2014.zip
mirror: http://ubuntuone.com/6dphicPFv74Cz16mH27IFS
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pawel95

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Post 15 Feb 2014, 09:48

Re: Frozen Waters

Small note. Use imgur as picture hoster.
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Kai

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Post 15 Feb 2014, 12:44

Re: Frozen Waters

I have a question on loc 3 and 4,,,why there are 4 iron-slots? for balancing something??? I cant see a reason...,,i like the map..D

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