Map Making

Another year, another resolution to get the CRPG done. This time I mean it though. 😉 I’m not updating that copyright on the title page again!

I made a couple engine fixes, my favorite being that monsters now don’t move towards you if you can’t see them. I ran into the problem that monsters immediately came through doors out of rooms to attack you. I don’t have a flag for tiles to be marked “permissible to players but not monsters” so I was trying to figure out how to stop that from happening.

I realized that I already had the solution; during the map view generation phase I place mobs on the map only if they’re visible. So at the same time, I can update a small array to indicate the monster either can see or NOT see the player, and have them react accordingly in the AI phase later.

Now I’m changing gears away from engine work, though, and getting started on content generation for the rest of the game. I have maps to create, mobs to place, script and dialogue to write, monster graphics to draw, and so forth… 🙂

I had considered starting beta testing with other people with just the content I have. But new content requirements could significantly alter the engine. Also, I’ve put off the work long enough. Certain cities and towns and dungeons have long been just a name in my head, it’s time to see them actually plotted out!

Drawing maps is both fun and helpful for plot. I always wanted to make the game so that exploring is rewarding. CRPG’s that have a lot of empty and meaningless territory without any significant interactions are boring. So I try and make sure if there’s a bridge leading to an island, for example, there’s SOMETHING on that island to check out. Otherwise, why put the bridge there in the first place?

The time to draw maps is considerable; I expect I’ll be working at this the rest of the month. And I’ll have to slow down when I get to some maps where I haven’t actually created the unique graphics for them yet. (A few special cases I’ve long planned.)

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4 Responses to Map Making

  1. PeteE says:

    A thing about maps and level design: the dungeons in Legend of Zelda don’t have empty dead-ends either. The player is taught in the first dungeon that a closed door can be opened by pushing on blocks. Later in dungeon 4 there is a dead-end with no item, and if the player remembers to push on blocks in that room, a secret staircase will open up, leading to an item that is required to progress further in the dungeon. But there’s a counter-example on the overworld map where there’s an empty path with nothing but an arrow pointing back the way you came. Hmm.

    Your maps look great, btw.

  2. DGM says:

    Question: why are the left and right boundaries of the map diagonal?

    • adamantyr says:

      It’s a feature of my maps, you can indicate a slant. That way I can create maps that are coastlines that run diagonally without a lot of wasted space a square map would introduce.

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