VGMaps

General Boards => Mapping Tips/Guides => Topic started by: GuyPerfect on July 09, 2013, 02:23:36 PM



Title: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: GuyPerfect on July 09, 2013, 02:23:36 PM
Greetings, mappers of the world! An important development has occurred that enables us to make maps for the Generation V Pokémon games. However, I am just one man, so any help and/or references for getting the game mapped out in full would be greatly appreciated. If you know anyone who does Pokémon maps or would like to tackle these games, lemme know in a reply or a PM.

And without any further ado...

For the Nintendo DS Pokémon games, maps are getting a little harder to make because the game is 3D whereas maps need to be 2D. For the Generation IV games, the camera system had an orthographic projection mode built-in that was used inside buildings, and mappers used Action Replay codes to force the game into that mode in the overworld. But after some investigation, I don't think the Generation V games have that functionality built-in. What I did instead was modify an emulator to get the job done.

The short version is that I've made a custom edit of DeSmuME 0.9.9 that forces an orthographic projection at all times, with values carefully tuned for the Generation V Pokémon games (the blacks and the whites). Here's a before and after shot:

     (http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y255/bgng/Hilbert2D_zps424ee10b.png)

You can download the modified .exe file here (just stick it in with a normal DeSmuME 0.9.9 installation):

  • http://xkeeper.net/private/DeSmuME_0.9.9_PokeOrtho.zip

This emulator modification is totally feasible for other games too, not just Pokémon. You'll have to define your own matrix values on a game-for-game basis, but it's doable. More information can be found here: http://jul.rustedlogic.net/thread.php?id=16317

Since the Generation V Pokémon games apparently weren't designed with the "2d" orthographic projection in mind, certain elements won't display properly. For most maps this is fine, but any character standing just under a wall, fence or in the grass will have some depth artifacts obscuring part of their pixels. So there's a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can compose full maps from screenshots just like every other game out there. Just make sure your character isn't in the shot. (-:
  • Seasons are based on the current real-world month of the year. January is Spring, and each month progresses one season at a time from there.
  • The best time to take maps in game is from 12:00 noon to 15:00 (3pm). I believe this is the time frame when maps are in their "fundamental" appearance.
  • If a character's head gets sliced in half by a wall or grass, don't sweat it. Load the game *without* the ortho emulator and stand next to the character (on the left or right). The pixels will line up.
  • Some maps don't play well with the orthographic projection. Any map with a changing camera angle (Castelia City, Victory Road, etc.) can't be mapped this way.
  • Maps with a lot of water will be hard to map if you don't stop the animation variables. I can take care of those, so don't worry about it too much.

So hey, spread the word! These maps are in hot demand, and we could use all the help we can get.

Here's a demonstration (click for full version):

     (http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/thumb/d/d6/Unova_Route_18_Summer_BW.png/300px-Unova_Route_18_Summer_BW.png) (http://cdn.bulbagarden.net/upload/d/d6/Unova_Route_18_Summer_BW.png)


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Revned on July 09, 2013, 04:11:56 PM
Wow, that's a really cool technique, and the results look great! Looking forward to seeing more  :)


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: GuyPerfect on July 10, 2013, 06:22:57 AM
Well, that's the thing. I posted this here to recruit some help making more, since there's no way I'm gonna do it all. (-:


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on July 23, 2013, 12:04:02 PM
So I was curious and I tested this out and here's what I came up with.
In the image you might see there's a little problem you wouldn't encounter with standard screenshot mapping.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: JonLeung on July 23, 2013, 01:42:41 PM
Are you referring to the clipping, with the Wii cutting into the female trainer's head?

I noticed in the image in the original post above, that the window actually appears to be floating a noticeable distance from the wall.  (Unless the wall itself is not visible and what we're actually seeing is the floor that the wall would be "on".)


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Peardian on July 23, 2013, 02:08:21 PM
Oh, I see. It's really hard to notice without jumping back and forth between the images. Since the graphics are model-based, everything is jittering around as the camera moves. Since the parallel projection is just a hack, the aliasing of the images makes things wonky as the camera slides around. The only thing I can think of that would fix it is to have the camera only move in increments of "a pixel", so that the aliasing always gives the same results.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on July 23, 2013, 04:15:17 PM
Peardian got it.  Try to line up the images as if you were making a map.  You can't since It's still vector to spite the code, not raster.  Look at the soil in the plant pot or the edges on the rug, the number of pixels change as you move around the room.  The same thing happens everywhere else so you'd have to map this game fuzzy and I know most people are against that.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: JonLeung on July 24, 2013, 06:56:42 AM
I wonder if it would be possible to find an "ideal" angle - which would probably be the most central, the spot directly under the player character - hack the graphics to remove the player sprite, and somehow capture only the spot that the player normally would be on, using something like Maxim's autostitcher program as you walk around, and grab it all tile-by-tile.  Of course you'd also have to use a walk-through-walls/objects code or else that method would only capture walkable spaces.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on July 24, 2013, 10:04:29 AM
The project could still be done blurry but you'd need a stack of codes.  Like you mentioned, walk through walls, but also animation freezes and the sprite issue which the emulator doesn't seem to be any help with.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Peardian on July 24, 2013, 06:31:36 PM
Yeah, even with codes to freely move the camera around, the "blurry" aliasing will always be a problem. I'm hoping it won't be a difficult issue to solve, as long as you know how the camera's coordinates are handled.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: GuyPerfect on July 25, 2013, 04:38:38 PM
I've encountered many spots where the screenshots I took didn't stitch together perfectly, but when it's all said and done, who can tell even if they know what they're looking for? Look at the map I posted in the first post; can you see the seams where my screenshots lined up? 'Cause I sure can't. (-:

The same problem is present in the Generation IV games, which supplies an orthographic projection out of the box. Most of those games have been mapped out in full using screenshots, and it wasn't until I started working with it myself did I even become aware that objects slightly distort depending on where they are in the frame.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: JonLeung on July 26, 2013, 06:48:07 AM
GuyPerfect, now you can see how much of a perfectionist everyone else is.  :P

I can understand the concerns of those above, who live for pixel-perfect maps, or at least ones that don't leave any degree of difference.

Personally, I would agree.  However, in some situations, such as this, one can only do so much.  Short of someone dissecting the code outright to extract the original graphics and reassembling them in an ideal fashion (which I imagine would be tricky here as you'd have to also include so many objects, not just the buildings and ground and water), I don't know how else one would make unquestionably perfect maps for these games.  Until that happens, I'm sure that if you or someone sent me maps using your method, I would certainly put them up.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on July 26, 2013, 05:16:33 PM
Before I sounded like a naysayer but don't get me wrong I fully intend to do this project, just not right away, I've got some other projects ahead of it including the one I'm working on now.  I wanted to do something for a game that was new, which would be quite a change, and popular, another change, but after doing a difficulty assessment on Skyrim I decided this would be easier.

I'll still need some codes and the maps will be fuzzy-ish but thanks to GuyPerfect the difficulty has been slashed way the hell down.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on November 04, 2013, 08:28:44 PM
Hey GuyPerfect, I need an animation freeze code.  You got any?


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on June 17, 2014, 06:37:11 AM
I'm dropping this project.  To many codes needed to move forward and I'm never going to get them all.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: JonLeung on June 17, 2014, 07:56:17 AM
Well, that's too bad, but I guess it's not worth it to struggle with something for too long when your effort and time can be put elsewhere more productive.

What I would like to see, if anyone still has a Pokémon mapping vibe, is to see more "useful" Pokémon maps besides just knowing the layout of areas.  Obvious things for any RPG would be to put together maps of the same area together in a single image, and to label the contents of treasure chests (or in this case, item balls).  For Pokémon games specifically it should be a given to mention on the maps what Pokémon are available in the area and their rarity.  It's actually surprising to me that we don't have maps like that.  There are great resources of Pokémon information out there like serebii.net (http://www.serebii.net) to help anyone complete such details.

I would suggest the GBA games/third generation, Ruby and Sapphire (and I guess that would mostly include Emerald), since the remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire are coming out this autumn for the 3DS and so there would be more interest in them.


Title: Re: Generation V Pokémon Maps
Post by: Trop on June 17, 2014, 12:31:50 PM
You should get on Starfighter to post the rest of his stuff here then.  It's not that he doesn't want it here he's just lazy about moving it around, you have to go to him.  That's how it was at my site, and I think a lot of his stuff on GameFaqs is missing here.