VGMaps

General Boards => Map Gab => Topic started by: TerraEsperZ on May 06, 2009, 08:26:11 PM



Title: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 06, 2009, 08:26:11 PM
People like JonLeung and Revned know I've trying to fully map a GBA Castlevania for a very long time. In fact, mapping all three of them was my goal back when I first started mapping but I didn't have the skill or attention span to do it. Since then, Circle Of The Moon and Harmony Of Dissonance have been mapped by other people, and soon I'll complete that holy triumvirate with maps for Aria Of Sorrow.



This is why I've been mostly absent from the board for the last two months:



User posted image



As you can somewhat see despite the size and JPG-induced blur, it also includes all the bosses and items (and they're labeled too!).



The final, full size map hasn't been fully assembled yet (I'm still mapping the boss rush mode and making my way to include the Hard Mode items), but I'm working on it, so expect the real thing sometimes next week.



---

Current projects: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA), Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on May 06, 2009, 11:47:32 PM
Looks great! You'd better submit it fast, because with your luck someone else will submit one tomorrow  ;-)



I never really liked the palette in the GBA games, they seems too washed out. SotN is so dark and vibrant. Speaking of which... I need to work on that. It's been what, 2+ years since we started?


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on May 07, 2009, 03:21:45 AM
The GBA famously had a dark LCD (at least, before the SP) and so many games would have a "washed out" palette to compensate. You could do a gamma correction to adjust for the difference between its LCD and a monitor. A typical monitor has a gamma of about 2.2, the GBA's LCD is estimated to be about 4, so a gamma correction of about 0.55 might do the trick.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on May 08, 2009, 01:41:39 PM
Here's what it looks like if you badly change the background to black, and gamma correct by 0.55:



User posted image


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 08, 2009, 04:13:17 PM
That seems to improve some parts of the maps, but makes others that are already darker worse like The Arena. In any case, I want to preserve the original colors since they don't look that bad like this, just a tad too bright.



---

Current projects: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA), Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 11, 2009, 07:02:22 PM
I'm tentatively pushing the finished maps back a few weeks. Recently, I've been overworked and underslept, and various family obligations are essentially taking away my weekends. I want to go see Star Trek tomorrow, I need to catch up on sleep real bad, *and* not crash from exhaustion. So the maps will have to take a back seat for a little while. Not long, just enough to recharge my batteries.



Explanation: Long story short, I'm at my most active around 10 pm. Always have been. That has unfortunately, since I was a child, made it difficult to go to bed before 1 am, and usually closer to 2 and 3. Usually, I spend that time reading, drawing, playing games, listening to music, etc.



Considering I start work at 8h30 am, I'm always missing sleep during the week and catching up during the weekend when I can get up at 10 or 11, something I haven't been able to do recently thanks to said family obligations (my parents recently decided to divorce - amicably - but they've needed help with boxing things and finding new places to live; also, a few spring celebrations as well as the whole family coming together to build a terrace for his new house).



Heck, I'm starting to babble as if I was drunk (lack of sleeeeep...) so I'll end this soon. I really wanted to finished this this week, but I need to set my priorities. Sleep now, map later.



*thump*



*snore*



---

Current projects: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA), Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 16, 2009, 10:26:47 AM
As I know, 2 Chinese mapper have mapped Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow years before.



AA61300346AA mapped it in 2006, the same time I mapped circle of the moon. We declared to map one castle each, and he finished in August, I finished 2 month later.

(http://bbs.newwise.com/viewthread.php?tid=257074)



His version is not pixel-perfect, and missed the 6 areas of the garden.



zerofighter mapped it again in 2008.

(http://bbs.cvcv.net/viewthread.php?tid=51860)

His version is perfect, but not a full map. He made a html-link system to show the rooms one by one with all the weapons and items' position.



The forum links above shows the time they finished the map, the download links are possibly invalid. You may catch them in my website: http://fcfantasy.cn/maps



Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 16, 2009, 11:03:14 AM
I get some experience through mapping castlevania: circle of the moon.



All the rooms are supposed to be 256*256 in size, or the integer multiple of it. But by the limit of the GBA window's scale, you always could only see rooms with 240 in long, or 160 in high.



For example, all the save point room, is 256*256, but we could only see one screen, 240*160.



another example, in your version or AA61300346AA's version, we could find so many obvious difference/mistakes between your pictures and the thumbnail in game:

 [img=http://img39.imageshack.us/img39/396/sampleb.th.png] (http://img39.imageshack.us/my.php?image=sampleb.png)



I suggest to fix some reasonable bricks to enlarge all the rooms 256 in high and 256 in long. With this method, I think my com map could look correct.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 16, 2009, 11:08:55 AM
the sample picture:

http://fcfantasy.cn/sample.png


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 17, 2009, 12:25:03 PM
I already know that (that the full size map leaves a lot of empty space, not that others had already mapped it) but Aria Of Sorrow leaves more empty vertical space than both Harmony Of Dissonance and Circle Of The Moon.



I would find it acceptable to enlarge a room by 16 pixels to fill an horizontal gap between two rooms, but vertical gaps here would require enlarging rooms by 96 pixels. That would be kind of cheating, because players would notice while playing that some passages are nowhere near as tall as on my map (not to mention that some would appear to be unpassable without the double jump or bat soul, while in reality they are so short you can just jump up and land up there without any upgrade).



In short, I chose to "collapse" the map like Zeric did with Harmony Of Dissonance map, and moved the rooms around to leave as few spaces between them as possible. So yeah, it won't align as well as the mini-map, but it's more accurate to how it appears while playing.



---

Current projects: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA), Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 18, 2009, 10:00:11 PM
Well, it seems I've deleted the half-size mockup without the empty space removed. But trust me, there was a lot of it.



See, unlike Circle and Harmony where vertically-scrolling rooms had heights that were multiples of 256 pixels (and thus fit nicely in a 256 x 256 grid where everything is aligned), Aria *always* cuts 48 pixels from the top and from the bottom of those rooms, meaning they are always vertically shorter that they should be (416 px instead of 512, 672 px instead of 768, 928 instead of 1024, etc). That means that every room with vertical scrolling would need padding, and I prefer to remain faithful to the real map instead of adding stuff just for the sake of it.



Also, now that I'm thankfully well rested, I should finish the maps this week. It's just taking more time than I had planned to had a border around all the playable areas by hand using tiles from the save select screen. It doesn't as great as I had hoped, but now that I've started, I'm going to see this through.



I've also finally calculated Paint's memory usage limit, which appears to top out around 1.3 GB after which you can't do anything (not even quit the damn program). So I cleverly split the map in two and I'm working on one half at a time which Paint can handle without any problem.



*Cue fellow posters telling me how stupid/stubborn I am for sticking with Paint instead of something better :) *



---

Current projects: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA), Bucky O'Hare (NES), Metal Storm (NES), Clock Tower (SNES), Ristar-The Shooting Star (Gen), Sonic The Hedgehog (Gen), Sonic CD (Sega CD), Mega Man Zero (GBA), Battletoads (NES)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 19, 2009, 08:15:04 AM
Wow, mspaint seems to be the most challenging choice for mappers~~



Maybe KONAMI began to cut down the budget of building the castle since Aria :)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 03, 2009, 10:09:53 PM
After a short hiatus, this project is on the verge of completion. Both main maps (Castlevania and the Chaotic Realm) are finally finished, with labels, map key and all; however, the main castle map is ~15 Mb in size, so I can't even send it to JonLeung the usual way, using Hotmail. I'll look into creating a download link with MegaUpload or Rapidshare.



Anyway, here's a half-size and color-reduced preview of the final Castlevania map (for size reason), as well as the final Chaotic Realm map (full quality).



Castlevania:

User posted image



Chaotic Realm:

User posted image



---

Current project: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 03, 2009, 10:10:37 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot that the Boss Rush map isn't finished yet, but should be soon.



---

Current project: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: JonLeung on July 03, 2009, 10:25:01 PM
Congratulations are in order, I believe.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 03, 2009, 11:29:43 PM
I think I've earned a good night's sleep, since I've been working on these all evening. Let's hope PNGGauntlet can get through both during the night but I doubt it...



---

Current project: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Zeric on July 04, 2009, 03:40:50 AM
That's some amazing work you have done there Terra, looks a thousends times better then I would have done it.



---

Current Projects: None, I have stopped mapping since a year ago.



Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on July 04, 2009, 12:10:31 PM
PNGGauntlet is kind of silly. It tries a bunch of commandline parameters when 99% of the time you get the best results with /c5 /f0 or /c3 /f0. Even with that, you need a very fast computer to complete a map that large in a reasonable time.



If it's totally insane on your PC then I can give it a go - I have a US$2000 CPU in my work computer.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 04, 2009, 02:52:52 PM
It finished during the last hour actually (thanks for the offer though), and managed to reduce it to 92.1% of its original size. It still won't fit ImageShack or Hotmail's file size limits, but it's better than nothing.



And Zeric, considering the amazing work you usually put out (and the quantity too when you're on a roll), you really shouldn't short-change yourself like that. Too bad you've stopped mapping, but I'm sure there's a good reason for that.



Honestly, I'm 99% happy with the final result and I think I can safely say this is the project I'm the most proud of.



That missing last 1% is because I had to "fudge" certain transparent parts so they don't look exactly like they do in-game. In short, it's impossible to reproduce how the GBA handles transparencies. That meant problems with two parts of the game:



1) Transparent fog swaying in a wavy pattern over a cellar room in the Dance Hall. To reproduce the real colors, I basically took screenshots of the fog over the room in each of its 16 positions, and used single lines from each one that were in the same offset position. In short, I transformed the wavy fog into straight fog.



2) Transparent waterfalls and water surfaces over the parallax background. Transparencies over the foreground aren't a problem since you can map them as is, but the rest, I had to be creative. Thankfully, the water layer uses a single shade of blue for everything that's under the water surface, so I simply had to take a screenshot underwater, and use those colors to make a separate background for the parts underwater.



After that, all that remained were the water falls and water surfaces which, unfortunately, use 14 colors. It was simply impossible to capture how each color in the background would look with the transparency effect for each of those 14 shades of blue. Thankfully, those parts aren't really big and so I was able to approximate something acceptable using Paint Shop Pro. And anyway, the most important part was the underwater effect which I got perfectly.



I'll try to finish the Boss Rush tonight (all that remains are, again, the labels and final layout) and I'll look into a way to upload this ~14 Mb behemoth.



---

Current project: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: JonLeung on July 04, 2009, 03:49:45 PM
You know my alternate email address, so you can send it there.  I wasn't in the habit of checking it, but Will Mallia is making sure I do...


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 04, 2009, 11:24:15 PM
The Boss Rush map is finished; the composition of this one sucks, but I just couldn't think of a better way to handle the conditions regarding your reward at the end.



Boss Rush:



User posted image



---

Current project: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: RT 55J on July 04, 2009, 11:56:30 PM
Marvelous. Definitely MotM material.



And just out of curiosity, am I the only one that reads "MMIX" as "Mega Man 9"?

---

"its a good day to do what has to be done by me and help my brother to defeat the enemys" - John Freeman


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 05, 2009, 12:15:35 AM
I might have if Capcom hadn't dropped the Roman Numerals starting with Mega Man 8. It's far from ideal to use MMIX, but it's better than the alternative (using a different, smaller *and* uglier font for the numbers). For some reason, I found that numbering system to have worked better before the year 2000. MMIX looks like a mispelled word, which wouldn't have happened with something like MCMXCIX (1999).



---

Current project: None At The Moment



Upcoming project: Castlevania Legends (GB)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: JonLeung on July 05, 2009, 07:02:14 AM
Uploading the maps as we speak...  EDIT: Okay, they're up.



Absolutely awesome, Terra.  Thanks!  :D  And you should also congratulate yourself for finishing these maps.



I like that you included the shrine and stairs from back in Japan, as well.  The border on the maps looks good, but man, that must have been a pain to place...and of course, everything within the borders is nice, as expected for any Castlevania game.  But what I really like is that you took the time to label every item and boss.



Well, that does it for the three GBA Castlevanias.  Maybe someone could tackle the three DS ones?  I'm anticipating Symphony Of The Night (PSX) from Revned eventually.  Well, the first castle, anyway.



Looking forward to your Castlevania Legends (GB).  



Someone could've made a topic based around the Castlevania series like marioman's Mega Man topic.  I've always thought of Mega Man and Castlevania as parallel series, since they started at about the same time, both had heroes featured on Captain N, and both series are continuing on (though both have had relatively weaker 3D iterations, and their best games are in 2D).  Also, there probably aren't many games left to map, since both series are fairly popular around here, but if you couldn't tell, I'm anxious for those games that still remain.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: RT 55J on July 05, 2009, 06:41:17 PM
Are you going to split the map into sub-areas like Zeric did with his HoD map?



Anyways, per Jon's request, I'll make a "Castlevania Maps" topic pretty soon.

---

"its a good day to do what has to be done by me and help my brother to defeat the enemys" - John Freeman


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 05, 2009, 07:07:35 PM
Honestly, I really don't feel like doing that. The collapsing, outlining, and annotation was only done to the final, assembled map. Doing what you're asking to my satisfaction would necessitate several hours at the very least to do it for each individual castle area, plus I'd have to make new captions to indicate where each door leads to, and you all know by now this is the part of making a map I hate the most.



Quite frankly, I consider this done and hope not to have to come back to it for a long time if ever.



---

Current project: Castlevania Legends (GB)



Upcoming project: Not sure yet


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: JonLeung on July 06, 2009, 06:26:14 AM
I guess I started the "split maps" from Day One since my The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past maps were split up, but I always thought it was neat how each distinct area fit neatly into a square, even though often most players don't notice that.  They each make nice wallpapers, at least when centered in either 1024 x 768 or 1280 x 1024 resolutions.



The full maps for Metroid II: Return Of Samus and Castlevania: Harmony Of Dissonance are kind of big, and Zeric wanted them split up, but I don't think it's necessary.  A nice gesture for any mapper to do so, but I'm happy enough with the full map.



I do notice, though, that sprays's Castlevania: Circle Of The Moon map may sometimes be a bit too big in image area for Internet Explorer to handle...  Might be why the world maps for Mother / EarthBound Zero and The 7th Saga are split into quadrants.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on July 09, 2009, 09:16:46 AM
If you run the 13.5MB map through PNGOUT with option /f0 it shrinks to 11.9MB. (And it took 2 hours.) Always try /f0 on video game maps...


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 09, 2009, 10:01:58 AM
I haven't used PNGOut directly ever since discovering PNGGauntlet, and I always assumed that using 'Brute Compression' gave the best result. It's just a pain to use the command line interface when I my files have names 40 or 50 characters long and Copy/Paste isn't available. Do you have any magic tricks I can use?



---

Current project: Castlevania Legends (GB)



Upcoming project: Not sure yet


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on July 09, 2009, 03:43:12 PM
bash. 'nuff said.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 09, 2009, 04:42:44 PM
Funny, I just realized that I never even used PNGOut directly, only a combination of PNGCrush and PNGRewrite before using PNGGauntlet.



Revned, what exactly is that 'bash' thing? Some sort of script or batch utility? I'm afraid that with the name alone, "not 'nuff said" is more like it ;)



---

Current project: Castlevania Legends (GB)



Upcoming project: Not sure yet


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on July 10, 2009, 01:51:23 AM
1. Right-click -> open with -> go find pngout. No commandline options though. Works fine for paletted images.

2. Make a batch file that says >>pngout /f0 "%1"<< and drag/drop onto it or do the open with thing

3. Ever tried pressing Tab in a command prompt? Try entering the start of the filename first. Bash does a similar thing, but it's been in Windows for years :)


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on July 10, 2009, 06:26:25 AM
It's a Unix shell. You can get it for Windows if you're interested. PNGOut doesn't do more than one image at a time, so I just stick it in a for loop and let it work on every file in a directory.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on July 10, 2009, 01:55:33 PM
Windows does for loops too :) and PNGOUT tells you how in its usage info.


Title: RE: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on July 10, 2009, 08:15:51 PM
But I hate Windows ;-)


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 19, 2010, 08:10:41 PM
I'm actually semi-restarting this project.

At first I only wanted to fulfill the request for maps of each individual area but after making a few tests I'm actually going to upgrade the main map.

-First of all, thanks to the experience gained while mapping Max Payne, I've found the memory addresses which allow me to play around with the position of the background layer. This will allow me to capture the water transparency in the Underground Reservoir perfectly since it was the parallax scrolling that was forcing me to try and recreate it imperfectly. I'll also redo the tiling of the glowing cavern background in the same area which I had improvised before;

-I'm pretty sure I messed up a bit and placed the highest part of the Floating Garden too high relative to the castle;

-Considering my intention to get the map of the entire castle printed and my desire to improve my (horrible) composition skills, I'm looking into including a scaled up image of the castle in the background of the map (first with a nice filter to get more resolution out of it, then simply enlarged to get a pixelated look to the final result). It shouldn't look too distracting when seen up-close, but will be really nice-looking when seen as a whole. I'm also doing the same with the Chaotic Realm and Boss Rush maps.

It will be a few days until I have anything ready to show you, but it should be a worthwhile upgrade.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on October 20, 2010, 10:55:12 AM
This is awesome, I cant wait. Also its cool that you are making a new version too, thanks.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 22, 2010, 04:43:18 AM
OK, I'm 7still not finished with the castle itself since I haven't had time to correct those water transparencies yet but almost all the individual castle area maps are done. There's no point in showing those since I haven't done anything special about them; I'm reserving the big aesthetic changes for the large assembled maps.

I can show you however the revamped maps for the Chaotic Realm and the Boss Rush. As I said, I suck at composition so I'm essentially looking for honest criticism regarding the background images. Don't be shy!

Chaotic Realm:
(http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/3194/castlevaniaariaofsorrow.th.png) (http://img135.imageshack.us/my.php?image=castlevaniaariaofsorrow.png)

Boss Rush:
(http://www.imageshack.us/thumbnail.png) (http://img528.imageshack.us/my.php?image=castlevaniaariaofsorrow.png)

Damn it, what's wrong with ImageShack and thumbnails?


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on October 22, 2010, 07:15:19 AM
I think you need to make the backgrounds more "backgroundy" - maybe darker, and/or desaturated. Both are too bright at first sight.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 22, 2010, 09:53:20 AM
I thought so too but being mostly ignorant of technical terms like saturation and such, the only alternative I could think of was to make the background darker and it just doesn't look as good as desaturating it. I did a quick mockup at work with 50% desaturation and it looks much better without obscuring its details, and I'm looking forward to try the same with the full map of the castle.

Brightness aside, do you feel that having the image of the castle in the background looks good or is it still too distracting? I'm not exactly happy with the Boss Rush one, but I couldn't really come up with a better way to do it given its mostly horizontal orientation. As for where the idea came from, I was influenced by the way many game magazines presented their maps during the 8 and 16-bit era.

Anyway, I'll work some more on it and hopefully be able to share more tonight.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Peardian on October 22, 2010, 11:15:15 AM
It's a nice idea, but it's more distracting than anything. Especially the one in Chaotic Realm, which is both blurry and pixelated at the same time. The blue is also rather vibrant, compared to the also-blue borders and GBA-palette map, which makes it bit difficult to focus on. I say choose a more subtle background, and have it darker and less contrasty so that it doesn't steal attention from the level itself. The purple in the Boss Rush is a good color. You can try using a simple tiling pattern instead of stretching a single image if you don't want to fill most of the space with solid color. I hope that makes sense.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on October 22, 2010, 11:30:29 AM
Looks good so far. I suggest using black as a background color, the map will stand out more.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 22, 2010, 03:54:18 PM
*Warning, self-psychoanalysis ahead*

Chaotic Realm, hopefully better with less saturation:
(http://img838.imageshack.us/img838/7210/chaoticrealm.th.png) (http://img838.imageshack.us/my.php?image=chaoticrealm.png)

Castlevania, same deal:
(http://www.imageshack.us/thumbnail.png) (http://img534.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ariaofsorrow.jpg)

I'm actually disappointed that no one seems to like the concept itself instead of simply the execution. I've always wanted to make better looking maps or at least more interesting ones but I've long accepted that I have very little artistic talent (trust me on this, it's just how my mind works).

Anyone here knows or remembers Mephea? She used to post here and submitted maps a few years back and she always included tons of stuff like sprites, strategies, quotes and stuff. I never really liked how most of that stuff wasn't perfectly aligned or resized or seemed placed randomly, but I always envied how she seemed to have a ton of fun doing them! Me, I often anguish about every little detail of the final presentation and I sadly still want validation that what I'm doing is good or right.

I mean, I was really happy to change my maps and try to make them look a little better (it's not artistic, but probably the closest I'll ever get) and I'm asking for honest comments and the moment I get it and it's not what I wanted to hear, I feel deflated and also stupid for it. Oh self-esteem issues, will you ever fully go away?

...

OK, you know what? I really want to do this, and by that I mean use images of the castle in the background. Boss Rush can do with a simple purple background but for the other two, I'm sticking to my guns. That doesn't mean I don't want criticism anymore, but I'd prefer some that would help me make the idea look as good as it can. The pixelated look is intentional by the way.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on October 22, 2010, 11:22:11 PM
I think that the SOTN Maps that were recently posted on here were the best I have ever seen because they used black for the background. It made the map stand out more. I am able to find the areas of the castle on the maps I am looking for quickly. I remember someone else from Japan made his own SOTN maps years ago and used white for the BG color, and I had wished he used black.

On the map you have here: http://img534.imageshack.us/img534/2775/ariaofsorrow.jpg

the background looks good, but when you make the map bigger and its pixelated you cant tell what it is. Also the colors are distracting when you enlarge the map. I do like how you have the Map Key, its cool to add stuff like that.

I think this map of yours is great

http://www.vgmaps.com/Atlas/GBA/Castlevania-AriaOfSorrow-Castlevania.png

because you used black for the background. Its Castlevania, it has got to be black all the way. That's how Dracula would have wanted it.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 23, 2010, 01:16:47 AM
But black is *boring*! All of my maps look the same because of it. Well, if nobody likes it then I guess I'll simply update the main castle map with the corrections I wanted to make and keep it at that. I'll still post the versions with background on the forum on the off chance that someone likes them and use that if I ever get it printed and laminated.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: JonLeung on October 23, 2010, 08:26:02 AM
I like something other than plain black...the trick is implementing it correctly (as in aesthetically pleasing, lined up, centered, or whatever OCD quirk you may feel when you as the mapmaker look at it).  If you find a background that you like and you fit it properly, I'd be happy to put it up.  But it's totally your call.

When scrolling around huge maps, it's easy to get "lost" in large expanses of black (or a solid colour), so there's a utilitarian purpose for having something else there.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on October 23, 2010, 10:27:25 AM
It's a good concept, and looks great from the thumbnail, but the gigantic pixels at full zoom are kind of ugly. What about desaturating even more and then tiling it? Your source image is just too small to use on some of the larger maps.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on October 23, 2010, 11:07:24 AM
Maybe you can make 2 versions and post them on here. One in all black, and one in a bg color of your choice.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on October 23, 2010, 02:23:45 PM
Tiling would look ugly. (I also appreciate the 8x8 blocks you've used...) I think it's still too strong. Here's a couple of darker ones I threw together very quickly:

(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/5697/50black.th.png) (http://img263.imageshack.us/i/50black.png/) (http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/2089/hardlightj.th.png) (http://img153.imageshack.us/i/hardlightj.png/)

The concept itself, I think it's good.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on October 23, 2010, 03:49:12 PM
Glad to see someone likes the idea! I like the two you've done and I'm curious as to what you did exactly to get both result (brightness, gamma, etc).

Your comment helped me realize what my goal really is really about, and it's simply to add something that shouldn't distract you when viewing the map up close, but gives you something neat to notice when seeing it as a whole. In that respect, making the background much darker (but not too much) would be best.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Revned on October 23, 2010, 04:11:56 PM
Tiling would look ugly.

No need to be rude, it was just an idea. Sheesh.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: Maxim on October 24, 2010, 01:49:44 PM
Revned: I didn't mean to be rude, sorry.

TerraEsperZ: I took your images, cloned to 2 layers, erased the background on the top layer, stuck a black layer in the middle and set it to 50% regular transparency (1st image) and then to "hard light" (2nd image).


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on November 09, 2010, 10:23:49 PM
I'm putting this on the back burner for a long while for a number of reasons:

1) Correcting the water transparencies is much harder than expected, and probably impossible anyway despite somewhat "hacking" the camera. The glowing cavern background is simply too shitty (i.e. it doesn't tile and is extremely small). Not worth wasting time over;

2) The elaborate background is, quite simply, an aesthetic fancy. There's no urgency to do it considering that the map is complete is available anyway;

3) Replaying this game has made me want to map Dawn Of Sorrow, and mapping while discovering a new game is simply more enjoyable than replaying a game I almost know by heart;

I do intend to finish the individual maps in the short term (in fact, most of them are already done). I just need to spend a few hours doing it...


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on November 20, 2010, 01:03:29 AM
Well hopefully one day soon you will have the urge to remap this game. I didn't know if it would be easy or not since you already had one huge castle map. But at least instead we are getting a new Castlevania game mapped that has never been before in Dawn of Sorrow.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: alucard on June 17, 2011, 06:41:38 PM
I see you finished these, they look real good. I am glad to see them on individual area maps.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: ummwat on April 29, 2012, 08:50:52 PM
I SPY A MISTAKE!

The two rooms shown in the attachment aren't connected!


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on April 29, 2012, 09:24:04 PM
Whoa, how did I miss that!? Seriously, good catch; I'll see about correcting this error tomorrow.


Title: Re: Castlevania: Aria Of Sorrow (GBA)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 01, 2012, 02:08:42 PM
The corrected maps have been sent!