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Author Topic: Crusader: No Remorse  (Read 8606 times)
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Weatherproof
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« on: July 16, 2010, 05:20:09 PM »

Hey VGmaps members!
My name is Weatherproof and I'm new to the board. I've been following the forums and maps for awhile and would like to contribute.
So I'm starting with Crusader: No Remorse.
I'm planning on doing this as long as there's interest for it and people would like to see it mapped.  I've done some work on it for an hour or so and have come up with not even half a level so far, and, as you can see, there's many things that need fixing (HUD, player character, filling in the whole map, black areas (that was my fault), and other things).  I'm not very good with image editing software and am just starting to learn it, so I will definitely need some tips/help on getting rid of these artifacts. Also, I know it looks like shit at this point.
So tell me what you think so far!

[Edit] The file is 2 megs, does anyone know of a good way to post it?
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 05:25:04 PM by Weatherproof » Logged
Peardian
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2010, 07:49:31 PM »

First off, welcome to the forum.

Two MB? Those must be some pretty big images. You can use a file hosting site like Sendspace or Mediafire to host them.
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Weatherproof
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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2010, 08:21:54 PM »

Thanks for the suggestion!

Here's the jpg version (2MB):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/4vcby2
Here's the png version (8MB):
http://www.sendspace.com/file/s63lt6
« Last Edit: July 16, 2010, 08:22:16 PM by Weatherproof » Logged
Peardian
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2010, 10:06:13 PM »

I don't have any experience in this kind of game, but I do have some immediate suggestions. The first is to find some way to compress those images. I don't know what you used to put together the map, but just saving the image in paint cut the filesize in half. I'm sure a PNG compression program would cut it even more.

As far as the actual mapping process would go, I am of no help. If it weren't a computer game, it would be as simple as disabling the sprite layer or something, but... I dunno. The one thing I can point out, though, is that big black square overlapping the room behind it. You'll want to try avoiding that at all costs, because it's covering up part of a room the player will travel through.


Aside from that, though, the other members here will be much more helpful to you. I wish you luck in your mapping.
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Weatherproof
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2010, 10:14:31 PM »

Thank you very much! And yeah, I'll go back through the game in another pass and make sure i merge that particular picture right.  Since it is Dos though, maybe there's a sprite hack... I'll have to look into it...
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DarkWolf
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« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 07:56:22 AM »

I actually started to do this map a while back.  It presents a lot of difficult challenges.  For one, the levels are pretty big, and the graphics are isometric, which means your end result is going to be a huge file.  Also those rooms that boarder the map are inaccessible and have to be dealt with in some way.  Then there's the removal of all the overlays and enemies as you are mapping.

I worked on it nearly a day and maybe got halfway through the first level.  There's probably some way to hack to make it easier, but I didn't spend a ton of time on it.

*EDIT*

Forgot to mention.  There is a Sega Saturn version of the game, in which you could theoretically remove layers, but last time I tried it SSF would crash.  I'm not sure if that has been fixed or not.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2010, 07:58:42 AM by DarkWolf » Logged
Weatherproof
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« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 03:52:25 PM »

Yeah, I think that the inaccessible areas of the map I'll just fill in black.  There is a cheat however to walk around out there but it's not much use in the map unless people REALLY want to know what all those pipes and silos go Tongue
Thanks for the info on that Saturn version, I'll definitely have to look into that!
I think I'll give it a couple more hours and see where I'm at and where the file size is before deciding whether or not to continue... I did notice that I can make the pallet 256 colors and that really cuts back on the space used...
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Weatherproof
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« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 07:47:50 PM »

Just finished the first part of the first level.  The image size is 13356x6120.  I indexed the colors to 256 and the png at high compression is about 7.5 megs:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/yxw7xf
There's lots of touching up to do but this is a preliminary thing to see if I want to continue this.  Either on the PC or with the Saturn Tongue
I know it looks like crap but tell me what you guys think!
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Maxim
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 02:11:21 AM »

Yuck, the downconversion has totally screwed the image. Keep it in 24-bit colour and then run it through PNGOUT to get the best compression possible.

I think we do want to see where all the pipes go.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 02:11:45 AM by Maxim » Logged
Peardian
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« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 08:21:21 AM »

Yeah, I'd try to use better compression to save filesize instead of reducing color. I'm sure that map could still be reduced by a good deal.
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Weatherproof
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« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 02:09:22 PM »

I did some googling and I remembered now that the game is in 256 colors anyway. To be sure though, I made some comparison photos, one with RGB compared to Indexed-256, and one of a closeup of the comparison. I think tonight I'll try the cheats to walk around outside the first level and map that area.  Although I think the majority of this game has areas which are just black in the places you can't go, especially in the later levels.
Thanks for the tip on PNGOUT!
EDIT: forgot the pictures:
Comparison:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/i0cmiq
Closeup:
http://www.sendspace.com/file/qpi6s4
« Last Edit: July 20, 2010, 02:10:29 PM by Weatherproof » Logged
Peardian
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« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 04:17:24 PM »

With images that size, you can use Imageshack to host them. Wink


Good luck with the cheats, and I hope you can find one for hiding sprites. It will save you a whole lot of time.
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Revned
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« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2010, 05:02:45 PM »

PNGOUT will automatically reduce the color depth for you, so don't mess with it.
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Weatherproof
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« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2010, 06:23:27 PM »

I totally forgot about image shack!  Cheesy
Here's the problem when you wander around where you're not supposed to go:
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8872/crusader076.png
I don't know if this is just the way dosbox is rendering stuff or what but it does it with Surface, Opengl, and Ddraw Sad

PNGOUT on default settings takes it from a 81MB bitmap down to 253 colors but never completes.  The percentage indicator just keeps counting up to 99 percent and resets...
Crusader is available for Sega Saturn and for Playstation, I'll have to check them both out for differences but which one do you guys think would be easier to disable the sprite layer for?
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Revned
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« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2010, 07:59:07 PM »

PNGOUT takes a long time to process an image. It uses very rigorous compression settings, so each fill of the progress bar probably indicates one test run. It will go through many trials before it decides which is best. I don't use the GUI version of PNGOUT, so I'm not sure what you're seeing.
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