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Author Topic: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)  (Read 7943 times)
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Maxim
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« on: May 05, 2011, 10:16:34 AM »

I recently played through this and I thought I'd have a go at mapping it. Here's a work in progress of the first stage. I've made a full camera control hack. It looks like it is going to be a huge pain to try to assemble into a coherent map as there's a lot of overlapping going on. The ultimate idea is to link the switches up to what they do (here, the switch turns off the laser) as that gets pretty hairy in later stages.

Does anyone have suggestions as to how I could lay this out?
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Will
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 12:08:41 PM »

I suppose you could put on each map, pairs of alphabetic letters. For example on this map there should be a letter 'A' near the switch and another letter 'A' on the corresponding laser trap. Of course the letters shall have to be made legible for viewers. If the letter pairs aren't enough, a key with descriptions of the letter pairs would suffice.
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Maxim
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 12:47:36 PM »

I'm more concerned with how to lay out the "rooms" to show the interconnections without it looking odd. In the above map, the door in the lower-right room leads to the lower-left outside section but is really far away from it...
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Will
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 10:29:12 PM »

I see what you mean. You could remove some of that extra roof and make a diagonal border at the outer areas then you can link all the areas together with coloured paths sort of like Peardian's "Super Mario RPG" maps.
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Maxim
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2011, 03:56:54 AM »

I feel uncomfortable cutting off any part of the rectangular parts because, even though they're not visible in-game, I want to show the full map data. Also note that the two outdoor sections are trying to act as if they overlap, but the graphics do not exactly match and, if you try to line things up exactly (zero width walls), they still don't really align.

If I have this "exploded" view then ideally I want all the interconnection lines to be straight (and aligned to the 2:1 dimetric projection axes), but I think it may be impossible. Maybe some kind of interactive viewer could work but I don't want to make it so complicated. I may do some more experiments...
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Maxim
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2011, 01:38:34 AM »

This is by far the most dishearteningly difficult to arrange map I've ever come across. It just doesn't line up in any pleasing way Sad I intend to persevere, but I may have to sacrifice both aesthetics and full-map-ness to get it to the best possible representation. Stage 1 is by far the simplest, by the way...
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2011, 07:54:44 AM »

I've always felt that isometric maps can at times be some of the best looking maps, yet be the most frustrating to present to viewers. Unless the various map parts are isolated and already fit together by themselves like Solstice (NES), it's always a pain to assemble them and especially if dealing with indoor/outdoor areas and/or multiple overlapping floors.

I never got far or serious enough with Max Payne (GBA) to struggle with these issues, but I knew they were about to show up as later stages feature those exact obstacles I just mentioned.

In this case where the two outdoor areas as supposed to fit together, you *could* try and make them fit if only to save some space on the map, and link the various doors with "straight" lines/arrows. And if the doors don't align perfectly, simply have the lines change direction along the way; it would look good as long as you still followed the isometric axes.

Of course, I suspect that what would work for this level would quickly become unfeasible later on.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2011, 07:55:19 AM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Maxim
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« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2011, 09:09:26 AM »

Funnily enough, I already did just that (and the roof cutting Will suggested). I'll try to finish it off (sprite cleaning, etc) and post it later.

It's also worth noting that each room contains enemy spawn points that are enabled by your actions so when you backtrack there are almost always more enemies than the last time you were there. Great for making the game more tricky but a real pain for mapping - so I'm including only the enemies you see the first time in each room.
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Maxim
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« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2011, 01:45:29 PM »

Here it is...
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Maxim
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2011, 01:59:31 PM »

Stage 2. I made no attempt to line up the outside parts, not least because there are at least two physically impossible parts. The outside-inside transitions usually seem to end up requiring one long and bendy line to allow neat lines everywhere else...
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DarkWolf
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2011, 11:22:48 AM »

At lot of games have individual areas that couldn't realistically exist as a whole in reality.  It would take too much time to design a map/world that fits together nicely, and most people don't notice the small errors anyway.

That said, the outside area of Stage 2 is pretty bad.  I probably would have noticed.
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Maxim
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2011, 10:49:37 AM »

Sometimes you can play though a game and assemble a map and some parts will line up perfectly even though you'd never be able to tell in-game - the pirate ship in Wonder Boy III, for example, has thousands of pixels and a bunch of screen flips away between seeing the upper and lower parts, but they lined right up.

Anyway, here's stage 3.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2011, 11:25:23 AM by Maxim » Logged
Maxim
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2011, 01:16:45 PM »

On to the first "canal" level. I've decided I need to go with letters for switches here, as interconnecting lines don't work when there's no black backdrop.
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Maxim
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2011, 10:50:51 AM »

Stage 4 was very simplistic; stage 5 is a bit of a killer.
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2011, 11:47:22 AM »

I think you're managing pretty well understand the circumstances. The spatial geometry of the levels is getting increasingly messed up with each one Wink
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)
-Lilly Looking Through (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
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