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Author Topic: Modern 2010s 2D/2.5D wishlist! UPDATE!! 3D FF map in progress~  (Read 1933 times)
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Nega
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« on: December 09, 2017, 07:08:08 PM »

First of all, I can't thank everyone enough for the hard work being done for Momodora and Sonic Mania! Good job!

Are we able to keep this up? Now that sprites are coming sorta extinct, is 2.5D still possible? Here's a list of games I am dying to see made, hopefully they all are possible!

Azure Striker Gunvolt 1 & 2 (3DS)
Shantae Risky's Revenge (DS), Pirate's Curse, Half Genie Hero (Wii U)
Hollow Knight (PC)
Freedom Planet (PC)
Mighty No. 9 (PC)
Kirby Triple Deluxe, Planet Robobot (3DS), Return to Dreamland (Wii)
Axiom Verge (PS4)
Transistor (PC)
Bastion (PC)
Pyre (PC)
Dex (PC)
Super Time Force (PC)
Matterfall (PS4)
Owlboy (PC)
Way more...

Now some upcoming oppurtunities I'd love to see:

Bloodstained Ritual of the Night
Dragons Marked For Death
Megaman 11
Kirby Star Allies
Freedom Planet 2
More I can't think of right now...

Could we see many more modern stuff being made? I love the classics but looking to now and the future, a lot of awesome stuff being made!
« Last Edit: December 19, 2017, 04:51:57 PM by Nega » Logged
eishiya
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2017, 10:30:18 PM »

Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that.

Since many modern games use non-pixel 2D and 3D artwork, they're much harder to map compared to most classic games, which used pixel art. That is the main reason you don't see many modern game maps. Plenty of modern games still use pixel art (e.g. Owlboy, Shovel Knight, Axiom Verge) and sprites aren't becoming extinct and thus are relatively simple to map, so I'm sure we'll see maps of the more popular of those games eventually, provided that interest in mapping in general doesn't die down.
An additional factor is that since these newer games are still being actively sold and maps that use art from the games violate copyright, posting the maps may be problematic. I was fortunate to be able to get permission to post my Momodora: RutM map, not many developers are that responsive.

Half of my Steam wishlist is modern pixel art games I'd love to map, but I haven't the time or the money for them. Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in maps of those games though Cheesy
« Last Edit: December 10, 2017, 10:34:21 PM by eishiya » Logged
TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2017, 05:35:41 AM »

Quote
Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that

Unfortunately not. I've always mapped using screenshots and, whenever possible, emulators that could disable layers. Shovel Knight has many layers that can't be disabled so you're left with two choices: take a ton of screenshots and extrapolate what you can't see using the game's individual tiles (a gruelling task), or extract the layers straight from the game's code. I'm nowhere near smart enough to do the later, and trying the former took me several weeks to assemble the game's simplest maps.

As much as I love this game, I simply don't have the patience and energy to keep mapping it. Sorry Sad.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2017, 05:36:23 AM by TerraEsperZ » Logged

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

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
Nega
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« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2017, 03:58:22 PM »

Quote
Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that

Unfortunately not. I've always mapped using screenshots and, whenever possible, emulators that could disable layers. Shovel Knight has many layers that can't be disabled so you're left with two choices: take a ton of screenshots and extrapolate what you can't see using the game's individual tiles (a gruelling task), or extract the layers straight from the game's code. I'm nowhere near smart enough to do the later, and trying the former took me several weeks to assemble the game's simplest maps.

As much as I love this game, I simply don't have the patience and energy to keep mapping it. Sorry Sad.

Sure. Is it simple enough that a 3d model download site for maps, kinda like VGMaps but with downloadable Maya/Collada etc files? That would be sick. I know Ninja Ripper can do this with basic knowledge of the map you play ingame.

I might even develop the site and UI. I've been asking around for commissions and not yet sure if it is possible to put together say, a Pokemon Sun and Moon city or Overwatch map for example.
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eishiya
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« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2017, 10:53:04 AM »

Quote
Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that

Unfortunately not. I've always mapped using screenshots and, whenever possible, emulators that could disable layers. Shovel Knight has many layers that can't be disabled so you're left with two choices: take a ton of screenshots and extrapolate what you can't see using the game's individual tiles (a gruelling task), or extract the layers straight from the game's code. I'm nowhere near smart enough to do the later, and trying the former took me several weeks to assemble the game's simplest maps.

As much as I love this game, I simply don't have the patience and energy to keep mapping it. Sorry Sad.
The extrapolation is what I tend to do, but yeah, it's really not fun if you can't get lost in it, and when it's too many layers and the layers all share colours, it just gets frustrating.
Since you're not working on it, I'll keep an eye for it in giveaways and the like. Used up my vidya budget on Momodora, but I'm curious to try to map SK too.



@Nega: Ripping models from games isn't easy. Even ripping assets from classic games is hard (despite some emulators having tools for it!), which is why so many maps are made using screenshots. It's easier for some games than others, but there's no one-size-fits-all method, because different games use different methods for storing their assets. A tool developed for one game isn't likely to work for another game, even if the developers used the same game engine and the same 3D programs. In addition, it's a lot easier to make a case for sharing a finished map with the public compared to sharing raw assets, especially when it comes to modern games.
If you're looking to commission people to map these games for you, you should first sort the games into categories based on what types of assets they use, so that you can approach the right people for each game, and can have a general idea of the amount of work that would go into it. Mapping a game can take dozens, sometimes hundreds of hours, and you'll want to budget accordingly, and perhaps focus on the games that are easier/quicker to map.


2D pixel art games
- These are probably the easiest to map, even if no tools are available to disable parallax layers
- If tile-based, it's easier to reconstruct parts that can't be seen during normal play
- If the game has parallax effects, that makes it more difficult. If the different layers can't be disabled to allow them to be captured separately, it requires a LOT of screenshots to get the image data needed to look nice on the map, so be prepared to pay for many extra hours of work. If the game uses the same colours for the different layers, separating them from screenshots is even harder.
- If the game has dynamic lighting effects or colour overlays and no way to disable them, again, be prepared to either pay for a lot of extra screenshots and manual recolouring, or expect a map with choppy colours, especially of the lighting effects consist of gradients rather than sharp shapes.

2D non-pixel art games
- If the assets have aliasing (soft, non-pixelly edges), it's much harder to rip them from screenshots. This is not a problem if the assets are static relative to each other, but is an issue if there are parallax effects, as the assets will be overlapping different things in different screenshots, which will make them look slightly different in each one. The softer the edges, the worse they'll look.
- As with pixel art games, lighting effects pose a challenge for screenshot mapping. Manual recolouring is generally not an option with non-pixel art because the individual pixel colours aren't as predictable and there are way more pixels to work with. In those cases, one needs to either rip the assets from the game and rebuild the map from them, or one needs debug tools to disable the effects or fix them in place.
- These games tend to have high-res art, which means that to be reasonably-sized, the maps will likely be much smaller than what you'd see in-game. Plus, unless the mapper is using ripped assets, they'll be dependent on the resolution they ran the game in.

3D games
- If you want maps that represent the in-game visuals, you pretty much need access to a level editor where you can control the camera or some very good asset/level extraction tools. Even with such tools, 2D maps are only possible for games where the gameplay areas are either essentially 2D (e.g. Trine), or are flat enough that they can be separated into a series of flat "floors"; any game with a more complex use of the 3D space will generally not make for a good 2D image.
- If you want maps using in-game assets, it may help to sort your desired games by the engine they use. Some engines support reverse-engineering better than others.
- Most people just screenshot the in-game maps and annotate them, since the developers would have already gone through the trouble of figuring out how to make their 3D space work in 2D. If that's not a good option, drawing a map from scratch might be a possibility.

Another thought:
Sometimes, engine publishers will make parts of games or whole games available as project files (as opposed to compiled games ready to play), in order to promote their engine. YoYo Games did this with Spelunky and a few other games a while back. Tracking those down could be quite helpful to mappers. In general, finding resources and tools to help mappers with specific games is probably even more likely to get those games mapped than offering money. Money won't get a game mapped if the mapper doesn't have the tools to do it.



Since Bastion's on your list and I have it, I tried to see if I could rip its textures. Nope :| Couldn't get any of the tools to convert the XNB files to PNG files to work, they all crashed. Hopefully there's someone else out there with an interest in this game, someone who's more familiar with XNA, its files, and its tools. Bastion's maps are, as far as I can tell, made of tiles, so without a way to open the map data in addition to the getting the textures, I'd have to arrange the maps out of tiles by hand based on screenshots, and that's too tedious and time-consuming to be worth it.
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Nega
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« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 04:51:26 PM »

BREAKING NEWS GUYS!

I got with a dude Iyenal on VGResource and he has successfully ripped the city of Academia in 400AF from Final Fantasy XIII-2!!

After a couple more maps ripped from various games I just want to gauge interest in a 3D VGMaps variant.

I'll be making a thread on Map Gab once I get the .blend file. So exciting! Downloads depend on getting permission from Iyenal of course.
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JonLeung
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 09:04:10 AM »

Final Fantasy XIII-2 and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII are probably the games sitting on my Steam account for the longest time before even starting them...  Over two years since they've been released for PC, and I bought them around then, but I still haven't touched them.  I enjoyed FF XIII despite its linearity, though I heard the sequels are better; just busy, I guess.  I'd prided myself on keeping on top of main-numbered FF games (except for the online ones, XI and XIV).  Whether you think FF X-2, FF XIII-2 and LR: FF XIII count, I'll definitely be behind when FF XV: Royal Edition comes out for PC this spring.  (Technically I already am, I just don't have a PS4, but there will be no excuses once it's on Steam.)

So assuming I get to them eventually, I might actually make use of some XIII-2 maps...
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TerraEsperZ
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« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2018, 08:16:37 PM »

I gave the recently released Celeste a try and it really rekindled that passion for mapping I used to have. It also made me realize something: do you know what ended up slowly killing my interest in mapping?

Making clean, perfect-looking maps. Seriously, if it wasn't for my obsession with capturing or recreating all the layers of a map, getting all the sprites to use the right animation frame, recreating or outright removing transparencies and lighting effects, I would have fully mapped a dozen more games over the last few years.

Games like Fez, Shovel Knight, Shantae: Risky's Revenge, Celeste, Rain World, and probably a few more. I gave them all a try but without being a coding genius capable of extracting graphics and map data from a game's original files, it sometimes takes *forever* to assemble even one screen correctly (I'm up to about 7 hours to recreate a single, non-scrolling screen from Celeste AND I'M NOT EVEN FINISHED).

I don't know. Clean screenshot maps will always look best and they'll always be my preference, but I'm starting to feel like maybe I should just say "FUCK IT", grab a whole bunch of screenshots, do some very minimal editing (removing the player's sprite for example) and just post that. I mean, some mappers have already done that and sometimes, a "dirty" map is better than no map. I've already done three such maps for Celeste because I just loved that game and I really wanted to see full maps for it, but I've been really hesitant to actually post them. Looks like once again, I'll have to triumph over my worst enemy (i.e. me).
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Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished
JonLeung
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2018, 08:41:05 AM »

Having some standards for quality control is one thing, but being too insistent on perfectionism, at the cost of functional-even-if-not-the-prettiest maps, is definitely a loss.

Because you can always resubmit maps (and I know you and a couple others already have that habit), you can always go back and redo or clean up maps if you find a better way to present something.

You could use a version number on maps, if you are inclined, and use a version number of less than 1.0 (as seems to be the norm) if you feel a map is incomplete or could be revisited.  Or some kind of footnote, disclaimer, indication that the map is not complete.  I know such text could potentially clutter it, but it is an option.

If you have something that is presentable, might as well get it up so it could be of use to someone, rather than have it sit on your hard drive forever if you don't know when or even if you will have a chance or the means to improve it.

Now, I don't want a deluge of unfinished maps.  ("Presentable" is key.)  But as you can see, we almost went a whole calendar month without new maps - and actually did go over a month without maps, from Dec. 28 to Jan. 30 (and then suddenly got some maps for three games from two mappers on that day) - so having updates of some sort would be nice to show this site isn't dead.

A few years ago updates were guaranteed weekly!  For multiple games each weekend!  There was a time when for a huge stretch I didn't know what an updateless weekend was like!  But now, a bit of a different story, but surely we can do better than a month between any maps at all.
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