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Author Topic: This email reminds me why I run :)  (Read 2769 times)
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« on: November 10, 2008, 07:23:48 AM »

I thought this was a neat conversation (you'll see why), that began with an email to me from our latest forum member, who, as you'll see, is actually tied to the very beginnings of

(Bold emphasis mine.)

piken Said:
Cool. Let the nostalgia come on. I can remember getting out the graph paper back when I was 10 to map Willow on the NES and Mario World for the SNES. I also liked seeing the whole maps of levels in Nintendo Power (always wonder how they did that, but suspect they pasted them together, as you could see seams). Your website though is a much nicer resource (full color PNGs definitely beat pen on graph paper).


Several years ago, I wrote a small program called BgMapper that would view and export ZSNES savestate scenes to images. It's now surpassed by vSNES (Windows, not DOS), but it was fun. Maybe I'll resurrect it and complete it to be what I originally intended it to be - a real map making and viewing program. Instead of needing to take multiple screenshots and piece them together, it would rip the fully decompressed map of the current level directly from WRAM. Then, with the right tile table and gfx, you could see the whole map. For those specific games where editors exist (like Hyrule Magic for Zelda LTTP), there's not much need, but there still exists many games for which an editor will never exist would could be mapped. There are some interesting potential kinks in this, like the multitude of ways the tilemaps are stored (Zelda generally uses a simple 64x64 array of 16x16 tiles, Mario World divides the levels in 16x27 segments, Mario World 2 and Megaman have non-rectangular levels and divide the tilemap into 16x16 segments, Donkey Kong Country stores levels directly in the ROM sideways), the bg layering (SNES supports z-priority per tile and various blending combinations of main screen and subscreen), and effects like animated tiles.


My eventual goal is to repace static PNGs with a single file that holds all the maps of a game, supporting viewing animated tiles, bg parallax, links from door to door, and annotations. Of course, you would always be able to export any complete level map to a PNG : )


Anyway, just letting you know that the mere existance of your website inspired a desire to finish what I started.


-Dwayne Robinson/Piken

My reply (again, bold emphasis added here):

JonLeung Said:
Hi Dwayne/Piken,


I am very glad to hear this from you, for a couple of reasons.


Recently there seems to be more interest (than usual) on the forums about the technical side of screenshot mapping, and there has been discussion of tools to assist with it.  I think it would be cool if you shared your progress on your mapmaking and map-viewing program there.


Secondly, and you may be amused to hear this, but the first maps I made which led to the creation of the site were the Light World maps of The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past.  Initially I had trouble with the northwest corner of the map, and a chunk of Death Mountain, as Link couldn't walk close enough for me to get the screenshots I needed.  So then I turned to BGMapper for help.  Smiley  So you actually had a hand in the creation of the very first maps on!


I would like it very much if you would allow me to share your email with the regulars on the forums.  It's been a little quiet lately, and they would certainly love to hear about your enthusiasm for screenshot maps and potential new tool.  Or better yet, it would be nice if you shared.  Smiley  Either way, you would be most welcome on the forums.


Thanks for your interest in my site, hope to hear more from you!



Always good to have more enthusiastic people on board!  Smiley  Welcome, piken!
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 02:29:53 PM »

It's always nice to get feedback from people who like your work, but even better when these people aren't just fans with demands for more but rather people who are inspired by your example to do something of their own.


Current projects: 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)

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
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