VGMaps

General Boards => Maps In Progress => Topic started by: Maxim on May 05, 2011, 10:16:34 AM

Title: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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?
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Will 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Will 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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 :( 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...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: TerraEsperZ 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 09, 2011, 01:45:29 PM
Here it is...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: DarkWolf 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim 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.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 15, 2011, 10:50:51 AM
Stage 4 was very simplistic; stage 5 is a bit of a killer.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: TerraEsperZ 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 ;)
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 16, 2011, 02:24:41 AM
I'm just making some notes-to-self in here - things I need to go back to do as I change the "standard" as I go along...

Stage 1:
- Change the switch to a letter label like later stages

Stage 4:
- Change letter label borders to be non-square, as in Stage 5

Stage 5:
- The intro screen needs moving
- Switch G has no corresponding door label - it's the one near the exit

I already added intros and exit labels to my local versions...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 19, 2011, 11:32:38 AM
Stage 6 done - the first underground stage. Not many physical impossibilities and those that do occur aren't too obnoxious... but there is rather annoyingly a switch there that seems to have no effect? It's already pressed (and can't be un-pressed) when you get there and there doesn't seem to be anything it might control.

Note to interested observers: the last stage of this game is an office building with elevators. I'm dreading that a bit...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 21, 2011, 01:56:37 AM
Stage 7. There are 20 in total...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 22, 2011, 12:33:38 PM
Stage 8. A few blatant physical impossibilities here...
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 31, 2011, 11:28:20 AM
Stage 9 brings a new graphics set (chemical plant) and our first multi-level design - pits with elevators linking the upper and lower sections, with some overlapping. It also heavily uses long corridors with fast-moving enemies that "see" you from any distance, making it very hard work to map their starting positions.

I went with some layering of the down arrows and Z-ordering as a depth cue, meaning sometimes there's an arrow in front of a map. Avoiding overlap means some of the down arrows are ridiculously long. I may have to review this scheme if later levels get more extreme.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on May 18, 2013, 02:20:14 PM
I think this project is abandoned now. The stages are getting really complicated to lay out, and there are some enemies that are very hard to capture in their initial positions. I have a work in progress level 10 that I could post, but I don't see me getting any more done in the next few years.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Maxim on July 02, 2019, 01:55:39 PM
Hey, all my attachments disappeared... Did I miss some announcement when that happened?
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: JonLeung on July 03, 2019, 07:09:47 AM
Hmmm, it's news to me too.  I don't know if I've really used attachments myself so that's why I didn't notice.

I can try to restore the attachments from a backup if it's as simple as copying any missing files back to the "attachments" folder.  If it's more technical than that I'll have to ask bustin98 when he has a chance to look into it.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: Grizzly on July 03, 2019, 11:15:02 AM
My uploaded avatar image also disappeared. I think I still have stored it somewhere but a restore from backup would be easier.
Title: Re: Arena: Maze of Death (Game Gear)
Post by: JonLeung on July 11, 2019, 09:14:28 AM
I uploaded the folder that I have but also noticed that all the files had slightly different sizes.  I don't recall at the moment if they gained a few bytes or lost a few bytes.  Perhaps some kind of header/footer was added or truncated upon a forum update or something?  But then they weren't working anyway...

Uploading my copy of the forums folder didn't help at all, did it?