General Boards => Maps In Progress => Topic started by: mechaskrom on November 27, 2012, 04:12:16 AM

Title: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on November 27, 2012, 04:12:16 AM
Hello everyone!

My first post, but I visit vgmaps frequently. I love old games and looking at/creating maps for them.  :)

I decided that it finally was time to make some contributions to vgmaps so I'm working on maps for Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1).
Suikoden 1 is almost finished and I haven't started on 2 yet.

Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: magicbay on December 15, 2012, 07:32:08 PM
i loved these two games as well as the downloadable ports on the playstation 3 and psp.

i can't wait to see what the maps look like for these two great games.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: snesmaster on December 15, 2012, 09:16:03 PM
I look forward to seeing your maps!
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on December 18, 2012, 10:32:46 PM
I'm glad to see that more than I'm interested in seeing maps for these wonderful games. I was pretty surprised that there weren't already maps for them.

Maps for suikoden 1 are pretty much finished now and I would like to get your opinion on my "style". Any suggestions, criticism and so on, please let me know. Here is the map for great forest in suikoden:

One question, should I upload maps with a transparent background or fill it with a solid color (e.g. white, grey or black)? The map of great forest have a transparent background for example which mediafire sets to black when viewed (at least for me in firefox).
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: snesmaster on December 19, 2012, 11:09:21 AM
The maps look great!  Have you tried using the letters from the game with a black stroke instead of the green ones?  That may look better if they are still readable.

As for the transparent question, I personally fill the background in on all my maps as a solid black.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 19, 2012, 11:38:12 AM
I second Snesmaster's suggestion. If you can get it all, using a game's font to write text on a map makes it look that much better, though depending on the graphics of the map itself, you might have to alter the font a bit to have it stand out better (like adding an outline or changing the colors a bit).

As for the transparent background, I'd say it's up to you though I personally don't like having them on my maps. I prefer to fill the background with a color that offers a good amount of contrast, which usually ends up being a dark shade of grey, blue, purple or whatever else looks good. I know I'm vague, but I really suck when it comes to color arrangements.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on December 19, 2012, 06:24:15 PM
The font used in the maps bothered me a lot. I did try to use the game's font first but it's very "thin" and doesn't stand out much so therefore I made one inspired from other games (NES & SNES mostly), but I agree that it would be desirable to use suikoden's font instead.

I put some different fonts in the great forest map:
A,a = Suikoden font 2x size (16*24 pixels tile size)
B,b = Suikoden font (8*12)
C,c = Suikoden colored font 2x size (16*24)
D,d = Custom colored font (16*16)
So which one of these do you prefer ? None of them? :)
Personally I would choose the colored 2x suikoden font after my own. I don't like the other two, thin white font doesn't stand out for me at least and the original size is just to small.

And regarding the background I think I'll use a light grey color. Many areas in Suikoden have a dark, almost black, "border" around them and it will look bad IMO with a black background. Dwarves' vault is a great example of this:

Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on December 19, 2012, 10:02:22 PM
Wow, I didn't realize the original font was so small compared to the rest of the map (i.e. characters, doors, etc). It looks good but the letters are kinda lost and don't really call attention to themselves. The enlarged font on the other hand looks badly pixelated, so unless you edit them to smooth them a bit (either by editing them by hand or using some fancy anti-aliasing effect), I'd stick with the game font in its original size. I'd personally avoid the colored fonts or at least, I'd use a color that's easier on the eyes.

Personally, I'd use the A font but to call attention to them, I'd paste them over a colored label that would both stand out from the game's graphics and make the letters more noticeable. I suggest taking a look at the maps for Final Fantasy I & II: Dawn of Souls (GBA) on the site to see what I mean. Or else you can simply use the font as is but change its color and add a colorful outline to make a greater contrast. I can't quite give you a good example of that last example since I suck at drawing but maybe someone else can.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: snesmaster on December 19, 2012, 11:16:02 PM
I like Font B the best (but yes it is probably too small and hard to see, so I would go with A, and I agree maybe putting a solid color box behind it to make it stand out.

As for the background issue.  I had the exact same problem when mapping Chrono Trigger for the SNES.  Most of the in game background color outside of the map area were different shades of black that were brighter then black.  I just made it all black and found it looked much better that way.

Here is an example I made from your map.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on December 21, 2012, 02:22:44 AM
So it seems that you like Suikoden's font unlike me. ;)
I think it's to thin and hard to read when you zoom out the maps, but I tried making it bolder and it actually looks pretty good.
So I think this is what I will go with. Hopefully it's not upsetting anyone. People have different taste and opinions and it's hard to please everyone.

And it seems that you also doesn't like colored fonts unlike me. :)
The graphics in Suikoden is overall pretty bright and a few places are covered in fog making a white font with black outline a bit hard to see, particularly when zoomed out. Even Suikoden uses colored fonts (see attached image) which I got the colors from so I'm not breaking away from its style. A colored label/box could fix this, but even though they are nice and really make things stand out I think they cover up to much of the graphics and should be used only if necessary.

And I'll just leave the background with a solid light grey. I've designed the maps so you just have to do one color fill to change the whole background. So if you don't like grey it's easy to change. ;)
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: magicbay on December 23, 2012, 07:58:06 PM
i think the maps look absolutely great no matter what ya do afterwards.    it's almost like your actually inside the game with a psp in hand trying to figure out the directions to the local item shop or inn.    :D

just don't let others tell ya that they look crappy cuz they don't look crappy.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on January 02, 2013, 01:14:33 AM
Thank you for the kind words magicbay.

I don't think that snesmaster and TerraEsperZ thought my maps looked crappy. They just suggested ways to improve them which was exactly what I was asking for. I'm grateful for their replies because it made me look into (again) using the game's font and I managed to come up with a way to make it look pretty good IMHO. Better than my original font at least. So thank you snesmaster and TerraEsperZ. :)

I've contributed the maps to vgmaps and hopefully they will be accepted and published eventually.

I'll start working on suikoden 2 now so see you all again in about 4 months or so.  :P
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on January 02, 2013, 02:11:51 PM
just don't let others tell ya that they look crappy cuz they don't look crappy.

Don't worry, I'd never call someone else's work crappy, especially given how unsatisfied I often am with my own stuff.

And anyway, I think Mechaskrom's choice works well enough with the little shadows under the enlarged font, and I'm happy to disagree regarding the colours. It's a personal choice, and I'll be the first to admit I have little to no artistic skills, especially where colours are concerned. We're getting great looking maps in any case :)
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: on January 04, 2013, 12:01:06 AM
This is amazingly awesome. I've wanted to see a Suikoden world map for years now. These are all top quality as far as i'm concerned. :)
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: snesmaster on January 04, 2013, 04:45:33 PM
I think what makes a map look "crappy" is when the screen shots are not lined up correctly in an obvious way, or when animated tiles in a map are all mismatched.  As far as the maps here, they look great.  It is just a matter of opinion as to what font looks best, what color works for the BG.  These are just the small details.

I look forward to checking out all the maps!

Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: Paco on January 05, 2013, 07:03:58 AM
I reaaallllly like Suikoden Series. ^^ and thus i have a few suggestions to make the maps even better!

1. Can you also map Level 2-4 of Toran Castle? You only mapped Level 1 and 5. also add the exact number of Recruits on each Level if possible.  ^^

2. Can you add Boss Sprite on Maps. You also left out some Sprites like the Soldier on Soniere and Kwaba.

3. Can you also add the recruitable Chara with a glowing border ( or something?

4. You can also add more Color variation to make look the maps refiner. See Attackment as an example. You can of course do it differently.

Sorry if i demand too much of you, but i strike for Perfectionist if possible. I cant wait to see your Suikoden 2 Maps.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on January 05, 2013, 09:21:39 PM
There are possible spoilers in this reply so those that haven't already played this great game... beware.

1. How many levels does Toran Castle have? I only thought it had 4 plus the foggy/infested one that I call level 0. And because you never see (or do you?) the exterior of level 1 (right after you killed the zombie dragon) I used level 0's exterior for level 1. They should be the same anyway except the fog of course. So my maps are like this:
Level 0 = Toran Castle (foggy).png
Level 1 = Toran Castle (min recruits).png
Level 2 = no map
Level 3 = no map
Level 4 = Toran Castle (max recruits).png

I thought about mapping all levels, but didn't for a few reasons:
-They are all pretty similar, just a few more rooms and small changes. Map of level 1 and 4 should give you a good picture of how the castle changes from its smallest size to its biggest.
-How do you decide which characters should be recruited for each level? There are many possible combinations and many changes to Toran Castle depends on what recruits you have. Having maps with fewest and all recruits were the only straightforward choices IMO.

Exact number of recruits for each level feels like something for a guide/walkthrough and not a map, but you and I probably have different opinions on what should be in a map. :)

2. and 3. Besides the font this is probably the question I spent most time on. What should I include on the maps?
I thought about keeping all boss and character sprites, but concluded in the end that the result was less than perfect and caused many issues. A few examples:
-Tai Ho and Yam Koo are recruited in Kaku. Later in the game Gaspar is recruited in the same spot. The cafe's basement is going to get crowded. ;)
-Kwaba has soldiers in the beginning and rebels in the same spot near the end. Which should I map?
-Having Tengaar in her bride-outfit and Neclord playing on his organ while Pesmerga watches.... that'll look pretty silly. :P
Bad examples perhaps, but trust me that deciding what and how to include some sprites will be hard. And I pondered over this for a long time trying to make it work.

I'm OCD when it comes to doing things. If I can't make it look perfect (or close) it'll bother me a lot. Including all sprites will clutter up the maps and I prefer things to look "clean" so for suikoden's maps I decided to follow this rule as far as possible:
-Only include sprites that stays in that position throughout (or near the end of) the game.
That's why some of the townspeople sprites are included in the maps. There are some exceptions of course, e.g.
-Zombie dragon's sprite is hard to edit out so it's the only boss sprite on the maps.
-Gregminster changes a lot between start and end of the game.
-Toran Castle. Not including all characters here would look strange. :)

Also consider that I think that maps should be maps and only help players navigate the game and of course show how the game looks. A written guide/walkthrough will probably be much more helpful in finding all suikoden's recruits than any map will ever be for example. Including/adding extra information on maps can sometimes be nice, but should be carefully considered, especially if it will clutter up the map to much. All IMHO.

4. We've already discussed my choice of font and in the end it really comes down to different taste and opinion. What colors you use feels like a minor issue anyway. Thank you for your suggestion, but I like the current colors better.... IMHO of course. ;)

I like the glowing border. I'll keep that "trick" in mind when making maps, could be useful. Thank you. :)
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on January 06, 2013, 09:27:34 PM
I looked into how to map all levels of Toran Castle and here are my thoughts and findings.

I could only find 4 levels plus the version of Toran Castle with fog and monsters, but I don't count that as a level and therefore i refer to it as level 0. I checked the number of recruits for each level and it seems to be like this:
Level 1 = 9-29 recruits
Level 2 = 30-44 recruits
Level 3 = 45-89 recruits
Level 4 = 90-108 recruits
Does anyone know if this is correct?

I guess I could have these numbers in the map's name if you want, e.g. "Toran Castle (Lv3, 45-89 recruits)"

A quick check revealed that changes between lv1, lv2 and lv3 are apparent, but not by much. Lv3 and lv4 are almost identical. The flag on the exterior is the biggest change. ;)

I thought about how to decide which characters to recruit for each level and the simplest and most sensible way is to recruit every character you can when following the game's story until you reached enough recruits. But then I thought about another issue. Should I map each level with max or min recruits? Take lv2 for example. Map with 30 or 44 recruits? Right now I'm leaning at max recruits for each level.

What do you guys think? Is there any point in mapping all 4 levels of Toran Castle?
I think they are to similar and lv1 and lv4 maps are enough, but I don't mind mapping all if you wan't me to. :)
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: TerraEsperZ on January 06, 2013, 09:53:46 PM
I haven't played the game, but I think a mapper should try to be as comprehensive as possible. Areas should never be left out unless they are too difficult or impossible to map or are direct repeat of existing areas on the same map. Even in the latter case, I would still prefer for those areas to be included or at the very least, to have text explaining that the missing areas are identical to those already depicted. Leaving them without explanation might give the impression that these unmapped areas simply don't exist.
Title: Re: Suikoden 1 and 2 (PS1)
Post by: mechaskrom on January 19, 2013, 08:38:11 AM
The new Toran Castle maps are finished. You can get them here:

I also discovered that you only need 25 recruits for level 2 i.e.
Level 1 = 9-24 recruits
Level 2 = 25-44 recruits

The castle exterior shots are now displayed in its corresponding map instead of all in lv4. That means that Toran Castle (foggy) had a small update so it's also included in the archive. To my knowledge you never see the exterior of lv1 so it has a blank image instead.

So what do you think? Is this better than the existing maps for Toran Castle?