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General Boards => Map Gab => Topic started by: Cleeem on June 26, 2020, 10:40:24 AM

Title: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on June 26, 2020, 10:40:24 AM
Hello there! French user and first message on the forum for me ! ^^
I was planning to give all the maps of Equinox here at vgmaps.

What has been done yet (EDIT: now finished):

You can find all of the maps here:
https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/index.htm#Equinox (https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/index.htm#Equinox)


1. Galadonia (butterfly > Pieces from Crusader of Centy on Sega Genesis)  8)
(https://i.ibb.co/5B5HskY/1-papillon-Pieces-Soleil.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/y8xspqh/1-Galadonia.png)

2. Tori (hat > life from Solstice on NES)  :P
(https://i.ibb.co/hc22vpw/2-chapeau-vie-Solstice.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/YQR89T1/2-Tori.png)

3. Deeso (dog > antique dog from Secret of Evermore on Snes)  ;D
(https://i.ibb.co/37R68nL/3-chien-tesem-SOE.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/23TDyyT/3-Desso.png)

4. Atlena (spiral > teleporter from Chrono Trigger on Snes)  :o
(https://i.ibb.co/dtD20Jt/4-spirale-teleporter-CT.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/CP0r2k4/Atlena-v2.jpg)

5. Quagmire (tadpole/frog > Winkly from Donkey Kong Country on Super Nes)  ::)
(https://i.ibb.co/2gS2GFQ/5-grenouille-Winky-DKC1.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/hVD9B5Y/5-Quagmire.jpg)

6. Afralona (Jumpman > Mario from Super Mario Bros. on NES)  :-*
(https://i.ibb.co/85qsTq5/6-Jumpman-Mario-SMB1.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/mScnMtx/6-Afralona-v3.jpg)

7. Ghost Ship (ship > Ghost ship from Equinox on Snes)  ???
(https://i.ibb.co/CM9KdcX/7-b-teau-b-teau-fant-me-Equinox-mini.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/Fx9G6CR/7-Ghost-Ship-vf.jpg)

8. Ice Palace (cross > stone cross from Equinox Snes)  :)
(https://i.ibb.co/3MsypJd/8-croix-croix-de-pierre-Equinox.jpg)
(https://i.ibb.co/7WLYVJL/8-Ice-Palace.jpg)



Equinox has fascinated me [...]
eventually, someone else will end up mapping it instead.

Yes!  ;)
So, dear TerraEsperZ,

If you would like to work on the project and have a limited time, maybe you would be happy to do the general world map and put ... the items on the maps (it you like to do it one day!).  ;)
Whatever, you will be free to use my work ! ^^
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on June 26, 2020, 04:27:58 PM
Hi Cleeem and welcome to the forum! As a fellow French speaker (from Quebec), it's nice to see new faces around here as the forum is really a lot less active than it used to be!

Thank you for the offer but I'm *way* too finicky about details (like spacing and exact color values) to ever use someone else's maps as a base. It's why it typically takes me years and several restarts to finish mapping any one game!

I only really need to submit the overworld map at the moment which is practically finished and with your set, the whole game will be on the site. My dream version of the dungeon maps, if I ever finish them, will no doubt take me *years* because I'm hoping to do kind of the same thing that Guillaume Saint-Amant did with his Solstice map, namely to make them easier to read by adding proper shadows under every floating object. I did a few rooms as a test and it looks neat but I'm not sure how feasible it will be to do the whole game like this.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing your maps (I've only done the basic capture of the first three dungeons myself) and I hope you stick around!
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on June 26, 2020, 05:11:59 PM
Cher TerraEsperZ, c'est un plaisir de te lire!  :)
I will continue in english so it will be easier here for most of the readers ! ^^

You can count on me to finish the maps, yes!
Before assembling anything, I make a picture for each room, so maybe it could save you some time for your dream project! ^^

But it may not be pixel perfect so you may not be able to use them. I have read you are using BizHawk. And I am using Snes9x !  :P
Anyway, I am very curious to see the difference between BizHawk and Snes9x captures.
Could you post a capture of the first room of the first dungeon, so I can discover the differences between the 2 emulators (because I am really curious, you know!).

Here it is with my capture for the first screen of the fisrt dungeon by starting a new game (room 1-0E) :
(https://i.ibb.co/FkrpGQd/Equinox-01-0-E.png)

I played Equinox a long time ago in 1995 (25 years ago, yyyeeesss!!! Can you believe it ? ^^)
I am happy to make maps about the game today !  :)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on June 26, 2020, 06:22:30 PM
From what little I've seen, it seems to be pixel accurate but the colour values are slightly different because older emulators like Snes9x don't convert the SNES's 15-bit BGR colour values to 24-bit RGB the same way more recent emulators like BizHawk do.

Basically, the 0-31 colour range is converted either to 0-248 (Snes9x) or 0-255 (BizHawk). With the newer method, pure white has a value of 255,255,255 instead of 248,248,248, which is close but not quite enough.

You can see for yourself if you check the individual pixel colours. Lower values are identical but start being off by a few point the higher they are:

(https://i.imgur.com/xG5UGt7.png)

I myself had to do some work because the Mode-7 overworld map graphics couldn't be captured by BizHawk because of some programming quirk in the way Equinox displays the map. I had to use a ZSnes savestate with a utility called vSnes to capture the graphic from it, then a custom, GUI-less, barely functional QB64 program to convert the colours to the right format.

See what I mean when I say I'm obsessed with details :P ?
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on June 27, 2020, 01:25:41 AM
Oh well, yes! It is very impressive ! ^^
So I am on my way to continue the last 4 levels by now ! ^^
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on June 29, 2020, 09:35:49 PM
Here are the custom shadows tests I've done so far :

(https://i.imgur.com/WzHN4H2.gif)

I'm hoping to do the whole game like this but I fear that some dungeons like Quagmire might be almost impossible to depict this way because of all the vegetations...
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: JonLeung on June 30, 2020, 07:13:41 AM
That's impressive.   :o  How do you make the custom shadows?  I mean, in general.  I imagine that takes a lot of work, even before trying to line them up in isometric space...
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on June 30, 2020, 09:42:19 AM
*A lot of work* is the right answer!

So far, I've had to use a few different techniques to create the shape of the shadows.

Those spikes from Dungeon 3 are identical to those found in another one (can't remember off-hand which) except these have no shadows because in this dungeon, spikes can hang in the air instead of always being on the ground. So I just took the shape of the shadow from the identical spikes that do have one.

For round pillars and square blocks, I'm basically using the upper "north" and lower "south" edges for the exact shape, and use the surface to determine the exact placement for that block in relation to the tile grid. It's hard to explain but I've made a few templates for grid alignment for every type of blocks I've used so far. Some things are highly simplified such as the caged skeletons in Dungeon 1 having a full, round shadows.

After that, I basically have to rebuild the room in as many horizontal layers as required for the shadows to make sense. The game itself builds a room from 3 or 4 basic blocks (cage, pillar, block, spike, etc) then builds a single composite layer that is displayed over the empty floor/wall layer. If there are multiple elements in a given room that would project shadows over one another, I have to determine which elements are located at which position and height, then replicate each horizontal layer separately and add in additional layers in-between for the shadows with simple homemade masks. It's long and complicated but strangely exciting to do!

The shadows done this way are far from perfect, but they give a better understanding for the layout at a first glance. I still need to determine a good way to represent blocks that can be moved, blocks there are invisible, blocks with a conveyor effect, blocks that fall as soon as you enter the room, etc.
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 02, 2020, 09:29:34 AM
*A lot of work*
... and skills !  ;) It is magnificient!

The simple mapping will continue with world 5, 6 and 8 ... and 7 is now completed (I have updated the first post with a small picture for it!).  :)
To be continued ...  :D
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: JonLeung on July 02, 2020, 11:03:37 AM
SQUEEE!  I don't get too excited by much as often as I'd like, but I am looking forward to seeing complete maps of these.  To be honest, I haven't made a serious attempt at playing this game, but I love how it looks.  Who knows?  I might try again when some maps are ready.  :P

Guillaume Saint-Amant's map of Kâstleröck (https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/NES/Solstice-Kastlerock.png) in Solstice is incredible.  TerraEsperZ, I wish you the best of luck in achieving your goal of coming up with Equinox maps to match.  It seems like something already well within your skills and it sounds like you desire to do it.  Probably only a matter of time, rather than of ability or motivation.
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 04, 2020, 02:43:57 AM
Dear JonLeung, thank you for your interest! ^^

Every map will have the secrets passages in yellow.
Here is an example with Atlena  ;)
(https://i.ibb.co/FWVYBcq/Equinox-secret-passages.png)

I think I will continue with world 8, then world 5 and finally the 6th to finish ! ^^
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 04, 2020, 09:13:29 AM
Afralona (Dungeon 6) is really, **really* big and long, isn't it?
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 04, 2020, 04:31:07 PM
Ha ! Here is the number of rooms for each world. ^^
1>16 2>34 3>45 4>47 5>63 6>75 7>70 8>107

So the last level is the one with the top number of rooms in the game.
Level 6 win the second place. It is very long to progress as a gamer for sure, but it shoud be OK to make the map for it!  :)


Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 09, 2020, 08:10:18 AM
Ice Palace is now finished !
The biggest map ^^: 11 224 x 6 328 pixels
.bmp = 203 Mo  :D
.png = 7 Mo  8)

I have updated the first post with a thumbnail of it!  :)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 09, 2020, 04:40:34 PM
Another thing is that I have changed my mind about this:  8)
What I *will not* do:
  • put all the weapons, magics, tokens, keys, potions and apples on maps
  • put all the enemies and boss
  • give a general world map (overworld)

(https://i.ibb.co/kyTKK11/Tori-M.jpg)

As you can see in the picture just above, I will mark the maps with:

That is all for now ! ;)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 13, 2020, 06:41:46 PM
Today, I have updated the first post with the map of Quagmire.
So, only Afralona is missing to finish the maps.

Before I do the last map, I may mark all the maps, so it may take a little time but everything could be finished this month.  ;)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 13, 2020, 08:05:21 PM
Amazing work Cleeem! I'm kinda jealous that you've managed to do so much so quickly while I always seem to be stuck running in place.

I've been trying really hard to finish my isometric version of the overworld map but I'm probably going to start a new thread for it. I don't want to hijack yours and there are a lot of technical details I'd like to talk about (*if* I can muster the energy to make a visual guide for what I'm talking about).

Can't wait to see the final result for your dungeon maps!
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 14, 2020, 11:25:21 AM
Added small images to make maps a little more fun and attractive on the first message! ^^ I hope you will enjoy it.  ;)

Dear TerraEsperZ, I am happy to know you will open a thread for your overworld map. I will have joy  to read and participate!  :D

When I started the plans for Equinox, I only had the energy to produce for a short time, so I gave everything I could of myself in a short period. I admire people like you who keep a project over time.  :)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 16, 2020, 12:20:57 PM
Added Afralona as a a thumbnail in the first post so you can discover the look for it! ^^
I know I said I was on my way to mark all the maps already done, but I decided to finish Afralona first after all.  8)

The hardest level to assemble was without a doubt Atlena.  :P
Now the final part, marking the maps!  ;D
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 17, 2020, 09:05:10 PM
Those thumbnails are quite the tease... Can't wait for the real thing!
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 18, 2020, 07:21:26 AM
Oh thank you !  :)
I am putting low res because I want to share the final version only (to be sure no other old version would ever be on the web).

I would like to share about my work on alignments with blocs in this post to show the cases I've encountered.


----- 2 exits on the same side (1-0D) -----

(https://i.ibb.co/RNNxt3N/Galadonia-final.jpg)
As you can with a short peace of Galadonia, it occurs that sometimes, the alignment with doors is not possible to win some space.
Arrows for room 1-0D do not have the requested alignments to rooms 1-0B and 1-0C but what you can see here is what my final map is exactly displaying.

(https://i.ibb.co/gZpR8Tn/Galadonia2-jpg.jpg)
If you decide to space the blocs a little more, the alignment will be good with the version I just made right now to show for 1-0D with 1-0B and 1-0C.
I found myself that the second picture just above is better, but if I had to do that for an entire level, it would be more difficult to read.
Indeed, when 2 blocs are closer, it is easer to understand the connections between them without having to suggest lines or arrows in the map everywhere.

Another reason why I chose a reduced spacing between the blocks is that everything fitted perfectly at 90 % of the time.
The 10% is where there are 2 exits on the same side, as seen in the example for Galadonia.

The last problem was that with big maps, the last levels would have been gigantic with the increase spaces method.


----- vertical and horizontal aligments -----

(https://i.ibb.co/k97ZQVC/Afralona-alignement-example-jpg.jpg)
Check for the room 6-23 in Afralona.
The vertical line is aligned with the rooms 6-20 and 6-26.
The horizontal line is aligned with the top of room 6-22 and the middle of room 6-1F.

Here, some doors seems not aligned even if they are!
The reason why it seems wrong is that I choose vertical blue line bloc to suggest the connections.
As you can see with room 6-1E, connections are verticals with rooms 6-1F and 6-22, not diagonal as it should be.

So, why vertical bars ?
Because with vertical bars, I was able to put the bars closer to the doors and the eye see it faster after several tries I made.
Another reason is, if you zoom out the map, the set of connections between the parts seems more cohesive with this choice.
Indeed, vertical/horizontal lines harmonize only a little bit with diagonal lines and when you zoom out, everything seems a mess ... or not depending what has been chosen between vertical/horizontal or diagonal bars.
It just happens occasionally.


----- artistic aligments -----

Yes, I dare it! ^^
And only for Afralona.
When I have some long long corridors to cross, I've allowed myself to make roundabout connections. It's not perfect, but it's visually nicer than a straight line that goes up and up.

(https://i.ibb.co/0Xcy6Nf/6-Afralona-alignment.jpg)
The yellow line shows what should have been a perfect alignment...


----- better is the enemy of good ? -----

Oh! It could have been a perfect title for my work. I really tried my best and while I was writing this post, it made me think of someone else work : Auximines.

It is here in pictures:
(https://i.ibb.co/zh76fPp/Auximines-Justin-Bailey-Super-Metroid.jpg)
https://metroidconstruction.com/resource.php?id=110 (https://metroidconstruction.com/resource.php?id=110)

His whole work is in this page:
https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/342/ (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/342/)

Here is a small part of his readme, commenting his work for the heroine Samus, to play without combinaison :

« My anatomy is a little better than it looks; each sprite was made with limited space, and an odd shaped tile formation.
The upper body and the lower body are different sprites, the tiles are arranged in the shape of a suit of space armor rather than a human body, so it's hard to fit an accurate human body in there.

Also, many sprites are used in combinations with other sprites in different frames. the "aiming upward" sprites were made to look good when standing, but those same sprites are used when ducking, and it makes her waist look very short.

The ducking sprite itself is the same one for left and right, but the upper body sprites are also the standing left/right sprites, and since one has her back facing you it was hard to make a lower body ducking sprite that looked good with all the different sprites it's combined with in various frames. There are many other sprites like this, too.

So if her arms look too short sometimes, or her upper body too small, waist too short, legs too short, or anything looks "wrong" at all, I know about it. And I can't fix it as it would screw up something else. Every sprite is as good as I can get it, under all these bizarre circumstances. »


----- conclusion -----

Well, I tried my very best for this project.
Believe it or not, I was described as very slow and very perfectionist when I was a young boy (the slower of the galaxy ^^). So did I just eat a super rocket or something ?

No! Not at all ! When I started the project, I spent some time to study how to save a lot of time.
So I was able to find good cheat codes, good tools and good saves of a complete game (actually my old ones).

I had to think about something that would be very nice and well made but with eventually a little defaults to save me A LOT of time. So everything started in June and is now finished in July...

The first time in my life when I decided to stop being to perfectionist is when I played Secret of Evermore on the Snes. I calculated that, *if* I would like to put the magic alchemy to max, I had to spent 8 hours a day during 2 months...

And in RPG games, I decided to level up only if one level take me under 10 minutes, other wise, I stopped...

Nothing is perfect in this post from the top to the bottom but I tried my best to give the best I could according to so many things to consider! ^^  :)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: TerraEsperZ on July 18, 2020, 08:03:48 AM
I was beginning to think I was the only one who obsessed this much about room placement, door connection/alignment and total accuracy vs artistic liberties!

While you definitely come off as having more artistic flair than me, I certainly recognize part of myself in you (which is a compliment by the way!)
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 19, 2020, 01:20:18 PM
Thank you TerraEsperZ !  :)
Everything is now finished at 100%

PNGGauntlet makes the pgn files at their best!
I will wait a few days before I submit anything.
It is good to let the things sleep a little to be sure everything is good.

If you go to page 1, you will see that the Ghost Ship Level has changed.
It is because there is a deck (level 0) and a hold (level -1) that are now displayed on the top (level 0) and on the bottom (level -1) of the map.
The other 7 worlds have only a level (-1) with the use of the ladders.

Can't wait to read your explanations about the map dear TerraEsperZ.  ;D
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: JonLeung on July 22, 2020, 09:52:40 PM
And... the maps are up! (https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/SuperNES/index.htm#Equinox)  Great work, Cleeem!
Title: Re: Equinox SNES maps
Post by: Cleeem on July 23, 2020, 02:32:08 AM
Thank you Jon!
I am glad it is finished ! ^^  8)