VGMaps

General Boards => Maps In Progress => Topic started by: VGCartography on March 17, 2021, 01:10:22 pm

Title: VGCartography - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on March 17, 2021, 01:10:22 pm
Hello all. Longtime lurker. My first submissions for Tomba and Vagrant Story on PSX went live yesterday.

https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#Tomba
https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#VagrantStory

I've always liked game visualizations/infographics and trying to summarize a game as succinctly as possible, in map form or videos or whatever. I have a full set of Silent Hill maps similar to VS I need to create upload-ready versions of, and am midway through the original Tomb Raider.

I've always loved the maps from the likes of FlyingArmor and StarFighters76 so would love to provide some high quality content for the PS1 section. I tend to post regular updates on Twitter - https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate and use the maps on my Youtube channel. Hope to have plenty more submissions!
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: Grizzly on March 18, 2021, 12:25:09 am
Wow, 3D content. Very great that such games get maps now. Thank you very much.

I have been absent for some years. What kind of tools would I need to be able to fly around in the 3D geometry of a game? Is it game-specific or is there something that I could use for, e.g., every PS1 game because it depends on the emulator?
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on March 18, 2021, 06:01:31 am
In my case, I am using custom javascript tools to look at the level data outside of the game itself. For example, for VS someone has open-source tool to look at individual rooms if you have a copy of the game: https://github.com/morris/vstools

I loaded up each room one by one, got a good image of it, then composited the levels together in photoshop. It's imperfect but better than using screenshots or something in an emulator because it can render the assets and high resolution. Silent Hill was a similar process (https://www.moddb.com/downloads/silent-hill-level-viewer-202). A lot of these games have small projects like this devoted to unpacking them, and I have helped with some and leveraged others.

For Tomba, same thing - level geometry extraction, extracted objects, arranged objects (platforms, swing poles, etc) in Blender and exported that base layer, then added the sprite elements like items etc. in photoshop. I actualy tried using emulator screenshots for this before putting more work in, and it looked pretty awful.

For Tomb Raider, I've been working on a code submission to noclip.website that can extract the data from BIN files and render them there. Plan on TR2 and 3 also.

In terms of games that I don't currently have a good path forward, Metal Gear Solid and Mega Man Legends are high on my list but I haven't found good projects or documentation about their file formats yet, so TBD.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: Grizzly on March 18, 2021, 11:41:38 am
Thank you for the thorough explanation. So it requires individual understanding of the level data format which a game uses.

Seeing the noclip.website, I really get interest to understanding what's going on there. The size of each individual game folder's program files in the noclip source repository (https://github.com/magcius/noclip.website/tree/master/src) still is immense at first sight but compared to starting from scratch with a complete viewer it might actually be feasible.

I will have a look at it, maybe first experimenting with a game for which the level data format is known.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on March 19, 2021, 07:00:39 pm
noclip has a discord where the main author Jasper is pretty active/helpful. You basically need to write the translation piece between raw data and something you can feed to his basic rendering components. Since it has everything from PS2 to N64, there isn't a ton of shared code across games. But I don't know how much easier learning all that is vs. standing up a simple ThreeJS viewer yourself or something - I've found it difficult and Tomb Raider is a well-documented game in terms of data formats. I have the geom rendering in the app but haven't figured out proper way to load textures and haven't had a good chance to dive into it again.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on March 31, 2021, 07:07:52 am
I've been sharing classic Tomb Raider maps as I assemble them. Most are on my Twitter feed, a couple examples:
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1377198997740347393 - TR2 - 40 Fathoms
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1376192309650411523 - TR - Palace Midas
The isometric maps for TR1 are done but need cleanup pass and labels etc. Haven't finished topdown map for 2/3 yet but maybe ready in a week or two.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on May 19, 2021, 08:36:23 pm
Finished and submitted TR maps to the site! I also used the base maps to make this Youtube video breaking down the parts of various levels + some infographics: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GiToc0SYkds
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: TerraEsperZ on May 19, 2021, 08:51:53 pm
I love seeing 3d maps rendered in an isometric perspective like this, even though they're not always easily "readable" because rooms will overlap with one another and ceiling geometry is sometimes visible.
Also, because of the primitive graphics of the game, it's not always easy to tell where edges are located. When older 3D games are rendered like this, I've always wondered how much better/worse it would look with a visible outline around edges.

Thank you for such an amazing video, and I'm glad that you'll be making maps for the next two games as well.
Can't wait to check out the maps by myself!
Title: Re: VGCartography - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: JonLeung on May 20, 2021, 02:38:03 pm
Tomb Raider maps (http://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#TombRaider) are up now!  Always appreciate maps of 3D games.

As I told VGCartography, I didn't really get into the Tomb Raider series until Tomb Raider: Legend (which to my understanding is the first reboot) so these OG Lara Croft adventures are definitely fascinating even without nostalgia, at least for me.  I have played Tomb Raider: Anniversary, which is a remake of this one, but that was a while ago.  One of the very few things I do remember about it is that there is a dinosaur, probably a T. Rex, which I see is here in the Lost Valley.  Can't go wrong with dinosaurs!

Anyway, thanks again, VGCartography!
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on May 20, 2021, 03:29:57 pm
I love seeing 3d maps rendered in an isometric perspective like this, even though they're not always easily "readable" because rooms will overlap with one another and ceiling geometry is sometimes visible.
Also, because of the primitive graphics of the game, it's not always easy to tell where edges are located. When older 3D games are rendered like this, I've always wondered how much better/worse it would look with a visible outline around edges.

Thank you for such an amazing video, and I'm glad that you'll be making maps for the next two games as well.
Can't wait to check out the maps by myself!

Thanks! Yeah, I often get confused by perspective when trying to find the best angle overall for each level, reminds me of that bit in Indiana Jones 3 when the perspective shifts and he realizes he's on a bridge. Peardian's Ocarina of Time iso maps are my favorite, but TR's levels fit together a bit differently and it's difficult to separate a single room so I wasn't able to achieve that level of clarity (partially why only the overhead map parts are labeled). For TR2 and 3 with a lot more verticality, I might try separating floors a bit more and trying more severe angles maybe.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on June 28, 2021, 01:58:55 pm
Resident Evil (2002) maps from going for platinum recently:
https://twitter.com/hatersgonnahate/status/1409615780250066945

Want to do a bit more error checking/cleanup before I submit though.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on August 04, 2021, 11:34:40 am
Metal Gear Solid is up.
https://vgmaps.com/Atlas/PSX/index.htm#MetalGearSolid

I made a short YouTube video explaining how I made it:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PihXtAKtb2A

Among other things, a cleanup of Tomba and Vagrant Story along with maps for Mega Man Legends and MGS2 are in the plans. Want to revisit Tomb Raider as well.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: JonLeung on August 04, 2021, 12:22:42 pm
Is the "Escape Route" legitimately equally as long as the whole island, as seen in the whole Shadow Moses maps?  I noticed the singular Escape Route map says "You must damage Liquid a certain amount in each looping section to advance", so I was wondering if there was some artistic license there on the full maps.

In any case, I think it's very neat that the game is actually very long (that is, "long" in the narrow sense, not gameplay time).
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on August 04, 2021, 12:34:21 pm
I shortened it on the Escape Route map so it wasn't needlessly big, just a sample of each part, but the full game map I think is what the intention was. In reality it can last for a while if you have bad aim, but the cliff you end on is meant to be the same coast you originally swim up to I think.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on January 28, 2022, 11:01:09 am
Just submitted a map for WILD ARMS on PS1. Was quite surprised there wasn't one already, many 2D RPGs from that era were done long ago. Unfortunately I didn't figure out a good way to extract data from the disc, so I resorted to the ol' screenshot mapping technique.

https://twitter.com/vgcartography/status/1485790802106327042?s=20&t=LiFzQ7yjtm8LOvKWhE2UEQ Here is a short timelapse doing a small portion of it. Took probably 3-4 nights a couple hours each to finish? One of my favorite games from the era.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: dark_lord_zagato@yahoo.co on January 28, 2022, 04:50:53 pm
Your work is blowing my mind. Holy cow these PS1 maps come out looking good.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: YelseyKing on January 29, 2022, 01:20:16 pm
Question about the Elw Dimension map... I've wondered for *years* if those two side islands were actually present on the map, and I'm curious as to whether what's shown in your map is all that's actually there, or if that's just all you were able to get without any sort of tools. If it's the latter, I guess some sort of "overworld walk through walls" code would be in order...

Still, nice to finally see "actual game graphics" maps for Filgaia. I'm genuinely surprised none existed until now. Good job! Heck, all of your PS1 maps are pretty dang amazing! Looking forward to seeing more of them in the future!
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on January 29, 2022, 01:54:20 pm
Question about the Elw Dimension map... I've wondered for *years* if those two side islands were actually present on the map, and I'm curious as to whether what's shown in your map is all that's actually there, or if that's just all you were able to get without any sort of tools. If it's the latter, I guess some sort of "overworld walk through walls" code would be in order...

Still, nice to finally see "actual game graphics" maps for Filgaia. I'm genuinely surprised none existed until now. Good job! Heck, all of your PS1 maps are pretty dang amazing! Looking forward to seeing more of them in the future!

Thanks! It is indeed the latter - I couldn't find any code for walk through walls/enable plane or other tools on Elw map/etc. so I can't see those bits either! But you can open the map in-game with select and they are shown, I suspect they are there... I've never tried to hack out PS1 codes before, although I did a bit on NES/SNES back in the day. Would be a fun project, I would definitely like to improve the missing areas in the current one.
Title: Re: Electromax - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on February 12, 2022, 06:49:45 pm
Made an animated runthrough of a bunch of the Castlevania maps:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFCkC9RUTxY

Pretty niche audience for this kind of video but it's fun to make as a flip-book through the map basically. Started on Tomb Raider II today.
Title: Re: VGCartography - getting to work on PS1 maps!
Post by: VGCartography on May 12, 2022, 08:21:36 am
Just submitted a complete* set of maps for Spyro 1. Gonna do 2 and 3 eventually, but taking a little break from placing gems and chests for a bit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s07jI0FeQhU
Made another video, this one about Tomb Raider 2. The game was complex enough that I didn't make labeled maps, although never say never - they are layered and difficult to clearly unravel in 2D, but the video was my attempt at a "living" version. Started on TR3 as a follow up as well.

Other stuff floating around is continuing isometric maps of Vagrant Story, Xenogears, and finishing MGS2. Not sure after that... maybe a little break.

*High Caves is missing due to data error :(