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Messages - eishiya

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Maps Of The Month / Re: 2022/11: God Of War (PS2) - VGCartography
« on: November 13, 2022, 07:20:57 am »
You did a great job, not just with capturing the levels, but with presenting them clearly - not an easy task for a 3D game like this.

Map Requests / Re: I'm not gonna finish Metal Gear Solid (GBC)
« on: July 24, 2022, 05:54:03 pm »
Oh, it didn't even occur to me to check whether you were still working on this game, I don't know why I just assumed you weren't working on them anymore, oops! Looks like it worked out though.

Never expected my maps of this dinky Barbie game to get any attention. Thank you!

Maps In Progress / Re: eishiya's Maps.
« on: January 04, 2021, 09:57:17 am »
During the last few months, I mapped Barbie: Magic Genie Adventure and Momodora 0: Day of Birth (fangame), both for Gameboy Color.

I didn't mean to go on a GBC spree, but at a friend's request, I'm now mapping Metal Gear: Ghost Babel, aka Metal Gear Solid for the GBC. The first two stages (of 13) were previously mapped by Marscaleb, but I've started over from scratch so that all my maps can be consistent with each other, though I took some layout pointers from their maps, and I'm probably going to make seamless unlabelled versions similar to theirs.

Current progress: DONE and posted!

Here's a sample, stages 3 and 4:

These two stages share a building, but some bits inaccessible in stage 3 are accessible in stage 4 and vice versa, hence the slight differences.

Since I'm making the first-pass maps using the Stage Select mode, the pick-ups are currently labelled according to Normal difficulty. I hope to go through and check the pick-ups on other difficulties after I've finished the Normal maps, and then based on what kinds of differences there are, I'll decide whether to make different versions of the maps for different difficulties, or whether to include everything in one map and indicate on the labels which difficulties have which pick-ups. I'm going through all the difficulties to check the pick-ups now. The difficulty-restricted items will have a difficulty level indicator in their labels indicating which difficulties they can be found on.

I will not be mapping the VR missions or the special versions of the stages, I'm not that into this game xP

Maps In Progress / Re: eishiya's Maps.
« on: July 10, 2020, 04:00:58 pm »
@JonLeung: I saw! I'm really glad they saw and liked it!

...I'm honestly curious to see that full-game single map now :o. Maybe you could share a download link?
Sadly I didn't keep the arranged file since it was big and useless, sorry D: IIRC, it was mainly that Mercy Dreams had a lot of overlaps with surrounding areas, and minor misalignments elsewhere.

I haven't been working on any maps recently because I've been working on my own game! Maybe one day someone will want to map it ;D

Maps Of The Month / Re: 2020/02: Sonic Advance (GBA) - TerraEsperZ
« on: February 12, 2020, 10:08:20 pm »
Thanks for sharing a bit about the process! I don't think I'd even tackle a map like this precisely because of the difficulty of capturing everything in its proper state, it's awesome that you found a way to make it doable, even if it's still not easy.

One is definitely better than nothing!

Maps In Progress / Re: eishiya's Maps. Current WIP: Blasphemous
« on: February 07, 2020, 12:11:45 pm »
Progress update: Finished the raw maps (except for one missable bit) \o/

The next step is to arrange the area maps into one giant file to make sure things more or less connect (the rooms in this game do not connect cleanly), and then replay the game from the beginning to screenshot all the item locations and the missable area. Here's hoping my PC can handle a file that big.

Edit: No browser I tried could open the full-game PNG (c. 55k x 18k pixels) so I won't bother making that, I'll just make per-area maps.

Feb 11 edit: Done and submitted!

Maps Of The Month / Re: 2020/02: Sonic Advance (GBA) - TerraEsperZ
« on: February 07, 2020, 11:49:04 am »
I love how polished these maps look! TerraEsperZ always does a good job filling in the inaccessible parts of maps.

Maps In Progress / Re: eishiya's Raw Maps. Current WIP: Blasphemous
« on: January 25, 2020, 08:51:35 pm »
I haven't stopped mapping during my absence from this thread. I did Casper (PSX), Momodora: Reverie Under the Moonlight, and Catmaze.

I recently started mapping Blasphemous, and since that's a fairly well-known game, I thought I'd mention it just in case anyone else was planning to do it. I will not be posting many updates since I prefer to just work on maps in peace and submit them when they're done, but if anyone else is interested in mapping this game, maybe we can figure out a way to split the work.

More WIPs:
I'm still doing the first pass, so items are missing and some rooms are in their non-default states.

Maps Of The Month / Re: 2019/12: Catmaze (PC) - Eishiya
« on: December 30, 2019, 05:34:04 pm »
Thanks for the feature! This was a big project, and thanks to this feature, hopefully more people will check out the game and find the map useful. It's a fun world to explore, despite the game's jankiness.

Maps Of The Month / Re: 2019/10: Demon's Crest (Super NES) - Will Mallia
« on: October 20, 2019, 09:45:44 am »
I'm glad to see this game get more recognition! I thought it was great-looking when I saw it in a speedrun marathon, and it's one I now always look forward to seeing at those events. I didn't even realise it'd been mapped, thanks Will! You did a good job and deserve the recognition just as much as this game does :D

Just noticed this! Thank you for featuring my map, and I'm really glad to see this game get more recognition.

Good choice of preview ;D

Map Requests / Re: Modern 2010s 2D/2.5D wishlist!
« on: December 12, 2017, 10:53:04 am »
Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that

Unfortunately not. I've always mapped using screenshots and, whenever possible, emulators that could disable layers. Shovel Knight has many layers that can't be disabled so you're left with two choices: take a ton of screenshots and extrapolate what you can't see using the game's individual tiles (a gruelling task), or extract the layers straight from the game's code. I'm nowhere near smart enough to do the later, and trying the former took me several weeks to assemble the game's simplest maps.

As much as I love this game, I simply don't have the patience and energy to keep mapping it. Sorry :(.
The extrapolation is what I tend to do, but yeah, it's really not fun if you can't get lost in it, and when it's too many layers and the layers all share colours, it just gets frustrating.
Since you're not working on it, I'll keep an eye for it in giveaways and the like. Used up my vidya budget on Momodora, but I'm curious to try to map SK too.

@Nega: Ripping models from games isn't easy. Even ripping assets from classic games is hard (despite some emulators having tools for it!), which is why so many maps are made using screenshots. It's easier for some games than others, but there's no one-size-fits-all method, because different games use different methods for storing their assets. A tool developed for one game isn't likely to work for another game, even if the developers used the same game engine and the same 3D programs. In addition, it's a lot easier to make a case for sharing a finished map with the public compared to sharing raw assets, especially when it comes to modern games.
If you're looking to commission people to map these games for you, you should first sort the games into categories based on what types of assets they use, so that you can approach the right people for each game, and can have a general idea of the amount of work that would go into it. Mapping a game can take dozens, sometimes hundreds of hours, and you'll want to budget accordingly, and perhaps focus on the games that are easier/quicker to map.

2D pixel art games
- These are probably the easiest to map, even if no tools are available to disable parallax layers
- If tile-based, it's easier to reconstruct parts that can't be seen during normal play
- If the game has parallax effects, that makes it more difficult. If the different layers can't be disabled to allow them to be captured separately, it requires a LOT of screenshots to get the image data needed to look nice on the map, so be prepared to pay for many extra hours of work. If the game uses the same colours for the different layers, separating them from screenshots is even harder.
- If the game has dynamic lighting effects or colour overlays and no way to disable them, again, be prepared to either pay for a lot of extra screenshots and manual recolouring, or expect a map with choppy colours, especially of the lighting effects consist of gradients rather than sharp shapes.

2D non-pixel art games
- If the assets have aliasing (soft, non-pixelly edges), it's much harder to rip them from screenshots. This is not a problem if the assets are static relative to each other, but is an issue if there are parallax effects, as the assets will be overlapping different things in different screenshots, which will make them look slightly different in each one. The softer the edges, the worse they'll look.
- As with pixel art games, lighting effects pose a challenge for screenshot mapping. Manual recolouring is generally not an option with non-pixel art because the individual pixel colours aren't as predictable and there are way more pixels to work with. In those cases, one needs to either rip the assets from the game and rebuild the map from them, or one needs debug tools to disable the effects or fix them in place.
- These games tend to have high-res art, which means that to be reasonably-sized, the maps will likely be much smaller than what you'd see in-game. Plus, unless the mapper is using ripped assets, they'll be dependent on the resolution they ran the game in.

3D games
- If you want maps that represent the in-game visuals, you pretty much need access to a level editor where you can control the camera or some very good asset/level extraction tools. Even with such tools, 2D maps are only possible for games where the gameplay areas are either essentially 2D (e.g. Trine), or are flat enough that they can be separated into a series of flat "floors"; any game with a more complex use of the 3D space will generally not make for a good 2D image.
- If you want maps using in-game assets, it may help to sort your desired games by the engine they use. Some engines support reverse-engineering better than others.
- Most people just screenshot the in-game maps and annotate them, since the developers would have already gone through the trouble of figuring out how to make their 3D space work in 2D. If that's not a good option, drawing a map from scratch might be a possibility.

Another thought:
Sometimes, engine publishers will make parts of games or whole games available as project files (as opposed to compiled games ready to play), in order to promote their engine. YoYo Games did this with Spelunky and a few other games a while back. Tracking those down could be quite helpful to mappers. In general, finding resources and tools to help mappers with specific games is probably even more likely to get those games mapped than offering money. Money won't get a game mapped if the mapper doesn't have the tools to do it.

Since Bastion's on your list and I have it, I tried to see if I could rip its textures. Nope :| Couldn't get any of the tools to convert the XNB files to PNG files to work, they all crashed. Hopefully there's someone else out there with an interest in this game, someone who's more familiar with XNA, its files, and its tools. Bastion's maps are, as far as I can tell, made of tiles, so without a way to open the map data in addition to the getting the textures, I'd have to arrange the maps out of tiles by hand based on screenshots, and that's too tedious and time-consuming to be worth it.

Map Requests / Re: Modern 2010s 2D/2.5D wishlist!
« on: December 10, 2017, 10:30:18 pm »
Shovel Knight has been partially done by TerraEsperZ, no idea if they're still working on that.

Since many modern games use non-pixel 2D and 3D artwork, they're much harder to map compared to most classic games, which used pixel art. That is the main reason you don't see many modern game maps. Plenty of modern games still use pixel art (e.g. Owlboy, Shovel Knight, Axiom Verge) and sprites aren't becoming extinct and thus are relatively simple to map, so I'm sure we'll see maps of the more popular of those games eventually, provided that interest in mapping in general doesn't die down.
An additional factor is that since these newer games are still being actively sold and maps that use art from the games violate copyright, posting the maps may be problematic. I was fortunate to be able to get permission to post my Momodora: RutM map, not many developers are that responsive.

Half of my Steam wishlist is modern pixel art games I'd love to map, but I haven't the time or the money for them. Glad to see I'm not the only one interested in maps of those games though :D

It just feels awkward since they're not purely raw, they're partially labelled. I suppose it's better than nothing, though. I'll send them in. Does this mean I should send in the Magical Starsign maps too?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to save Magical Vacation until later.

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