Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - TerraEsperZ

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10
Mapping Tips/Guides / GIMP 2.8.2 - Basic questions
« on: September 13, 2012, 06:14:11 pm »
Okay, so taking GSA's advice, I've decided to give GIMP a try as my main mapping program. However, seconds after opening a file, I'm already frustrated by the apparently convoluted method needed to simply paste an image from the clipboard while removing a specific colour making the removed portion "transparent".

As I'm fond of saying, MS Paint is great because it's fast. I always use #FF00FF as the "transparent" colour of every file I save. When I'm pasting lots of images like sprites or anything where a portion must be transparent, I only need to make #FF00FF the background colour, select the "Transparent Background" icon and anything I paste will have that colour disappear.

From the various tutorials I've read about GIMP, I'd need to select and then remove the background colour every time I paste a selection. Isn't there an easier way? How hard can simply pasting something correctly be?

Seriously, I'm already willing to pull the plug right there with using GIMP as my primary paint program. I'm probably going to do like Peardian and do more of my work in Paint with the final assembly taking place n GIMP.

Map Gab / Castlevania Legends (GB)
« on: August 29, 2012, 12:26:02 am »
I mapped the first four stages of this game in 2009, but only started polishing them today after reading JonLeung complain again that this *gem* (huge sarcasm here) was still unmapped :P.

So here's what's done so far. I used an outline to make the meats, 1-Ups and special items stand out and even added a few framed "tips" for parts of the stages that aren't obvious. I also decided to use the colors of each stage on a Game Boy Color for the title and map screens instead of their original palette since they're not that important and it allows the maps to compress a bit more.


*Updated 11/09/12*
Stage 1: Outside the Castle

*Updated 11/09/12*
Stage 2: Inside the Castle

*Updated 11/09/12*
Stage 3: The Clock Tower

*Updated 11/09/12*
Stage 4: The Top Floor of the Castle

See further down for the last two:

*Updated 11/09/12*
Stage 5: The Cathedral

*Updated 11/09/12*
Hidden Stage: The Dungeon

You've probably seen the following two as they've been doing the rounds of the Internet for the last few months if not a little more. But if you haven't, then take a look at artist Bill Mudron's map works:

The map arrangements aren't canonical but they still look great and work well if you start with the idea that the maps as seen in the games look literally like they do instead of being abstractions. It's not like the Mario and Zelda series have made any real attempts at reconciling their worlds and that's alright. I've always felt that it was better to concentrate on making each game map perfect for said game instead of constantly worrying that it won't match what was seen in earlier representations as long as you don't contradict them too much.

Anyway, I'm posting this because I forgot to when I first heard of these posters and I just ordered both after learning that he was doing a new printing of the Zelda one which had been sold out for a while.

Maps In Progress / Sonic the Hedgehog (GEN) *Redux*
« on: June 13, 2012, 06:56:02 pm »
(This thread is a continuation from this messy and outdated one)

Thanks to feos' effort, I've recently switched Genesis emulator and have been using Gens-ReRecording instead of plain old Gens for the last week or so. Thanks to its much more flexible nature, it's made it a lot easier to map Genesis games properly. As such, I've decided to re-do and complete my maps for the first Sonic the Hedgehog game. The re-do is mainly because Gens-RR uses a slightly different palette than Gens and also because I can now (with some work) freeze moving platforms in their initial positions.

I've decided to try and make better backgrounds than before; hope you like the improvements. Just like my earlier attempt, I'm still not going to force the whole map to conform to the game's 256 x 256 patterns on account of having sprites floating in mid-air would look stupid. These maps show all that can be accessed in-game with Debug-Mode; if you want complete but less aesthetic maps, you can go to The Sonic Center instead.

*Note that these maps aren't final and haven't been labeled or fully optimized*

Green Hill Zone Act 1:

Green Hill Zone Act 2:

*Added 17/06/12*
Green Hill Zone Act 3:

*Added 26/06/12*
Marble Zone Act 1:

Gaming / Is the PS3 a good Blu-Ray (+ benefits) player at this point?
« on: March 10, 2012, 12:29:15 am »
Long story short, I don't have a blu-ray player yet (mostly because I don't have an HD TV). But I've been starting to buy Blu-Ray + DVD combos recently if only because it's barely more expensive and I can both enjoy the movie right now and later in a superior format. I was considering a generic player for the last few weeks but then, I found out about Journey (PS3).

Journey is exactly the kind of game that would make me buy a console. Okay, maybe not this game by itself, but coupled with the fact that I need a blu-ray player *and* that there are PS3 games I would be interested in without being must-have titles, are slowly tipping the balance in favor of Sony's console. With the PS3 and the XBOX360 slowly approaching the end of their intended lifetime, would buying a PS3 now be a good idea? I'd most likely go for the smallest available HDD to save on cost but a refurbished unit is out of the question. I simply don't trust those (after tons of problems over the years installing refurbished printer parts and supplies at work).

So, good idea? Should I follow my best friend's advice to wait a year for the PS4 to come out and buy a PS3 when they're priced to move ASAP? And how does it rate as a blu-ray player, with and without the DVD remote?

Maps In Progress / Sonic Advance 3 (GBA)
« on: February 23, 2012, 08:18:40 pm »
Same is with this thread but with Sonic Advance 3 instead of Sonic Advance. Same techniques, only with different memory addresses. Wanted to see some different graphics for a change, so I thought it would be better to at least stay within the same series rather than to start mapping a completely different game. ...Probably not going to update this thread much until the first game is fully done; still not decided about the second game given its *huge* maps though.

*Added 28/02/12*
Zone 1 - Route 99 - Zone Map:

Zone 1 - Route 99 - Act 1:

*Added 28/02/12*
Zone 1 - Route 99 - Boss:

*Added 28/02/12*
Zone 1 - Route 99 - Push The Switch Mini Game:

*Added 28/02/12*
Zone 1 - Route 99 - Defeat All Enemies Mini Game:

*Added 28/02/12*
Zone 2 - Sunset Hill - Zone Map:

Map Gab / Sonic Advance (GBA)
« on: January 06, 2012, 03:50:35 pm »
One of my resolution for the new year has been to (as much as possible) stop starting new mapping projects when I get tired of the current one, and to instead go back to previously incomplete ones to try and finish them, and to improve them whenever possible. Which leads me to this old thing.

I started mapping Sonic Advance 6 years ago and I never finished it on account of the massive amount of time needed to fully capture and assemble any single map. A single act usually took me several weeks to capture which made the whole thing take way too long to do. So I made a few of them, got tired and put the whole thing on ice for a while.

I decided to restart this project after playing through Sonic Generations which rekindled my love for classic 2D Sonic (which, to me, includes the first Sonic Advance game). After playing around with memory codes, my slowly improving skills have allowed me to find memory locations that would be quite useful and make this project, if not a quick one, a more accurate and easier one.

I first found the locations for the X and Y coordinates of the game's camera. It's a bit tedious to have to change the memory code for every screenshot to move the camera exactly one screen to the right time after time, but it still made the screen capture much faster than before, as well as allow me to capture every stage perfectly including previously inaccessible areas.

I also, after many efforts, found a memory location which seems to act as a sort of timer (it constantly increases) used to manage all the repeating behaviours in states like moving and rotating platforms, springing spikes and more. Aside from a few obstacles where freezing the timer makes the game crash once said obstacles are on screen, it means that all the platforms can be captured in their initial positions. A big plus for me.

It even helped me to freeze all the shifting colours in the Casino Paradise Zone after quite a bit of searching. There was something like over 70 palette entries constantly moving around, and none of those were synchronized with one another so taking screenshots at just the right frame wasn't guaranteed to always yield consistent colours. After finding and entering all the required memory cheat codes, I could safely capture the whole thing with impunity.

Lastly, I decided to share this because I was tired of working on stuff and never showing any of it out of fear that people would build expectations that I would most likely not deliver on. But considering that I've already almost done half the game, I figured that whatever I manage to do this time, even if I don't do the whole game, would be enough to be submitted to the site. As always, I'm aiming to do the whole thing but you never know with me. At least I haven't encountered a single technical hurdle that I haven't managed to completely flatten with a bit of work!

So here's what I've done during the last month or so, with more as I complete them. If you find the thumbnails a bit big, it's because I got tired of Imageshack not sending them back after submitting images so I decided to do my own.

*EDIT 09/10/12*

*Images removed*

I needed space in my free ImageShack account, so I've decided to remove the maps from this post. You can find them on VGMaps here.

Maps In Progress / Jet Grind Radio/Jet Set Radio (GBA)
« on: November 02, 2011, 12:05:35 am »
Long story short: I played the sequel/remake of this game, Jet Set Radio Future, on my roommate's Xbox while in college. It was great, but I could only play while my roommate allowed me to (he was a real jerk), and for a long time I tried to find a way to play it again in some form.

About 3 or 4 years ago I found out about a port of the original game for the Gameboy Advance which I tried to map before failing dramatically because of insufficient skills. There were simply too many off-screen areas I couldn't capture. It also became obvious after a bit that each location was made of several smaller maps with seamless transitions between them, and putting neighboring maps together showed just how much cheating there really was in how they were supposed to go together.

Oh yeah, and the game sucks pretty bad in my opinion. Then again, the original game was much less fun than the sequel from what I've seen, and a 2D port of a 3D game was bound to be worse.

Anyway, I recently decided to give it another try as a side project and it turns out that my improved skills at finding and manipulating variables in memory helped tremendously. I was able, with minimal effort, to capture the entirety of every sub-map so far without having to extrapolate or remove anything aside from cutting off the empty black areas, and you can clearly see the transition areas where only a partial representation of the upcoming area is actually there.

This is also the project that I left unnamed in my "Always check the file format when saving a file!" thread for those who were interested. I didn't mention it then because I wanted to avoid the inevitable "Why are you wasting you time on so many project at once!" comments :P.

Seeing as this is a side project I only restarted because of my love of isometric graphics, so far I've only mapped most of the stage layout without any objects except the "graffiti souls", as well as two actual mission maps with all the paint cans and tag placements. I'm not putting any real effort in finishing this project at the moment and only spending time on it to distract me from my other existing project whenever they get on my nerves. In short, I'm admitting upfront that this is unlikely to be finished anytime soon.

(Now watch me finish the whole thing in record time after such an arrogant disclaimer)

Let's begin with the first two missions.

Mapping Tips/Guides / Always check the file format when saving a map!
« on: October 27, 2011, 10:01:27 pm »
Sorry for this thread, but I really felt like bitching because I just lost about 8 hours of work because I stupidly saved a map I was working on as a fricking JPEG! I won't bore you with all the details, but I probably hit just the wrong keys on my keyboard while saving under a new name to change the format (thus corrupting the whole thing). And THEN, I changed a few things and saved that version under its original name, thereby corrupting that version as well. You see, MS Paint doesn't just keep the opened map intact in memory after saving it as a JPEG, oh no, you end up with what was saved.

8 fucking hours, a 3704 x 4096 pixels isometric map that I have to completely redo... >:(

Mapping Tips/Guides / Numbering things on your maps - A question...
« on: October 23, 2011, 07:30:06 pm »
While mapping The Final Fantasy Legend, I've been using upper-case letters to identify doors/stairs and show how they connect together. However, right now I'm working on a particular map where I will eventually go over not only 26 pairs of doors (26 upper-case letters) but over 36 as well (in case I wanted to use numbers after running out of letters).

I could simply use lower-case letters afterwards which would give me more than enough to complete this troublesome map, but they're harder to make out against the map itself and I'd rather use something more noticeable.

Is there any sort of rule in the English language regarding this, namely numbering using letters past 26 items? I know MS Excel simply starts using two letters instead (X, Y, Z, AA, AB, etc) but it doesn't look good and the larger label would obscure the underlying door which I'd rather avoid. How would you guys do it?

Map Gab / The Final Fantasy Legend (GB)
« on: September 15, 2011, 08:01:50 am »
I always found it annoying that the first SaGa game (that's the series the Final Fantasy Legend games belonged to) was never mapped properly while the second and third games were. It might have been because it had a very basic story, forgettable NPCs and incredibly simplistic graphics even for the Game Boy.  In any case, I'm going to correct this injustice! There's just something about a series of game where you can visit several interconnected worlds that inspires me I guess.

This is just a placeholder for now but I should be able to post the maps for the first world over the next few days since I'm almost done with it. I'll be following a format very similar to the one used by Maquiladora for his/her maps of Final Fantasy Legend II, although I haven't heard back from him/her to know if it was okay for me to do so. I thought they were really comprehensive and I liked the idea of having some consistency across both map sets.

***EDIT 09/10/12***

Long story short, this project is close to being finished so I'm posting all the finished maps here.

It's finished!!!

*List updated 06/11/12*

I don't know if anyone is like me, but I've always been fascinated by strategy guides. It started back in the first few years of Nintendo Power when they started making dedicated guides to games like Super Mario Bros 3, Link's Awakening and A Link to the Past and even though I never actually got them myself, I loved the idea of guides that covered a single game from top to bottom.

Nowadays, such guides are considered by many to be outdated thanks to online information sources like GameFAQs or sites like IGN who also offer their own guides for free, with videos sometimes. But despite reading most of my news online, I still like having a physical book in my hand. It's just hard to know which company makes the best guides nowadays.

The main publishers are Prima, BradyGames, Versus, and Nintendo Power I think? Sometimes a game will actually have multiple guides by several companies and they're not always good from what I've heard. Some don't include maps at all (HERESY!), some are made before the game is even finalized and are thus quite inaccurate, and other just don't offer much more in terms of actual information or strategy than you'd find in the game's instruction manual.

I currently own three such guides:

-The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages & Seasons Perfect Guide(Versus Books):

This guide is actually a flip book, with on one side covering Ages and the other Seasons. Even though it features quite a bit of character artwork on the pages, it's really not the best looking guide or the most interesting in terms of providing additional information from the game's world, but it more than makes up for it by not wasting any space in its pages and being quite thorough. It feels a bit cluttered and yet it's very easy to follow, and includes great-looking maps made from screen captures for pretty much every area of the game aside from the occasional single screen cave. Everything is numbered and the game holds your hand while taking you all the way to the end of the game while covering every upgrade and item except for the tedious ring collecting. For that, there's a list of all the rings and where/when you can hope to obtain it. All in all it does an excellent job at being a strategy guide.

-The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap, The Official Nintendo Player's Guide (Nintendo Power):

This guide is also very good, which is expected from what little I remember from official Nintendo guides. The layout is easier on the eye than the Oracle one, and it also includes great maps and a detailed walkthrough for the whole game. It also include full listing for all the collectibles and unlockables, which given how many there are is a good thing but I've always found it annoying to have to constantly refer to the back of a guide to make sure I don't anything during a playthrough. Anyway, also a very good strategy guide.

-Super Mario Galaxy 2 Prima Official Game Guide (Prima Games):

I bought this one along with the game and it's generally very complete in that it covers all the moves, enemies, worlds, galaxies and Power Stars. However, I can't help but be disappointed with the all the maps. For one thing, they're all taken from screenshots of the various planets seen from afar that were cut out, enlarged (and overly blurred in the process), and had the general geometry traced over with thick black lines. It doesn't look good and since they're all taken from far away, the maps for the larger galaxy don't show any worthwhile details. I don't know how they could have done it better but I almost think I would have preferred hand-drawn maps that were more like schematics but more detailed. I can't help but imagine how gorgeous it would have looked with Peardian doing renderings to use for the guide's maps...

I'd probably be the kind of guy to collect guides for games I liked even if I never played them if the game is good enough and featured great-looking maps, but I'm not that rich!

But given all this, I'm still wondering about the overall quality for the guides made by each company. There seems to be considerable debate on the web regarding this question, so I've been wondering what you guys thought about this.

I know I'm going to sound like a huge fanboy, but I just loved Portal 2 to death. I was really hoping for an official soundtrack since the first Portal only had a few songs released as part of the Orange Box soundtrack. I had already downloaded an unofficial one extracted from the game but it was far from perfect seeing as many songs include dynamic elements related to your activity in the various test chambers and those were missing. Plus, some songs only exist in the game files in their final form (mixed with voices and sound effects for some sequences, or sounding like a low-quality radio broadcast, etc). This has finally been corrected!

I give you Portal 2: Songs to Test By, free and fully official :). From what I can tell, it covers the first part of the game and if you've finished it, you know approximately how much it covers (avoiding spoilers for now).

Apparently, there will be two more volumes and I can't wait for them even if they end up not being free!

Gaming / Portal 2 coop?
« on: May 12, 2011, 06:06:06 am »
I'm surprised that nobody has talked about this game here so far, but if anyone has the game and feels like playing the coop with me, that would be great. My only gamer friend unfortunately gets major motion sickness after mere seconds of just watching the game in action, so I'm kinda screwed...

Map Gab / Clock Tower (SNES)
« on: May 03, 2011, 08:43:08 pm »
This is just a place holder for now to acknowledge that I *am* intent on posting a finished map sometime soon. I might be a few days, or maybe a bit more, but I'm working on it. So please nobody post a finished map set to the site before I'm done!

Pages: 1 2 [3] 4 5 ... 10