Author Topic: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)  (Read 374 times)

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Offline Buckaroo

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Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« on: June 21, 2020, 12:30:30 PM »
A long time ago in a galaxy far far way I was into making maps on excel for videogames. Here are a couple of the ones I made of the Dark Wizard battlefields:

https://content.invisioncic.com/g290812/monthly_2019_12/1131393165_5CE9BB4E-BF6B-C22A-FD9F699D2CB0D5A6(1).jpg.bb08e1a0eeab1cc4ad2c12ef4a1b4630.jpg

https://content.invisioncic.com/g290812/monthly_2019_12/994371342_5CE3054D-D7B0-77A7-10F0277E5E7BAE11(1).jpg.3f63e000fefc809a473d07de35def082.jpg

I also made maps for Brigandine, Warsong and a world map for Golden Axe Warrior.

Offline TerraEsperZ

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2020, 08:32:38 PM »
Interesting and kind of impressive! I never would have thought that Excel could be used to make maps!

How old are these actually? I'm curious to know because my very first game maps from about 26 years ago were lost more than a decade ago when I threw out old of my old floppies and I've always regretted not backing them up for nostalgia's sake.
Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished

Offline Buckaroo

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2020, 03:19:35 AM »
As best as I can remember I started working on them about 2010/11.  Unfortunately that version of excel (2010) was the only version of excel (as far as I know) that would allow you to rotate the sides of the cell walls.  And while later versions of excel usually support the older ones that isn't the case with this particular function - so while I still have the files I can't do anything with them - the rotated side walls now show up as straight lines.   So anything I do with them has to be with the paper copies.

Each hex is actually made of 4 cells - you can see that most clearly in the second map on the south west edge of the large forest where in two adjoining hexes the left half of the hexes (which have been rotated 90 degrees) show as three triangles - which turned out to be really useful marking special places.

The very first maps I made were for Warsong  and they were on 5" floppies - those discs have long since vanished in the sands of time - I still have the paper copies  for those stashed away somewhere.

Offline Buckaroo

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2020, 03:23:29 AM »
I never would have thought that Excel could be used to make maps!

I hear that a lot - especially when I tell people that I managed to torture excel into  making hexes.

Offline JonLeung

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2020, 08:56:28 AM »
I've seen Excel maps, but they're usually just using each cell, made into a square shape, colored in, so each one is a single pixel.

But these are interesting.  I can see how they can be done, but I can see why it wouldn't be the first thing one would think of, considering the hexagons.

I just tried making them in Excel by making diagonal lines across cells.  It works, but requires six cells per hexagon (though you can merge the center two, if that matters), though I'm not sure how to go about fully colouring them, unless there's a way to apply two colours to a cell.

Offline Buckaroo

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2020, 11:14:43 AM »
I've seen Excel maps, but they're usually just using each cell, made into a square shape, colored in, so each one is a single pixel.

But these are interesting.  I can see how they can be done, but I can see why it wouldn't be the first thing one would think of, considering the hexagons.

I just tried making them in Excel by making diagonal lines across cells.  It works, but requires six cells per hexagon (though you can merge the center two, if that matters), though I'm not sure how to go about fully colouring them, unless there's a way to apply two colours to a cell.

I haven't messed around with excel since I retired in 2014.  I just have a chromebook now which suits my needs but doesn't lend itself to doing much with excel.  I was pretty good at excel back then - mostly because I was thinking of ways to implement it that most people couldn't seem to see (if that makes any sense!) .  I supervised a shelving department in a university library and wrote an excel sheet that would analyse the measurements of  the available shelf space and break it down via display as far down as each section of shelves (typically 7 shelves) and all levels up above.  Which was really useful when we shifted books (which is more or less going on constantly in a library.)   

The upshot was that I was always playing with excel and when the 2010 version was implemented I noticed that it had a really obscure function to rotate the cell walls.   Which (since I have always liked board games and console games with hex grids) immediately got me to thinking if I could make hex grids.  Took me a bit of playing around (the biggest problem was figuring out the column widths to get the hexes to display (more or less) properly.  Since Dark Wizard was/is by far my favorite console game I decided to start there.  Big project - but I did a couple hours of work on it  each night and eventually finished it.

Previous to the 2010 version I had played around with the shape command to do the side cell walls but those are cumbersome to use and I also (like you)  couldn't color the individual hexes satisfactorily.   I think there is (or have been)  actually software programs  to make hex maps but I don't know anything about them.


Offline Buckaroo

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2020, 11:23:14 AM »
@TerraEsperZ

- I see you have Equinox in your sig - that is one of my favorite obscure SNES games.  Did you ever play Landstalker on the Genesis - shares a bit with Equinox?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 12:29:15 PM by Buckaroo »

Offline TerraEsperZ

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2020, 04:30:16 PM »
I *love* isometric perspective in everything but I'll be honest, I haven't played many games using it simply because they tend to be of genres that I hate (tactical RPGs, RTS, etc). I only played a few through emulation over the last decade that were more action-oriented.

Equinox has fascinated me ever since I read about it in an old issue of the Nintendo Power magazine and especially the overworld. Sadly, many early SNES emulators didn't render the overworld correctly and I only recently switched to a more accurate one (BizHawk) that allowed me to map it properly. I've been putting off making a thread about it for a few weeks because I was hoping to be further along on the dungeon maps but if I keep waiting, I know I'll just put it aside and eventually, someone else will end up mapping it instead. I guess I should get on that soon, right?

As for Landstalker, I'm sure I would have loved that game back in the days but I have to admit, isometric games are more fascinating for me when I'm actually exploring and discovering them. Once they've all been mapped, the mystery is gone and I tend to quickly lose interest. Heck, I've recently realized that I regularly buy games mainly because I'm curious to see how the game world fits together and to see awesome-looking levels and once I've seen everything, I don't even bother finishing them!
Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished

Offline Buckaroo

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2020, 04:45:05 PM »
Equinox is a sequel to an earlier NES game called Solstice - I haven't played that one since I never really got into NES (my first console was an SNES).

Just to tempt you a bit here is a video of Greenmaze (several screens in the game that comprise a surprisingly fun maze - kinda like running around in an Escher print) from Landstalker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHiK_qQmuFQ

Offline TerraEsperZ

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Re: Dark Wizard (Sega CD)
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2020, 05:20:43 PM »
I actually started mapping Solstice in 2010 but as is common for me, after capturing about 65% of the game and playing all the way through, I was both tired of the project and no longer curious about the game's world after having seen all of it. So I never finished it and another mapper, Guillaume Saint-Amant, submitted his own (his only contribution to the site, sadly) that was just amazing and much better than anything I could have done myself!

And yeah, I've heard about Landstalker several times over the years but I already have so many games to play and map, I can't justify adding yet another one, especially since I most likely won't finish 90% of the maps I've started of the years. But thanks for the suggestions anyway!
Current project that I really should try to finish:
-Drill Dozer (GBA)
-Sonic 3D Blast (Genesis)
-Naya's Quest (PC)

Pending project:
-A ton of stuff that will never be finished