solidifying the Void

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Eleazar
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solidifying the Void

Post by Eleazar » April 1st, 2007, 4:26 pm

We've been discussing ways to improve the edge of the map.

The conclusion is to allow a little space between the edge of the map and the edge of the screen, to get rid of the half-hexes, and to apply a nice texture to the off-map part of the screen.

Here's my mock-up. Note the off-map to map transition is just a stand-in.
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off-border.jpg
off-border.jpg (445.42 KiB) Viewed 6769 times
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Post by irrevenant » April 1st, 2007, 8:44 pm

I'm interested to know the logic behind this decision.

I never had a problem with part-hexes at the edge of the screen. It actually gives a visual confirmation that the world continues beyond the immediate screen.

I'm not horrified by this change or opposing it - just curious.

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Post by Eleazar » April 1st, 2007, 10:29 pm

irrevenant wrote:I never had a problem with part-hexes at the edge of the screen.
That's because you've never had to write terrain WML to make the half-hexes behave properly. It's essentially impossible to do right. And very difficult to do semi-right.
It actually gives a visual confirmation that the world continues beyond the immediate screen.
If a map maker is interested in that, he's free to add extra hexes around the outside of the map. I think he can even make certain hexes arbitrarily impassable. That would much more effectively convey the feel of a big world.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
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Post by SkeletonCrew » April 2nd, 2007, 6:09 am

irrevenant wrote:I'm interested to know the logic behind this decision.

I never had a problem with part-hexes at the edge of the screen. It actually gives a visual confirmation that the world continues beyond the immediate screen.
The other reason is that you never played on a big screen. Try to play with a 5 x 5 map and see how the ugly the part outside the map looks. On bigger screens you always have this so it might be nice to have things look good there as well, hence the wooden underground.

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Post by Darth Fool » April 3rd, 2007, 3:05 am

It would be good to see what the future mockups look like without the grid.

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Post by Sapient » April 3rd, 2007, 4:26 am

SkeletonCrew wrote:
irrevenant wrote:I'm interested to know the logic behind this decision.

I never had a problem with part-hexes at the edge of the screen. It actually gives a visual confirmation that the world continues beyond the immediate screen.
The other reason is that you never played on a big screen. Try to play with a 5 x 5 map and see how the ugly the part outside the map looks. On bigger screens you always have this so it might be nice to have things look good there as well, hence the wooden underground.
Not quite sure I understand what you're saying, but... that mockup doesn't really seem promising.

5 x 5 map is well under the map editor minimum, BTW. Maybe you could provide a screenshot of what you are experiencing?
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Post by SkeletonCrew » April 3rd, 2007, 6:32 am

Sapient wrote:Not quite sure I understand what you're saying, but... that mockup doesn't really seem promising.

5 x 5 map is well under the map editor minimum, BTW. Maybe you could provide a screenshot of what you are experiencing?
If you have a big screen the edges of a 20 x 20 map look the same as a 5 x 5 map on a normal screen. (Some random screenshot https://gna.org/file/false_map_renderin ... le_id=1018)

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Post by Sapient » April 3rd, 2007, 2:17 pm

Ah, I see. There used to be a feature that would zoom the map to prevent that from occurring.
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Post by torangan » April 3rd, 2007, 2:30 pm

If you zoom a tiny map enough for a very large screen, things will look bad. I like the idea of a table border, would even allow maps with holes or at least not rectangle shape.
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Post by irrevenant » April 14th, 2007, 3:58 am

Disregard me. I misread the original post and thought we were talking about the edge of the screen rather than the edge of the map. :oops:

What Eleazar did looks fine to me (though there seems to be an odd disruption to the border at the very bottom of the screenshot).

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Post by Eleazar » April 25th, 2007, 7:42 pm

Ok, i fear i've explained things rather badly. Here's the non-technical side of things:

Current Problems:
• The half-hexes lining the edges of the screen are a significant pain to make look good most of the time. I have no idea how that part of the terrain WML works. You may have noticed that streams or roads tend to do funny things next to the edge. Thats because the WML really can't know which of the 2-3 adjacent hexes should control the appearance of the half-hex.
Conceptually, i've never been happy with half-hexes anyway. They essentially are a half-successful attempt to make the map edge look good at the expense of code and GUI KISSness.

• But what happens when a map is smaller than the window (due to the smallness of the map or largeness of the screen is irrelevant)? The half hexes are still displayed, but now they are full and unusable hexes— which transition to nothing. What sense does that make?


Planned Implementation:
• Instead of blackness the under-most layer will be some sort of texture— At this point i favor some dark wood. A minimum of 1 hex-width of this will be extend beyond the edge of the actual map. (I.E. the amount of wood to the N and S of the example.) There may be more if the map is smaller than the window, or oddly shaped.
• The map maker can make any portions of his map into non-playable off-map. This allows maps of any size or shape, (hexagons for instance) without resorting to filling the "outside" with an impassable terrain.
• Fog and Shroud do not cover the off-map areas, making the edges & shape of the playing field visible even when shrouded.
• "Off-map" will become in a graphic sense a "terrain". That means we can control how other terrains transition to it, just like we do any terrain.


I'm not really sure how i want to transition between the map and the off-map. That will require some experimentation. But the specifics of how the edge is drawn shouldn't be the sticking point of the proposal, and Since it's powered by the normal terrain engine, folks can create a different kind of edge for their Mods (like spacenoth) or campaigns.
Attachments
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT THE REAL THING! IT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE!
DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT THE REAL THING! IT'S JUST AN EXAMPLE!
off-map.jpg (216.33 KiB) Viewed 6090 times
Last edited by Eleazar on May 9th, 2007, 6:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Feel free to PM me if you start a new terrain oriented thread. It's easy for me to miss them among all the other art threads.
-> What i might be working on
Attempting Lucidity

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Post by SkeletonCrew » April 25th, 2007, 8:32 pm

Eleazar wrote:• Instead of blackness the under-most layer will be some sort of texture— At this point i favor some dark wood. A minimum of 1 hex-width of this will be extend beyond the edge of the actual map. (I.E. the amount of wood to the N and S of the example.) There may be more if the map is smaller than the window, or oddly shaped.
This underlaying texture is not part of the terrain system but of a new system, for which I don't have a name yet. For the first implementation with will be a single repeated texture, fancier options may follow.
Eleazar wrote:• The map maker can make any portions of his map into non-playable off-map. This allows maps of any size or shape, (hexagons for instance) without resorting to filling the "outside" with an impassable terrain.
Technically it's an impassible terrain, but the hexes are images with nothing but a 100% transparency. So if people start with chessnoth the conquered pieces can be stored next to the board.
Eleazar wrote:• Fog and Shroud do not cover the off-map areas, making the edges & shape of the playing field visible even when shrouded.
Agreed
Eleazar wrote:• "Off-map" will become in a graphic sense a "terrain". That means we can control how other terrains transition to it, just like we do any terrain.
Agreed, and a 1 hex border is automatically added to a map.

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Post by Sapient » April 27th, 2007, 2:30 am

The half-hexes lining the edges of the screen are a significant pain to make look good most of the time. I have no idea how that part of the terrain WML works. You may have noticed that streams or roads tend to do funny things next to the edge. Thats because the WML really can't know which of the 2-3 adjacent hexes should control the appearance of the half-hex.
Conceptually, i've never been happy with half-hexes anyway. They essentially are a half-successful attempt to make the map edge look good at the expense of code and GUI KISSness.
Just because it's a pain with the current model doesn't mean we should abandon it. I think with some C++ code modifications it can be made far easier to retain the nice look that half-hexes provide (for the VAST MAJORITY OF USERS who don't have giant mega-screens).
But what happens when a map is smaller than the window (due to the smallness of the map or largeness of the screen is irrelevant)? The half hexes are still displayed, but now they are full and unusable hexes— which transition to nothing. What sense does that make?
There is a reason why the map editor has a minimum width and height. If necessary, we can increase that. This situation just should never occur for the vast majority of users. And we should actively prevent it from occurring, rather than trying to make what is ugly to look slightly less ugly.

I have no problem with an alternate Void that would include some sort of background image instead of pure blackness; however, it would absolutely have to look better than the current in-game Void for me to endorse it as anything more than an alternative option. The current mock-up doesn't fit that bill in my humble non-artistic opinion.
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Post by SkeletonCrew » April 27th, 2007, 5:25 am

Sapient wrote:
The half-hexes lining the edges of the screen are a significant pain to make look good most of the time. I have no idea how that part of the terrain WML works. You may have noticed that streams or roads tend to do funny things next to the edge. Thats because the WML really can't know which of the 2-3 adjacent hexes should control the appearance of the half-hex.
Conceptually, i've never been happy with half-hexes anyway. They essentially are a half-successful attempt to make the map edge look good at the expense of code and GUI KISSness.
Just because it's a pain with the current model doesn't mean we should abandon it. I think with some C++ code modifications it can be made far easier to retain the nice look that half-hexes provide (for the VAST MAJORITY OF USERS who don't have giant mega-screens).
The half hexes have quite some glitches and thusfar, which predate my terrain changes. I looked at fixing them before but I haven't been able to fix them and they behave really strange.
How it currently looks an on big screen is plain ugly so I want that changed. It might be true that I now have a larger than average screen but I expect that in a few years most people have these sizes.
Sapient wrote:There is a reason why the map editor has a minimum width and height. If necessary, we can increase that. This situation just should never occur for the vast majority of users. And we should actively prevent it from occurring, rather than trying to make what is ugly to look slightly less ugly.
That's not a fix but a way to hide the problem, if we decide to increase the minimum size, what should be the new minimum? Should it look good on a 19" or a 20" or 30" since come people might have that. (I wish I had a 30" looks really awesome.) If we decide 19" now we need to up in in a few years since 20" is the standard. This will lead to bigger and bigger maps. So I see preventing the problem not as an
option.

I'm not saying we should do it as in this proposal, but at least we should do something. I see this as a real problem and I like the solution here.

@eleazar could you also post a mockup of a square map since that's the most common case.

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Post by Darth Fool » April 27th, 2007, 1:47 pm

What about doing one of the following:

Using something like a wercator style for hexes outside the usable map?
(http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 7659#57659)

Alternatively, what about just having it so that the background is sampled from a scenario specific image? Scenario designers could then decide to make table, map, whatever background for the edges that fit their campaign.

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