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Thread: The World Map Community Project

  1. #1
    Ketzerfreund's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default The World Map Community Project

    The World Map Community Project

    A World Map From The Community, For The Community

    This is an invitation to all modders planning mods taking place on Earth, be it medieval or World War I/II (good luck, guys... ).
    This is NOT about what region goes where and who held what colony etc. - this shall be a project to provide BLANK map material to be used by actual mods.

    This is not about the creation of a mod as such! This is about the creation of modding resources for the actual modding teams to use!

    The point is to avoid every crew out there needing to work on maps on their own and needing far longer for release in that process.



    Part of our work is also to offer major contributions to understanding the map system used in Empire - Total War, so that also those mods which will use a completely different concept of the world, a different world or a detailed scope on a limited area of it can profit from it as well as contribute to the research on the map system, too. This includes everything related to maps, from the actual landmasses to regions and their settlements/towns/resources.
    However, the files that will one day be offered for download here will not include regions, after all each crew working on a major mod will have it's own idea on how the region layout should look like. Also, each region would need a faction owning it, needing new factions for African, South-American and Asian regions - that would break the scope of this project!

    Many proposals out there shall profit from this, since there are a lot of them already that rely on map material beyond what vanilla E:TW has to offer. That means, getting a team together for this should be easy, and it would also be far more effective for the community to work together on this than having each mod project's team work on it's own on basically the same thing.

    Regarding the research on E:TW's map system: Whatever you may already find out from now on, feel free to post it. I will successively organise and edit all the info into this opening post.


    Regards,
    -Der Ketzerfreund.



    P.s.: This thread was spawned by the old thread about a world-map-completion mod, which I had requested to be locked after linking this thread there, because the discussion there actually went around two different goals better suited to be kept as seperate projects.
    Last edited by Ketzerfreund; March 22, 2009 at 05:08 PM. Reason: clarification
    "Oh, to be truly happy! To be an imbecile." - Wobbly Headed Bob

  2. #2
    Savoldelli deValk's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Sounds like an interesting and good idea.

  3. #3
    Tominokar's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    I would like to contribute when I eventually get my hands on Empire Total War. That may be a while, so will probably wait for initial version of this map and then help improve on it.


    "Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible." - Mark Jenkins


  4. #4

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    great idea

  5. #5
    Ketzerfreund's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Now, now... look at what I've found after having unpacked the main.pack!

    (..\data\campaign\terrain\campaign_detail_mask.tga, original size 2048x1024px)


    (..\data\campaign\terrain\campaign_detail_mask.dds, original size 2048x1024px)


    The white parts are transparent in the original files.

    If you still don't get it:
    The whole world map is already enclosed in the game!




    The list of files I've found in the same directory:
    (Shall be updated with the text/database files throughout the ..\data-directory tree during the course of investigations )

    In ..\data\campaign\terrain
    campaign_detail_mask.* (tga & dds, see above )
    visible_area.dds (one blank transparent file with the size of 1024x512... :hmmm

    campaign_snow_mask_summer.dds (No snow at all. One big black file)
    campaign_snow_mask_winter.dds (Snow only to the north)

    Landscape detail overlays, I presume:
    rocks1_diffuse.* (tga & dds, 512x512px, visually same content)
    campaign_detail.* (1024x1024px, else ditto)

    land.rigid_mesh (There's a whole list of meshes in ..\data\campaign\coastline together with a couple of files for water textures & normal maps)


    ..\data\campaign_maps\global_map contains all the parchment-background minimap canvasses besides the coloured minimaps outlining the regions.
    Example:
    (europe_lookup.tga)



    Sooo... This may not be such a monstrous heap of work, after all.


    I can really recommend using the unpacker according to this and this thread. But you'd better stick to main.pack for now, there have been problems reported with the others. Just look there for more info on this.


    Regards,
    -Der Ketzerfreund.
    "Oh, to be truly happy! To be an imbecile." - Wobbly Headed Bob

  6. #6

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    very interesting. good work. actually looks simpler than MTW2. fingers crossed it actually is/

    What about the height/terrain maps ? Can you post them too ?

  7. #7
    S-te-Fan's Avatar Primicerius
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    I don't think that making maps per pixel will be something doable now .

    AND I don't think the whole world is in already. I think this is for the mini-map.

  8. #8
    Ketzerfreund's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    No, I'm sure it isn't, stefaneke. Minimap files are in ..\data\campaign_maps\global_map - those are not as complete, yet, however, but only contain files for the playable areas of vanilla E:TW so far.
    Can't post'em all, I'm afraid, it's 23 files including five *.esf files, which unfortunately can't be edited, yet. You can look there for yourself - the files in that directory aren't stored in a *.pack file, and the "parchment-style" ones look exactly like the minimap backgrounds.

    Among them is a regions.esf, by the way, in which, when opened with a text editor, the names of regions can barely be read:
    (Excerpt as seen with TextPad)


    @Yelü:
    I've only just found the height map file:
    (..\data\heightmaps\default.tga, 8192x4096px)


    Haven't stumbled upon terrain maps, yet. I can only guess they're in supertextures.pack.
    "Oh, to be truly happy! To be an imbecile." - Wobbly Headed Bob

  9. #9
    Savoldelli deValk's Avatar Libertus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Very interesting and good finds.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    this is very promising



  11. #11
    Tominokar's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzerfreund View Post
    I've only just found the height map file:
    (..\data\heightmaps\default.tga, 8192x4096px)
    That's a pretty ed up height map

    Nice find though.


    "Maps encourage boldness. They're like cryptic love letters. They make anything seem possible." - Mark Jenkins


  12. #12
    Horsa's Avatar Artifex
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Wheres New Zealand?

  13. #13

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    8192x4096px.....whoa. whilst I see that the whole map isn't there already, the 'space' is there and the means to fill in the gaps, which IS simpler than expected.

    I don't think that making maps per pixel will be something doable now
    How else are you gonna try and do it ? they are still tgas that can be edited in Photoshop or GIMP.

  14. #14
    Opifex
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Most mappers will tell you that it is an ungodly task to try to add to another's map. It is far easier/better to just create the whole thing from scratch under a common system of heights and measures, likewise from one common source with similar dimensions.

    So I guess what we're looking at is creating 8mbx4mb world maps from scratch...


    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty,
    the tranquility of servitude greater than
    the animating contest for freedom, go
    home from us in peace. We seek not
    your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch
    down and lick the hand that feeds you,
    and may posterity forget that ye were
    our countrymen."
    -Samuel Adams

  15. #15

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    I think it is interesting that everything is included, but they just haven't added the heights. I think this is a very good sign for our being able to create a world map. I'll help out as much as I can. I'm getting my copy of Empire tommorow. I'll start a campaign and then look through the files.

  16. #16
    Ketzerfreund's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    It rather looks to me like there's a largely empty canvas of a world map that actually waits for being painted.

    By the way, Yelü, don't forget that there's still a crapload of meshes to be made. Gimp/Photoshop won't cut it, I'm afraid. You're actually right, that height map does look weird - it actually rather looks like a bump map for a model of the campaign map. That's how they got rid of tiles! Oh my...

    Somehow my findings up there now only leave one single real reassuring quality: The potential of a world map. The concept of making the world map looks easy now... But the load of work to be done suddenly leaves a gigantic impression on me...


    But, ah well, that's why this proposal was announced as a community project, after all (besides the ineffectivity of each modding team out there working on maps on their own).
    "Oh, to be truly happy! To be an imbecile." - Wobbly Headed Bob

  17. #17
    Opifex
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Quote Originally Posted by Ketzerfreund View Post
    that height map does look weird - it actually rather looks like a bump map for a model of the campaign map.
    Wow.... ouch.


    "If ye love wealth greater than liberty,
    the tranquility of servitude greater than
    the animating contest for freedom, go
    home from us in peace. We seek not
    your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch
    down and lick the hand that feeds you,
    and may posterity forget that ye were
    our countrymen."
    -Samuel Adams

  18. #18
    Ketzerfreund's Avatar Domesticus
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    Neighbouring the ..data\campaign\terrain directory, which contains land.rigid_mesh (131kb) is the ..\coastline directory with a heap of meshes:
    Spoiler Alert, click show to read: 

    coastline_group0.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group0.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group1.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group1.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group10.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group10.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group11.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group11.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group12.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group12.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group13.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group13.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group14.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group14.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group15.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group15.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group16.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group16.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group17.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group17.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group18.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group18.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group19.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group19.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group2.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group20.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group20.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group21.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group21.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group22.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group23.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group24.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group25.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group26.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group3.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group3.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group4.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group4.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group5.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group5.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group6.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group6.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group7.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group7.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group8.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group8.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group9.cs2.rigid_mesh
    coastline_group9.rigid_mesh


    The files that have "cs2" in their names are all sized at 1 kb, but those without range from 17kb to 492kb. Since I am not a modeler* I can't make anything of those sizes. I don't know from what size on upwards a mesh can be regarded as large.
    It is already obvious, however, that a lot of modeling must be involved in map making.


    The naming of those files suggests that all meshes but one (the one named "land" mentioned in the beginning of this post, which probably is a puzzle part of the middle of the largest landmass included in the game) are coastal (well, duh!), reaching more or less far into the landmasses, so that each mesh is kind of a "pie slice".

    Sort of like this:


    Makes the most sense to me according to what I can see so far.


    *I had tried getting into Blender before, but couldn't adopt to it's interface at all and therefore failed getting anywhere, and I don't have the hundreds for a commercial piece of software without even knowing if modeling might be something I could get into deeply enough to be productive.
    "Oh, to be truly happy! To be an imbecile." - Wobbly Headed Bob

  19. #19
    dragonsign's Avatar International Brigade
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    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    That's a pretty ed up height map
    must be because there is no "map" for sub-sahara africa, south america etc.. there is just a image showing a drawn map.

  20. #20

    Default Re: The World Map Community Project

    This looks very promising. Will there be more factions added, or some changed. If so, I'd like to help(not that I have any experience). Just looks great, can't wait for this.
    "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils" - Louis Hector Berlioz

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