Author Topic: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?  (Read 3158 times)

Yokai

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Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« on: February 02, 2014, 06:08:18 AM »
 I was wondering if someone is interested in this kind of project.

The original maps are rather awful for today's standards in terms of detail, monsters' placement and overall looking.
So I came to this idea.

Basically a community project to revamp the game maps. I am not talking about creating new maps to replace the old maps,  but just take the original maps and add much more detail, maybe modify some areas that doesn't look good or seem a bit out of place.

As a community project this can be done faster than a single person project.

So what is your opinion on this?

I will start with Q1M1 map anyway, so even if I don't get any help,  I will keep working on it.

peewee_RotA

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2014, 06:36:32 AM »
Sounds interesting. One of the unfortunate things, though, is that the lineplacement in A&A maps are pretty much as detailed as you can get in a doomclone. There are lots of finite details, and several castles and outdoor levels that are as good as you could expect.

That being said, there are areas of improvement:

#1 item placement. Plenty of items need removed. Plenty need added. More monsters for sure. (The biggest offender is the amulet of strength in quest 2)

#2 Textures. There's not only texture alignment problems, but plenty of poor choices. Especially all of the areas where a regular door is using the wall textures and seems secret.

#3 Map height. They are all very short, except for the last level. There is something to be said for the fact that flying is normal in the game (so you have to be careful with fancy sky sections) but I think that adding some height to most of the outdoor maps will give room for improvement. Like adding more cliffs and secret passageways.

#4 Size. Many of the maps are just tiny. Many of the inside maps should include outside areas. Many of the outside maps should include a few buildings. The elf village should have way more houses and the like. I'm wondering what the limitation was originally. Considering the numbers of trees and brush, there might be a number of actors problem on some maps.

#5 The doors... OOOOH the doors. As the quests wear on, there are way way too many doors. The exiguus and the lost city are the wost offenders. Plenty of areas could be interconnected with open doorways instead.

#6 Basic arcitecture improvement. Most of the rooms are square. Rounding them out would go a long way. That and adding trim to doors.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2014, 06:39:03 AM by peewee_RotA »

Yokai

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2014, 08:42:46 AM »
#1 item placement. Plenty of items need removed. Plenty need added. More monsters for sure. (The biggest offender is the amulet of strength in quest 2)

Well, last time I played A&A was three or four years ago, I can't remember too much details.
I'm not sure what you want to mean with the "Amulet of Str in quest 2".

I will start with the map Q1M1 to see what we can do.

#2 Textures. There's not only texture alignment problems, but plenty of poor choices. Especially all of the areas where a regular door is using the wall textures and seems secret.

Yes. Actually that is one of the first priorities that we should change.
I don't remember right now how many door textures we have available, but just in case we need more, how the community would accept new textures or modified ones, for doors? just in case we need more door textures, ofc.

#3 Map height. They are all very short, except for the last level. There is something to be said for the fact that flying is normal in the game (so you have to be careful with fancy sky sections) but I think that adding some height to most of the outdoor maps will give room for improvement. Like adding more cliffs and secret passageways.

Again, a must to be changed. Maybe in the 199x those outside areas were nice, but today's, I agree with you that they doesn't look that realistic.
Anyway, building some cliffs, realistic waterfalls, better tree placement, etc... is easy and will improve the area a lot.

#4 Size. Many of the maps are just tiny. Many of the inside maps should include outside areas. Many of the outside maps should include a few buildings. The elf village should have way more houses and the like. I'm wondering what the limitation was originally. Considering the numbers of trees and brush, there might be a number of actors problem on some maps.

But changing the size of the maps may change the gameplay.
I think you are talking about maps like Q1M2 or similar. Yes they are tiny, but if we change the map itself to look bigger and different, it couldn't be classified as a "Original A&A revamped map", but like a "A&A replacement map".
And this is something that I want to avoid.

#5 The doors... OOOOH the doors. As the quests wear on, there are way way too many doors. The exiguus and the lost city are the wost offenders. Plenty of areas could be interconnected with open doorways instead.

Definetely. That is one of the worst points that need a deep rebuilding.
Actually, most of the maps are in a room-corridor-room fashion, which looks pretty linear and boring, IMO.

#6 Basic arcitecture improvement. Most of the rooms are square. Rounding them out would go a long way. That and adding trim to doors.

And not only rounding them up. Adding a plinth, columns, arches, ceiling windows, etc... will improve a lot the maps.



Let me work something on Q1M1 and show you how some little changes can improve a lot the overal looking, without the need of changing the basic structure of the map.

LysleShields

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2014, 10:01:03 AM »
Let me work something on Q1M1 and show you how some little changes can improve a lot the overal looking, without the need of changing the basic structure of the map.

Now that will be interesting to see.

peewee_RotA

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2014, 11:19:12 AM »
#1 item placement. Plenty of items need removed. Plenty need added. More monsters for sure. (The biggest offender is the amulet of strength in quest 2)

Well, last time I played A&A was three or four years ago, I can't remember too much details.
I'm not sure what you want to mean with the "Amulet of Str in quest 2".

I will start with the map Q1M1 to see what we can do.


In Q2M2 there is an aumlet of strength that gives +25. At this point in the game it boosts players carrying capacity and melee damage to an insane level. It is hidden very well, but if you know where it is, then it is so powerful it breaks the game balance.

There is a similar problem in Q4M4. The wizard with the key is hiding an amulet of water conservation. This is far enough in the game that anyone who wanted that kind of power would have purchased it. If the two amulets were switched, it would be a much better experience.

Yokai

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2014, 01:57:19 PM »
Does anyone knows the sectors, linedefs and sidedefs limit before a stack overflow happens?

It is not likely I will reach the limit, but just in case it is a low limit, because I will add a lot of detail.

LysleShields

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2014, 02:11:06 PM »
The limit is very high.  For the moment, assume 32000 of each.

Yokai

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2014, 05:34:59 AM »
Reporting in: Q1M1 initial forest area revamped.
it is a shame that the engine doesn't support slopes to make those cliffs less blocky.
Screenshots here:

http://i.imgur.com/5YZjeG7.png
http://i.imgur.com/6an5906.png
http://i.imgur.com/uLTzfvC.png
http://i.imgur.com/QgEi0rl.png
http://i.imgur.com/XZdyu3C.png

Next, I will start with the houses and the areas surounding the houses.


The limit is very high.  For the moment, assume 32000 of each.

Thanks for the info.
Did those limits were the same for the original A&A or they are the Windows Version limits? <= Just curiosity.

peewee_RotA

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 06:17:14 AM »
Cool!

LysleShields

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 11:40:54 PM »
These screen shots look interesting.  I would be interested in walking around some of the levels when you are ready.

peewee_RotA

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Re: Community Project: A&A Map Revamping!?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2015, 09:45:00 AM »
Any chance there are updates or files available for this project?

After running through the first few quests again I've been looking at a lot of chances for improvement and bug fixes. And I REALLY REALLY want to fix the giant cistern secret in barbarian quest map 2. There's an inaccessible coin in the middle of one of the hidden cisterns that I'm sure was supposed to be an amulet or ring or something.