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Forest Maps?

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How difficult is it to mod in new map types? There's plenty of forest stuff like trees and stumps from the farm rural roads and train tracks from industrial. The army base buildings from desert maps could be used as well. Has anyone tried this before?

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Actually making new map types is currently pretty easy if the tiles you need can be borrowed from other tilesets.

You just need to make a selection of submaps using whatever tiles you want them to contain then put them together however you want in the level builder.

In the final version though the tilesets will likely be compressed and only the currently used tileset will be decompressed by the game so mixing and matching will be more difficult.

To get around this you can copy all of the tiles you want to use into a separate folder (your own tileset effectively) and use them from there.

You should also keep all of your submaps in their own set of folders.

Check out assets/tiles and assets/maps for examples.

If you want to have your new tileset selected in its own specific areas rather than just being a variant of another tileset then you also need to adjust the tileset masks found in assets/earth/continentmasks.

This tells the game which type of level to generate for a crashsite on any specific area of the geoscape.

You could just make orchard submaps and use them as replacement for fields in other tilesets which is easier, you just need to make the submaps.

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The trouble is that there aren't enough trees, if you're talking about making a forest in the farm tileset. You can't have a forest made out of stumps, and although the industrial trees look good, they're more for decoration than to be significant props. (I also don't like the way stumps look, but I might be alone there.)

If you want a lumber mill or a base in the woods, you're better off doing it in arctic.

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I tried making an arboreal farm map - the trees don't work. You'd need new ones, as the current trees suitible for a farm wood are like Stinky says, too tall. zzz made some great trees, but those vanished when he did.

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Maybe zzz will come back one day. We can only hope he is just busy with his final year degree or something!

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That looks sweet! It'd be friggin fantastic to see a whole different set of maps. I'm sick of cabbage fields and wheat fields. And logical too, as large swaths of Earth are covered with forest

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Well if the props are available for others to use they may have a bit more enthusiasm for using them in some different maps.

These maps still look nice though :)

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Whoa, really nice! I hope GH takes these and makes jungle tileset official! Great work! :)

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Would be great to see a mission in a forest or rainforest. I like the existing tilesets, but after a while you cant stand them anymore. If there was more variety I would be more focused on doing the very small ufo crashsites in the later game rather then just bambarding them to oblivion.

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Very nice!

I sort of remember there being some friction with zzz's (your?) ideas, but I always enjoyed the seeing the work you came up with. :)

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Ah, I remember the Days when I walked through the jungles, when all of a sudden half my squad was wiped out by a sectoid hiding in the jungles with a heavy plasma. good times.

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So we're stuck until someone releases a jungle tileset? What does that involve, formatting a bunch of jungle-style trees and bushes images into the appropriate tileset format?

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So we're stuck until someone releases a jungle tileset? What does that involve, formatting a bunch of jungle-style trees and bushes images into the appropriate tileset format?

The key thing would be the artwork. Actually setting up the images as in-game props is fairly simple by comparison (well, it is from my perspective, since I have no artistic talent whatsoever but have plenty of experience with the submap editor).

That said, I still think there's a lot that could be reused from other tilesets (e.g. water from Arctic, mesas from wherever, stones/rocks from Farm, buildings from all over the place). I think the key thing therefore would be getting some good trees/shrubs, plantlife.

EDIT: That screenshot's still amazing.

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So, how does this EXACTLY work ? I have a good amount of experience in Manual Photoshop 2D (!) drawing.

How would one go about create a NEW Tree for use as a sprite in XN ?

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All of the objects in the game are a 3D model rendered out at specific angles.

The images created from those models are then put into a package like photoshop and painted over to have a more hand drawn look, any required borders added, tidied up, resized etc.

Those images then have a spectre file created that tells the game what properties that item should have when it is generated.

That is basically a new object right there.

After that you just need to add it to maps and levels and you are away.

It does get a bit more complicated if you want to add an animation to it, you need to generate a spritesheet containing each frame of the animation and create an animation control file.

I imagine you could just draw the new object if you had the right talent, just open up a few of the other objects in the game to get an idea of the proper angle.

The 3D model step could be useful to save time though as you could use the same model to generate multiple different objects if you rotate it a little, rather than redrawing it each time.

*edit* If you use a 3D modelling program, like the free Blender, then there is a community offering plenty of free models that could be used for the first step.

Remember to ask permission.

I have a little experience at doing this sort of rendering and once made a few interesting images I was planning to use in Xenonauts but never found the time.

Edited by Gauddlike

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Yeah, any (.png) image can be turned into an in-game prop, so working in 2D would be fine if you're more comfortable with that.

(Max_Caine has made a new prop before; there's a thread about it on this sub-forum. I think it had some indication of what was done to produce it so it might be worth a look?)

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Arctic tree blocks (3x3) without snow, bundled with few small industrial/soviet trees would go a long way actually. Maybe 5 or 6 different tree bundles, a bit of rocks and grass and voilá, you have a forest with very little work. Add water and mesas and it'll be very good, I think.

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It's true, there are a lot of trees already which could be borrowed too. As the key feature of the maps, I wasn't sure whether they'd be able to hold it on their own. But that said, extensive tree coverage on some of the Middle Easten maps seems to work quite well.

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I made this mockup in literally less than 10 minutes just to show that you could make pretty convicing forest just by using the existing assets. I'm not going to do the tileset, but it's relatively easy to do if someone wants to take the time and colorize the props.

8gjAVRs.jpg

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Would love (and pay) to see Forest Maps. Would love to have the time to get into mapping and help out but business doesn't run itself unfortunately :(

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