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GlobalExplorer
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:14 am

Greybriar wrote:As a matter of fact, I like the looks of it better than the satellite image GlobalExplorer provided.


My point was not to use the satellite images directly but to compare the projections. There have been mods and games based on original Blue Marble graphics and it looks entirely silly imo. But very nice things can be made with them as a base, and they show the amount of detail available.

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McNaughton
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:20 pm

To me, a 'real' representation of the world is not what is being strived for here, otherwize they would have gained the rights to sattelite images. Some games are designed to have a particular look, where the map and icons are there to give important information, rather than to look pretty and lifelike. I am an avid board gamer, and most contemporary and interesting games have abstraction like this, leaving out the 'pretty' life-like look and going for accurate yet functional graphics. To me, this game has the look of a 'euro-boardgame', where everything is there because it needs to be there, abstraction eliminates visual confusion. Looking at this map, you can easily, and quickly determine all sorts of information, as to what you can click on, what you cannot, what certain icons mean (i.e., easily determine what is a port, what level of fortress, what is a large or small city, where troops are, etc.).

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heckler_rider
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 1:57 pm

I think the feel of the map is spot on. Matching the map to the period is a huge part of the overall feeling of the game. Playing a 19th century game on a high-res 21st centruy image of the world (obivously edited to remove things not existing at that time) would take away from the feel of the game.

Besides my wife wont let me buy a new computer so lower PC specs are a must...anything to fancy and It might bog down my machine!
Rider....watch out for that droppppppp

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GlobalExplorer
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 3:00 pm

Of course satellite imagery don't blend in with a game like VGN. That's not what I meant.

But I think the misunderstanding is that when once guy says satellite data everyone sees in their head Blue Marble or Google Earth. But with cartographic shading all kinds of imagery styles can be achieved. From which an artist could then take over and make a very nice map.

I admit the initial example wasn't very good so I quickly made a new one, this time with relief shading. Hopefully that makes it now clearer what I was thinking of.

And no, I don't want to derail the thread, just think you guys haven't thought the idea to the end ;)

Image

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Pocus
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:46 pm

The regions graphics can be seen as blurry in some places, that's true. We still have to fine tune the DirectX sharpening. Right now, they already weight 1.8 gigabytes on the hard disk, so what is sure is that we won't use a better resolution for images (meaning it would take 7.2 GB of non compressible files), it will have to be done by DirectX (hopefully).

As for the sprites, some can be slightly misplaced or not oriented the right way (harbors perhaps) but that's because it is still an alpha version: we don't intent to retouch them marjorly on the other hand. They are good to go for us. We are using 12 cities styles, splitted into 3 sub categories of size, just for cities. Industries, mines and agricultural sites are populating the two sprites shaped as a disk depending of their actual presence (i.e if you see a coal pit, then there is really a coal mine, if you see rice, then you have a rice pad, etc.).

As for game mechanic, yes about the Suez Canal. It will dynamically shows on map and will have a real game effect. :cool:
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Nial
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 5:57 pm

The map looks good to me. Maybe I'm not as graphicly demanding from a strat game as I am from some other genre's that I play? *shrug* If it looks decent and has the features I like in a strat game? Hey, I'm good to go! And AGEOD hasn't dissapointed me yet. ( we wont go into the no NCP campaign thing. I'm over it, I swear I am. *wink*) :mdr: :D

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RELee
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 8:36 pm

Pocus wrote:As for game mechanic, yes about the Suez Canal. It will dynamically shows on map and will have a real game effect. :cool:

Image

:winner:

Ahrumph!

I mean...That is excellent. Jolly good work, what. Carry on.

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GlobalExplorer
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Wed Jun 24, 2009 10:55 pm

Pocus wrote:Right now, they already weight 1.8 gigabytes on the hard disk, so what is sure is that we won't use a better resolution for images (meaning it would take 7.2 GB of non compressible files), it will have to be done by DirectX (hopefully).


what kind of resolutions are you talking about? (correct me if I'm wrong) 16000 x 8000 pixel is about 20-40 MB jpg compressed and 256MB in memory (@ assumed 16bit). From your screen I guess it could be in the range of 32k * 16k, but I still don't see how you get to those figures :blink:

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Thu Jun 25, 2009 6:46 am

GlobalExplorer wrote:what kind of resolutions are you talking about? (correct me if I'm wrong) 16000 x 8000 pixel is about 20-40 MB jpg compressed and 256MB in memory (@ assumed 16bit). From your screen I guess it could be in the range of 32k * 16k, but I still don't see how you get to those figures :blink:
Pocus was talking about non-compressed files. Furthermore, the region files are overlapping, i.e., adding together the size of the individual files will result in size much larger than the final map. For instance, the region graphics for WIA are *.bmp-files and weight 1.27 GB.
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Pocus
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Thu Jun 25, 2009 5:16 pm

No, they are already compressed on the disk. They are saved as DDS file, not bmp. The map is 60.000 x 21.600 pixels in size...
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GlobalExplorer
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Thu Jun 25, 2009 7:31 pm

Pocus wrote:The map is 60.000 x 21.600 pixels in size...


Ok that's really massive. I couldn't provide resolutions higher than this, that's for sure. And I think I can see now where your problem is.

What you could do however, is limit the default zoom level to the original size
of the bitmap. One could of course keep zooming beyond that (when the terrain becomes undersampled) but rather call it a gimmick, not a feature.

Otherwise I could envision a lot of (stupid) people calling the VGN visuals a step backwards, because usually many ppl don't care for such technicalities.

P.S. one of your competitors is just about to release a similar game that solves the same problem with hardware accelerated vector graphics. It's nowhere near as beautiful as your previous games, but it is much more powerful , especially in its zoom capabilities. I had a look at the beta and I am quite impressed (though I still prefer AACW and WiA for artistic reasons). You might have a look at this once it's ready (I am of course talking about HOI3).

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Anguille
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Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 am

Bon...moi j'adore! :coeurs:

Je vais même plus loin...je me réjouis de voir ce que vous allez faire avec ce moteur dans le monde antique (Pax Romana 2)... :D

Je sais, je sais :eyebrow:

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Benihana
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Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:50 am

gunnergoz wrote:I do like the colors and overall look, but I would prefer it if the cities and port symbols looked a bit more like they might look for real...not just symbolic buttons plunked down, but more "organic" as they might be seen from space. Just my opinion...but the map is definitely going in the right direction aside from these nitpicky things.


I bet you'd like those a lot less than you think. I've spent considerable time looking at things from overhead and they have a way of looking nothing like what we're familiar with on the ground. A city, a military base, a port, they'd all end up looking the same.

I can find you some for comparison on Google if you don't believe me.

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Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:00 pm

Will the creation of the Suez Canal and others be by event or player action?

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Palisadoes
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Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:36 pm

I imagine it would have to be via event that it comes about.

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Pocus
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Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:33 pm

both really. We won't say too much right now, has the game is still shaping up, but you will get more than a multi choice event: "do you want to build the Suez Canal, yes/no". and tada, insta-built! We are thinking of creating special, temporary sites, for these kind of huge human works.
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Palisadoes
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Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:09 pm

Nice idea! Maybe instead of the Panama canal there would be the possibility of the Nicaragua canal? :thumbsup:

(Sorry, but it doesn't appear to have a translation in French for the devs)

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Mon Jun 29, 2009 10:37 pm

Palisadoes wrote:(Sorry, but it doesn't appear to have a translation in French for the devs)

Don't worry, their English is quite good :)
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Palisadoes
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 12:33 am

Ahh good. I just thought it would be easier for them if it was in their native language.

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Tue Jun 30, 2009 5:06 am

Most excellent. Sounds like these type of projects will have the feel of a major undertaking for a nation with choices for the player. At the risk of prying further, this got me to wondering about great land projects, like the Trans-continental Railroad or the Trans-Siberia Railroad. Any hints on how railroads in general will be handled?

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Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:09 am

As we get closer to release and various parts of the game get finalized, I'm sure we'll start showcasing various aspects of it :)

Right now, though things are starting to look good, they still can get changed a bit, and we consider it to be a shame if we showcased something that didn't go into the final release
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GlobalExplorer
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Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:34 pm

I did some more toying around with the "modern" satellite data. What I did was taking relief shaded satellite imagery (32kx16k), doing some extreme scaling and applying photoshop filters.

Point to do this was of course, I wanted to show how a satellite mod could look, and how it can be made to look retro. I feel somewhat challenged by the argument that it has to look out of place :)

I know it would be very difficult to create the bitmaps, but from what I know about the data ageod is using, this could be done programmatically.

Of course only if the VGN map is in Plate Caree projection. Otherwise it can not work. So again the question to pocus or who else is in the knows, about the projection that is used.

Image

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Palisadoes
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Wed Jul 01, 2009 3:08 am

I approve of accurate maps! :thumbsup:

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Comtedemeighan
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Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:04 am

:leprechau
Palisadoes wrote:I approve of accurate maps! :thumbsup:


MAGIC!
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Pocus
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Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:03 pm

Indeed, this is the projection used (from the French Plate Carrée).

I remember the artist having really big difficulties assembling the huge parts of the map into a single file...
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Duckman
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Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:48 pm

i find the look of BOA or rather the feel far superior to this computer generated look. sorry :(

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Sol Invictus
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Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:44 pm

I think the rustic look and feel of the BoA map was fine for that title but I much prefer the current artistic design for VoN. :thumbsup:
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TommH
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Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:59 pm

Looks pretty good overall.

Stuff I like:

  • The 50% disk with pop on one side and structures on the other. Very clear info.
  • The built up side to indicate fortifications with the unit being "inside"

Stuff I think could be improved
  • The port graphic has too much water in it. It looks jarring positioned over so much land. This would be better if it was more port less water. Positioning it better would also help although rotating it might be confusing.
  • The troop figure doesn't stand out at all. This is almost certainly a alpha issue though.
  • No Roads, no indications of general region conditions (ie. built up, fertile barren).

tagwyn
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Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:52 am

Hoot!! They have turned over the fine-tuning to Luca!!! t

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W.Barksdale
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Tue Aug 11, 2009 7:51 am

runyan99 wrote:Is the game real time?


Any word on this? Real time or turns?! :coeurs:
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