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Yaga

Community map editors and tool devs: "Community Map Creator" tool concept

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Attention, folks! If you are a community map editor or a software tool developer you may be interested in an idea I recently had. This is a concept for a new software tool - and I would like to get your opinion.

 

Managing the community maps and keeping them up to date is a pretty tedious task. I suppose most of our current editors use a tool like Photoshop to add, remove, move and edit the various graphical data on various image layers, according to input from players. This is most probably being done manually, taking some time and effort.

 

So here is my idea for a software tool to "automatically" generate a community map with all the information needed:

 

Hit8m8k.jpg

 

The tool (shown as the little computer in the image above) would use a static raw map image (basically a flat 2D map dump) and a small SQLite database containing all the dynamic information about deeds, roads, tunnels, bridges etc. By merging these data together the tool would generate the finished community map, without the need to fire up any graphics editor. The person responsible for maintaining the community map would only have to edit the dynamic data tables in the SQLite database, using a simple front-end GUI. The data merging would be based on a generic coordinate grid, related to the tile structure of the map dump (1 tile = 1 unit).

 

What do you think?

Community map editors: Would a tool like that help you? Do you have any more ideas, requests, suggestions? Would it be worthwile to create such a tool?

Tool developers: Is anybody interested in creating this tool? (I could try to do it myself, and I would probably manage to do it - but my time and resources are limited... so if anyone else is interested, speak up please! :) )

 

EDIT: To avoid misunderstandings: this is supposed to be a local PC tool creating a simple image file to be uploaded as a community map to the Wurm Online forum!

 

Edited by Yaga
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These tools are really good, we use one in JK on Chaos to house all our information on deed, towers, resources etc. Everyone can add their bits to it, it's not exactly live but hitting the refresh button updates everything.

 

Simply right click the map and it gives you options to add deeds, towers, resources, etc. There's extra tools in there (for pvp purposes) like a locate soul finder. It also has the ability to give you an estimated travel time from A to B if you input your speed.

 

Our one is great as it's limited, it make it a bit harder for public one as can easily be vandalised but as long as there's a log of each action that can be revoked and map moderators it'll be fine :)

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We are using such a system on Sklotopolis, we don't have a database we use files and map overlays but it works a lot better than any other map format for sure and we are very pleased with it.

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6 hours ago, Sklo:D said:

We are using such a system on Sklotopolis, we don't have a database we use files and map overlays but it works a lot better than any other map format for sure and we are very pleased with it.

 

A number of WU servers have these maps with great detail pertaining to deeds and roads. Even alterations to the landscape are seen with enough clarity to get the idea of what is in the process of being transformed. As they are also updated frequently they are far more useful than anything WO offers. A much better system, although I know nothing about how it is accomplished the contrast to WO maps is dramatic, with the zoom-in availability too.

 

=Ayes=

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WU makes it easy to create live server maps - there are mods and tools. Not so for WO, unfortunately :(

 

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I do mapping professionally, there's a few options for you (and open-source too!).

 

The problem is how detailed you want the map, how accurate, and how much bandwidth you have to spare when creating pull requests. This doesn't include time for users to create features, and management thereof.

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Maybe my post wasn't quite clear. I'm neither talking about an online tool nor about a live map of any kind. (A dynamic live community map would be nice - but that is not what I tried to describe here.)

 

The tool I had in mind is a simple local program which generates an image file (PNG, preferably), to be uploaded as a community map to the Wurm Online forum. (Example: http://forum.wurmonline.com/index.php?/topic/125117-deliverance-community-map/) What it is supposed to do is to make editing our current community files easier for the map editors.

 

So, bandwidth is not relevant. Neither are features like zooming, panning or whatever. :)

 

The idea was to keep it simple!

 

Edited by Yaga

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This is what I intended to do with Niarja after Skill Compare. My time is super limited though, and I don't consider Skill Compare "Complete" yet.

 

I think Niarja is a good answer because:

-It's web-based. It's a lot easier to visit a link than to download software and install it on your specific type of machine.

-I have >99% of new and disbanded deeds from Twitter, so disbanded deeds can be removed automatically

-Bandwidth at this scale isn't an issue

-Niarja has secure user authentication for map "owners".

 

I thought of it as exported map dumps of each server. They would need to have village locations as well as a way of manually placing roads, tunnels, and any other important map features. Each server would have one or more "Official" map makers who would have the ability to place new villages and features. Because Niarja already sees ~all new villages, they'd go into a queue so it would be easy for map makers to see what's still missing. It would also be easier to villages to opt-out of being shown on the map, which is an idea I support strongly.

 

Not extremely difficult to do, but I rarely work on Niarja unless I get free time and I get super into something. I've always liked the idea though!

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Hi Yaga. Thanks for including me in this.

 

Beside having limited time for such endeavors, I'm also worried there may not be high value in having such tool, when compared to a generic layered image editor.

 

Two solutions that I think would be of good value are:

  1. A plugin for popular image editor, allowing for easier road drawing and token placing.
  2. A proper web application for community maps.

 

Elaborating on 2nd option, in case someone is interested.

 

I believe that Wurm should have a proper public web application for community maps.

  1. It could be developed as an opensource community project, where we could all contribute and take credit into our portfolios.
  2. The core feature would be to allow GM's to designate a single "owner" to update it through online editor, the final picture could be computed by the app itself.
  3. There are potentially countless good features, which could be built on top of it, for example update requests, making life of the owner much easier - moderating and accepting modifications. Or the mentioned twitter feed integration for disbands.
  4. It would also be optimal for CodeClub to handle hosting, as community of Wurm is too small for effective donation model.

Few years back I was interested in creating something like this, but had little sense about point 1 and no luck with point 4. Things are different now, but I'm involved with other projects and have virtually no time to spare, thus owning or even just organizing it is beyond my current capacity.

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When I was editing (paint.net, not even photoshop :P) more time was spent dealing with names than deed markers, because the (often long) names need to not overlap other features + make sense in their positioning, something that isn't straightforward for a simple program to determine and was tricky for me in particularly crowded areas.

 

That said, it only took like 5-10mins every week or two to keep inde up to date, so it's not much effort. I guess this would be more of a "spend some time now, and save a lot of time in the long run" type thing anyway.

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15 hours ago, Wraithglow said:

more time was spent dealing with names than deed markers, because the (often long) names need to not overlap other features + make sense in their positioning, something that isn't straightforward for a simple program to determine and was tricky for me in particularly crowded areas.

There are already add-ons to tools like leaflet.js that will handle this (see decluttering plugins). Generally speaking the tricky/interesting problems have already been solved, leaving the job of plumbing the required bits together, and hosting, which has its own set of challenges.

 

A suggestion would be to allow local editing, saving to browser local storage(?) with the ability to export some, or all, of these edits to a file for sending to the community map editor for inclusion in the community map.

 

Might also be interesting if an export of an edit could be loaded via the URL - to allow publishing 'special' maps without needing a community map update.

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I currently maintain the Release map, which exists as a layered image, which I edit in Paint.net.  The actual files are held in a Mercurial repo on Bitbucket, as it happens.  Release isn't exactly a high-traffic server, so the amount of time it takes me to update is minimal; given that I've got my routine sorted now, having a separate tool probably wouldn't be much faster, unless it automatically did some stuff like removal of fallen deeds (and then, only a bit).  I'd say the estimate of 10-15 minutes per week on average is about right. 

 

What would be far more useful would be an out-of-game way of seeing the last X (could be some decently large fixed number, say last 50 or something) deed disbandments for a particular server, extracted from the Twitter feeds.  I've not found a tool that does this as yet (neither Niarja nor Bdew's page have this option).

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2 hours ago, Pandalet said:

What would be far more useful would be an out-of-game way of seeing the last X (could be some decently large fixed number, say last 50 or something) deed disbandments for a particular server, extracted from the Twitter feeds.

Can always use Twitters Advance Search, which gives Release deed disbands

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17 hours ago, Pandalet said:

What would be far more useful would be an out-of-game way of seeing the last X (could be some decently large fixed number, say last 50 or something) deed disbandments for a particular server, extracted from the Twitter feeds.  I've not found a tool that does this as yet (neither Niarja nor Bdew's page have this option).

 

I've coded an update that will do that (not out yet though, I tend to make updates in major batches). Should be there soon. Wulfmaer's link is perfect though!

Edited by Chakron

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