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Sarandosil

Custom map making woes

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Half the maps I try to  load don't work, the server just hangs on "Loading servers." It's still not clear to me if it's something on my end or if there's something wrong with the map files I've been trying but it feels like the latter. I've been working on a map in photoshop and unfortunately for me my own map that I'm trying to test is one of the ones that never works.

at first I thought I must be messing up something in photoshop because maps from the map generator seem to work fine except when I import the heightmap from photoshop, but after checking to see if I'm working in 16 bit greyscale eight million times I ran a few simple test heightmaps from photoshop and some work and some don't

for instance a completely flat map (single color) at value 42 won't load but a completely flat map at value 50 does. 42 is the darkest value that gets you land for the default water height in the generator which I'm guessing causes it some issues somehow

is there like a list of things your map needs to have for the game to load it

sorry I know this is rather vague but I have been in troubleshooting hell all weekend and suspect I am no longer sane

the only thing worse than getting error messages is not getting any error messages

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Posted (edited)

Ok I am back feeling with more grip on sanity. Slightly more sanity

My guess about the water height seems to have something to it, though who knows what's happening behind the scenes. If you generate a flat map too close to the water height it won't load. I've tried this with different water heights and it's consistent.

Of course at first I wasn't trying to test a flat map, I wanted to see how my continent shorelines looked in game so I had a flat ground + water and it wouldn't load if the ground was not significantly higher than the water. A bit of a problem if you want actual beaches

At this point thinking maybe it just needs a certain amount of land sufficiently above water height to generate ore or mobs or whatever, so I took a map that worked and lowered one single pixel on it to close to water height and that made it hang

 

I have no idea why it behaves this way but it is reproducible on my end semi consistently I guess

anyway I loaded more complicated maps and they seem to work so whatever maybe I don't need to bash my head on weird flat test maps no one will play on anyway

 

I am a scrub art student who works traditionally, thought drawing the map would be the hard part, not wrestling with tech for four days

I did figure out a photoshop process for hand drawing land masses and getting them to gently slope so enjoy this river island it was more frustration than it was worth

I might make a tutorial for how to do this later if anyone wants it

 

cI1esfi.jpg

 

Edited by Sarandosil

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2 hours ago, Sarandosil said:

I might make a tutorial for how to do this later if anyone wants it

I'd love to see a tutorial, as long as it's not too technical.  I usually just use the WU map generators.  🙂

 

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Haha well technical is the tradeoff. The simplest least technical way to do it is freehand paint the whole thing, making the program do it instead lets everyone who follows the steps be able to get the same results but you do have to follow the steps hehe

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I'm gonna use this as a work in progress thread if no one has objections lol

for whom it may interest

 

so photoshop has a 256 value (brightness) scale for us to work with the heightmap. In practice this seems to translate to 12 slope in game for each step up the value scale. This is probably reason 1 you don't hand paint height maps because 1 step up on the value scale is barely perceptible but significant for the machine and results in jagged terrain when you load it into the game. But it is useful to know nonetheless

 

Previously I got the terrain to slope nicely but now I have a happier problem, which is all the coasts and riverbanks look the same. I wanted more gentle slopes the shorelines of some of the islands so instead of having it go up 1 point on the value scale each square I spaced it out to two and it looks pretty good

you would not believe how long I spent trying to get this island shore to look right

 

aGaEYyC.jpg

 

Also I dropped mount Fuji onto the island

the idea is that you could use it as a visual marker to navigate when you're sailing around the islands

because I didn't blend it yet it very obviously looked like it's been dropped on top of the island, which it has. But I don't know I kind of like the two step height to it. It would let you build a settlement in a ring around the mountain which is objectively cool. I think I'll try to keep it and see if I can make the cliff look a little nicer

VLbV4rP.jpg

 

the caldera

4UI1Hk4.jpg

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ok enough messing with the island onto the southern continent for a change of pace

 

For the southern continent I wanted a mountain range and a steppe. This is intended to be the flattest part of the map. Something that wurm maps usually don't have enough of is rivers in my opinion. go to google earth and look at mountain ranges, there's bodies of water flowing down all over the place. Rough first attempt

 

4j93ecv.jpg

 

Of course Wurm doesn't let you have water flowing downhill so we have to compromise with nestled lakes near the mountains.

The trees seem to spawn in the water sometimes which is annoying lol

slsn1IF.jpg

 

The mountain range was the first thing I drew. Unfortunately it was a little too bumpy, it looks like bad terrain generation rather than mountain so I blurred it and over did it. It's way too smooth now. That looks like the most climbable mountain the world.

 

z37ScPS.jpg

 

The windy river. I like the density of the fir trees, they make the river seem like a hidden thing you stumble on

q88dAz7.jpg

 

The other river. Everything is still just too smooth and regular, the river banks and mountain range need a pass to add some variation to them to break up the smooth roundness

 

J8z1LA9.jpg

 

really happy with the progress so far

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I have to say I really underestimated the scale of a 2048x2048 world. So much more map still left to fill. A large flat expanse is fine for the steppes but I think I will struggle filling in the other land masses 

 

Mt Fuji looks like nice a distance :)

 

SInVHde.jpg

 

 

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I am enjoying this and really looking forward to seeing this map as it progresses!

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I worked on this a little bit more. You always end up spending the most time on things you wouldn't have thought of.  When I started I was worried that it would be very hard to get smooth terrain where you wanted it, but that didn't end up being too complicated. Getting terrain that is bumpy in just the right amount to be interesting but not look terrible on the other hand is difficult. I experimented a few different ways of adding noise layers but none that were satisfactory. Unfortunately I painted too much on a single layer too which made modifying what I have more complicated. So a lot of experimentation on how to get things to blend together nicely and still have interesting variation without a whole lot to show for it. 

 

I did think it would be cool to have a cove that's only accessible by boat. Until people tunnel through the mountain, anyway.

 

raGcgaw.jpg

 

A test with Fir trees, though in the final map I think I will spawn the area with olive trees. A hidden olive forest hehe

 

T3kpOeK.jpg

 

I think I am having second thoughts about these mountains artistically though. They are wimpy mountains and the cove in particular feels artificial. I think I will leave them as is though, just to fight perfectionist tendencies and actually finish the map instead of second guessing everything.

 

52H9kel.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Something else I learned, I didn't think about how much dirt to drop on the map before I started. I've been working with the 40 default dirt but maybe you'd want a bit more than 40 though. I tried higher dirt amounts but this turns out to be something you have to decide on before you start painting the height map. You can see one of the islands in the previous screenshot is now connected to the mainland, because that screenshot was from a 60 dirt test. Dropping 50 dirt doesn't mess anything up like filling in a river or anything so I'm going to stick with that but lesson learned.

 

The SE corner of the map is going to be a series of islands. The height map for them is mostly done, but there will be a lot of decisions to make there when I get to doing all the biomes

Edited by Sarandosil
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In one of those "I am a fool for not realizing this sooner moments" the entire continent is probably too close to sea level. The lowest points of the steppe are probably too close to the water to have a mine, and on the median height you probably have about a level and a half to work with. Technically doable but anyone building on the flat part of steppe before the mountains won't have a lot of wiggle room to work with

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On 6/22/2022 at 6:50 PM, Sarandosil said:

I've been working with the 40 default dirt but maybe you'd want a bit more than 40 though.

The trouble we found with going over 40 is that players often have trouble finding a good spot to open a mine. They have to be way up from the shoreline to even have a hope of hitting rock that's at least 20 height.

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Amazing looking map, keep up the great work :)

 

On our last Mystic Highlands map we actually used 100 dirt drop, worked out well.

 

This time will be a little different....maybe :)

 

Valiance and Kaylie

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