Mapmaking the Joyeuse Way
Before you read this: TMBM's expert medical staff have determined that attempting to make maps the way Joyeuse does may result in dry throat,
dizziness, vomiting, spontaneous combustion, diarrhea, hair loss, and even death. Use at your own risk.|
I have never made a colormap for a netmap in my life. So pretty much all I do is solo levels. Since I also usually design these levels, I'm free
to apply my creative genius without conforming to plans by other people. However, since I lack creative genius, I open up Photoshop, and attempt
to get a map by slapping some textures together.
First order of buisiness is to make sure you have the right dimensions. Each side needs to be a multiple of 256, or else Loathing won't accept it
(the bitch). However, the map cannot actually BE 256 pixels on any side, or else Loathing will not accept it or crash (the bitch).
For a good solo map, I find that the bigger the dimensions, the better. The map will need direction, which we'll get into later.
Having a large map, with the path the player will likely follow towards the center, will allow the player to wander off the beaten path and
explore a bit if they get bored (like if they're playing your map for the five thousandth time). It also allows you flexibility if the plan for
the map changes later on, and it also leaves space to put in easter eggs.
The map should also have flow, which is why it's a good plan to sketch out a small design of it first in a notebook beforehand. Or a Pizza Hut
napkin, whichever you happen to be closest to. You should plan out the basic layout of landforms, the route to the destination that the player
will take (if they're smart), and various stuff like that.
Now for the actual map. I usually start off by making empty layers for each type of terrain, which is always dependant on what type of area the
map is set in. For our example, let's assume it's something similar to Willow Creek.
First layer I'd make would probably be the dirt. I usually delete the background layer or convert it into this first layer. Now, open up a texture
file (I use Mapmaker's Food by Soma), and select all. then go to Edit => Define Pattern. Go back to your map, pick the layer the texture should go
into, and choose Edit => Fill. Choose pattern from the popup menu, and hit OK.
Your whole map should now be filled with the texture you just applied. Congratulate yourself, save your file, and go out to a nice fast food
Now do the same with each layer, applying a texture that fits the terrain type (grass, water, sand, etc.). Once you have those all done, save your
file again, and go get a bottle of some type of alcoholic beverage, because, if you weren't inebriated when you decided to make a map, you'll
definitely need to be for this next part.
Order up the layers, deciding which should be the "base" layer (the one you want to show through if all the others are transparent), and then
ordering them up in their logical progression. I usually order them Rock, Dirt, Grass, Sand, Water.
Now, one by one, select each layer, and go up to Layer => Add Layer Mask => Hide All, except for the base layer, for which you'll choose Reveal
The observant will notice that the layer masks that are not visible are black, while the one that is visible is white. This is how you will detail
your map and mix all the textures together. By clicking on the layer mask, you can edit it, instead of the textures, with any of the usual tools.
Take the airbrush tool, and paint some white on the black layer mask. Tada, it suddenly becomes visible.
Since it's your map, and since I'm assuming you are more or less used to Photoshop, I'll leave the actual creation and designing with you. I will
tell you though, it helps to be either drunk or high during this part, because you won't get it done otherwise. I usually eat a bag of pixy stiks
to get me going and keep me going...and going, and going and going and going and going and...
Once it's done, it'll need to be flattened and converted to 240 colors. Since I can NEVER get this to work out correctly, I usually flatten it,
stuff it, and send it off to one of our slaves, who does this for me. Then it is sent to Darth Maul, who does all the Loathing (the bitch
(Loathing, not Darth Maul)) work, and makes the terrain maps, etc., and places units and scripts it, since I'm incompetent in those areas.
Once the colormap is off, I sit back, get all the sleep back that I lost working on the damn thing, and when I wake up, I celebrate by listening
to everyone say how awesome the colormap is, and ignoring anything anyone says about my next job.
Obviously, mapmaking is not for the faint of heart. If you decide you want to make maps, it might be a good idea to have those men in the white
uniforms standing by when you do, especially during the first few maps. It'll grow easier with each map. (If it doesn't, you aren't cut out for
mapmaking. GET OUT! GET OUT WHILE YOU CAN!!! SAVE YOURSELF!!! AHAHAHAHAHAHahahahahaerm.)
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