Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

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Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

ArmorGyarados
first I want to apologize if this is the wrong place to post and I hope the Moderators will understand my newness. anyway, I just downloaded the triple a game engine and I got the map editor/creator as well. I was hoping to play around with it and use some of the .png files ive made for a D&D campaign mt friends and I are in, but I cant seem to get things going. is there a tutorial? am I just using the wrong format? if anyone wants to private message me and ask for my email if this post has to go down that would be great, also I frequent reddit and if there is a sub for this website or A&A type games let me know I will look for stuff there too


thanks for your time and patients!
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

Eschelon
I think we can probably use some more info, but the most important thing I ran into with the map maker was the territory borders thing for the territory picker.

Borders MUST be 100% black, preferably only 1 pixel wide, and the territory contents should be uniform in color, preferably white although other light solid colors are OK (example, sea zones are usually blueish in color, and as I remember the territory picker did fine with those).

I experienced frustration a couple of times because a border turned out to have a pixel that wasn't 100% black (so the picker would select an adjacent territory as well).  

Once you've 'picked' the territories, you can then make relief maps with lots of details if you so wish, as you've already defined the territory borders at that point.  Generally said tiles for the relief map should be about 70% or so transparent (to allow enough detail to show through without obliterating the empire colors).

I haven't used the map tools in a couple of years though, so I'll leave it to the experts to comment further.
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

ArmorGyarados
Wow, okay I guess I am farther behind the power curve than I thought. I just use MS paint and, while I can produce some pretty nifty maps, I don't quite know what transparency is or how to use it with that program. I have I think the latest (or the free-est) version of GIMP but man I tell you after playing with MS paint for almost 2 decades GIMP is like a  foreign language.


I have maps that seem like they would work with the format you have described, but the black boarders are more than a single pixel wide so that they stand out better when zoomed all the way out. the maps I have made are all of pretty high resolution, is that a problem?


thank you so much for your help
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

hepster
I had the same issue with GIMP.  It is a hard adjustment if all you have ever used is paint (and windows based programs).

I'd suggest you look into paint.net

It functions allot like paint but with many of the features that are necessary to make maps and units of the highest quality.  Best part... its also free!

Happy designing.
“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”― Rudyard Kipling
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

panguitch
I wouldn't worry too much about the "relief" map at first. You can always add pretty relief layers later, with just about any visual elements you want.

Instead, start with the basic map. White land, black 1px borders, blue sea. Then work on the xml and units before the relief. Gotta get the bones right before you can do the meat.

I recommend opening up one of the maps that comes with the TripleA download, like Pact of Steel, and looking at the baseTiles to get a sense of what is needed. Also, the POSv2 game xml is annotated, and I find it immensely helpful when writing my own game xmls.

Good luck!

Greyhawk Wars
TripleA in the original Dungeons & Dragons world

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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

Eschelon
In reply to this post by hepster
What Panguitch said on the relief maps.  Relief maps are pretty, but are not required at all for a map.  Keep those in the back of your mind for later, once you get comfortable with the maps thing.

Wisconsin's Map Tools can be tricky to master sometimes, but I'm sure the group here won't mind trying to help you out.

As mentioned above, The Pact_Of_Steel_2 game file (Pact Of Steel is included with most TripleA installs) has a bunch of extra tags with comments included which try to explain what the various tags do.  But as Panguitch pointed out, if you have a map that sorta kinda works like what you are thinking for your own map, that might be the better place to start for ideas.

You'll still need to create your map of course, but once you get to the interesting questions like unit design and such, that other map can be a great source of ideas r.e. how you'd like your units to work.

Definitely start simple, you can always pile on stuff later once you get comfortable editing the game.xml

A good .xml editor (several free versions available on the web) is also a good thing to have, unless you are comfortable with coding in which case Notepad II is da bomb for us luddite types!  One thing at a time though...
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

ArmorGyarados
I don't really know anything about coding, or what an .xml is so im pretty lost already lol. I was hoping with the map tools I could just have a bunch of pictures (still don't know if they are supposed to be .png or what format they should be in) and then just plug and chug. is making a playable map more complicated than that?

Currently I have a MS Paint file that's roughly 11500x5500 and a white land/blue water/black boarders map is well on the way. I absolutely have the computing horsepower to run a local game on one PC, which is all I plan to do as of right now I have a lot of time to dedicate to this so time isn't an issue but will the program only accept images of a certain resolution or smaller?
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Re: Completely new to the Map Builder and this site in general, please help!

Frostion
As a fairly new mapbuilder myself, I can advise you to look at Veqryns Map and map making overview:
http://tripleamaps.sourceforge.net/old/doc/map_and_map_skin_making_overview.html 
I used this when making my first map. It's a good guide.

Eschelon wrote
A good .xml editor (several free versions available on the web) is also a good thing to have
I downloaded ConTEXT (freeware). It’s a good xml editor and there is a line counter. Use this to try and identiy TripleA’s java pop-up errors. When trying to start your map for the first time, there is always a bunch of errors. The map will not start until you fix at least the critical ones.

And, as mentioned above, refer to the “pact_of_steel_2.xml” map file when you don’t know what the commands/codes do. You can find it in the install dir. Here is where mine is:
C:\Games\TripleA\triplea_1_8_0_5\maps\the_pact_of_steel\games\pact_of_steel_2.xml
It the explanation doesn’t make any sense, then do a search on this forum, you might get lucky.

I also go to the tripleA wiki sometimes.
http://axisandallies.wikia.com/wiki/Axis_%26_Allies_Wikipedia

If everything fails … it sometimes does for me  … ask your question on the forum. There is a lot of old-timer experts here.

PS: 11500x5500 pixels! I think you are close to the limit here. I don’t know the limit, but there might be a limit when trying to “break down” the picture to “Tiles” in the map tools. Right now I am working on a 7500x4875, and this size is already making problems with my painting tools.