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Potential Map Improvements


SHEF
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This is entirely up to the players; the option is there now' date=' why don't more people use it? ;)[/quote']

I think they want the report text to be visible on the map not just as a rollover. I'd like that too if it didn't clutter stuff up too much.

[@]

or

[@] Tiger

which is more informative at a glance :-)

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i think they want the report text to be visible on the map not just as a rollover. I'd like that too if it didn't clutter stuff up too much.

[@]

or

[@] tiger

which is more informative at a glance :-)

Yes.

...

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Elevation Markers:

I like a combination of options 3 and 2. Contour lines would be great for a single soldier with a map, but having hill markers with elevations will be better for communication for the side.

You will be able to say "Hill 325 - ET and ATG Shelling town" Instead of "Hill SE of Town ET and ATGs"

I like the WWII style Color for the map.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Use contour lines, hill markers and false color maps for historical accuracy;plus, curve the front line a little bit ,since the fonts were rarely if ever straight

Edited by kilgore
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  • 2 weeks later...

Doc says that if you, the players, can raise $100,000.00, he will drop everything and just draw the contour lines onto the map by hand. For a year.

Until then, I'm continuing more realistic work on map improvements.

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Doc says that if you' date=' the players, can raise [b']$100,000.00, he will drop everything and just draw the contour lines onto the map by hand. For a year.

Until then, I'm continuing more realistic work on map improvements.

I wouldn't neccesarily offer, or even consider this, but what if supposely a individual was to donate that large amount of money, I'm assuming you'd be given a spot on CRS, or some valuable position within the community correct?
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We'd let you watch Rat HQ while we all went to Cabo for a week, most likely.

But if you're being serious about donations, send MotorMouth an email or check out the Builder's Program. :cool:

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Sorry for the late arrival.

How about changing the markers for brigades to an icon instead? So one type icon for infantry, one for armor, etc.

Would be really usefully to see on the map what type of brigades are facing off.

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  • 3 weeks later...
HC Map Overlays!

Let the HC from each side create and "edit" overlays for the map.

HC could use overlays to identify permanent locations (where defensive lines should be, where offensive lines should be, gun positions, etc). We just do recon missions to get the info.

HC might also markup a battle plan on the fly or in advance for a particular target.

Similar things are being done with GPS units in the real world. For instance, I can download an overlay map of trails created by someone else (not the the maker of the gps I own) and it lets me see simple trail lines projected over the default map that came with my gps.

The gps was never designed to do this but it works (this description is what I'm talking about http://www.gpsfiledepot.com/maps/view/53).

The same concept might work in the game. The strategists might really enjoy this capability. Sort of a dotsie/parasit atg counterpart of the game but map overlays instead of aim points.

That would be epic and add a whole bunch to the game :D

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I want especially more dynamic and different marks.

Marks:

- Moving marks - especially tanks the ability to set when marking by drawing a straight line following the direction on which the tank is moving, an animation to the mark would make him move from point A to Point B

- Single or group of enemy marks for example for a group of tanks there would be a mark made up of 3 ET marks , same goes for infantry this could avoid excessive marks

- Advance Marks - Enemy Destroyer , Heavy Tank, Mortarmen and FRU

- Hostile Area - every mark would have a 50 to 100m radius surronding it and painting with light red the area this would show the possibility of that enemy to be surronding that mark.

- Mark Ownership - The player which made the mark would own it, having the ability to move it, delete it or switch the type of mark for example Moving tank to Static Tank ( many ML's do not do their work of cleaning and moving the marks)

- Cross Misson Marks - Fetch all marks marked near the player location(1km^2+) on all missions fuse those between 1-35m between each other and with the same type of mark.

- Mark OIC Permission - The ability that OIC of brigade to switch, move and delete all marks made on his brigade.

- Secure Position - ability to paint with blue or green a location consider safe, every friendly killed on the secure position would paint in a 10m radius Red or Yellow

- ML/OIC Orders of deployment - Place an friendly mark to tell players where to move their tanks, Atgs, AA, PPO or Infantry to stay and secure that pos.

- Road of Approach - Draw a line on the map only has a ML to tell the players to follow to get to the objective.

Distance Measure - Improve the ability to measure the distance between points on the map currently we have that thing similar to a ruler but you cant rotate it on a 360 angle.

Forest - Improve the ability to distinguise forests on the map.

About topography

- It's Essencial to be accurated I would like this to be a EasyCheckBox feature, like a hybrid Contour-Color typografy one checkbox add color TypoG another CheckBox Add Line-Contours

Older Version - And above all the ability to switch this & other possible features off to a raw clean and simple version or the older map version.

Edited by fxmmauser
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Front Lines

What, if any, modifications would players want to see as far as the depiction of frontlines go?

Firstly, most of all would be to have this tied to game features that moved AI and automatic spawn points with a frontline. IE move up and hold an FRU long enough and a AF AB like grassy bunker is built that is a spawn and control point.

Secondly and more responsive, I have always liked the shaded areas with thick lines depicting areas of control. Without more than current game system merely having lines that moved with FB control so you could tell FB ownership without clicking on towns would be nice. Same same with spawnable Depots. Such that between town A and B you could have 4 layers of possible front line placements. With A DB FB FA DA B where A and B are the towns, DB is a line closer to town that denotes that the enemy owns the B spawnable depot in town A, FB denotes a line closer to the FB that the B FB to A is active but the spawnable is not capped, and FA and DA are the opposites closer to town B.

OPTION A You could add in a third layer on each side between the D and F lines to denote that the FB is active but the spawnable is not capped but that there IS a an active FRU from the FB to an objective in the city.

OPTION B You could also add in a fourth layer closer to the FB but more advanced that denotes an active ground EWS on the city from that FB. You could even have more than one to denote light one two light one high and one light and two high EWS.

OPTION C Unrelated to the above you could have a tile based frontline that shifts to the edges of a tile to reflect the last side that had a ground unit in the tile, with an evening average tool to keep the line from being too choppy.

Topography Layer Hill Markers: Color-scale Height Map:Full color Contour Lines:

Oh FFS yes please, Hill Markers please. Also yes to BOTH contour and color markers. Color shading can be reserved for mountain like terrain or cliff sides. But really anything to tell me where to place guns and where to sneaky pete without my having to snoop it out myself from scratch.

Map Tiles Make the tiles much nicer-looking, a la Xiper's BEGM tool. A more WWII-style map: False color

I havent seen Xipers stuff. What I would like from the map tiles is more information and less vague. WWII style is nice, true color nice as well. Probably WWII would be better. But you could always do both, eventually, and have it be optional.

What's on the map now that nobody cares about? What's missing from the map now that players want?

Elevation as above first and foremost. More icon options to sub in for player communications (see later post).

Bogs. I want to know where those demmed slow azz soft terrains are.

More detailed control on Zoom. Kinda wonky on mouse wheel, let me have a clicker In Out with fine controls and a faster hold down.

Over Lays. Old idea of mine from ancient forums. Grease Pencil like layers that I can literally drawn on to put in my arrows (or have arrow tools) to show movement and fire orders etc. Let me then share those overlays at my option with other players - On My Mission, Objective, Squad, Friends List, Side, High Command. The players can turn overlays on it in their available over lays tab. Limit ability to Share overlays at HC, Side and Objective level to HC, HC, and OIC players respectively.

Directional Tools and Measurements! Give me a way to measure a line on the map, straight if I like or curving for determining firing range or time of march.

Fire Plotting. Might be nice to be able to put in a location and your weapon and ammo and have it automatically elevate the weapon. Maybe for you and your mission mates. Maybe a tad too modern though.

There have been complaints regarding the map's placement of forests. How critical would it be to fix this?

Hmm, I would like more of them and more relevant in some locations. But I do not know what others complain about.

There have been complaints regarding the straight-line rivers. Do players want to accurately portray this on the map (as it is now), or fudge it by making the rivers appear to be more serpentine (and less accurate) on the map?

Accurate AND easier, sounds like Bi - Winning! Long distance Driving is annoying enough as it is. I like the straight aways if they are real.

Are there any useful icons/symbols that should be displayed on the map?

  1. In Xiper's BEGM tool, there are dashed circles around airfields. Is there any similar feature players want?

Is that period? Ambivalent on the issue. Have seen this on aviation maps and would be okay with it in game. Maybe only if you are in an aircraft personna?

I'd like to get a solid feel for Gophur and we can see what where we can go from there

Wrong Channel

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MAP MARKING IMPROVEMENTS

For Current Objective Markers and or Proposed Overlays

It would be nice to add to the existing tank truck infantry markers the following features

1) Directional Arrows. All too often a tank or truck are spotted on the move. Planes always so. Directional cues would help denote this. Have next to each icon a Four Arrow selection and a static marker (that shows nothing) that are highlighted and clickable after players click the unit type icon. Or I guess 8, for diagonal movement. The arrow would be placed next to the icon on the map. Or maybe the icon would "face" in that direction. Even if its just adding a second of each item to have a )))) behind it to show its moving, SOMETHING.

2) Towed Units. If you click on a truck the Gun and Infantry Icons remain highlighted and clickable. Clicking on them turns the Truck Icon into a Truck with Heads in the back icon, or a Truck with a towed gun behind it icon, or both.

3) Insertion Point. Big Pointed Arrow pointing in set position for Bombing Missions. A mark on the map to show a suggested begining for your bomb run, notes could show suggested bearing (which could also be used to orient the Icon on Map), speed, altitude and seconds to bomb drop or other notes like what your target will look like - third house from bend in river or whatever. Notes section anyway, people can put what they like but having at least the bearing as a preset optional information. Heck, how about a TOOL that you place this and then click and drag to the target and THAT orients the Icon and sets the bearing in the hover notes.

4) Fire Mission, Target Cross Hair. Place this where you want people to shell.

5) Bomb Mission. Bomb Icon. Place where you want people to bomb.

6) Stock Pile. Location of a Truck that is available to resupply your tank or guns.

7) FRU, its been said but it needs to be emphasized. Sick of seeing Ships and Planes on map. I'd suggest an Infantry Unit Icon like a Wargame board game X in a square with a . or ' over it.

8) Brigade Markers. To denote where units of a brigade are requested to move. Unit Type with name hover.

9) Drop Zone. Something to denote where the heck to fly the plane and jump the heck out of the plane. Square Boundary, Parachute, etc.

10) Firing Positions. War Game Icons, >- or HH etc to denote where to place guns or tanks for firing. Could have distance and range from a tool as with Insertion Point above or just map tools they can use to get themselves normally.

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  • 1 month later...

SHEF's nightmare :)

Found this post from the x-plane scenery people. Daunting task.

Stuffing Your Luggage

Most of the problems with global scenery generation turn out to be “knapsack” problems. The knapsack problem is basically this: let’s say you have one suitcase (or knapsack) and you want to fill it as much as possible with your clothes. All of your clothing are of different sizes. What subset of clothing do you take that leaves the minimum wasted space?

Well, it turns out that if you want the best fit, with the minimum wasted space, the only way to answer that question is to try every combination of your clothing. Yep. You have to pack and unpack your suitcase approximately a gajllion times and just try every packing to see which one is best.

This matters to computer programmers because often we have to “stuff” a space as optimally as possible (or find some optimal combination within a set of combinations); what we learn from the knapsack problem is that the only way to find the truly optimal solution is to try them all. The problem is that when you have a lot of things to try packing, it takes too long (even for a fast computer) to try every combination.

Just Shove The Biggest Things In First

I’ve put “best” and “minimum” in bold above because they are key to defining knapsack problems. If you have to have the truly best fit, you have to try packing your suitcase or knapsack with all combinations of clothing. But if a “pretty good” fit is okay, you can do something a lot faster. You pick a heuristic (that is, a rule of thumb) and hope it works out well.

Let’s take a look at packing in action. When you load an airplane, X-Plane packs all of the tiny instrument overlay textures into a few big textures to optimize frame-rate. (This is called “texture atlasing” – authors have to do this by hand for scenery.) Packing small textures into a big texture is a knapsack problem – to find the truly optimal packing we’d have to try every combination of instruments in each texture. That would be very slow, so X-Plane instead uses a simple rule: we pack the biggest things in first, building rows. As you can see from these pictures, the packing isn’t very good – a human could do a lot better. But the packing isn’t bad, and it’s fast enough (a perfect solution would take days to run for each airplane load).

Pretty Heuristics

When we have a knapsack problem, and our solution is a heuristic (that is, rather than find the most optimal solution, we’ll find a pretty good solution) there is another question: are the particular kinds of solutions that we come up with nice looking? Do we like them? For panel textures, this is a non-issue; the user never sees the “pack” of the panel texture while flying.

But for global scenery, the look of our heuristics matter. Global scenery generation is riddled with problems where the ideal setup of data would be too slow to compute, so we want our approximation to look “good”.

zoning_3a-150x150.png zoning_3b-150x150.png Here’s an example from global scenery of a knapsack problem where the look of the heuristic solution matters. The map on the left is the OSM vector data for San Francisco. The map on the right shows the same region broken into terrain zones. Calculating terrain zones is a knapsack problem with a heuristic solution where the look matters. Let’s break that down and see what that means.

First: what is a terrain zone? A terrain zone is a set of adjacent city blocks in a DSF that all have the same base terrain. If you recall Austin’s rantdescription of the way cities are created in version 10, he said some stuff about starting with grass and building cities on top of them. Well, it turns out that if you build every block up on the same grass, you get something that starts to look like a mini-golf course.

terrain_zones-150x150.pngWe have a lot of ways to cope with that, but one of them is terrain zones: several city blocks are grouped together with one base terrain – but then, at a road boundary, we change to a different base terrain to “break up” the landscape along road boundaries. The look is a lot less monotone in the far view – at least we think; the picture on the left is San Diego (terrain only) with the urban terrain zones set to primary colors for easy examination. (When the real artwork is in place, the terrain will be similar and color, with roads dividing the various zones.)

The packing problem is: which blocks get grouped together, and which are kept separate? Some groupings produce a more efficient final mesh, which results in better framerates. Like the knapsack problem, it would take too long to find the best grouping for framerate, so instead we try to come up with a pretty good grouping.

If you look at the groupings the above maps and diagram, you’ll see there is sometimes a “tooth” pattern where the boundary beteween blocks jumps up and back. That’s not so good looking; the algorithm that produces the groupings sometimes picks ugly block combinations, and we can’t just tell it “don’t do that” because it doesn’t check every combination to find the best one.

What Have We Learned?

Putting it together, you can see why global scenery generation is tricky.

  • We want to combine city blocks to make moderate sized areas of similar terrain, preferably in clumps that look nice.
  • We can’t just try every combination of block groupings; that would be too slow (it’s a knapsack problem).
  • Instead we have a heuristic – a simple strategy to try that produces “pretty good results”.
  • That strategy is tricky to develop because it has to come close to optimal results (for fps) and we don’t want the groups of blocks to look silly (which is hard to quantify).
  • Therefore, calculating the terrain zones is a “wicked” problem – only by implementing a heuristic do we get to see how it “looks” and decide if it is acceptable.
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@Sudden - I'm not quite sure how the knapsack problem relates to the map improvement project... we're discussing improvements to the map that pops up when you press 'm,' not the actual terrain. (For lulz, you can bug Doc about that).

@ Everyone else - Thanks for all the great suggestions! We have a mountain of possible features to discuss now, and whatever we decide to implement, we will use our patented Soon development cycle to bring them to you in a vaguely reasonable amount of time. :-P

Ok but seriously, I really appreciate all the input and feedback. Keep it up! The more voices we hear, the more informed we can be when we make final decisions concerning what goes in!

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Thought!

* Scalability.

Whatever you design or adapt must be open ended and scalable, not in terms of increasing in viewing size, but from a techniology perspective - can you plug other things into the map? Can you develpe it further????

S! Shef

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  • 2 weeks later...
I want especially more dynamic and different marks.

Marks:

- Moving marks - especially tanks the ability to set when marking by drawing a straight line following the direction on which the tank is moving, an animation to the mark would make him move from point A to Point B

- Single or group of enemy marks for example for a group of tanks there would be a mark made up of 3 ET marks , same goes for infantry this could avoid excessive marks

- Advance Marks - Enemy Destroyer , Heavy Tank, Mortarmen and FRU

- Hostile Area - every mark would have a 50 to 100m radius surronding it and painting with light red the area this would show the possibility of that enemy to be surronding that mark.

- Mark Ownership - The player which made the mark would own it, having the ability to move it, delete it or switch the type of mark for example Moving tank to Static Tank ( many ML's do not do their work of cleaning and moving the marks)

- Cross Misson Marks - Fetch all marks marked near the player location(1km^2+) on all missions fuse those between 1-35m between each other and with the same type of mark.

- Mark OIC Permission - The ability that OIC of brigade to switch, move and delete all marks made on his brigade.

- Secure Position - ability to paint with blue or green a location consider safe, every friendly killed on the secure position would paint in a 10m radius Red or Yellow

- ML/OIC Orders of deployment - Place an friendly mark to tell players where to move their tanks, Atgs, AA, PPO or Infantry to stay and secure that pos.

- Road of Approach - Draw a line on the map only has a ML to tell the players to follow to get to the objective.

Distance Measure - Improve the ability to measure the distance between points on the map currently we have that thing similar to a ruler but you cant rotate it on a 360 angle.

Forest - Improve the ability to distinguise forests on the map.

About topography

- It's Essencial to be accurated I would like this to be a EasyCheckBox feature, like a hybrid Contour-Color typografy one checkbox add color TypoG another CheckBox Add Line-Contours

Older Version - And above all the ability to switch this & other possible features off to a raw clean and simple version or the older map version.

Need all of these, and the new map interface (contour lines). CRS really needs to play catch up on the new games coming out, yes I know its a small team but still, logging in still feels like I'm playing something from 2000.

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Wow, just saw this, great news!

I like contours for sure.

Curious, whatever happen to the contour maps rickb was working on they looked pretty darn good. (prob still have pics of them around somewhere). Maybe they were a fps hog.

Here are some maps from Utah Beach

>>go to the bottom to the map section, great maps here.

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/utah.htm

My Favorites:

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map40.jpg

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map39.jpg

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map37.jpg

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map36.jpg

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map34.jpg

http://www.history.army.mil/books/wwii/utah/maps/Map31a.jpg

Edited by stang
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There are a couple stuff I forgot to mention that are equally important, hope SHEF is still reading feedbacks :/

-Make Friendly players visible on the map independent of the game/screen drawing limitations.

**When on a very crowded mission for example defending an AB surrounded by the enemy it's impossible to see all friendly players on the map because for it to show on the map you must be able to see it on your game, this makes the job of defending murderholes very hard, because you can't see the players currently defending those murderholes you have to go near them for the game to draw them on your screen bottom line it's more important to see visually more enemies than friendly players but it's equally important their locations, this might also allow to increase the enemy player tracking/view while lowering the friendly ones**

-Insert a checkbox to enable the view of all players nicknames on the map just over them without the need to move the cursor over the player.

**sometimes someone asks for ammo he might just be a couple meters away but if you are amongst some dozen players seeing him on the map and on the game is hard**

-Remake the 3rd person map object to be more paper alike similar to real "2D" maps & bigger compare to the current one.

** This would help or at least look awesome on videos and on promoting the game, ideally the map would not be shown if the player was running or moving while it was open cuz would look dumb, when prone it would be cool if it would be really placed on the ground and the player face was looking at it **

3rdpersonviewrealisticm.jpg

Operation Flashpoint Style map - This game map is simple yet accurate and detail very user friendly and successful balances the immersible war style maps with a game map.

operationflashpointmap.jpg

I know some of this is more coding that real visuals but it's what the real players need since it enhances the gameplay.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 5 months later...
Or is SHEF still super busy with it?

SHEF finished his internship :(

I hope he kept records of any progress he made so tha they can simply pick it up and carry on? If anything they need to bear in mind the suggestions for map tools, as per what you drew up.

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  • CORNERED RAT
SHEF finished his internship :(

I hope he kept records of any progress he made so tha they can simply pick it up and carry on? If anything they need to bear in mind the suggestions for map tools, as per what you drew up.

Bring this back....

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  • 3 weeks later...

At this point, I'm about ready to just take some screen shots, print them off and start marking them with pencils.

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  • 2 months later...

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