Map Data, Margins, and Map Packs

Oh, my!

It’s been a minute. But, hey we’re back and we’re refreshed and we’re ready to work! We’ve got a few things to show off today to celebrate our first two weeks back from a hiatus.

Map Data

First up, an update on our progress in collecting data on maps. Over the past two weeks, we’ve been collecting as much as we can. We just passed the 40% mark on total data acquisition. It’s a little all over the place, but we do sort of have a priority system. This data includes:

  • Map ID/world coordinate bounds to image data
  • Transition icons (between zones and other maps) with a clickable action to change maps
  • Travel icons (home points, waypoints, etc)
  • Unity, Voidwatch, and ZNM spawns
  • Chests and Coffers
  • Gathering (logging, harvesting, and mining, as available)
  • and various others!

Another change to the map data is behind the scenes. We’ve moved from storing the data in a lua format to the JSON format. Lua was very convenient because we didn’t need a library to read the data. But with some of the features we’re planning, having map data in a more accessible format is important.

Margins

Okay! Boring text part is over, time for some visual goodies! We’ve added a new feature to the Megamap: edge margins. The map textures have the row/column identifiers on their own edges, but when the map is moved partially off-screen, they become occluded. This feature snaps them back into view!

These margins are built for style as well. The shadowreign, dynamis, escha, and abyssea maps all have a different style to differentiate them from present time maps, and so the intent is to have multiple sets of margin textures to layer over the other style maps to match their look. There’s a little bit of texture work to get this fully set up, but the code is ready for it.

Map Packs

One of the features we needed the JSON map data for was an ImageMagick script to generate usable map images with only the most important icons composited over. We created a list of icons that we thought were important to see, and cut out the clutter. Because the data is already there, we can generate as many maps as we want. Some examples might include: a treasure map with just coffers and chests, or a gathering map with just the gathering items.

Then we decided on a few resolutions that we thought would be useful to the community. We landed on 512×512 for compatibility with in-game maps, native 2048×2048 for the crispest, freshest maps available, and 1024×1024 for a very readable compromise suitable for wikis and other projects.

Here are some sample images to display the differences. These are not final, as we plan on checking the maps individually and adjusting icon placement and size to ensure the best readability possible.

Please look out for our first map pack announcement here. We have a bit of work to go on it, as there’s some logistics to manage. We still need to learn how to automate adding the maps to the DAT files, and we need to check each map for usability.

Well, that’s it for now. We’ll try to update more frequently. 2 years is a little bit of a stretch to wait for news.
– Akaden

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