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Maps Of The Month / 2020/07: Rolan's Curse (GB) - Shiny
« Last post by JonLeung on June 30, 2020, 08:33:28 PM »

For this month's "Maps Of The Month" featurette, I wish to draw your attention to Shiny's Rolan's Curse (GB) maps.

The evil emperor Barius has cursed the land of Rolan.  As a heroic (and generic) knight, it's up to you to stop Barius and lift the curse!

That's not much of a story, but not every fantasy game has to be a sprawling epic.  This top-down action-adventure is often compared to similar-looking Zelda games, but Rolan's Curse is very short and sweet.  There are only four chapters, with the fourth one much shorter than the first three.  Unlike the legendary game series its appearance evokes, this is a more linear experience and can be cleared in one sitting.

Even so, there may be some areas where maps can be handy, and VGMaps.com has got that covered - twice - with marked and unmarked maps of every chapter, so you won't feel alone in your quest to defeat the evil Barius, with Shiny, one of our resident Game Boy cartographers, as your guide!

But maybe you aren't really alone if you have a Game Link Cable!  Rolan's Curse has a feature that not many people have utilized - this journey can be done with two players!  Maybe it hasn't been played this way often enough because the game is not hugely popular to begin with - which is a shame, as it is simple and charming, the very epitome of pick-up-and-play Game Boy fun.

So to recognize the effort put into mapping a game cursed with obscurity, Shiny's Rolan's Curse (GB) maps will be known as VGMaps.com's Maps Of The Month for July 2020.
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by TerraEsperZ on June 30, 2020, 09:42:19 AM »
*A lot of work* is the right answer!

So far, I've had to use a few different techniques to create the shape of the shadows.

Those spikes from Dungeon 3 are identical to those found in another one (can't remember off-hand which) except these have no shadows because in this dungeon, spikes can hang in the air instead of always being on the ground. So I just took the shape of the shadow from the identical spikes that do have one.

For round pillars and square blocks, I'm basically using the upper "north" and lower "south" edges for the exact shape, and use the surface to determine the exact placement for that block in relation to the tile grid. It's hard to explain but I've made a few templates for grid alignment for every type of blocks I've used so far. Some things are highly simplified such as the caged skeletons in Dungeon 1 having a full, round shadows.

After that, I basically have to rebuild the room in as many horizontal layers as required for the shadows to make sense. The game itself builds a room from 3 or 4 basic blocks (cage, pillar, block, spike, etc) then builds a single composite layer that is displayed over the empty floor/wall layer. If there are multiple elements in a given room that would project shadows over one another, I have to determine which elements are located at which position and height, then replicate each horizontal layer separately and add in additional layers in-between for the shadows with simple homemade masks. It's long and complicated but strangely exciting to do!

The shadows done this way are far from perfect, but they give a better understanding for the layout at a first glance. I still need to determine a good way to represent blocks that can be moved, blocks there are invisible, blocks with a conveyor effect, blocks that fall as soon as you enter the room, etc.
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by JonLeung on June 30, 2020, 07:13:41 AM »
That's impressive.   :o  How do you make the custom shadows?  I mean, in general.  I imagine that takes a lot of work, even before trying to line them up in isometric space...
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by TerraEsperZ on June 29, 2020, 09:35:49 PM »
Here are the custom shadows tests I've done so far :



I'm hoping to do the whole game like this but I fear that some dungeons like Quagmire might be almost impossible to depict this way because of all the vegetations...
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by Cleeem on June 27, 2020, 01:25:41 AM »
Oh well, yes! It is very impressive ! ^^
So I am on my way to continue the last 4 levels by now ! ^^
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by TerraEsperZ on June 26, 2020, 06:22:30 PM »
From what little I've seen, it seems to be pixel accurate but the colour values are slightly different because older emulators like Snes9x don't convert the SNES's 15-bit BGR colour values to 24-bit RGB the same way more recent emulators like BizHawk do.

Basically, the 0-31 colour range is converted either to 0-248 (Snes9x) or 0-255 (BizHawk). With the newer method, pure white has a value of 255,255,255 instead of 248,248,248, which is close but not quite enough.

You can see for yourself if you check the individual pixel colours. Lower values are identical but start being off by a few point the higher they are:



I myself had to do some work because the Mode-7 overworld map graphics couldn't be captured by BizHawk because of some programming quirk in the way Equinox displays the map. I had to use a ZSnes savestate with a utility called vSnes to capture the graphic from it, then a custom, GUI-less, barely functional QB64 program to convert the colours to the right format.

See what I mean when I say I'm obsessed with details :P ?
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by Cleeem on June 26, 2020, 05:11:59 PM »
Cher TerraEsperZ, c'est un plaisir de te lire!  :)
I will continue in english so it will be easier here for most of the readers ! ^^

You can count on me to finish the maps, yes!
Before assembling anything, I make a picture for each room, so maybe it could save you some time for your dream project! ^^

But it may not be pixel perfect so you may not be able to use them. I have read you are using BizHawk. And I am using Snes9x !  :P
Anyway, I am very curious to see the difference between BizHawk and Snes9x captures.
Could you post a capture of the first room of the first dungeon, so I can discover the differences between the 2 emulators (because I am really curious, you know!).

Here it is with my capture for the first screen of the fisrt dungeon by starting a new game (room 1-0E) :


I played Equinox a long time ago in 1995 (25 years ago, yyyeeesss!!! Can you believe it ? ^^)
I am happy to make maps about the game today !  :)
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Maps In Progress / Re: Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by TerraEsperZ on June 26, 2020, 04:27:58 PM »
Hi Cleeem and welcome to the forum! As a fellow French speaker (from Quebec), it's nice to see new faces around here as the forum is really a lot less active than it used to be!

Thank you for the offer but I'm *way* too finicky about details (like spacing and exact color values) to ever use someone else's maps as a base. It's why it typically takes me years and several restarts to finish mapping any one game!

I only really need to submit the overworld map at the moment which is practically finished and with your set, the whole game will be on the site. My dream version of the dungeon maps, if I ever finish them, will no doubt take me *years* because I'm hoping to do kind of the same thing that Guillaume Saint-Amant did with his Solstice map, namely to make them easier to read by adding proper shadows under every floating object. I did a few rooms as a test and it looks neat but I'm not sure how feasible it will be to do the whole game like this.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing your maps (I've only done the basic capture of the first three dungeons myself) and I hope you stick around!
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Maps In Progress / Equinox SNES maps
« Last post by Cleeem on June 26, 2020, 10:40:24 AM »
Equinox has fascinated me [...]
eventually, someone else will end up mapping it instead.

Yes!  ;)

Hello there!
French user and first message on the forum for me ! ^^
I was planning to give all the maps for the 8 worlds here at vgmaps.

What I *will not* do:
  • put all the weapons, magics, tokens, keys, potions and apples on maps
  • put all the enemies and boss
  • give a general world map (overworld)

What has been done yet:
  • worlds 1/2/3/4 and 7
  • this is in .bmp format so it will be possible to put some other things on them if someone would like to do it


So, dear TerraEsperZ,

If you would like to work on the project and have a limited time, maybe you would be happy to do the general world map and put ... the items on the maps (it you like to do it one day!).  ;)

Whatever, you will be free to use my work but not until it is finished and published (because it would be harder to use if not finished, for sure ! ^^).

Work in progress, here it is (very low quality because I want to give final version only):

Galadonia


Tori


Desso


Atlena


Ghost Ship



I divided the resolution by half 4 times (/16) for the forum and transform the whole thing from .bmp to .jpg.
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Gaming / Re: An unusual map
« Last post by Buckaroo on June 25, 2020, 08:26:50 AM »
Heh - just something I grabbed to show it - thought it was a bit better than just a picture.

It certainly is one of my oddest maps - I do have a bunch of tablecloth sized vinyl ones which are impressive - not terribly practical unless you are  having burgers on them though.

I just ordered a fantasy map that is on wood - haven't got it yet though.

(And you are welcome!)
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