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Topic Subject: The Map Design Series II
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posted 04-30-08 06:34 AM ET (US)   
Intro:
For those of you who weren't around in the days of The Map Design Series basically it was a thread started by Richard Ames where we designers talked about different design tricks and eye candies. As the old one was very old and Rich has since moved on from AoEH I've decided to open The Map Design Series II. But enough of this talking on to the topic.

Current Topic: Paths/Roads

(Insert Picture Here)

Previous Topics:
- Forests and Tree Mixing
- Beta and Special Units
- Terrain Rendering
- Dry River Beds

Links:
Richard Ames's Special Units Article
The Map Design Series

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs

[This message has been edited by The Dark Archer (edited 09-07-2008 @ 06:21 AM).]

Replies:
posted 04-30-08 06:41 AM ET (US)     1 / 252  
Alright the current topic is Forests and Tree Mixing. I chose this because it is something I have done a lot of. The main post still needs a picture for it so feel free to discuss this eye-candy and please feel free to post pictures in fact I encourage it as we can give pointers on what else could be done and look at the style it is for and so on. Have fun with this guys.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs
posted 04-30-08 11:08 AM ET (US)     2 / 252  
Alas, poor Richard! I knew him, Darky. Well anyway, I start off by just putting down a normal forest, then adding streaks and patches of pine. The setting for my current work isn't tropical, so I only use palm trees very rarely. When I finish gameplay, my goal is to go back and add lots of eye candy to all my scenarios, maybe spending a day or two on each.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 04-30-08 11:48 AM ET (US)     3 / 252  
From the same habit in AoK designing experience, I tend to add some stone mines and berry bushes within the woods.

Member of Tsunami Studios
Scenario T.C.: “Yes, the traitors can’t be terminated.”
Richard Ames: “Scenario_t_c should take care of them in a succinct but humorous fashion.”
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posted 04-30-08 11:55 AM ET (US)     4 / 252  
I do that in forest paths too.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 04-30-08 12:07 PM ET (US)     5 / 252  
Yep, adding the placeable trees through the EE might also be a good idea, random fosest shot:

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris

[This message has been edited by Fruktfisk (edited 04-30-2008 @ 12:07 PM).]

posted 04-30-08 12:14 PM ET (US)     6 / 252  
Wow, nice, I just don't like giving my forests such a golden look. I prefer more green trees.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 04-30-08 04:13 PM ET (US)     7 / 252  
Ahhh forests, my favourite topic (cities are second), maybe i could do something for this weekend, or at least i hope so.
posted 05-01-08 04:46 AM ET (US)     8 / 252  
From the same habit in AoK designing experience, I tend to add some stone mines and berry bushes within the woods.
I do the same thing. I started mainly because of Andrea suggesting in in his forests article. It adds a bit of color around the place and also gives more resources if the player can use them which so far in my scenarios they can't.

Another trick I use is making the trees almost all gaia except for a few good ones from the forest set. It certainly took an age doing that for Death of the Morads but I was pleased with the end result.

Anyway I've started work on an example clearing so I'll show some of the forest that I have got sorted out so far.


The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs

[This message has been edited by The Dark Archer (edited 05-01-2008 @ 04:50 AM).]

posted 05-01-08 11:24 AM ET (US)     9 / 252  
Wow, that's really nice. It looks a bit crowded, though. I like spacing my trees a bit more.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 05-01-08 03:54 PM ET (US)     10 / 252  
How crowded it is depends on how much space I set to do at a time. Larger spaces spreads the trees out more. Anyway I'll try to complete that clearing then I'll post it in the main post.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs
posted 05-01-08 05:30 PM ET (US)     11 / 252  
I like crowded forests, i was raised in the tropics and i enjoy that.
posted 05-01-08 06:23 PM ET (US)     12 / 252  
My forests mostly look like TDA's (at least in my project), although I like to spread them out more. Mebbe I'll post screenshots once I figure out how.

Also, this could do a lot of good if stickied.

◓◓◓◓◓

[This message has been edited by Jimmy2 (edited 05-01-2008 @ 06:24 PM).]

posted 05-01-08 08:07 PM ET (US)     13 / 252  
Yes, sticky this please. Right now my forests are just normal and pine, but when I get gameplay down I'll go and replace trees with oaks and beeches and ashes(It's not a tropical setting).

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 05-02-08 00:03 AM ET (US)     14 / 252  
when i want to make a nice green forest, i lay down normal forest first then lay down pine forest where the normal forest put down orange or leafless trees then add some gaia trees in to make it look all pweddi :P

that way the forest looks nice and natural...oh and i also like to put berry bushes etc into my forest. its GANGSTUH

Whadup?
posted 05-02-08 00:25 AM ET (US)     15 / 252  
If it works like it should it shouldn't need a sticky. Also if it is sticky it won't sink at all which is a good sign that we need change of topic.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs
posted 05-02-08 00:58 AM ET (US)     16 / 252  
Ok, I propose that after we're done with forests that the next topic be our findings on special units. I have found some interesting things.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 05-02-08 07:48 AM ET (US)     17 / 252  
Your proposal has been noted RCM7525 but for now we'll stick to the current topic then we'll decide what we do next. But it definitely will be an option.

Now what do people think of the image in the main post. Not in the design but more of the way it sits on the page. It doesn't look as good as a thumbnail but it is almost too big to display full sized.

Anyway back to the topic. Some really good things to have in forests are:

Birds. A lot of birds nest in trees and live in forests so it is a great place to put some.
Color. Even during the autumn and winter months some trees still keep green leaves so it is always good to have at least a little bit of color in there.
Clearings. Every forest opens out at some point so make sure you add some clearings and maybe some ponds. They really add a nice touch.
Dead trees. Although forests have a lot of live trees there are still those weak or old ones that have died so adding dead trees really gives that sense of realism.

So after that little list I've got a couple more pictures of the forest around the clearing.





I think they show a nice contrast in thicknesses.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs
posted 05-02-08 10:37 AM ET (US)     18 / 252  
Wow. All I can say is wow. I anticipate a 5.0 review fro TGGA. But yes, even if it's not as much, I still like to have some amount of color. Now TDA, do you use the "Place forest, delete and replace trees" method for forests, or the "Just put a bunch of mixed trees down" method? I use the former(mostly because it's easier and I hate it how gaia trees don't show up on the minimap), but for the last scenario in my project I'm thinking about doing it with the latter method. What are your thoughts?(Another thought of mine was to gradually change the trees from scenario to scenario, getting more and more colorful, so it looks like there are seasions)

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 05-02-08 04:46 PM ET (US)     19 / 252  
Just a quick tip-if you want a dense, dark jungle with palm trees but don't want the lighter-colored trunks showing, place them almost directly behind normal trees. This way, you see the jungle-like foliage without the strange-looking trunks showing.

◓◓◓◓◓
posted 05-02-08 05:05 PM ET (US)     20 / 252  
Nice forests TDA, i really like'em...i hope i can post something by tomorrow. BTW how do you stick your pics? You add them to some site like myspace and then copy/paste the image URL?.
posted 05-02-08 05:52 PM ET (US)     21 / 252  
Good advice, jimmy. I might use it.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
posted 05-02-08 06:53 PM ET (US)     22 / 252  
I use ImageShack to host the images. They then give me the tags I need to post them.

Also like I said in an earlier post I use almost completely gaia trees bar a few of the nice forest ones but I do painstakingly place everyone of them from the units tab. It takes a while but I like the results.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs
posted 05-02-08 07:08 PM ET (US)     23 / 252  
Yeah, the results are great, but I hate it how they don't show up on the minimap Edit: Whoa! I just realized that all the trees in those shots are gaia! How long did that take?!

BTW, I think I liked your old sig better...

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel

[This message has been edited by RCM7525 (edited 05-02-2008 @ 07:08 PM).]

posted 05-02-08 07:36 PM ET (US)     24 / 252  
May I suggest you look at Death of the Morads then.

Edit: Scaled down the main post image a bit. You can check out the full sized image by clicking on the smaller one.

The Dark Archer

"Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value." - Albert Einstein
"I once met a girl who looked like a camel" - Rasteve
Death of the Morads | AoEH Design Series II | Out From the Cliffs

[This message has been edited by The Dark Archer (edited 05-02-2008 @ 07:41 PM).]

posted 05-02-08 08:39 PM ET (US)     25 / 252  
Yeah, I have, I would have given it a 5. I'll have screenshots later, for scenario 4 of NC I have a section of forest that's all gaia, and I'd like your opinion.

Nacht Jaeger - Ex AoEH Angel
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