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King David's Gallery and Map Techniques
These article with 7 pics was submitted on 03-09-2003.
In order to fully enjoy the seductive world of Age of Wonders 2, the maps one plays must visually transmit the sensation of "belonging" to it. With the possibilities afforded by the map editor, there is no excuse for map makers churning out maps with swaths of endless green, or lakes and oceans that cover half the map in nothing but water. This does not make for fun exploration nor an enjoyable gaming experience!
I have found that the map editor acts almost as an artist's canvas to the concerned map maker. By playing around with combinations of terrain, visually enticing maps are not at all difficult to create, however, they do require a good amount of time. I have no painting or drawing skills whatsoever, yet I have found it exceedingly easy to transform my ideas into "reality" with this editor.
The examples I have included here are not meant to demonstrate a step-by-step process, but rather to contribute to the collection of ideas that others have already begun. I hope they are of use, especially for beginner map makers. In the end, each should try to find his/her own creative signature, and use whatever influences or ideas of other map makers in original ways.
The tools I find myself using most often are the Dark Grass terrain, broken terrain tiles, and simple rock tools. I also use Pine Trees and Water tiles a lot, as I draw ideas from the terrain I personally prefer, which is that of northern Canada and southern Patagonia.
Pics and Descriptions
In order to make an avalanche look "realistic", combinations of Dark Grass terrain were used to offset the snow terrain and give the effect of mud. The overall effect is increased by placing a body of water at the bottom of the hill, and using ice tiles to augment the impression of "coldness", as well as to give a place for some of the fallen snow to collect. (From a work in progress.)
2: Dwarven Dump
Notice the ledge at 4 o'clock from the Dwarven city. This seemingly sheer drop-off is made using the warped terrain raising effect initially documented by Talon-Thorn. Here, it is used to a lesser degree, and in combination with Damon Rellik's documented use of "broken terrain," as well as the use of simple "rock tiles" which, in combination with these other things can be made to do just about anything. Also, some bones are added at the bottom of the drop-off, and the sign reads "Dwarvington Town Dump: Toss Orc Bones Over Ledge" All this is added with the sole intent of making game play more enjoyable. (From a work in progress.)
I like to use jetties to break up the monotony of large bodies of water. They also make great places to put campsites and watch towers. Made with the Dark Grass, Broken Grass, and simple rock tiles, plus trees and ferns graphics. (From a work in progress.)
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