The second video for the SlashBit Retro Cinema is up!
While I didn’t invest as much time on this one as I did on the Castlevania one, this one has a long story going back to 2015 when I started working on the map hoping to have something like the video ready before the start of Season 6. That didn’t happen but I pushed forward to finish the 128×256 tiles map and then further worked on it by adding google maps support for it.
It stayed that way for over a year but with the spectacular Season 7 underway I decided to revive the project and got working on it after finishing the Castlevania one. Ashton created an extended version of the track and I made the sigils of the houses using an EGA palette. I also did some tweaks on the map graphics specially to make some castles and places look more like the ones on the series..
The first version I created didn’t have the zoom effects. I still think it looks more authentic than the final cut but the feedback I got was that it was hard to appreciate the scale of the world. I am not sure something like this could be achieved back then without a special video card, at least not on a PC with an EGA or VGA card.
I did some research in order to assign the stats for each one of the houses. Most of them are just raw approximates which I thought made sense from the little available data.
I added Google Maps support for my Pixel Westeros Map, what it means right now is instead of loading the whole map at once, it’ll be loaded by fragments as you pan around. A downside now is that you cannot zoom out (I’d have to create a scaled version of the map for that to work properly), but on the other hand it looks much better on mobile.
I might add markers for some of the places sometime soon.
I started working on this one last year, thought I’d have it ready by the start of Season 6 of the show and even thought on doing a small video in cooperation with Ashton Morris using his 8 bit track.
As usual, this couldn’t be done… however I decided to push forward and at least finish the map 🙂
This is a 128×256 map using a combination of tilesets: Denzi’s 16×16 retro terrain, Ultima 4 and Ultima 5. Denzi’s terrain tileset was fun to work with, with much more terrain variations than classic Ultima ones. The map contains the major settlements and castles, as well as the roads and rivers. I used a lot of source material from A Wiki of Ice and Fire to build it.
This detailed map of the isle depicts the combat between the forces of Lord British and Lord Blackthorn in the Northern Fortress, as well as the town of Buccaneer’s Den (also known by the locals as “Castleton”), the ruined shrine, the dungeon, and many other features including Lord’s British mansion on the isle.
Ok, I think I’m done at least for now… I just can’t get something out of my head once I start, this kind of mini projects hijack my mind and derail me from other things I really should be doing, but I’m ready to give this a rest.
You can also check the source code at github (It’s not super beautiful, but it was fun!).
As it stands, it generates a single floor layout of a castle based on the design of the old Ultima games, specially Ultima 5. It goes roughly through 4 phases:
Defining a high level structure of the rooms to be placed.
Splitting the available space into rooms, based on the high level structure.
Assign the rooms a given function.
Fill the rooms with the appropriate furniture and contents, based on its function.
During day 8, I did the following
Fill the remaining space after the initial room expansion, to ensure most of the space in the castle is used to place rooms.
Build throne room, staff quarters, guest rooms, castle lord quarters, dining rooms, kitchens, libraries and halls, furnishing them with all sort of stuff based on the reference material.
Render 14×16 pixels sprites instead of 16×16 (high fidelity)
Enhance connection of the central feature with the rest of rooms
Clean spaces in front of doors to ensure walk-ability.
Add treasure chests with secret doors
Remove some room types belonging to other floors (forge, for instance)
There is certain room for improvement, and there’s of course the question of adding the basement and additional floors (and connecting all together!). But from what I see, that would take a bit of time.
Doing this generator was pretty interesting… I learned a couple of new tricks I hope will be useful for other projects in the future.
Rooms are now linked together, to do this I explore the rooms recursively, starting from these west and east of the courtyard; I scan the map for nearby rooms on each direction, recording the limit segments and then I pick a random place from the segment to place a door. Then I explore the connected rooms repeating the process, as a result the whole map is connected.
Rooms’ minimum size is now bigger, in turn the generator now rejects structures in cascade, in case it’s unable to place or assign the rooms
Entrance is now split on an in-castle portion and an outside castle segment.
After the destruction of Exodus, a huge cataclysm destroyed most of the world and reshaped it forever. Mountains rose, lands sank, and in the end the world changed into what we have come to known as Britannia. Lord British emerged as the major ruler on the land, and seeking to have a way to control his subjects he called forth for a champion of virtue to be found.