THE SCREENSHOT TOPIC RETURNS

Posts

Craze
i bet she's a diva with a potion popping problem
13865
I suggest making a Tile E (or overwriting some of the not-snowy tiles in Outside B) that includes the overlaps of tree types. Actually, there might be some in the Dragons' Descendants game on my profile; I used them in a scrapped map for the game. They should allow you to easily overlap the various kinds of trees in pretty ways! It makes for a much less sterile map. (I'd just upload the file but I'm at work.)

The church looks a little awkwardly skinny vertically. Looks okay otherwise, though!

A final piece of advice would be to map more adventurously. Try making things cover each other! Make clumps of trees stick out more on the edges! Put breaks between the trees! I'll screenshot a similar snowy mountain I've made when I get home, but for now, this is what I mean by more breaks and such: http://rpgmaker.net/games/2035/images/10544/
And DON'T use just one kind of tree! Experiment! Make a skinny tree overlay with a fat tree using events! And please, PLEASE remove the auto-shadow on the stairs!
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7796
Oh yeah, events. I totally forgot those existed for mapping purposes. That'll make things easier.

I tried out eventing and breaking the trees into clusters on the bottom part of the map. I'll do something similar to the rest of the area if I'm on the right track:



Better? Or at least as step in the right direction? I took off the visibility limiter to make it easier for you to see.

Not shown: I made the church one tile wider. The road and trees were expanded as well to match.

Also not shown: Removed the autoshadows on the stairs. Good catch on that, btw Christamoose. While it's typically the last thing I mess with when mapping, I probably would have glanced right over it otherwise. I'm thinking, because it's nighttime, I might just kill off all autoshadows anyway.
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
Red_Nova I really like the way that map looks in game. I'm not sure that actually means anything though: I am heavily biased toward snowy stuff. I just think snow is really pretty. <3
Amaze.
My god I should try out spriting and make a frozen pond I SHALL DO THIS
I feel like it needs more STUFF. It doesn't look bad or anything, but it just seems sparse to me. When I make a map, I like to have as much crap on the screen as possible (without going overboard). Makes everything look nice and lively. I also cheated, and doubled the size of all my sprites so they take up more room on the screen...

Some examples from my game... I wouldn't expect yours to be quite as dense, as it looks like a little village in the middle of nowhere, but you get the idea.





And here's the whole map...
Not the best screenshot, but it's just meant to be a example
of my little frozen set.
author=Christamoose
Amaze.
My god I should try out spriting and make a frozen pond I SHALL DO THIS

*AHEM*



What are the things on the waterfalls?
I tried submitting a game yesterday and I was denied on grounds I had poor maps. Here are the maps I used.


I worked on mapping a bit since that notice and I was able to come up with



What can I do to get my maps up to standards?
Just add more detail to your maps in general; the last one looks okay-ish, though the others, such as the third one, look really barren. It seems you're going for a town or some type of house in the fourth one as well, so it'd be a good idea to make it look reasonably alive instead of deserted.
@warpshadow
The last two are looking nicer, but the others are pretty lacking in either interest or detail. Take the mine one, for example. It's literally just the same thing over and over again. It's boring to look at so maybe try varying it up a bit. Add a stalagmite or two. Throw in some wall cracks, a hole or two in the floor, some boxes and barrels to show that people were here at one point. Tell a story with your image.

Is this a mine that's still being used/newly evacuated? How about adding piles of dirt that have been dug out? Or NPCs? Or something to show that humans were here not long ago?

Is it long abandoned? Maybe some animal bones, spider webs, cave-ins and holes. Walls fallen to disrepair, old broken barrels and crates... there's a ton of stuff in the default materials and even more out there that people have edited before.

How about the town? Is it abandoned? Then add long grass growing up and around - hell, even if it isn't abandoned, long grass adds variation to ground tiles and makes them look not as blank. Break up the boring with roads, trees, plants, people, crates, barrels, jars, farm plots, vegetation, animals... there's a literal fuck-ton of tiles that are out there to use for decoration. Use them~

Tell a story about the town, the people in it. Is there a romance subplot going on where a guy is wooing a girl and sends her flowers every day? Surround her house in flowers! Is there a bum who scrounges trash and keeps it near his tent? Junk piles! Is there a forgetful scholar who always leaves his notes lying around? Papers on the ground every here and there! (bonus points if you can collect them all for him and get sommat.)


I just put up some new resources so I'm showing off some sample maps (that I made for someone) that use them.





(Any tiles that aren't found in that link are linked to within it.)
author=AlphaOmega247

Nice screens! The map is looking pretty good too if not a bit empty at parts, specially the paved areas. I dunno, spice things up a little by adding a bit more detail (Puddles, tiny patches of grass, etc) or just by subtle shades of color on the ground. Look at how rich the grass texture is! All your ground tiles should have a similar 'liveliness' to them.

Also you're mixing tiles from very different games/places. Some of those tiles from SD3's Rabite Forest and CT's Millennium Fair are too bright and colorful for those houses from City castle of Jad. The houses look so gloomy in comparison! I suggest you to play around a bit with their colors until they make for a better match with the surroundings.
A couple screenshots from my horror game; Stricken.





(EDIT: I just noticed that the machine in the second picture has another tile layered on top. #>.<)
CashmereCat
Self-proclaimed Puzzle Snob
11443
@Liberty I like the marble tiles on the first screenshot. The second's floors look kind of grungy, like they haven't been cleaned in a while. But that's probably a good thing. One thing I would note is that the beds look super light compared to the floors, and also the clocks, so they kind of look out of place in the dark map. But I guess that's not your fault since they're the RTP :)

@Anorak Looking suitably creepy! Are the grey marks underneath the rubble in the rooms supposed to be eroded tiled floors? They look a little bit like oil. I'm not sure I fully understand the perspective of the big machine that hangs from the ceiling in the 2nd screenshot. What is it? Otherwise, nice lighting.



Springs... you bring me joy.
Those springs don't seem to work like I would expect them to. :| I would think after the kid hits the first one, he'd zoom into the lower-left corner and then stop because he just slid in front of it. I guess they're motion activated or something. That explains everything. XD

author=alterego
Nice screens! The map is looking pretty good too if not a bit empty at parts, specially the paved areas. I dunno, spice things up a little by adding a bit more detail (Puddles, tiny patches of grass, etc) or just by subtle shades of color on the ground. Look at how rich the grass texture is! All your ground tiles should have a similar 'liveliness' to them.

Also you're mixing tiles from very different games/places. Some of those tiles from SD3's Rabite Forest and CT's Millennium Fair are too bright and colorful for those houses from City castle of Jad. The houses look so gloomy in comparison! I suggest you to play around a bit with their colors until they make for a better match with the surroundings.
I did try to have some cracks and stuff in the paved areas, but I'm awful at making sprites and everything I did looked terrible. As it stands, there's ONE paved tile in the entire city that's different from the others (and conveniently, it's right behind that woman's head in the screen you quoted. I guess I'll spread that around a little bit more (since it looks okay) and now that I've been challenged, I'll have to come up with some other things to increase liveliness! :P

I changed the roof colors because I thought they felt a bit off, but I never even considered changing the buildings. Of course, now that you mention it, it's blatantly obvious!

I really need to align those icons so it isn't sitting on top of the portrait. ><



Testing out more resources and battlers for AW.
I'm releasing my first game! Now I just wait for it to be accepted so I can add the download. Here's a bunch of screenshots:



A title screen / menu.



Level debriefing.



The warehouse level is pretty 3d.



The potted plant is about to get wrecked!
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
@Waspshadow & Liberty above:

Well, I would never say those maps were good, exceptional, or impressive. But to be honest, I absolutely don't think they are ANYWHERE NEAR bad enough for a game to be denied. I think our minimum standards of mapping have become a little rarified guys if we're denying games on the grounds of looking like this.



That...kinda just looks like an RPG maker game to me. Obviously there's lots that can be done to make it BETTER but no way in heck is it not even good enough to be on the site. Liberty's advice for sprucing up your maps is great advice and you should take it gratefully but it shouldn't be a bar to entry for hosting on RMN.

Of course, I don't know what other issues the gamepage may have had, and am taking Waspshadow at his word when he says it was denied on the grounds of poor mapping. I am positive that there are maps I could screenshot in say Chase for Divinity (or for that matter cough Iron Gaia) that don't look much different and that demonstrate the exact same level of mapping skill. PLUS that map seems to demonstrate on-touch encounters which obviously take a degree of effort to implement. I am not singing this screenshot's praises as the be-all and end-all of screenshots, but it ABSOLUTELY meets the sniff test for "good enough to be allowed on RMN".

So yes I am just formally registering my frustration/disapproval that this game was denied. (Inb4 someone else points it out, I did say the same thing like three different ways in this post. Sorry.)
That was one map of three - the two bottom ones are new maps that he improved/made after the deny. The ones shown were just below standards and it was stated in the note he received that that was the case. It's based on all three maps shown, not just one, and that was the best one of them.

As always he was linked to a tutorial and this thread. It doesn't take much to make a few edits and resubmit the game. A denial is not a hard NO GET OUT. It's a "This needs a little more polish, but come right on back once that's done and it'll be fine."


I am formally registering my disapproval that you would assume to judge without knowing all of the facts of the matter.

(As for your jab at the other two games, Iron Gaia was added to the site before we had standards and I'm sure the first three images that Chase of Divinity showed while in the queue were of sufficient quality to get through.)
Max McGee
with sorrow down past the fence
9219
I'm not judging you, Liberty, I just don't think you made the right call there. I understand that having a game denied isn't a 'GET OUT AND NEVER COME BACK' but it certainly can be discouraging and IMHO should be reserved for situations where there is an obvious lack of effort, not just a lack of skill. No one expects you as site staff to be perfect or to make every call correctly, and criticism is not an attack.

Honestly, mapping ("qua mapping" so to speak) isn't even that important or useful of a predictor of the effort put into a game anyway. People put way too much value upon it IMO. I understand that when looking at screenshots there's not much else to judge by but still it's important to separate our standards for "praiseworthy" from our standards for "acceptable for hosting on RMN".

The fact remains that I could find dozens and dozens of screenshots from dozens of games that were accepted at all different points throughout the site's history that showcase mapping either of the same quality or demonstrably worse than waspshadow's March Lord. I'm not going to embark on this project because it doesn't seem like a positive or productive use of my time but just to reach for some particularly low hanging fruit:

I mean just the other day someone (presumably you) accepted Fantasy Gold. Two of its first three screenshots were this and this:





Do these really show a demonstrably more acceptable level of mapping than any of the original three screenshots from March Lord above? I admit to some degree it's a matter of taste but I think most people would agree that they are definitely operating at roughly the same level here.

There is no shame in admitting that occasionally the game acceptance process doesn't apply perfectly consistent standards to each and every game and/or sometimes you make the wrong call.