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Old April 21st, 2008 (07:35 AM). Edited August 23rd, 2008 by Neti.
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Neti's Mapping Tutorial

Introduction

Some of you might already know me even if im quite new to this community. My Name is Neti, im the Lead Mapper of Rom Reaverz Hacking Team whose Hack "Flame of Rage" just won the HotW.
You might have already seen some screenshots of my maps in the Map-Rating Thread where i often post maps and rate others.
I often see the same mistakes again and again, so i thought: Why not make a tutorial that people can read so everybody avoids this mistakes?
Well it probably wont work out like this (since not everyone will read this and this wont be perfect), but maybe i can help some starting mappers with some good advices.


Table of Contents
  1. Before starting
    1. General Idea
    2. Map Shape
  2. Building Towns
    1. The Difference between Villages and Cities
    2. Placing Houses
    3. Adding Paths
    4. Vegetation
  3. Routes and Special Places
    1. Normal Routes
    2. Sea Routes
    3. Caves
    4. Forests

Before Starting

General Idea

Before you start making a map you should think of what your map will look like or what you want to create. If you create a route you could think about making a mountain or a canyon that has many different levels, a jungle/forest with lots of trees or just a normal grass route.
When you just start right away your maps will end up with an unoriginal idea and every route and town will look nearly like the one before.

Map Shape

This is (like i already mentioned in the introduction) one of the most important parts to make your map interesting, individual and authentic.
And it also seperates FanHacks from the official Gamefreak/Nintendo Games
I will show you what NOT to do now:
Spoiler:


Better start like this:
Spoiler:



Do you see the difference? Ok i think its not very hard xD
As you can see i placed the trees so that there is no straight line from the exit to the border.
That can be done WRONG too:
Spoiler:



As you can see, this map is not Square, but it looks strange anyway.


Building Towns

The Difference between Villages and Cities

Well the main difference probably is the size of the town, not necessary the size of the buildings.
I will show you three images now:
This is what i consider a Village:
Spoiler:



This is a Town for me:
Spoiler:



And this is a City:
Spoiler:



Now i will explain you what are the characteristics of the three types:

Village
Villages are small places with not many people living there. They have just sand or grass paths and not many houses. And the few they have are small.

Town
A Town is bigger than a Village, its possible that it is as big as a city. It can even have a real paved path. So what is the difference between a town and a city?
It is mainly the buildings and the way they are placed:
There is space between the buildings and they are not really big ones. You can also seee that the Town was built at a route that is crossing it. you dont have to wind your way through the town, there is a clear straight path through it.

City
Cities are the biggest places for humans to live, there shouldnt be more than 3 or 4 of them in a hack. They contain special buildings like the Arcade, Train Station, Radio Towers etc.
Also they often have special tilesets with bigger buildings.
The path that goes through a city shouldnt go straight through it, the player should have to go around some corners to leave the town.


Placing Houses

Well back to praxis:
How should you place houses in a Town?
Well since we have three types of towns you cant say one thing is right and another one isnt (you can never do so).
But ill show you how to place them in a Village and Town since Cities have them mostly straight and ordered.

The first thing you have to keep in mind is that you shouldnt have an order in the placement of the buildings. Here is a BAD example:
Spoiler:



Why not place them like this:
Spoiler:



In that image i already made some other changes:

Variation of Buildings
As you can see no building looks like another one. I made that by using different sizes, Doors and Roofs. Some of the Roof Blocks are selfmade btw...
And remember: Not every house must be enterable...

Recombining Tiles
Why should we use the Gym Roof only for the Gym? Or Oaks roof only for Oaks Lab? You can create new interesting looking images by mixing up tiles.
BUT: Dont overdo it or it will look totally stupid!



Adding Paths

As i already mentioned in the Section "The Difference between a Village and a City" a path is something that you need in order to make a good town.
But it shouldnt be completely useless and change its type and size all the time.
Heres the BAD example again:
Spoiler:



Better is this:
Spoiler:





Vegetation

One thing that is really essentail for a good looking town are the plants.
Just place some Trees of different sizes and a few flowers and bushes randomly in a town and see how much prettier it is now!
I think Rocks have the same effect on a town so they should be listed here too.
But there is one big mistake you can do:
You can make your town a forest or a garden full of flowers!
Never Overdo the vegetation in a city! Espacially when it comes to Bushes Flowers and Rocks (which are no vegetation btw).
And tall grass in a city is also a totally crappy idea...
Again ill give you a bad and a good example, the BAD one first:
Spoiler:



And now the good example as a comparison:
Spoiler:





Routes and Special Places

Normal Routes

We will start with the map we made at the very beginning of the Tutorial where it was about the map shape:
Spoiler:



Well as you can see its very empty
We will start with some elements that give the map a shape.
Im thinking about little mountains, tree groups and ledges.
But there are some rules you hould keep in mind:
1. Mountains are not straight! It is way more work to make them look natural, but straight mountains dont look good!
2. Dont place trees like in a grid! You will see what i mean in the examples.
3. Dont overdo it with ledges (I sometimes have problems with that) and keep it logical!
So here is the BAD example again:
Spoiler:



and this is how it should be done correctly:
Spoiler:




The next thing were going to add is probably the most important part of a route: tall grass.
But there are some rules for it too:
1. Dont plant the grass squarish
2. leave some free blocks between all those grass tiles
3. Force the player to go through grass
3. dont overdo it, give the player a chance to rest
In this step i will also include the flowers and rocks with the rules from the towns.
here is the BAD example once again:
Spoiler:



As yyou can see there is way too much grass on the right side, it is squarish and you dont need to go through it to pass the map.
I think i dont have to say anything about the flowers rocks and bushes anymore Its clear that there are too many of them.
So how should it be done Correctly? I think this is a good way of doing it right:
Spoiler:





Sea Routes

One thing that is really boring at mapping are Sea Routes. You just have to place some Rocks to make a border and then place some rocks and small isles randomly on the route.
I think there is nothing that you could do wrong except for making the border totally straight and the islands squarish...
And thats the reason why i wont post images of this now.


Caves

Caves are not really hard to make:
Think of a good shape and draw the mountain tiles. Add some Rocks and youre done.
Again: Dont make your map squarish.
But thsi time you have to watch out for not underdoing it with rocks instead of overdoing it!
Sure you can overdo it but thats kinda hard in a cave.
One thing that probably noone would do wrong (Nintendo did it wrong) is that the Mountains in a cave are not really mountains, they are walls. That means they should be connected to each other and be seperated with no space between them.
Here is the BAD example:
Spoiler:



As a comparison a good cave now:
Spoiler:



As you can see i have added few details like thee water coming out of the rock and the craters. The are always a nice addition to a cave.


Forests

One thing i like about forest is that there is a lot of vegetation in them.
To make a forest look authentic you should mix up all the 3 types of trees (if you took the forest tileset, which i recommend for making forest xD).
You should make the general shape with the big trees, then add some normal route trees and use the small ones to make everything have a good overall shape.
In a Forest theres another special thing in my opinion: There is nearly no place you can walk without tall grass.
Cause im kinda lazy i will give you only the good example this time, it is the Bloomingwoods from Flame of Rage:
Spoiler:



In this Forest there is a huge Sea that dominates the map, but a Sea is not necessary in a Forest.


The End

I hope this tutorial will help beginning Mappers to make good maps!
  #2    
Old April 22nd, 2008 (08:15 AM).
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Wow really good thanks i'm not good in mapping but maybe now
  #3    
Old April 22nd, 2008 (08:35 AM).
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Nice carefully written tutorial!

I especially like the difference between towns, villages and cities,
so that was really helpfull to me!

But isn't a sea a little bit strange in a forest? (bloomingwoods)
It should be a lake, with unanimated water, unless you have a waterfall,
the water can't really be moving.....

This was really helpfull,
thanks!
  #4    
Old April 22nd, 2008 (09:09 AM). Edited April 22nd, 2008 by Neti.
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Quote originally posted by Cronos:
Nice carefully written tutorial!

I especially like the difference between towns, villages and cities,
so that was really helpfull to me!

But isn't a sea a little bit strange in a forest? (bloomingwoods)
It should be a lake, with unanimated water, unless you have a waterfall,
the water can't really be moving.....

This was really helpfull,
thanks!
i already thought about the thing with the lake too, i will ask my teammates what they think about it

edit: is it only me or is it impossible to open the spoiler with firefox?
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Old April 22nd, 2008 (09:48 AM).
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I had to reload the page, but afterwards it worked!
so it wasn't able to load the pictureas the first time.

btw nice tut neti xD

But I don't think I will use it at the moment (since you are our mapper xD)
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Old April 22nd, 2008 (09:58 AM).
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Nice tutorial! Now I know what square is (I doesn't speaks English)
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Old April 22nd, 2008 (02:30 PM).
X-Buster X-Buster is offline
 
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using your maps from Flame of Rage? Nice..! Keep it up, I Hope I WILL learn a Lot from this Tut..!
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Old April 22nd, 2008 (03:12 PM).
One Winged Angel One Winged Angel is offline
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Hey, this is good for noobs like me. Thanks xD
  #9    
Old April 22nd, 2008 (04:26 PM).
Yoshimi Yoshimi is offline
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Finally a great mapper!
I don't really need this because most people say i have good maps (i don't believe them) but this will help a lot of starter hackers.
some people here are blind at map making.
and maybe you should put in two more parts in the mapping tutorial.
check for errors and make sure buildings aren't too flat.
No offense but those buildings in the city map seem too flat to me.
and if you want, i can tell you a couple of other stuff you seemed to miss.
Oh and about the floating bridge tileset...what do you mean by that?
I just changed the background on the bridge.
  #10    
Old April 22nd, 2008 (09:43 PM).
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Quote originally posted by makunouchi:
Finally a great mapper!
I don't really need this because most people say i have good maps (i don't believe them) but this will help a lot of starter hackers.
some people here are blind at map making.
and maybe you should put in two more parts in the mapping tutorial.
check for errors and make sure buildings aren't too flat.
No offense but those buildings in the city map seem too flat to me.
and if you want, i can tell you a couple of other stuff you seemed to miss.
Oh and about the floating bridge tileset...what do you mean by that?
I just changed the background on the bridge.
yeah please send me a pm with the information i missed so i can expand the tutorial

but what do YOU mean with the floating bridge tileset?
i dont really get it

oh and if spoilers dont work use another browser, i dont know whyy but pokecommunity kinda messed them up for firefox
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Old April 22nd, 2008 (09:55 PM).
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Neti, Maybe you should remove your signature in the tutorial..!
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Old April 23rd, 2008 (03:23 AM).
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Hmm.. You're making a mapping turorial, and I can see tile errors in your maps.. Weird XD
*Looks at tree shadows..*
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  #13    
Old April 23rd, 2008 (03:44 AM). Edited April 23rd, 2008 by Neti.
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Quote originally posted by D-Trogh:
Hmm.. You're making a mapping turorial, and I can see tile errors in your maps.. Weird XD
*Looks at tree shadows..*
hmm i dont know which you mean, maybe the ones in the forest, theyre already fixed

and i didnt say my maps are perfect
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Old April 23rd, 2008 (05:40 AM).
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It's a nice tutorial.
Although, I'm not a fan of Gymroof at different buildings than the Gym itself.
But since this is a mapping tutorial for beginners I guess that doesn't matter too much.
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Old April 23rd, 2008 (08:07 AM).
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Very nice tutorial, it's very good and has good explanations. You could've added more stuff about the advanced use of tiles, and some block editor stuff you could've covered. Anyways, you've covered pretty much of all the basics of map-making and maybe "some" people who are bad at mapping, can now get a head start with this tutorial. Cheers!
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Old April 23rd, 2008 (08:46 AM).
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Quote originally posted by C3LEBI-愛:
Very nice tutorial, it's very good and has good explanations. You could've added more stuff about the advanced use of tiles, and some block editor stuff you could've covered. Anyways, you've covered pretty much of all the basics of map-making and maybe "some" people who are bad at mapping, can now get a head start with this tutorial. Cheers!
i was thinking about adding some things to htis tutorial, like Advance Map Fucntions and a Region Map Tutorial. But ill do that another time
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Old April 24th, 2008 (12:35 AM).
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i need help with cyclone
each time i try to run the program this comes up
Component FM20.DLL or one of its dependencies nou correctly registerd: a file is missing or invaild
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
PLZ HELP ME
  #18    
Old April 24th, 2008 (03:43 AM).
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Quote originally posted by khan:
i need help with cyclone
each time i try to run the program this comes up
Component FM20.DLL or one of its dependencies nou correctly registerd: a file is missing or invaild
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN
PLZ HELP ME
cant help you with that i have no idea how cyclone works... i tried working with it once and didnt succeed xD
but that isnt the right thread for such questions anyway, search for a cyclone tutorial
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Old April 24th, 2008 (02:57 PM).
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This tutorial is perfect! I can see that you have skilled for a very long time, and get the idea of how it works. I guess I can say that you are the best mapper I have ever seen, besides Nintendo's workers, of course... Well, glad to see a mapping tutorial, keep up the good mapping?
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  #20    
Old April 24th, 2008 (03:07 PM).
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Quote:
besides Nintendo's workers, of course
what..? you think Nintendo make great maps..? no offend but I hate there maps, Neti maps are 18 miles way better than Nintendo's..!
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Old April 24th, 2008 (03:15 PM).
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Umm, the way you used the trees in 'the differences betweens villages and cities will completely stuff the map up, im talking about the connections. I also noticed you used the tree shading wrong, it is only used when a certain tree is covered by another, the ends of the sides and top where there are no trees should have no shadows. If you understand what im talking about. And also, mixing up the tiles will only look good sometimes, most of the time it will be a failure. Changing the palettes would probably be the best idea when changing the idea of the buildings. Like the houses in pallet town, you could make them green perhaps?

I think your tutorial needs some serious revision.
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dragging himself, forw
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still not diminished. E
ventually though, he e
merges inside a v
ery large room w

here everything about

the house

suddenly

changes.
  #22    
Old April 24th, 2008 (10:22 PM).
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Quote originally posted by CheesePeow:
Umm, the way you used the trees in 'the differences betweens villages and cities will completely stuff the map up, im talking about the connections. I also noticed you used the tree shading wrong, it is only used when a certain tree is covered by another, the ends of the sides and top where there are no trees should have no shadows. If you understand what im talking about. And also, mixing up the tiles will only look good sometimes, most of the time it will be a failure. Changing the palettes would probably be the best idea when changing the idea of the buildings. Like the houses in pallet town, you could make them green perhaps?

I think your tutorial needs some serious revision.
you can just make the border 4x2, it works in Adance Map's Professional Header. Then the border wont be stuffed up.
Te shading.. hmm never thought about that ill check it out, but i know what you mean.
And i agree with you that mixing up tiles often ends up in total crap, but i noted that you houldnt overdo it.
As you can see i created new roofs by changing the palette...
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Old June 20th, 2008 (08:23 AM).
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i can't see your pictures, neti
  #24    
Old June 20th, 2008 (08:26 AM).
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that's not because the pictures aren't there, I can see them.
So it has to be your browser.
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Old June 20th, 2008 (08:28 AM).
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that is correct i can see them too, using Mozilla Firefox 3.0 Beta RC 2
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