If you read my Updates and News page
, you'll get the whole history.First off
, the credit for the Avernum 1 maps goes to Silver Harloe. I merely scraped them off the web for my personal use and to preserve them should the server go offline. He had started the 2nd game, but never got past the newbie area. The inspiration for doing the complete maps for Avernum 2 came from his work on Avernum 1.Secondly
, the credit for the Avernum 3 maps goes to Rache Leukefeld. She had completed one version, rather simple in form, and had started a much more elegant version. Again, I made the effort to scrape it for my personal archive. Rache never did complete her second version, so I did it for myself. I am happy to share that with the SW community.
Scraping these two websites took months to do. You have to make sure you follow every link so you don't miss a page. Then you have to do some editing to remove the ads that the web server would stick in. (Remember, I wanted these for local use, with no need to hit the internet.) Then you have to survey your own copy, again checking each and every link, making sure you have captured all the images. Along the way I was learning HTML and Java, just trying to figure out how these pages worked.
As to how long it took to do Avernum 2 and Avernum 4, I would guess it took about a year apiece. This is because I have to put in a lot of overtime hours at work. Avernum 5 and 6 are incomplete. They only took 3 months apiece just to scrape the maps.
How did I get the full detail? In Avernum 2 there is a Mage spell Farsight. I used the Character Editor to build a really juiced up team with insanely high abilities, then explored every nook and cranny. Save the game, cast Farsight, anything interesting, no? restore the game, proceed to the next area. Once I had the entire area mapped, alt-PrintScreen, Paint, save. A bit of work building the HTML pages (I shunned tools like Frontpage. Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy!). Combine the text walkthrough written by Matt P. and voila!.
In Avernum 4-6 there is no magic spell to see unseeable areas, and even so, some areas are far out of range even for that. I got the hint for a cheat while Googling the pages of this forum. Actually it was for Avernum 5, but the principle is the same for all three games. The tricky part was how best to present the maps, as they did not fit the models used for the first three games. Again, I used a walkthrough written by Matt P. to flesh out the pages in Avernum 4. I intend to finish Avernum 5 and 6 in the same fashion.
Yes it took a lot of time and patience, but this is the sort of stuff I live for. I like putting together picture puzzles you get out of the box, but programming is like solving puzzles you can only see with your mind.