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And I want to share it with you, fellow avernites. Maybe you'll get hit by that sweet, sweet nostalgia for the bleak, but very dear underworld as I was? :)

It's not perfect, especially with regards to the walls, but I'll get to polishing later.

Don't see how to attach an image, so here the link: https://yadi.sk/d/ZmzplSTNMx_NvQ Beware, its' rather big, 25MB

Enjoy! :)

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Well, this is very interesting to see. It’s always nice scrolling through detailed maps like these, and it’s impressive to see the whole map of one of the Avernum games laid out in this way. Good work, ymfirst, and thanks for posting this here!

 

Seeing the entire map in this way shows Avernum in a quite different perspective. At least to me, the caves feel a little smaller when shown like this, although that illusion is quickly dispelled when I zoom in. Also, it seems to make the design of the caves a little more clear somehow. This isn’t all that visible on the scale of the game's view but, viewed out like this, you can see that the map was created using a grid layout. The map is split into a 6x7 series of individual squares – and some of these squares are quite obvious at this height. At least to me, this is demonstrated nicely in the region around the Waterfall Warren, and the lakes around Sss-Thss’s Castle, where the designs of the individual squares can be seen fairly easily.

 

Isn’t it interesting how a change in view can make a familiar place look a little different?

 

Otherwise, welcome to the forums, ymfirst! It’s always good to see people making artistic posts like this – and maps like these could be a real aid to quite a few people, I suspect!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh wow, that's outstanding!

 

...Your process sounds amazing as well! Was there some degree of reverse-engineering going on there in order to parse the .dat file? I, to be honest, have not spent much time crawling through those files, but it sounds like something worth looking into.

 

I actually started a project a few years ago where I intended to use AC3D to map out the outdoors of Avernum 2 in 3D. Is the Av2 map (or rather, maps!) coming at some point, and perhaps the Av3 map(s) as well? These are really slick, man.

 

If I ever get AC3D to run on Linux (my current OS), it would probably be worth my time to write a program to render the Avernum maps in 3D. Needless to say, I do feel a bit inspired now... Basically my process would be to use X-Plane Object 700 model format (a simple 3D format you can write with a text editor) to turn the information from the .dat file into 3D geometry. All of the special tiles (mushrooms, towers, etc.) would have to be bespoke models, of course. Really neat, of course, but now I'm rambling. :D

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On 8/18/2020 at 2:07 AM, Thaeris said:

snipped

Thank you, Thaeris, although I think the praise is a bit exaggerated :)

I would love to have a walk/fly through Avernum in 3D one day, that sounds truly awesome! Once I'm done with the polishing, I'll create a plain-text file with map info, so that you wouldn't have to do the .dat reversing. It's boring, time consuming, and frankly not very pleasant. I hope that would speed up the 3D map creation :)

I should warn you however, that there are over 600 different tiles in the game, and creating nice looking 3D models will take a lot of effort.

 

As for A2 and A3 outdoor maps -- I don't want to promise anything, sorry.

I want to render all the towns/dungeons in A1 first.

 

Thank you everyone for your kind words! 

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ymfirst,

 

The small section I was tinkering around with (starting with Motrax's tunnels in A2) was not that exciting when I first began. "Flying through" the model would have been really lame, to be honest. I think I fizzled out because I started worrying about those small, bespoke models (like the stalagmites) rather than just mapping out the area. Of course, the area is pretty lame without the small details.

 

...For the outdoors, there are probably not as many small models to worry about as you might think. Walls and towers may occupy a few spaces on the tilesets, but they are just renders (or maybe just illustrations) of the same object rotated 90 degrees. In the end, it's just one model! Many of the floor tiles are just a texture. I suppose it would be possible to model the differences for an individual floor tile, but that would probably not be good practice... unless you are doing that to produce a normal or bump map, which would admittedly be pretty cool. Making really nice, high-poly models for anything and everything would certainly be a chore, but I never had that in mind. Good quality low-poly models would do the trick just fine, I think.

 

Back to your work, which of course is the main topic here, I find it interesting that the special encounter areas seem to be visible via special floor tiles on the outdoor map. I'm not sure they're all visible, but something's definitely happening there. I never made it all the way through A1, so I'm at a loss to comment further. Might be a great area to cross-reference with HareHunter's work, or might even be a great collaboration opportunity with the fellow himself!

 

Also... just a comment on the artwork in general: I love the first run of Avernum for the art, as it's quite distinct among the "generic high fantasy" theming the games present in general, though it is also fun to draw inspiration from all of the art (Exile to the current remakes) to try and draw a more complete picture of the world. However, I also happened to be watching a spot on SimCity 2000 a few days ago, and I must say... the complete map of A1 looks A LOT like a SimCity map! Certainly, they are both isometric, but the terrain elevation changes are surprisingly similar, though perhaps a little less complex than the Maxis game, to be honest. What I really started to wonder about is if SC2000 was a partial inspiration for Jeff when it came to the isometric landscape, or if the possibility exists that the Urban Renewal Kit, of all things, might have been used to draw some of the objects / tiles!

 

...Alternately, it might be fun to try and turn the Avernum tiles into city tiles for SC2000, if one cares to try and get the game running! Kind of makes me sad that the copy of the game we had was given away once all of our old Macs died.

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