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Author Topic: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2  (Read 3186 times)

CabbageFoot

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This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« on: December 07, 2015, 02:57:42 PM »
On large or huge maps scrolling across the screen takes ages and it causes frame drops as well. So a solution is to have a small collapsible (so it does not always take up a good portion of your screen space when you don't need it) minimap so that you can quickly pop around to different corners of your map in an intuitive way. Basically I want Starcraft 2's minimap. It doesn't have to look nice, heck I would be fine with a blank diamond (some games have done this in the past) with no texture on it, but works like a minimap where you can quickly click on or drag around to see what's going on.

Tamorr

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 07:04:15 PM »
Sounds like a nice idea... Wouldn't mind having that to some extent, however how will it handle underground? How will it handle topography?

In starcraft and similar series, the map is static. This game has depth. So the mini-map would take quite a bit of work just to get it to show what is needed.



However beyond that, I find the saving location buttons more feasible at the moment. Since the 1-0 keys can be saved to a specific position and depth.
ctrl + #

If you didn't know already. I just usually have several key locations marked. A couple numbers I use for my mining; which means those will change as I go deeper. I am a slow digger and progress slowly through the game; not mentioning that I use lower settings to begin with, since I am more for the building aspect with a little bit of a fight happening every so often.

Anyway... regardless of that i actually would mind seeing something like that if possible. :)

CabbageFoot

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 05:13:00 PM »
Well the minimap can simply be a translucent 45 degree tilted square outline with zero regard to topography but rather when you click on it it just moves your camera to that approximate location relative to your current Z-level and camera rotation.

Example: You are currently looking at the top corner of the map then you click on the rough area on the minimap that corresponds to the left corner and the camera snaps to that rough area to what ever accuracy the minimap is designed to be accurate to.

map graphics are optional, but micecraft does it with graphics (with a mod) so it should be possible in a 2 dimensional game.

Impaler

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2015, 06:33:11 PM »
Yep mini-maps are good, but likely represent a significant additional work in the rendering process due to the significant number of very small tiles that need to be layered to create a zoomed out image, just because the space on the screen is small doesn't mean it's a small load.

Tamorr

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 07:11:37 AM »
Well the minimap can simply be a translucent 45 degree tilted square outline with zero regard to topography but rather when you click on it it just moves your camera to that approximate location relative to your current Z-level and camera rotation.

Example: You are currently looking at the top corner of the map then you click on the rough area on the minimap that corresponds to the left corner and the camera snaps to that rough area to what ever accuracy the minimap is designed to be accurate to.

map graphics are optional, but micecraft does it with graphics (with a mod) so it should be possible in a 2 dimensional game.


Then how would you know where on the map you would jump to. Afterall you rotate. And whether being a blank square for clicking or not is a different matter.

Topography would have to be in place to distinguish the surface.

Minecraft, since it is 3D and you can look strait down; has an easier job to get the topography. Which most map mods out there, including the one in-game with map making; they all use what is there on the surface to draw a basic representation.

The hurdle that would need is to get the isometric converted to a simple overlay. Since there is 4 sides or views the main window can take, it is not fully 3D, but more or less 2D/3D combo. The illusion that things are such.

I think the seed and settings could play a part in this, as that would help define the mini-map; since really all it needs is a basic representation. I say basic as that is the way to keep it from adding to the lag that might pop up if was fully rendered. So the trick is to not actual render a map, but create a map from the seed and settings there of into a basic or simple representation that is just a flat image.

Done that was colors could represent different blocks used, so when a change happens, the map could be dynamically updated to the coordinates with the new color for what ever block was place. The key here though is how much to update the map; which also possibly could be a setting that could be added along side it. This way there can be an adjustment within game to how much time is used to process such updates.

Really the only thing the map itself has to pay attention to is the top most blocks or terrain. At least for when it needs to update.

So it is quite possible to do it, however I am pretty sure the coding for it might be a tad tricky in some areas, but should be strait forward at least in concept. I think.

Regardless this would be a lovely thing to have eventually, even if the feature I mentioned before I primarily use.  Of course you would also have to determine; which could also be in settings, if the map will be static or rotate with the view as you rotate. I prefer something static, however you have to determine which way is north, but that could be simply already marked by the coordinates anyhow. :)

Liru

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2015, 12:11:03 PM »
To solve the main issue that you wanted to solve with the minimap, you can set bookmarks with ctrl+number I believe, then go to them with shift-number, this is how I get around my kingdoms even at 15fps. A minimap would be alright and by no means difficult to implement, just quite heavy to actively update especially with multiple gnomes changing the map constantly.

CabbageFoot

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2015, 02:17:46 PM »
Well the minimap can simply be a translucent 45 degree tilted square outline with zero regard to topography but rather when you click on it it just moves your camera to that approximate location relative to your current Z-level and camera rotation.

Example: You are currently looking at the top corner of the map then you click on the rough area on the minimap that corresponds to the left corner and the camera snaps to that rough area to what ever accuracy the minimap is designed to be accurate to.

map graphics are optional, but micecraft does it with graphics (with a mod) so it should be possible in a 2 dimensional game.

Well, I imagine the blank minimap would at least show where you are looking at in relation to the rest of the map, and the rest is just intuition. I'm going to assume that you know more of less how your square plot of land looks like if you have a point of reference. After all this game is all about managing a really deep square plot of land. So lets say you are currently looking at your settlement which is lets say in the centre of the map, but you want to do something on the right side of the settlement. You simply click on the right side of the minimap and it jumps there. Simple. Topography is optional, though it would be nice to have don't get me wrong, I just don't see it as ESSENTIAL for map navigation.

Another example, you are in the cave network and you just selected a wide are starting from the centre the left side to be mined out, but also you want to mine some ore on the right side of that Z level, becuase there is some ore over there.  Well this blank minimap allows you to be on the left side of the map and then click on the right side of the minimap and instantly teleport your camera there without setting up specific keybinded warp to points ahead of time. Becuase honestly who makes camera keybinds to random ore veins ahead of time? SC2 pros do... I'm not a SC2 pro.

CabbageFoot

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2015, 02:21:51 PM »
To solve the main issue that you wanted to solve with the minimap, you can set bookmarks with ctrl+number I believe, then go to them with shift-number, this is how I get around my kingdoms even at 15fps. A minimap would be alright and by no means difficult to implement, just quite heavy to actively update especially with multiple gnomes changing the map constantly.

Setting up camera keybinds is great for re-visiting places that you usually need to look at, but it requires setup, so it is not idea for spur of the moment camera movement. Being able to at will blink the camera to a general location is more intuitive and better in situations where you are not dealing with just your base. Also not everyone is comfortable with remembering that the 1 key goes to X locations and the 2 key goes to Y location and the 3 key goes to Z location. It's not intuitive, and some people can't deal with camera keybinds, and probably don't even use them at all because of how unintuitive they are. I am projecting, but I do think that I speak for many people when I say this.

CabbageFoot

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2015, 02:25:51 PM »
Yep mini-maps are good, but likely represent a significant additional work in the rendering process due to the significant number of very small tiles that need to be layered to create a zoomed out image, just because the space on the screen is small doesn't mean it's a small load.

I am not advocating for a detailed minimap, it can be as simple as only rendering a single slice of the Z level (the one you are on) and generalizing the tiles to make one tile represent 3x3 or 5x5 or 7x7 or 9x9 tiles. I want it to look like a blobby mess, but still somewhat recognizable as the topography of the level you are looking at. Alternatively don't render ANYTHING and just warp to relative locations on the map (on the same Z level) via a blank (or translucent) minimap.

Liru

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2015, 02:28:09 PM »
I haven't played with the modding yet, but if the map data is exposed I could possibly make a mod for a working minimap.

Tamorr

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2015, 08:39:35 AM »
Well the minimap can simply be a translucent 45 degree tilted square outline with zero regard to topography but rather when you click on it it just moves your camera to that approximate location relative to your current Z-level and camera rotation.

Example: You are currently looking at the top corner of the map then you click on the rough area on the minimap that corresponds to the left corner and the camera snaps to that rough area to what ever accuracy the minimap is designed to be accurate to.

map graphics are optional, but micecraft does it with graphics (with a mod) so it should be possible in a 2 dimensional game.

Well, I imagine the blank minimap would at least show where you are looking at in relation to the rest of the map, and the rest is just intuition. I'm going to assume that you know more of less how your square plot of land looks like if you have a point of reference. After all this game is all about managing a really deep square plot of land. So lets say you are currently looking at your settlement which is lets say in the centre of the map, but you want to do something on the right side of the settlement. You simply click on the right side of the minimap and it jumps there. Simple. Topography is optional, though it would be nice to have don't get me wrong, I just don't see it as ESSENTIAL for map navigation.

Another example, you are in the cave network and you just selected a wide are starting from the centre the left side to be mined out, but also you want to mine some ore on the right side of that Z level, becuase there is some ore over there.  Well this blank minimap allows you to be on the left side of the map and then click on the right side of the minimap and instantly teleport your camera there without setting up specific keybinded warp to points ahead of time. Becuase honestly who makes camera keybinds to random ore veins ahead of time? SC2 pros do... I'm not a SC2 pro.

For myself it would be. As I can not always remember where certain things are when I am rotating the map quite a lot. So having a blank canvas to click on would almost mean several clicks before I would get to where I want to be. So it wouldn't be really all that quick.

I was just mainly saying how it could be done in theory, and only the basic idea of what would probably be needed. Of course it may not be neccesary for clicking, but I click enough and that type of mini-map would make me use the other method more, redefining the numbers.

I can visualize my whole map, yes. Direction... Not so much. That is the main reason I would prefer it with a topography, is to help ease the clicking to certain location; so I could use the other method for more important things. That is me though. When I visualize the map I think of it like how the holo lense reveal looked like; basically not cardinal directions in mind, just the visual representation of the areas as a whole rotatable view. Hence my confusion or not getting the directions correct.

I can see it being done, just would be more usefull at least for myself; with a topography, even if basic.  :)

CabbageFoot

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2015, 04:16:34 PM »
clicking on the minimap 4 times (one of each corner) in succession until you find what you need is STILL faster then scrolling across a huge size map ;b Also who knows this trial and error process might improve a person's spacial awareness skills selected for by reducing frustration for not clicking on the right spot in a subconscious way.

Thaarael

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Re: This game needs a minimap similar to SC2
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2016, 10:58:02 AM »
Right now, you can use Ctrl + "-" combination for zooming out map from x1 to x0.5; with Full HD display it means you can see VERY large part of the map on the screen at once, altough it's cost are stronger and occuring more often lags. Since minimap is supposed to use same mechanism (show entire level zoomed out and rescaled to fit), it could be very laggy at this stage of developement, but since Rob is working hard right now on optimisation, after 1.0 comes live, main argument aganist (laaaaaaaaaaag) should be mostly gone, and so minimap would become feature more possibly like to implement.

Right now, I think it could be somehow replaced with mod thats allow custom levels of zoom out, so users on smaller displays could see more on map (I think it's possible, since one guy did [if I remember correctly] modification that allowed custom game speeds, and which seems to be pretty similar).