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DIY .hgt/.ter map


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Thanks for the prompt reply Tacbat!

In that case, I'll focus my question on how to produce .ter maps using existing .hgt maps. So if I wanted to take an existing .hgt map and add flora, roads, and water ways, what would I need? Of course this is in the context of not using the map editor to "pencil" everything in.

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To me the question still is - aside from totally different types of terrain that Steel Beasts simply doesn't support yet - what the actual need for an ever growing library of usually only partially done maps is.

Map making - and maintaining maps across several SB Pro versions as new landscape elements are being made available - is a lot of work. At the same time the marginal functional gain is rather small. What does such a new map offer over existing maps?

I'm not saying that there should never be any new maps. But I don't think that the existing ones are fully explored and utilized to their full potential. But maybe that's just my impression.

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I would say it depends on what areas the maps depict, for instance there are areas that have a many maps, and then you have areas with no maps that would be extremly intresting to play in.

For the maps not being finished i would say it depends on the individual mapmakers, but i also know that there is a few extremly good maps out there that are finished.

I have made maps for a lot of games and in real life, and converting them to the game specific editor is the last step as i most often work in ArcMap, Qgis or Globalmapper. But if you would want to do a map from scratch, and find some one with pro to convert it for you, here is how i would go along.

1: Gather all possible geographical info about the conflict/battle, openstreetmap, old topographic maps, russian maps, photos (tourist photos give more info that most belive over areas to be mapped).

2: With all the info, now start up you mapping software, ArcMap and Qgis both support a rastermap overlay.

3: Now start by drawing all the features one different layers, roads, water, swamps, forrests, fields etc etc

4: Find some one to convert it for you

5: Make it look nice, since the height map and terrain dont always fit like do in real world a bit of editing is neaded to make it look more correct.

6: use photos to add flavour etc

--------

This plan requires some one to convert the map you made for you, if you find one..

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Ssnake, I totally agree with you, there's plenty of really good maps to play with and I still have a lot of exploring to do after almost 10 yrs with SB. For the gaming part, it's more than enough in the current library.

But some people just find it fun to make maps (and I am one of them). Regardless of game, I start with the map editor if there is one. I use GIS in my profession and would almost trade my kids for a SB version with GIS support.

Actually considered to get into the Pro version but invested elsewhere at that moment. At the end of the day I realise I have just as fun playing an existing map/scenario in SB as creating a new one. Not because the existing content is not adequate, but because we love to make maps/scenarios :clin:

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...and that's totally fine. After all, there was a reason why we added the editors and made them reasonably easy to use (though not always at maximum comfort level). From my perspective however the end result is often a "half done map" (in other words, "not done") because many people underestimate the amount of work, and above all, these maps are often not maintained (like by adding new building types as they find their way into our object library).

The lack of maintenance is a long-term issue. I don't know if we will ever get to the point where I would consider eSim Games' work to be "done". Until that day there is, in principle, a constant need to update the existing maps to make them more detailed, more varied, more pretty.

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As always you make valid points Ssnake and your comments allow me to reflect on my motives. In fact, my original reply was a long winded one but I will refrain and just say that personally it boils down to my motivation to produce a map I can call my own (primarily focusing on artistic but clean design with flat roads and functional overpasses), and include scenarios inspired by my favorite books/articles and wargames. And I hope one day to produce a final product that not only I could enjoy myself, but one that's worthy to be shared with others here.

Falli's take on the Fulda map should be the "end all be all" map for my intents and purposes and maybe I should just use it and edit portions of it the way I see fit (for reasons mentioned above). The upcoming terrain engine also give me pause from continuing my own attempt at editing a Fulda map from scratch (where I've been largely successful in creating functional overpasses more than in any other map I've tried). I've also recently discovered alternative maps that are plausible plots for US and Soviet forces such as the AS EU and desert maps. The Tehran .hgt map might also be a neat place to somewhat recreate Sword Point like scenarios but curiously the southwest border of the map narrowly missed the airport.

Well, thanks for the feedback everyone. Looks like I will just continue to edit existing maps with ProPE (perhaps update and "maintain" some of them). I think it's also time that I start getting familiar with serious scenario planning and creation. As for my recent map request, it's actually inspired by a scenario included in the Fulda Gap '85 wargame and coincidentally designed by Volcano.

One question popped up during this reply: Say I edited a region of Falli's Fulda map and submitted it along with a scenario, to use this scenario will other users need my edited .ter map, or will they just need Falli's original map? I may have asked this elsewhere but don't remember for sure, but I think that's what the 'refresh map' function does?

P.S. Crap, this became long winded after all. My apologies!

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But some people just find it fun to make maps (and I am one of them).

Agreed. Perhaps even pushing the envelope of this tank sim's scope.

Regardless of game, I start with the map editor if there is one. I use GIS in my profession and would almost trade my kids for a SB version with GIS support.

Hahah. I like how you used "almost" as a disclaimer just in case your significant other found this post.

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Say I edited a region of Falli's Fulda map and submitted it along with a scenario, to use this scenario will other users need my edited .ter map, or will they just need Falli's original map?

Neither. If the sole intent is to actually play and to edit the scenario, TER files need not be circulated. The HGT map can be embedded in the scenario; if a user doesn't have the map he can still play the scenario, just no edit it (because SB Pro compresses the embedded height map only from the original source to avoid compression artifacts to build up over subsequent save operations). If the scenario file just links to the HGT map you get no compression of the height map at all and the smallest scenario file size. But then having the HGT file installed is essential for both playing and editing the scenario.

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  • 3 weeks later...
...and that's totally fine. After all, there was a reason why we added the editors and made them reasonably easy to use (though not always at maximum comfort level). From my perspective however the end result is often a "half done map" (in other words, "not done") because many people underestimate the amount of work, and above all, these maps are often not maintained (like by adding new building types as they find their way into our object library).

The lack of maintenance is a long-term issue. I don't know if we will ever get to the point where I would consider eSim Games' work to be "done". Until that day there is, in principle, a constant need to update the existing maps to make them more detailed, more varied, more pretty.

Not that I dont apriciate the editor, but I think people give up halfways because of it. The big work itself isnt primarely placing objects, but finding them, rotating them and having a good managable overview of the objects - as far as I can recall when playing around with it (which is a while ago so I might remember it wrong).

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(which is a while ago so I might remember it wrong).

Yeah, you are remembering wrong. There's a "recently used" object menu that shows the last 9 objects used so you can quickly select them and you can also select as many objects as you want on the map at the same time and rotate them.

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The one single feature that would make the editor MUCH easier to use would be a fully functional undo feature. Right now it can only undo terrain changes, and with only one single step. Accidentally moved an entire road because you didn't click exactly on a vertex? No undo for you!

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