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King Zenith

Dragon Quest V DS Tileset Map Project

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With the Dragon Quest IV maps out of the way, I have started work on the DQV DS tileset maps now. Here is the plan of attack:

 

1) Faerie Realm Map (Spring Version)

2) Nadiria Map

3) Faerie Realm Map (Winter Version)

4) Overworld map

 

Since the first maps in the queue are relatively small, I have already finished the first one. Here it is:

 

DQ5DS_Faerie_Realm_Spring_Tileset_Map_Final.png

 

 

Next up, Nadiria!

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Keep 'em coming!

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Awesome, good work. I have it in the list. Do you want me to post as you do each one, or wait until the set is complete?

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Awesome, good work. I have it in the list. Do you want me to post as you do each one, or wait until the set is complete?

 

Thanks! That's your call. I don't mind you posting each one as they are completed, but if you would prefer to wait, that's fine too. The overworld map will take the longest (probably about 30 - 45 days based on the DQ4 experiences) so I certainly wouldn't recommend waiting for that one.

 

Thanks again for posting these.

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Shoot, that is the easy part, you have all the work to do :)

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And here is Nadiria:

 

DQ5DS_Nadiria_Tileset_Map_Final.png

 

I think I am going to do the Winter version of the Faerie Realm next. That one is going to take a little longer since I have to manually remove the dynamic layer that makes it looks like it's snowing.

Edited by King Zenith

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Awesome, thanks

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Ha! Found out I can just palette swap the Spring Faerie Realm map to turn it into the Winter map (need to change a couple of the town / dungeon images as well, but that's quick and easy to do). Fortunately for me, the bit depth on the colors is low enough that it's considerably less work to do the palette swap than it would be to re-rip the whole map.

 

As an interesting aside, I can also use this technique to palette swap the overworld maps for DQ4 and DQ5 to have all full variations of the day-night sequences. Maybe I will make animated gifs of the overworld maps turning from day to night. Bwah ha ha ha! Oh the possibilities....

 

Anyway, the Winter version of the Faerie Realm map should be done tomorrow I would expect.

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Awesome, good work, How are you pallet swapping them?

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Awesome, good work, How are you pallet swapping them?

 

I add a chunk of the winter map as a new layer over top of the whole spring version map, making sure the pixels line up 100% perfectly between the two. Then I take the colors from the winter map layer, select all pixels from the spring map layer that have the same color as the corresponding spring pixel, and apply the winter color to every selected pixel in the spring layer. Repeat for all colors represented in the "chunk".

 

It works most efficiently if you can get a "chunk" of winter map that as many colors represented as possible. For example, you try to take a "chunk" that has grass, forest, hills, mountains, desert and shoreline. I wasn't able to get all colors in one chunk, so I had to use three chunks to "train" the palette swapper.

 

It sounds way more complicated than it is though. It takes only a few minutes to select and align the chunks, and then you can just let GIMP work it's magic. It took me about 15 minutes to get where I am currently am.

 

Here is what I have so far. Note that the palette swap is not yet complete, I still need to apply the mountain and shoreline palette swap chunk, strip out the water and add in the homogenous water pattern, and then splice in the map object sprites from the correct time period. It's a little bit odd looking at the Winter version of the Faerie Realm with the Blooming tree, TnT track and warp portal:

 

Faerie_Realm_Winter_Tileset_Map_INCOMPLETE_SWAP.png

 

 

This palette swap approach was preferable because the dynamic snow layer cannot seem to be turned off in the emulator and it gets in the way in every screen shot:

 

Sample_of_Dynamic_Snow.png

 

The cleanup job to remove the snow bits would be a bit of a nightmare.

 

 

... aaaaannnd that's way more information than anyone wanted to know!

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Faerie Realm Winter Tileset Map is now complete:

 

DQ5DS_Faerie_Realm_Winter_Tileset_Map_Final.png

 

 

Next up will be the overworld map. I'll post progress updates as I go on that one.

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I add a chunk of the winter map as a new layer over top of the whole spring version map, making sure the pixels line up 100% perfectly between the two. Then I take the colors from the winter map layer, select all pixels from the spring map layer that have the same color as the corresponding spring pixel, and apply the winter color to every selected pixel in the spring layer. Repeat for all colors represented in the "chunk".

 

It works most efficiently if you can get a "chunk" of winter map that as many colors represented as possible. For example, you try to take a "chunk" that has grass, forest, hills, mountains, desert and shoreline. I wasn't able to get all colors in one chunk, so I had to use three chunks to "train" the palette swapper.

 

It sounds way more complicated than it is though. It takes only a few minutes to select and align the chunks, and then you can just let GIMP work it's magic. It took me about 15 minutes to get where I am currently am.

 

Here is what I have so far. Note that the palette swap is not yet complete, I still need to apply the mountain and shoreline palette swap chunk, strip out the water and add in the homogenous water pattern, and then splice in the map object sprites from the correct time period. It's a little bit odd looking at the Winter version of the Faerie Realm with the Blooming tree, TnT track and warp portal:

 

This palette swap approach was preferable because the dynamic snow layer cannot seem to be turned off in the emulator and it gets in the way in every screen shot:

 

The cleanup job to remove the snow bits would be a bit of a nightmare.

 

... aaaaannnd that's way more information than anyone wanted to know!

So would you recomend someone who's having trouble finding paletts for especific characters on a vram viewer, to use GIMP to make a palett swap on a screwed palett and using a screenshot as referecence, of course, assuming that person even exist?

 

Like Neris and her brother for exemple, I spent hours looking for their paletts and couldn't find them. It got me really frustrated because I thought getting all the sprites would be pretty simple, but it seems their palett must be mixed in all that mess (I could only find the paletts for 16 characters at a time in every savestate, four of them being the main party, but some of them never appear).

 

So I thought of taking using the screenshot the vram viewer gives you as a reference to do a palett swap on mspaint. I'm not familiar with GIMP, is it simple to "teach" it and it just swaps everything for you if you give it the correct colors? I'm presuming that I'm going to need to do this saveral times, so having a tool to do it instead of doing everything manually. I know the very very basics of photoshop, so using the gimp shouldn't be hard, I just need to know where exactly to start.

 

Btw, the map turned out great, if it was me I would have tried the "hard" way, and probably have given up. I used to play a lot with sprites and comics when I was younger, but I did everything on mspaint, when it comes to using proper tools I'm a huge newbie.

Edited by Billy MK

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Thanks! I am happy with how it turned out and how it didn't take nearly as long as I thought.

 

As for using GIMP to manually assign the palettes you need, it certainly could be the right tool for you. I think GIMP is incredibly powerful and it's also pretty straightforward to use (especially if you aren't used to the way things work in Photoshop).

 

In any case, I don't think what you are looking for can be done automatically, but it can be done a lot more easily than it could in Paint. In order to "automatically" apply the results, you would need a sample sprite with the exact same size and shape as the sprite you are trying to apply a palette to. Of course, if you had that, you would already have your end result. In my case, I was able to apply the palette from a small chunk of the image to the whole image, thus saving a lot of time. On sprite, you can't really start with a part of the sprite and apply it to the whole thing.

 

That being said, you could manually adjust the palette for one sprite, and then apply it automatically to all the other variants of the same sprite.

 

So, getting down to business then, I think the approach I would recommend is this:

 

1) Rip your sprites with any old palette you can find. It should ideally be a palette that doesn't share any colors with the real palette you are aiming for. Therefore, the weirder it looks, the better!

 

2) Assemble your sprites in a sheet as you have done already

 

3) Using an emulator with native resolution, no aliasing, and no sub-pixel interpolation, capture an image containing the sprite you are working on

--> You want to be sure the colors are crisp here. No bleeding of colors between neighboring pixels

 

4) Open your sprite sheet in GIMP

 

5) Open your sample image in GIMP as a new layer on the image you are working on (just tuck it away somewhere so that it doesn't get in the way of what you are doing

 

6) with the sample image as your active layer, use the color picker tool and select the color you are going to apply to sprite sheet

 

7) change the active layer to the sprite sheet now, and use the "Select by Color" tool to select all pixels that have the exact same color

--> Set the threshold for this tool to 0, since you don't want it selecting "similar" colors. Exact matches only!

 

8) Use the bucket fill tool to fill in all selected pixels with the color currently selected on the pallete (which you assigned with the color picker tool in step 6)

--> Be sure the bucket fill tool as the option "Apply to entire selection" checked

 

9) repeat the above steps until all of the colors you want to swap have been swapped.

 

It may seem a little bit cumbersome at first, but once you have done a couple you should really get the hang of it. You can also learn hot keys to speed up the process (Page Up or Page Down to change the active layer, "o" for the color picker tool, "shift+o" for the bucket fill tool etc. etc.).

 

Anyway, I imagine this all might seem overwhelming at first. I hope you are able to slog through it, and I am more than willing to offer GIMP support if needed. You can even send some input stuff my way (a sample sprite sheet with bad palette and a good image ripped from emulator to assign new palette). I could then do an illustrated step-by-step process and also just validate that the above steps will work in this case.

 

You should definitely use the latest version of GIMP if you can. It should be 2.8.X by now. The 2.8 series has made some significant improvements over previous versions.

 

Ok, that's all the ramble for now. Good luck!

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Hey thank's a lot. My original thought was using the mspaint transparent selection for this. It would get the job done, but using gimp seems to be a cleaner route.

It'll also help me with other stuff, so I should get used.

 

I'm sorry for making you write so much, you explained the process in detail. I think I understood it pretty much. Thanks again!

Edited by Billy MK

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No problem at all. Good luck!

 

 

I have started the overworld map now. Here is the current progress:

 

DQ5DS_Overworld_Tileset_WIP.png

 

I'll keep this updated with the latest progress as I go. ETA 6 weeks.

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I know this is the wrong forum for this, but will you be making tileset maps for DWVII as well? After VI that is? Or maybe I should check internet-land to see if it's already been done. LOL

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I know this is the wrong forum for this, but will you be making tileset maps for DWVII as well? After VI that is? Or maybe I should check internet-land to see if it's already been done. LOL

 

I'm glad you asked AerynB! As far as I can tell, it hasn't been done. I believe the biggest reason that it hasn't been done is the perspective angle used in the overworld and in the dungeons. That perspective needs to be removed if you want to stitch scenes together to form a complete tileset.

 

It's interesting that DW7 and DQ4 for the PSX look so similar, but their mapping engines are actually different. DQ4 PSX uses the same ortho-rectified view as the DS remakes of DQ4, 5 and 6. That makes mapping very easy since there is no distortion to remove.

 

I absolutely am planning on doing this and I have written software that helps me remove perspective from the images. This is how I produced the DQ9 Overworld Map (Starflight Express view version). The software and techniques I have implemented so far remove the perspective, but you take a bit of a hit in image resolution. That can be ok if the game has a decent graphic resolution already, which is why the DQ9 map turned out ok. For DW7, the native resolution is too low. When I tried the same technique, here is an example of the crappy quality that resulted:

 

DW7_Mapping_DeTilt_30FPS_Low_Oblique.png

 

It's a bit too pixelated and blurry due to the resolution loss. I tried tweaking some of the parameters of the model and improvements can be made, but I am still not happy with it:

 

DW7_Mapping_DeTilt_90FPS_Low_Oblique_Test2.png

 

As a side-bar, I am definitely also doing this for DQ5 for the PS2. The technique should be ok there. You get different resolutions depending on whether you view the map from Dragon Height or Castle Height. Observe:

 

Castle Height:

MapRolloutStrip1_Merged_Castle_Height.png

 

 

Dragon Height:

MapRolloutStrip1_Merged_Dragon_Height.png

 

Anyway... back to DW7, I am implementing a new algorithm for aperture synthesis and multi-look-based superresolution. Using that approach, I can combine several images of the maps obtained at lower resolutions to achieve an overall higher resolution results. No samples of that technique to show yet unfortunately. If I can get it working though, it would mean that I can get maps for the DW7 overworld and dungeons as well as the DS dungeons.

 

Speaking of dungeons, and since I have turned this into a little show and tell, perhaps you would like to see a prototype DQ9 dungeon ripped using this method? If so, here is a subset of the Tower of Trades, L1:

 

Tower_of_Trades_L1_Sample.png

 

 

I had a bit of difficulty in deciding what the optimal output perspective angle should be. I didn't want it to be a complete top-down view, as you miss out on the things hanging on walls and stuff. Here is a quick little comparison between three perspective angles that I considered for this map:

 

Perspective_Compare.png

 

There are pluses and minuses to any angle I choose, so that is something that I will have to think about before going into production mode.

 

Anyway, that was a completely long-winded and largely irrelevant answer to your question about DW7 maps. Hope I actually answered your question...

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Ooh, look, pretty pictures. :) ... What was my question? *giggles*

 

This is all so fascinating. Great work on this so far. I guess my reason for asking is that it would be great if there were more maps of the whole DW7 world after all the islands are uncovered. I really wished they'd put something like that in the Prima official guide. :(

 

Hmm... you're right about the DW7 map being so pixelated. :( Not very good for a nice clean map. The second one with your tweaks wasn't so bad though. Looking at the DQ5r maps, the Castle Height one looks okay if you focus on the mountains and ocean, but when you get to a village or castle, it's kinda bad. :( Dragon Height looks a little worse. :(

 

That Tower of Trades map looks pretty good. :) I really am amazed that you can do all this! For that perspective comparison, the ones on the left do look better than the one on the right, but I can't really tell the difference between the left one and the middle one. I guess the middle one might be a tiny bit sharper, but it's very hard to tell.

 

All in all, awesome work! A million thank-yous for doing all this for our little DQ community. :D

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Hmm... you're right about the DW7 map being so pixelated. :( Not very good for a nice clean map. The second one with your tweaks wasn't so bad though. Looking at the DQ5r maps, the Castle Height one looks okay if you focus on the mountains and ocean, but when you get to a village or castle, it's kinda bad. :( Dragon Height looks a little worse. :(

 

All in all, awesome work! A million thank-yous for doing all this for our little DQ community. :D

 

Thanks! It's lots of fun to work on but I am glad that it can make something useful too.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the village icon. I would absolutely replace all map icons (caves, towns, castles, towers etc... with clean icons ripped from ground level). I would also strip out the water layer and replace it with a consistent water pattern. The biggest thing stopping me from doing the DQ5 PS2 map right now is that I am fighting with the day-night system. I wish I knew how to make it stay day-time so I don't have to keep landing the castle and changing it back. If anyone knows how to do this either with a code or with the debug menu, I would be very grateful.

 

The thing holding back the DQ9 dungeon maps is that I don't know how to stop the monsters from spawning. They keep spawning and getting in the way of my image tracks. I would like to map a DQ9 overworld map from ground level this way too, but again the monsters are a problem.

 

Anyway, thanks again! Back to my map-making...

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Hmm... you're right about the DW7 map being so pixelated. :( Not very good for a nice clean map. The second one with your tweaks wasn't so bad though. Looking at the DQ5r maps, the Castle Height one looks okay if you focus on the mountains and ocean, but when you get to a village or castle, it's kinda bad. :( Dragon Height looks a little worse. :(

 

All in all, awesome work! A million thank-yous for doing all this for our little DQ community. :D

 

Thanks! It's lots of fun to work on but I am glad that it can make something useful too.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the village icon. I would absolutely replace all map icons (caves, towns, castles, towers etc... with clean icons ripped from ground level). I would also strip out the water layer and replace it with a consistent water pattern. The biggest thing stopping me from doing the DQ5 PS2 map right now is that I am fighting with the day-night system. I wish I knew how to make it stay day-time so I don't have to keep landing the castle and changing it back. If anyone knows how to do this either with a code or with the debug menu, I would be very grateful.

 

The thing holding back the DQ9 dungeon maps is that I don't know how to stop the monsters from spawning. They keep spawning and getting in the way of my image tracks. I would like to map a DQ9 overworld map from ground level this way too, but again the monsters are a problem.

 

Oh, I didn't know you could do that with the map icons and just insert them in. Good call. That'll make the maps much nicer. :)

 

Hahaha. A good reason for DQ games to go back to random encounters and no day-night switching! It makes map-making easier. :D Hmm... but I kinda like the day-night system. And non-random encounters are growing on me, a little bit. Guess we'll have to find other ways for you to make your maps. ;)

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Didn't Woodus use SketchUp to map out the Ruins? That was a handy map indeed (just as much work as your ripping methods, I'm sure!). Props to him for doing that, though. It looked really nice.

And so do your maps!

 

...DQV darkworld is WAY less confusing looking on the DS vs. the SFC version. Not much of "mountain maze".

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Wow that is great work and they are coming along, I hadn't thought about the spawning monsters on DQIX, could you just do multiple passes and just copy/paste chunks from one map to another to cover them up?

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Wow that is great work and they are coming along, I hadn't thought about the spawning monsters on DQIX, could you just do multiple passes and just copy/paste chunks from one map to another to cover them up?

 

Thanks! Yes, I can definitely paste in chunks of the map again to cover them up. In fact, that is what I had to do for the Tower of Trades L1 prototype. Here is a sample where a Walking Corpse got in my way:

 

Sample_Walking_Corpse.png

 

 

I also have done part of the Hexagon, and I found an ugly looking NPC sprite in my way:

 

Sample_NPC.png

 

 

In cases of permanent NPCs, I might have to get creative at inserting a higher quality version of that NPC sprite over top of the crappy low-res version captured in this process.

 

 

As an update on the DQV Overworld map, I have a good chunk of the southern portion of the map done now, including the entire continent where Gotha is located. I will add in the Porgie estate next time and then continue to work up the center of the map to get the whole central continent before returning west to finish off the western-most continent. Progress image is still shown above somewhere as I continue to ghost-update the map as I go.

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Here is the latest progress update. Have the whole western continent done now, and I am working my way up to Lofty Peak now in the east. Snuck the Porgie Estate in there on this update as well.

 

Shouldn't be terribly long before I am done this.

 

DQ5DS_Overworld_Tileset_WIP2.png

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You do fine work

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