Thursday, December 15, 2011

Quick and easy mine design

I want to share with you my method of quick creating mines. One note: it's really quick, so don't expect any ultra-detailed, fanciful features.

Step One: Level design. open your Photoshop / Paint.NET / notebook and draw some quick, rather straight lines:
Now imagine that every line is mine corridor (they tend to be straight and sometimes long). And guess what? Your level is done!

Okay, it's not everything that you can do with it, but here any decent graphic tools will have an advantage over traditional pen and paper - they can use layers (I said "decent" before, so forget about MS Paint :D).

Step Two: Add new levels. Create a new layer and draw new set of lines with different color:
I want to add third, bottom level, containing some natural caverns:
But wait, I wanted it as bottom level!

Step Three: rearrange. Good that we may rearrange layers. In addition I want to add some labels to avoid further problems:
Moreover, If I want to use my laptop during game, I may use "interactive" version of this map, saved in .PSD format. Now I may just open Photoshop and turn visibility of that layers which are unused at the moment. Layers are named in the same way as levels:

Step Four: Additional Info. Here are additional things that you may add to your freshly created level:
  • Look where corridors from different levels are crossing - it may be a good spot to place a shaft or stairway;
  • You may use different colors on the same level, i.e. to show danger factor or fragments built by different miners (eg. mine was estabilished by Lizardmen, abandoned and re-used by Dwarfs);
  • You may add grid to the background layer and set opacity of different levels to depict scale of the map and use it directly in game;
  • Of course you may add numeric descritpions to the tunnels, rooms etc, but if you are using Photoshop remember to rasterize types and merge font layers with current dungeon level, as Photoshop adds a new layer for each usage of Type tool (I don't remember how it works in Paint.NET, I havent used it for a while).

I know that it's far from perfect method of mine creation, but it's really fast, so if you need to design some mines during gameplay, just grab your laptop computer / netbook (pdn should work pretty well on weaker computers), go to the toilet and create your new, awesome dungeon :D

No comments:

Post a Comment