Much more technical stuff goes into mapmaking than I expected. Some of these will be covered in this post along with some stats for fun.
It’s hard to estimate the final size yet, but my initial estimation based on the Dirtmouth map was around 14,000 x 68,000. According to my most up-to-date calculation, it will be around 147,456 x 67,584.
I calculated this by overlaying the current combined Forgotten Crossroads + Dirtmouth map (24,576 x 12,288) on the ingame map across the width and height. The result is 6 times as high and 5,5 times as wide, so around 147,456 wide and 67,584 high.
This is a bit hard to determine because a lot of the screenshots I take don’t get used. This is partially due to the parallax scrolling and backgrounds/objects shifting around when moving in any direction and partially due to enemies and particle effects moving, so just as a safe measure I take a ton of screenshots so I can pick and choose the best ones to use.
For example, I have taken 41 screenshots in Dirtmouth from which only 22 were used in the final map. The first room in Forgotten Crossroads that connects to Dirtmouth was screenshotted 37 times from which only 12 were used in the final version.
I have screenshotted the whole of Forgotten Crossroads 586 files across all rooms, but since each room was made in a separate PSD, I am not exactly sure how many screenshots were used in the final map, I’d estimate it around 300.
Since I’m assembling rooms from several screenshots, a lot of objects and particle effects are mismatched, enemies may appear in an undesired frame or animation.
When I encounter these issues, I draw over the problematic area, masking out the object I need to replace, then I draw it in from sprites or another screenshot.
King’s Pass was my first area and it took around 7 hours to assemble due to having to redraw a big chunk of it. Dirtmouth was easy because it’s so dark and most of it is just the sky. Forgotten Crossroads was the first real challenge for many reasons – many rooms to do individually, then piecing them together in a way that the rooms connect like on the ingame map, and eventually correcting all the seams between each room.
I started out slow and learned a lot on the way. I started doing Crossroads sometime around 7th August and managed to finish all individual rooms on the 21st. Then went around correcting all seams and eventually spent a few days decorating and colour correcting the map. I was simultaneously working on this website in the meanwhile, so that makes it a bit difficult to tell exactly how long it took, but I’d say that doing Forgotten Crossroads took roughly a month from start (screenshotting) to finish.
Considering that I’m doing my mapping project on top of my day job and my game development project, I think it’s fairly good progress in such a time span. Having learned so much, I am positive that the next map will come out much faster!