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SacredWiki Interactive Map of Ancaria


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#1 Schot

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:13 PM

Fellow Sacred addicts. Put aside your compass for a moment and rejoice!

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A long standing project to provide a high definition map of Ancaria which is also interactive is now complete. You may now find and interact with a full map of Ancaria found on the SacredWiki page:
Sacred:Underworld Map of Ancaria
Interacting with the map is fairly simple. To the top left you will notice some controls. The + and - signs will zoom the map in or out when you click them. The arrow signs will move the map up down left or right but an easier way to move the map around is to hold down left mouse button and drag the map around. One other way that you can move the map around would be to click on the arrow at the very bottom right of the map. Clicking on the small arrow will open a window which will give you control to move the map by clicking inside that small window. Play around and find out how it works. :thumbsup:

Many more maps are planned to be added and with each map there will be the ability for everyone to make it grow! In the near future you will have the freedom to add map markers to the maps just like google maps. These markers when clicked upon will pop open a box that can contain text and images which will be of great use when marking a place that requires a great deal of explaining. More on that in the coming weeks.

For now feel free to roam around the Sacred Underworld map of Ancaria and perhaps discover something new!


How it came to be...
The map was about 3 months in the making. From thinking about it, to doing it and finally to, (more or less), completing it. Resources and bandwidth allowing, the Map of Ancaria you will find by following the link above is 9936 x 6922 in size. To give you a better idea you could also say the map is about 9 computer screens wide and 9 computer screens high, (if your resolution is set to 1024x768 and you have a 19" monitor). Or maybe better... Look at the wall in front of you and imagine a the map hanging on your wall 11.5 feet wide by 8 feet tall. That is to say. It's really freaking big! It actually never occurred as to how big it was until it was finally complete. Keep in mind that those sizes given are of the shrunken map. The actual map is more than double the size, approximately 26 feet wide by 18 feet high. Imagine that hanging on the exterior of your... House?! It's pretty darn big and much bigger than ever was initially understood. In fact had the size been fully realized before the project began it may well have never begun in the first place. Ignorance is bliss as they say.

Some folks who have seen the map have thought that this was a single extract straight out of the game. To those folks I say to you. Ooooh how I wish it were! The scary truth is that there was no way to have a single extract of the map. It was tried though thats for sure since I went so far as to beg Ascaron for one but it simply wasn't possible. So the long road had to be taken. First task being to have a character with a great deal of the world map uncovered. With great dismay the best that could be readily had was at a puny 17% World Discovered. So began the search for the greatest WD hero ever!

At this point I'd like to give special thanx to our well established WD% hero. He was of tremendous help and without him the map would be looking very different and of course a lot more "foggy". Knuckles. ;) Thank you very much for the donation of at first your WD% Daemon and later the now famous "UBER GOOBer", Waterboy. Your character donation not only knocked off a lot of work for me but also made visible what was previously believed to be impossible to see or better put, impossible to remove the fog from. Thank you!

With Waterboy and his 97% WD, the Sacred Underworld game and Photoshop all laid out and ready to do a lot of sweating, the task of creating a high definition map began near the start of November. The steps required were relatively simple. (Well... They seem simple to me now but in truth took a lot of researching to devise.)
Enter the game with Waterboy, stay on the Haven Isle, open the "M" map, choose a section of map to work on, hold down left click on the South-west most corner of that section on the "M" map and take a screenshot. And then do it again about 942 times! Zig-zagging up and down the map. Oh and throw in about 100 extra screenshots for reasons of corrections, haha. Let me tell you it was pretty horrifying to work on the first section... After completing a section of screenshots they would be sent through a custom batch script that would automatically crop the images so as to cut out the useful part and discard the rest. Then the cropped screenshots would be imported into photoshop and positioned like puzzle pieces to complete an entire section. Once the pieces were in place various corrections would be made to have it appear seamless and without traces of a cursor over the map. A very.. very long process to say the least. Section after section in the end there were 17 individual sections which were then imported into an even larger Photoshop project to contain those sections. Again, the sections were fitted together like a puzzle to create a fully complete layout of all that is Ancaria.

Some things in the map you may notice are not quite as they are in game. For example the water around the Pirate Islands was touched up a bit. Of course the majority of players may never know this because there simply isn't any reason to travel across the water that is beyond the islands. For reasons of aesthetics it was tidied up. There are also many abnormalities that ARE in the real game map which was cleaned up some but those will never be noticed. Not likely anyways. And then there are the flaws in the map which you may discover because there were simply too many to correct so some have been untouched. Regardless, those flaws won't impact the usefulness of the map in any way.

After the map had been pieced together and cleaned up some the next task was to add the various place names and it was at this point that things became very difficult. Granted, typing out names of places and sticking them on a map is relatively simple but the problem was that the .psd file, (Photoshop project file) had grown enormously. At this point it was about 900+ MB in size. Worse still is that Photoshop when being operated creates a temporary file to maintain histories and whatnot of the project being worked on. Well whenever I opened the map project in Photoshop it quickly required a temporary file of... 9GB!? Not having any experience with a project of this size the computer in use was not quite prepared and just barely had the needed file space and ram. 2 GB of RAM was only JUST enough. Opening the project or saving it would usually take about 5 minutes to do. This was a big part of why it took as long as it did. With some research and discovery of a memory clearing trick the various place names and everything else marking the map was managed and after much running around in game the markers were at last complete. Or at least as complete as you see them now. There are certainly things that could use changing. Which brings me to MapLib markers!

Towards the start of the project one of the first concerns was as to how the map was going to be made available to the community. That is... How/where will it be hosted. Naturally the first things that came to mind was to host it at SacredWiki.org. Undoubtedly the bandwidth usage would shoot through the roof and so that option was quickly dispelled. The problem of hosting was put on the back burner and instead the question of interactivity was talked about. gogoblender suggested to research google maps and its API to see if there was something of use there. Sure enough after much searching MapLib was discovered. MapLib is an excellent new resource that allows registrants to upload very large images at no cost. If you pay for their Pro service then you can upload even larger images which is what we did for the map of Ancaria. The bonus here is that MapLib applies the google maps API to whatever image you upload which allows interactivity that is almost identical to google maps. A perfect solution for both the questions of interactivity and hosting of the Map of Ancaria!
Just like google maps, the map of Ancaria can have markers added to it. Although it isn't quite ready yet, guests in the near future will be able to add markers to the Maps at SacredWiki. For this map only "P.O.I."(Points of Interest) markers will be added. As for other types of markers like quests for example, these are planned for other maps which will be added to the SacredWiki and announced very soon. So keep an eye out. I'll be posting about adding markers soon!

Ok, so I've rambled on faaaar too long...

One last thank you is to DarkAngel. DarkAngel, the constructor of the German maps, is for the most part the reason I created the map of Ancaria. Seeing her work was a real inspiration! Not only is it an excellent resource for players of the Sacred game but I also find it to be one of the best looking game maps I have seen. Try to think of a better in game rpg map. I'm fairly certain you will have a very hard time thinking of one. So to DarkAngel I say thank you for the inspiration and that I now understand your pain, lol.

For those of you who know Ancaria very well I encourage you to delve into the map. During my travels there were a couple things there that I had never found before but because I was looking closely I stumbled across. One of which was very very well concealed among trees. You never know what you might find. :4rofl:

For those of you who are just recently joining us in the community of Sacred there is most certainly a LOT of things you'll find handy in the map. Of them I believe the dotted paths will be of great value to you. In particular there are "secret passages" of sorts that have been dotted out for you to see.

The general plan is to update the master map every month so if you have suggestions what will probably happen is that once guests can make markers on the map I will check over them and add the very important ones to the map permanently while others may remain as markers only depending on their complexity. The whole marker business will of course be explained soon.

Cheers everyone and I hope you enjoy the map. As hard as it was I really did love making it! :4rofl:

#2 erialc

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:31 PM

Schot this is most awesome work and hats off to you for your dedication to this project and ofc many many drinks in the bar :thumbsup: Looks amazing! Hey Ascaron here's a map maker for you eh eh eh ;)

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#3 Totalimmortal

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 03:54 PM

Schot, I love you. :thumbsup:

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#4 Schot

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 04:56 PM

Aaaah yaaaaay. Now I can finally enter myself into the psychiatric ward, lol. :crazy:

Thanx you two! :D

#5 Indy13

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:17 PM

What can I say Schot, you're a freak!

Though in a good way and we like you for that. :D

That really is an awesome project you did there, totally new and unique. A work of art in itself. ;)
I congratulate you on your devotion, patience and hard work. :)

So what hellishly long and time-demanding project should we assign you to now that you have finished this? :crazy:

#6 gogoblender

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:18 PM

...is it done yet...

lol

ahh, Brad very very well done. I remember when this little monster was first birthed in your head a few months ago, and all of the many many hours of work that has gone into this. It's painstaking work, but the effort that you have put into it has created nothing less than a contemporary and highly technological magnum opus. I don't think that Ancaria has ever been imagined this way... yay google! And the ability of your map to power in or out with unbelievable details... nothing short of magnificent.

And you have gone even further. You have, in the true spirit of a wiki, and community, given opportunity to others in creating even more elements into the project.

This is you manifested in your work. A brave and long job, but one that has clearly borne fruit.


Congratulations.


:crazy:


gogo

p.s. And a very special kudo to knuckles for his work on that incredible character of his. To Waterboy!


#7 stubbie

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:24 PM

Absolutely mind blowing Schot. A wonderful effort and something to be extremely proud of. :crazy:

Now go and have a stiff drink, take a 5 minute break to admire your work and then get back to it :D

stubbs


#8 Erling

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:56 PM

extremlytotalhugemegagiganticsuperduper WOW
THATS AWSOME! :crazy:
thanks very much for making that map schot, if someone ever ask me something in sacred again my reply will be ''check the schot map'' :)
I think the whole english communety owe you pretty much now! (yeah even more than before)

thx alot :D
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#9 gogoblender

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:45 AM

Just missing one thing...


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:crazy:

gogo


#10 Scleameth

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:52 AM

Schot, yer a machine !! 'Been burnin' the midnight oil :) :crazy: :D :) ;) :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow: :bow:

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#11 gogoblender

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:55 AM

The secret Scleameth...

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:crazy:

gogo

p.s. don't worry,we let him out for leap years :D


#12 Arilaftia

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 08:42 AM

Oh its just astounding!!
Im so glad you survived! Partially mentally intact anyway! :crazy:
(hehe on a side note... its nice to know someone is more obsessive than me!)

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Vin'ult jabbress d'lil elgluth - Drathir

Arilaftia, SqueakyToyOfDoom (Fear the Squeak) They will rise again!


#13 Yarasa

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:43 AM

Amazing job :thumbsup:
You deserve a standing ovation.

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#14 Schot

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 01:25 PM

What can I say Schot, you're a freak!

Though in a good way and we like you for that. :P


Awh shux Indy. :blush: lol


Thank you everyone I really do enjoy the feedback! :wub: I'm just so happy, (and relieved!), that it's finally done, (errr, kinda mostly... ish?). :4rofl: Truly it's been a labour of love and boy we certainly had our ups and downs during the relationship but things have gotten much better. :D

lol stubbie. Yes sir! *drinks a bottle of whiskey and jumps back into work* :thumbsup:

@Ari
Oh are you a OCD VIP too?! :D

*An example of gogo's powers of persuasion*
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And no I am NOT adding the golden arches to Ancaria. Go down the street for your burgers yah lazy bum! :P


Well... I guess now I need to cut the map up into sections. More maps! :blink:

#15 gial

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:11 AM

Absolutely astounding. When I stumbled on your earlier small startup I was amazed -- but this is beyond imagination (except yours, of course). I am truly awed by the magnitude of the task.

Is there any doc on what some of the symbols mean? It's easy to tell the portals, and I guess the double circles are main quest line sites . . .

All I can say is -- Wow!

#16 stubbie

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 03:40 AM

Is there any doc on what some of the symbols mean?


Top left corner of the map has a legend :D

stubbs


#17 gogoblender

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 02:10 PM

ahh, you saw it eh Gial... the map is killer. And yeah, there's two kinds of legends, one of them is on the top left as Stubbie pointed out...the other one is a kind of mini map on the top right...pull out as far as you can from the maps to see them...this zoom function rocks!
:D

gogo


#18 fRACTAL

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 02:26 PM

Amazing work schot!
but.........
Somethings missing! :D
These
:(
~Tim

EDIT: Oh and doesn't the goblin town in the forgotten swamps have a name
EDIT 2: and the Bellevue one way portal to the local monestary is missing too, and the exit

Edited by TimOfDoom, 20 January 2008 - 02:30 PM.

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Once known as TimOfDoom
(ToD
)


#19 Schot

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 11:58 PM

Thanx guys! :P


Ah yes. As stubbie has said gial you'll find the legend if you drag the map to the top left. And as gogo says there is also a mini map which explains the different regions. :P

Something else which is pretty cool about the map is a convenient zoom feature. An easy way to zoom in is the double click on the map with the left mouse button. Doing the same using the right mouse button will zoom you out.

@Tim:
Aaah now you've bought up an interesting point. Something I had great difficulty with. You see the thing is that these mini portals you talk about are kinda complicated. Each of them are unique. So in order to pair them in a way that would be quickly understood by a user would be kind of involving. I could colour code each pair but I would have a bit of a hard time finding enough distinguishable colours. I could draw lines connecting them but then I'd have big long lines stretching across the map. What I am opting for is to use the marker function that MapLib supplies to mark those mini portals and other such things such as the Orc Cave and other important things.

It's a bit hard to imagine without an example but I'll be getting the marker function going very soon. I did have a read over your topic about a week or two ago actually and it helped me to plot out my thoughts on it. :D

Not sure what I'll do as yet but I think I'll try out the MapLib markers function first. Deleting markers will be a lot easier than editing the map in photoshop if need be.

I think there is another inactive portal I came across some time ago and I'm not sure if you have it mentioned. It's an inactive portal above Faeries Crossing. Among the trees along the western tree line. I'll get a screeny.

#20 Pitunia

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:58 AM

Hi... Did you think about update of this map with undergrounds, caves? My boyfriend about year ago had written in php map generator for S1/UW (now is working for same tool for Sacred 2) which use extracted minimap textures from texture.pak but that script is memory consuming and is limited by system so it cannot generate whole map at once because system cannot allocate that much memory for browser to finish script properly. I use it many times to generate smaller parts of minimap and it works. Browsers use after fully loaded more than 1GB because at start it loads more that 6.000 thumbnails 64x64 which cover all worls with caves. On that map are also caves, and that is what is missed on that map and can be added. But there is bug of minimap... Cave of Flame have invalid minimap screens, half of it is black :/ Other are in full minimap quality, because to render minimap script use images converted from original tga to png which is lossless format :thumbsup: If you like I can send that scripts with Readme or comments in php files about variables to explain what is needed for it and how it works.

Thomas, my boyfriend during last days has been working on something similiar. Extract images from textures.pak and using GM API convert them to GMaps standard :woot: With 8 level of zoom in JPG 84MB, in more than 25.000 images. Now only markers to do...

Edited by Pitunia, 11 November 2008 - 12:17 PM.

[url="http://www.ancarians.pl"]Posted Image[/url]





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