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icebreakr

Island Panthera (WIP)

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After around 30 hours of work (June update: 100+ hours), I'm presenting my first map project for simulation ArmA - its still pre-alpha, so it might take a month (or even more) for me to actually complete it :) So far I've been level designing for other games/simulations, but since ArmA is my passion and I have a strong community of mil-sim gamers supporting me, I've decided to switch from mission making to map making.

Update June 1st: map is in final internal beta, release is close...

Island Panthera

Introduction

It is based on the real height data of Slovenia's Northwest part in Europe - named Gorenjska Region. Due to heavy RL vegetation and gameplay issues I've resized a sector of ~40x30 klicks (kilometers) down to 10km x 10km terrain, quite enough for a infantry operation supported by light armor and choppers.

"Gora" in Slovenian means mountain and Gorenjska region represented in Panthera certainly lives up to its name being home to most of Slovenia’s biggest mountains, including the highest of them all – Triglav (three heads) standing at an impressive 2,865m. The Julian Alps and the beautiful Triglav National Park are the main features of the region – offering not just outstanding scenery, but a wealth of plant and animal life and an abundance of outdoor activities including hiking, skiing, ski-touring, white-water rafting and paragliding. It is also home to the unforgettable lakes Bled and Bohinj. It is almost impossible to decide which one you prefer – Serene Bohinj and its majestic mountain setting or fairytale Bled with its seventeenth century church on an island overlooked by a castle perched on a rocky outcrop.

Name Panthera itself comes from Slovenian history of black panther, see more about that:

Carinthia

Black Panther symbol

... but its also a small tribute to Pantera metal band *wink*

Tnx to PeterGrozni for map name idea.

At first I've wanted to create an entire Slovenia (of course resized), but I've lost too many details on mountain ranges, so I now focus on the NW part only. Slovenia is very similiar to other European countries with vast forests and rich vegetation. My goal is to make it similiar to OFMan's Uhao, because I'm tired putting my squad on bunch of desert maps, but with BIS default trees like they grow in Czech Republic ;)

Real-life counterpart towns in the area will be resized to small villages, couple of them listed here: Lesce, Radovljica, Bled, Jesenice, Mojstrana, Kranjska Gora, Bohinjska Bela, Bohinj. Map now features over than 60 settlements/places.

Texture is based on 10240x10240 sat-image.

Panthera will be formed as an island, here's a area marked with red:

panthera_map.jpg

Included is also the blue/cyan marked area with Italian town of Tarvisio and Slovenian Bovec & Tolmin. With this new blue part there is also a road leading from Tolmin to Bohinj, connecting island with the southern road. There will be three airports based on RL data:

- Lesce (real one is cessna/soaring plane capable, but I've paved this one for fighters & transport planes!)

- Bovec (real one, small for helicopter operations mainly or for very daring pilots)

- Arnoldstein (fake one, Arnoldstein doesn't have one in RL, but this one has been added by carving out a large hillsize ;)

There will be couple of military bases (as in RL) such as Bohinjska Bela, two in Pokljuka and two in Lesce/Radovljica (fictional). Roads will be made true to the RL data, even one leading through the Radovna Valley in the middle of the map.

Keep your fingers crossed, forget about dull deserts, Europe is coming to ArmA =)

Edit: Latest version can always be found at: http://www.icebreakr.com/islands/

Edited by IceBreakr

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To satisfy your appetites, I'm attaching couple of pre-alpha shots:

gornjesavska_dolina_proti-V.jpg

Northwest Valley - "Gornjesavska dolina", looking to East

lesce_bled_triglav_GSdolina.jpg

Wide look of the island from Eastern part, you can also see Triglav (highest Slovenian peak with 2.863 meters) and Bled Lake (just a placeholder for now, it will be real).

mojstrana_pogled_vrata.jpg

Area where village of Mojstrana will be, look into the Vrata Valley

pogled_proti_radovljici.jpg

Near mountain Triglav, Radovljica/Bled visible in the distance (2-3km)

test_rastje.jpg

Quick test of beech trees in one of the Valleys

Hope you'll like it, but its still a long way to go. Greetz from Slovenia.

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I've resized a sector of ~40x30 klicks (kilometers) down to 5x4 km, quite enough for a infantry operation supported by light armor and choppers.

OFP or ArmA wont support anything else than power of two sizes, so you cant have 5x4km terrain.

What grid and cell size do you use?

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Well, its 5x5, but thats water :)

Grid 512x512, 10 meters.

Here you can explore the planned sector in Google Maps:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&sll=42.14066,-87.793321&sspn=0.086428,0.154495&ie=UTF8&ll=46.346454,13.905258&spn=0.321837,0.617981&t=h&z=11

Edited by IceBreakr

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Looks pretty cool after just 30 hours :)

I've been looking to switch my mission-making to map-making myself, for a long time..

What tools have you used so far? And how did you get the real-life geographical data?

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tnx Binary, these BIS tools are driving me nuts, but I'm able to advance anyway :)

I'm using DEM data (available online) and I've created a heightmap with free MicroDem app. Then I've put it into free Wilbur app for more editing.

Now I've done research what kind of trees (forests) we have in the whole area by getting a full real-life vegetation map, so I'll put down real BIS trees.

I still have to figure out if there is any easy way to do forests by drawing them as sectors in OFP.

I'll stitch up a sat map with help of Google. Now I'm marking down villages and next phase is doing asphalt & dirt roads with help of Nicholas Bell's Schmalfelden source file.

I still have couple of problems and looking for tips that I've posted here in the editing section of BI Forums.

Edited by IceBreakr

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Your welcome IceBreakr :)

Where did you get your DEM data? The only sites I've found for them so far, have only been for the US.

What (if any) tutorials have you followed to get to where you are at now?

I've found my biggest problem so far, is that I really find it hard to figure out where to start.

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Couple of links to get you started :)

http://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Visitor_3:_Making_of_simple_landscape

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?t=62725&highlight=visitor+quick+tutorial

DEM data is pain in the ass (especially editing and tweaking), I've spent a lot of time searching and experimenting, this link may be good for map makers around the world:

http://srtm.csi.cgiar.org/SELECTION/inputCoord.asp

Since this topic is all about Panthera, I recommend you read the Map Editing (Visitor) section of BI forums to get a lot of useful data and don't be shy to ask further questions there ;) I know I will soon lol.

Edited by IceBreakr

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Thanks for the links - will definitely look them over :)

edit: BTW - Love the Pantera *wink* ;)

Edited by Binary

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Looks fantastic - I'm a fan of the Euro-style maps too!

Would you consider a 'lite' version with fewer trees and vegetation than the full version?

I know it's early days in the project, but never hurts to ask:p

Good Luck IceBreakr:yay:

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Grid 512x512, 10 meters.

So its 5.1km x 5.1km terrain then. Got it.

Perhaps you should update first post to let users know what size of terrain it is (99% of people don't understand grid/cell sizes).

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Quick update:

- updated sat texture, intended primarily for 3DE placement of villages, vegetation

- managed to fix corrent water level, so I have 3 lakes (Bohinj, Bled and artificially made near Jesenice) and a river "Soca" on SW to NW all the way through the valley to its source.

Tommorow tasks:

- connect major roads, fix height levels with scripts & editing

- try out 3DE editor functions with my squad buddies (incl. import to Visitor)

- first placements of vegetation based on RL data

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Island Panthera WIP Shots

Couple of shots from yesterday work session. Shots are from editor, no objects/grass/vegetation yet. Slowly moving to phase 2 (roads/3DE editing on server).

Pack#1

airport_lesce_bled_to_jesenice

bohinj_lake_in_distance

boh_bela_to_bled

bovec_flooded

factory_jesenice_valley

Pack#2

lowlands_lesce_bled

mojstrana_vrata_valley

three_valleys_n_radovna

vrata_valley

zgornjesavska.jpg

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Very interesting terrain, reminds me a bit of Freya with the hills, canyons and river.

Very much looking forward to it. :bounce3:

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kju: Sgt.Ace and a friend of mine did a first MP test. Valleys are just lovely. Todo has been made and many fixes are already in place.

Update:

- all lakes created with "real" water, similiar to the real ones, but it was a difficult task since the real area is 8x bigger

- valley from Bovec-Tolmin is not flooded anymore, not theres a cool river and a place for a road beside it ;)

- next phase started: roads & villages

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Since SenChi spooked me with foggy island of Klurs (excellent work btw) I've had to do a quick scenic route over my upcoming Panthera island, based on Northwest Slovenia (inc. Italy & Austria). With a bit more sunny weather ;)

Enjoy the ride:

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Hehe nice familiar music at the start. :D

Great atmosphere with the tone of the green and the mountainous area!

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nice one, Icebreaker, looks like a great map especially for flying :)

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Yeah, we crashed two times yesterday just because pilots were sightseeing :))) AI performs well, even on a terrain that is 3/4 covered with forests ;)

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Looks amazing IceBrekr!

Thanks for your hard work!

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Progress update:

1. Increased the island to 1024x1024 sector with 10 meter grid, that allows up to 10240m x 10240m of playing area. Island is now +50% bigger and features around 3/4 of the area.

2. Entire map has been optimized for AI (40x40 texture sectors) and AI is fully tested on all roads. Map features 3 road types.

3. New roads were made from scratch and now latest build already features full road network, even across mountains. A main highway is even elevated over a town on pillars like in RL.

4. Almost everything is true to real-life counterpart, I'm using over than 1500 RL photos I made in the past two weeks of the entire "playing area".

5. Map features 60 settlements (towns, villages, farms, sand filtration factories, factories, offices etc.). All of the buildings are actually entrable and we're using default BIS stuff. So, no 3DE or DBE1 (QG) dependencies.

6. Island will feature a heliport, but no airstrip is planned for now. Harriers and other VTOL aircraft can be used on heliport, though.

7. Almost 3/4 of the island is heavily vegetated as in RL, but also optimized for max. performance on today PCs. All the vegetation is true to real data collected by Slovenian officials. Beech and spruce are most common.

8. Highest mountain Triglav is 399 meters, due to real data resizing of factor ~7 times to ensure faster release of the map and better performance (see point 7.) The peak also features a new object, Aljaz Tower.

9. There are two major rivers capable for transport by very small boats

10. Many of lakes and mountain cabins are present compared to RL data.

11. There are new custom textures for river sand, forests, grass fields and mountain rock.

12. Island will also be converted to Arma 2.

13. Release of beta is planned in 1-2 weeks time.

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