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Map Tutorial - Overview

Introduction

This guide will describe the process and tools used to make maps for the Everquest II Modular Atlas Project (EQ2MAP). The aim of this guide is to enable the average EQ2 player with no special computer skills to create a clean, usable, and accurate map. This guide will also provide a comprehensive description of the functioning of the EQ2 Mapping system as it is used by EQ2MAP. With the information in the guide you should be able to create maps for a zone of any size or complexity.

This guide also contains many tips and tricks gained from the author's creation of over 20 maps as well as contributions from other experienced mappers.

Since map image creation is more of an art than a science, this guide will only cover the basics of final map image creation. My expectation is that map authors will have some experience with Photoshop or the image editing tool of their choice.

Don't Panic!

There is a lot of information in this guide. A LOT of information. Do not be intimidated by the walls of text, as the actual process of creating a map is fairly straightforward. Before you start mapping you'll want to read through Getting Started, /loc Collection, and Screenshot Collection. Skim the other chapters, then go back and read them fully as you do each subsequent step.

Document Overview

This document is divided into 8 sections which cover the major steps you will follow when creating a map.

figure 1 - Basic Process Diagram
Document Overview
  1. Getting Started
    This section covers the Tools and Files you will need to preview and create your map. It describes setting up your work environment to simplify your workflow and the EQ2 macros you will need to generate your map. It also covers setting up Mapper2 and Inkscape to generate an "Instant Preview" of your map.
  2. /loc Collection
    This section describes how to best use the the /loc command to collect the coordinates needed to "draw" your map. Also covers submitting a /loc file to the EQ2Interface.com forums.
  3. Screen shot Collection
    This section describes how and why to collect screenshots of the Zone you're mapping. Describes techniques for getting textures for use in your final map image.
  4. Line Cleanup
    This section describes how to use Inkscape to clean up your points, align walls, and generate clean geometry prior to export to your image editing program.
  5. Map Creation
    This section describes how to combine screenshots, the output from Inkscape, and a Map Template in your editing software to create your final map.
  6. EQ2MAP Integration
    This section describes how to take your final map and calculate the ZoneRect and other map style information needed by EQ2MAP to display the map in-game. It also covers important EQ2MAP files and folders.
  7. Testing
    This section covers testing your map and refining your ZoneRect and other map style information. Describes how to use the /loadui command to reload your UI and Map without exiting the game.
  8. Forum Submission
    Covers the information you will need to for the project Administrators to integrate your map into EQ2MAP.
 
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