Open General
by Luis Guzman

GAME MAPS

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OpenGeneral can use a background image to show the map or can set up an internal image made of tiles (tiled-map) when loading games.
The map image can be read in any of these formats: PNG, JPG, SHP or S16.

When a map picture is defined (not tiled-map) and is missing, OpenGeneral will try to download from a web repository automatically, and if not possible will set up a tiled-map.

Map pictures normally use a number as the filename (.png/jpg) , because that is the way Gilestiel's MapFinder stores them in its database.
Gilestiel MapFinder is a terrific map database, hosting all maps made by map-makers along the years, providing many options to filter maps by country, type, author, etc..
Every time a map-maker releases a new map, MapFinder is updated so designers and players can be sure that there, they can find any of the existing maps.

OpenGeneral allows any filename up to 20 chars, but these maps won't be found in MapFinder

Maps for "New" formats (.xscn and .xsav/.xcsv/.xeml)

For new formats all map data is included in scenario/save game data, thus scenario already knows which image (if any) it should be loaded. Extended Map definition files (.mapx) can be used for designers, including all map data not related with scenario (terrain, roads, ...), but are not used by the game.

Maps for "Old" PG2 compatible formats  (.scn and .sav/.csv) -- .eml files are not supported by OpenGeneral

For PG2 type maps, the map data and the image to load is defined out the scenario in a .map file, which the game should read before, in order to know what map image must load.

How maps are searched...

When game needs to load a .MAP file, it is searched using this sequence:

  1. EFile's SCENARIO subfolder is searched. So any modified map file can override any standard one
  2. If not found, Main game's MAP subfolder is searched.
  3. If not found, and there is a Main game's MAPFILES subfolder then it is searched there.
  4. If still not found  thn it is searched in the Main game SCENARIO subfolder (if it exist).>
  5. Then game will try to download from Internet, although probably not aevery custom made .MAP file will be found.
  6. Then game will prompt you to browse and pick one

To load the map image, game searches using this sequence (if not defined as tiled-map):

  1. EFile's MAP subfolder is searched, first as PNG and then as JPG
  2. If not found, EFile's SCENARIO subfolder is searched, first as PNG and then as JPG
  3. If not found, Main game's MAP subfolder is searched, first as PNG and then as JPG
  4. If not found or cannot be loaded and a number can be figured in the filename, it is searched as PG2's MAP*.shp in Main game's MAP subfolder
  5. If yet not found, game tries to download as JPG from OpenGen web repository
  6. And if yet not found, game sets up as a tiled-map

If you want to be sure that you have all maps required for a campaign, there is an option when picking a campaign to check only (will get a list of the missing maps) or to check and download from the web repository all missing maps required.

At any time you cannot access OpenGeneral web repository, you can use the list of missing maps to download them manually, by entering Gilestiel's MapFinder.

Tiled-maps

Maps can also be made dinamically by using "tilesets"

A "tileset" is a set of 3 files defining the pictures to draw the map dinamically.
These files are: Hex_tiles.png , Hex_tiles_sides.png and Hex_layers.png. These files should be made using same 256 colors palette.

Tiled-maps are not so beautiful as image based, but they have other advantages:

  • Tiled maps are much faster to design than drawing a map picture, and then defining map data.
  • Tiled maps always show the true terrain. Map images are sometimes ambiguous regarding the terrain they represent
  • Tiled maps shows different aspect according ground condition, and change their look when ground condition changes in game
  • Efile designers can make different "tilesets" for different climate zones.

If you want to know how to design a tiled map, check How to create a tiled map written by Csaba Zsadányi-Nagy, who is using tiled-maps for most of his campaigns.

Maps size limits

Maps can be made up to 5400 x 5500 pixels (110 rows by 121 columns), but only maps up to 3150 x 3500 pixels will be available for automatic download and uploaded to MapFinder. Maps bigger than that should be made as tiled-maps or put into EFolder's MAP subdirectory and delivery with the campaign pack.