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ArgusEye

Photo perfect or the right feel?

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I spend more time building maps for operations and the occasional battle, than actually playing the game. There is something nice about making a landscape that more or less 'works'.

Often I start with a look around on Google Earth, then picking a piece of landscape, then trying to replicate this landscape. Usually, this gives maps that are eerily 'wrong'. I can never quite put my finger on it, but a CM village made to resemble a real village ends up as lost buildings standing around in an odd group.

At other times I improvise, using inspiration from real locations, but based upon what works in the map editor (i.e. 90 degree angles, watching out with slopes). These tend to be more playable.

Now I find myself idly wondering: how much am I cheating? If I were to try to make the most accurate and true simulation, which would be better? I lean towards the improvised maps, but that's mainly because the true-to-life maps tend to have so many game artefacts that these dominate play more than the actual landscape. But in remodeling the battlefield, I am introducing my own prejudices. Tricky, tricky.

What rules of thumb do other people use?

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Looking right has to be the best method. the problem is the building blocks CM has , like buildings roads etc, are not very clever. So make what looks good to you on the battlefield. The odds are then it will appeal to players.

Incidentally slavish trying for realism is wasted doubly because the pixeltruppen and vehicles have their own modeeling problems in terms of behaviour or capability.

Go on create some worlds : ) I have that temptation also but tend to fight battles BTW if you want to have an outlet for your maps PM me.

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I agree with dt. "Design for effect" is always best. Go by what feels/looks best. Forget "realism."

That's what DoD spends billions on, and it still doesn't look quite right.

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Designing for effect often devolves into designing for a certain development of the battle. That's why I try to stay true to a random piece of terrain. It normally makes a more interesting battle, but one needs to know the limitations of the game. Striking the balance is something I have yet to master.

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I went away from recreating historical battlefields (with few exceptions) due to Mapping Mission not really working with maps, larger than 1km square. With some help of Map converter, I can patch up larger maps, but at last it became all too tedious for me.

I´m now more following an artistical approach, letting the Map Generator doing some rough works and then "painting" the map to my requirements, until I´m pleased with the results. If map contours are done by the generator, the remaining things go way faster. Checking every bit of the map in 3D, do corrections, start playtesting, adjust things and so forth. Is way more fun to me, than going the hard way with google maps, all sort of overlays ect. and a good approximation of the battle area is sufficient.

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Recreating historical battlefields turned out to be unfightable for me. The poor accuracy of guns at range means that you end up with dry guns before there are enough knockouts to count, if you manage to fight at the ranges reported. Beside that, in the Appenines, the altitude differences are much more than the 20 levels in the scenario builder allows. You end up having to pick and choose, and maybe you'll find a historic battlefield that falls within the parameters of what you can recreate.

Much easier then, to find a nice piece of usable terrain and pretend there was a fight there.

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