28 February 2005

Vertical Integration!

As will happen every so often, ambition raises its ugly head. While this too will pass, for now I'll see where it leads me.
Ryzom banter again,
A large part of what I have been doing is foraging for raw materials to craft with. The finer raw materials make better finished products, but creating any old junk will gain me exp to help progress in the Crafting skill to where I will be able to make better objects. (and doesn't that sound like a viscious circle?) Essentially, the lower grade mats that I find will be either sold or used to fab crap (exp fodder basically).

Another (on an apallingly short list of ) nice thing about Ryzom is that the fner grades of materials are more difficult to come by; manifesting seasonally or even during a specific time of day or certain weather. There is always one class or another of materials that I am in short supply of. Typically that is fibers, but I have a good source of grade-basic fibers now, that will feed the Craft machine until I find a regular source for Choice or better. Clearly, on a persistant world, the key here is remembering where to get all these diverse materials. To this end a map would be in order. A few Ryzom veterans have been doing this by superimposing their finds on a screenshot of the in-game map.
The in-game map, frankly, doesnt lend itself well to this application; the scale is still a bit smallish for locating the resource 'nodes', only the larger (read as geological) landmarks are visible, and pertinent information (e.g. hostile tribes) is omitted.

Enter ambition.
What can I do and how can I make a better map?
I can manipulate the camera to some degree, even to a birds-eye veiw, but still too close to my character (and the ground) to yeild any significant short-term benefits. Possibly this distance (esp to the ground) would improve while mounted on a Mektoub, but as I do not own one, that is idle fantasy.

I can also take screenshots, in BMP (I think) and JPG format. I've some experience with image manipulation, but I no longer have any of the REALLY useful software like Photoshop to facilitate editing now. I can still (I beleive.....) merge image files, and hopefully, thats all that I will need to do. Otherwise I'll need to try to aquire Photoshop again.

So.. as of next login, I'm going to make some preliminary tests in anticipation of the Great Chtomelji Geological Survey. (hmm... need a better acronym...) Basically a bunch of top-down screenshots with experimentation on scale and angle. Then switch to editing and see what I can accomplish. I'll need to enlist some help for those Gingo-infested areas...

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