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Author Topic: School Maps - Imagemaps and more  (Read 8107 times)

Zythen

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School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« on: June 05, 2010, 12:00:38 am »

Graphical interface suggestion was to use a map representing the school and its various rooms (built or otherwise), and allow the user to interact by clicking on them, rather than using normal buttons/lists. While giving a bit more depth to the game environment, there has to be a consideration as to the layout.

A school in its XML file is fixed with its max size at present, the XML file contains all the possible rooms and marks the ones opened at the start of play as such, and the others with a price and all the usual potential trappings.

A school of this nature could have multiple classrooms across several floors. Considering the original 0.95 version with 180 students across 6 classrooms. This could be fit onto a single floor diagram, although adding in a Library, Ward, Computer Room, Swimming Pool and so on would make it a bit crowded.

Having it split over two floors is an answer that could be used, but then does the game display both floors at once (one imagemap) or does the facility to have multiple image maps come into play and allow the players to switch between floors (providing a key/navigation index on one size to change the floor of focus).

Multiple floors may be preferable, although this could also represent multiple "zones" (thus allowing you to break up what could be a very extensive school into different wings and navigate between them.

It could be argued with multiple zones you need another smaller school representation to allow you to navigate around the zones (not nesscarily to change using the small representation, just one to see where you are) but then there is introducing that image and tying image maps to sections of that image as well... theoretically possible, but not something I want to attempt unless there is a drive for it at present (I should get the first image map working first).

For my inital test school to attempt to demo and POC this setup, we'll work with the following assumptions:
  • Student Population of 100 (initally)
  • Maximum of 5 Classrooms, 3 built at school opening
  • Computer Room (not built)
  • Library (not built)
  • Ward (not built)
  • School office (built - autohire officegirl)
  • High school wall (example of a non functional "room" with no jobs, but to provide a different function of day-to-day stat manipulation maybe)

This also provides an oppotunity to work on student population dynamics. If we have 100 students with 3 classes and therefore 3 teachers, if we build classroom 4 and hire another teacher, reorganize the school into 4 classes and move on from there. (disruption of this nature should have some statistical affect as well - although we should provide a window of opportunity where its lessened/removed such as a school holiday or end of year).
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Zythen

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2010, 10:58:00 pm »

Some presentation considerations...

Found it quite easy to create areas that draw over the imagemap to indicate what we're hovering over, so I can make them "visible" through use of a couple of methods and the paint event on the imagemap.

Question is now, what to colour them with.

Atm:

Built - Aquamarine
Not Built - Red

All colours are at ~50% opacity, not sure if I want any further color differentiation.
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Cypress_z

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2010, 05:50:15 pm »

I think the current color scheme is fine.

I do think you should add dorms to the school, though. 
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Zythen

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2010, 05:58:15 pm »

I think the current color scheme is fine.

I do think you should add dorms to the school, though. 

The inital test school is based in the same style as HHS and they have no dorms. I think when I start doing that I will also require multiple image maps per school, and once I have the mechanics sorted out I will start building multiple image maps for this school to allow for a dorm image map. Alternatively I draw very very small (as long as its not circular, the vertex count for a circle will be horrendous) and fit it all onto a 640x480 image.. which is possible.

Ultimately however, content will define what goes on the map(s). If we have nothing or very little for one room, then we will likely remove it and dedicate the space to something else. For now its about functionality... I've throw a hall/auditorium in for example onto my map.....

Its extremely easy (if time consuming) to rebuild the image map and co-ordinates and it won't impact functionality so adding/removing rooms will be quite easy.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2010, 06:09:38 pm by Zythen »
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LukasAngelis

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2010, 06:06:35 pm »

Zythen, I just hope that for the background image of each of the different schools is actually different, unlike the first game that had the same background image for all the schools.
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Zythen

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2010, 06:08:23 pm »

Zythen, I just hope that for the background image of each of the different schools is actually different, unlike the first game that had the same background image for all the schools.

If you've got one you'd rather I use feel free to supply it :)

The image behind the imagemap is actually part of the imagemap... you can blend any picture you want into the imagemap, so you're only limited to ensuring you have suitable contrast between the map and the background (hence the 50% fill on the image behind it, and I had photoshop mergedown and export).
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Zythen

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Re: School Maps - Imagemaps and more
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 11:01:39 pm »

Imagemap concept and storage may change technically.

With the introduction of Locations, theoretically the binding of a single location with a single imagemap is logical. If sub-maps or additional imagemaps are wanted, then additional locations are created within the "home" location (this should not detract or interfere with the players experience, how things are presented are down to option wording and the images used to display to the user - the concepts here are purely a technical representation).

This allows for creation of top level locations such as:
  • School
  • Town
  • Holiday Resort (if you want to take the school on holiday)
  • Day field trip locations

And each location can contain sub-locations, this could either represent more granular elements of the "home" map (such as breaking the school into multiple floors or areas of the grounds), or places to visit on the homemap (like rooms on the school map at present, or places on the town map). For things like rooms, lowest level maps would have no real "map" component of the image map, and just carry the map.

There should be an option to allow binding of standard options to each location as well, and then perhaps allow events to lodge their own interaction buttons on the right side menu to allow them to expand the functions on their own.

Inital implementation to absorb the school as a "specialized" location, whereby the class is expanded significantly to provide all the core features of the school ontop of a plain location (all display and navigation however should be generalized to be common to all location management). Additional location should be the "town", one of the more generic locations to make use of the framework in a relatively pure form. This will demonstrate code specific enhanced locations (ala the School) and basic ones which are purely driven by content such as events (basically the Town).
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