View Full Version : Most maps aren't aesthetically pleasing. Why?

11-30-2005, 09:57 AM
When I fly the online4 map with all the mountains, I'm blown away by how great the map looks. However, most other maps in the game look stale. This makes me wonder, why does this map look so much better than all the other maps? Is it the mountains, the vegetation, the detail in the villages, the rivers, the way some of the sky is blocked by the mountains? I thought it might just be me who thought this way, but I've run into several others who thought this map looked far better than any others we have.

This especially comes into play for us pacific guys. I am of the opinion that flying over tropical islands like Kuwai should be breath taking, not boring. I should get distracted from the fighting to take in how good things look like I do in online4. However, the only way for a pacific map to look good is to play it at dawn or dusk, with lots of cool cloud cover etc, but in my opinion, online4 is the only map that looks good at noon with no clouds. Maybe there's other European maps that look like this but there are no pacific maps that are really worth flying in as far as aesthetics are concerned.

Am I wrong about this? Are the map makers slacking off? Did the map makers do something great with that one map that they aren't able to reproduce? My suspicion is this is a case where volume has taken precedence over quality, which would be fine, as squads want to be able to run campaings in differing WWII hotspots, but if we had just one pacific map that really looked great, then I'd be placated.

11-30-2005, 10:57 AM
map makers slacking off? http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif

Stalingrad is a sweet map and that part of Russia was open terrain, as it should be. Some good low elevation too.

Czech out the beautiful forest covered FB Lvov map. Especially the lower right corner. That is beautiful low hills -- nothing like the giant O4 mountains -- but covered with lots of East European forest because that part of the map does not have too many of those hideous Wide Open FB European River Plains like on the other maps.

Lower right corner of Kuban Map is the *best* map made by Oleg's Team. Lots of great mountains, and (believe it or not) No Rivers anywhere in that section of the Kuban map (lower right). That's the best map to setup crapp plane missions like TB-3s escorted by I-153s and intercepted by CR.42s. That's alot of fun on this map ... or the lower right corner of this map.

Also, the volcanic island maps are well done, and offer very high performance. Iwo Jima and especially Chichi Jima. They look like Saburo/Caiden described -- someplace you don't want to be.

Forget about Hawaii as a map, you will sleep better at night. Too many Wide Open FB European River Plains.

Best Pacific jungle island terrain is Normanby Island on the lower right of the New Guinea map. That's what Pacific islands should look more like. Florida Island on the north Guadacanal map is also nicely done I think. There are some great stuff here that shows how stunning Oleg's map engine can be, but Oleg failed to truly use his map engine to advantage in this sim. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_frown.gif But, maybe for BoB And Beyond http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

11-30-2005, 11:34 AM
Thanks for the reply Lex, I'll try flying around in those tonight and see what I think.

I didn't mean to imply that I think the map makers are slacking in terms of the amount of work they are doing. As I said in the end of the post, its more likely that they are going for quantity over quality, which makes sence as so many people are yelling for their specific map to come out.

In a way, I am holding my breath for BOB's terrain (especially the cliffs of Dover), but at the same time, I really enjoy the pacific theater (getting a whole squad on and off a carrier is a unique experiance), and I doubt Oleg will ever get back to ever doing a Pacific map again. As such, I really hope that we get one Pacific map that is as stunning as possible for this engine before Oleg & Company completely abandon this series. This is assuming of course that this map doesn't already exist. It's possible that the terrain is already maxed out for the pacific and it just doesn't look all that good, or I haven't found the spots that look good (as you suggest).

11-30-2005, 11:43 AM
I agree with you and Lexx that Online #4, Normamby, lower right +Kuban and Florida (and the islands northwest of Florida are some of the best, But Gulf of Finland is impressive and Ianboys' NW Europe is great too. My all time favorite for Pacific is the Pacific Islands map, though. I think that crescent island/lagoon is just beautiful.

There's hope too for more Pacific maps with some class. Someone (Saqson or Ianboys??) is working on a Burma map, and has been listening to Tater-SW and others regarding its features. There's a thread here somewhere about it.....

11-30-2005, 11:45 AM
Here you go...... http://forums.ubi.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/26310365/m/9791069083

11-30-2005, 12:06 PM
My all time favorite for Pacific is the Pacific Islands map, though. I think that crescent island/lagoon is just beautiful.

I completely agree. The lagoon is incredible for screenshots and showing off the game to other people, as are the winding water passages leading into the southern base. Kudos to whoever is responsible for those.

11-30-2005, 12:32 PM
Lexx is spot on on the 2 good islands in PF. It's sad since it would be very possible to make really pretty PF maps if you actually cared about the result. I look forward to Ian's Burma map as the first good Pacific War map.


11-30-2005, 12:49 PM
To clarify, look at these pics:

Here's a few examples of what the aim is. Now I know the game wont have terrain that looks as good as these pics, but I bet its possible to give the pilot the impression of flying in this type of terrain. The lagoon previously mentioned does this.

Another example, though the mountains in online4 do not look like this last picture, I get the same emotional response from flying in that map as I do from looking at this picture:

11-30-2005, 01:25 PM
Unfortunately the terrain model used in this game is not quite up to those pics with reliable results. Nevertheless there's some pretty impressive scenery within the limitations.

11-30-2005, 01:32 PM
Yes I, am a bit disappointed about those maps too.
I like the Normandy map but there is more elevation in reality, more hedgerows .
Along the main roads more trees.
In the Pacific I loved the colors of CFS2 from the air, the colors of Il2-pacific are much too bright , painstaking for the eye, which kills the feeling.
The Russiam maps are quite good but there is more elevation I think.
I hope those new maps will be more like the real thing.
But making those maps is a lot of work so for the time being http://i11.photobucket.com/albums/a190/potver/uitsnede3.jpg I,m happy with it.

11-30-2005, 03:09 PM
Some maps are indeed a bit disappointing but other maps are very impressive.

Kyushu I think is the nicest map of all of the new ones that shipped with Pacific Fighters. The mountains, hills, valleys, cities, and all of that are very well done. Take off from the Chiran airfield and have a look at the very large mountain just across the lake.

Lvov, Balaaton, Crimea, Kuban, Normandy, and the Finnish Gulf are also top notch maps. Some of the others are more mundane and boring although the Russian stepes I understand is also the same http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

I look forward to seeing what BoB looks like.

11-30-2005, 06:26 PM
Often, just a different time of day, like early morning or late afternoon, can make the dullest map look inviting. Almost anything is better than high noon. I find 5:30 or 6:00 pm with a few clouds looks the best.

11-30-2005, 09:20 PM
Ice-Fire, thanks for the tip. You made me realize that I've never actually flown any missions on Kyushu that I know of. I'll give it a spin. I may need to make/download more late war missions, or pretend its China.

Oh, and Kurland map is great, too. Especially autumn.

12-01-2005, 04:07 AM
from what i've seen, the new Burma and Norway maps are going to be great. The Iwo Jima map is fantastic...bleak and desolate. The place almost gives me the creeps.

i suppose we ought to keep in mind that the map engine is something like 5 years old.

12-01-2005, 10:41 AM
Basically, if it wasn't made by Ian Boys, it's rubbish.



12-01-2005, 03:05 PM
Ianboys it the newly elected (by my one man voting party) El Presidente of Map Making

12-01-2005, 04:51 PM
Its funny about the lack of elevation talk... if you (as I often do!) go tearing around the Normandy map at hedge hopping height you find there are many undulations, small valleys and the land rolls, rising and falling - its actually very realistic!

I spent 6 years in the RAF cadets and spent much of that time flying - we seldom went above 3-4000ft, but even at these heights, the prominent rolling fields and various hill ranges that form the terrain of SE England all melted away into a fairly unexciting looking terrain - thats just how it is.

12-12-2005, 07:25 PM
Looking for the best eyecandy in PF 4.02. I've checked out Iwo Jima, Chichi Jima, Normanby Island, Florida Island, Kyushi and the Pacific Islands map. My vote so far is for the Pacific Islands map. Are there any I have missed?

12-13-2005, 01:24 PM
I just love the way that foests are modelled. just one or two bitmaps floating above the ground and it looks perfect from 50m (above bitmap) and up

12-14-2005, 04:22 AM
And many's the time I've flown up and over a "empty" hilltop only to discover that it's wooded - but you can't see anything from the side if you're below the treetops http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/cry.gif http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/34.gif


12-14-2005, 08:53 AM
yeah, they should never end a forest "object" on a ridgeline, always have them wrap over.


12-14-2005, 10:23 AM
I miss not having a north eastern PNG map. The mountains are magnificent and fly through the valleys to Lae or Dobudora is a lot of fun.

In the PNG map we have, I really don't like how the mountains seem so flat until you are quite close to them, but that may be my graphics settings. The other thing I don't like is the Kokoda Track. Everything I've read about it indicates vehicles were useless after a very short distance and people and animals were needed to move supplies and wounded soldiers along it. While some areas were open, a lot of the track was surrounded by the jungle. Definately not the highway with clear fields on either side. There also seems to be a general lack of mountains in the area (solely based on trying to find valleys to fly through in the FMB).

I couldn't agree more with Williger about the forest/jungle. At most altitudes it looks fine, but at low level you can see under it (and if you're lucky, you actually see it before hitting it). Another face either vertically or sloped from the ground to the top of the "trees" along the edges would go a long way to making it significantly better.

12-14-2005, 11:12 AM
Anybody know where and when any of the Ian Boys maps are available?

12-14-2005, 01:35 PM
Originally posted by codeseven7:
Anybody know where and when any of the Ian Boys maps are available?
Kurland Autumn and Winter arrived with 4.01m. Murmansk with 4.01m. NW Germany dogfight map arrived with 4.02m. Burma, Slovakia, and Norway maps are due sometime in the future http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

All of these are available in the Full Mission Builder (FMB) and not the QMB. The QMB is mostly a pratice tool and should be treated as such. If you'd like to fly on these maps finding some good single or campaign missions would be a good idea.

12-14-2005, 04:15 PM
Thanks Ice, 4.01(M), thats why I have'nt seen'em. I think I'm one of the few left without a merged install. Time to get AEP!