You know you always wanted to have an interactive map in-game. Admit it.
I was thinking that we could use an OpenStreetMap
version of this:
We can just use a little gecko frame to render it.
I am willing to create the OpenStreetMap if this is the way to go.
Don't think so. With the dynamic nature of the MW map (plugins can change it and so can scripts and with post OpenMW 1.0 development this dynamic nature will probably increase further) it would be rather problematic to implement. Also, I am not excited about the idea of introducing web technology into OpenMW. But anyway, that is a topic for post OpenMW 1.0.
I agree, using web tech inside morrowind doesn't make much sense.
The better way would be to enable mods to put more information on the map, points of interest etc. This will let people choose how advanced they want the map. An example of this is the various map mods for World of Warcraft.
But this is far off, first vanilla Morrowind needs to work.
I don't see the reason why this interactive map would be better. Although I would love to just put my one notes, drawings and attachments (like map of an interior cell or journal note) to some points of map i don't see why we need to copy google/open street map.
ofc it is possible (there is some kind of www browser for ogre) but probably not very suitable.
I kind of like the idea of an interactive map, at least one that's more interactive and zoomable than the current one. I agree with the others that a web-tool (if I understand what it is correctly) might not be the best implementation, but who knows, the technology behind it could be useful.
At the moment we don't have ANY implementation for the map though, so it's not a bad idea to start thinking about it.
It is completely open, and people have done amazing things with OpenStreetMap, so I am positive it is completely programmable.
For instance: http://edu.kde.org/marble/
Okay, here my thoughts on map implementation:
The World Map
This one is relative simple. Basically we have two stages:
1. At game startup we run through all the landscape records and build a relief bitmap Everything above the waterlevel gets one colour, everything below gets another colour.
(for performance reasons we might cache this bitmap later and only change it, when the plugin settinsg change).
2. When ever a cell is loaded, we take a single shot of a 2nd camera placed above and in the middle of this cell. We render only once to this camera, scale the image down and insert it into the relief map.
That should pretty much provide the same behaviour as the vanilla MW map.
The Local Map
This is more complex. We need to use the 2nd overhead camera again, but this time with less scaling down. And we need to do something about the fog of war. That can probably be done with a compositor and a second mask texture.
I don't like the idea of using something like web code that would probably perform slowly in OpenMW.
@Zini: I think it would be better if we decide to use a contiguously zoomable map from the whole-island-zoom down to the local-zoom. I much prefer this to breaking it up into two separate maps. I believe the only reason Bethesda didn't do this from the beginning is because they hadn't yet experienced a precedent (such as google maps) or because they didn't think our computers could handle it. The "map fog" that is removed on the vanilla MW local map when you walk over it could instead just show up as topographical brown-scale map until you walk over it, revealing the terrain with ground texture, plants and buildings.
What do you think, Zini?
By the way, yeah, definitely store the map somewhere so that we don't have to create it every time. Loading every cell to take a top-down picture of it should take a good amount of time. We should be able to run the map making function on a cell if we can detect it changing (either terrain or buildings). Maybe take a new picture from above a cell every time you load it?
While I don't object to the idea of making the local map zoomable (post 1.0), I don't like the idea of merging both map modes, because they have quite different characteristics (e.g. world map shows the whole world right from the beginning, local map only shows what you have explored).
But actually it doesn't matter much what I think about it. MW has two different map modes. Our promise is to provide all the features of the original game, so we have to implement two map modes too.
Fair enough. If there's enough interest in it, it can be gotten to later. So we implement what is offered in Vanilla first (with whatever easy improvements can be made) and then more advanced improvements can be implemented later if we want to.