Tuesday, October 17, 2006

TA-ncient History #6.1.4: First Ink Amended

Those of you familiar with the high journalistic standards here at Ton of Clay know the premium I place on the truth -- A premium so high only the very rich can afford to bribe me. I started thinking about my reference to the ill-fated demo map called Boris. Was the map really 100x100 screens?

I had to verify this for you, the reader. Yea, though I sift through many a worn CD-ROM, risking flying shards of frail, shattered disk in my eye, I will persevere. Anyway, I got curious and found the remains of the original map earlier this evening.

Above are the sections of Boris, assembled in something approximating the original design. Each square chunk was about 5 by 5 screens (2560 pixels on a side). I recall now that the plan was to expand this by placing large strips of open water between each type of terrain. So, the ultimate goal for Boris was probably closer to a mere 40x40 screens. Much smaller, but still insanely big for an average computer in 1997. The real problem was partly the physical dimensions, but also the high number of memory-gobbling unique tiles in this design.

In retrospect, Boris just seemed like 100x100 screens, much as memories of a playground bully can make them seem like they were ten feet tall, with a helpless nerd in one hand and a twisted jungle gym in the other.

I regret the the lapse in accuracy extremely. I apologize to my vast readership - but I mostly apologize to Boris. He just wanted to be loved and probably came from a tough neighborhood. Boris was, if anything, simply ahead of his time. Poor little fella.



Anonymous said...

Poor boris. Maybe you could make it up to him by sneaking a word in with Chris and putting a newer version in supcom lol. Btw, whats ur feelings on that?

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

That's a splendid idea, though part of me thinks that Boris should rest in peace. Or pieces.

Peter said...

Why did you turn this into a blog of lies?

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

Quiet you.

NERDsFist said...

I'm one of those 3rd party map makers you're referring to.
I believe the size limit for maps in TA is 67x67 or something in that order.
They fall into the 'epic' category and are no fun in online multiplay as it is too hard finding an opponent and games always turn into nuke/ bomber/ hawk- wars, which are kinda boring and lag sensitive.

I really enjoy your background stories of TA. It is the only game that lasted on my pc's for 9 years now. I still play a few games every week.

Anonymous said...

there looks like some pretty greenworld tiles there that I haven't seen before (like that spiraly mountain), how come we don't see those tiles in the maps made by cavedog?

... and could we have them now? =p

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

We never used the bones of Boris to build other things for a number of reasons.

First off, the background artists and I soon got busy making custom map segments for the mission designers and didn't have the time to add the final bit of polish the Boris segments needed (they still do). There are some visual glithes, and the height map was a pretty sloppy match.

The other problem with Boris is that those Green sections have a slightly different cast to them color-wise, so they would have needed some transition pieces to get along with the other Green map sections. Not a big deal to do that, but something we didn't have time for back then.

Can you have them? Sure thing. The files are a 5 to 6 megs apiece and the bump maps are about a meg and a half, so some sort of FTP setup may be needed if that's too big for FileUniverse (let me know)

Anonymous said...

LOL did you see supcom's preview in computer gaming world? It's a two page screen that looks kinda similar to TA's. There's a post about it at supcomuniverse.

Timothy said...

FileUniverse should allow for you to upload files up to 50MB, and images up to 5MB, now, so uploading those to FU shouldn't be a problem. ;)

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

Hmmm... That may not work.

All the segments for Boris amount to 220 megs worth of sections with their accompanying height maps. Most pieces range from 5.9 megs to just over 6 megs apiece (a few smaller pieces are only 3 or 4 megs each).

This may be a job for FTP or snail mail.

Timothy said...

Well, as it so happens, we have a semi-public FTP account for FU that we use for files over 50MB. For obvious reasons, I'd prefer not to post that info in public. Do you have an email I can send it to, or, if you prefer not to post that, either, you can email me at Dusterdieck at gmail dot com and I'll shoot you back a reply with the info. Either one works for me.

Clayton Kauzlaric said...

No problem. Just email me at the contact email you'll find on the Beep Industries site:


MaulMachine said...

63X63 for TA maps, not 67. Still huge, only James Beatty at www.epicclass.com really makes them well.

Devin said...

Hmm...I think that it might be possible to create a smaller version of Boris.

Scale the pieces down, fit them together in a good size range, and we have another TA map...just a thought.

Ankit Kashyap said...

Hello Mr. Kauzlaric, we(the TA community at TAUniverse) are willing to have the above depicted map "Boris". Can you please upload it somewhere(FU is down ATM) and link it. Thank you. :)