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Added the minimap

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Stefan Hendriks

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In the incubator week Arjen (thanks Arjen!) worked on the minimap feature. It was a bit tougher then anticipated, but the end-result is very nice!

 

Brief history about my experience with the minimap / radar

Every since I played Dune 2 I wanted to build my own RTS game (which I did, twice). I always found the minimap a very handy feature. Since I’ve used it quite a lot I want the experience for every player to be flawless.

 

When hacking away at Dune 2 I noticed the map sizes were always a power of two (32×32 or 64×64). The minimap itself had a max of 64×64 pixels, so each tile would be 1 pixel on the map. If you played on a 32×32 map, the tiles would simply be pixels of 2 by 2.

Dune_2_screenshot_attack_on_base-300x188Dune 2 in action with 32×32 minimap

 

How we wanted the minimap to work

 

We had the following requirements

  • Ability to render very big maps (4096×4096) in the minimap area
  • Ability to handle ‘awkward’ map sizes (ie, not power of two)
  • Ability to handle very small maps (32×32)
  • Minimap would be available only after building a RADAR
  • You would need sufficient power to see anything on the minimap

 

 

Demo

See the minimap in action here:

 

What it looks like with various map sizes

minimap_64x64-296x300.png64×64map_128x128-300x300.png128×128

 

minimap_83x57-300x298.png83×57minimap_256x64-300x300.png256×64

Improvements?

For now we’re satisfied, but we already have a few ideas to improve further:

  • add the ability to jump to a ‘bigger minimap’
  • a zooming possibility
  • gradually decreasing minimap with  low power? (introduce more ‘static’ ? slower ‘update rate’ ?)

 

Like what we are doing? Please share! Or leave a comment. Thanks!

 

Special thanks to Arjen van der Ende for his time and dedication to make this feature into reality during the Incubator week!


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