Forum:Getting maps on a higher level

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Forums: Redwood Grove > Getting maps on a higher level


Maps are a hard things to get just right. Not just maps about fictional games, but maps in general. There's always the weigh-off between a lot of factors, such as information density, clarity, realism, and probably a dozen more factors I haven't even considered. That said, I think the choices that are being made in regards to how the higher floors of maps are being rendered are causing us to have suboptimal maps for every level but the surface level. In my opinion, the 100% grayscale makes the whole world barely recognisable, the blur makes it a lot harder to look at, and the intermediate layers not showing (e.g. the 1st floor[UK]2nd floor[US] not showing when you're looking at the 2nd floor[UK]3rd floor[US]) makes it hard to use the maps for anything that uses multiple floor levels, such as rooftop agility courses and the Waterbirth Island Dungeon, just to name two very clear examples.

Just to elaborate on one of those two examples: Mark of grace#Rooftop Agility Course Spawns currently has a very nice overview of all possible Mark spawns. However, despite this being very iconic rooftop content, the markers have been placed on the ground floor. Why? Because putting the markers on higher floors just makes the map unusable. Just try Pollnivneach Rooftop for example. Either the pins need to be placed on separate map levels, which makes it impossible to see a quick overview, or the pins are on the same level and then you can't see the relevant map locations because they're too blurry.

So, after Cook basically challenged me in Discord to figure out how to improve the maps so it's still obvious what floor you're on, I took him up on the challenge and made a very crude and simple layer modification tool that is able to apply any variety of filters to the different layers of the map, so we can actually figure out what the ideal combination of filters would be for the lower layers of the map.

Layer test tool and comparisons[edit source]

Note: Due to the fact the layer test tool is very simplistic, it will load 4 PNG images − each in its entirety − measuring 11008x6656px, and applies CSS filters to them. The total download is just over 8MB for the overworld and just under 3.5MB for the underground. This will also require a lot more computational resources than most other maps.

This tool can conveniently be found on http://joeytje50.github.io/osrs/. Or, if you're more of a caveman (or woman), you can check out http://joeytje50.github.io/osrs/underground.html for the underground map (which also features 4 different floor levels) instead of the surface. This tool has a couple of features, other than the obvious checkboxes and layer buttons at the top. If you like to fiddle around with the settings and propose another

  1. Very basic zooming works; just use the built-in browser zoom function, and if the buttons would take up too much of your screen, they'll be hidden automatically. This zoom function will not introduce additional blurriness.
  2. Accesskeys are enabled for switching layers; press [Alt]+[1-4] (so not the F1-4 keys but the actual number keys) on Chrome, or [Alt]+[Shift]+[1-4] to enable radio button #1-4. This works even if the buttons are hidden due to zooming.
  3. The tool is very crude and simple, so it's easy enough to apply your own filters by simply inspecting the <img> element and changing the existing styles, if the currently available options aren't enough.
  4. Aside from the typical features that are "directly below" the surface level, the south-western corner of the map contains a few dungeons I've manually inserted into this portion of the map. The rest of the map almost exactly corresponds 1:1 with the overworld. If you are missing dungeons to test in the map, message me on discord and I'll add them.

Well, so far my sales pitch; I've prepared some examples to consider in this proposal to get the maps looking great on a higher level. I'll refrain from including my opinions in the overview table itself, and I'll also include links to maps for different proposals if people want to include some. In order to not unnecessarily spam links, I've reduced each row to a single example per map, linking to the best-looking location for the given settings. Please explore the rest of the map to get a view of several different map features.

# Name Filters applied Intermediate layers shown? Test tool links
Overworld Underground
1 Status quo Blur 5px, grayscale 100% No Falador Castle Hallowed Sepulchre
2 mejrs' map tool Darken 50% (or slightly more) Yes F2P buildings Waterbirth Dungeon
3 My proposal Blur 1px, darken 30%, grayscale 50% Yes Falador Castle GWD and Dorgesh-Kaan
No Meiyerditch Temple of Light
4 Cook's new proposal Blur 2px, darken 30%, contrast 50%, grayscale 50% No Kourend Hallowed Sepulchre
5 Choppe's proposal Blur 1px, darken 30%, contrast 80%, grayscale 50% Yes Falador + Varrock Hallowed Sepulchre
No Meiyerditch Hallowed Sepulchre

The reasons why I think the settings listed under my proposal in row 3 of the table, is because I think keeping the layer underneath clearly recognisable is most important in keeping the map useful. These settings give a top-down view of the world, as if the world map for that layer was actually a view of everything you'd be able to see from that layer. So, because you can typically see what's on layers below you, I think showing all layers below the current one is very useful. The low blur radius (i.e. relatively crisp but still slightly "out-of-focus") makes it obvious, in my view, whenever you're on a layer that doesn't show anything at this location. See north-east Wilderness for example: the slight blur makes it clear you're not on the ground floor. The slightly darker and half-grayscale filter then makes the current floor stand out quite clearly, from its surroundings.

Due to potential technical limitations, it might be impossible to render the intermediate layers on each higher floor, since an entire map layer needs to be loaded to properly render the blur effect. Because of that, I've also included a 'fallback' proposal with the same settings but with the intermediate floors hidden. Please keep in mind that it may not be possible to render the intermediate layers on the maps if we have a blur effect applied to them. However, I still think it's useful to discuss what our desired look for the map is, and then make concessions after that. Joeytje50 (talk) 02:40, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Update about technical aspect - I've had a go at the script that applies the filters for the pre-processed map tiles and I can say with some confidence that there is no detectable increased memory usage in all testing I've done so far. This means that with my version of the script that processes the map tiles, all of this should be equally doable, so there shouldn't be any technical objections. Aside from this, I've changed the script for the specific tiles of Tree Gnome Village and Gnome Stronghold, so that these tree house floors will now be rendered as black (as they should, according to the game data). To reflect this, I've also changed the map layer test tool (for example here; please do play with the settings here though). The changes to the tool were manual changes, however, so there might be tiny (inconsequential) differences between what I did here, and the actual output. Joeytje50 (talk) 13:02, 7 February 2021 (UTC)

Discussion[edit source]

Support #3 with inter-layers - As cookie monster. Joeytje50 (talk) 02:40, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

PS: #5 would be my second choice over #4, if #3 can't be the proposal that gets used. Joeytje50 (talk) 18:16, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

Prefer #4 - I think proposals #2 and #3 don't make it clear enough that you are not on the main floor, which is very important for, well, knowing where something is. #4 is a good middle ground that makes it clear you're not on the ground floor, but also makes it clear where you are. For the same reason, I think that showing intermediate layers results in confusing backgrounds, especially on telescoping towers and other areas where plane 1's wall areas differ significantly from plane 2 or 3's.

More generally, if someone is willing to take over from me the project of regularly generating these tiles, they are free to do whatever they want stylistically. ʞooɔ 02:48, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Support #3 and #4 but prefer #4 - both #3 and #4 look fine to me. As I said I think #3 is nicer to look at it, but at a first glance it's slightly more disorientating. Intermediate layers don't really seem necessary to me, having played around with the tool for a bit they don't appear to make any significant difference to how the map looks, even in places like the Hallowed Sepulchre. Ultimately it is just more technically demanding for little practical change, and for something that the overwhelming majority of viewers don't care about either way. To be honest I don't mind which proposal is picked, just as long as it's not #1 or #2. With #2 (in my experience) it's not always clear which floor you are on, whereas #1 is so confusing as to be beyond useless. Hlwys (talk) 03:15, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Support 4 - 3 (no intermediate layers) and 4 are good, but I find the contrast in 4 helpful. Intermediate layers are fine on something like mejrs because you know the place you are looking at. I don't think that's typically the use case for on-wiki maps. Andmcadams (talk) 03:26, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

Support 3/4 or new option of 5 - My suggestion of #5 would be: Blur 1px, darken 30%, contrast 80%, grayscale 50%. I don't care with or without layers, with is cool, but doesn't really add all that much to me and may cause some confusion to others. I personally do not like the blur being 2x or 50% contrast - differentiating between floors with either or both has no improvement to me. Blur is not something I enjoy looking at when its 2+, 50% contrast is also way too bright for me to comfortably look at for very long, but I do think 80% would be good enough to help distinguish without clouding it too much. If not 5, then I would choose4 then 3.Choppe|T 04:45, 5 February 2021 (UTC)

I've added your option 5 to the table. Joeytje50 (talk) 05:55, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Support #3 - #4 is still too blurry for me. Personally, I think knowing which floor something is on is unimportant in comparison to knowing where on the map something even is. As a sidenote, if layers are what causes the horrible lag on your github examples, then they're definitely a no-go for me lol. zTUG5mD.png Crow 653  01:44, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

The github example is laggy because the way I've built it is very simplistic; instead of splitting up the whole map into small tiles which load only when necessary, the entire image for each of the 4 layers is loaded all at the same time. This does have the benefit of allowing people to experiment with different filters, since all four of the raw layer images are loaded individually instead of being preprocessed. On the wiki, regardless which proposal wins, there will be no difference whatsoever in lag or anything of the sort. That's because all of the actual work is done in the preprocessing step and the maps load in small individual tiles, as opposed to four massive images at the same time. Joeytje50 (talk) 01:49, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Support as close to no filters as possible (anything except #1). I agree with Crow that knowing your overall location in the world is vastly more important than immediately knowing your floor. I would also rather hide intermediate floors, since the most important aspect for me is determining where you are in the overall map and intermediate floors partially obscure the ground. I also agree that if Joey is willing to write the code, I will happily accept any of these options. Riblet15 (talk) 03:02, 6 February 2021 (UTC)

Support #5 or #3 For me, the 2px blur is a bit much, as well as 50% contrast. Layers didn't change much about the map besides creating a few unfamiliar building outlines. But I'm fine with anything as long as it's not #1. #2 is a little confusing with regards to which floor you're on, as well, so I prefer either #5 or #3. Lamp (talk) 19:25, 11 February 2021 (UTC)

Support 2 #1 is just too confusing. We have had plenty of people come into Discord asking what was wrong with their map, while that has never happened for RSW (which implements #2). Mejrs (talk) 12:58, 16 February 2021 (UTC)

Runoff/Ranked Choice Vote? - So far generally intermediate layer seems to have minimal support as with option #2, there is also overall support for one of the #3, #4, #5 without intermediate layers. Finally, no support for option 1. Unless there is more support for 2, then it should be between 3, 4, and 5. I think it would be easier to close and finalise this if we were to list preferencially what we would choose unless someone can otherwise say there is a decent consensus.Choppe|T 19:12, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

In order: #3, #5, #4. Like this? Joeytje50 (talk) 19:20, 21 February 2021 (UTC)
#5, #4, #3 Choppe|T 19:46, 21 February 2021 (UTC)

Support #5 - I like this one followed by #2 and #4 with darker backgrounds Shoyrukon (talk) 22:11, 22 February 2021 (UTC)