[MUD-Dev] Re: MAPPING: Creating a bitmaped graphic from map coordinates

Jon Leonard jleonard at divcom.umop-ap.com
Wed Apr 22 18:07:39 New Zealand Standard Time 1998

On Wed, Apr 22, 1998 at 05:17:06PM -0700, John Bertoglio wrote:
> Here's the problem:
> We have a mud world with main grid of 1200 by 800 cells. Each of those cells
> is stored in a database along with x,y coordinate information, cell color,
> terrain type, etc. I have written a simple mapping function which maps local
> areas using HTML tables. These work pretty well but since the minimum size
> on a 17 inch monitor is about a 1/4 inch square, it is not possible to
> render large areas or even consider the whole map.
> Here's what I need:
> I can write my data to any text configuration. The only format I am aware of
> which has a native text format is Postscript. This is impractical since I
> don't want to try to write a million cells to this format since it would be
> huge. Also, I would have to learn the innerworkings of postscript, which
> look like real work. I know this is possible because tiled games do this
> (our maps would just be single pixel tiles...) on a smaller scale. I know I
> am missing something here.

Assuming I understand the problem, you want to generate a map of a MUD world,
but can only output text?

A few potential solutions come to mind:

1) Modify your mud so it can output binary, and just output some format
	like PPM (basically uncompressed color data).

2) Warp your code so that it generates the uuencoded form of the above, and
	uudecode before viewing.

3) Use Postscript anyway.  If you're willing to sacrifice readability,
	Postscript can be fairly compact.  Well-written Postscript shouldn't
	be that big anyway.

4) Use whatever output format is convenient for your program, and then run
	it through a custom converter program to get something more useful.

I recommend 1, then 4, then 3, in that order.

Contact me off-list for technical details if necessary.  I know enough to
do #3 or #4 if given a little more info about the mud's data structures. 

More on topic, are there any solutions for map (or other graphics)
generation for a graphical MUD besides the obvious ones?

Custom client (OS specific -- ick.)
Java applet
Web page with graphics generated on the server. (insufficiently interactive)

Jon Leonard

MUD-Dev: Advancing an unrealised future.

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