Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Progress on Parallel Worlds

Well, in case you haven't seen it (or haven't seen it recently), head over to to check out the new visual overhaul I've finally given to my mapping project for the game Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds.  For those of you who don't know, Parallel Worlds is a ROM hack of Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, resulting in a completely new game, with all an all-new story, fully redone dungeons and maps, and some minor graphical changes to go with all that.  The game is HARD.  Like, Contra hard.  And what's worse is, because the map and dungeons are all new, there aren't any maps to show you where everything is when you inevitably get lost.  I have found a single walkthrough floating around on the internet that has maps, but other than that, you're s.o.l.  So, I took it upon myself to map the entire game, in full, lossless resolution.  After completing the Light World Overworld map (well, I still have some touch-up work to do...), I discovered an awesome piece of software called Worldkit which would allow me to turn my shiny new really-big-picture into a fully interactive map with zoom and pan, as well as geotag annotations for tagging items and important landmarks.  So I got it all loaded up and decided to host it on Google's App Engine framework (which is kind of a weird use of the App Engine framework, but there are plenty of other people hosting static websites on GAE, so whatever...).  As of yet, I can't seem to get annotations working on the web (they work great on the local dev server that comes with the GAE SDK... frustrating), but I have finally gotten around to giving the page itself a facelift from the previous blank-page-with-embedded-flash-object-slapped-into-the-corner.  It is now a presentable web page, with a nice template that will allow me to easily deploy new pages as I finish the maps.  Also, speaking of finishing maps, I managed to map all of Din's Catacombs, which is a pretty nice achievement (if I do say so myself) in that the entire dungeon is normally pitch-black, making mapping via screenshot extremely tedious at best and nearly impossible at worst.  The walkthrough I mentioned earlier with screenshots of all of the dungeons actually doesn't have one for Din's Catacombs.  So I may be the first to have mapped it.  Go me :)  Anyway, the Din's Catacombs page is a bit of a mess right now, I was trying out a different template which really isn't working so well, but I'll fix it up soon.  I've also started work on the Icy World Overworld map, which I currently have about 20% complete, so hopefully that will be online soon as well.

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Zelda: Parallel Worlds Interactive Map

I have discovered a means to make my Zelda Parallel Worlds mapping project much more interesting and useful by creating a fully interactive map with navigation and annotation features using an awesome piece of software called WorldKit.  I am hosting the project using Google's App Engine framework, and have uploaded my current Light World overworld map to test the software and deployment functionality.  I have not yet added any annotations (and I probably won't until I have the Icy World map done), but you can test the zoom and pan features.  Unfortunately, the zoomify software I'm using to generate the zoom tiles only works with JPEG images, so it does get lossy at full zoom, but I suppose that's really the best route to go anyway, then I can offer the full-resolution, lossless PNG for download from a separate link.  I'm still brushing up on my HTML so I can actually have a nice page rather than the current blank page with the embedded map viewer.  It's a work in progress, but check it out at