Author Topic: FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules  (Read 865 times)

Offline AgetianMaywind

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FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules
« on: August 25, 2015, 12:48:07 PM »
Hello,
Recently I have returned to playing FRUA thanks to the long-awaited re-release of the Gold Box series of games on GOG. Playing through the amazing Realm campaign that consists of hacked modules (which do not have area maps) prompted me to create a little "tool" to simplify mapping the areas on your PC without having to use a pencil and a sheet of paper. Basically it's a LibreOffice Calc template that simulates graph paper and uses styles to provide means of easily marking corridors, doors, places of interest and stuff like that. I would like to share it with the community, and this is the best place I've found to post it (if it's out of place here, feel free to move it over to a more suitable location).

This works best if you're playing on a large enough monitor with DOSBox running in windowed mode (something like 1024x768 window works best for me) and LibreOffice Calc open on the right or on the left of the game window. Of course, if you have two monitors plugged in, it's even better (but hardly necessary).

The archive attached to the post contains two files:
FRUA Mapping Grid.ots - the template file itself that you can double click to create a new map (or import it into your LibreOffice templates for ease of use).
B2_KOTB_Mapping_Demo.ods - a little demo of how I started to make an (imprecise) map for the B2 Keep on the Borderlands (game02.dns) module. Just as a quick demo of what it's meant to do and what is possible.

Requirements: This template is meant to be used with LibreOffice, which is a free and open source office suite that can be downloaded from www.libreoffice.org. Version 4.2 or newer is highly recommended because the template is designed to be used with the Styles and Formatting tab of the Sidebar, which is not available in the earlier versions. Compatibility with Microsoft Office, as well as with older versions of LibreOffice/OpenOffice, was not tested and is not guaranteed.

Usage:
1. Make sure LibreOffice v4.2 or newer is installed.
2. Extract the archive to a folder you find convenient.
3. Double-click FRUA Mapping Grid.ots to create a new map in LibreOffice Calc. Make sure you save the file at this point to ensure that your work is not lost (a new file is created every time you click the .ots template file). When saving your file please use the default LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet format (OpenDocument .ods).
4. If you do not have Sidebar enabled in LibreOffice, enable it (View -> Sidebar in the menu).
5. Switch to the "Styles and Formatting" tab in the Sidebar and expand the "FRUA Map Elements" style group.
6. Assign different styles to cells and cell ranges in order to draw corridors, corners, walls, marked locations etc. To clear a cell, assign either the "Empty Square" or the "FRUA Map Elements" style.
7. You can write a letter, digit, or a symbol into any cell. It will be center-aligned by default to fit nicely in the cell. If you need to write a left-aligned text comment, assign the "Text Area" style to the cell you write the text into (check the demo ODS file for a little demonstration).

Other than that, it should be pretty straightforward and hopefully easy enough to use (after a little practice).
Hope some of you may find this little utility template useful.

- Agetian

Offline Nol Drek

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Re: FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2015, 01:40:35 PM »
That's a nice utility!

An alternative to mapping dungeons by hand is to use this utility to turn on "Area View" for all the levels of the dungeon.
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/hacks/area-on.txt
http://frua.rosedragon.org/pc/hacks/area-on.zip
"Into the Drachensgrab Mountains!"

http://www.noldrek.com

Offline AgetianMaywind

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Re: FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2015, 02:31:14 PM »
@ Nol Drek: Thanks a lot! And thanks for the heads up about area-on - that's a handy little tool as well, very helpful! :) I didn't know that it existed (always used to hand-map hacked modules before - will probably still do to some extent to mark where things are and stuff :))

- Agetian

Offline Jaesun

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Re: FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2015, 09:17:32 PM »
There is also Grid Cartographer http://www.davidwaltersdevelopment.com/tools/gridcart/index.php

It is also free (but there IS a paid version which does more stuff). But the basic version works great.

Highly recommended.

Offline AgetianMaywind

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Re: FRUA Mapping Grid for Hacked Modules
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2015, 04:04:33 AM »
Thanks a lot for the info on GridCartographer, will check it out!

- Agetian