Category Archives: Areas/Zones

Zones From Gargauth

Gargauth (also known as Baghtru) was nice enough to grant the use of his zones.  There’s a pretty good collection:

The Village of Stoneward
The Village of Friehold
Mosswood Village
Ixxillian (the Enslaver hometown)
The Training Academy
The Temple of Strife

Most of them converted without issue, but I had to make some minor fixes to the editor to import certain bits (it didn’t translate the Umber Hulk race yet, for instance).

While I was tinkering with the converter I sorted out quest importing, so quests translate and load now.

I also figured out a good way to handle setting spells on scrolls, wands, staves, and potions and modified the converter to perform that translation.  The next version of the editor should have spell editing on objects added.

The last major hurdle remaining with the zone format and editor is the whole equivalent of mobprogs / special functions / custom actions.  I’ve been braining on that for a bit, but haven’t started to put anything into action yet.

More Zones Converted

I made a few changes to the converter because it liked to choke on mismatched ANSI codes, i.e. if you had an &+Y in the description for an exit and didn’t have an &n at the end, it would flip out.

I also made a few modifications that would make it spit out warnings instead of giving up when it couldn’t convert certain parts of a zone — namely the special procs.  This means that zones can be converted without having all the special procs available.  That’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.

After these changes, I’ve converted the zones “Sarmiz’Duul” by Zaeru, “The Hostel of Drakkenwood” by Sarim, and “Tower of Darkness” by Lortar.

Incidentally, this is the 300th post on the Basternae blog, so I’ve been averaging about 100 a year.

More Map Progress

I updated the surface map a bit, adding some swamp, jungle, tundra, and arctic terrain.

Surface Map:

Basternae Surface Map

I also created underground levels 1 and 2.  The first level is a fairly large map, while the second is a bit closed in.

Underground 1:

First Underground Level Map

Underground 2:

Second Underground Level Map

The map zones haven’t been generated yet, I’ve just created the layout so far. The next step is to generate them and start attaching zones.

Version 0.50 Editor Update

Here’s another update the the zone editor.  Changes are:

Extra Descriptions

* Extra description editing in objects and rooms is working now.

Area Settings

* Added editing of area-wide flags, such as “no dimension door” or “is worldmap”.
* Added height and width to area settings for use with surface/underground map zones.

Walkthrough Mode

* Walkthrough command entry is now working on MacOS and Linux.
* Selected room in the room editing window changes as you walk into another room in walkthrough mode.

Opening Files

* Added drag-and-drop to open a zone file.
* Added opening a zone file via the command line.


* Added renumber menu command to change zone numbering.


* Made edit windows non-maximize-able since it didn’t make sense to do so.

Here’s a link to the download.

Version 0.49 Editor Update

I started using the editor to build a hometown for the Grey Elves.  This will be the first zone I’ve tried to build from scratch using the new editor.  This update is mainly map view improvements and a few important fixes to mob editing.

Map View

* Rooms on map view now show terrain type as a highlight color.
* Added multi-level zone rendering to map view.  It mostly works but may have a few kinks to work out.  Discontinuous zones still look terrible, but not as bad as they did.
* When closing a zone, the map view clears itself now.
* Map view now updates as exits are changed in room edit screens.
* Map view window now expands and editor controls reposition themselves when dialog is resized.

Walkthrough Mode

* When the “edit room” command is used in walkthrough mode without a room number it brings up the current room in the edit window.
* Added ability to “createedit room <direction>” in walkthrough mode.  It automatically links the exits of the current and new rooms.

Mob Editing

* Added keywords to mob edit screen.  Pretty dumb to have left that one off in the first place.
* Some extended mage classes (chronomancer, enchanter, and necromancer) showed up in the class list as sorcerer.  That’s been fixed.

Here’s a screenshot of the new map view for the Thri-Kreen hometown:

Basternae Editor v0.49 Screenshot

Here’s a link to the download.

Version 0.48 Editor Update

Here’s what’s changed:

  • Added an ‘edit affect’ button to the object editing screen that lets you edit, add, or remove object modifiers like +1 to hitroll or -3 to dexterity.
  • Fixed a nasty glitch with object editing when the material type had a two-word name.
  • Removed empty entries from the object type list.

The object affect editing screen might be a bit ugly, but at least it seems to work well enough.

You can get the new version HERE.

Version 0.47 Editor Update

I’ve released an editor update today.  Changes are:

Object Editing

* Material type list is now sorted alphabetically.
* When editing object values, value labels change based on object type for about half of the object types.  This makes it easier to tell what values you’re editing.

Mob Editing

* Race name is now sorted alphabetically and duplicate entries have been removed.
* Class name is now sorted alphabetically and duplicate entries have been removed.

Room Editing

* Terrain types are now sorted alphabetically.

Repop Editing

* Value titles now change as the repop type changes so you know what you’re editing.

Map View

* Rooms not in the current zone are now shown on the map view in green.

You can get it here.

I’ve also added a download for Mac and Linux. The editor mostly works on those OSes, provided you have mono installed. The one known issue is that the color visualization on the editor windows does not work. The executable file is exactly the same, but instead of an installer it has a shell script to run the app. If that doesn’t work, you can always run it via a terminal window (go into the bin directory and run mono BasternaeEditor.exe).

More Zones Connected

I’ve converted and connected “The Cavern of the Worms” by Zaeru, “Fairlocke” by Lortar, and “The Elemental Plane of Air” by Lortar.  There are a few more zones that will be ready connect as soon as I can improve the zone converter to handle them.  Dang cobbled-together thing chokes for the silliest of reasons.

Picking Up Items Bug Fixed

It looks like there was a nasty bug in the zone converter for two of the three format types that we convert that caused the “wear flags” to be mapped into the “extra 2” flags.  The wearable flags include the “carryable” flag, so with those being broken, that’s why things could not be picked up in most (but not all) zones.

A New Version of the Zone Editor (0.46)

I spent some time on the zone editor today. Here’s a list of changes and fixes:

  • Justice type is now selectable on the zone settings screen.
  • In walkthrough mode, the ‘help’ and ‘commands’ commands now show a list of the available commands.
  • Various minor text and appearance improvements, including adding a program icon.
  • Added the ability to edit object values so you can actually set things like weapon damage amount or armor factor.
  • Fixed a nasty bug in editing repops that would cause data corruption.
  • Added the old Basternae 2 zone guides to the help file.
  • Fixed a very nasty circular reference bug that would prevent a zone from saving in certain cases.

Repop editing is still pretty cryptic, but at least changes show up in the repop’s description in real time now.

The really confusing thing at the moment is editing object values. In DikuEdit, the values would change description when the object type changed so you could see what you were editing. The new editor does not do that yet, so you either have to already know what you’re doing or you have to guess, neither one of which could be much fun, so that’s going to be something fairly high up on the to-do list for future changes.

You can get the new version HERE.

Zone Permissions Received From Gharl

Gharl was nice enough to grant permission to use his zones on Basternae 3.  This includes “The Church of Eternal Dusk”, “The Motte and Bailey of Duke Delwyn”, and “Zalkapfaan, City of the Headless”.   Thank you, sir.  Forward progress!

Generating Maps

Generating maps on Basternae 2 was a bit of a pain.  It was done with about 1000 lines of hacked-together C code that I wrote that read in an ASCII file, asked you the dimensions and map type (surface, underdark, etc), and then brute-forced it into a simple zone file.  It was not elegant, but it worked, usually.  Unless, of course, you entered a wrong number, had an extra character on one line, or anything like that.

The surface map I showed yesterday is just an enlarged 120 x 50 bitmap.  I only used 9 colors when creating it — one for each terrain type.  There is no accompanying ASCII text file.

It’s entirely possible with a lot of grunting and swearing that I could convert it into an ASCII file which I could then import into that old C program.  Why bother?  There has to be a better way.  Turns out there is.

Last night I created a small application that does one thing and only one thing — generates maps for Basternae.

Here’s how it works:

1. Load in a bitmap of any size.
2. Select a menu item and the program analyzes the bitmap and generates a list of all the different colors used in it.
3. Use that list to generate a room template for each color — title, description, and terrain type.
4. Let the user edit the list of templates so you can say light green is “The Forest of Evil” and dark green is “Drachenwald Forest”.
5. Select another menu item to have the program use the template file as it goes through the image pixel by pixel and generates a room for each pixel.

The obligatory screenshot:

Basternae map generator screenshot.

I’m a bit surprised that it only took a couple hours to write.  It’s the sort of thing that the serialization, bitmap, list, and datagrid classes built into .NET make very easy to do.

It is missing one major thing — it doesn’t connect the rooms together via exits yet.  That will be easy enough to add (probably about an hour to do).  It does, however, generate a zone that loads into the editor and can be tweaked and refined further.

There’s also one neat thing about the design — the room templates can be saved off to a file and loaded again, so you don’t have to edit it all in one sitting, risk losing your work if the power goes out, and can use the same room definitions with different image variations (provided you used the same colors).

Basternae 3 Surface Map

I have a few goals with the Basternae 3 surface map:

1. Has to be fairly small. No epic 90,000-room maps that take half an hour to get to the next zone.
2. Has to have both raidable and non-raidable sections. The raidable sections should be easy to get to for both sides. The non-raidable sections should be more-or-less “safe”.
3. Should be contiguous — no randomly-spaced islands, be they large or small.

In short — I want it to be small enough that the world doesn’t feel empty when there are only a few people on, but large enough to have room a good number of zones, and for people to chase each other around a bit.  If there is an error to be made in sizing I’d prefer to err on the side of too small.

Here’s what I’ve come up with. It’s subject to modification, of course, but it captures the general idea:

Basternae Surface Map

It will be a while before it’s in the game, so it may evolve. There will also be cavern (underdark) map at some point.

Thank You To Drevarr, Nauraki, Sarim, Sarlac, and Thendar

They’ve been nice enough to grant Basternae 3 the use of their zones.

I’ve also found out that the converter needs some work — there are a few special cases that it doesn’t handle and zone format variations that it doesn’t handle perfectly yet, so it will probably be a bit before all of the zones we can use are fully converted and attached.

Minotaur Stronghold Added

The Minotaur Stronghold zone I mentioned doing some testing with a few days back is now uploaded and connected to the MUD. It’s a scenario where an Orcish army has a Minotaur outpost under siege. Enjoy!

Editor Update (Version 0.45)

I added a few more commands to the walkthrough mode in the zone editor.  The commands list, edit, createedit, exits, and version have been added.  It also now understands the short versions of the diagonal commands — nw, ne, se, and sw.  You can get it HERE or via the sidebar link.

As always, this is a relatively untested app, so save often.

Editor Update (Version 0.44)

Made more progress on the editor. The walkthrough window now has basic functionality. There are only a few commands working, mainly the directional commands and the goto command. It’s all in black-and-white, but it is enough to let you walk through the rooms and get a feel for what mobs and objects are where.

Basternae Editor v0.44 Screenshot

Pretty basic, but it will evolve with time.

You can get the latest version HERE (or via the link on the sidebar).