Please contribute!

The Online Video Game Atlas needs your maps. If you have any maps to contribute, please send them to the webmaster at JonathanLeung314 (at) hotmail.com. If need be an FTP can be set up, but until then, I think e-mail is reliable enough.

 

Guidelines

Chances are, if a map is well made, I will put it up on the site. Browse the atlas and see what kind of maps are already up, and if you make a new one that’s as good in quality as most of them, you’ll likely see it up on the site. The tip sections below have suggestions as to how to make a presentable map. I may add more tips from time to time as I figure them out, but for the most part they’re common sense.

The following guidelines are, however, more strongly recommended.

  1. Legal hullabaloo – I hope I really don’t need to go through this. Basically, contribute things that you yourself have created or compiled. Not someone else’s work, but your own. No scans from strategy guides! In the case of totally original works, you will get credit for creating them. In the case of in-game rips, you will get credit for compiling them. As you should know, images taken directly from games remain the property of the people or company who made the game, and, related to guideline #3, trademark and copyright information should be taken note of. If not on the image itself, it should be at least provided to me when you submit your image so that I can make mention of it on the site where your image will be linked. Putting your name and the date (just the year is sufficient) on your maps is a good way to deter anyone from ripping off your work. If I suspect that your supposed work is not really your own, it will not be put up. If I suspect that a map which is already put up was not your own, it will be taken down and the actual compiler/creator (if known) will be notified. Plagiarism is low, dirty, and illegal, so I discourage it.
  2. ZIP your files. – When sending me files, particularly the large ones, compressing them using WinZip will help immensely.
  3. Let me know what you’re sending me. – Make it very clear in your e-mail header what it is that you are sending me. Also, you must clearly provide the information that I always include with all images on this site. (If you don’t know what that information is, refer to the example in the How To Use section, if you haven’t already figured it out just by going through the atlas itself.)

 

Tips – Direct Rips

There are some things you should do when directly capturing screenshots for use in video game cartography. Most of these tips maintain simplicity, consistency, and accuracy.

  1. Remove distracting elements. – You really must remove foreground status bars and the like. If the game uses foreground clouds or fog or a scrolling parallax background, you should remove them if possible. If part of the map is animated, such as water, try to keep it consistent across the map, or at the very least, for that body of water.
  2. Remove (unimportant) sprites that aren’t part of a map. – This is pretty much a given. Remove the player sprite, and any and all unimportant character sprites. If your map is also meant to be a guide for locations of boss monsters or important items or NPCs, then by all means include them – but it’s best if the map doesn’t seem cluttered with unnecessary stuff.
  3. Make a complete map. – If you make a map of an area, it should cover that entire area, or all the pixels within that space. Uncover all hidden things in that area of the game, and try not to miss a spot. For Super NES games in particular, I recommend the BGMapper utility to get into those hard-to-reach areas. (BGMapper and other utilities can be found at Zophar's Domain.) A good rule of thumb for video game maps is that a complete area will usually have a multiple of 16 pixels per each of its dimensions.
  4. Format, color, and scale. – The .PNG format is preferred for most direct rips because they can have up to 16 million different colors, and in some cases are smaller in file size than even .GIFs. If the map has 256 colors or less, you might be able to convert them into a .GIF with little or no color loss. .JPGs and other very compressed formats tend to have lots of distortion and are especially not recommended for the rips. If the map is too large (over 5000 pixels in either dimension), then you might want to scale it down…but to avoid major distortion, scaling it down by scales of 2 or 4 (or at the extremes, 8 or 16) are preferred.

 

 Tips – Original Works

I meant for this site to specialize in directly captured maps, but if you have some very good hand-drawn (or otherwise not directly ripped) maps, they may be accepted. I won’t be a stickler about accuracy here as much as I might be for the rips, but the map itself should have something about it that makes it worth posting alongside the rips. 3-D games or recent games that are hard to rip from might do just as well in this kind of a map.

The only real suggestions I have is that I’d prefer something made on a computer than a scan. And if you want to submit a scan of something, it really should be something original (not from a guide), and try to "clean up" the scan as much as possible.

 

All directly "ripped" game images are the property of their respective copyright holders. This web site is copyrighted by Jonathan Leung 2002-2004.