- 01/17/2004 Reformatted to be easier to read and update instructions with latest changes.
- 01/18/2004 Added link to tips/tutorial page.
- 02/03/2004 Updated to include new features, and changed link to include default city hall.
Where to find it
The city planner is located conveniently a click away.Requirements
People have come up with creative ways to plan their cities. Some have used excel spreadsheets, some have used programs like Visio. Some have used napkins at the local diner. And some, like myself, have used a graphics manipulation program to actually represent what the structures look like.
Each method had it's advantages and disadvantages. Some were quick and rough. Some were a little more complex, but more accurate. And some were very time consuming, but also produced nice looking maps. They all had tradeoffs. I had personally been using the graphics method, and had been building up quite a repository of representations of the houses. First, Naboo and Generic, for the city I live in on Naboo. Then Tatooine for a city I helped map out on Dantooine.
Easier than any of the other methods of planning a city, and useful to make good looking maps. I have successfully combined the best parts of all the different city planning methods.Placing Structures
When you load the page, you are presented with two panes. In the top, a representation of all the non factioned player structures in the game. In the bottom, a green checkerboard with rings on it. This represents the canvas you will create your city layout on. Each square is 8 meters by 8 meters, the same as each square in the structure placement view. You can scroll this view around all you like.
If you hold the mouse over one of the structures, a small window will appear in the pane presenting the name of the structure and the other 3 possible orientations of the structure. Any time you click on a structure in the top pane or in one of the tip windows, you will create a copy of it that you can move around. You can then move this structure down to the bottom pane.
Once in the bottom pane, the structure will start snapping into the checked grid as you move it around. When you are happy with where the structure is, you merely click again to release it. I recommend starting with a City Hall. In the center of the canvas, you'll see a darkened area. This represents the four possible orientations of the city hall. Merely place the city hall with the back fitting inside the inner darker box, and the front extending out and fitting inside the lighter outer box. If you used the link above, a city hall is already in place facing north.
You will notice as you move the mouse around the canvas, a pair of numbers in the top pane will change rapidly. These represent the in-game coordinates under the mouse pointer. However it probably is not accurate, as it assumes the city's center is at 0,0. You can enter your city's center into this box and the numbers will accurately reflect the in-game coordinates. Click on the "City Center" link for tips on how to find these coordinates. Do not use your city's coordinates from the world map. Note that these coordinates represent only the coordinates under the mouse. They do not represent the coordinates of any structure you might be trying to place.Manipulating a Placed Structure
Once a structure is placed, you can rotate it, destroy it, or move it. There are two buttons in the upper pane, one with a arrow on it, and one with a green square. These control the currently selected structure - that is the one marked with blue. The arrow is the rotate tool. Clicking on it will rotate the selected structure clockwise. The green box is the wrecking ball tool. Clicking on it will destroy the selected structure.
If you click on a structure, you are presented with a small window which includes the type of the structure, two green boxes, and the other 3 orientations of the structure. The green boxes are the wrecking ball tool, and the clone tool. The clone tool will create another structure of the same type and orientation for you to place. Clicking on one of the 3 alternate orientations will rotate the structure to that orientation.Creating a Map
Once you are done laying out the structures, you can create a map from the layout. This is just a simple graphical representation, nothing fancy. You can see what it is like by clicking the "Preview Map" button, which will bring up the map in another window. If you wish to save the map to a file, click on the "Save Map" button. This will present you with a window where you can select the filename and format. Once you have selected a filename, click on the "Save Map" button in this window and your browser will confirm the save with you, and allow you to select a location.Saving the Layout
So you have your layout perfect. But you may want to come back and make changes later. How do you save your work? If you click on the "Options" check box, a link will appear to the right named "Bookmark this Map". If you are using Internet Explorer, when you click on the link, you will be prompted to confirm the bookmark creation. If you are using any other browser, you will be redirected to a new URL. You can then bookmark this URL using your browsers bookmark option. You can also create a link to this URL on message boards to share the layout with others.Other Options
You may have noticed other options appear that you need to scroll down to when you selected the options check. Specifically, there are 4 text input boxes, an accompanying check box, and a "Pick Color" link. This controls the color of the various parts of the produced map. These options only effect the "Preview Map" and "Save Map" view.
The color doors will be drawn in.
The color the main part of the structure will be drawn in.
The color of the land a structure occupies beyond it's walls.
The color of the background.
Selecting the check box by one of these will cause it to be rendered. Deselecting it will cause it not to be rendered. In the case of the background, if it is not rendered it will be transparent. If you know the hex color code for the color you wish to use, you can enter it into the box directly. Otherwise, you can use the "Pick Color" link to open a new window with a simple color picker.Okay, what happened to "Map Data"?
If you happen to still have a map that you only have a map data string for, and you can't find the map data input box, fear not. You are not insane. It isn't there anymore. Fortunately, it's really easy to get it loaded. If you open up the tips page, you will find the map data box hiding in there. Enter your map data, then click the button to open up your map in a new window. If you want to do it by hand, just put ?mapdata= on the URL followed by your map data. For example, if your map data was "ch-54-51-0" you would go to http://swgplanner.tyger.org/?mapdata=ch-54-51-0. The reason the box is gone is with the bookmark option, there is no reason to do it this way.What about faction bases?
I get this question all the time. Unfortunately, I play a neutral, so I have absolutely no experience at all with faction bases. If someone wants to sponsor the addition of faction structures, I will need enough faction points to join your side on your server, as well as a deed (or whatever equivalent) for one of each of the faction structures to be able to place. I'll put them wherever you want, but I'd like to place them myself.Further Help
For further help, I recommend you check out the tips and tutorials page. You can access this by clicking on the question mark, or just go directly to it here.
Message Edited by Tiaga on 02-03-2004 06:37 PM