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Game Ready Maps

CJO Games

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One of the most enjoyable parts I have found in game development is the creation of maps by hand. Much of this work is, these days, handed off to the game engine in the form of procedural generation. Look at most other engines available and you will find that they have that as an option. For me though they never quite live up to the chaotically 'natural' look I want to see. Perhaps this is a personal choice...

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It came upon me to ask for the community's thoughts with regard to the purchasability (not sure that's a word :-)) of game ready maps - by which I mean fully 'painted', 'planted' and 'built' maps in a variety of sizes with a variety of assets which I have sourced from a a variety of places. I have a few ideas and attached to this are a couple of my most recent screenshots of WIP(s). I have pricing in mind and would like to make these available for Leadwerks and Ultra; so, any takers? 

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I thought it would be a useful addition to the maps to have a simple day/night system. It's still early days but below are screenshots of this in action. The set up works well and also includes (in the case of the below screenshots at least) independently moving and rotating planets.


You'll notice that the shadow on the planets actually moves frame to frame and the shadows in the images slowly changes.


In the daylight images there is a shadow 'bug' visible but this will be fixed.

The last image shows a different sky colour this uses the excellent shaders by havenphillip (see NOOB_shaders collection for details) In this image I've put the sky-colour shader from volumetric clouds shader and added to it fresnel I quite like this effect, particularly the  crepuscular rays effect visible as the star comes above the horizon.

Let me know what you think! 



















Edited by CJO Games
Images uploaded in a random order so re-uploaded
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Another set of images from what I think will be the first map available. I intend this one to have a working "ship control" script which I'm currently working on.

Currently working are the orbital dynamics and star rotation - I'm also quite pleased with the way the moon looks in this although it depends on a darkened ambient lighting set up to get the dark-side of the planets to look right.

The images seen here were taken without moving the camera/ship at all - you should be able to see that both the moon and asteroid have changed both position and angle and that the 'star' has also moved independently.





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After a few days of testing and playing with Ultra and quite a few false starts and mis-steps I think I'm getting more and more comfortable with the terrain tool and  have my first map ready to showcase. This one is designed to look like a sub-polar tundra like terrain. All I need now is some vegetation but as an empty map I think its looking pretty good for a starting point... 







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  • 3 months later...

Its been quite a while but here is a teaser screenshot of my current map which I will make available for Ultra Engine as a starter map like the maps that are available with Leadwerks - I'm toying with the idea of this one being a free demo to give people an idea of what you can expect from game ready maps. I'm designing these to be modular so that they could be added to and adapted. This map doesn't use any terrain at all its all CSG and models - most of which are freely available from various sources. The idea behind this is that a beginner could pick up the engine launch it and have a partially built map there and ready to go that could be added to and modded and adapted etc.



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  • 1 month later...

Some more screenshots with work on two different maps to showcase - the first set is the map above with an extended area to the town above the rail tracks and the second set is a newer map which could be used alone or together with the one above - both are built without using the terrain tool so have modularity in mind...

Coastal Community Map.png

Coastal Community Map 2.png

Coastal Community Map 3.png

Coastal Community Map 4.png

Coastal Community Map 5.png

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Screenshot 2024-03-07 091225.png

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Hi Pleca, thanks for your comments. In this map the assets are all from Synty. They are available from Humble Bundle.  I paid £0.79 for four sets and, having paid so little was intrigued to see what I could put together with them - this is my first mini-map - there are more to follow. At the moment this is more for show than any serious attempt to make anything available with these assets - I'm waiting for some more work on the engine to be completed before I start making maps available.

I like the challenge of taking ready made assets and seeing what can be created with them. As to creating my own art - my focus for the moment isn't on that, rather creating intricate maps/levels with ready made and freely available assets from various sources. 

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

With a basic vegetation layer now completed its time to start increasing the variety of plants and clutter and, of course rocks. There is also the start of some settlements being added into the map to give an idea of the land use - this enable the map's variety to be built up in an organic (excuse the pun) way. Here the dry path gives way to sparse flowers and grass and the forest - abundant in the distance has been thinned to a few remaining Oaks and Beech. At the edges of a path such as this we would see weeds such as Nettle and Lustrife so these too will be added in layer by layer.

Last of all will be the ubiquitous rocks but these will be placed where it would make sense for them to exist - such as at the base of cliffs or in the bottom of valleys rather than haphazardly sprayed around the map.

After all of that will come the clutter: such as twigs, logs, mushrooms and toadstools and the human detritus one would expect to see near to settlements...



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Playing with the world settings can achieve quite nice results - I think this one looks atmospheric...

I really like how the ship in the distance appears to be being absorbed by the mist.

I also love the  terrain texture tools you can create some lovely blending with multiple materials assigned.



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