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Age of Kings Heaven » Forums » The University » How to design a nice looking swamp (Approved; Addition Pending)
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Topic Subject:How to design a nice looking swamp (Approved; Addition Pending)
Great_Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
posted 04-18-17 10:57 AM CT (US)         
Hi!
Swamps are my specialty and I would like to share some tips and hints on how to design a nice looking swamp/marshes.

Before we start I would like to mention that I run Steam HD version. For all you who don't have access to all objects/terrains, I will put alternative suggestions into this text.

Let us begin.



THE NOT-TOO-GREEN SWAMP


1. Place the primary terrain. Moorland is ideal for this (Dirt 2 and 3). Mix moorland with some dirt 2 and 3 (Screenshot 1). You will probably ask yourself where the water is. Aren't swamps all about water? Yes they are, but isn't it easier to draw water in the desired shapes than creating islands? Well do it in any of the desired orders. So next up we will add water to the scene.





2. Water. What water? Shallow? Medium? Deep?? All these have something in common. THEY SPAWN THE DISGUSTING, UNNECESSARY BEACHES! => I have a solution. I present you the shoreless water (hope you guys have it, otherwise beaches can also be removed with trigger studio. I think...) ! At first placing of shoreless water will look odd but it gets better, I promise. How it should look like by now? Refer to screenshot 2. In the next step, we will take a look at the first objects to place.





3. Everyone made it so far? Good. I prefer to do the in water placed objects first. So grab your computer mouse and follow my lead. Units/Other/Gaia. Done. The best thing to start with: Bamboo. Why not using terrain tool? Well it would repaint our base of water and moorland with leaves and bamboo, while bamboo forest tree can be placed all by itself. Bamboo beautifully represents all kinds of river vegetation (reed, if you want). Go to off grid placement (3x ctrl S) first. I always put some on the edges of the ponds and some in the center. For extra information refer to the screenshot number 3. Following bamboo, we should also place some rocks in the water. Jungle rocks are prefect (Normal for you, sorry), as they are all green and overgrown with vegetable stuff. Just make sure no true jungle tree is shown (Oh wait. Making a jungle swamp? Go ahead and place those too then). One thing you might add to the water is the flower patch. I'm not talking about those cute flowery beds, but the great green monsters bellow them in the object list. They give water the appearance of a standing pond with mosquitoes and all that disgusting, on the surface laying vegetation (Oh and maybe water lilies too). Another thing that looks really good inside water is the old stone head. Try it out yourself or look on the screenshot below. So far your swamp should be looking something like this.





4. We made it half trough. This paragraph covers land object placing. Probably first should be rocks. You can place them anywhere, even close to the water is fine. Be sure to place some stone mines (pile of stone is better as it leaves no white outlines, the same goes for forage bushes and gold mines) around every rock placed. Trees should go next. You can do them with terrain tool (oak forest fits best), but I'm gonna do it by placing oak forest trees trough the Gaia object section. It is easier to maintain same color trees and give your marsh a bit more of the realistic season look (I was criticized on that so trying to improve here a bit ). Place the trees wherever you want, preferably into groups of 2 or 3 and not too close together. After you've done that, place the bushes (not sure if you guys have them. Jungle tree does have a bush you could use for this) bellow the groups of trees and some onto their own. Don't forget to place them around the rocks you placed before. They surely look nice there. Screenshot 4 for details here.





5. Final touches here everyone! Put some animals (deer and wild boar fit perfectly). Make sure to add some forage bushes and fish. Your ponds definitely need fish. Maybe a broken cart next to that rock? Go ahead and pile objects that look nice in there. Check out the last screenshot for inspiration.






And in the autumn season:







MUD OVERDOSE


1. This type is fairly simple. Start by creating some water ponds. The terrain around them doesn't matter, because it will be covered lately.The same goes for the shore around the water. The best water used here is shallow or sometimes medium.



Simple right?


2. After the ponds are set place all objects you want to have in your swamp. Here particularly I would use oak forest trees, some bushes (jungle tree again) and normal gray rocks. Result should be something like this:





3. Proceed with the last step: Cover EVERYTHING around the ponds with paths (4 is the best one to use here). You should end with something like this.





This type is fairly easy to make. It should take less than an hour to design one like this into details, but the drawback is it's look. Should it be called Poop Pond instead?

*WARNING* Avoid creation of Mud Overdose as much as possible



LANDLESS CREATION

This part was created by Cataphract887, respectively, but he gave me free use of it.

It was shown to me by Schwarz_Lizard. The main feature is that there is no land terrain used.


Put down some shallows for the shape.





Put some oak trees in for basic structure.





Add in bamboo to begin increasing density, to form reeds.





Use the jungle trees to further increase plant density and form an undergrowth.





Start adding some minor details;use Gaia object "plant" along with rocks,stone piles and forage bushes (or piles of food) Try to put the rocks behind vegetation. Add some sea rocks.





Finally use some Gaia grass sparingly to add a final touch.





Its fully walkable, but the HD engine is struggling already to pathfind correctly, in some spots you have to manually work forward bit by bit. Best for Userpatch edition.


Another screenshot, created by Schwarz_Lizard






JUNGLE MAYHEM
Alright here is the last type of swamps included in this article. Shown to me by Bassi features more jungle look. Main terrains used here will be dead mangrove and dead rice farm terrain (I know it hurts to not be able to used them...I think there are some files in the blacksmith that include these new terrains for non HD users ).

It is created very similar to the first one so only change you should do is change of objects used: Mangroves and rain forest would be primary, also bushes and bamboo as usual. Look at Bassi's screenshot for potential inspiration.






That would be it everyone. Glad you made it trough. I hope this guide helped you a bit and that future design of your swamps will be a bit easier. The most important thing is to explore your designing and find a style that fits you best.

Here is the link to the Article's thread in the University Forum: Swamp Article

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa

[This message has been edited by Great_Artiste (edited 04-23-2017 @ 08:44 AM).]

AuthorReplies:
Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-18-17 01:24 PM CT (US)     1 / 8       
Its a good idea for an article, but you might consider first posting this as a normal topic in the S&D Forum to collect input. And to take the article to another level, maybe you could look into multiple types of swamps and also make one with some shoreless shallows terrain, which is quite fantastic looking.

I didnt respond in the art thread to your question about best looking swamps, but i think you dont have userpatch still and most recommendations i would make tend to come from there, or older 1.0c scenarios. I cant think of a map off the top of my head that is the definitive swamp map, however.

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Cataphract887 (edited 04-18-2017 @ 01:26 PM).]

Lilthbehr
Squire
(id: Lildbehr)
posted 04-18-17 02:52 PM CT (US)     2 / 8       
Nice tutorial and nice looking swamp, let's compare our swamps.



Swamp mixed with pockets of quick sand.

AN EVIL TONGUE IS A MAN'S BANE.
(The above poster is right, did you know that?)
Proud associate of Monsoon Studios
Great_Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
posted 04-18-17 04:29 PM CT (US)     3 / 8       
I must admit I did not know where to write this and I looked at the other threads here and thought this might be it. I'll delete this thread and move the content to the S&D forum as you suggested, then update it and move back here
And yes I do not have UP yet. Going to buy CD version this summer and download it then.

Little Berry
That sounded like a weird Shrek conversation. Indeed a nice swamp, but personally I prefer some water to be seen

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa

[This message has been edited by Great_Artiste (edited 04-21-2017 @ 09:50 AM).]

MrMew
Huskarl
posted 04-18-17 07:02 PM CT (US)     4 / 8       
Nice tutorial and nice looking swamp, let's compare our swamps.
Gah! The cliffs! My eyes! I don't really get the idea of the sand, but AoK Realms is good for swamps.

Time of Tea
Still in the Dark Age
Don't be a melodramatic clown. ~Mr Wednesday
Great_Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
posted 04-19-17 09:38 AM CT (US)     5 / 8       
maybe you could look into multiple types of swamps and also make one with some shoreless shallows terrain, which is quite fantastic looking.
Shoreless shallows are made with Trigger studio right?

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa

[This message has been edited by Great_Artiste (edited 04-19-2017 @ 09:38 AM).]

Cataphract887
Squire
posted 04-19-17 11:55 AM CT (US)     6 / 8       
Yes. I couldnt load a HD scenario into it lately, even though some people said you could do so. Not sure whats up with that.

Once you do get it in trigger studio, you then have to click each piece of beach terrain and choose to replace it with another terrain, or optionally you could place ice in the first place and swap that with shallows.

The resulting terrain will revert if map copied or if other terrain is updated nearby, so it probably needs to be done last of all. I just double checked and all gaia objects and even cliffs are fine to use near it.

You dont have to include it in the article-its a PITA advanced technique

"Excellent could be any map that has the quality of a ES random map or ES scenario. AoK is an excellent, award winning game. That's where I'd start." -AnastasiaKafka

"Hard work is evil. Bitmaps are stupid. Working on a scenario for more than one afternoon is stupid. Triggers are stupid. Testing your own scenario is stupid. The world is stupid. You are the Greatest." -Ingo Van Thiel

[This message has been edited by Cataphract887 (edited 04-19-2017 @ 11:56 AM).]

Great_Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
posted 04-19-17 03:02 PM CT (US)     7 / 8       
I'll include 2 extra swamp types tommorow if everything goes as planned.

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
Great_Artiste
Serial No. 44-27353
posted 04-21-17 09:40 AM CT (US)     8 / 8       
I finished my article. Now I would ask for its approval to the University.

Co-creator and leader of Monsoon Studios

You are kneeling with your tongue out? What exactly do you think is going to happen here? - Matt

A drush is not a knockout punch; it is the first punch in a combo - Barbarossa
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