With so many challenges in front of the Advance Wars tiles, I decided to take a different approach. Rather than a straight up port of the graphics, I’m going to draw a 128×128 version in the spirit of the original graphics. Here you can see the progress I’ve made so far through a screenshot I took in-game yesterday.
This is a significant deviation to my usual artwork. Most of what I do tries to obtain photo accuracy, or at least geographical accuracy. This is a lot more cartoonish, and is being drawn by-hand. At first, I was concerned it wouldn’t scale well, but the in-game results are beating my expectations so far. I’ll keep at it and see how far I can get before I release it.
I actually applied some method to my madness here. I’ll go into some detail on how I am representing the graphics under the hood.
If you expand the screenshot, you will see all the tiles are made up of polygons. In short, the more sides each polygon uses is a direct correlation to the complexity represented in the default EDCE rules for each terrain type. Allow me to explain:
Base Terrain – Green, made up of interwoven squares (4 sides). The least complex
Movement Terrain – Orange and Blue/White, made up of interwoven pentagon/squares (5 sides). Slightly elevated to demonstrate their impact on movement.
Trees – Green with shadows, made up of six tiers of triangles (9 sides). Most complex in terns of strategic value, but not as much as mountains.
What is not pictured are Mountains and Hills. Hills are an elevated version of the Base Terrain on a hexagon (6 sides). And mountains are going to have the most complex shape.
So that’s the plan at least. My biggest concern is going to be water. That will probably be the last thing I cover. Moreover, I would like trees to be denser, but this is meant to be a spiritual successor to the Advance Wars graphics which had only three trees per tile. Maybe if I end up liking this I will do a more detailed version later. Like I said, this is a deviation to the kind of work I usually do, so we will see how this goes before I commit too much.