In 2013, I did a map of the Amber Estate. I tried it again for the Polarian Shipwreck just last November. Now I'm back to it, but this time with a map that presented a few new challenges from an old game card. The Olympian Bundle may not be new, but its house is still one of my favorites, and has plenty of complexities for a map.
In Pirate101, all houses include maps, but in Wizard101, this is not the case. If you want to create a map for one, you have to learn the area, including how things relate to each other. It usually helps me to build up into the sky and get as high a view as possible. This worked wonders for the Polarian Shipwreck. Back before the options were available, the dragonfly ride was one of the main reasons I could complete the Amber Estate map.
One thing became evidence very quickly - I could not match the level of detail of the house on this one (nor did I need to). With the Amber Estate, for every tile I placed by the entrance, that exact tile was in the game. In the Polarian Shipwreck, most all of the icerberg locations were very accurate. In the Acropolis, I knew I wouldn't be able to include every stair or little object, but that wasn't the point of the maps anyway. Despite this, it still got pretty detailed.
Building a Map
My maps are designed as vector artwork, so they scale infinitely without loss of quality. (That's in their original form. Not in these images.) I have talked extensively about this in past map posts and with my Malistaire gear set.
There were a few major differences between this map and the past ones. This one was more architectural. The others had been more free-flowing, which probably fit their house styles better. This one was also a lot more spread out. The thing about a map is that it's not just there to look pretty, it also serves a function. That means you can't just cut off different islands, and everything with a zone uses the same map, and for storage reasons (and keeping your load times to a minimum), they like to keep things in only two zones in houses.
This was tough given that the Acropolis has five islands beyond the major land mass. It has the entrance with the Spiral Door, the connected island with the Oracle, the arena, the tower you teleport to from the fountain, and another small island connected via teleporter.
Speaking of saving load times, one interesting thing to note is that Wizard101 is a low-poly game, meaning they use a lower number of polygons in their models to make it run smoother on as many systems as possible. That in mind, you won't see perfect circles most of the time. More often, they're polygons with lots of sides. The small ones appear to be closer to perfect.
One of the most exciting parts of this map was the extra doodles that went with it. This is one area in which Wizard101 maps really shine. Another difference between this and past maps came up here. This time, instead of anything bleeding off the map, I decided it would all be self-contained.
The sword rack is pretty standard. It comes in the arena. The others are a little more intricate. The Trojan Horse pet does have small gladiators which come out of it. What better way to show it off than have a small army driving the male wizard doodle absolutely crazy? This seems to be a trend in the Abracadoodle comic series.
The standard Wizard101 sun not only provides an angle for the shadows in the map design, but also room for a reference. The chariot mount included in the bundle is shown off as pulling it across the sky, a nod to Apollo driving the Sun Chariot to pull the sun across the sky (though the Greeks actually deemed Helios the sun god). On top of that, for the final composition, I added in the name, the pointer, and the Spiral Door icon.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!