Web-based Map Viewer

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The map viewer is available at ti3pbf.com/ti3web. It was coded and is maintained by Sunchaser. Note that it is still in development and the current version is intended for testing purposes. Please feel free to report bugs and make suggestions for improvement in this thread.

Instructions

Starting a new map

To start a new map select the radio button "New map" and enter a map name. Then click "Submit".

This will create an empty map. You can also load a setup pattern for 6- or 8-player games using the checkbox "Setup pattern".

Loading a saved map

To load a saved map, select it from the dropdown menu "Saved maps", select the radio button "Load Map and click "Submit".

There is also a direct link for loading the map, which will be provided at the top of the loaded map. The link will look like this: http://ti3pbf.com/ti3web/mapview.php?id=0&mode=load

Deleting a saved map

To remove a map from the list of saved maps, select it from the dropdown menu "Saved maps", select the radio button "Load Map and click "Submit".

Maps cannot be permanently deleted that way. They are only removed from the list that is displayed while the map file remains on the server. To restore a "deleted" map, contact Sunchaser.

Modifying a map

When you load a map, it will be locked at first. The lock is in place to prevent simultaneous editing by two or more users. If nobody else is editing the map, an "Edit" button is displayed. Click this button to unlock the map and begin editing. Note that the lock will time out after 5 minutes but will be renewed at every edit, so make sure to take one editing action once each 5 minutes. Once you are done, please click the "Done" button to remove the lock.

Once loaded a map can be modified in several ways:

Systems

You should start with the "Systems" tab active. If not click the link "Systems:". Available actions:

  • Add a system: Select a system from one of the dropdown menus and click the radio button next to it. Enter the system coordinates in the text fields "X" and "Y" or use the "up" and "down" buttons to change them. (If you are uncertain about the coordinates, try moving the mouse cursor over a system. The hover-over text will include the coordinates.) Then click "Add system".
  • Remove system(s): Select one or more systems in the "Current systems" list and click "Remove system(s)". (To select multiple systems hold the Ctrl button while clicking.)
  • Swap systems: Select exactly two systems in the "Current systems" list and click "Swap systems".

Tokens

Currently the only available Tokens are Wormholes. To modify tokens, you need to switch to the "Tokens" tab by clicking the link "Tokens". Available actions:

  • Add a token: Works the same way as adding a system without the addition of relative locations for precise in-system placement of the token. Relative coordinates (0, 0) correspond to the center of the system but the coordinates are used for the upper left corner of the token. Therefore a token at (0, 0) will be displayed slightly off-center.
  • Remove token: Works the same way as removing systems.
  • Move token: Select a single token from the current token list an click "Move token" to updates in coordinates.

Future plans

(Note that these are just plans. I cannot guarantee that I will find the time to finish them or that it will be done soon. A lot of coding will be necessary. Assistance by anyone with knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP, MySQL and maybe JavaScript will be very welcome at some point -- once I have more concrete design plans.)

The map viewer is the first step towards a map generator and (possibly) a complete PBF app that is fully integrated into the forum software. The next planned steps are:

Step 1: Finish the map viewer

The current app is just a test version. Additional features may/will include:

  • BBcode to show the map in a forum post. DONE
  • A prettier graphical design. (Or at least some basic CSS instead of lame old default HTML.)
  • Log of changes and an undo button
  • Customizable labels for the systems, e.g. for coordinates.
  • [Maybe] Some drag&drop features for a nicer interface. (Will need to learn some more JavaScript for that.)

Step 2: Map generator

Once the map viewer is pretty and working nicely, the next step will be generating some maps to view. Options will be similar to those of the python map generator but will be selectable in a graphical interface. New options will likely include:

  • Excluding specific tiles, e.g. for high- or low- resource galaxies.
  • Customizing the tile placement to any shape you want.

Step 3: Complete PBF app

For a complete PBF app, many objects need to be added to the code:

  • Units in various colours
  • Player areas to store player counters and cards
  • Races with their race sheets, command counters, control markers and so on
  • All kinds of cards
  • Distant Suns and Final Frontier tokens
  • ...

For some of these objects the basic code is already in place, e.g. the relative in-system location.

With this step, the app also needs to begin using some form of authentication. The most comfortable way will be full integration into the forum software. Authentication will allow secret information for each player, including Actions and Political Cards, Secret Objectives and possibly Fog of War.