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A little Framework for the Alpha One Early Preview Map

c0ug4rc0ug4r Member
edited April 2020 in Community Creations
It's nearly two years since I created a map by analyzing (quite thoroughly I might add) a video of Intrepid showcasing a region that all of us would later experience in Apocalypse as its first map. A few weeks back we were shown another preview and I am sorry to tell you that I won't give you another tedious dissection in an attempt to recreate the shown part of the upcoming Alpha 1 map that some of us will hopefully see in its full glory by next month. Why am I bothering you then? Well, while I shunned the effort to go all the way for a nice looking map I did some first legwork towards it and I did not want to let all of that go to total waste.

One of the reasons why I did not think I could provide a proper map layout was due to the way Intrepid presented the preview. Two years ago the short preview video was packed with scenes that gave a perfect view over great parts of the map. This time Maggie, Steven and Jeff took us into the world of Verra mainly by foot to show us a lot of the game systems in development which did of course not leave much opportunity for scenic views out of great heights. Yes, they also rode on the back of gryphons, but there was only really one opportunity when saddling the flying mounts which gave a good overview, but it was not enough for me to come up with a reasonable map layout. Graphic quality due to streaming and VPN also was not at its best which further prevented a detailed analysis.

There was one thing though which gave me at least something to work with: The minimap. While its obvious purpose was to show trolls, raptors and resources I thought I could use it to track the trio's adventure. About 100 screen shots and hours of fiddling them together later I am glad to say it worked:

To clarify: This picture contains 90% useless information (we could debate it's even 100%) as most of it is just what was behind the crucial minimap information. No terrain, just a few landmarks, no ways, no rivers, lakes, trees... pretty much nothing. So this map's - if you really want to call it that - only purpose is to get an approximate idea of its dimensions or maybe there is one or two people out there who are yet to (re)watch the stream and could use this for orientation.

To get an idea of the map size, I chose several more or less straight line walking scenes from the stream, measured moving time, traced the related distance on the map and thus received a time per pixel moving speed. Applying it to the map's horizontal you would need about eight minutes from the spawn point (far left) to the Niküa beach area (far right) as the crow flies. To set this into relation with something we know, I took a look at an Apocalypse stream (no lunging involved) and the corresponding map, repeated the whole procedure and received pretty much the same travel time from one end of the map to the other. That means the shown part of the Alpha 1 map is about 2.5km from left to right. The vertical dimension is impossible to determine by what we have seen in the Alpha 1 preview stream. Only when Maggie jumps on her gryphon we get a short overview over the zone which however is not enough to paint a greater picture in detail.

And that should be it, Happy Easter, see you in two years for Beta preview... or so I thought...

Because there was one thing I did not really understand when watching the stream live: the integration of the Alpha 1 preview in the world map. Steven said something about an 'Alpha 0 Island', but as A0 was under NDA and I was not part of it I did not think this information could provide much context and I did not think much of it till I finally finished the map above. While figuring out that Steven said the preview stream would showcase a small part of 'Alpha 0 Island' I remembered: There had been a stream in 2017 that was nothing less than an Alpha 0 preview. I could not remember much and could not find it on Intrepid's YT channel, but thanks to Lex's wonderful Ashes Wiki I could dig it out. I had no high hopes, but maybe there was a chance to put Alpha 0 and this part of Alpha 1 together?

The starting area with its tents between some ruins showed vague similarities between both streams, but was all in all structured pretty differently, but as soon as both groups reached the gate leading out of the compound into the wild it was suddenly there.

Well, Sergeant Reves was missing, but all the stuff left of the passage was exactly the same in both streams. Tent, camp fire, standard, barrel, chests - it was all there. What could have been a coincidence turned out to be the exact same map when stepping out of the gate. Of course two years had changed some structures, trees and stones (and weather ;) ) and technical evolution was obvious, but the terrain had stayed the same.

Another thing that had changed in the the last years was the availability of flying mounts. In 2017 the group could not take the short cut by gryphon and had to go the long way round down the hill. That is the reason why we only see the gryphon post in the Alpha 1 stream.

Lucky enough both groups crossed paths again after coming down the hill, deciding to cross a river exactly at the same spot. The root and left stone at the water's edge are proof of this.

Shortly after crossing the river the groups' ways parted again, but with the camp fire at the ruins' gate and the root at the river's edge I now had what I did not dare hoping for: Two pinpoints which both parties passed in both streams. Pinning them down on my map was easy enough by just looking at the minimap. Next came the important part.
One of the first things I noticed when watching the stream from 2017 was something that could be invaluable in my attempt to combine both streams: The coordinates shown in the upper left. Where the 2020 stream had a minimap to follow and locate Margaret, these coordinates would make it possible to trace Stevens movement in the 2017 stream. But even better: With two exact points that I could locate in both systems - minimap and coordinates - I was now able to set both journeys into relation and put them into one single map.

Side note: In 2017 a compass was part of the GUI which showed the starting area to be in the north meaning the 2020 minimap is not oriented there.

While most of the 2017 stream obviously covered the same area as the 2020 Alpha 1 preview those of you who did either participate in Alpha 0 or have a good memory know there is something missing here. It's the vast floodplains and desert they visited at the end of the stream.

There is other content mainly from 2018 that obviously takes place in the same Alpha 0 area, but as all of it was missing a minimap or coordinates to properly locate them I was only able to roughly place one of them on the map. This allowed for an approximate positioning of the Dünheim dungeon.

All of this is no news for anyone who participated in Alpha 0, but it really helped me putting the Alpha 1 preview (and much older content) into perspective and in the end that was all I was trying to achieve. I don't know if anyone else finds all of this to be some kind of useful information, but I did the work anyway so why not share it?

Grab an Easter bunny sandal on your way to Alpha 1


  • GumdropsGumdrops Member, Explorer, Kickstarter
    very nice done, i like the side on side comparison!
    Reminder to stay on topic
  • Gumdrops wrote: »
    very nice done, i like the side on side comparison!

    Thanks, unfortunately there wasn't much room for more of this as the parties didn't share much of their routes.

    Here you can see just how different the starting area (called Ruin Outpost on my map) looks and feels:

    Not a side by side comparison, but a good example of how much detail has been added. In A0 preview there's nothing much ahead except of the river they're going to cross. In A1 they have the same river to their left, some ruins ahead and the A0 party would come down the hill from the right. So in the A0 picture Maggie and Jeff would be standing on the left Gibbering Maw and the Ruins on the right one.

    Would have loved to compare the (Winstead) node two years apart, but in the end it's a node - its job is to change.
  • ShazeShaze Member, Phoenix Initiative, Explorer, Alpha One
    Amazing work as always @c0ug4r
    I absolutely loved your previous map analysis just as much as this one and cant wait to see how you piece together all the future snippets!
  • BCGBCG Member, Intrepid Pack
    @c0ug4r love it. Keep it up
  • OddjobOddjob Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Wow very nice. Good job
  • DrEpochDrEpoch Member, Phoenix Initiative
    I see alot of effort went into this.
  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Fantastic job! Absolutely amazing! <3
    Formerly T-Elf

  • JamationJamation Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    This is so amazing! It's beyond cool that you were able to map all of that out from some streams and a map. Major props to you. I hope we can see more from you when we get more showings of the world!
  • LalliLalli Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
  • LexLex Member, Phoenix Initiative, Avatar of the Phoenix, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Awesome work @c0ug4r. I'd love to see a side-by side video walkthrough comparing Alpha-0 and Alpha-1. When the Alpha-1 NDA is lifted I'm sure somebody will get around to doing that!
  • Thanks everyone! Glad you liked it.
    Lex wrote: »
    Awesome work @c0ug4r. I'd love to see a side-by side video walkthrough comparing Alpha-0 and Alpha-1. When the Alpha-1 NDA is lifted I'm sure somebody will get around to doing that!
    I sure hope so! Otherwise I'd have to go through a lot of streams for some more nasty quality screenshots :neutral:
  • *bump* throwback to a unique gem.
  • AmistAmist Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
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