Map image - any ideas?


I am considering running a Fallen London/Sunless Sea tabletop RPG at some point in the future. Not sure what system I will use yet, but the old Star Wars system seems like it would adapt easily.

Anyway, what I want to do is get a map of the entire game world. Not the map you see when you push &quotM&quot, but rather a huge image of the entire actual game area, preferably without lighting effects so everything is completely visible as it would be under one’s bridge light. I would be using the Roll20 site, either online or as a tabletop supplement, for the map, which would allow me to use lighting effects to recreate something very similar to actually sailing in the game by setting the entire area to be very dark, and then manually putting lights on all of the things that are lit on the map, along with a conical light on the player’s ship. It would be a lot of work, but would also be super cool.

Optimally, somehow extracting the actual file from the game would be perfect, but I have no idea how to begin to do that. As a bonus, if I don’t like the particular layout of the map I get from this particular captain, I could rearrange it manually or just make new captains until I get one that I like. It seems like this may be difficult as this could be construed as cheating to look at the map without exploring and they may have taken measures to prevent this.

Or, if there is already an image of that sort available somewhere, I could just download it, but preliminary Google searches turned up nothing.

I could of course just go around the entire map taking screenshots and cobble them together into a map, but that would leave most of the map dark with no way to light it and, for example, have the players be able to see the faces around Polythreme as they sail near. This would also take quite a bit of effort because I would need multiple shots of every area to cut out my ship on top of the time required to patch them all together seamlessly.

Does anybody have any ideas or advice for how I might manage this?

I think this could be really cool, because as far as I know only one person in my play group has any familiarity at all with Fallen London or Sunless Sea, and there are so many stories already in the game to build on to make a very interesting world to play around in.
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/9/2017
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/9/2017

You probably would need to manually sail around every tile and patch the map together from screenshots. Since the map is randomly generated, most tiles have multiple possible layouts, and some tiles vary between runs, there’s no way to get a screenshot of the entire game world. (It would be an impractically big file anyways.)

I’m pretty sure the game doesn’t have image files for the map either, just for the individual map elements like islands and visual effects - the json files record the positions of each element in each tile. In theory you might be able to edit a save and move elements around, then get screenshots of isolated elements and put those images on top of a tiled background section. It would be a ton of work, but you could make a completely customized map, and you wouldn’t have to erase your ship from all the images. (You might still need to line up screenshots - the bigger islands and coastal areas might not fit on screen completely, so you’d need to put them in an empty area and take multiple pictures from different sides.) The end result likely wouldn’t be fully identical to the in-game layout, though, if that’s important.

One other issue is the lighting engine. As far as I can tell, the switch to Unity 5 with Zubmariner has caused some lighting issues. The islands seem darker, and it’s much more difficult to make out the details on some. (This might be specific to my computer, but who knows.) The only solution I can think of is using an old non-Steam copy of the game executable from before that update. I might be able to help you there, if you’d be interested in trying this.

Good luck with this! If you end up with a cohesive map, I’d love to see the final product.

Here you go!

Full Map:

Chartographic map:

Thanks for the links, but what I want is an in game map, not a “M” button map. The actual map image of the game play area without lighting effects. Probably not going to happen.

Looks like I may just have to cobble together screenshots as that is likely the best I am going to get.

A pity, because the art is really quite beautiful and there is no way I can get everything looking properly illuminated with this method.

I know there are tools to extract assets from the unity files of the game. I’m pretty sure you could retrieve the island’s sprites this way, but since the map is randomized, I don’t think it is possible to get it as a whole.
Piecing screenshots together might work, but the water colour changes following the tile you are in, and without some work of blending, this could make any “mosaic” look weird.

If your idea is to make your PCs travel the map on a boat, why don’t you let them actually play the game? Maybe with one of them as the navigator who steers the ship.

Machallan, that may be exactly the way to do it.

If I can extract all of the sprites for the islands, ships, monsters, etc, along with the background image for empty water (assuming there is one) then I could manually make exactly what I want - a full game map at full brightness.

Blending on the edges might not be perfect but that would be okay. I could even use the ships and monsters as tokens.

Any idea how to extract the images?
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/10/2017
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/10/2017
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/10/2017

Those two maps are really cool…and they’re quite different as well. Which one is more accurate?

Since the map is somewhat randomized for each game it is impossible to say. The Dawn Machine, for example, will always be in the SW corner, and the islands will always be in roughly the same area (Polyhreme fairly far to the east for example), but a truly accurate map is unique to each captain.

If we’re talking accuracy to the game, the actual in-game map is of course more accurate, as all the islands are in valid in-game locations. The poster isn’t accurate to the game as it’s designed for aesthetics. For example: Fathomking’s Hold is in the same tile as Varchas, Nuncio is too close to London, the Chelonate is on the Northern border, the Empire of Hands isn’t on the Eastern border, Frostfound is the wrong shape, and the two unused tiles “Sea of Wings” and “The Deconstruction” are present with landmarks from other locations in-game.


I found a program to extract resource files. Now I just need to figure out how to convert a .tex file to something I can work with. Apparently it is a DDS image, whatever that is.

Back to Mr. Google.
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/10/2017

Okay so I can extract what I think are the files I want as a .tex and as a DDS image, and I found a program that claims to view and convert DDS images to other formats, but the images all seem to be nothing more than an empty, textured blue space.

No idea where to go from here.

That thread is several years old. Does the most recent upload of the tool specify what versions of Unity it works with?

Chrysoprace: That tool you linked up there seems broken/incompatible for me too. This one works (it’s linked on the final page of the thread you gave, along with a couple others I didn’t look at myself). However, from a quick glance I doubt you’ll find anything actually useful in the assets for your plan - it’s all bits’n pieces, you’d have to puzzle the ‘complete’ map images together yourself (at least it looks like that to me). You actually might be better off with the screenshot method… that should be easier than to rebuild etcetera map images from the assets.

I’m working on a similar project myself, at the request of a friend who DM’s for our dnd group. I’ve been looking at the Apocalypse World and Monster Hearts games for inspiration, since they rely on few stats, much like Fallen London does. I haven’t played Sunless Sea though, so you might want to use a different set of mechanics for your foundation. I hope that helps a little bit. Good luck!

Thanks! I fiddled with it for just a couple of minutes and was able to extract Frostfound as a .png. This is exactly what I wanted.

I am willing to at least take a shot at rebuilding it from assets due to how cool it would be to be able to use the lighting effects on Roll20.

Now if I can find the backgrounds for the sea to drop them on, and spend hours and hours reconstructing the map, then the additional hours to add all of the lights, plus a couple more to make all of the ships and monsters into tokens…

But now it is at least possible.
edited by Chrysoprace on 1/10/2017

I suspect the sea background is dynamically generated rather than from a stored image.

The tool linked by Reshemin is the one I had in mind.

It seems to me that the sea background is indeed dynamically generated, and that a shader is applied to it, allowing variations of colors such as in the tomb colonies where the water turns sepia-ish. You’d better find your own background.

This is interesting because I wanted to propose a table top RPG version of the game to Failbetter Games after writing up some work to prove I was serious about it. Not really in a rush but good to hear I’m not the only one thinking about it.

Personally, for a system, use Savage Worlds imo, or come up with its own system.