With (Unity) improving a lot lately we’re feature wise almost on par with the old Java version again. Due to my hobbies I’m playing on the server https://medievalrealms.co.uk/ where I usually construct buildings based on specific periods according to my understanding of timber-framed constructions. Which may not be the best to rely on but hey, it’s a game after all.

One of the features still missing is an ingame map. We do have the compass already though and with debug enabled we even get an exact position on the current map. And the new maps are huge! And since we’re building here in multiplayer it’s no wonder that this is a dire missed feature to get an idea where the others are and what they are building, because it’s not fun navigating with X,Y,Z alone to visit other players (and keep note of where the own spot is located).

So I was intrigued to see that the player @Bamse did what gamers tend to do when a feature is missing. They start some sort of helper app (or wiki or whatever). This resulted in a Cloud map project at https://qgiscloud.com/Bamse/MapMedievalRealms/ where players from the same server may add POIs and do the leg work of surveying the “new” world.

The only drawback (haha. sorry.) is: It’s a PITA to do the surveying because stopping every few meters to note down a bunch of coordinates takes hours! Someone had to do this though, because “my” isle – a piece of rock I randomly stumbled over after the latest server reset – was still missing! And while I clocked roughly ~700h on this game already I was not going to do that. I’m a programmer – which equals to lazy in my opinion. So I started scripting and after a few minutes came up with the following still crude solution:

echo "" > move.log
while true; do
	gnome-screenshot -w -f /tmp/snapshot.png && convert /tmp/snapshot.png -crop 165x30+905+975 /tmp/snapshot-cropped.tiff && tesseract /tmp/snapshot-cropped.tiff - -l eng --psm 13 quiet | awk 'match($0, /([[:digit:]]+[.][[:digit:]])+.([[:digit:]]+[.][[:digit:]]+).([[:digit:]]+[.][[:digit:]]+)/) { print substr($0, RSTART, RLENGTH)}' | awk '{ printf "%0.0f,%0.0f,%0.0f\n", $1, $2, $3}' >> move.log 
	sleep 2
done

This surely can be improved a lot but… minimum viable product. We’re still talking about a game. Here is what it does:

* Take a screenshot of the active window (Rising World while playing)

* Save it to /tmp (that’s in my RAM disk)

* Crop out the coordinates and convert it to tiff using `imagemagick`

* Run `tesseract` for OCR detection

* Pipe the result to awk and use a RegEx to identify three numbers

* Reformat the 3 numbers (remove the precision) and dump it in as csv-like log

* Sleep for 2 seconds and repeat until terminated

And in case you wonder why I used gnome-screenshot: I’m on and the usual suspects written for X do simply not work. I did recompile gnome-screenshots tho to disable the annoying flashing though so it’s silent now.

Why the awk program? Well, tesseract is good but the raw data looked something like this in the end and the RegEx cleans that up somewhat:

serene ep)
9295.2 95.4 2828.0 |
9295.2 95.4 2828.0 |
9296.4 95.4 2828.5 |
nn
9303.1 95.4 2838.5 |
9295.0 98.4 2857.65
9289.1 98.7 2868.1 (7
9296.5 96.7 2849.0 |»
9301.1 95.4 2835.5 |
9301.1 95.4 2835.5 |
nn

So I put this to a test and jogged around “my” isle and here are the results:

One(!) data point was misread during the ~15 minutes run. Not too shabby! That could easily be fixed manually and who knows… mebbe I’ll improve on the script to check for implausible spikes like that at some point.

I demoed the script to other players on the same server and some already started investigating into solutions to adapt this script to Windows. Just don’t ask me how to do that – I really wouldn’t know 😛

I was delighted to read about the digital reconstruction of a chain mail based on an exhibit next door.

The piece in question (exhibit F 14,01-2) was found in a grave near 72501 Gammertingen, Germany and consists of ~45.000 iron pieces. It’s well preserved and can be viewed in our local state museum or online at https://www.landesmuseum-stuttgart.de/sammlung/sammlung-online/dk-details/?dk_object_id=1280 – both basically next door for me.

The interesting part is that it’s a mix of riveted and stamped rings, also known as “Roman Mesh”. I own a similar piece myself and I’m fascinated by this type of mail.

This pattern was digital reconstructed using Blender and it’s polygonal modelling functions and uploaded to SketchFab under CC license by it’s authors:

Aleksei Moskvin (Saint Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design) https://independent.academia.edu/AlekseiMoskvin

Mariia Moskvina (Saint Petersburg State University of Industrial Technologies and Design) https://independent.academia.edu/MariiaMoskvina

Martijn A. Wijnhoven (VU University Amsterdam) https://vu-nl.academia.edu/MartijnAWijnhoven

It can be viewed in 3D with a modern browser at https://sketchfab.com/3d-models/gammertingen-mail-fabric-3d-reconstruction-dd52c61041f04f27a613488893082e29

So dear game devs, there is no longer an excuse for shoddy chain mail patterns in games – here it’s served on a silver platter 😛

This isn’t strictly based on sources. The goal was a church for a walled city center ~14C in England. There’s a lot of free interpretation here since I don’t know all the details and I’m somewhat limited by the engine, of course. I mean creating arches and getting the geometry right in Rising World is a pain in the neck. I’m still very happy with the outcome especially considering that this is on a survival server.

This build will now go to another person to add the final details and textures.