"Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

BulletBill

"Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by BulletBill » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:37 pm

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    Welcome to "Lone Oak Farm", a brand new map that is based upon a real life farm located in Oregon, USA.


Map Overview

  The map is 2km x 2km DEM of this real life farm and surrounding area. The terrain is varied as are the field sizes, whether you like small, irregular shaped fields, or massive large rectanglular fields this map will suit you fine. The map has 1 main farm, and several smaller yards located around the map. The vast majority of models have been made brand new by "Oxygendavid" and "Lone Wolf Modding" (FarmFarm). There will be a BGA, and several sell points as well as other places of interest around the map.


Construction Process

  After completing "The West Coast" map I set about deciding on my next project. For the first time in Farming Simulator 17 I would actually be making a brand new map, not converting a previous version map along with all its mistakes and design flaws.
 
 First step choose a location. This was made easier by the fact a good friend of mine within the community mentioned to me about a farm that his family own and still work on. After showing me some beautiful real life pictures, and researching it on Google Earth, I felt sure this was the next project. The BIG question was could I do it justice. It is one thing to make a map based where you live yourself or even in your own country, but to make a map of another country, somewhere you've never even seen, and very little knowledge of the farming culture there. I'll leave you guys to be the judge as to whether I manage to make this map feel properly "American".

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Map Borders
 
  The next step was to work out the surrounding area of the farm and which parts to fit into the map. Now being a very open area a 1:1 scale map would have been accurate, but not the most playable map in the world. So instead I took a 3km x 3km area and shrunk it down to 2km x 2km, effectively making a 2/3 scale map. At this point I must note that the farm yard itself is still 1:1 scale so that the buildings and yard are appropriate size and space for a USA map.

  With the success that "Oxygendavid" and myself had in making a realistic map border for his brilliant "Oakfield Farm" map, using real DEM terrain data which in turn was made into several 3D models which were blended to the map itself, this time we were able to go one step further. At the same time as marking out the area for the map itself, I also took a 6km x 6km area map surrounding the original 3km x 3km playable map. "Oxygendavid" using his skills in Blender converted this into a single 3D Model map border. With a few tweaks from him and some terrain blending from myself we have a map border which sits seamlessly to the map and replicates the real life surrounding area. Finally I added an horizon border to the edge which gives a more realistic distance hill outline. Hopefully you will notice some of this from the pictures that are posted as many of them are looking off the edge of the map completely.
 
  The aim was to make the map borders so seamless that you only really notice them when you hit the invisible collision wall to stop you from going outside the map. Don't blame me if your going full pelt with a load of bales smack bang into that.  :D

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Field Sizes

  One of things I have learned about the North American player community is despite popular stereotyping, they actually enjoy a variety of field shapes and sizes. However being that this only a 2km x 2km map so that it will be available for console, I still wanted to cater for as many players as possible. With this in mind the field shapes and sizes vary greatly. Please see the image below of the cultivator density file which shows you all the maps fields.

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   Before anyone starts complaining that the fields are too small for an American map, and you want Mid-Western sized, small country sized fields, let me reassure you I have not forgotten you. As default the largest field on the map is just over 35 acres in size. This might not sound much but it still took 2 Challenger tractors and 15m Amazone seeders over 30 mins to seed just that one field. But I have not stopped there, many of the fields can be ploughed and joined together to create much larger fields. One of these combination fields is over 118 acres, more than enough to run your 10 combines in a row.  ;)

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Adding Details

  One thing I enjoy most about building a map, especially of a real life area is adding in all the little details that you might not notice, but when you add them altogether bring the map to life. Things like realistic road signs. Not only has "FarmFarm" modelled me some excellent road signs based upon the real life ones, but I've also made sure the font is the same as in the USA.
  Also the telegraph poles are not all the same on the map, again "FarmFarm" modelled some more brilliant replica electric poles with a variety of designs so that I could replicate each power line almost exactly as it is in real life.
  I must also thank "Robbie" of  "RW Modding" for his amazing road pack kit. Because of the way he made the pack I have been able to make the road markings almost exactly the same as they are in real life, thanks to Google street view. I know most people will not ever realize it, but for me I just feel satisfied knowing it is as realistic and accurate as possible, and when you add all these authentic models and many others to a map it becomes familiar to the player as they recognize everyday things and this in turn makes the experience more enjoyable.

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  As far as release dates are concerned I never work to a set date, but I am hoping to be giving this map to my testers March/April 2018. This map will be released on PC, MAC, Xbox One, and PS4. For now I will leave you with some more pictures taken from around the map...


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UPDATE: 24/01/2018

     Today's update is to show you just a few of the map boundaries and map edges. When making a map one of the hardest things to achieve is to hide the fact the map ends abruptly. For many years modders have used distance scenery to pretend the map continues with varying results. We've had 2D billboards, 3D models, natural barriers, tree barriers etc. For me the edge and distance scenery of a map are just as important as any other part of the map. Get it right and the map feels part of the bigger world.
     
     Myself and "Oxygendavid" are constantly looking for ways to improve how we can create realistic distance scenery, without impacting on the map's FPS performance. The following pictures will give you an idea of just some of the maps boarders and edges. The first three are working fields right at the map's edge, in effect the worst looking part of any map.

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Guess the Edge of the map...


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Using various methods to make the blend from map to distance as seamless as possible...


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You want to make people believe the map carries on...


     
     This final picture show's a new addition to the distance scenery. Being that this farm is in Oregon and you can actually see Mount Hood from there, I have added it to the map with a bit of artistic licence to make it a bit more visible than it would be real life.

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UPDATE: 28/01/2018


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Scenery

     This update we are looking at scenery. One of the hardest challenges in making a mod map is trying to replicate real life scenery, no matter how good a mapper you are you will never match the beauty of real life. However that does not mean we cannot try.
   
      The best way is to observe and examine real life nature and try to think what you would use in trying to replicate that same view or area. What trees, bushes would I use. What changes to the terrain elevation would I need to make. What scale are the trees in that particular area. Are all the trees the same height, are they leaning a particular way. What colour are the trees, or bushes. Is there dirt in that spot or is it grass. The more you examine just a small area of real life nature and then try to replicate that ingame the more you realize small tiny details like that suddenly make a big difference when applied across an entire map.

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Even a sparse area for trees and bushes, adding small details like making a few trees lean different ways can make a big difference to the look and feel of that area.

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Which trees to use, and what heights to set them to makes a huge difference to how woodlands and copses of trees can look.

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You want variety, but not randomness, nature may look random but it isn't.

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It is easy to lose a sense of scale when building a map, so remember to check the map ingame regularly.

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Put this altogether, and you end up with something you can be really satisfied with.


The Lone Oak

     The name of this map is from the real farm it is based on. The farm is named because of a lone oak tree that sits on the hill above the farm. There is something quite unique about this tree, and the way it sits all alone on top of the hill. A perfect feature for a map.

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the "Lone Oak" tree.

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the "Lone Oak" tree, with "Mt Hood" in the background.


     The one thing I have learned from mod mapping is detail takes time and patience. Just a small area on this map has taken me an entire evening (5-6 hours) to create, sometimes several evenings, and even then I may go back and add more detail, or tweak something I'm not 100% happy with. If your not satisfied then keep at it until you are.

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    Look out for the next update...


UPDATE: 13/02/2018

In the past two weeks since the last update of this topic progress has been very good. The vast majority of the map is complete and finished. I hope to be sending this map to our excellent "Frontier Design" test team sometime in the next month. If I manage to send it in the next 2 weeks the map construction phase will have taken me just 3 months from the first time I loaded the blank map to finish. I keep finding myself confused as I finish off different map aspects, convinced I've missed or forgotten something. At least I know I can rely on our test team to tear the map apart and find anything I have missed.

It is important to me that this map captures the feel of the American countryside, but also has a distinct, unique feel about it. I find myself constantly tweaking different areas until I am happy with them. One of the important aspects of this map has been the excellent unique 3D models made by "Oxygendavid" and "FarmFarm" (Lone Wolf Modding), these two have produced fantasticlooking models, but more importantly, good performance models. So low poly, LODs, anything to make the model have the least impact on the map's FPS performance.

This means the map's current FPS on my PC, with all graphic settings set to there maximum, sits a solid 60fps no matter where you are on the map. No other map has ever done that, not even GCV or Sosnovka on my PC with those settings. Most of the time the FPS stays around the 80-100 mark on "Lone Oak Farm". I am really pleased with this as my biggest irritation with "The West Coast" was the certain areas I just couldn't improve the FPS enough. It also means more players can enjoy the map without the irritation of lag.


As usual here are a selection of ingame screenshots of the map. None are edited at all.

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UPDATE: 16/02/2018

Here are a few screenshots of just one of the sell points on the map, and the vehicle shop area. I wanted to make these feel properly American and familiar to the players. Hope you enjoy...

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UPDATE: 22/02/2018

Seasons

This past week I have been adding the Seasonal extras to the map, and making sure Seasons works well. I may try to add extra seasonal stuff to the map time permitting. For now please enjoy these "seasonal" pictures of the map.

Winter
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Spring
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Autumn
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Last edited by BulletBill on Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:24 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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Smith Modding
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Smith Modding » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:54 pm

BB and Oxygen david this is awesome!! Can't wait to play it!
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Goose66 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Have to say BB, that looks amazing. Sounds amazing too ! Good luck with it and I'll look forward to playing this.
Keep up the superb work you do.
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Guil » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:56 pm

Looks amazing, best of luck with it and the testing.

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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Scuba steve » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:59 pm

Looks amazing Bill and Dave, would you happen to have any pics of the main farm? I can definitely say that when this map comes out, it looks like it will be my main map, keep up the great work and I definitely appreciate all of the effort, I've been waiting so long for an American map created by one of the best :) Hoping the main farm has big storage sheds with operating doors and aluminum looking silos :)
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by ClassicTractors » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:09 pm

IT’S THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST!!!!!!!! Thank you BulletBill. I absolutely cannot wait!!!!!!!!
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Azfoor » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:22 pm

This might be the time i finally try an American map :biggrin2: :shock:

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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Zetor9145 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:57 pm

Now, this sounds absolutely amazing, Can't wait.

BulletBill

Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by BulletBill » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:22 am

Scuba steve wrote:
Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:59 pm
Looks amazing Bill and Dave, would you happen to have any pics of the main farm? I can definitely say that when this map comes out, it looks like it will be my main map, keep up the great work and I definitely appreciate all of the effort, I've been waiting so long for an American map created by one of the best :) Hoping the main farm has big storage sheds with operating doors and aluminum looking silos :)
The main farm yard is still in unfinished so no pictures yet. Each farm yard building is being modelled from real life pictures.

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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Scuba steve » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:24 am

Thanks for the reply Bill, you have no idea how long I've been waiting for an awesome American map with some depth to it, pics look amazing, now what to do until this comes out hmmmm lol
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by RODHA » Mon Jan 22, 2018 9:42 am

Sometimes it is really hard to comment anything on a subject.
That is one of those times.
I mean, what can I say? The West Coast is an amazing map.
Oakfield Farm seems the same and I'll be playing on it as soo as it is released.
And now this.
These are some spectacular times as we are having those amazing maps.
Sincere thanks to BulletBill and Oxygendavid and whoever else is involved :hi: :hi:
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Sir Ironoak » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:34 pm

This looks absolutely fantastic - as always from you guys!

The Lone Oak farm seems to fit my desired gameplay like hand in glove!
And... I do like the "Oak" theme in map-names that is up and about now! :P

/Sir Ironoak

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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by fenixguy » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:13 pm

Oh my! :shock: :shock:

This one looks like a contender for my personal "Greatest FS Map" which is currently CPF. Looks brilliant and actually looks like the US. I have not seen a map yet that made me feel like I was farming in America.

Off topic: I haven't wanted to use John Deere until I saw these pictures. That is absolutely gorgeous.
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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by cr41g_1965 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:29 pm

Very good looking map... Oregon Based....with what will be an American flavor...although here in Canada, signage and such are so similar and with the look of that region it could easily pass for the Great White North...


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Re: "Lone Oak Farm" - Farming Simulator 17 - BulletBill - Frontier Design

Post by Turbojugend » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:53 pm

Amazing, simply amazing. I was just in Monroe and Snohomish, WA this weekend, checking out the local farm lands. Lone Oak looks very similar to this.

Most sincere thanks to all involved in the design and production of this map, I can already see Lone Oak soaking up countless hours of gaming time.
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