History of InfoMap
The InfoMap Project began in June 2007 with the idea to display PoIs on the maps as graphical markers, giving greater flexibility for displaying information compared to the method Vanguard provides for loading PoIs as data. This page chronicles the development of the UI mods and gives examples of earlier versions.
Shortly after the launch of Vanguard, a number of map mods were released which replaced the ingame "old world" style maps with alternative map images. One of these mods was Cobal's Mappack, the precursor to the map images later used in InfoMap. These maps were created by hand-drawing additional features onto the coloured satellite maps originally used in Vanguard's beta.
|River Valley in Cobal's Mappack|
First InfoMap Release
The idea for the InfoMap mod was sparked by a map mod kit released by Thorvang on VGinterface.com. His intention was to assist players manually editing the maps to make UI mods. At the time I was working on the web-based PoI Maps I had created which already plotted PoIs over full-sized continent maps, and it seemed a natural progression to combine the two methods.
The earliest version of the mod was a simple proof of concept, released to the modding community for suggestions and feedback. It consisted of square markers for the four resource node types plotted over the "old world" maps that were in the default UI at the time. After initially struggling for a name, I settled on "InfoMap" since the significant difference between my offering and the other map mods around at the time was the information contained within it.
|InfoMap Basic v0.1|
Birth of a Project
Soon after the initial release I teamed up with Cobal, and his high quality maps became the base for the InfoMap mods. Version 0.2 was the first release intended for use by the playerbase, although we still considered it a beta. The resource markers became coloured dots and further markers were designed for altars, bind stones, riftway stones, bankers, exchange brokers and mailboxes.
The basic version of InfoMap continued to improve over the next few releases with resource node locations coming in from the playerbase via the Automatic PoI Logging System I had created. A key to the markers was also added, printed over the unused areas of the maps.
|InfoMap Basic v0.2||InfoMap Basic v0.4|
In July 2007 we gained two more modders on the project. Xndyr came on board to help us implement the idea of transparent layers for the PoI markers, allowing them to be turned on and off. Nadger worked on optimising the map images and created the first map of the riftway network. Other additions included city maps, a key window and a hotbar to control which PoI markers were displayed.
All these changes took the mod to the next level, and we released it under the name "InfoMap Advanced" whilst retaining the "Basic" version of the UI mod for awhile longer. The Advanced version quickly increased in popularity amongst the playerbase and The InfoMap Project was even mentioned in an offical Vanguard news article.
|InfoMap Advanced v0.2|
Responding to Game Updates
Like all good UI mods, the InfoMap mod has adapted to changes in the game over time. Game Update 3 brought with it several new housing islands and the return of full colour satellite maps to the default UI. Cobal dutifully reapplied his hand drawn improvements to the new satellite maps and continued to add even more details.
Game Update 4 saw the replacement of the old riftway system with a new network designed to give better access to adventuring areas, and versoin 1.4 was released to coincide with these changes, with the mod significantly reworked for the new riftways. This was followed only a few weeks later by another patch to add an additional riftway in Tanvu and the release of version 1.5.
|InfoMap Advanced v1.5||InfoMap Advanced v1.7|
Browsing More Maps
Version 1.5 included a new map browser window showing all the continents and this window has provided a framework for other content as well. Drakonar added a list of the most frequently needed craft information and for version 1.7 the interactive maps of the raiding dungeon Ancient Port Warehouse were created.
One year on from the initial release the InfoMap Project came circle. The additional of a web browser window to Vanguard allowed a direct link to be added to view the web-based maps ingame, the original work from which InfoMap was born.
Better maps and new data layers for the starting area, the Isle of Dawn, were then added in version 1.10 plus interactive maps for a second dungeon, Nusibe Necropolis.
|UI Customizer for InfoMap v2.0|
A Major Revision and More Features
With the content in InfoMap expanding, it became important to be able to remove content too. InfoMap was converted to use the UI Customizer program originally written by Malacki for CoreUI3, which provided offline options for disabling different components. This was released as version 2.0, along with zone information maps and dipomacy content.
The next few versions continued with further improvements and additional useful content. Named target POIs and direct links for individual resource types on the web-based maps were added in version 2.3, and the new maps and for the Halls of the Pantheon content were completed in version 2.4
After a two year pause in game development, as Vanguard received updates once again with the free-to-play conversion, updates to the InfoMap UI mod became necessary too. In August 2012, version 2.5 was released with fixes for new game windows and a replacement for the redirector web page now provided on Soresha.net.
Version 2.6 followed in November 2012 with new content for Lorestones and links to load full housing plot maps in the ingame browser window. The updates for changes in game content continued in 2013 with Version 2.7 in the new year and Version 2.8 arriving at Easter.