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Candidates for a Larger Earth Map

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by Xyth, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I get a lot of requests to include a larger Earth map. There are some great ones out there but most of them are truly massive - in excess of 20,000 tiles - that even unmodded BTS would struggle to handle. HR, with all it's extra graphics and features, wouldn't stand a chance.

    I've had a hunt around and found 4 Earth maps that are noticeably larger than the 124x68 one included in HR but not so large that they won't be nothing but an endless mess of MAFs. That's not to say that they won't be demanding though - all 4 of these maps are somewhere between Giant and Massive size. I've attached the 4 maps to this post for people to take a look at. Note that I've made minimal changes to these so far, just enough to make them actually load. None of the new terrains or resources are added and while all civs should work, none will start in their correct location (other than by coincidence).

    There's no need to actually play a game on these maps, I'd just appreciate it if you could open up the world builder and have a browse. I only want to keep and develop one of these maps so I'd appreciate your feedback on which one you think is the best quality and why. I doubt any of these are perfect but which would provide the best foundation for tweaking? Are they actually any better than the 124x68 map? I don't play on real world maps usually so your feedback would help me understand what people look for in such maps.

    To install them, unzip and place them in /History Rewritten/Private Maps/. They should then appear in the Play Scenario list when you next launch HR. Depending on your settings you might see an error message or two while loading or at game start. Unless they mention 'memory' or lead to a crash, you don't need to worry about these.

    Finally, since these maps are pretty big I recommend quitting and relaunching BTS + HR between each map. BTS is not very good at freeing up resources between games.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    It's not going to be easy to decide, which 18 civs should start on a map of this size. Usually, India, China and Russia will have limitless space to settle… Really, we need to convince Aspyr to edit a more-than-18-civs-DLL. Imagine how especially HR, with its global game perspective, on a huge world map, would be fun unlimited!

    Are these loading errors connected to the culturally linked starting position Python? Isn't it possible anymore, to just stick any map in the Public maps folder and run it, then?
    View attachment PythonErr.log.zip

    Honestly, I think you either have to look further for a good world map, or someone of the contributors here knows a good one.

    I rate the first 2 out of 10. Everyone may guess what these clumsy misshapes are supposed to represent:
    A part of Europe.jpg

    And this Middle East looks like a four-year-old made it:
    Near East?.jpg

    The second map gets 5 out of 10 from me, although the resources seem random, which I suspect they aren't meant to be. What was so hard to research realist and at the same time reasonably distributed resources?

    The third and fourth map get a 1 out of 10 for the effort. These maps looks like resulting from feeding an area preserving projection type map (Greenland not the same size like Africa, but fourteen times smaller, as it should be) into a map editor, turning out Scandinavia and Canada, for instance, utterly distorted. It's less important, how a Civ map looks from the zoomed out view above the clouds than from a more closed in angle, which we players are actually using for hours and hours. To put it simple: Local areas of a Civ map should look like if you had fingertipped that area of the globe in front of your nose, regardless of distances, bearings and angles. A Civ map should go (of the things that a projection style can preserve) for "shape" and "size". What's only relevant to navigation systems, jet pilots, sailors or politicians, is negligible.

    The only realist map type of "giant" dimension I ever liked, was Jabarto's Eurasia, but that's cutting off one half of earth, at least.

    What about civ_king's earth project?
     
  3. Eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus Chieftain

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    158
    2 and 3 are, to my eyes, the most distorted (use Australia as a reference), and their Polynesias are really uninteresting. Furthermore, 2 has no NW passage (above Canada), which for me is grounds for immediate disqualification. 3 and 4 have patchy boreal zones, and include many plains that should be taiga. 3 also bothers me because it's Mali has no gold, but there must be many such things to criticise and single bonus tiles are easier to install than swathes of terrain.

    Earth 1 for me is the most realistic. For instance, it has a Greenland that is inhospitable and an Iceland that's marginal. The ice on Greenland means that America isn't reachable from Europe too early.

    Earth 4 has not only a NW Passage, but also a NE Passage. The player who wants to circumnavigate has only to head to the pole and keep going. It's a more gamey map.
    I like its resources distribution -- except that there's precious little gold --- and none in Australia!

    So, I choose 1, followed by 4. Given that 4 is smaller than 1, could both be included?
     
  4. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Thanks to Starting Points each player gets to decide which civs they want per game. Earth maps are never balanced unless the civs themselves are also drastically altered, which just isn't plausible or desirable for HR. I guess people can play the Inca or Russia if they want an easier game and Tibet or a European civ for more of a challenge.

    Yes those errors are related to the start locations not being set up. It's still possible to place other maps in Private Maps (not Public Maps though) and they should run if they haven't been modified too heavily to run with other mods or with more than 18 civs. One quirk is that no Elephant or Cow resources will display. That's due to an error on my part though and I'll fix it for 1.18.

    I'm happy to take better suggestions if people can find them. Like I said there are some fantastic world maps out there but extremely few in this size range. 'Massive' world size in HR is 16000 - 20160 tiles (depending on map script) and many of the most acclaimed maps (e.g Earth 192 x 120 by Carter) are well over 20000 tiles.

    That map is 20000 tiles. Have you (or anyone else) had memory or performance issues playing it in HR?

    I believe he's been very busy and hasn't had any time to make progress on it. He was working on the 124x68 map.

    4 is actually bigger than 1, by just over 1000 tiles. I suppose I should list the dimensions:

    1. 152 x 96 (14592 tiles), 1.58 aspect
    2. 168 x 80 (13440 tiles), 2.1 aspect
    3. 180 x 87 (15660 tiles), 2.1 aspect
    4. 180 x 87 (15660 tiles), 2.1 aspect

    Note that because 3 and 4 are the same size and projection (one is probably an update of the other by different authors, not sure which) it's possible to cut and paste between them if necessary.

    I've been working on two new map additions for HR: Africa and North America. Through these I'm getting the hang of what's doable. I'm quite enjoying tweaking terrain and improving the shape of coastlines. I absolutely hate placing resources, so many difficult decisions and information for some resources is very hard to find.

    The things that are the hardest to repair are the relative size of landmasses and the projection used. So I guess evaluating these maps on those aspects would be a big help.
     
  5. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    Right, one should look at it as an "ingame" difficulty level. Nevertheless, games will be predictable, if there is endless space, that a civ can claim unrivaled by others. And if the player opts India out and Kushan in, then it will be the Kushan who get all the rivers and floodplains of the Indian subcontinent, and they will be a powerful India under a different name. My point is, huge world maps are by principle to big to host as few as 18 civs only. We need a miraculous workaround to the 18-civs-restriction:dunno:.

    Hm, I mistakenly said Public Maps but had in fact tried another map (which was working in HR 0.7) in Private Maps and got the same Python errors.

    Yeah, I was barely able to finish the game on the lowest graphical settings (and lost to China…). That was before HR, just plain BTS without enhancements. But after all the optimizations of the latest version, maybe at least some people get the chance to finish big maps in HR.

    I think, most differences between these two maps concern ocean tiles converted to coastal, polar passages and minor resource additions. I wouldn't touch either of them:D.

    Thinking about projections, Google Maps come to my mind. Of course, their world map is distorted by certain projection parameters, too. In the global view, you will find, Greenland is competing with Africa in size, but it looks like, on closer view, coast lines and proportions are shaped pretty accurately, as one would expect from photography taken frome straight above. (Just to further explain, why I'm so negative about maps 3 and 4.)
     
  6. Eucalyptus

    Eucalyptus Chieftain

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    Thanks! When I ran them, 4 came up as Huge, and 1,2,3 as Massive. Those were thus `wrong'.


    I get the feeling that one of us exchanged 1 and 2. Our reports conflict!
     
  7. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    My first screenshot of the British Isles was taken from map 3, not 1, my bad. Map 1 appeared worse to me compared to 2. Well, they're both kind of loveless;). Look at the eastern mediterranean, middle east area in map 2, what is this?

    Near East Earthmap 2.jpg
     
  8. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Yep and this is why I don't like to play on Earth maps. Many do though, so each to their own.

    At the same time we'd also need a miraculous workaround to the 2GB memory limit.

    Yes, you'll get those errors when loading any map that isn't set up for specific start locations. They're harmless. I could filter them but they're handy for debugging.

    I was going to remove that map in 1.18 due to its sheer size. No point updating a map that no-one can play. However I took another look at it and realized that I could crop Eastern North America and the Atlantic Ocean (I'd forgotten they were on this map). This reduces it to a much more reasonable 180 x 80; 14400 tiles, down from 20000.

    I don't entirely agree, I consider an overly large Greenland to be a bad sign. Many maps (in reality and in civ) try to represent Europe larger but end up unnecessarily enlarging Greenland, Arctic Canada and Siberia in the process. In terms of gameplay that results in an awful lot of useless tundra and ice, or giant Siberian empires. Better to have a more realistically sized Europe with fewer civs in it in my opinion.

    That said, there's definitely no point in striving for size accuracy and distorting shape beyond recognition in the process. A balance of the two is ideal.

    I meant to change them all to Massive, must have missed that one.

    Small areas like that I can tweak and improve easily. It's the big stuff like relative size and position of the continents that's much less repairable.
     
  9. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    I know:D, eurocentrism… I would agree with you, if gameplay on realistic earth maps wasn't adverse to a two cities Britain or a one city Greece. Athens was just a 30.000 people small city in her heyday with no Civ floodplains or excessive Civ fishing grounds around, that would turn Athens into the classical Civ "science city", as we know it. Athens would have quite a few so called junk tiles in the fat cross: mountain peaks and plenty of water. There shouldn't be any green hills nearby. Nor should the rest of Greece be "good land" in Civ terms. Not always do historical circumstances translate into the civ representational schemes; thus it's justified to enlarge Greece or Britain unmodestly. Everything is allowed that gives a world map game Athens a chance to take the scientific lead or to let London become the world's capital and world's largest city until 1925.

    This doesn't imply an inconsiderate eurocentrism at all, since Japan, or Egypt to a lesser degree, are sharing the same problems of Britain and Greece. An unenhanced Japan could result in a rather boring wallflower civ with no chance of playing a powerful role in the eastern Asian part of a world map.
     
  10. davros42

    davros42 Chieftain

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    Windows 7 seems to do the trick for PC. I've successfully concluded campaigns on our laptop that crash my (32-bit) Vista desktop. I would have thought recent MacOS versions would be immune too.

    And there are several DLLs that up expansions to more than 18 nations, but that option isn't available to the Mac obviously.
     
  11. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    I didn't want to open a new thread, but I think it fits here (more or less) either way...
    I made a world map for HR or, to be precise, I edited one. I used this map made by Pucc from the German civforum.de as a base and placed the new ressources, savannah and wetlands on it. At the moment, it's not yet really balanced (the base map was balanced for BtS and I just added the new ressources, but I haven't removed many - some regions could be overpowered at the moment) and will still need some more work, but at least it's playable.
    At the moment, there are 18 default civs (the ones which were on the base map) and you have to choose one of them - you cannot, as on the other maps, choose any civ and it will be placed on its real start location.
    These civs are:
    America:
    Sioux (Sitting Bull)
    United States (Washington)
    Maya (Pacal)
    Aztec (Montezuma)
    Incas (Huayna Capac)

    Europe:
    Celts (Boudica)
    Byzantium (Justinian)
    Russia (Yekaterina)

    Africa:
    Egypt (Ramesses)
    Zulu (Shaka)
    Mali (Musa)
    Phoenicia (Hannibal)

    Asia:
    Persia (Darius)
    India (Gandhi)
    Khmer (Suryavarman)
    Mongolia (Genghis Khan)
    China (Quin Shi Huang)

    Australia:
    Polynesia (Salamasina)

    Phoenicia will be replaced with the Berber Empire surely, they start in Carthage at the moment.
    And I'm not sure about Polynesia. They start on the continent at the moment and their UU is nearly wasted (there aren't many islands in the area). Maybe I should just replace them with England (starting in Australia too, of course). More islands would be an option, too, but they could get too strong (specially with the Great Lighthouse). Letting them start in New Zealand would be funny, too... but the AI wouldn't cope with that.
    I think the savannah placement is OK... If you don't think so, please tell me:)
    But I'm not sure about the wetlands... They are placed in Sibiria, Scandinavia and north North Amerika (the north of North America;)). But I haven't placed them very well, I'm sure:o
    Well, I think that was everything... Here's the map (WorldMap_HR_0.5 is the map, 0.98 is the base map by Pucc - if you want to look at it, but it won't work with HR). Feedback would be nice:) There are so many things to improve yet...

    I hope the map will still work with 1.18?
     
  12. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    The attachments seem to be missing. It should still work fine with 1.18, and I can convert it to work with free civ/leader selection.
     
  13. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    Oh, sorry. Here is the map:)

    That would be nice:) But it's nearly impossible (/useless) to balance a map if 5 civs could start in Europe and just one in America. I think I will keep two versions of the map, one with free selection and one without.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    Argh, I'm so stupid:wallbash: I wanted to post this link here. But the original map is contained in the folder (attached to the last post) either way, so you don't have to download it (if you should want) separately;)
     
  15. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    Well, I still haven't played a game with that map, but I have tried to balance it a bit more. North America had too many food ressources, but I think it's OK now. Every civ should be playable by the Human Player. But the AI could have problems with some of them, we will see.
    I replaced Phoenicia by the Berber and the USA by the Iroquois (which are placed in Ontario now), I also switched Ramesses>Hatshepsut and Boudica>Vercingetorix.
    Xyth: You said you can make it work with free selection. Shall I give you the starting positions of every civ or do something else, or will you just, ehm, do it on your own (no hint of impatience here, really, I just want to ask if I can/should help with anything)? Of course, I can wait if you've got better stuff to do now.

    So, feedback would be nice:)
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    1.18 launch has kept me quite busy, each time I think I'm done something else critical gets reported. All good though. I plan to have a thorough look at this map as soon as things subside.

    Finding the start coordinates for each civ is the slowest part of the conversion process. If you're able to get those for me, I can do the rest fairly quickly.
     
  17. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    You mean the x- and y-coordinates? Well, I will try it. What if two civs are too near to each other? Deciding for one and missing the other one out?
     
  18. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    Ok, I set a starting position for every civ. Some are overlapping, of course...
    I've marked the positions on the map attached to this post. I think they should be ok, most of them are the position of their capital.
    And Civ was kind enough to place a list of every sign with its name and its coordinates at the end of the WB-Save. Great:)
    Spoiler :
    Code:
    ### Sign Info ###
    BeginSign
    	plotX=76
    	plotY=37
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Egypt
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=76
    	plotY=34
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Nubia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=77
    	plotY=33
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Ethiopia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=65
    	plotY=41
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Berbers
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=62
    	plotY=36
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Mali
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=67
    	plotY=29
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Kongo
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=77
    	plotY=30
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Swahili
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=76
    	plotY=23
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Zulu
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=80
    	plotY=42
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Sumer
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=77
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Amurru
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=80
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Assyria
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=76
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Hatti
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=77
    	plotY=40
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Israel
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=79
    	plotY=37
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Arabia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=87
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Persia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=97
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Kushan
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=100
    	plotY=41
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Tibet
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=74
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Byzantium/Turks
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=76
    	plotY=44
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Turks?
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=95
    	plotY=55
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Mongolia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=106
    	plotY=42
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=China
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=108
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Korea
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=113
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Japan
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=92
    	plotY=42
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=India
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=91
    	plotY=34
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Tamil
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=99
    	plotY=38
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Siam
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=100
    	plotY=36
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Khmer
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=101
    	plotY=38
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Vietnam
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=101
    	plotY=30
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Indonesia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=118
    	plotY=21
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Polynesia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=44
    	plotY=22
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Maya
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=37
    	plotY=26
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Inca
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=28
    	plotY=40
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Aztec
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=34
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=America
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=34
    	plotY=48
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Iroquois
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=19
    	plotY=49
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Sioux
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=26
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Anasazi
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=60
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Portugal
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=61
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Spain
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=61
    	plotY=51
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=England
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=77
    	plotY=42
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Phoenicia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=66
    	plotY=45
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Rome
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=71
    	plotY=43
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Greece
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=80
    	plotY=51
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Russia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=65
    	plotY=54
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Scandinavia
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=70
    	plotY=47
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Hungary
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=66
    	plotY=49
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Germany
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=63
    	plotY=49
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=France
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=65
    	plotY=49
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Netherlands
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=64
    	plotY=48
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Celts
    EndSign
    BeginSign
    	plotX=69
    	plotY=49
    	playerType=-1
    	caption=Poland
    EndSign


    The following civs are overlapping (=not more than one tile between them):

    Siam/Vietnam/Khmer
    Nubia/Ethiopia
    Portugal/Spain
    France/Celts/Netherlands
    Germany/Celts/Netherlands
    Poland/Hungary
    Assyria/Sumer
    Byzantium and Turks have got the same starting position, but the Turks could move on 3-6 (that's the sign "Turks?"). Howsoever, they overlap.
    Byzantium,Turks/Hatti
    Hatti/Turks?/Amurru
    Phoenicia/Turks?/Amurru
    Phoenicia/Israel

    The Arabian Peninsula and Europe could get very crowded...
     

    Attached Files:

  19. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Here you go. The map file goes in /History Rewritten/PrivateMaps/ and the xml file goes in /History Rewritten/Assets/XML/Maps/. I haven't double checked the starting locations but if you need to adjust them you can edit the coordinates in the xml file. If you rename the map be sure to name the xml file exactly the same with '_StartingPoints' appended.

    Some areas can get crowded, but you can use the Custom Scenario option to set the exact civs you want each game. The other advantage of maps converted this way is you can set game speed and other options differently each game.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Boggy

    Boggy Chieftain

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    Great:thumbsup: Thank you. It works.
     

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