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Communitas map script

Discussion in 'Communitas Expansion Pack' started by Thalassicus, Jul 12, 2013.

  1. heinous_hat

    heinous_hat Prince

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    Haven't played a complete game on one of these maps yet, but I've generated a bunch in WB (128x80) to get a feel for them. Overall, very nice continent shape and distribution. Lake/river connections were something that definitely needed attention. Couple of observations and questions:

    1) This seems to share an oddity that also exists in Perfectworld... no jungles on hills. Although this script (but not PW) does have jungle/hills on single tile islands or short island chains, neither script has them on primary land masses. It seems like those instances get converted to forest/hills. It looks odd and has related game-play implications regarding tile yields. Is that a consequence of some choice Rich made for PW and is it intentional here? I remember some early discussion in the PW thread where he didn't like the art style for most jungle/hills combos, so he limited the tile set selection. Maybe something has changed with Firaxis updates that's causing the absence of those features, or maybe it was always the case and I never noticed :confused:

    2) Hills seem a bit light with default settings. I understand this is for balance concerns, AI combat and cavalry viability etc. One can always select a young planet (3 billion yr) so the choice is there if you prefer the hills aesthetics :)

    3) The ocean rift near the prime meridian is a neat idea. I do see though that there are a lot of land tiles in that area that lack adjacent coast tiles (goes straight to ocean). At least, that's the case in WB.


    The first point also ties into the current argument regarding jungle food (and science/culture) yields for Cep. It might be interesting to address jungle areas from a map script perspective alongside determining yield rules. I've been dabbling around with Firaxis' Amazon Plus script (which also allows rare grassland/jungle) and I find improvement dilemmas are greater in that scenario. If balanced properly with :c5food: yields under Cep, perhaps jungles could be made more compelling by allowing those diverse feature combinations to appear in continent style scripts such as this. At the very least, it looks more convincing to have jungle/hills/plains and not mix in forests in that climate area (grassland :c5food: concerns aside).
     
  2. Bridger

    Bridger Prince

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    Very excited to try out the new terra setup Thal, i'll report back what I find :)
     
  3. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @heinous_hat
    He did make a note in the map that jungle-hills look poor, but I honestly never looked closely myself. I'll check it out and see what I think.

    I reduced the hill count because some people said there were too many hills earlier. I'd be okay with increasing it slightly.

    Interesting about the WB! I hadn't tried generating maps there. The normal game automatically converts ocean next to land into coast, so I had not noticed. Does it turn those ocean into coast if you load up a WB map in the game?


    Edit:
    I I think figured it out. Jungles can normally appear only on plains, so Cephalo probably saw just the normal plains-hill-jungle combination. This looks unnaturally dry. However! I can retain a green wet look for jungle-hills by changing the underlying hill to grass after the jungle is placed, forcing the jungle somewhere it normally could not occur...

    Edit:
    Oh bah, that doesn't work in all situations. If there's jungle on both sides of a jungle-hill tile, the game only has flatland art... not hill art... and the visuals break:

    Spoiler :


    However, notice the jungle-hill to the left. It seems we can do jungle-hills if the jungle is isolated... but it can't be in a clump of jungles, because the art team did not create graphics for what we want to do. It's strange the jungle, hill, and grassland graphics depends on each other, instead of being handled seperately...


    But this jungle-hill worked, despite having jungle on 2 sides... hmm. I'm trying to figure out exactly what combination of jungle and hills breaks the artwork.




    Edit:
    I think it might be the new natural wonder messing things up. The forest-hill side broke too:



    The other jungle-hills I've found look okay... so I think it's just this NW.
     
  4. heinous_hat

    heinous_hat Prince

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    @Thalassicus

    Yeah, the game might do another pass that isn't happening in WB for whatever reason. Have to look, but it's likely since you haven't noticed missing coast tiles with your script.

    With the jungle hills... take a look at a map with Amazon Plus. That has jungle hills in clusters. I'm not sure what tileset they use, but it's consistent whereas PW uses mixed sets. The hills normally occur near top and bottom in the corners of those maps. It has all varieties (grass, plains, flat, hills and combos) under jungle. Have to look at the lua to see what they're doing that's missing from PW. Maybe it could be incorporated.

    edit: The tileset for Amazon Plus is African

    There's also something different about some tilesets since BNW. They changed some artwork and a lot of forest tiles look weird (too green) on PW maps. I think they might have been trying to differentiate visually between forest/grass and forest/plains. Not sure, but it looks terrible next to other (different) tilesets, imho. Doesn't blend. Jungle art looks improved though.
     
  5. Bridger

    Bridger Prince

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    had a really odd shaped Terra wold tonight. It seemed extremely fractured and there wasn't a lot of solid land for some reason. Also: the ocean looked extremely regular and crafted rather than natural.

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=166198973 <---- image of map.

    It seemed pretty fun (except for being stuck in the bottom corner >_<) but I don't think I'd want every map to have this kind of fracturing.
     
  6. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    Thal set the default sea level to medium in the latest release, so that's probably why you're noticing a reduced land size.

    Could you elaborate on your crafted rather than natural statement?
     
  7. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @Bridger
    This map is more unpredictable than vanilla maps, which can create some unusual situations. :)

    It looks like you randomly got an unusually small Eurasia in the center (Hiawatha, Bismark, Monte, Pacha). Terra maps put everyone on the biggest continent. If it had put everyone on that small continent, the capitals would be crowded 3-5 tiles apart, without room for citystates or expansion. This would probably not be good. My new continent-merging stuff looked for nearby continents to connect to Eurasia (like Africa through Egypt). It connected the center subcontinent to the northern 2 subcontinents. This made room for citystates and old-world expansion on the merged supercontinent.

    The map also created two oceans. The first is the Pacific rift on the map edge which creates a circular ring of ocean tiles. You can faintly see the top half of the circle where it carved out an Australia-like landmass on the left map edge.

    The second ocean is the Atlantic, which shifts one third of the land away to create the New World, like how the Americas split from Africa/Europe. This is where you see a curve from the continents splitting apart. I made the Atlantic rift look as real as I could. The more real I make it, the more time and effort I have to work on it, so eventually I stopped when I felt it was good enough in most situations.
     
  8. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    Yes, that's crucial and a large part of what makes the concept so appealing.

    On conventional maps (let's take Pangea as example) there is an expansion phase until midgame. After that, most good spots are taken, worldwide. If you're unhappy with the amount of land you possess, war is almost the only option. And you're the last person I have to explain why reduced choices means less fun ;)
    Sure, you can adapt this slightly by choosing less civs at map creation. That makes expansion viable longer, but it ultimately ends in the same situation and has the drawback of making the early game rather boring (with the next neighbour 20 tiles away).

    On an ideally working Terra map, the player experiences intensive interactions with other civs relatively early, but that doesn't mean that mid-lategame peaceful expansion is impossible like it would be on other maps. It's all about making the lategame more varied and less predictable. Ideally, it should allow civs that were unlucky with their starting area and fell behind in score to catch up once certain techs are unlocked.

    It's surely not easy to achieve ideal balance in this regard. It's not my intention to have maps where things often end with a huge classic/medieval all-out slaughter. Generally, during the classical period, things shouldn't be much different than on other maps. But by the medieval age, we should feel how things get a bit tighter than usual, making Astronomy an appealing tech choice. it shouldn't however be so crowded that there's no way for tall players to find enough place for 3-4 cities. Settling offshore should be attractive, but not mandatory for everyone.
    It's a delicate balance, and I often canceled Terra games after a few turns if I saw that some weird constellation made playing on the map undesireable. But you have taken many things causing weird games into account already, so with 3.2.1 I'm pretty sure this rarely be necessary. Your effort makes me hope that Terra will finally work as described above :thumbsup:

    I admit my viewpoint is a bit special since I'm preferably playing peaceful-wide. Warmongers probably don't need peaceful lategame alternatives, while tall players more easily reach their desired number of cities anyway. But then again, peaceful-wide is surely no minority program, but one of the 3 core approaches to the game.



    Imagine real European history as example:
    During the Grecoroman age, it was relatively common to found new cities in almost unpopulated areas. Central, eastern and northern Europe were mostly tribal with few large, permanent settlements. But after the migration period and especially from late medieval times onward, a general urbanization of those areas took place, and borders became something more concrete. There just wasn't much no-mans land in Europe any more.
    England, Spain, Portugal and many other powers have only colonized the new world because there wasn't any unused territory left to take in Europe. The massive effort of colonization was still much better than conquering your neighbours in a bloody all-out war.

    I'd really love to see this represented ingame.




    To give you some numbers, I think every civ should be able to found 3-5 useful new cities on average before Eurasia is full. Tall players shouldn't be forced to colonize at all cost, and peaceful players shouldn't be forced to go to war to get their core cities up and running.
    IMHO, I think that 40-50% of the available city spots should be on the starting continent. 10-20% should be offshore, but reachable before Astronomy, and 30-40% should be in the new world.

    Regarding city-states, I think a similar distribution makes sense. There should be at least one CS per civ on the starting continent, and CS's shouldn't block all good city spots in the new world. They also shouldn't have all the ressources the new world provides - the map type is about settling there ourselves after all. I saw you disabled the function that controls CS distribution, but if it was still there, I'd set it somewhere around 40, maybe 50% for Eurasia.
     
  9. ExpiredReign

    ExpiredReign Deity

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    I've just started 2 games and have vastly different results.

    1) Small size - continents

    5 civs on 1 medium sized landmass, me included. Before I could blink the Shoshone had founded their 3rd city right on my northern border blocking me that way.
    To my south east a mountain range and the Inca blocking me that way.
    To all compass points is sea and then Korea all alone on the other landmass.
    I had no access to iron or horses before I had a chance or a reason to clear a path.
    The result. Rage quit.

    2) Standard Size - continents

    1 good size landamass with plenty of room to expand and good resources right at hand.
    The only civ on it with me is Indonesia.
    I try to establish a big capital and by the time I am ready to found my 2nd city Indonesia already has 3 with the last sharing my western border.
    My settler arrives and I found a city to my north which makes a territory boundary which stops access to all the land to my east for Indonesia.
    Understandably he is upset and within 2 turns there are 4 Composite Bowman and a couple of Kris Swordsman storming my capital with warriors and archers from his CS allies besieging my northern city.
    Before I can recover, I am lost.

    The second scenario is probably my fault but it did seem awfully crowded in the first map.
     
  10. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    @Tomice
    Thank you for the detailed explanation, that will help me adjust the Terra option in the future. :thumbsup:

    @ExpiredReign
    The density of capitals depends on the quality of land. When the game finds bad land, it expands the player's territory to add new good city spots. If our start area has good land, we are closer to opponents, since it doesn't need to expand our territory as much.
     
  11. EricB

    EricB Prince

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    Just wanted to say that I really like the map. No complaints here. Love it.

    I also agree with the idea of separating the main mod from the map. Regular civ players can use the map that way. It also is a smart way of introducing them to the mod. They may find the map and like it, then decide to give the mod a try too. Also, for this reason I firmly believe in keeping the mod as close as possible to the core game. You'll have more users this way. Those of us who prefer a particular play style (for example I hate how easy religions are to get) can alter setting manually ourselves for the way that we want to play.
     
  12. Wichtel

    Wichtel Chieftain

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    Thats how I got here :)
     
  13. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    The Communitas map sometimes does a 5-3 split on landmasses but I've never seen a 5-1 split. It was also bad luck to get the Shoshone as a neighbor as I notice that they tend to aggressively expand even in vanilla.


    I don't think Thal has adjusted the aggression or expansion levels of the BNW civs so CEP probably didn't contribute to Indonesia's aggression except for maybe the increased military/wonder focus the CEP AIs seem to have.
     
  14. pintocat

    pintocat Warlord

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    I have a question about the atolls. If you're using more atolls and fewer fish, for visual reasons, how does that stack up in yield terms? Lighthouse/Seaport on fish, etc?

    The hills seems sparse, and probably 2/3 to 3/4 of my Inca starts are not on hills, and rarely have more than 1 or 2, and almost never mountains. (I'm using 1.01)
     
  15. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    I made a quick atoll replacement mod with the images jacktannery made and whoward's farm replacement fix. As you can see from the screenshots the results are pretty rough and if we do decide to make atoll replacements, more work might be needed on the artwork.

    You can download it below and it shouldn't change anything in terms of gameplay.
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Thalassicus

    Thalassicus Bytes and Nibblers

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    That looks like good progress. What problems might we encounter with the farm bug fix?
     
  17. stackpointer

    stackpointer King

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    There shouldn't be any problems, I just find the farm texture replacement visually unappealing.

    Since whoward doesn't allow hotlinking from his site, I've attached his screenshot below:
     

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  18. Tomice

    Tomice Passionate Smart-Ass

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    I finally found time to create a bunch of 1.0.2 (?) maps for testing and feedback :) I'm creating Terra-style large maps with 10 civs, 20 CS's and all settings on standard (atl+pac ocean rift).


    First results:
    • This is FAR better looking than anything vanilla provided so far. AWESOME work! Thank you! :worship:
    • Ice-free polar passages are a very good addition!
    • Natural wonders are much better placed and more often in places you really want to grab them.
    • The river-in-lake system isn't perfect due to vanilla graphical limitations, but most of the time it creates really cool effects. Like it overall.
    • Avoiding mini-oceans without connection to the main one works very well. Good job!


    I'm still keeping an eye on Civ and CS distribution, and on the continent connection system. I'm not fully sold on those yet. Civs seem mostly fine, but CS seem to appear 80-90% on the main continent now, which is really too much.

    To be continued!


    EDIT:
    It seems that CS's are placed with a weird algorithm. Using IGE, you can see the order in which Civs and CS appear on the map (just keep IGE running with the "glance at map" function on while hitting "Enter" to end turn one). Seemingly, it places about half the CS's on "Eurasia" before putting the first offshore. But then, for some reason I cannot explain, after 3-5 CS's the algorithm returns to placing them in Eurasia, although there'd be plenty of spots left in the new world.

    EDIT2:
    Wait, what I see is the order in which the CS's play their first turn (where the city is founded and appears on the map). Maybe that's not the same order in which the map generator places their settlers. I'll do more testing tomorrow.
     
  19. jacktannery

    jacktannery Prince

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    Those look better than I had thought they would! The indonesia islands looks especially good - crete looks awful. We should view these as proof of concept. It can be done if we want to do it. I was actually really happy with the original atoll art, personally, but I am happy to make islands if other people want them.

    I'm pretty good at digital art, so if you tell me exactly what is needed to make the atolls look how you want, I can probably do it. You need to be very specific.

    EDIT: the farm replacement looks absolutely terrible.
     
  20. sav

    sav Prince

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    I've tried this map script twice, and both times the game just ends on turn 1, and I never even get to see my units - does it only work with the Communitas expansion pack?

    (And is there an easy way to get those big fat zeros out of my hall of fame?)
     

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