Does anyone know why Firaxis chose squares instead of hexagons for the map grid?

Discussion in 'Civ3 - General Discussions' started by sabo, Nov 15, 2002.

  1. The Yankee

    The Yankee The New Yawker Retired Moderator

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    It's just a game, what's the point of arguing over these things?
     
  2. cgannon64

    cgannon64 BOB DYLAN'S ROCKIN OUT!

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    You try making better in Paint. ;) :lol: :D

    CG
     
  3. WillJ

    WillJ Coolness Connoisseur

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    Squares are some kind of rectangle. :p Yes, I know my images aren't perfect, or anywhere near perfect, but, like you said, I'm right. :D And if you just pretend they're squares you can picture in your mind that what I'm saying is right, can't you?
    I'm bored right now. And aren't you arguing (at least with my pics)? ;)
    Yep, exactly! :D Actually I probably could have made my pics somewhat neater, but hey, that probably would have just been a waste of time. And I'm not that bored...
     
  4. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    Willj is right.

    I'm attaching a screenshot and you'll see what he is saying. The scout moved three tiles northwest. The worker moved 3 tiles west. The worker covered more distance. Both units are technically 3 tiles from the capital, but the worker is further away geometrically. The worker is about 3 inches (depending on the size of your computer screen), the scout is 1 1/2 inches away. The scout would cover the same distance after it keeps going northwest and gets to that mountain.



    Actual geometric distance (not # of tiles or movement points it takes a unit to get there) is what is used for figuring corruption.
     
  5. Silverflame

    Silverflame OBJECTION!

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    I have now conceded to you Bamspeedy (somewhat)

    Actually, the problem about using hexes is that the borders will be all squiggly. And that doesnt really look all that great. I mean, borders are usually strait unless they are on a river, right? So i want my nations borders to be strait, not squggling up and down and up and down and up and down like a hex would. Plus the minimap would be kind of screwy too.
     
  6. Park Ranger

    Park Ranger Wonder hog

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    It occurred to me yesterday that we're discussing distances on a flat surface, yet many of us have wondered about playing civ on an actual globe.

    I was thinking that the mini-map would give you the options for display as a globe, Mercator projection, or that other one that preserves area but distorts linear distance.

    But what grid would work best, hexagonal or quadrilateral (any 4-sided tile, diamond, square, trapezoid)?

    Anyway having played on hex grids have to say I like them, you have six directions in which you can travel with no distance distortion whatsoever. In the square/diamond grid there are eight directions of travel but they are not all equal, anyone who still can't see this needs to review high school math. ;)
     
  7. Park Ranger

    Park Ranger Wonder hog

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    :) Only here in N. America, and mostly in the western parts of US & Canada. (State/provincial boundaries get straighter as you go west).

    Oh, and you see a bit of that in Africa. The arbitratry boundaries that colonial cartographers drew across cultural/geographiscal areas betray a profession that was high on Cartesian geometry at the time.

    But older boundaries, ones that evolved over time, are pretty squiggly!
     
  8. robehans

    robehans Warlord

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    The earth is a CYLINDER!!!
    It is stupid to argue about this. Ok, ok, it is a longer way to go if you go diagonally in the squares, but i think it is a much bigger flaw to have a rectangular map when you can't have a exact rectangular map of a round planet!!
     
  9. candybo

    candybo Chieftain

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    So far as I'm concerned, this is the only reason this matters. Movement-wise, # of turns is the consideration...:p
     
  10. Bamspeedy

    Bamspeedy CheeseBob

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    It matters in movements also, in the early exploration phase of the game. You'll uncover more tiles by going straight west, north, south, or east then by going northwest, southeast, etc.

    By going N,S,W, or E a single move unit will uncover about 8 tiles, but by going diagonally (NE, SW, etc.), you'll uncover about 3 tiles. The numbers will vary because of course getting on the mountains will expose more tiles, and jungle, forests, and mountains you are not on, will limit visibility. But more often then not, you'll explore more of the map (and see more huts, make contacts, etc.) going straight across or up or down (and walking atop mountain ranges).
     
  11. DS_CL

    DS_CL Warlord

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    To add to the point of distance, moving diagonal with a unit will reveal more black squares on a flat map than moving SE,NE,SW, or NW. That technically means you should always move your units diagonal to cover more land area per turn. This was the reason some games switched to hexagons instead of squares.
     
  12. Hurricane

    Hurricane Sleeping Dragon

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    I think the only reason they chose the obviously inferior tiles were the casual customer point of view. Civ1 was not a game made for wargamers. And after that, they didn't dare to change the recipe. :)
     
  13. Algernon Pondlife

    Algernon Pondlife Prince

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    A simple quote from a wargame site (cardboard strategyst):

    "The first generation of wargames had mapboards superimposed with a square grid that regulates movement and combat. Later wargames substituted that with a hexagonal grid that "measured" distances more realistically."

    The choice in civilization (obviously I mean the original) was not hampered by undue programming problems because many board wargames had already been transposed to the computer by that time.

    It is unlikely that Sid was wholly unfamiliar with board wargames. Although the hex-grid he was most certainly familiar with was in the game 1829 by Hartland Trefoil, the original designers and manufacturers of Civilization also.

    The board game, Civilization, used an area or zone system with irregular polyhedrons and was distinctly not a wargame. I suspect that may have influenced the design decision somewhat.

    Since Civilization is not essentially a wargame either, "measured" distance has little relevance. however civilization has come to be treated like a wargame in many respects and hence the obsession in this thread with counting attack and defence points.

    I suspect that the dominance of the direct conflict model in the game was not fully anticipated since the design, although not abstract as in the board game, was probably intended to reflect a more all encompassing view of history than just a large battlefield.

    I also vaguely think I have read an explanation somewhere that may be considered "official", but I cannot remember where it was.
     
  14. Zachriel

    Zachriel Kaiser

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    Revelation 7:1
    And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
     
  15. Algernon Pondlife

    Algernon Pondlife Prince

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    Sure Zachriel, but in this case we are talking about a topology with eight directions not four. I suppose that is close enough:)
     
  16. Reboot

    Reboot Privateer

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    I know I always do that. :)

    Actually, I do believe that a Hexagonal grid will make gameplay interesting. I find the square grid useful for unit zone of control. Since that's scraped in Civ3... You don't even really need to make the grid explicitly hexagonal. Simply re-align every other row half a square will create the 6-sides instead of 8-sides effect.

    But is that an improvement?
     
  17. TheNiceOne

    TheNiceOne Emperor

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    Reboot, your suggestion is exactly what the first wargames that abandonded the old square map did, they shifted every second row a half square.

    What you get then is a hexagonal map drawn with squares, and the effect is exactly as with a true hexagonal map.

    To me it would be a waste improvement to have a hexagonal map instead of a square map. The fact that you can move directly to another square that only thouches the corner (and thus move with 1.4 times the normal speed) feels overly gamey to me. But then I'm used to hardcore hexagonal board games...
     
  18. satchel

    satchel Prince

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    One reason not to use hexes that I didn't see mentioned is playability. When I am manually moving units around I use the keypad. You can't map hexagonal movement onto a keypad as naturally as movement on a square grid.

    (I suppose you could use 7-8-9 and 1-2-3 for movement on the hex grid, and we'd get used to it.)

    Hex grids are fine and maybe even preferable for war board games, but there are additional considerations that must be applied to computer games.
     
  19. cymru_man

    cymru_man Prince

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    Zone of Control is not completely scrapped in Civ 3. Armys have it and so do some units and units fortified in fortresses. When you move past these units, there is a chance that the passing units will lose 1 HP
     
  20. Four Four Seven

    Four Four Seven Spearman

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    Why no hexes? I offer my opinions:

    1) Casual gamers will go "AAAAHHHH!!" and run screaming from any hex game.
    2) Without the grid turned on, you'd get somewhat confused with hexes.
    3) They probably didn't think of it with Civ 1, which leads to:
    4) That's the way they've always done it.

    Does it really harm gameplay? I don't think so. I think they'd harm initial gameplay MORE by switching with a new version of a game. I had enough trouble at first with the isometric grid in Civ II. (I actually was so turned off by seeing it I initially delayed my purchase.) Switching to grids would flip people out even more.

    It helps to just think of those travelling NE, SE, NW, or SW as having difficulty with their compass and those funny angles, which makes them travel slower. :)
     

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