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Earth map renewal project

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by civ_king, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I am going to be bringing the Earth (124x68) map up to speed since it has BtS resources which simply wont work for the vastly improved HR mod.

    Things I want to know

    Old World and New world resource spread: should Old World resources such as cows and horses exist in the New World likewise with New world resources like potatoes and corn in the Old World? (oh and what about introduced ranch resources in NZ and AUS?

    Terrain features: should civs like India and China have massive population due to the floodplains that are currently unrepresented or should I try to make the map fairer, in other words should I strive for historicity or balance

    Ambiguous resources: how should I deal with the overlapping resources of bison and cattle? Should I try to tastefully shuffle bison and bis or should I use bison to represent New World and Cattle to represent Old World? How about Walruses, should I represent them with seals or with ivory (since they are close to seal, but were also hunted for ivory)?

    "Disappeared" resources: India for example was the source of diamonds for thousands of years, also it is missing the Kolar gold fields which were mined for over two millennia. Should I have "disappeared" resources on the map? How about the North African elephants which were rendered extinct during the Roman Empire (these were the kind Hannibal crossed the Alps with).

    General terrain: Should I tweak the terrain such as changing the Cuban mountain to a hill or removing some of the mountains by Xi'an?

    Should I just focus on adding resources that don't exist on the map or should I do stuff like add in the Sudanese elephants and Afghan lapis lazuli (gems)?
     
  2. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    Hmmm.

    This ties into the question I asked in the other thread- how do we handle the Columbian Exchange? Corn, potatoes, tobacco, cotton cocoa, bison, rubber, and possibly a few others I forget are native to the New World exclusively in real life. Horses, cows, pigs, wheat, elephants, flax, coffee, and (again) possibly a few others I forget are native to the Old World exclusively in real life (mammoths existed in the New World but were extinct by the timeframe of the game).

    But there are parts of the world where these things played a big role after the Columbian exchange. The introduction of the potato had a major impact on farming in Europe, and was the main primary staple crop of Ireland from the 1700s on. Horses changed the entire culture of many Native American tribes, and there are powerful game balance reasons to make horses available in the Americas in Civ IV, in areas where horses were historically bred well such as the Great Plains, Texas, and the Kentucky bluegrass country. And so on.

    [Note: "potatoes" may represent other root crops such as yams for all I know, in which case ignore anything I say about where in the world potatoes should be available]


    ...


    As for the rest. Yes, I think that some terrain tweaks are in order. In Cuba, for instance, the island is so physically small that putting a peak square on it is punitive, and in real life the mountains of Cuba aren't rugged enough to be practically inaccessible and therefore economically useless the way the Himalayas or the higher parts of the Rockies are.

    As to resources that in real life played out some time in the past few millenia, I don't know. You need to strike a balance between conveying the richness of the ancient world and making sure that different areas have different sets of resources, to promote a certain amount of trade and to keep any one civilization from exploiting too many different resources too early on.
     
  3. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    My initial thoughts:

    I think stick with historicity at first, and then where possible balance with different resources. So for example, while the Americas don't have horses, they can instead have much more plentiful sources of other resources to compensate somewhat. Later, if it proves too unbalancing in any particular area, we can revisit it.

    In general I think that if a resource was introduced to an area because of European colonialism then don't add it, but if it was introduced by native peoples earlier in history then that's probably fine. So for example I wouldn't add sheep or other livestock to NZ, but I would add Potatoes.

    My thoughts on New Zealand, copy/pasted from the other thread:

    I forget how big New Zealand is on those maps but I would add Potatoes (kumara) in the North Island, Jade (pounamu/greenstone) in the South Island, flax (harakeke) in both, and fish, shellfish, whales and seals in the surrounding water. Gas in the waters off Taranaki (the promontory on the west coast of the North Island).

    EDIT: I've now had a look at the map and think NZ could probably use a bit of a redesign. If you're okay with it, I might have a go at that once you're done with the rest of the map. Would be a good small project for me to learn mapmaking on and I'm obviously pretty familiar with these wee islands :)

    I think strive for historicity first, and then make some appropriate balance tweaks afterwards. A world map is never going to be as balanced as a typical random game but we still need to ensure no civs have any drastic advantages or disadvantages.

    I think new world Bison and old world Cattle is the way to go. At some point I'd like to retexture the cattle resource so that it looks a bit more universal and able to represent old world buffalo as well.

    I've changed Ivory to Elephant in HR now, so equating walruses with the Seal resource is the best solution.

    I think the map should most definitely have disappeared resources (and terrain!). History Rewritten is all about re-starting history with the same civilizations and seeing what happens differently; no point the map faithfully recreating our modern world, it should more or less recreate the world as it was at the dawn of civilization.

    Definitely, feel free to change anything that you think doesn't make sense geographically or balance-wise.

    I'm more than happy for you to review the standard resources as well, if you're willing. I really look forward to seeing how this turns out. If there's anything I can do to help please don't hesitate to ask. I really appreciate you taking the time to do this.

    Feedback and ideas from others most welcome!
     
  4. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    Resources: BTS just missed to portray the depletion of minerals or the "spreading of resources" like horses, tomatoes or – which is to me the most striking example – wine. In 4000 BC there shouldn't be a grapes resource near Bordeaux! Even the cereal resource shouldn't be on the map at start. I think, they started to cultivate barley first in Mesopotamia, and from there it started to spread. If there's limited ways to show that, it's fine to put resources where one would expect them and where gameplay needs them.
     
  5. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Personally I think this is represented by trade. Potato tiles don't mean that these are the only places they are grown, just the best or traditional places. Likewise, farmed tiles that aren't built on a specific resource aren't automatically growing something other than the four crops we include in the game.

    So when the Celts (Irish) make contact with the New World civilizations or perhaps set up colonies there, they get Potatoes added to their trade network and the appropriate increase in food and health. This can represent not just imports of the crop, but import of the seeds and techniques to grow them locally. Alternatively, the Celts may instead colonize Indonesia and start consuming spices in great quantities ;)

    And the Sioux have a Horse Archer based UU, you just reminded me. We might need to make horses an exception then.

    Yeah, 'Potatoes' can be assumed to represent similar tubers like kumara, taro, etc. 'Tubers' just sounded weird.

    It's a tricky balance as resources do not appear later and cannot be placed by a civ. So placing resources in their area of origin is a given, but sometimes we need to also place them in areas where they later became associated with or we end up with resources being far too scarce or monopolized by whichever civ is fortunate enough to start near them.

    It helps to have some 'cutoff points', even if they are a little arbitrary. Throughout the mod, the two main 'cutoff points' that I regularly use when making various changes are: 1) Age of Sail colonization (the world changed drastically at this point in history and I prefer to let each game dictate how things happen at this time, rather than assume actual history), and 2) First People advantage (if an area was unoccupied or only occupied by peoples not represented in the mod, then that area would have the trappings of the first game civ that did settle there).

    In terms of resource placement, and using our good old Potato as yet another example, I wouldn't put Potatoes in Ireland because they weren't introduced there until the Age of Sail but I would put them in New Zealand as the Maori brought taro (which didn't grow) and kumara (which did) with them (c.1000-1200 CE).

    I'm not familiar with the history of grape/wine cultivation but if the Gauls, Romans or Franks were growing them in that region then it seems to me that's a good place for them.
     
  6. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    I think we need horses in the New World; not having horses is a really serious military disadvantage. We need to avoid a resource balance that leaves New World civilizations in History Rewritten laboring under the same intrinsic disadvantages of "guns, germs, and steel" that caused them to be overrun in real life.

    A little thought should suggest where to put Horse resources- the Argentine pampas, Kentucky, the Great Plains...

    The real problem is that it's hard to put enough of a resource in a single concentrated region to supply numerous civilizations through trade. If we only put wheat in the Middle East, then if we want wheat to (as historical) become accessible to a half dozen civilizations around the globe, we need about six wheat tiles all clustered together... at which point this has a major impact on the availability of food in the Middle East, even more so than you'd expect from saying "well, it's the Fertile Crescent..."

    And your access to wheat will always depend on whatever civilization controls the lands where wheat grows as a native crop, which is unreasonable- the US is on lousy terms with most of the Middle East today, but that doesn't stop the US from being one of the world's leading wheat producers.

    As for wine, grapes grow wild throughout much of Europe and even the Americas; if the Iroquois had developed a major agricultural civilization (i.e. Bronze or Iron Age), it's quite possible that they'd have independently invented wine made from Concord grapes. The fact that the specific cultivars of grape used for most wine production in real life spread from small areas in the Mediterranean don't mean all wine production should be limited to those regions, so wine should be more available- heck, you can make wine from dates or other fruits, for that matter.
     
  7. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Yeah, the Colombian Exchange is a problem, ideally we'd have some in game mechanism to represent it. Cotton also exists in the Old World, it has been heavily cultivated in India since time immemorial. I'll have potatoes represent tubers in general.

    Xyth, go ahead and redesign NZ, post the WBS afterwards. Also could you do some checking on Australia?

    Keinpferd, I'm going to have cereals mostly already at their old world locations, barley for example has been cultivated in Korean since the second millennium BC.

    I think the first major step would be making the terrain itself realistic along with terrain improvements and then resources, although somethings maybe be done in one swoop such as wetlands+peat in Ireland (IMO peat should be able to replace coal for power plants).
     
  8. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I probably won't work on it until you're done with the rest of the world, I've got many other tasks that need finishing first.

    That's an absolutely excellent idea but unfortunately the xml only allows me to designate one power generating resource per building.
     
  9. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    Hmmmm.

    Is there any way to make peat more appealing otherwise? Right now all it's good for is that +5% to production with a kiln, I think.

    But I can't think of any way to do it with power plants that doesn't mess up the system for handling power and make it unbalanced- i.e. if you give power plants a significant production bonus with peat (to reflect peat burning), it gets unbalanced for civilizations with coal and peat.

    On a related note, Xyth, do you intend to make any other resources available in Wetlands squares? I'm sure that some of them might make sense there- Game comes to mind, although I can see the problems with making it possible to build the camps to exploit them. Iron deposits might exist in wetland tiles too- think peat bogs. Although, again, the improvement issues. I don't know.
     
  10. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Well we could put in a dedicated 'Peat Plant' but I don't think that's ideal. I have some tentative plans for a series of Ironworks-like national wonders (a Mint that uses Gold and Silver, a Refinery that uses Oil and Gas, a Communications Network that uses Copper and Rubber) - perhaps there is potential for Peat in that series. It's a real shame we can't use civ_king's suggestion, that would have been perfect. I can't think of any way to code my way around that restriction either :(

    Something else I keep mulling over is increasing those resource production bonuses (Peat, Copper, Iron, Elephants, Horses) to +10%. This would also help fix the Forge.

    Currently Wetlands can have Spices, Incense, Tobacco, Dye, Rubber, Peat, Oil and Gas. Peat is prioritized and some of the others have plenty of other terrains available to them so don't show up in Wetlands all that often. You should see them from time to time though. Obviously the plantation resources in that list can't be accessed until Hydraulics but I think that's an interesting mechanic.
     
  11. Simon_Jester

    Simon_Jester Chieftain

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    Don't worry, Xyth; it's mostly just small sample size that's affecting my assessment.

    I think the best thing might be to increase the resource bonuses to 10% from 5%. 5% is really rather minimal for a lot of things- the cumulative effect of having all the resources is impressive, but it's not easy to get your hands on, say, horses and elephants and peat and iron and copper and silver and gold and gems and... so on.

    Also, remember what we were saying about the need to increase science production? If you can think of a way to justify it, you might actually have a few resources contribute directly to science production in some capacity- although I'm not sure how that would work.
     
  12. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Yeah I think I'll go ahead with it. 10% means that the benefits kick in for smaller cities too. The Stable would become quite strong but that's not so bad because it eventually obsoletes and I can always make it more expensive to build. Of more concern is the Market, as that would make for +50% commerce from a single building which should really be spread out over several buildings (and eras) like the production ones are. I reckon the Market would probably keep the Gold and Silver bonuses and the Amber, Gems and Jade should move elsewhere - a Jeweller perhaps? Something to add to the todo list.

    Resources can only modify yields (food/production/commerce) via buildings, there's no easy method of having them modify specific commerces like research unfortunately.

    Anyway, this discussion has moved far beyond renewing the Earth map!! I suggest all future discussion of these topics shift to more appropriate threads :)
     
  13. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    Let me come back to that question, again. I usually silence myself in regard to PAE, another mod, that I'm supporting, because HR isn't short of good contributors with plenty of ideas – and not every mod should be the same. But in this case, it's rather fundamental research;) than an ancient history related feature.

    It works like this: At first, there's only one grape resource somewhere in the vicinity of the Persian players starting location, for some historians ascribe the beginnings of viticulture to the Persians. The Persian player will improve this grapes tile into a vineyard. If connected by a road, the vineyard will result in a resource "grapes" being shown in his city screen. This first "grapes" resource is now allowing him to build a "winemaker" building in in any of his cities ("grapes" resource as prereq in the BuildingInfo). Each winemaker building will now create – through Python – a vineyard, that means, a worked "grapes" resource, on an appropriate unworked tile around the city, which the winemaker was built in. Additionally, the building "winemaker" will create one item of the resource "wine". The Persian player is now able to trade both grapes or wine as he chooses. Buying wine from him, gives us +1 :), but we can't build winemakers ourselves. We need him to trade his grapes to us, in order to build winemakers in any of our own cities.

    In all of my games, the Persian player either by choice or by force traded away his grapes resources sooner or later. In a magical and very reliable correspondence to the dates of history the grapes distributed gradually from East to West among the Eastern Mediterranean peoples until they eventually reached Spain. And there's nothing scripted here, but everything works wonderfully in an all "natural" way:).

    I could imagine this base model for many other resources, as well… This could be a start for solving the fundamental question raised by civ_king, how to deal with Old World and New World resource spread.
     
  14. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    That has similarities to Colonization (raw resources being converted into 'finished' resources). It's a concept I like a lot and was considering implementing when I first started tinkering with resources. However, we discovered that the AI has no clue how to handle non-strategic resources that give neither happiness or health. So while the AI will understand the value of wine in the above example it would happily trade grapes away for free unless they also gave happiness. Furthermore, making grapes a prerequisite for the winemaker would cause the AI to hold onto its grapes initially but the problem I've found with that tag is that once the building has been constructed, the AI will just trade away all of the prerequisite resource as such buildings will work fine without them. How does PAE overcome these issues?
     
  15. Keinpferd

    Keinpferd Chieftain

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    You got the essence despite my clunky explanation… I remember I didn't fully understand how this was supposed to work until I saw it happening in the game.

    They do. With the winemaker (in the CIV4BuildingInfos.xml). Both grapes+winemaker and wine give one :) each.

    The AI treats the grapes resource as every other, that gives one :). Only after wine has diffused all over, trading wine or grapes becomes insignificant. But that's intended, because every civ within the map section had wine-growing regions in the end. On random maps, I guess, all terrain types except ice, tundra and desert could host a vineyard, limited only by the bonus latitude tags.

    This feature particularly accommodates the spread of globally transferable resources like wine, horses, potatoes or corn. It helps slowing down their spread but allows every civ on the planet to finally get access to them (within the natural climatic confinements). We shouldn't consider it as something finished and finalized. In relation to world scenarios for HR or HR in general, it could take further steps of development.

    One real "issue" I see with this feature is the limited number of tiles around a city, which can only accommodate a certain amount of "transferable" resources plots such as vineyards, potato acres or corn fields. So, one would have to pick a few, that are most significant to the historical Old World and New World resource exchange. …well, yes, another problem would be to find two different names for the resource and its cultivated form as from grapes to wine: and there we go from potato stock plant to French fries:D. At least for horses it would sound a little more convincing: breeding horses and war horses. :think:
     
  16. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Ah okay, that makes sense. HR can't afford to add more happiness from resources at this stage (not without some fundamental changes elsewhere) so that model is not something we could adopt at this time. It's something I'll keep in mind for the future though, its an elegant mechanic.
     
  17. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    Could you add this terrain feature? Doesn't need to give bonuses, but being able to place it in the Mediterranean would be nice and not having it disappearing from improvements would be nice

     
  18. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    I'd like to add Savannah, but there are a few technical challenges to overcome to get it generating appropriately on all maptypes. I won't attempt it for the next version (which I hope to have finished very soon) but I'll have a go after that.
     
  19. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    I don't need you to generate on map scripts, I just mean adding it so I can place it.
     
  20. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Unfortunately it's not that simple. If I add it, it will automatically appear on some mapscripts but not others, due to the way they're coded. It would also require a lot of supporting changes to workers, improvements, and such.

    I do have a little more time than expected this weekend though so I'll have a go at adding it and see how I get on.
     

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