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Larger Worlds 2.31

Larger World Sizes and adjusted map scripts & starting positions

  1. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    @Crusader2010 that's not hijacking, I always thought that's exactly what these forums are for :)

    I had tried that method back in Civ 4 and it didn't work well for "world" maps although it did work well for fantasy style or regional maps. I eventually settled on a process when I created a table of civs and their preferences for tiles and features and used that to control the climate. For instance, desert could be adjusted based on how many desert favoring civs were in the game. But the world itself was still created first otherwise it ended up looking very artificial.

    I don't tend to play games with a lot of major civs, I like the city-state mechanic for "minor" players and a smaller number of "important" civs so when I originally designed this and Detailed Worlds my intention was to create a world where we had a lot of variety in the land which created more space for those minor civs by pushing them onto land that was less desirable and leaving the best spots for the major players. That needs much more work than I put into this mod though, the basic functions Firaxis put into starting plots just assign a generic score which blurs the important details of each plot significantly. The biggest hurdle I faced was the fact that you can't really assign a generic score to the value of food and production since the best spots have a good balance of each.
     
  2. Crusader2010

    Crusader2010 Chieftain

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    @Seven05: yea, that score is the issue. We basically need a matrix/vector of scores (each one for different things) and (maybe?) a (simple?) system of weighting each score into one value that could mean a lot of things (only if it becomes too hard to work with a vector/matrix).

    I've created an image about what I was talking earlier (please excuse the roughness of it all and all the misalignments - just wanted to convey an idea and it takes a lot more time to be exact in Paint :crazyeye:).

    Basically all of the circles can be civs (major or city states). Depending how many you want, they could be spawned in such a way that, for example, desert-preferring civs are "adjacent". Then you can spawn a desert biome over that part of the map (basically it can be positioned anywhere). Just as an example, I made the red biome strictly around the equator, as a "line". The biomes can be distributed in any way we want ("lines", "rectangles", "circles", etc), so it's just a matter of placing the civs that are related to each other somehow.

    Of course we will need some options in the end. For example: one to ignore biome preference, one to place civs with similar preferences close to each other, one for city state placement (not sure if they have biome preferences or not). Next, some kind of logic for the biome generation according to the number of civs that have to be on the map and their preferred biome (i.e. how many biomes to generate? should those areas be unique on the map, or can we have e.g. deserts on any "side" of the map? if yes, should similar biomes be generated linked to each other? how uniform should be the random biomes that are left after placing the civs?). Etc.

    Coming back to the food/production tiles and the score, we now know how much we can extend around each civ without "bothering" the others, which should never be below 3 (5/6?). Suppose we want to look 3 tiles around the starting spot, we know what specific tiles need more/less production/food. We just need to decide how much. Maybe this could be done in a final pass over the map that computes and adjusts these things to an average over all of the civs' production/food score in those 3 tiles around their spot. This could mean adding a bonus resource to compensate, or turning a hill into grassland etc (probably allowing for a +1/-1 deviation from the average will be fine; also, the algorithm should start from the largest possible values when making changes - i.e. spawning a rice resource instead of changing 3 plains into grasslands, adding a forest with deer instead of changing some tiles into hills etc).

    The more I look into this, the more possible it seems to be... :borg:

    Let me know if it's something obvious I'm missing or if I'm not making any sense :shifty:
     

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  3. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    @Crusader2010 Now, take that image and try to overlay a map over it that also has a balanced distribution of tiles (and value of tiles) without making look artificial. The "easy" way is to grow the land from each plot but that won't lend itself to forming cohesive landmasses, the challenge comes from dealing with a patterned spacing design and making it look like something better than 50 islands evenly spaced apart with interesting features like mountain ranges, oceans, rivers, forest/jungle regions, etc. That's the part that made me give up that idea before :)

    If I had to design it from scratch I'd start with a simple 2 value map of land and water to create the base world. From there, I'd use something like Civ 5's "ripples" by picking spots in sequence and then applying a cumulative score to tiles within a set range. Once you have the starting spots and what is effectively a distance score per tile you can build in the world features like hills, mountains, terrain types and forest/jungle/rivers/resources. A little more "organic" than laying them out in a grid.

    Unfortunately, not all parts of the map generator talk to each other right now and they were designed to run in a specific order so there would be a LOT of re-writing to make it happen.
     
  4. Crusader2010

    Crusader2010 Chieftain

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    @Seven05: lets consider a standard Pangea map for now. Can you describe what makes a map NOT artificial? I don't mean the easy stuff, like having 50 rectangles, each with its own biome, or 50 islands evenly spaced. For example, how should the transition from one biome to another be made like? Regarding the balanced distribution of tiles (and value of tiles), shouldn't they matter only for the starting spots that also have civs spawning? Would randomizing the rest be that bad (maybe within a "rectangle")?

    Your idea of picking spots in a sequence, based on what we choose in terms of number of civs and such, is awesome! How would you build the terrain types and features after having the starting spots? Lets say 3 tiles around each starting spot, what would you generate? Leave it random and do a final pass over the map to balance all of them? How should the terrain types be generated... or, in other words, for how many tiles and how should it depend on the starting spots?

    Isn't the same achievable, in a patterned design, by having random "deviations" (at least for terrain types)? E.g. a fixed rectangle could actually be turned into an irregular ellipse or any random shape that doesn't go overboard in size (also, every other "rectangle" around this one will look different at the intersection "line", leaving only the other sides to randomize). I'm thinking that all of the starting spots can be generated regardless of how many civs you choose to play with - the difference being that, if no civ spawns in it, the amount of food/production/luxuries does not get normalized/averaged at the end, simply remaining random.

    After this, the biome generation needs to be taken care of, so that you don't end up with randomly placed 50 randomized "rectangles", each with different terrain types (basically looking like a chess board). I think this needs to depend on how many civs want a certain biome versus the total number of starting spots. Linking several "rectangles", all with randomized edges, will create "continents" of the same terrain type.

    So, will this be too artificial also (strictly for the biome generation)? I'm trying to understand how to make it look more real :)
    If we want more variety we can granulate the "rectangles" as much as needed. For example, generating "false" starting spots at e.g. half the distance between two "real" starting spots, with a size of half that distance. Randomizing them also could allow for generating e.g. grassland/desert terrain in the middle of plains etc. I'm not sure this is proper for getting rid of the artificial feel (my feeling is that it'll have more or less the opposite effect), but it's an idea.

    PS:
    Can't think of good way of generating forests, rivers, hills and resources after the biomes. We want rivers to have continuity, maybe even to spawn from a mountain. Forests should look real (i.e. random in size and shape), maybe with some clearings and such. Maybe by using the above granulation we can end up having nice "patches" of terrain features. To some degree, it might solve the river parts too (since the "rectangles" are linked) - but, most likely, additional conditions will have to be imposed (e.g. adjacent tiles should not have rivers also; maybe place a mountain tile, if map options allow it, at either side of the river that is not an intersection). If we want the rivers to run into the sea/ocean, then it becomes even harder and forces river generation to be among the last things to do during the map generation (so that terrain types and granulation can be ignored when generating them).

    Regarding the resources, how would you do it?
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
  5. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    I guess the short version is that the Civ maps don't have enough resolution, so you have very few tiles to work with to begin with, it's like trying to recreate the Mona Lisa with a handful of Legos in four colors. :)

    This also means that you need the variety in landmass shapes to be substantial otherwise they look repetitive and that repetition looks very artificial since you don't often see that in nature. That leaves us with heavily randomizing the landmass shapes, rather than working with patterns, to make them look more natural so you'd be fighting yourself with a pattern for one element trying to mesh with a randomized design for the other. Things like the biomes are actually somewhat trivial as long as you avoid extreme cases. Desert or tundra, for example, isn't entirely bad unless it encompasses a large area and doesn't have rivers especially with the way districts work. Anything short of an extreme case can be controlled with resource placement but then you start getting well beyond simply making a map and placing civs. You can also use elements that aren't technically in the game, a good example of this is the way I generated maps in Civ 4 for my World Piece mod- My maps had two elements, altitude and temperature, that weren't actually modeled in the game itself but I could use both to determine things like which terrain was at each tile and where various resources could spawn. The result was a more natural look and feel to the world as even though you couldn't "see" the altitude difference the details like no jungles at high altitudes and rivers that looked like they were flowing the right way helped make the world believable. However, the world was also wildly random looking like most Civ maps and they looked like a real, believable and natural world vastly more so than the continental maps that created 4-6 landmasses in pre-defined regions of the map to enforce ocean separation. Which makes for a better game is a matter of personal preference :)

    Resources? Well, bonus resources are easy, they don't matter for anything other than boosting the value of an area so you place them to correct deficiencies or make boring areas a little more interesting. Strategic and luxury resources are a bit more complicated since you need to distribute them in a way that doesn't detract from their value or upset the game balance but that isn't as hard to do as it sounds. Knowing the starting locations before placing resources makes it much easier than the current method of using them to determine the value of an area.
     
  6. BrokenSky

    BrokenSky Chieftain

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    I think that's the idea behind bunching luxuries together, so one part of the world has all the silver, another has all the silk, another has all the oranges etc.?

    When it comes to map scripts it feels like all the maps are kinda artificial anyway? Having a whole world of tiny islands or a handful of defined continents, or one large one all make most parts of the map feel pretty similar, IMO. It's a shame civ 6 doesn't have a "Variety" style map script, with things like areas of small islands, areas of seperate continents, areas with a single landmass, separated by mountain chains or similar. Well apart from the earth map.
     
  7. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    I guess it's a mater of semantics. For me it is artificial as opposed to natural and Civ 6 is quite capable at creating maps that look natural. I don't mean artificial as opposed to realistic which will be a problem with most tile based strategy games that don't use really large maps, considerably larger than what Civ 6 can handle even with mods.
     
  8. norwalkvirus

    norwalkvirus Chieftain

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    I'm having trouble getting this mod to work, but I need larger map sizes.

    Error: 1544755159

    It is the only mod (in my test). I've checked on Every map size, Duel through Enormous. I used the most recent version as of this post. I can get you logs, if you'd like (not sure which one will have the error). I've gotten the same error with other map enlargement mods. I'm not using Rise & Fall (I don't see a dependency or requirement, but it could be the issue). I'd appreciate any help I can get.
     
  9. Seven05

    Seven05 Warmonger

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    Unfortunately this mod is horribly outdated, I would have been more surprised if you told me it worked. I haven't had time to go into this one yet as I've been spending most of my free time on my other mod.
     
    norwalkvirus likes this.

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