[Map Script] Tectonics

furtigan

Chieftain
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Dec 5, 2001
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LDiCesare said:
Which options would you like? I can make a Pangaea, provide varying land/sea combos (more land, more sea) pretty easily.
Wow -- this is an awesome thing. The maps have always been my # 1 pet peeve with Civ.

So here's my request: more islands. Not an achipelago map ... but a continent-based map that nonetheless has an achipelago or two in it, plus some flyspecks. (y'know... like Earth!)
 

TheeLord

Warlord
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Keep goin with this project.. I really enjoy the maps, but the whole ribbon of land thing is keeping me itching for a new version.
 

furtigan

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TheeLord said:
I started a game with this and the only problem with it really was that you couldnt circumnavigate the globe at all.
Yes. This is true in about 2/3 of the maps generated. Even if it's realistic in a plate tectonics sense, I don't think its good for gameplay.

Also, it seems pretty land-heavy. Can we get a bit more ocean?
 

LDiCesare

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I'm going to make a version with more sea, but right now I am having hardware problems so this may take another week or two before I can upload a new version.
 
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It's really pretty easy to adjust the amount of land/sea yourself. Just open up the script in a text editor and change the number of land/sea plates. I did it until I found the right balance for my 18 civ games.

I have been using this generator exclusively for a while. It works very well with my custom rules (pre-renaissance units cannot cross desert, jungle, ice) becuase it generates large masses of various types of terrain and I find it more realistic. Keep up the good work!
 

Nightravn

Warlord
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Hey suspend Can you save us the trouble and post the numbers that worked for you and where we are suppose to place them in that script?
 
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The line you need to change is: (you need to choose the "Earthlike option when you generate the map)
Code:
	if (userInputLandmass == 0):       # "Earthlike (60% water)"
		numContinents = 2*numPlayers-5
		numSeaPlates = numPlayers*2
You can see these are the numbers I am currently using. Note: I am playing 18 civs on a standard map, so these settings will probably give bad results for other combinations of civs/map size. The only way to figure out what is right for you is to try different settings yourself.
 

narmox

Emperor
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mtabacco said:
will someone tell me how to istall this to civ?

Put tectonics.py into your Public Maps folder (in My Documents\My Games\civilzation IV), and now the tectonics map type will appear in "Custom Games".
 

narmox

Emperor
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suspendinlight said:
The line you need to change is: (you need to choose the "Earthlike option when you generate the map)
Code:
	if (userInputLandmass == 0):       # "Earthlike (60% water)"
		numContinents = 2*numPlayers-5
		numSeaPlates = numPlayers*2
You can see these are the numbers I am currently using. Note: I am playing 18 civs on a standard map, so these settings will probably give bad results for other combinations of civs/map size. The only way to figure out what is right for you is to try different settings yourself.

I tried these settings on a standard map with 7 civs (the normal settings).

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It created 2 very large continents completely seperated by oceans from each other. No contact possible at all till optics! very nice!

one thing I noticed with the tectonics map script is that it creates large land masses for some reason, larger than I'm used to with Continents. It's nearly 700 AD right now, and there's still some unsettled space on my continent where barbarian cities periodically spawn. Not to mentin all the ice at the south where barb units constantly come from to harass the civilizations..
 

ColonelSanders

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Jan 6, 2006
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LDiCesare, this is a nice script. It makes some very interesting terrain.

I was going to suggest that you also make forests and jungles clump together. However, this could be detrimental to game balance, what with the way chopping works.

Any way, nice work.

Andy
 

LDiCesare

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I uploaded version 3.2 (I lost 3.1 because I had to reinstall stuff and forget to back it up :( ).
Features:
Less ice.
Land plates more common in one hemisphere (edit).

I'll try to play with suspendinlight's settings to see what it looks like. That's 31 land/36 sea plates for 18 opponents and 9/14 for 7 opponents if I'm correct. The only problem is one can't use it for duels (though I wonder if anyone plays with only 2 civs).
I can also set the number of plates as an option, but I wonder if it's useful: If you don't understand how it works, you won't know what figures to use and it may get messy, and if you know, you can change the .py file easily?
 
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-The smaller ice caps are definitely good.
-About 25% of the maps are still not circumnavigable (60% water setting)
-Deserts seem to be less North/South banded but it might only be my imagination since you don't mention changing that code

Suggestions:
-As you note, making the plates less polygonal and more curved would create better looking mountain ranges
-A new feature to consider is island chains formed by volcanic activity such as the Hawaiian islands or many of the islands in "Oceania". Perhaps a few spots on ocean plates could be designated as "volcanic hotspots" around which hilly/mountanous islands form. Most islands now are completely flat since they don't intersect other plates. It may be difficult to create large cities here due to lack of space and food, but they could be useful military bases in the modern age (as in the real world).
 

Master Kodama

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Owain said:
Another thing I would like ot see is the possibility of the ocasional hill tile away from the places the plates meet. It may be realistic to have huge plains, but they are rather difficult ot play on initially... on huge maps anyway. Its not ar eally a big deal though, just a thought.

Actually, there should be at least some hills away from plate boundaries. Think about other forces besides direct mountain orogeny. Ancient techtonic folding and tilted beds, the natural rising or subsiding of one side or region of a plate, can and have created hilly regions, albeit no Rocky Mountains or Himalayas of course. Even the central regions of North America, though dominated by flat areas like the Great Plains, certainly contain hilly areas, and even a scattering of minor mountains.

It would be disappointing and probably annoying from a gameplay standpoint to have too much flat area. But I will download the script and check out a couple of maps before I pass any judgment though.

Very nice work, and keep it up! I'm always looking for a more Earthlike random map experience, and this looks to be it.

EDIT:
From what I've observed I would say that continental hills would be a great boon both fom a realism and a gameplay standpoint, especially on huge mapes where the great swaths of flat and unvariagated ground seem particularly unrealistic if not a bit boring. If nothing else, a few hills would be nice.

However, my main concern is with the icecaps: they are WAY too extensive and intrusive. Since the regions of ice in the Arctic and Antarctic serve no purpose in the game besides to be annoying, I don't think that they should be modeled at all. The polar regions aren't a part of the game. It's simply not necessary for them to be there on the map. If you look at the full world, there are already unreachable, untraversable polar caps set aside beyond the range of the actual playable "map" region, and it becomes obvious that the latitudes in the map script do not correspond to real-world latitudes. Certainly, a very narrow strip of ice at the poles would be fine and appropriate, but the amount of ice that's on the map now is unnecessary and messes with gameplay. I like that a continental mass can extend into the polar regions, as they do on earth, but if half of my continent is going to be covered in ice, well, then there's no point in even including that half within the boundaries of the map.
 

LDiCesare

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I upgraded the script to version 3.3. I mostly added hotspots, thus occasional islands in the seas. This can also provide isolated peaks or hills in lands.
I also tried to prevent players from starting in the polar area, but it doesn't seem to work perfectly.
 

Sirian

Designer, Mohawk Games
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furtigan said:
So here's my request: more islands. Not an achipelago map ... but a continent-based map that nonetheless has an achipelago or two in it, plus some flyspecks. (y'know... like Earth!)

That's unlikely from a single layer of any given land mass generation scheme.

Although total uniformity of landmass size, characteristics, etc (as seen in most of my scripts) is "unrealistic", it's generally balanced. Putting some civs in Archipelago-style regions and others on continents faces several challenges, the least of which is actually creating the map. There were several cases where I felt a need to move away from realism to support better game balance.


Layers operating at different settings, or even on different landmass creation principles, offers the best chance for creating a mix of continents and islands. No system can simulate Earth properly, though, as Earth has tens of thousands of cities, plus inhabited islands so tiny that a whole cluster of them would not fill a single plot on a Civ map, even the larger sizes. To create an island chain in Civ4 is like modeling the East Indies. Anything smaller than that has dipped below the scale that can be modeled!

I do find it interesting to see questions of hills and tiny islands popping up. I am drawn to the Tectonics system as a concept, and I've been checking in now and then to see the latest. It is an interesting twist in two opposite directions to see requests for both more realism and for less, to improve the results.


There is certainly plenty more room for development and advancement of map generation techniques. I did some simple things with Great Plains and Oasis that just could not be duplicated using the fractal process alone. Every system has limits. Knowing the limits is half the battle. That way you can figure out whether a certain desired effect can be produced via a specific method, and know you have to innovate if the answer is "no".


- Sirian
 
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