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New map project

Discussion in 'Rhye's and Fall: Europe' started by AbsintheRed, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I was toying around with the idea of a totally new map for almost a year now.
    Now it seems that there is real need for this, at least after a stable version of RFCE 1.0 is released

    The current RFCE map is pretty good and playable as a whole, but some parts of it always disturbed me. If those were changed, the mod would need a complete rebalance anyway.
    Also many of the most important cities don't really fit on the city name maps, some of the civs in RFCE++ were left out only because there is no real place for them in the current map
    Finally, the smallest civs are almost impossible to balance since they only have 1-2 cities

    So yeah, this means I also want to make a the map bigger
    My dream Europe map for a civilization game would be about 150 x 200 tiles on hexes.
    This will of course never happen.
    We have to be very careful about the performance of the mod
    The current map is 73 * 100 tiles
    I think a new map with about 1.5 - 1.8 times this big would still be absolutely playable, and would leave enough place for everything
    Probably something around 95 * 120 or 100 * 125 tiles
    This doesn't seem like a big change, but it would still solve most problems
    Will continue in the next post...
     
  2. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    The first question is the base map, and which projection should we follow
    And of course deciding the exact size
    I want to keep the map very accurate, using some of the tools provided by other modders here in CFC
    After the first version is ready, we can have a community project of fine tuning the most sensible parts of the map (Constantinople, Gibraltar, Dutch, Portugal areas, Jerusalem, Bohemia, etc)
     
  3. 3Miro

    3Miro Chieftain

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    Earth is round and the maps are flat, on a large scale, you will get distortion in the projection. People are used to seeing maps of their countries without any real distortion, on the size of one country the Earth is in deed flat.

    Get 4 separate projections centered at Iberia, Constantinople, Britain and Lithuania. Then get the 4 regions and splice them together. Since we are using squares, things would be approximate anyway.

    Also note that the Atlantic distances like Iceland and the Azores are not "to scale". Meaning the Azores are much closer than what it should be, but we kept it so that we can include them without the need to add the entire Atlantic Ocean.

    This is just an idea of course.
     
  4. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    I think the opposite is what we need. Gameplaywise the thing that makes the biggest difference between RFC and RFCE, are the characteristics of the map. In RFC there are roughly 3 heavily contested areas: North America, especially the east coast, Europe as a whole and Eastern Asia. Africa, Australia, Russia and to a lesser extent South America are rather undisputed. In the 3 areas mentioned above however, there is always something going on. Partially because of quick technological developments, partially because of the small area where so many things happen.

    All those areas are as big as Spain, France or Scandinavia in RFCE. The difference is that we only have one or two civs in these areas. RFCE++ increased this number which, of course, means more action. Some computers like mine can't handle that to the extent that I want to, so I can see why this can't be done in the main mod, that should be close to what regular BtS demands in terms of graphics, RAM etc.

    The other thing that can be done is a simple decrease of the number of tiles. More rivalry between civs, less units overall, less balancing to guarantee historical empires, less provinces, etc. Like 3Miro mentioned some time ago, a decrease of about 1/3rd would be ideal. The amount of work is also much less than a bigger map (amount of tiles, but also needed research for city name maps and stuff). However, we are now at a point where it is absolutely out of the question to adapt the entire game to a new map as far as I understand it, so unfortunately we are stuck with it. After a 1.0 version this could be done, and I think this will result in a very varied and also much faster RFCE.

    55 x 80 or 50 x 70 is doable I guess. Too small isn't good either but I don't think that's the case with these.
     
  5. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I remember you posted some maps in one of the threads ~half year ago
    Europe maps scaled with 73*100 tiles
    Do you still have the source maps?
     
  6. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Chieftain

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    I disagree, We cannot have real accuracy with even smaller maps
    RFCE 1.0 will remain basically the same as it is now, just more polished and balanced - basically finished
    I want RFCE 2.0 to be more similar to the current RFCE++. With many of those extra civs and all those new features included, if Morholt is fine with this
    IMO all those extra civs and features don't really have place on the current sized map, not to mention an even smaller one like you suggest
     
  7. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    I know; that's why I'm opposing the inclusion of more civs. While I don't see this as a problem in principle, I doubt whether it would add so much compared to a smaller map. I think it is realistic to assume that none of the civs we have now is harmed with a smaller map. Just one or two cities less, that won't make the difference. A bigger map means doubled loading times. That requires at least a 64-bit system. Okay, by the time we are done with this that becomes a basic system, but still. There are many projects that wanted to do exactly this, and none of them were ever finished. GEM has small adaptions like faster galleys, but no real rule changes. There was a project of a huge Europe map, a project about the history of the world (with everything you could possibly imagine), but the amount of work needed was so large nobody ever believed in it except for the guy that initiated it. Another thing is that it already takes hours to complete a game. In times of peace, I can take 20 turns per hour in the 16th century. Without crashes, I could do 10 in the 18th century, if I ever get this far. This increases too, so a single game until 1800AD could easily take 25 hours. Compare this to RFC, even a China space race game won't take more than 8 hours, maximum. I don't know if we should ask the player to play this long. Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire, both for civ 3 and civ 4 are one of the few mods that come close to that. However, people tend to play shorter and shorter games, with things like facebook etc. Really, I like the idea of a bigger map, but 19 out of 20 times a bigger map is both unrealistic in terms of work, and unattractive because of too many features. RoM is IMHO just a bunch of added stuff, but will never be as balanced as RFC or RFCE (yes, I think we are on the right way). People come to that mod, attracted to new features, play it, and like it or not. RFC is the opposite, with a less is more strategy. If we want to get a map change done, please make a smaller map.
     
  8. 3Miro

    3Miro Chieftain

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    One of the maps that I used was the one Michael Vick has on his Iberia thread. I also used maps from Google-Earth. What I did was to get a screenshot of the map and then add the lines with Gimp.

    The problem with this approach was that you get too much distortion around the edges, Russia and Scandinavia mostly. That's why I think doing 4 maps would be better.
     
  9. Michael Vick

    Michael Vick #1

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    I completely understand and agree 100% with the way you feel about this map. I support this wholeheartedly, but 1.8 is a bit much, 1.25 -1.5 would be good. I'd be willing to dedicate time to the maps and help this in any way I could.

    In response to Wessel V1, I don't think we need a smaller map to create more action. We need the civs from ++ and something to be contested for. Like less decent city spots, less even distribution of resources, and more clumps of prime real estate, just like in RFC. I don't see what the point of a smaller map is since for that we have vanilla RFC, and that comes with the rest of the world. I think people play RFC Europe to play Europe in detail, anyway that's why I play this mod, I love the excellent attention to detail that is then made even better in ++. I think that this is why the decision to incorporate ++ has become almost unanimous, it adds essential detail, and everybody appreciates that. A 55x70 map nerfs all the smaller civs to the point that they shouldn't even be in the mod. A 55x70 map with Serbia? Bohemia? The Crimean Khanate? Genoa, Venice, the Papal State, the Lombards, and the Aragonese/Spanish all in Italy at the same time? I think these are all unlikely, and to reduce or remove them takes away the essence of RFCE; detail.

    I know there is an impracticality to adding space and civs, but for slow computers you could just leave RFC:E 1.0 available for download and have 2.0 be the product of the suggestions in this thread. Let's get 1.0 out first and foremost, without the Iberia map. Then, we make a real map. :) I like the direction that 3Miro is suggesting.
     
  10. dragodon64

    dragodon64 Noble

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    I see Wessel's point, that as lovely as a bigger and more accurate map would be, it would also be a burden on many computers, and the time invested in it would be massive.

    The way I see, any map change would require a fixed cost of remaking the settler, war, stability and city name maps, as well as provinces and flip regions. (Did I miss anything?)
    But the benefits of a change towards either larger or smaller are somewhat questionable. A lot of people don't care for the massively long games, while others don't Venice and Genoa to be right beside each other. I feel that if we shift the map size in either direction, we could be disenfranchising significant numbers of people. Imo, "spot-fixing" the inaccurate regions of the map, like the suggested Iberia/NW Africa rotation, is the way to go.

    Btw, I remember some talk a while back about making "bridges" by which land units could cross at Gallipoli, Gibraltar, Denmark, etc. What was the resolution of that discussion?
     
  11. Michael Vick

    Michael Vick #1

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    It's not like once 1.0 is released everybody is going to shake hands, pack up and go home satisfied by a job well done, there are almost certainly going to be more developments simply because we all enjoy this. I remember somebody in another thread said that they didn't honestly think this mod would ever be finished. I don't see that as a bad thing, I'm happy that a definitive RFC: Europe 1.0 is going to be released, but I know that there will always be more activity in this thread and there will always be more versions at least until Firaxis releases a decent successor to Civ IV. :lol: I hope something does happen to Iberia before 1.0 is released, but if not, that's fine because I think serious changes are in the future. If a new map is eventually made, it wouldn't replace 1.0, it would be offered separately of course.
     
  12. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    I put some text in italics, because I think that is very, very simplified. So far there are a few people who actually said they liked it. Now the actual number must be bigger, but nevertheless it is very unrealistic to say that it is 'unanimous' and that 'everybody' appreciates it. I appreciate the idea. I'd love to play with so much detail. History has proven though that

    1. It is never finished. Please look here, here or here for examples of projects that all have good ideas and also worked out schemes, but failed horribly. Don't forget that the RFC Europe Organized thread (started by Vince-G. St. Lucifer, squirrelloid and others that I forgot who participated in that) was opened in october 2007, 4 years ago. Please give me one example of a more or less finished Civ 4 mod that has a map larger than 10K tiles and alters more than basic rules like unit movement or strength.
    2. More certainly is not always better. Really, I see why you want to have more, but just play some RoM games and see why more isn't always better. It just doesn't work out. I don't think we need Bohemia so much, like we don't need Serbia (and we don't need the Netherlands, but that seems out of the question).

    What exactly would you like to fit in a larger map? Same civs but more cities wouldn't satisfy me because I already feel that there is not much to build in the 17th and 18th century. More cities doesn't mean more competition between civs, just larger gaps between them, less border frictions and less time to achieve historical results. Ideally, we should extend the time-line to about 600 or 800 turns, but that just isn't going to work. Not before 2017. The opposite doesn't necessarily have to be true, the time line may work on a slightly smaller (60 x 80 is ok too, I was just giving an estimation) map because there is more to deal with.

    Besides, Civ 4 is not nor will ever be multithreaded.
     
  13. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    To continue my previous post: I think I'd rather play a mod that has a less accurate base but is much more playable (and replayable!!) and polished, than a mod that is completely accurate, but has to be polished forever and where you never actually finish a game. Challenges like the RFC domination challenge can be tried over and over again, I don't see this happening on a huge map, that takes too much time. While I do have lots of free time as a student, I don't think we should expect people to have this.
     
  14. ezzlar

    ezzlar Chieftain

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    1. Bigger map for me is more towns, more civs, more units, slower turns and less fun gameplay.
    2. The only civs I am really missing are those that would fill up empty space (like the Lithuanians did) or fill up important timelines. This can naturally be accomplished with the current map.
    3. RFCE++ is a great mmmod but I dont think we should implement everything. It is like a digital sandbox for RFCE where we can try out cool stuff and implement what worked well.
    4. However, I dont think we should worry about slow computers. People can buy new ones, upgrades are really cheap and seldom cost more than a few beers! (all you students out there ;)
    5. I think map improvements should be about making regions more competitive, make resources more concentrated and reconsider some areas with preplaced cities.
    6. The iberia shift might be more realistic or better but from a gameplay perspective I think the general layout of the area is ok.
    7. And lastly, with 1.0 approaching, redrawing the map shouldnt be a last minute change.
     
  15. Michael Vick

    Michael Vick #1

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    RFC Europe 1.0 would be just fine with most of the map how it is right now, obviously there are about half of us that want to change Iberia, but that's a different thread. RFC Europe 1.0 will be released with the same size map that we have now and probably without all of RFCE++. If it takes anything from ++ it will just be important civs like Aragon and Scotland, and the HRE/Unions mechanics. AbsintheRed is only suggesting coming up with a map after 1.0.

    I know these things never finish, I'm saying that's a good thing. :D (at least in the case of RFCE) This mod is so developed and playable that it can never be called a failure, after 1.0 many people will continue to work on it and more modmodmods will arise, but the production of RFC Europe will have always been a success. Not everybody is going to want to play RFCE2.0 if it has a bigger map and more civs and is more demanding on the PC but that's fine. It's not like anybody plays Civ V these days. :lol: If there is another offshoot of the mod that uses the same mechanics and civs but has a smaller map that's OK as well, if any of it comes, it will be after 1.0. The argument between gameplay and historicity is a matter of opinion, and that's what mods are for.
     
  16. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    Even after 1.0, there is still lots to do. I honestly don't think that a larger map is the most efficient time spent, simply because of the reasons I metioned above. A smaller map may not be satisfying either, but the chance that it 'works' is greater. The current map is fine for RFCE++, you can't expect small nations to have a decent number of cities AND large empires to be formed at the end of the timeline.
     
  17. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    Sure, that's a good thing. But in my experience, no mod of such scale has even come close to finishing. It took 3Miro, Sedna17 and others years to code this. While we can borrow important code, I'm sure it takes a year to reconstruct it. I'm afraid that there are very few people still around here at the time the large map mod is finished and as balanced as the current map. I'd like to be proven wrong, but it will be at least 2013 to even adapt game mechanics. Bug fixing in the later eras is going to be horrific. I believe you want to get this started and I support it, but I rather see work actually getting finished, because then we can all play and enjoy it.:)
     
  18. Michael Vick

    Michael Vick #1

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    Right, that's not being questioned. I think RFCE++ works fine right now, it's re-playable enough for me. I'd just like to reach some kind of agreement to change Iberia. Seeing as the vote is split in half, why don't we try to compromise? Instead of the North coast being horizontal or what it is now, what about meeting somewhere in the middle? We'll tilt it slightly. You said that on Google Earth you get Iberia in the shape it is now when you center the map on Austria. Our map isn't centered on Austria, why don't we center Google Earth around Switzerland or Burgundy and I make another map based on that?
     
  19. Wessel V1

    Wessel V1 Chieftain

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    I think I can agree with that, but let's discuss that in the proper thread.:p
     
  20. 3Miro

    3Miro Chieftain

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    About an hour with Google-Earth and Gimp results in this. The tiles are not exactly 100x73, but this should be embed into a slightly larger map to account for the Atlantic Islands and Iceland.

    PS: I can very easily adjust the grid density if I have to.
     

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