New Terrain Tiles - Highland Cliffs, Mountain Trail, Waterfall

King Phaedron

Warlord
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Oct 9, 2017
Messages
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Civ Maps are Static and limited in the sense that all Flat Tiles are considered the same Elevation, but in the real world lands exist at different elevations above sea level regardless of whether it's flatland or hills. Cliffs can only be drawn on hills facing water, but in reality, there is more to the Terrain then Hills everyone can traverse and mountains that are completely impassable.

Highland Cliffs are a type of Terrain that counts as Cliffs. They are passable by Units with the +1 movement and cliff scaling promotion. They offer no yields when worked, and are not the same as mountains. They should raise the appeal of tiles directly above them, and might provide a +1 adjacency bonus to holy sites and theaters that would not be cumulative.

All Highland Cliffs are facing South, Southeast, and Southwest. They would be used to create the illusion of regions at very high elevations. There would probably have to be some considerations to how shadows are displayed. The other borders for these regions should be drawn with cliffs or hills as well. There might have to be an advanced setting to determine high elevation. For example, It would take a cliff scaling Musketman a couple turns to climb several highland cliffs from the south, but only one to get into the region from the back or the sides, because the high elevation is actually just an illusion created by the cliffs.

Highland Cliff tiles would be available as grey and reddish brown. Another tile called the "Mountain Trail," could be used that shows a winding trail that is passable by all units and helps to connect the high region to the ground, also southward facing.

"Waterfall" might work better as a river tile, rather then a terrain tile, and create the illusion of a river flowing from high to low regions.

"Underground Passageway" would function like the Mountain Tunnel made by Military Engineers. It would connect a city center or district at the edge of highland cliffs to a cave at the basin to artificially create passageways. If there are several high elevations, then it could connect with several caves.

Highland Cliffs could also be used to create a lowland region in the middle of a continent, by placing them at the north end of that region. To that end, this feature would have to come with the ability to place cliffs between land tiles, and not just in the presence of water.

This dynamic Map Creation might become a driving factor for Civilization 7, although realistically, we have suffered 5 mass extinctions, and live in what the Mayans call the Sixth Earth, so I kind of feel like Civ 6 is the pinnacle of that experience, and there are several indications from Science and Religion that a 6th mass extinction is coming along with worldwide Cataclysms.

Try Turning Something like this into a Civ Map, and the most you can really do is make those three high regions all have hills facing the coast, and the lower regions only have flatland near the coast. I was trying to do something with rows of Lakes with cliffs only at the north side, but I just can't create the illusion of very high terrain needed to properly turn a map like this into a game of CIV. Imagine if you could make stuff like this with a 3D element in a more advanced world map. Being able to draw cliffs on land would still go a long way to creating the illusion of elevation.

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I don’t think you need to look at a JRPG from the early 90s for inspiration here. Just check out Humankind. That game implemented elevation fairly well.
 
I don’t think you need to look at a JRPG from the early 90s for inspiration here. Just check out Humankind. That game implemented elevation fairly well.
If anything, Too Well. There is a bewildering variety of terrain elevation changes on Humankind maps, and on normal settings, far too many long cliffs or escarpments that inconveniently and unrealistically (compared to the earth we live on and that it supposedly represents) divide the maps into compartments rather than continents

However, I think Humankind and the OP's suggestions, show the direction in which Civ VII should go: more variety on the map, while maintaining the clarity required for a good GUI:

Distinctive terrain elevation differences, either distinguishable by different biomes (High altitude evergreen forests, low altitude hardwood forests, high altitude short grass, low altitude long grass prairies, etc) or some other means

Waterfalls with a purpose, such as to indicate the Head of Navigation on a given river, which should affect movement and trade route tracing along the river. River movement has always been rather poorly modeled in Civ, and part of modeling it better and showing the immense importance of rivers to travel before the railroad, waterfalls would be a very visible visual marker in the system. Another 'in game purpose' for waterfalls would be to mark placement for hydroelectric plants without dams - one of the first hydroelectric plants, after all, was near Niagra Falls, because the falls created such a huge water velocity that no dam was needed to produce the energy required to run dynamos and produce electricity.
 
It's an interesting question, and not a bad idea. But I do like Civ's blindingly obvious terrain tiles. Multiple heights could easily get both confusing and trivial.

And we've got rivers, hills, mountains, shallow and deep water, forests, floodplains, jungle, deserts, snow, grassland, impassable ice, and natural wonders, not to mention you can build roads.

That's a lot, I like the idea of adding gameplay to the already existing large set rather than adding more tiles. EG: Desert and snow (or at least deep/total snow) should cost as much movement as forests do, it's not like they're actually easier to get through. Researching sailing should make rivers into "easy" terrain to move onto like grasslands regardless of other terrain (so cheap movement on rivers even through hills), but only for scouts and civilian units. Instead of being impassable mountains should be passable by tech upgraded scouts, certain generals, and eventually you should be able to build roads through them (tech again).

Also, very importantly, if beauty comes back make the tile's art reflect the beauty score, the need to constantly mouse over every tile to even have a rough idea of what you're dealing with is supremely annoying.
 
This dynamic Map Creation might become a driving factor for Civilization 7, although realistically, we have suffered 5 mass extinctions, and live in what the Mayans call the Sixth Earth, so I kind of feel like Civ 6 is the pinnacle of that experience, and there are several indications from Science and Religion that a 6th mass extinction is coming along with worldwide Cataclysms.
Man... what?

I don’t think you need to look at a JRPG from the early 90s for inspiration here. Just check out Humankind. That game implemented elevation fairly well.
While I agree with this, I think the cliffs from Humankind were occasionally very confusing and/or inconvenient.
 
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