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Sirian's Map Info Reference

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Modding Tutorials & Reference' started by Sirian, Oct 28, 2005.

  1. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    Hi, folks.

    I programmed most of Civ4's randomly generated map scripts.

    To assist those who are curious about the maps, I compiled a reference guide, which includes both the technical specs (text) and thumbnail visuals of real instances of the maps (screenshots). If you are curious about what to expect from a given map or any of its custom options, look no further! :)

    The map guide is now available here at CFC. CLICK HERE to download!
    OR you can visit the online version at http://www.civfanatics.com/civ4/reference/map_scripts_guide.php

    This is a zipped file. You will need to uncompress it.

    File size is 6MB! (There are lots of images).

    This is your definitive reference materal on the official map scripts.


    Also, you may download the map guide and have a look around even if you haven't bought Civ4 yet. Perhaps you will see something that interests you. :cooool:

    Happy civving!


    - Sirian
     
  2. Grimshok

    Grimshok Chieftain

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    Nice, thanks!
     
  3. vorius

    vorius Chieftain

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    Awesome!

    Yeah I was really hoping there would be a mouse over (tool tip) info description for each map type but there wasn't- it's just a guess based on the name.

    So this helps me big time!

    Thanks
     
  4. Grotius

    Grotius Chieftain

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    Is there any way to have the computer randomly select whether you'll play Continents, Archipelago, Pangaea, etc? Part of the fun of prior Civ games was having no idea what kind of world you'd be in. In Civ 4, it seems you have to pick your general map type off the bat. Yes, you can randomize sea level, climate, etc., but not map type.

    I see that the "Custom Game" interface does allow somewhat greater randomizing, but you still have to select a basic map type -- and the number of AI opponents, which again I like to randomize.

    Are completely random maps possible?
     
  5. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    There is no way in the initial release to have the game randomly choose a map script for you. I'm not sure that there ever will be! There is such strong variety and flavor selection, and radical differences between some of the options, that it might do more harm than good.

    HOWEVER... I believe that you can have what you are asking for, anyway.

    If you play the Tilted Axis map type (it's under Custom game option with the "advanced" maps) and leave the Landmass Size set to random, you will get anything from massive continents to tiny islands. Tilted Axis simulates a world with it's planetary rotational axis tilted over on to its side (so cold runs east to west and the equator runs north to south!) but the climate and other features are pretty close to normal.

    You can also get a wide selection of landmass types from Ice Age, but all of them have more arid, colder climates.

    The standard Continents map will vary in the number and shape of landmasses.

    Custom Continents (advanced map) left on Random number of continents will provide a good variety, too, including some tiny islands (the amount varies) and continents of different number, size and shape.

    I would recommend trying Tilted Axis first, though. That is probably closest to what you want.


    Happy civving!


    - Sirian
     
  6. general_kill

    general_kill Chieftain

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    very interesting. those terra maps look interesting. so you get all the civs on one continent and a civ-free continent next to it?
     
  7. apatheist

    apatheist Chieftain

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    I posted this a while back in the Ideas and Suggestions forum. I don't have the game yet, so I haven't looked at the map scripts to see what it would take to do this. Can you pass arbitrary parameters to a map script, perhaps with a handy UI for selecting options?

    The map generator should have a more parameters to control what sort of world you get. They should broaden pangaea/continents/archipelago to be a rough number of landmasses. With a 100x100 map, you could have up to 2450 separate 1 tile landmasses (which would be stupid, but you could do it), assuming the poles are bounded by water. With a 400x400 map, you could have up to 15800. Together with the ocean coverage parameter, that would effectively determine the average landmass size.

    You need more than just average, though. I would also like to see a parameter for variation in size of the landmasses. One end of the spectrum would be for all landmasses to be the same size. The other end would be for the landmasses to be from 1 tile to whatever, as long as the total number and land coverage were within the specified parameters. That way, you could end up with a map that has one Eurasia and half a dozen medium-sized archipelagos, with the average landmass size being of a South America. Or you could have 8 landmasses from the size of Madagascar to the size of Africa. Or you could have 12 continents all the size of Australia.

    I'd also like to see a parameter to control distance between landmasses. This value would have to be constrained by the choices of landmass number and size. You'd have choices like Really Close, where all landmasses are separated by only one coast tile, or Really Far, where all landmasses are separated by 20 tiles of ocean (on average). Perhaps this could be expressed instead as a number of landmass groups. Africa and Europe are separate continents (well, let's pretend they are), but they're in the same group, as they're only separated by what would be a tile or two in Civ. Landmass groups are separated by lots of ocean, while continents within a group might only be separated by a tile of coast.

    Since I'm on the subject, perhaps there could be shape parameters. Are the continents like Africa, which has relatively convex? Or do they have all kinds of weird dangly projections like East Asia? Are they long and thin or short and compact? This is a little less fully baked, though.
     
  8. Birdjaguar

    Birdjaguar Entangled Retired Moderator Supporter

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    But when you get to the civ free continent, you'll find barbarian cities with axmen and swordmen. :eek:
     
  9. White Elk

    White Elk 99 > 1

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    Thanks Syrian!!
     
  10. anjinsan1966

    anjinsan1966 Chieftain

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    Sweet stuff Syrian :goodjob:
     
  11. Saarud

    Saarud Chieftain

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    Wow... this makes my agony even worse that I have to wait until the 4th. That terra map looks very promising. Two thumbs up. :goodjob:
     
  12. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    Hiya Sirian, before I go and check out your info, I was wondering if you could put one particular rumour to bed 'once and for all'? A number of people are saying that maps are smaller than their civ3 counterparts so-as someone with first-hand experience with Civ4 maps, can you tell us what the size of a Standard and Huge Civ4 map are, and what a similar sized Civ3 map is by comparison? It would just be so nice to tell those 'nay-sayers' "I told you so" ;) :p.

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  13. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    Map grid sizes (actual dimensions of the maps produced by each script) are part of the technical info listed in the Map Guide.

    So please, Aussie! HAVE MERCY ON MY SOUL! No more questions until you get the guide and check it out. Then I'll take your questions. :D


    - Sirian
     
  14. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    Hiya Sirian. Sorry for being such a pest, but take some solace in knowing that it is simply a reflection of how much I respect and value your thoughts and opinions ;)!
    Anyway, I have checked out the details and the bulk of the maps seem to be in the vicinity of 84x52 for standard maps, with the largest-Terra-being 104x64 at standard size. Given that we know Terra is much larger than maps of the equivalent size in Civ3-and given that the Terra Map is only 20x12 tiles larger than a standard civ4 map-then I think it is reasonably fair to say that, at the standard map size at least, the map sizes are not very different between civ3 and civ4 (in spite of what people may think!)
    I seem to recall that map sizes were mentioned in the release party chat log, so I might go there to confirm. However, does my inference sound correct to you Sirian-based on the info I have put forward?

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  15. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    OK, went away and did some very fast and dirty calculations based on info gleaned from the release party chatlog-and this is what I came up with.
    The maximum map size in Civ3 was 128x80 plots in size. In Civ4, the maximum map size (Huge Terra) is apparently around 128x160 (much wider-can you confirm Sirian?) So, given the size difference of a standard 'Continents' map compared to a standard Terra map, I have concluded that a huge Continents map would be somewhere in the order of 104x130 plots. A little smaller in height, but more than compensated for in width. I admit these calculations of mine could be wrong but-if correct-it really does seem to put paid to this myth that Civ4 maps are significantly smaller than their civ3 counterparts.
    Your Honour, I REST MY CASE ;) :p!!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  16. Sirian

    Sirian Civ Map Programmer

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    You can't compare the grids directly. Civ4 grids are a normal rectangle, but Civ3 grids were running along the diagonals.

    Civ3 Grids:
    (Duel did not exist - N/A)
    60*60 - Tiny
    80*80- Small
    100*100 - Standard
    130*130 - Large
    160*160 - Huge

    HOWEVER, due to the odd math of the diagonal grids, you have to multiply the two dimensions then divide by two to get the total number of plots.

    Compare to the stars on a USA flag, whose "grid dimensions" by Civ3 terms would be 11*9. That equals 99, but in reality there are 50 stars. (99/2)


    Civ4 Grids have no odd math. Multiply the width times height for total plots.


    Civ3 maps - plot count:
    (Duel did not exist - N/A)
    1800 - Tiny
    3200 - Small
    5000 - Standard
    8450 - Large
    12800 - Huge

    Civ4 oceanic maps - plot count:
    960 - Duel
    1664 - Tiny (But has three civs default instead of four)
    2560 - Small (But has five civs instead of six)
    4368 - Standard (Seven civs instead of eight)
    6656 - Large (Nine civs instead of twelve)
    10240 - Huge (Eleven civs instead of sixteen)

    So as you can see, the actual sizes -are- smaller, but the per-civ amount of land area is not. In most cases, it's larger. You can add or subtract civs to your desire, though. (In Civ3, you could subtract, but not add beyond the cap without modding).

    The per-civ number is the real deal. That's the one that determines how much land will tend to be available. Like in Civ3, you can affect this by raising or lowering the sea level.

    The Terra map is the only one out of the box that is BIGGER than the Civ3 equivalents.

    TERRA map - Civ4 - plot totals:
    1664 - Duel - 832/civ!
    2560 - Tiny - 853/civ!
    4368 - Small - 873/civ!
    6656 - Standard - 950/civ!
    10240 - Large - 1137/civ!
    14592 - Huge - 1326/civ!


    So here is the raw data for Huge maps

    Civ3 - 12800 total - 800/civ for 16 civs
    Civ4 - 10240 total - 931/civ for 11 civs
    Terra - 14592 total - 1326/civ for 11 civs

    You could run a Terra map with EIGHTEEN civs and still have more plots per civ in the world than you did with a huge Civ3 map with max (16) civs. :eek:


    If players crave huge maps, they have them. Folks can make more maps like Terra if they want.


    But here's the real rub. That "plots per civ" stat can be misleading. This is on worlds with mostly ocean. The actual number of usable plots in Civ3 was a lot less, and so it is in Civ4 on ocean.


    The land-heavy maps have little water on them. They are a different ball of wax.

    A Huge Civ3 map has 12800 total plots, but at 70% water, that is only 3840 land plots! A huge Highlands map in Civ4 has over 6000 land plots. The 3840 land plots on a Civ3 huge map would be divided between sixteen civs. The 6000 land plots for Highlands in Civ4 is divided by only eleven civs, unless you add more.

    So the land per civ in Civ3 "Huge" is 240/civ, not counting coastal waters.
    Highlands land per civ in Civ4 "Huge" is 545/civ!


    OK? Does that put this issue to bed for keeps? I could BARELY CONTAIN MYSELF from violating my confidentiality agreement when I was stuck sitting there watching the rumor mill churn on this issue. Barry Caudill's remarks were not inaccurate, but they were pulled out of context. Some map types in Civ4 -are- smaller, but some are bigger - WAY WAY bigger in actual game balance terms. Way bigger.

    I don't want to hear any more gripes about "smaller" map sizes. Truly I do not! Just talk to the hand on that one. Or better yet, check out the map guide and play some games on the options that allow for empires of sizes undreamt of in Civ3.

    Modders can script new map types and do pretty much anything with them, including maps that would make Terra look like a shrimp. Of course, you might need to network a few mainframes to play an absurdly gargantuan map, but you can try it. If you can live with the performance level you get, then have at it!


    The idea that players are "stuck" on "smaller maps" is completely unfounded! :smoke:

    And just as Terra is the playground for "I want huge enormous SP games", Team Battleground is the playground for "I want to play MP games in a sardine can and get right in to the action!"

    You can have what you want in Civ4. :cooool:


    Happy Civving!


    - Sirian
     
  17. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    Thank you so much for that excellent analysis Sirian. Hearing this from you completely clarifies any existing questions I may have had regarding map size. What always bugged me with all the rumours, though, was this constant claim that it was a 'design decision' of 'we want 3D, so map sizes will have to shrink to allow for it'. I always questioned and challenged this particular element of the rumour, as it just never seemed to hold water. When I first heard how big the Terra maps were (even just in raw height and width) I felt that this should finally dispel that rumour once and for all. After all, if it was all a memory/graphics issue, then bigger map sizes should have been impossible to achieve-PERIOD. Anyway, like you I truly hope that this matter can be put to rest once and for all, as even with 16 civs on the map, 1200 plots less really doesn't sound like that big a deal at all!
    Anyway, thanks again Sirian, I always appreciate the time you take to answer my MANY annoying queries-you're a CHAMP (BTW, I hope you're having heaps of fun playing the game-you've earned it ;)!)

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  18. thedaian

    thedaian Chieftain

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    Thank you very very much, Sirian. This saves me from having to try each map type for myself, and find out that some of them aren't all that great for single player. Terra maps actually crash my system when more of it opens up... and I like to think I've got a pretty good system...
     
  19. SeaDog98520

    SeaDog98520 Chieftain

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    Finally got the game yesterday and played for 10 hours straight... lol.. haven't done that with civ in years.. and I am loving it... You guys all did such an outstanding job. Thank you so much for all your long hours of work and please take some reward by knowing how much pleasure you will be giving so many for a long time to come..
     
  20. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Warlord

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    Yeah, or some reward in how much sheer frustration you have caused those people who still have over 5 days left to get the game, but who want it in their hands NOW!!!!! ;) :)

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     

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