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Terrain Request

Discussion in 'Civ3 - Creation & Customization' started by Camber, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Camber

    Camber Resident Family Therapist

    Jul 14, 2003
    The Great Beyond
    This request is for a terrain modpack for use in a sci-fi mod. Yes, I know it is a lot of work to make one of these. Hear me out, and see if you might be interested.

    The mod involves terraforming a dead planet. The planet should initially be all browns, greys, yellows, (desert), and whites (tundra). The terrain modpack I need would have no greens at all in the Plains, Grassland, Hills, and Mountains .pcx files.

    Terraforming the planet would require irrigation and/or planting forests. So irrigation would be allowed on Hills, which would make them green. Likewise, irrigating a Plains or Grassland tile would also make it green. So I need an Irrigation.pcx that doesn't allow the color underneath to show through, and would completely transform a tile from brown/grey to green and lush. I think that the fitted irrigation file already made by Pounder might do the trick.

    My map will need a LMForest.pcx file that looks not like forest, but rather like grass and prairie without trees. In my mod, this "LMForest" is called Prarie and will be preplaced over all the brown/gray Plains and Grassland, so that they look lush and green but not in a cultivated/irrigated way. It will be possible to irrigate over LMForest, so that when this is done it would look like the normal irrigation over grassland.

    I will also need regular "Forest" files (in all their varieties) that don't allow the base terrain underneath to show through (with the exception of tundra forests.pcx). Instead, they would appear to have grass and prairie underneath the trees, so that when a forest is planted it would appear that the base terrain was green, rather than brown/grey. Same for Jungle and Marsh files: the effect should be that a fully forested area would mostly not allow the "dead" colors underneath to show through.

    The -forests and -jungles files of hills, mountains, and volcanoes could be green and lush, since hills and such would naturally "go green" when next to forested/jungled tiles.

    Now that I've described what I want, I'll explain how I'll use it and why I need it.

    I'm making a mod that includes Mercury, Venus, Earth, the Moon, Mars, the edge of Jupiter, the 6 largest Jovian moons, and the asteroid belt on a 102x362 tile map. Earth is located 1/3 of the way up the map, 102x100 tiles large. Above and below it is Space, represented by Sea and Landmark Sea. Only space ships can traverse Sea. The mod is an epic game, with the Industrial and Modern eras scrunched together, giving room for a full Future era at the end. Techs in the modern and future eras allow space exploration and colonization. Late in the game, terraforming of Mars and Venus is possible using irrigating and foresting worker actions; irrigation without water and foresting worker actions will not be available until the later Future era.

    I need a terrain graphics pack that will allow me to use the same tileset for Earth that I use for the other planets, their moons, and the asteroids. I have attempted to use landmark terrain for the other planets, moons, and asteroids, and found that LM terrain messes with the terrain next to it. So terraforming cannot be accomplished by changing underlying tiles, because the game engine won't allow the switching of a tile to a landmark tile--only a regular tile; plus, if a LM tile switches to a regular tile, and they aren't the same in appearance, it looks really bad. For example, I have tried using Smoking mirror's Mars terrain and several others, and it makes nasty effects where the LM and regular tilesets meet. It also means that I can't have LM Forests over regular tiles, because it makes LM effects appear all around the LM forests on the base terrain around it. Seeing this happen is what led me to give up on using an existing tileset and request a new one.

    Terraforming is an important part of this game, since it is required to make Mars and Venus inhabitable. Because I need the same tileset for the other planets that I use for Earth, terraforming has to be accomplished using overlays (irrigation and forest through worker actions).

    I also want to have Earth be de-terraformable, meaning that if it were ravaged by nuclear war and population and pollution levels were running high, I could have global warming cause Forests and Jungles to revert to "base terrain" and completely eliminate the tile's food value. In C3C, global warming cannot change any tiles to Desert (I have tested and proven this), so it normally isn't possible to render terrain completely foodless. With this mod, that changes. I have the base terrain types that normally have a food value (Plains, Grassland, Hills) have zero food value, and instead all their food value is dependent on overlays (Irrigation, Forest, Jungle, even Marsh). Thus, a severe nuclear war could destroy the food value of Earth, while diligent work could restore it and could also give food value to Mars and Venus.

    Because this mod is a scenario with a preset map, I will be able to preplace Prairie (i.e., LMForest) on the Plains and Grasslands of Earth, making it lush and green rather than gray/brown. Prairie will not be replaceable once destroyed (you can't plant LMForest), but Forest could be planted in its place, or Irrigation in its place. As stated earlier, it will also be possible to irrigate Prairie.

    A note needs to be made about sizes and distances. Sea was chosen as the tile for Space because it allows for a LM variation. For the inner solar system, Sea (space) tiles have a movement cost of 10, and the planets are separated by distances that are appropriately large for long space flights. The LMSea tiles, however, have a movement cost of 100. These LMSea tiles separate Mars from the Asteroid Belt and Jupiter. The inceased movement cost of LMSea allows for the extreme distance between Mars and Jupiter to be represented with fewer tiles. It should go without saying that "reveal map" is not available with Satellites, and trade over Sea tiles is not implemented until the Future era.

    Planet sizes on the map are accurate, with an important twist. With the exception of Earth, which is roughly 100x100 tiles large, all other planets and moons are reduced to 1/4 their size. So Venus, whose diameter is nearly the size of Earth's, is 24x24 tiles large instead of 96x96, and so on. This reduction represents the decreased inhabitability of the other planets and moons, even allowing for space environment equipment and terraforming. It would be ludicrous for a terraformed Venus to support a greater population than Earth, so a Venus 1/4th its appropriate size compensates for these variables. Sizes of planets and moons were calculated using their diameter in kilometers, multiplied by .0078394. [If you take Earth's diameter in kilometers, and multiply it by .0078394, you get 100--and Earth is roughly 100x100 tiles in this scenario.] The planet's new size is then divided by 4 to arrive at the in-game size. Jupiter is the only planet not shown to this scale; only its leading edge is visible on the top edge of the map, represented by free-floating pollution (it won't be possible to land on the "surface" of Jupiter).

    If you have graphics talents and this idea interests you, I will be happy to work with you. I would do it myself, but I'm hampered by a handicap. I have artistic talent and access to Photoshop Pro, but my colorblindness makes me pretty useless when it comes to handling unlabelled color palettes. I genuinely need assistance, and I'd love to have you aboard.

    If I don't have any takers, I will still make the mod. I have the map made already, the tech trees, and the units and improvements have all been selected. The appearance of green on Mars and Venus is what offends me, but I can live with it if that is necessary. This mod will be finished whether the terrain looks exactly right or not, but the terrain set I have described would make it nearly perfect.

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