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The Atlas Project

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Utility Programs' started by Junuxx, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Welcome to the Atlas Project!
    Current Version: 0.43 (1 Feb '06)
    You might want to check out the Atlas Project's Homepage for some extra screenshots, a complete changelog and documentation.

    Atlas is a Java program written by me that is intended as a Map Generator for Civ 4. It will generate maps that are bigger, more varied, more realistic and more customizable than those from the standard map generator, giving the user control over every single parameter, and (optionally) providing a preview of the map as well.

    Latest Additions:
    - Added Number of rivers control
    - Fixed a bug in the Gamespeed Tuner
    - Fixed an endless loop when generating a 'Blank' map with Coastal Starts on
    - Added confirmation dialogs when exiting or starting civ with an unsaved map
    - Default number of start locations increased to 9

    Current Status:
    -Functional Beta. Atlas maps can be saved and give a good experience playing
    - Nearly complete on interface features. The major absentee is the option to 'load' an existant map
    - Although all map features are in, some are placeholders and not of target quality. For example, rivers and mountains need work.

    Future Improvements:
    Atlas is coming along nicely now. What still needs to be done is a lot of testing, balancing, improving and expanding.
    Better mountains, hills and rivers are definitely needed. More presets and options are always good.

    Limitations and troubleshooting
    - Note that you need Java Runtime Environment 1.5 to run this program. This can be downloaded for free here
    - A warning! The fact that Atlas allows you to generate maps of up to 400x400, does not mean that you or anyone else will be able to play on such gigantic maps!!
    - If you get an error, you can't get the program to run, or if you think my English is crap : Please let me know!

    Quick Manual:

    1)Download the zip at the bottom of this post and extract it
    2)Double click on Setup_Atlas043.exe and follow the instructions
    3)Start the program by going to Start->Programs->Atlas v0.40
    4)Mess with the controls until you have generated a map you like
    5)Press save
    6)Copy the file Atlas.Civ4WorldBuilderSave from C:\Program Files\Map Generator to C:\My Documents\My Games\Civ IV\Saves\WorldBuilder. You can rename the 'Atlas' part of the file too, if you like.
    7)Start Civilization 4
    8)Click Single player, Play Scenario, choose 'Atlas' or whatever name you gave the file
    9)The rest should be obvious :)

    Now, a couple of screenshots:

    1. The latest version, 0.43


    Some screenshots of version 0.33...

    2. The Save dialogue window


    3. A look at the Misc tab


    4. This is the Game tab



    I hope you like my little application. Please let me know what you think of it, and please check back soon for updates!

    See ya,

    Junuxx

    See the Atlas thread on the Apolyton forums
    And the related MapView Project by Gr3yHound
    Finally, a link to the Official Map for Atlas 0.34

    Downloads of previous versions: 9243
     

    Attached Files:

  2. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    Great idea! This has ENOURMOUS potential. I can just see it. Please work on it! We can't wait to see a finished product.

    Some things I think would help:
    1) In the end, add realistic terrain formations. Like, a real mountain range instead of peaks scattered everywhere. And on one side of that mountain range, there is a large desert (rain shadow effect).
    2) The rest just fled my mind for the moment.
     
  3. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Thanks for the quick reply. Yes, mountain ranges and realistic geology and climate were on my mind as well. However, you will need different graphics for peaks for convincing mountain ranges ;)

    <Edit:Removed screenshots. Newer screenshots are in the first post>

    I'll see if I can add some plains or forest, and then I'm going to bed. It's 6:00 am over here... :blush:
     
  4. jak08

    jak08 Chieftain

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    Has anybody thought of an editor were it would have slidebars for lets say water, desert, grass, mountains, hills, etc. and then would have a preview that would change as you moved the slide bar, Like it is in worms?

    That I believe would be a great map editor.
     
  5. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Well, I'm not sure about the slide bars, I was thinking of adjustable integer values, you know, with +/- buttons and stuff. But bars are possible as well.

    I was thinking of options like this:
    - Of course, terrain percantages
    - Choice in resource abundance : Abundant, Normal, Enough, Sparse, Diverse
    - more choice in Coastline, from fjords to delta
    - 'Fortress Islands' : the coasts of the islands are almost always mountains, allowing just a single harbor town
    - 'Rings': the map consists of several concentric rings of land, water, land, water
    - More and better-value islands near continents (like Britain)

    etc.
     
  6. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Added deserts and icecaps today, v0.13
    I like the deserts my current settings give me. Reasonably sized deserts of one piece, at Sahara/Kalahari latitudes. I'll have to see what it does to gameplay.

    I encountered a problem though. It seems the bmp-wbs converter needs 5 seperate bmps for height, forests, rivers, resources, and improvements. I;ll have to split up some of the things I've done. Besides, rivers promise to become rather complex.

    I'd be very pleased with some comments on whether the applet works for you at all, and what you think of the maps it gives.

    Junuxx :)
     
  7. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    Yeah, terrain based on latitude/longitude would be nice. Along with deserts near the equator, try tropical jungles?
    EDIT: After looking through the 0.13, some things:
    1) make sure the land doesn't touch the polar ice caps
    2) try adding lakes, maybe? Right now you have one-tile-large lakes, but those seem awkward.
     
  8. Simmelan

    Simmelan Chieftain

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    Just to add some inputs, a good look at the atlas will show you two facts. Most deserts are bounded by the 30 degress to 70 degress latitude and either forms at the west coast of a continent or in the interior of a continent.

    There are good geographical reasons for it with complicated explanations about cold ocean currents, the earth spin and tilt direction the dessicating effects of cold air causing deserts. And the rain shadow caused by mountains like Andes, Himalayas and Rocky Mountains.
     
  9. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    This is a BRILLIANT idea! :goodjob: If it can somehow eventually be made into a fully customisable map generator, I'm sure it would be HUGELY useful! :) I don't know too much about these sorts of programming things, but I'll definitely try to help out on this project as well, wherever possible... even if only with ideas. ;)
     
  10. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Hey guys, thanks for the comments. Tundra, Forests and Jungles are up next.

    @MSTK:
    I'm not sure about land touching the polar caps. Why shouldn't it? Doesn't Greenland sort of overlap with the northern ice cap, while it also has a little grassland/plain on it's southeast tip?

    edit: I think it makes sense to make the chance on polar continents smaller though, to represent the fact that the high latitudes regions are much smaller than the equatorial area ( on a globe).

    You're right about the lakes, will do something about it. But it will be one of the last parts I think, because it's so related to rivers and rivers are difficult ;)

    @Simmelan:
    Of course I had quite a few good looks at the Atlas for this project ;)
    The current algorithm spawns deserts in the interior of continents, bounded by indeed those latitudes you mention. Mountain range rainshadow is something I intend to do soon. That would be nice indeed
    Thanks for the input anyway!

    @Lord Parkin:
    Why thank you! :) Ideas are always useful. For example, do you think polar caps can touch continents?;) And where exactly do forest grow? At the coast in temperate regions? In big chunks like the current desert, or more dotted all over?
     
  11. Aeon221

    Aeon221 Lord of the Cheese Helmet

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    tagged... unlike with cIV i'm waiting for the developer to actually finish ;p
     
  12. Lord Parkin

    Lord Parkin aka emperor

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    Hmm... polar caps touching the continents is a bit of a "personal" thing I think. It can be argued that either way is correct, depending on your opinion. ;) However, thinking in terms of gameplay purposes, I think that generally most people would agree that it's better not to have the polar caps touching the continents - because it can be severely restrictive to naval routes. (Also, keep in mind that maps in Civ4 - like all previous versions - are 2D projections of 3D spherical worlds. Thus, the polar regions get extremely stretched, making them far bigger in comparison to the rest of the map than they should be. So it's better to "undersize" the latitude of the polar caps than to "oversize" the latitude (ie, keep them to the very top and very bottom of the map, and at least a few tiles away from any major land masses). IMHO anyway. :)

    Forest grows at pretty much any latitude, if I recall correctly. Not generally in the extreme North and South, but I'd say that to about plus or minus 60 or 70 degrees latitude, it's possible to have forests. Keep in mind though that forests generally shouldn't be in or near desolate regions (like deserts, or flat and bare strips of land like islands, isthmuses, and the tail ends of continents). ;) And also, generally speaking, the "forests" in areas near the equator are generally classed as jungles (because of the density of the trees and the rainfall, etc)... though not always. It depends on the climate of the area. ;)

    Oh, forests also shouldn't be too thick in higher mountainous areas. (Hilly areas are generally fine though.) Overall, I'd say that forests should probably generally be dotted all over the place, but with some concentrated areas too. Just keeping in mind where not to have them (extreme N/S, mountainous and desolate areas, etc) should be fine, I think.

    Well, looks like I've written a small essay there. :lol: Hope it helped you out somewhat, though. (By the way, if anyone else feels that I'm wrong on any of the points - as I may well be - feel free to correct me.) :)

    - LP
     
  13. MSTK

    MSTK Chieftain

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    If the land touches the polar caps, then it completely sections off two bodies of water. There is no way to get from one ocean to the other, because the waterways would be blocked. It'd be impossible to circumnavigate the globe or to even travel a circle along the coastline of your continent.
     
  14. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Thanks again for the input, Parkin and MSTK. :)

    I took the time to code a decent User Interface, complete with installer and stuff. Had some version problems though, so the deserts are back to just the equator for now (instead of above and below it).

    I would be happy if you could comment on how (/whether) it is working for you, both the program and the web applet.

    Installation Instructions:
    1) Download the .rar file. You need WinRAR to extract the files. You can download WinRAR here
    2) Copy the files in the .rar file to some temporary folder
    3) Double-click install.bat
    4) Start the Map Generator from Start\All Programs\Atlas Map Generator

    Miscellaneous Notes:
    1) The installer (install.bat) is for Windows only. But it doesnt do that much anyway, just puts the files in a Program Files folder and copies a shortcut to your Start Menu.
    2) In the web version, the Exit button does not work

    Web Version
    Downloadable Version
     
  15. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Big update! Now you can choose your map size! Must see! ;)
     
  16. Door

    Door Chieftain

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    I can't get either version to work. In the case of the web version I tried IE and Firefox. Is it written in (a recent version of) Java? It might be that my version is outdated. All I can see when I visit the site is:
    Code:
    <head>
    <title>
    Atlas v0.13
    </title>
    </head>
    
    <body>
    <applet code="AppletImage" width="0" height="0"></applet>
    </body>
    I hope this helps in some way. It looks very cool from the screenshots and description.
     
  17. Aeon221

    Aeon221 Lord of the Cheese Helmet

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    Although I am pretty sure you have heard of it, wikipedia.org

    Good place to go for data on things... well, basically it is a good place to go for anything! WikiRocKs!
     
  18. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Of course this helps! I'd like to get this program to work for anyone :)
    Yes, the program is written in Java, version 1.5.

    You can download the latest runtime environment here. I hope that helps.

    Another possibility is that your internet options or your firewall blocks Java applets, but in that case the downloadable version should have worked.
     
  19. Junuxx

    Junuxx Chieftain

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    Whoa! Big big update, see the first post.
    I managed to simply skip the need for 5 bmps by making my own WBS converter.

    It feels good to see your settler and warrior walk around on a map that YOUR map generator has generated, even when the world they walk in is empty and resourceless ;)

    The program actually has some use now. Previous versions were playthings only, but I hope modders can start using this now :)
     
  20. Lord_Iggy

    Lord_Iggy Tsesk'ihe

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    Personally, only small continents should touch the icecaps.

    Nice work here. I'll be following this!
     

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