Elementerra 2

By on February 14, 2011 4:54:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

cephalo

Join Date 01/2009
+75

Welcome Elemental fans!

Here is a new map generator for Elemental: War of Magic. There are many new features here. This is a very different map generator from the original Elementerra. Some of you may prefer the old one, which is here.

Download Elementerra 2 here. Mirror.

Elementerra UI

Magic creates the world!

The world is molded by the magic forces present in the shards. Air and earth magic are relatively calm forces, but when they come in contact with one another through the ether a violent reaction occurs. Over time, these interactions fold the land and push up large mountain ranges in places where air and earth magic are found in relatively even strength.

Fire and water magic are volatile forces that create parched deserts and icy wastelands. When they come together however, they will counteract and nuetralize one another. Where fire and water magic are found in balance with one another we find the areas of the world that are the most fertile, and the weather most agreeable. When there is a great deal of both fire and water magic present, vast quantities of water melt from the ice and collect in nearby lowland swamps.

Multiple walkable levels!

This is a high-relief map that supports winding mountain paths and room for city building on some of the highest mountains in the world! Every flat area in the mountains is pathable. It can sometimes be an extremely complex maze, but there is no walkable area in the mountains that cannot be reached on foot from the lowest altitude... eventually. In this map it is possible to go 'into'  and 'over' the mountains along footpaths, not just go around them. Its a whole new way to extend the exploration game and hide amazing treasures in the nooks and crannies!

Showcased Resources!

Resources in this version can be 'showcased' with little preset terrain blocks that setup a certain fictional context. The screenshot below gives a few examples of ancient city remnants where I am placing Lost Libraries, Ancient Temples and what few ruin like objects I could find in the map props. These showcases are configured by drawing with text in an XML file so that you can make your own showcases for modded resources and other map objects.

screen1

screen2 

Some minor cosmetic problems.

There are three minor problems with the game that are preventing full functionality of a map like this in the standard game. Hopefully these can be changed in an upcoming patch someday.

1.) I had to fake the mountains! Those aren't actually mountains. They are hills made impassable with a blocked tile object. I couldn't use mountains because there is a routine called upon loading a map that creates hills of a set altitude around mountains. This prevents the map maker from controlling the altitude of the maps tiles unfortunately. Removing this code could break all the premade maps that come with the game... Maybe we could get an XML tag to turn this off for a map. Automatic placement of beaches is another thing I'd like to eliminate.

Another unfortunate side effect is that you can't see any mountains on the cloth map.

Note: If this is unacceptable to you, you may check the 'Flatten Altitudes' button which will eleminate the altitude differences and bring back proper mountains.

2.) I can't control the snowline. Mountains near a fire shard in the desert really shouldn't have snow on them. At some point I'd like to make volcanos instead. It would be nice if I could set the environment snow levels in the map file. This snowline variable is actually controlled in the XML, but since I'm trying to make a map for the standard game, it would be good to not have to resort to a mod.

3.) Building cities on a mountain causes the mountain to melt away! This one really crushed my spirits. I reallly wanted to show you guys an awsome screenshot of a mountaintop citidel, but it was not to be. The issue here is also in the XML, but appears to be unmoddable. In the 'city' terrain type, there are two tags <MaxHeight> and <MinHeight>. When you build a city, the altitude morphs to the larger of these two variables! I don't think this is working properly, but it probably wasn't noticed because the default values for these variables are both the same at 50. If you set one of these to 1000, your city morphs into a giant spire! purdy funny stuff. I don't think this behavior is necessary either, city graphics can handle small inclines. Its much better to have a goofy looking city sometimes than to not have a mountaintop citidel! 

Locked Post 51 Replies +3
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 14, 2011 4:59:29 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Very nice.  Love all the options.  Off to play....

Edit:  WOW!  This is definitely different.  I'm going to have to play with the settings a bunch to figure out what works for me.  Really nice job on this cephalo!  Your work is very much appreciated!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 14, 2011 5:38:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Who da man?

Cephalo da man.

Awwwwwww yeah.

(Thanks for all the work man.)

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 12:30:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Love your work.. the 2 maps i genned 256x256 are awesome.. I checked 'Flatten Altitudes' since sometimes i like to play on cloth map but its seems that the 2nd world has no forests at all. Is that a bug related to flattening?

 

Cheers

 

Love your work!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 12:33:23 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hmm there's an unrelated bug i just noticed.. I like to open your maps in the cartographer and save them again to get the thumbnail picture going.. but every time I do that then exit and click new game the game crashes out.. Works fine once I reload so its only a minor irritation.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 12:40:02 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Agelian that is not related to Elementerra, that crash happens in the standard game as well.

cephalo, great job. If I have one comment, it's that mountains tend to get shredded up by paths a lot. So instead of having cohesive mountainranges, you end up with many many mountaintops in close proximity but still separated. I would love a setting that allowed for more cohesive mountainranges with less fluctuating heights.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 8:28:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Yeah Heaven I shouldn't really have mentioned that in this thread.. my bad

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 9:20:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I don't know about you guys, but when I try to make changes in the cartography room I end up with a garbled map. This happens even if I try to make a new map within the cartography room. I would stay away from it if I were you.

Quoting Heavenfall,

cephalo, great job. If I have one comment, it's that mountains tend to get shredded up by paths a lot. So instead of having cohesive mountainranges, you end up with many many mountaintops in close proximity but still separated. I would love a setting that allowed for more cohesive mountainranges with less fluctuating heights.

You may be able to find some settings that give you that. How it all happens is that each altitude level above sea level is enclosed with a ring of mountains, and then theres a random path cutter that makes sure everything is pathable. If you use a bigger map, with bigger mountains, there are more opportunities for cohesiveness. By default I'm using a smallish map that if I make an extended mountain system, it would practically be all mountains.

Another thing you can do is eliminate some of the heights with the sliders. Setting two at the same level will basically eliminate a level. The showcases for the magic shards are fixed, but you can also change those in the xml file.

Edit: Actually, you might try making the top level a higher percentage than the ones below it except for the lowest. So then you'll have flat land, and the mountaintops should be full of level 4 land that is likely connected.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 15, 2011 11:58:11 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

wow, just, wow.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 12:55:38 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hey cephalo. Great job with the new version.

 

However, I am seeing one "problem".  It's not with the vanilla game, but with ACP. For some reason, it seems like none of ACP's goodiehuts spawn (although you get the normal goodiehuts). However, the quests spawn fine.

 

I imagine you're using the spawn no objects flag. I have a feeling this may be on SDs end (in how they implemented that flag). *sigh* This sucks. I want the cool maps, but i also want to have the goodiehuts from ACP to spawn, heh. Any ideas?

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 9:20:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting impinc,
Hey cephalo. Great job with the new version.

 

However, I am seeing one "problem".  It's not with the vanilla game, but with ACP. For some reason, it seems like none of ACP's goodiehuts spawn (although you get the normal goodiehuts). However, the quests spawn fine.

 

I imagine you're using the spawn no objects flag. I have a feeling this may be on SDs end (in how they implemented that flag). *sigh* This sucks. I want the cool maps, but i also want to have the goodiehuts from ACP to spawn, heh. Any ideas?

 

Yeah, all the map objects that spawn are defined in the Elementerra_MapObjects.xml. You can change those to fit any mod if you want. Someone needs to make a different XML file for each mod that has new goodies or resources. I just remembered now that I didn't finish some of the comments in the file to help explain how to do that, but basically there are two names that you have to use to describe a resources or goody hut. I can't remember which one is which from the core xml file, but if you get the right name in the right spot, it will be placed, assuming all the other criteria allow placement. 

Edit: Another important point is that you probably should leave the original xml files alone, and make a new one with a different name. You can select which file to use in the Elementerra UI,.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 9:52:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Can you talk a bit more of how the xml for resources is laid out?

<MapObject Name="VentriIronOre">
    <Type>Resource</Type>
    <Desc>Ventri Metal Deposit</Desc> <- why is a description tag included? elementerra internal use?
    <Quantity>0.25</Quantity> <- dependant on the next tag I assume, is this value floored, ceiled or rounded?
    <QuantityMultiplier>PerPlayerStart</QuantityMultiplier>
    <MinimumDistanceToSame>40.0</MinimumDistanceToSame>
    <StartingResources>0</StartingResources>
    <Placement Used="Yes">
      <MagicBalancePercent>  <- these values affect the quantity? or some kind of zone around these shards that push away resources?
        <Air>0.45</Air>
        <Earth>0.55</Earth>
        <Fire>Any</Fire>
        <Water>Any</Water>
      </MagicBalancePercent>
      <MagicPercentTolerance> <- ???
        <Air>0.10</Air>
        <Earth>0.10</Earth>
        <Fire>0.10</Fire>
        <Water>0.10</Water>
      </MagicPercentTolerance>
      <MinDesiredAltitudeLevel>3</MinDesiredAltitudeLevel> <- are these hardcaps? desired seems to indicate otherwise
      <MaxDesiredAltitudeLevel>4</MaxDesiredAltitudeLevel>
      <ValidTerrains>
        <ValidTerrain>Land</ValidTerrain>
        <ValidTerrain>Desert</ValidTerrain>
        <ValidTerrain>Forest</ValidTerrain>
      </ValidTerrains>
      <ValidEnvironments></ValidEnvironments> <- is this hooked up, and what's the synergy with <validterrains>? If I go desert terrain, desert environment, will that guarantee a spawn in desert terrain desert environment only?
    </Placement>
  </MapObject>

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 10:24:50 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Heavenfall,
    <Desc>Ventri Metal Deposit</Desc> <- why is a description tag included? elementerra internal use?

Both of these names, the 'name' attribute and this 'Desc' tag, are used in the final map xml file. The names I give these fields come from my possible misunderstanding of their true function in Elemental. You need them both because one or the other will not completely describe what kind of object you want. For example, fertile land is "Fertile Land,FertileLand" and a fruit orchard is "Fruit Orchard,FertileLand". I don't question why they did it this way, but you need two names to describe a map object.

Quoting Heavenfall,

    <Quantity>0.25</Quantity> <- dependant on the next tag I assume, is this value floored, ceiled or rounded?
    <QuantityMultiplier>PerPlayerStart</QuantityMultiplier>

Multiplied first, then floored. In the case of PerPlayerStart, I can't know at generation time how many opponents will actually be chosen in game, but it goes my how many starts you generate. 

Quoting Heavenfall,
      <MagicBalancePercent>  <- these values affect the quantity? or some kind of zone around these shards that push away resources?

These values do not affect quantity. They describe, in combination with the tolerances, a zone of magic influences where this resource might be placed. 


Quoting Heavenfall,
<MinDesiredAltitudeLevel>3</MinDesiredAltitudeLevel> <- are these hardcaps? desired seems to indicate otherwise

These are hard caps. I shouldn't have said 'Desired'.


Quoting Heavenfall,
<ValidEnvironments></ValidEnvironments> <- is this hooked up, and what's the synergy with <validterrains>? If I go desert terrain, desert environment, will that guarantee a spawn in desert terrain desert environment only?

It works just like ValidTerrains. When they are empty, they allow everything. So in this example all environments are valid. If you said <ValidEnvironment>Arctic</ValidEnvironment> then it would *only* be placed on Arctic environment. Edit: Also for your information, I decided not to use Desert terrain, only desert environment. Conversely, I am using swamp terrain, and not using swamp environment.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 10:35:52 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Thanks for the info.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 16, 2011 11:36:30 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Hire this man. Right now.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 18, 2011 7:16:39 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Played my first new map last night and hit one minor snag. A NPC spawned in the side of a mountain/hill (impassable terrain near a shard). NOt a game killer by any means. The NPC can't move. I can still probably snag them by getting close and using imbue/return. Other then that the maps look very good. A great program. Thanks for sharing!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 18, 2011 9:20:31 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Capn Darwin,
Played my first new map last night and hit one minor snag. A NPC spawned in the side of a mountain/hill (impassable terrain near a shard). NOt a game killer by any means. The NPC can't move. I can still probably snag them by getting close and using imbue/return. Other then that the maps look very good. A great program. Thanks for sharing!

Yeah, stuff like that is going to happen. Unfortunately when the game spawns items it doesn't respect the blocked tiles, only whether its a mountain. The only way to stop it is to use the 'Flatten Altitudes' checkbox in Elementerra. Naturally that's not as fun, but it allows me to use real mountains.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 18, 2011 12:22:46 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

cephalo,

With any luch maybe SD will fix the code to work with your program. I'm off to see more of the map!

Thanks.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 18, 2011 1:21:08 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cephalo,

Quoting impinc, reply 9Hey cephalo. Great job with the new version.

 

However, I am seeing one "problem".  It's not with the vanilla game, but with ACP. For some reason, it seems like none of ACP's goodiehuts spawn (although you get the normal goodiehuts). However, the quests spawn fine.

 

I imagine you're using the spawn no objects flag. I have a feeling this may be on SDs end (in how they implemented that flag). *sigh* This sucks. I want the cool maps, but i also want to have the goodiehuts from ACP to spawn, heh. Any ideas?

 


Yeah, all the map objects that spawn are defined in the Elementerra_MapObjects.xml. You can change those to fit any mod if you want. Someone needs to make a different XML file for each mod that has new goodies or resources. I just remembered now that I didn't finish some of the comments in the file to help explain how to do that, but basically there are two names that you have to use to describe a resources or goody hut. I can't remember which one is which from the core xml file, but if you get the right name in the right spot, it will be placed, assuming all the other criteria allow placement. 

Edit: Another important point is that you probably should leave the original xml files alone, and make a new one with a different name. You can select which file to use in the Elementerra UI,.

 


Thanks for the info. I didnt even think to look at the xmls which came with it, heh. Anyways, got it working, so ACP's 1st level goodiehuts show up. For anyone reading this who uses ACP, the latest version (1.3) includes a new MapObjects file. This file contains everything that the original Elementerra map objects file contains, but also includes the acp huts.

Thanks again for your work cephalo. The maps are great. I thought it would really bother me not being able to see the mountains on the cloth map, and it does, but not nearly as much as I had thought it would.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 19, 2011 7:44:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cephalo;  Looks great yet again.

One question/issue I had is this:

About half the "starting" positions are next to "FERTILE LAND" while the other half are next to "OASIS".  Because an OASIS requires 50 materials to build upon (vs. 25gold/gildar for FERTILE LAND) you either have to:

1) Be severely crippled for the first ~50 turns or so until you can build up two workshops and gather those materials; stuck at population "10" with no other buildings.

2) Get real lucky and find some material caches

3) Start with SOV who is "Green Thumb"

This severely effects the "balance" of the game (Players/CPUs with fertile land hit the ground running....with OASIS, they have a 50 turn handicap).

Is there a setting that I missed or am I setting up the map wrong?  Although it doesn't always make sense to have "FERTILE LAND" in the middle of the desert in terms of logic/story-line...unfortunately "OASIS" just throws the game way off.

THanks 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 12:39:27 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting JoeTheLoser,
Cephalo;  Looks great yet again.

One question/issue I had is this:

About half the "starting" positions are next to "FERTILE LAND" while the other half are next to "OASIS".  Because an OASIS requires 50 materials to build upon (vs. 25gold/gildar for FERTILE LAND) you either have to:

1) Be severely crippled for the first ~50 turns or so until you can build up two workshops and gather those materials; stuck at population "10" with no other buildings.

2) Get real lucky and find some material caches

3) Start with SOV who is "Green Thumb"

This severely effects the "balance" of the game (Players/CPUs with fertile land hit the ground running....with OASIS, they have a 50 turn handicap).

Is there a setting that I missed or am I setting up the map wrong?  Although it doesn't always make sense to have "FERTILE LAND" in the middle of the desert in terms of logic/story-line...unfortunately "OASIS" just throws the game way off.

THanks 

Yeah, I noticed this late in the process. I can't imagine why there would be this huge difference in exploitation costs for the same amount of food,  grrr. but I'm not putting 'fertile land' in the desert. I may have to prevent people from starting in the desert and also on snow, as I beleive the same problem exists with 'Wild Game'. The way I have things set up though, I beleive there is alot more food in the world than in the vanilla game, so you might be able to make do with a 50 material food start. Grab those goody huts!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 1:18:49 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I'm not so concerned with getting stuck with OASIS/Wild Game for a starting spot as I am concerned the already beleagured AI being forced to deal with it. 

The way I have things set up though, I beleive there is alot more food in the world than in the vanilla game

Although that is probably true, it doesn't really solve the problem of extreme unbalanced starts; since you would have to sacrifice materials/time to get a pioneer...trek him over to new location...build on that other food (although, more than likely, that other food is going to match your starting food type...unless you are on the border of desert/grassland).

Grab those goody huts!

Hehe...well the first two maps I started with, I had SOV/Janusk/+1 NPC scouring the land for 35 turns...didn't get a single "MATERIAL" scavenged.  Can't afford more personnel (because your economy is tapped out at only 10 population) so in the end I just waited until my 2 workshops made up the 50 materials.

I understand why you wouldn't want to put Fertile lands everywhere for starts.....I suppose I can just go back to using your original Elementerra to generate the maps if it becomes too big a problem.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 9:47:51 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

if you also tone down the desert a bit it shouldn't be a huge problem. If you start on the border of the desert you will get fertile land and an oasis, which isn't too bad.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 10:48:05 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Cephalo,

I'm using ACP 1.3 and I have one minor issue in the way goodie huts spawn. The majority of them are spawning in the woods making them very hard to spot using the cloth map and even in the 3d world in some cases for the smaller tiles. Is there a way to gently force the spawning to clear tiles?

Thanks!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 11:01:00 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting Capn Darwin,
Cephalo,

I'm using ACP 1.3 and I have one minor issue in the way goodie huts spawn. The majority of them are spawning in the woods making them very hard to spot using the cloth map and even in the 3d world in some cases for the smaller tiles. Is there a way to gently force the spawning to clear tiles?

Thanks!

Ok, I think impinc made a new xml file for ACP so that it spawns the custom goodyhuts. Also, that stuff is controlled in the xml so you can remove <ValidTerrain>Forest</ValidTerrain> from the goodies to prevent them landing in forest. They are spawned randomly pretty much, there's nothing in there that would favor forests besides the luck of the draw.

Are you talking about the ACP specific goodies? You might check the ACP MapObjects.xml file to see how the new ones are configured.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
February 20, 2011 12:04:09 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting cephalo,

Quoting Capn Darwin, reply 23Cephalo,

I'm using ACP 1.3 and I have one minor issue in the way goodie huts spawn. The majority of them are spawning in the woods making them very hard to spot using the cloth map and even in the 3d world in some cases for the smaller tiles. Is there a way to gently force the spawning to clear tiles?

Thanks!


Ok, I think impinc made a new xml file for ACP so that it spawns the custom goodyhuts. Also, that stuff is controlled in the xml so you can remove <ValidTerrain>Forest</ValidTerrain> from the goodies to prevent them landing in forest. They are spawned randomly pretty much, there's nothing in there that would favor forests besides the luck of the draw.

Are you talking about the ACP specific goodies? You might check the ACP MapObjects.xml file to see how the new ones are configured.

 

Yea, I suppose I will change those for next release. I just copied what you had in the originals, and changed the names.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108432  walnut2   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000735   Page Render Time: