Announcement: This map generator has been updated. Go here for the new version.
I have here probably the first random map generator for Elemental! Follow the link below to download.
Elementerra random map generator - mirror
This application requires the .NET framework runtime version 3.5 to run. Most people have this already, but if you don't you can get it through Windows Update.
To use the map generator, just play with all the funny sliders until you have something you like, then press one of the 'Publish' buttons. The 'Publish Random Map' button will publish a map with the current settings, but scrambles the map and does not show it to you. When asked for a location to save the file, usually you want to save it in the 'Documents/My Games/Elemental/Maps' directory. If you have mods turned on in the game options, you should then be able to load the map in game.
Most of the controls are self explanatory, but there are three noise fields that might need some explanation. For the landforms, there is a noise field and a turbulence field that are weighted against each other with their weight sliders. The climate uses a separate noise field. The 'Frequency' control adjusts the size of the noise features. High frequency makes small features and low frequency makes large features. The roughness slider controls the 'bumpyness' of the noise field. Low roughness makes very smooth transitions, high roughness increases the randomness and gives a grainy appearance.
The 'Calculate Start Positions' button shows you the start locations, but it is not necessary to press it. Start locations are always calculated on publish, but since it takes some time to calculate them, I didn't do real time updates. The button is there just for early feedback.
Let me know if you have any problems or bugs. Enjoy!
The maps generated by this application are somewhat different than the normal Elemental maps, as the following screenshots will show. For one thing, I eliminated the coastal cliffs altogether. The map looks better without them and they aren't required for gameplay. For swamps I added some props from the campaign map and also lowered their altitude so that they are slightly under the water level so you can see the ripple effect. Characters can still walk on it and use it as normal, and it looks very swampy! I also punched up the mountains a bit to make them big and dramatic. Fantasy worlds need big, big mountains!
One thing that still needs to be done is the placement of resources. I expect that the rules will be changing a great deal in the near future, so I'm holding off on that. Currently they will be placed randomly at game start, sometimes in huge clusters, and considering their enormous importance that is obviously not ideal. I'll tackle that issue once I learn more about it. If anyone has any opinions on how resources ought to be placed, please post them. I've noticed that I've never seen an Elementium resource in any game I've played, not sure why.
One difficulty here is that I do not know that it's possible to turn off the random resource spawns. If I place resources on the map in the cartography room, they end up randomized anyway. If anyone knows how to turn that off I'd like to hear it.
Take a look...
1.2 - Wrote floating point numbers correctly for non-US operating systems.
1.1 - Matched the XML encoding from Elementerra to the one that Elemental uses.