Basic Scenario - Europe 1814

Discussion on game mechanics, balancing etc.
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Andrettin
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Re: Basic Scenario - Europe 1814

Post by Andrettin » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:40 pm

A couple of suggestions:

1. 1815 seems like a better date to me than 1814, since the latter is the actual year in which the Napoleonic Wars ended.

2. The geography and province borders in the original Imp1 map are quite inaccurate, and there would certainly be copyright issues with using it as a base. I think it would be better to use this equirectangular map from NASA as a base instead:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/173 ... ned%29.png

To keep the size of European countries roughly the same as they are in Imp1's scenarios, each tile would correspond to a 8x8 pixel square on that map. This would yield a 1024x512 map. With proper optimization, I think it should be possible to make it run with good performance, given that modern computers are much more powerful than those of the time when Imp1 was released. If you think that would be too unmanageable, however, another option is to have a 256x128 map based on a part of that world map:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/173 ... ope%29.png

Since water in the map is represented as transparency, an algorithm could check each 8x8 square on the map, and if it's more than 50% transparent, make it a water tile, and if not, make it a land tile. This would speed up the creation of the scenario by a lot. And then terrain features like deserts and mountains could be added in manually.

As for provinces, I have a list prepared already with many of them (i.e. Holstein, etc.), with which tiles they would encompass and so forth.

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Trilarion
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Post by Trilarion » Mon Dec 05, 2016 9:01 pm

Really good suggestions! 8-)

Yes, I know we cannot just use the content from the original, but I needed something to get all the rest started. For the Europe scenario the second map looks good. I know that modern computers are more powerful, so large maps shouldn't be a problem, however for the basic scenario I would roughly stay with the size of the original scenario, that means at least the number of nations and provinces. The reason is that with many more provinces you would get many more smaller scale battles (one or many for each province) and this could lead imbalances of the gameplay. The game mechanics should dictate the number of provinces. Also the number of tiles (building improvements etc.) is influenced by game mechanics. With 1000x500 tiles map (the original is 100x60, so about 100 times smaller in number of tiles) you would get roughly 100 times more tiles. This could become a micromanagement hell, unless the game is designed differently.

As for the number of tiles per province? Well this depends on how you want to draw the map. If terrain can change somewhat seamlessly from tile to tile or if tiles of equal terrain are merged and drawn with variation and detail.

In short, the tile density really needs to be discussed from both, a presentation and a game mechanics point of view. However, for creation the map your posted worldmaps are superb. And your list or provinces is also very valuable.

I really like your maps. Do you see the one green big lake in Russia. Must be lake Aral.

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Andrettin
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Re:

Post by Andrettin » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:30 pm

Trilarion wrote:Really good suggestions! 8-)
Thank you :)
Yes, I know we cannot just use the content from the original, but I needed something to get all the rest started. For the Europe scenario the second map looks good. I know that modern computers are more powerful, so large maps shouldn't be a problem, however for the basic scenario I would roughly stay with the size of the original scenario, that means at least the number of nations and provinces.
That sounds sensible.

One possible approach is to have the world map loaded into memory, and then particular scenarios would have the option of showing a part of the map. For example, a Europe map could use only the portion of the map I showed in that second picture. And there could alternatively be a world map using all of the map. The advantage of doing it this way is that effort doesn't need to be duplicated when working on scenarios dealing with overlapping areas. But the disadvantage is that it would require a separate system from the normal scenarios (which have their own tile data saved in themselves).

On another note, I think it would be good to have Germany and Italy be divided into more countries than was the case in the original Imp1 scenario. Germany, for instance, could have Baden, Bavaria and Württemberg/Wurtemberg as separate minor nations instead of being a single "South Germany" nation.
The reason is that with many more provinces you would get many more smaller scale battles (one or many for each province) and this could lead imbalances of the gameplay. The game mechanics should dictate the number of provinces. Also the number of tiles (building improvements etc.) is influenced by game mechanics. With 1000x500 tiles map (the original is 100x60, so about 100 times smaller in number of tiles) you would get roughly 100 times more tiles. This could become a micromanagement hell, unless the game is designed differently.
That is an important consideration, yes. I think it could be largely dealt in two ways:

1. Making some areas have more plentiful resources (a greater proportion of resource tiles in comparison to the total tiles), while others have less. For example, Europe could have a significantly higher resource density than the other continents. In this way, large areas wouldn't necessarily add significantly to micro-management.

2. Having varying province sizes. A province in the Low Countries should contain less tiles than one in Siberia. This means that large areas wouldn't necessarily require too many small battles for conquering them.
As for the number of tiles per province? Well this depends on how you want to draw the map. If terrain can change somewhat seamlessly from tile to tile or if tiles of equal terrain are merged and drawn with variation and detail.

In short, the tile density really needs to be discussed from both, a presentation and a game mechanics point of view. However, for creation the map your posted worldmaps are superb. And your list or provinces is also very valuable.

I really like your maps. Do you see the one green big lake in Russia. Must be lake Aral.
Thank you :)

About the provinces, here is one example:

Code: Select all

Name = Brittany
Tiles = {
	{467, 118}, {467, 119},
	{468, 118}, {468, 119},
	{469, 117}, {469, 118}, {469, 119},
	{470, 117}, {470, 118}, {470, 119},
	{471, 117}, {471, 118}, {471, 119}, {471, 120},
	{472, 118}, {472, 119}, {472, 120},
	{473, 118}, {473, 119}, {473, 120}, {473, 121},
	{474, 118}, {474, 119}, {474, 120}, {474, 121},
	{475, 118}, {475, 119}, {475, 120}, {475, 121},
	{476, 118}, {476, 119}
},
SettlementLocation = {475, 119} -- Rennes

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Trilarion
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Re: Re:

Post by Trilarion » Mon Dec 05, 2016 10:54 pm

Andrettin wrote:..About the provinces, here is one example: ...
I wonder, did you do these provinces for another potential remake of Imperialism or for another game or why do you have such a list ready?

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Andrettin
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Re: Re:

Post by Andrettin » Mon Dec 05, 2016 11:12 pm

Trilarion wrote:
Andrettin wrote:..About the provinces, here is one example: ...
I wonder, did you do these provinces for another potential remake of Imperialism or for another game or why do you have such a list ready?
It's for an open-source game I develop; the game is an RTS, but has a turn-based world map mode. Here is a screenshot:
Image

I am seriously considering phasing out the game's world map mode, though, since I feel it detracts from the core RTS mechanics. A lot of work has been put in its data, and hopefully something will be useful here :)

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Andrettin
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Re: Basic Scenario - Europe 1814

Post by Andrettin » Fri Dec 09, 2016 10:12 pm

I have created a WIP image file with the terrain for the world map (1 pixel = 1 tile):

Image

And another with resource information:

Image

Only a part of the world map has been put there, but it encompasses almost all of the territories represented in the scenario map in Imp1. The purpose of the image is to serve as a reference (which can be cut in any way depending on the desired scope of the scenario). The terrain/resource color was done according to the old Imp1 MapCreator color chart (modified to include copper and tin, which were as we know absent in the original game):

Image

Some notes:

1. The Grain, Livestock and Orchard resource placement is based on the following source: Philip's International School Atlas, 2006, p. 59. The source's data for Russia, Poland, Belarus, Norway and Finland hasn't been added yet. The source has various sorts of agricultural activity, which I included as resources in the following manner: Grain (Barley, Maize, Oats, Rye, Wheat and Potatoes), Livestock (Beef catt, Dairy cattle and Pigs) and Fruit (Citrus fruit, Other fruit and vegetables, Olives and Vines). Obviously potatoes aren't grains, nor are olives fruits, but I felt each of them fit in best with those categories for game purposes.

2. The agricultural resources placed are a good start, but more should be added in the future, lest players' food supply end up too small.

3. The map has at the moment almost no forest tiles and no wool ones, which should be rectified in the future.

4. Mountains and hills have been placed for Iberia, Italy, Greece, Bohemia and Iceland, but not for other regions.

5. Very few mineral resources have been placed so far. The Portuguese and Spanish mineral resources described in the following sources have been added:
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/europe/p ... n_1972.jpg
http://www.lib.utexas.edu/maps/europe/s ... l_1974.jpg

And also the tin deposits shown in this source:
Atlas de História Mundial, 2001, p. 41.

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Re: Basic Scenario - Europe 1814

Post by Trilarion » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:42 pm

Looks nice. How have you made the map? From the NASA images linked earlier with some kind of averaging and thresholding? From somewhere else? And are the scripts written in some common language (Java, Python, ...)?

I will use this to create an original scenario to replace the current scenario converted from Imp1.

The placement of the resources should not only be following historical informations but also game play considerations like it was in Imp1, so I guess for a real scenario the resources have to be adapted anyway. My guiding line would be: Game play balance has priority but within this limits resources should be located as historically exact as possible.

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Andrettin
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Re: Basic Scenario - Europe 1814

Post by Andrettin » Tue Dec 13, 2016 11:23 am

Trilarion wrote:Looks nice. How have you made the map? From the NASA images linked earlier with some kind of averaging and thresholding? From somewhere else? And are the scripts written in some common language (Java, Python, ...)?
I did that some months ago by hand (using having less than 50% transparency in the original map as a base for the coastline). If I did it nowadays I would probably use a script for the coastlines.

By the way, since Imperialism's tiles are organized in a hexagonal manner (although they use squares as tiles), the coastlines and province borders may need to be adjusted, since otherwise you may end up with an exclave or enclave that shouldn't be there. With that in mind, the starting point for the map should have an even number for both the X and Y coordinates, so that later map expansions don't cause the map to change drastically because of the hexagonal organization.

A 138x84 map starting on coordinates {448, 86} should encompass everything that was depicted on the original Imp1 map.
I will use this to create an original scenario to replace the current scenario converted from Imp1.
Great :)
The placement of the resources should not only be following historical informations but also game play considerations like it was in Imp1, so I guess for a real scenario the resources have to be adapted anyway. My guiding line would be: Game play balance has priority but within this limits resources should be located as historically exact as possible.
I think so too. But at the same time I think it's good to leave the historical resources on the map picture, as it can be fine-tuned for gameplay later with the actual scenario.

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