General map design informationEdit
Below is a list of guidelines written for users who are new to the Glest map making process.
- Player and Resource Placement:
- At least 10 tiles (cells) of gold, stone and wood (trees) at the player starting point locations, and at least one smaller 5 tile(cells) resource area nearby
- Generic four player maps space player and AI faction starting locations equidistantly
- Multiplayer maps differ from generic maps and place allies closer together, and those allies may also share gold and stone resource sites.
- Road and Trail Systems:
- Roads connect all player start locations
- Roads should be at least five tiles (cells) wide.
- Trails and paths connect to roads and usually lead to resource locations. Paths also provide an easy route through dense forests or across large, nondescript, plains and deserts.
- Trails and paths should be three tiles (cells) wide. Trails through dense forests - with a width of only two tiles(cells) - may trap size3 AI faction units and cause unit stacking and grid-locking.
- Rivers, lakes and oceans:
- Map Objects:
- Place objects where logical. Trees rarely grow in rivers and lakes although a few dead tree objects in a pond can be visually appealing.
- Statue and gallows objects should be used infrequently. Both look good at trail intersection points and on isolated islands.
- Bushes look great in forests and along riverbanks - use them often.
- Small stones look good but use them sparingly and in appropriate locations. IE: player starting locations are an inappropriate stone object placement location
- Mossy Rocks/Big Rocks need to be surrounded with the pink colored invisible blocking 10-C5 object to prevent units from walking inside the rock model(s)
- Surface texture types
- surface 1 is normally light-colored green grass with random flower and weed texture patterns.
- surface 2 is normally dark-colored green grass with no flower and weed texture patterns.
- surface 3 is normally brown dirt or tan sand with random pebble and weed texture patterns.
- surface 4 is normally composed of gray cobblestones, bricks, interlocking stone-tile and rock-gravel texture patterns
- surface texture 5 varies greatly between different tilesets.
- Surface texture uses:
- surface textures vary greatly between tilesets but in general:
- surface textures 1 and 2 are used as the primary surface type for meadows, mountains, plains, hills and valleys
- surface textures 3 and 4 are used for roads, trails, as ocean and lake shorelines and at player starting locations
- surface texture 5 varies greatly between different tilesets. .
General map design tipsEdit
Map making is tedious and boring so don't expect to knock out a map in an hour. Work on a map a few times a week with the ultimate goal of having a completed map ready after 15 days.
- Is there enough room for building expansion at each of the starting locations?
- The ultra AI typically constructs at least 12 buildings around the starting point which may lead to unit movement congestion.
- Resource node location placement?
- Ensure AI units do not become stuck between buildings and nodes while harvesting in large groups.
- Placing blocking objects next to resources nodes may lead to unit stacking
- AI Pathfinding on long routes?
- Can the AI find the hostile base or group of hostiles? or does it get stuck on a path in a forest or around a lake or river?
- Is the pathing at least 3 tiles (cells) wide at chokepoints?
- Entry and exit trails and roads near the player starting points tend to be narrow to accommodate defensive oriented gamers.
- Trails and roads?
- Do roads and trails follow the natural geography of the map?
- Do trails lead to resources or connect to other trails and roads? Please, no dead-end roads and trails.
- Swamps and flooded regions
- Proper height settings will trigger water splash animations and particles. This effect is quite pleasing, use it wisely.
- Roads should be a couple units lower than the rest of the map, and only two units above the water, so that the river heights will look natural at road/water crossing points.
- Maps with little change in elevation are uninteresting and require increased object placement to balance the flat, visually unappealing, terrain.
- Game world visual appeal?
- No one enjoys running around in a barren game world - place lots of objects on the map
- Fifteen statues or nine stones in one location makes no sense and looks bad.
- Does the map look good at various locations and from different viewing perspectives?
- Do placed objects enhance the organic feel of the map?
- Do the hills, valley's, mountains appear natural?
- Do Lakes connect with rivers?
- Apply dirt or sand around bodies of water
- Roads look better if they are trimmed/bordered by dirt or sand shoulders.
Image reference (incomplete)Edit
map editor basic elements
game view of the map editor basic elements
Design tricks and glest AI pathfinder limitations (incomplete)Edit
visual enhancements while conforming to the AI pathfinder rules
- Draw diagonal perimeter lines on a map using the pink colored invisible walkable(false)-- blocking object 10-C5
- Create the map world within the predefined perimeter boundaries.
- Now place objects outside the perimeter of the ground unit (walkable) playfield - ground units cannot travel in these areas. This technique enhances the visual appearance of the game world.
- Yellow highlighted areas are the walkable(false) portion of the map.note the pink blocking C5 pixel perimeter surrounding the walkable(false) map area
- Blue lines are the original parameter requirements.
- Red square is where the AI unit pathfinder fails. The map breaks the perimeter rule.
- Red lines indicate the path on which the AI wants to travel - but cannot - due to performance failures with the Glest AI pathfinder coding.
Game view of the map editor image seen above walkable(false)-- blocking object portion of the map.