Map creation hints

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Hans
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Map creation hints

Post by Hans »

I hope this is the right forum to as kthis:
I am a total newbie to BfW. But I'd like to kreate some maps. So, to learn what makes a good map i startet drawing a map for six players. The result is here: http://www.5sl.org/~bretscher/CloudCity (right click and save it). As I said, it's a neewbie made map, so don't expect anything special from it.
I would greately appreciate it, if a more experienced player could have a short look at it and tell me what he thinks about it.
Do you think it would be fun to play?
Is it unbalanced for or against a specific faction?
And, perhaps most important, what could be made better?

Weeksy
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Post by Weeksy »

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WWWWWWWWWWWWWW5WWWWWWWXWWWWWW[/map]
If enough people bang their heads against a brick wall, The brick wall will fall down

Velensk
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Post by Velensk »

I am not an expert and can't give you an in depth ayanalisis, but I can tell you as a player that this map is horribly unbalanced. I would not like to fight as loyalists on this map especialy not agianst knalgans or Drakes, one thing Doc keeps telling people is to not put villages next the mountains and to not have huge clumps of one train type in areas of the map where all the fighing is going to take place.
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appleide
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Post by appleide »

If you replace most of those mountains with Impassable mountains it might become alright.
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Lorbi
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Post by Lorbi »

the center seems to be easy to defend once its yours

Hans
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Post by Hans »

Velensk wrote:I am not an expert and can't give you an in depth ayanalisis, but I can tell you as a player that this map is horribly unbalanced. I would not like to fight as loyalists on this map especialy not agianst knalgans or Drakes,
Ok, I'll remove some mountains and hills and make others unpassable.
one thing Doc keeps telling people is to not put villages next the mountains and to not have huge clumps of one train type in areas of the map where all the fighing is going to take place.
Is there a tutorial he made somewhere, or a collection of threads where I could reread what he "keeps telling"?
Lorbi wrote: the center seems to be easy to defend once its yours
I liked the "castle in the clouds" effect. Bot ok, the keep is a bit much. I'll remove it.

How do you make this nice Picture of the map?

Thank you all for looking.

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Doc Paterson
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Post by Doc Paterson »

Hans wrote:
Velensk wrote: one thing Doc keeps telling people is to not put villages next the mountains and to not have huge clumps of one train type in areas of the map where all the fighing is going to take place.
Is there a tutorial he made somewhere, or a collection of threads where I could reread what he "keeps telling"?
It'd be nice if I could someday find the time to write such a thing, and I'd really really like to, but up to this point, there is nothing "solid" that can be found in one place.

Here are some bits from discussions though. Maybe some of these will be helpful:

P1 Advantage, Unfair Guessing Games, Map Design, etc.

(note that some of the maps being discussed ended up being edited, so that the first image shown is not always the original form of the map being discussed, below it.)


http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15966

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15607

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15231

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15234

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8795

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=15999

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 105#237105

http://www.wesnoth.org/forum/viewtopic. ... 907#242907


Hans wrote:
Lorbi wrote: the center seems to be easy to defend once its yours
I liked the "castle in the clouds" effect. Bot ok, the keep is a bit much. I'll remove it.
I like the "castle in the clouds" concept as well, and I hope that you are able to preserve it through the phases of balancing. One thing that I believe strongly in (in terms of map design) is that a map should really try to have its own character, independant of its balance; that it should suggest a place that is distinct from other places. There are hundreds of grass/water/mountain/forest maps out there, most of which use the same old basic aliases: the green grass for grassland, the pine forest for forest, the brown or sandy dirt for roads, etc, etc. I like it when someone tries to convey a place that existed first in their mind, and filters that through the map editor with distinctiveness as the first priority. I'm not saying that I think a map is good just because it is different....

http://s153.photobucket.com/albums/s230 ... t=dood.jpg

....but rather that, in my opinion a truly great map will have, as a defining quality, a unique and creative character. I'm always excited to look at maps that use the editor pallete in interesting new ways- For example, a map that uses the "stone" GL alias as the dominant terrain type (over the green grass), or a wildly asymetrical map that delves into the more complicated and/or intuitive qualities of factional balance.

It may be a common misconception that I add only perfectly balanced maps to mainline, that the balance is more heavily considered than the artistic identity (forgive me if "artistic identity" sounds too bogus or pretentious when applied to wesnoth maps; these things are somewhat difficult to descibe. :) )That's not really true- I'm looking for maps that are interesting, aesthetically and functionally, that suggest strange, wild, unique or evocative places. (We have plenty of green grass/green tree/green hill/ stone mountain maps, and these maps are good to have. They form a foundation, a base to push off from when trying to create new things.) I'm reminded of certain user maps that I found to be particularly inspired; F8's "Chilled Caves" and "Underworld", Velensk's "Titan Hall," Nickname's "Dying World," Sapient's "Tomb of Kings," and of various users who've tried to make maps around the ideas of volcanos or ruins or deserts. These things are very very hard to balance, but as I said, it can be done; the sense of place does not have to be destroyed by the overall restrictions of factional and playerside balancing. In summary, a map that makes it into mainline does need to be balanced for all factional combinations and playersides, but it also needs to have an equally strong level of distinctiveness.

To repeat myself again, balancing this character with the "play" qualities of the map can be a very trying process. Other players can help, to a point, but really, playing the game intensely for a few months is a much better education. When you experience the factional interactions for yourself, map balancing will become more and more intuitive.

At any rate, what I mean to say in regards to this map is that I think that it has some of that creative spirit, in spite of its many factional imbalances. You should keep at it. Keep tinkering, and play as many games with good players as you can. Maybe try to make that central concept of the castle in the clouds even more defined. Study the default 1v1s and 2v2s...Note the general terrain patterns, and ask yourself why they may have been done in this way. You'll probably get a lot of advice, some of it rigid, some it it vague, and it's easy to interpret people's advice in terms of absolutes. The important thing, in my view, is to take that advice in without letting it discourage you or dull the creative impulse.

By the way, welcome to the game. :)
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F8 Binds...
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Post by F8 Binds... »

Doc, as always, put it well. (I am quite glad to see that one of my maps is the first link. :))

Anyways, any major questioning you have can also come at me. Although I don't get on as much as the average player, I can tell you that I likely do have more time than Doc or Becephalus has to answer your questions.

Looking at the general terrain balance, village layout, terrain arrangement, keep arrangement, etc. is the best way to get a good idea of a balanced map. From experience, I can tell you it is not easy to create a balanced map. While the initial concept may be easy to make, there is always some changes that need to be done to the map to make it more balanced. For example, even the default maps, which have been around for ages it seems, are edited from version to version still.

When people criticize your map, as Doc mentioned, try to balance your value of the concept and the other's opinion of balance. Go too far one way and your map won't be balanced as it could be, the other way and you won't be satisfied with your map because it isn't what you intended it to be.

As a note, you can look at some of my maps I've posted in this forum, some of which are in my map pack (which sooner or later will be updated). Although the better source is looking at default maps, you can look at mine as well.
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Hans
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Post by Hans »

Doc Paterson wrote: [Link list]
Thank you. I've read throug most of it, it's very helpfull. I don't claim to have understood everything there, but I'll practise, then read it again and hopefully understand a bit more and so on.
F8 Binds... wrote: Anyways, any major questioning you have can also come at me. Although I don't get on as much as the average player, I can tell you that I likely do have more time than Doc or Becephalus has to answer your questions.
I'll come back to this when I think I have an intelligent question. Most of what I had to ask has already been answered in this forum.
some of which are in my map pack (which sooner or later will be updated)
Where is this? I haven't found an "F8 binds Map Pack" on the extension Server. Maybe I just overlooked it.

Weeksy
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Post by Weeksy »

It is only on the 1.2 addons server. If that's what you're using, just look a bit harder, it's there.
If enough people bang their heads against a brick wall, The brick wall will fall down

Hans
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Post by Hans »

Made some changes to the map. I'd just like to ask, if this goes into the right direction, or if I only made it worse:
(hope i figured the map display function out right)
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Could be made into a team map
1 - 6
2 - 5
3 - 4

Without Teams it seems to have a big undead or ork advantage, but I lack experience to figure out where this comes from.

Boucman
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Post by Boucman »

I think hte central castle is a bit too small, you have replaced the keep with an impassable terrain, it would be more fun to replace it with a normal castle... (a giant tree would look good too, but I'm not sure how it would go, blanace wise...)
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F8 Binds...
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Post by F8 Binds... »

I decided to take a deeper look into this map since I have the time, after noticing a couple issues...

#1- There are very few exceptions to mountains being next to villages, even if those are mountain villages. Mountains villages alone aren't that balanced- certain dwarves get an additional 20% added to their defense when on them. Unless crammed in a corner... it's quite unbalancing. The basic concept behind not having mountains next to villages is that it allows knalgans to easily take them... Like a full hp ulfserker taking on an injured spearman, which in the normal case the spearman would win since he would have 30% higher defense. It also allows knalgans to defend villages with ease... If you really have to have villages next to mountains, put the safe type next to that village: Impassable Mountains.

#2- The asthetic doesn't look as great... now, this is a matter of personal preference, but when I look at your map, I see pairs of forests here, mountains there, sand there... instead of a flowing landscape. A little too splotchy, IMO.

#3- there are a couple issues with first player advantage, or player one being able to grasp more terrain, villages, and thus make player one have an unfair advantage over the other players. For instance- Player one can recruit a gryphon or drake glider on 4,7- if it's quick, it can steal 13,6 , and thus delay player two from taking that village, even if he can surround and kill the scout there- because that makes him use his units to kill yours, wasting precious time taking villages, eventually granting him disadvantage. This applies for player 3 taking player 4's village, and player 5 taking player 6's village as well.

#4- Make sure your terrain is evenly spread out, knalgans seem to have a distinct advantage in the middle. I don't see much there but castle, hills, and mountains.

#5- In general, having lots of villages (except in an FFA, which is utterly more complex) near the center of a map grants P1 advantage. Try to limit it... by either reducing the amount of villages there or granting terrain to overtake those villages to the people that were intended to own them.

Keep up the good work. :)

~F8 Binds...
Proud creator of 4p- Underworld. Fascinated by Multiplayer design and balance.
I am the lone revenant of the n3t clan.

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