Posted on 09/21/04 @ 04:32 PM (updated 02/25/05
Continent is a new random map for AOM, unique in several ways. This is a larger-than-normal map designed primarily for 1 vs. 1 play, although I think it also works well for up to 4 players. It is really designed to be played on the 'large' setting, but you can also play on the 'normal' setting for a slightly smaller map. Details of the map and restrictions in gameplay are as follows.
Continent is designed as a large land-mass surrounded by water, similar in shape to Midgard but big enough to give a very different game experience. The size of the map is the single most important new feature. On 'large' Continent is 600 x 600 tiles (all of these numbers represent a 2 player map); on 'normal' it is 500 x 500 tiles. By way of comparison, Midgard is 353 x 353 on 'large' and 309 x 309 on 'normal'. These changes mean Continent's length and width is 70% larger on 'large', and 60% greater on 'normal' setting. Of course the effect on map AREA is even greater. Midgard on 'large' is 124,609 tiles, while Continent is 360,000 tiles, nearly triple in area. Midgard on 'normal' is only 95,481 tiles, while Continent is 250,000 tiles.
To show how the map size increases with greater number of players, for a 4 player game on 'large', Continent is 824 tiles per side (Midgard is 500), while on 'normal' setting with 4 players Continent is 693 tiles per side (Midgard is 438). Another way to look at the size difference is that playing Continent with 2 players on 'large' is roughly the same size as Midgard for 6 players on 'large'; Continent for 4 players on 'large' is a little bigger than Midgard for 10 players on 'large'.
Because the size of a map affects performance in any multiplayer game, there may be serious problems trying to play this map with a large number of players. I know that ES limited the size of their maps at least in part to allow larger number of players; I don't have the same limitations as ES and have designed this for a limited number of players. This map has been extensively tested on a LAN for 2 players on the large setting with no problems in gameplay or lag. Limited testing for 4 players on a LAN also seemed to work well for me, though with occasional minor dropped resources or features (such as less cliffs or ponds than scripted). I cannot recommend the use of this map for more than four players or for use over the internet as I have not adequately tested it in those circumstances and expect some likely performance problems.
A second feature of Continent is extra settlements at lower player numbers. This map is constructed so that on 'large' there are 5 extra settlements per player for 2 players, but only 4 extra settlements per player for over 2 players. If played at the 'normal' setting there are always only 4 settlements per player. The settlements are of course much more spaced out than on the standard ES maps.
A third feature of Continent is randomly varied terrain patterns. Continent has 15 different patterns of terrains, forests, fauna and decorations to give variation in both appearance and gameplay. Most of these patterns are based on established ES maps (such as Savannah or Midgard), but some others are carefully constructed to give a similarly realistic environment. A few patterns have different lighting such as Alfheim or Anatolia. There are of course appropriate fauna and fish for each different terrain pattern.
A fourth feature of this map is additional randomly chosen geographic elements within each terrain pattern. This is somewhat similar to The Unknown map, with possible ponds, cliffs, mountains, gorges (like in Anatolia), oases, or central lake or forest. The size and shape of forests, ponds, cliffs can randomly vary, and of course all of these correspond to the appropriate terrain patterns.
A fifth feature is the wide variety of food types, appropriate for each terrain pattern. The amounts and types of food sources can randomly vary. All maps will have at least the minimum amount of food that is found on the standard ES maps - most will have at least a little more food, though is is more widely spread out on the larger map. For example there is a small chance of no starting berries or chickens (like on Watering Hole), compensated for by extra amounts of other food sources. There is also a small chance of double chickens or berries or of increased herdable or huntable food on every map. Fishing is always a desirable method of food collection on this map, as fish are fairly evenly scattered around the continent. There may also be a few fish in any central lake, though none are found in the small ponds that may be on a map.
A sixth feature of Continent is relic placement. One of my favorite features in all of the ES maps is the way relics are sometimes placed in 'ruins' on Alfheim. So on Continent I have created a variety of 'locations' for relics to be placed. These sites can look like various ruins or 'holy' or 'high' places. Continent has 2 relics per player for up to 4 players, but only one relic per player if over 4 players. The relic locations will be appropriate to the random terrain patterns. Like Alfheim, because there can be failed atempts to place the 'ruin' on the map by the game engine, occasionally relics end up placed on ordinary land just like on all other maps. In gameplay, seeing an empty 'ruin' location tells you that an enemy got there first!
Of course, the most important feature of any map is gameplay. On Continent there is a change from the usual gameplay caused by these unique features. The size of the map means first of all that scouting out the resources and enemy is a harder, longer task. It is more difficult to manage an early rush because of the size of the map and the increased distance from the enemy. It is a little more likely for the game to last until Mythic Age. Booming is more of a possibility with this map. The incrased settlements make larger populations possible, if you survive long enough to claim them. It may be a little more likely that you can survive the loss of a settlement because there may still be others to claim. It is a little harder to take out enemy fishing without a group of forward docks due to the increased distance between players. Many times, the increase in 'free' food, combined with a few fishing docks, makes it possible to put off farming for a much longer time.
I invite you to download and try out the map. You should do a number of test starts on 'visible' at the recommended settings to checkout the randomness of the map's appearance and various other features.
Note that the standard AI does not play this map well, never taking to the seas. It does not seem to handle the increased distances very well either. I have not tested it with alternative AIs. As mentioned above, it is designed for competitive play between humans.
This map will work for either AOM or the expansion pack.
After writing over 100 RMS for AOKTC and SWBG, this is my first map for AOM. I was 'burned out' with RMS for a while, and have had too many real-life commitments to be active in the community. I actually first started this map a couple years ago during the 'beta testing' phase of AOM, but never returned to it until 3 months ago. Hopefully you will find it worth the wait. Thanks to ES for the game and the RMS examples I used to learn scripting. Thanks to those who have posted guides for RMS scripting. Thanks to the many scriptors whose works I have examined to see how certain features were done.
NOTE - CONTINENT WAS UPDATED 2/25/05 TO ELIMINATE A BUG RELATED TO SETTLEMENT BUILDING ON THE SNOW/ICE TERRAIN PATTERN
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the random map have plenty of resources and some all good eye candy. All players start out one large continent, and there are some relics you can claim. This is a very very good random map.
A+ for this random map
I love this map but it has a bug that can be annoying. When it's an ice/show map some settlements can't be build cause there's ice under them. I hope you'll fix it!
Also, there could be more gold on it. In big battles with a lot of players the gold runs out quickly.
Additional Comments:Takes forever bacause of gigantic map size. If you have 256 RAM or less I wouldn't recommend it; it runs too slow. And if you have an old fart PC I'd especially not recommend it because it crashes a lot.
You've done it again! This map is really great, everybody should like it, unless they're the navy-type =) Big, and full of resources! Again, i played a 2v2 offline, in my map there was a big forest in the middle and lots of different types of food, well done, just like you said, if you're right, which you are,, this is another total random map! Now, let's get to it:
Absolutely stunning! Lot's of resources and space to play anyway you like! Rush, walling etc., perfect!
Unlike arctic isles, this is random, but it's still very very balanced! The different players have the same position in the corners, and there are lots of food etc. available to them!
As you said, based on the midgard map, but again, the relics! Really well done, again totally random!
Map design: 2.0
The relics have a nice touch, but the map ofcourse is too balanced AKA plain (not that way, just no waterfalls etc.) to get a high score =(
Again, this is a random map, i won't be taken it into the review.
Total: 3.8 (4.0)
Well done! Keep it up!
(Insert Rating analysis here)
I loved this map. Good work whoever made it!!!