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wowgetoffyourcellphone

Mapping: Ideas to make Steppe maps interesting?

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I was wonder if anyone had any ideas of how to make Steppe biome maps intersting? Trying to make Scythia map.


I look at Steppe photographs and it look like there is just grass and small hills and that's it. So, I think terrain blending may be the key to making it look interesting. Also, perhaps only having 1 part of the map be "steppe" and the other part of the map being mountainous or hilly or must have a river or gully (like the Syria map). Flowering plants also seem to be a lot present. We will need more models for flowering plants in the game to make the map interesting. Also, large groups of flowers for nice ground cover. It would also be funn to have tumbleweed, aka Russian Thistle tumbling around.

 

screenshot0647.thumb.jpg.2610b39c3576e3b

Above you see a map example, where the right side, 60% is the steppes rolling hills and flat grasslands, but to make it more interesting the West 40% has a shallow river and mountains. I am think of putting most of the wood on the West with the mountains. Farmland would go near the river. Trees on the East(right) mostly follow shallow gullies and streams or around watering holes. Patches of shrubs and bushes with a couple of dead trees can be the rest of the wood on the Steppe section of map.

 

I think the key for gameplay of Steppe maps will be a feature that is not yet implementedherding. On steppe maps, the Corral will become one of the most useful buildings for player. These 2 things are made for each other. On Steppe maps, we can design parameters for resource (something the team should do anyway for all biome, but I am focus on Steppe npw), major resource be herding animals: Goats, Sheep, Cattle, Horses, Camels. And then of course hunting resource: Saiga Antelope (aka Saiga tatarica), European Bison, Corsac Fox, Wild Asses, and others. Wolves should be a major nuisance. And there could be major caches of treasures, treasure troves. So, scouting is very very important on Steppes map, mainly to grab herd animals, steal herd animals, and finding treasures. On team match, trading absolutely necessary.

steppes_asia_animals72.jpg

Something like this for resource distribution:

20,000 Wood each player (this is low, I think for a map). Over half of wood is in low-yield shrubs and bushes. Other half in trees. Only 5,000 wood found in or near player start position.

5,000 Berries or fruit trees each player (2-3,000 in or near starting positions). This is high.

8,000 Food huntables each player, 1000 inside start area (for instance, 10 deer x 100 food each), 2000 just outside start area, rest scattere around map, usually near water.

8,000 food herdables each player. Distributed in herds around the map. 1 herd inside start areas. Must go in search of the rest.

Metal and Stone are pretty much distribute even across map. 5000 metal and 5000 stone in player start position. 5000 metal and 5000 stone just outside territory (easy to find), then the rest scattered around map evenly.

2 Mercenary Camps per player, one just outside start position, and 1 much farther away, maybe near a water source like a rocky stream or watering hole.

Farmlands only near water source like stream or river, away from start position of players. Farming should be difficult..

Falcons and Vultures would be nice. "Hawk" currently in the game is huge, the size of a Golden Eagle. Should be rename to Golden Eagle.

 

screenshot0646.thumb.jpg.663d59fa772c431

A closeup of potential start area. You see most of wood is shrubs and bushes. They are low-yield at only 50 wood per bush. You see the herd of herdables inside start base. You see herds of 10+ huntables nearby. You see a lot of berry bushes, but they are not all clump together in one berry orgy. Stone and metal are spread out, not tucked next to the Civic Center. There are wolves at the periphery. Wolves should be a constant danger to solitary units wandering nearby.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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7 minutes ago, Lion.Kanzen said:

Use some Gaia structures for capturing, is that possible?

Could be possible to give these structure some kind of global aura to simulate a bonus. But do you have any ideas? Right now, I just have Mercenary Camps for the gaia capturables.

Also, keep in mind Steppes should be relatively deserted. Not many signs of habitation.

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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Those rocks and mines are drop offs from retreating glaziers so deep drag marks on the south sides might break the visual monotony ;)    of a featureless steppe also wind erosion is the main sculptor in this environment.

Enjoy the Choice :)

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2 hours ago, Loki1950 said:

Those rocks and mines are drop offs from retreating glaziers so deep drag marks on the south sides might break the visual monotony ;)    of a featureless steppe also wind erosion is the main sculptor in this environment.

Enjoy the Choice :)

That take time, that is I'm not map maker, for me is boring, but create the concept ( by map) can be funny. I like give  Gaia hostile units and some treasures in a Gaia citadel ( in middle of map.)

That remember a old map... That I make, was only playable than beautiful.

d4gIoMI.png

Edited by Lion.Kanzen

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Yep, not much wood on the steppes - that's why the nomads (Mongols, etc.) learned to make laminated bows from horn, sinew, and bone, with just a thin strip of wood as the core.

 

I agree that farming should be difficult, but there should be large herds of animals for meat.

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Most fires where fueled with dried dung from all those herd animals and what wood there was is used for yurt frames and carts. The steppes are not treeless just very rare mostly where there is water either on the surface or underground.So any wood on a steppe map is a strategic resource that could provide conflict points.

Enjoy the Choice :)  

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On 24.3.2016 at 11:35 PM, Loki1950 said:

also wind erosion is the main sculptor in this environment.

For random maps a very simple form of wind erosion can be applied with globalSmoothHeightmap giving it an asymmetric smoothMap:

simple_wind_erosion.jpg

erosion_demo_simple_wind.zip

More complex forms of erosion are planned ;)

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Nice FeXOR.

What if we can make grass have "waves" in the wind? LIke the wind ripples through it?

steppe1.jpg

 

Could make large areas of grass look more aetheticaly pleasing than static grass terrain.

 

On 2016-03-25 at 8:56 AM, greenknight32 said:

I agree that farming should be difficult, but there should be large herds of animals for meat.

Farming could be "difficult" if farmland is implemented. Steppes would simply not have the farmland terrain.

 

On 2016-05-10 at 6:03 PM, stanislas69 said:

What would replace wood supplies though ?

I think choppable shrubs. Also, the map would still have trees, but sparse and clustered around water (like desert maps). So, speaking of wood resource, it would be very similar to desert maps, but the food resource would be different distribution. More berries and animals than desert, but no farmlands.

 

(sorry for triple post, I thought forum would auto-combine them)

Edited by wowgetoffyourcellphone

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17 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

(sorry for triple post, I thought forum would auto-combine them)

Merged them :) The forum does combine posts which are made within one minute, but not any longer than that (there are some cases where one might want to make different posts in the same topic right after one another, and after a certain while it's better to have a new post anyway as edits to existing posts don't mark the thread as unread, just new posts, so there's a risk that combined posts would get missed).

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Something like Grass waving requires many many more grass actors than the rendering engine can currently support (test it yourself in Atlas), but the waving isn't a problem: trees already do it.

To support that many actors we'll need to have some real instancing which is still a bit out of reach.

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