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Old June 2, 2003, 21:16   #1
GarthP
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Making the map size bigger than 256x256
Is there any way to make the map size bigger than 256 x 256. I tried various sizes from the 'Set Custom Size' option, from both the Start new game as well as when I'm making my own scenario, but it won't make a map that is bigger than the 256 x 256 limit.

Is there a setting in the .INI file, or the ACEdit prog, or whatever that can let me make the bigger maps?

Thanks for whatever help I can get.

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Old June 2, 2003, 23:48   #2
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alpha.txt WORLDSIZE
Look for this section in alpha.txt, following #WORLDBUILDER:
Quote:
#WORLDSIZE
5
Tiny planet|(early conflict), 24, 48
Small planet, 32, 64
Standard planet, 40, 80
Large planet, 44, 90
Huge planet|(late conflict), 64, 128
You can edit the existing lines and/or add lines to that section specifying map sizes. If you add lines, be sure to change the number!

In my edited alpha.txt that I use for my own games (but not for playtesting other people's factions), that section looks like this:
Quote:
#WORLDSIZE
7
Tiny 48x40 planet, 48, 40
Small 64x52 planet, 64, 52
Standard 80x64 planet, 80, 64
Large 96x80 planet, 96, 80
Huge 128x104 planet, 128, 104
Globe 180x180 planet, 180, 180
Giant 256x208 planet, 256, 208
If you want to make even bigger Gigantic maps 300 squares or more each way, you'll need a fairly recent fast CPU, plenty of RAM, and a decent graphics card with a goodly chunk of its own dedicated RAM.

I've tried creating and editing maps larger than the 256x208 Giant in my alpha.txt, but it takes way too long to process terrain changes. If I let it create a random map and go right into a game without editing the map, it is still far too slow.

My system is an AMD K6-266 with 32MB RAM and a 2MB graphics card. The game runs at a reasonable pace without a hitch. I often have other applications running concurrently. I suspect on a newer faster system with more RAM it would work at an acceptable speed.
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Old June 21, 2003, 19:02   #3
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The game won't produce a map bigger than 256 x 256 no matter what you put in as the parameters (eg, put in 1028 x 1028, and it will proceed to draw a map, but count the tiles horizontally and vertically, they're maxed out at 256 x 255)

It was MariOne who first did the research on this

G.
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Old June 21, 2003, 20:15   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Googlie
The game won't produce a map bigger than 256 x 256 no matter what you put in as the parameters (eg, put in 1028 x 1028, and it will proceed to draw a map, but count the tiles horizontally and vertically, they're maxed out at 256 x 255)

It was MariOne who first did the research on this

G.
((sigh))

Oh well, thanks for the responses, all.

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Old June 25, 2003, 01:15   #5
gwillybj
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Yes, You Can
Here's proof that I know what I'm talking about when I say you CAN make maps bigger than 256x256, because I'VE DONE IT!

By selecting Custom Size and typing in higher numbers , NO, you cannot get a bigger map. BUT, as I said in my post above, you CAN do it with a simple edit of alpha.txt!

Attached to this post is an edited alpha.txt (52kb) with only three changes that I just used to make a 360x360 map with rows numbered 0-359 and columns numbered 0-719. That map (map360sq.MP) is the 319 kb "map360sq.zip" attached to the next post.

The edits:

Under #WORLDBUILDER, this line:

3,6,12,18,24,36 ; Ratio (Continent size ratios)

Then the next section looks like this:

#WORLDSIZE
6
Tiny planet|(early conflict), 24, 48
Small planet, 32, 64
Standard planet, 40, 80
Large planet, 44, 90
Huge planet|(late conflict), 64, 128
Giant planet|(over 256x256), 360, 360


Nothing else was changed in alpha.txt. When you go into the scenario editor and choose to make a new map, you will get the full list of choices: Tiny, Small, Standard, Large, Huge, Giant, and Custom Size. When you choose Giant, you WILL get a 360x360 map with rows numbered 0-359 and columns numbered 0-719.
Attached Files:
File Type: txt alpha.txt (51.8 KB, 12 views)
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Old June 25, 2003, 01:23   #6
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This is the map. I had the random map generator do it and I did not modify it, so the terrain is lousy and the landmarks are in stupid places. BUT it is, indeed, 360x360, with rows numbered 0-359 and columns numbered 0-719.
Attached Files:
File Type: zip map360sq.zip (318.7 KB, 10 views)
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Old June 25, 2003, 13:42   #7
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WHOOO HOOOO!! Gwillybj's solution *works*! Altho' the game runs slower now, but that is because of the increased map size.

But that's no prob with me, cause my main goal was to increase that map size.

Thanks dude! :-)

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Old June 25, 2003, 20:02   #8
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gwillybj: What does the #WORLDBUILDER do? Is it needed for bigger maps ... or maybe smaller ones too?!?

And... is there a limit to map size???
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Old June 26, 2003, 02:33   #9
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Quote:
Rubin asked
What does the #WORLDBUILDER do? Is it needed for bigger maps ... or maybe smaller ones too?!?
The #WORLDBUILDER section is needed for all maps. Those settings are used by the Random Map Generator:

Quote:
; WORLDBUILDER
; These parameters control the finer points of the world builder,
; along with the player's "custom planet" selections. Values are
; automatically scaled based on the size of the world.
The pre-set values in that section are pretty much what you want to leave alone. I tried various changes in a lot of them but never got the results I was hoping for, so I put them all back to the original. Since I sometimes spend a week or more tweaking the random-generated maps anyway, I didn't see any reason to have a fit about the pre-sets.

Quote:
And... is there a limit to map size???
I don't know.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I suspect your own computer's hardware and your own personal patience is what will limit your map size. The unzipped size of that 360x360 map I attached above is 5.44MB (5,577KB)! The 256x208 map I've been using in my recent games is 2.23MB (2,293KB). Compare those numbers to the Huge Map of Planet at 356KB, and the original Map of Planet at 141KB.
I can't play on a larger map because my PC just doesn't have the hardware for it. When I get my hands on a new system with 512MB or a full Gig of RAM and a 128 or 256-MB video card, I'll definitely experiment with more massive maps.
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Last edited by gwillybj; June 27, 2003 at 08:18.
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Old June 26, 2003, 02:48   #10
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The in-game formulas that include WORLDSIZE will be affected: Technology Discovery Rate (slower) and Beaurocracy Drones (fewer).
You will face increased inefficiency at your far-flung bases.
There is a warning somewhere in the game documentation that the pathfinder algorithms might have a hard time with larger maps, but I can't say that I've noticed anything to verify or oppose that.

If you do try to play on one of these monsters, I suggest TechStag ON and/or Transcend OFF, or you'll Transcend without ever physically encountering all other factions. You'll get all their CommFreqs in the usual ways, but your units might never cross paths with their units.
In several games without TechStag, I had Gatling Lasers and PlasmaSteel Armor before ever seeing another faction's units. In my own games, I halved the technology discovery rate in alpha.txt #RULES:

50, ; Technology discovery rate as a percentage of standard

This combined with TechStag slows down at least that part of the game.
I also changed the ending year in alpha.txt:

3300 ; Normal ending year for lowest 3 difficulty levels
3100 ; Normal ending year for highest 3 difficulty levels


Without that change, nobody got much beyond Fusion Reactors, Plasma Shard, and Probability Sheath.

All of those changes together make for the epic games I want that take a month to play to the end instead of two or three days. The tides of fortune ebb and flow nicely. Diplomacy is more fickle. BUT, just because the map is bigger and the game longer, you are NOT forced to abandon all common strategies and be stuck in Builder mode. You can still do ALL the same things you do now, only more often, longer, and you have a little time to think things through. That's how I have fun.

Here's the 256x208 map (229KB zip, 2.23MB/2,293KB unzipped) I've been using since January and having a lot of fun:
Attached Files:
File Type: zip mp212311512.zip (228.6 KB, 16 views)
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Old June 29, 2003, 20:19   #11
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Re: Yes, You Can
Quote:
Originally posted by gwillybj
Here's proof that I know what I'm talking about when I say you CAN make maps bigger than 256x256, because I'VE DONE IT!
G:

Indeed !!

Although ic an load (and edit) your 360 x 360 (720) map, and I've changed my Humungous Map from 256 x 256 to 360 x 360 (and added the Worldbuilder 36 line), my system hangs when I try to start a game with the newly defined Humungous Map (it's win XP so I get the dreaded "do you want to send Microsoft a message" message - yeah, right.)

I'll persevere, as obviously you and others have been able to start a game on these supermaps.

(Have you tried a Map of Planet on this size?)

G.

Edit: Hmm - I can get a 520 x 520 map (I inserted 36, 48 in the Worldbuilder) when I choose "Customize random map", and the game runs fine, just when i choose my "Humungous Map" tab - it used to work with my 256 x 256 maps - I see I'll need to tinker more.

G.

Last edited by Googlie; June 29, 2003 at 21:46.
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Old July 4, 2003, 05:46   #12
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G!
Thanks for looking!

Quote:
Originally posted by Googlie
my system hangs when I try to start a game with the newly defined Humungous Map
Those larger maps are humungous as to file size and RAM use. If you're short of RAM or your Swapfile is limited, that would cause a freeze, because there aren't enough resources available to hold everything (the program, the map, the bases, the units, etc.)

Quote:
(Have you tried a Map of Planet on this size?)
I've not done anything of any serious nature with a larger size, other than prove (originally for myself) it can be done, because of my PC's limited hardware. I suspect someone will try to adapt a massive Map of Planet, though. I hope they'll share it

Quote:
just when i choose my "Humungous Map" tab - it used to work with my 256 x 256 maps
Does it work if you put it back?


To All: When defining a new map size selection, be sure of these items:

Under #WORLDBUILDER, this line:
3,6,12,18,24,36 ; Ratio (Continent size ratios)
must have the same number of values as the number of options in the next section:

#WORLDSIZE
6
<-- Must match number of values in the "Ratio" line under #WORLDBUILDER and the number of selections to follow. (Anyone who has added new predesigned units will notice the similarity to the need to change the value of the number preceding the list of units.)
Tiny planet|(early conflict), 24, 48
Small planet, 32, 64
Standard planet, 40, 80
Large planet, 44, 90
Huge planet|(late conflict), 64, 128
Giant planet|(over 256x256), 360, 360


Also, I found I can't add more lines to this because I have to run the game at 800x600 and the top of the list gets pushed off the top of the screen so if I know I want a Giant planet of different dimensions, I have to change it in alpha.txt before starting the program.
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Old October 19, 2003, 06:54   #13
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Old October 19, 2003, 23:36   #14
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The real question is why do you need a map larger than 256 x 256? Isn't that large enough? Or do you just want to do it because you couldn't before?
I mean, if you want your computer to hang forever and wield ungodly numbers of units and bases, then sure, by all means.
I recommend playing with tech stagnation on because by the end, you'll be getting 5 techs a turn with science at 0%... what with the hundreds of bases you can fit on a continent.
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Old October 20, 2003, 02:10   #15
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Simply put: Because we can.

My long version:

I am exclusively a solo-player who likes epic games. How long they take to play through to the full and final conclusion is inconsequential to me. I never abort a game just because it's "in the bag". To me, that's like not reading the last chapter of a book (or not watching the last 15 minutes of a movie) because I've already figured out "who done it". I play for fun and short games are not fun for me, which is why I don't like FPS or RTS. Real Life puts enough pressure on me; I don't need my recreation to be a burden, too, with the game pushing me to hurry things along.

I tend to be an empire-builder first , leaning toward hybridization. I strongly dislike overlapping base radii. The map size I use (256x208) allows plenty of room for all factions to grow to a realistic size before the border wars begin , instead of the early balkanization that occurs on typical multiplayer maps
I'm forced to use a size below 256x256 because of my computer's limited hardware (AMD k6 266, 6GB HD, 32MB RAM, and only 2MB of video RAM). With a bigger hard drive and more RAM of both types, I'd be testing monster maps of 500 and more, and investigating what other modifications might be possible to go along with those larger maps, such as increased base radius, increased territory limits, and such

I always use Tech Stagnation, and I changed this value in alpha.txt:
"100, ; Technology discovery rate as a percentage of standard"
to a lower number (50) to slow research even more, and I changed this value:
"2500 ; Normal ending year for highest 3 difficulty levels"
to a higher number (3100) to avoid premature retirement (it does not completely prevent retirement).

As for the portion of the game wherein the wait between turns tends to lengthen, that is what a good book is for . Something by Henry Kissinger, or Friedrich Nietzsche, or some Science Fiction. Or just listen to an album of Ravel or Vivaldi, or Enigma or some chill or trance, or open the window and listen to nature do its thing, and relax for a bit
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