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Old 11-01-2004, 08:01   #1
Skyfish
 
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Default New CONQUEST How to Make a Map (with pix)

The first step in making a map is to create a .biq file in the Editor.
Below you will find a copy of DrAlimentado's "bible" on how to set up the map in the Editor. I have added some screenies and modified some comments. It is important to follow these basic steps.

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Creating a Map :
It really isn't that difficult, more a bit fiddly, but once you've done a couple it becomes much much easier, and you'll be able to throw out maps with ease
And I apologise in advance if it's a bit long-winded but I thought I would err on the side of caution and do it in lots of small steps

Creating the Scenario File

First thing is to create the map, you need to use Civ3QEditor from your Conquest file.

Create a map however you want, I normally hit generate map a few times until I find a map which I like the look of - or you can handcreate a map, or even use a pre-made map from somewhere else. It is a good idea to check that the map is somewhat balanced.
Obvious stuff is strategic resources (if a player has no hope of getting iron and horses for example then it may be a short game...), terrain types (ie. grassland/bg/plains etc.), bonuses, and proximity to other civs. I often count how many tiles separate the closest AIs to both human players, I find it important that there is no unbalance there.

This is not to say that starts should have equal amounts of all these things, but no-one wants a desert/jungle start whilst their opponent gets a 3 cow meadow!
An important tool in looking at balancing starts and distributing start locations is to always work with a zoomed out view : at least 50% or even 25% if you have good eyes, also using DrA's graph mod helsp spotting Luxes and Resources much more easily, its a must in my opinion.


Using the 50% view

Once you have distributed the starts, zoom back into 100% view and take a very close look at both human starts. Its important that the starts are balanced in both shields and food. Beware of the Agricultural trait, remember that some Luxes provide food or shields , others only gold.
Take extra care in having equal starts in the natural 21 tiles of both start position, after that only an approximate evaluation of the surrounding lands for both players is needed, beware however of a land with many more food bonuses than another (I usually quickly count cattles, wheat and games for both first ring sites and balance them, BGs and rivers are also powerful and need to be taken into account).

The number of luxes in the proximity of the humans is essential as well I find and there is now the Ivory issue : either give it to both players or none please.
Finally the Resources, by experience it is better to give players both Iron and Horses because it is very difficult ot predict how an AI will settle, deciding to put one of those resources far away from both players can still result in unbalance because one AI will settle this resource and/or be very strong and another oen will not do it or/and be weak. You can take more risks/have more fun with other resources. I usually dont even look at Modern resources but pay extra attention to Salpeter and Coal.
In Pelago maps it is better to have abundance of resources rather than scarcity, there have been PBEMs abandoned (!!!) after 200+ turns because of resource distribution issues
That is of course a real nightmare for us MapMakers so for Pelago maps it is strongly recommended to have your .biq file checked by another Map Maker before you make a .sav out of it. Just as a security Players will always rather start a few days later but have a guaranteed map than start ASAP and have to abandon after many turns.

Oh, and another consideration I make is the AI starts. I will usually make sure at least some of the AI players also get decent starts, you don't want the human players to just walk over the AI either

Normally you will assign the starting positions to specific civs for the human players, you can leave the other (computer player) starts as "any start" or also assign them to specific civs as needed. To assign a start position right-click on the player-start and select reassign, this presents the Set Tile Owner Dialog, set the player-start to the desired player (Player 1 etc). Do this for all starting positions. The attached picture does not show this btw, just make sure to assign by player number.


Reassign Starting Position

Now you need to set the player Civs and difficulty levels for the map, goto the scenario tab and select "Custom player data" - this will enable the player properties dialog.


Enabling Player properties


Now the player properties Icon on the toolbar is enabled, click it to display the dialog;


Player Properties Icon

Assign the right Civ for each human player (for example Player 1 plays Rome, Player 5 plays Greeks etc.)

For each player you must set the correct difficulty level. If you leave it at the default setting of 'any' it will be set to Chieftan for that player! You must leave difficulty to "Any" for the AI players. This will be set when the map is generated from the scenario.


Player Properties Dialog

In the same Player Data screen, check the "Human Player" box for *both* players


Human player

Also you need, to check the "Skip 1st Turn" box for each AI, very important.

Skip 1st Turn

If you need to change the difficulty settings goto the scenario tab and select "Custom rules" this enables the Rules dialog. click the Edit button on the Toolbar to bring the custom rules dialog up to the screen. Under the Difficulty Levels Tab you can change the number of extra start units the AI receives, start unit 1 is extra settlers, start unit 2 is extra workers. SO the number you see in that box in the number of EXTRA units on top of the normal 1 starting units (i.e if you set it to 0, the AI will still have 1 starting settler or 1 starting worker)

AI Difficulty Level Settings


If you need to add units (for example if a 'deity light plus' start is required) then under the map tab select 'Set Active player' and set the player, then click the 'Select unit' Icon and choose which unit to add. Note - the AI's normal quota of extra units are automatically added according to the difficulty settings in Custom rules - you only need to add extra units for the human players!


Adding extra units

Once everything is set then save the .biq file with a suitable name in your Scenarios folder.
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Old 11-01-2004, 08:41   #2
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Now that your map is created, here is how to create a save file for it that you can post for the players to use.

This is purposely very basic step by step, it hardly needs any comments.

In the main C3C menu, click the Multiplayer option and choose Play By Email :


PBEM screen]

From the "Game Type"menu, choose "PBEM" then immediately set up the LEVEL of the game before anything else, then *VERY IMPORTANT* check that un-needed options are not chosen (mainly "AI respawn on", "Acc. Prod." and "culturally linked starts") also Preserve Random Seed should be on, then go to the Game Mode menu and choose Scenario


Scenario

Now on the left side you will see the settings appear as "Custom", click the RENAME button and enter the name of player 1, it Civ should appear automatically !
If it does not, there is a problem in the .biq file.

For Player 2, choose "Add Human Player" and enter the name of the second human, its civ should also be automatically chosen.
Then for the rest of the AIs, click "Computer" and either it will be chosen automatically or leave "Random" if requested by players.
It is generally not a good idea to choose the AI civs in that screen as you have no control over *where* they will settle.
One player could end up with all agressive civs close to him or a continent could get all Sci civs. Do it in the Editor !


Loading players

Now after checking everything is all right (beware of the Acc Prod/Culturally linked/Random seed options) you can press the LAUNCH button.

The game will start and the Administrative password will be asked,. For now always use "admin" as the admin password !


pw = admin

Then enter a password for Player 1 : always make sure you do enter one or else the player will have no password !
Make it easy to remember, player name or civ.


Dont forget to fill that pw in !

You are now in the game in 4000BC, check that the start corresponds to what you set it up in the Editor
(Tip: to do that I have the Editor with the map open at the same time and toggle from C3C to the Editor with Alt+tab)
VERY IMPORTANT : DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING AT ALL HERE !
Go straight to the "next turn" button and press it :

Next turn button

Choose "Continue" :

Continue

Make sure to enter a password for Player 2 as well !

Dont forget the password !

Now you are in Player 2s start, again check that the start is OK but DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING AGAIN !
Go to the "Next Turn" button and hit it :

Do not touch anything!

Now, do NOT choose Continue but "Save & Exit" and give the game the name of both players and leave the date, "PlayerXvPlayerY, 3950bc" :


Save&Exit

This is the save you will upload in the Map Request thread
And you're done ! Almost...

Once you have this file it is important to go back to the Main screen and open the save from the "Load Game" option,
choose the save just created and open it using the admin pw
(just hit Enter when the games asks you to enter a new pw, it dont matter anymore).
In the game, found the city and immediately join the worker into the city
and check that the second citizen is Unhappy at Emperor level and above.
Then click Continue do the same for the 2nd player.
Click continue again and check that the AIs are at the right level. Their score should be the following :
- Emperor : 50
- DemiGod : 60
- Deity : 70
- Sid : 80 (hehe...)

And you're finished !



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Old 11-01-2004, 08:46   #3
Beam
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Sky!

Just some questions / remarks:

Why set the diff. for the AI? And afaik does the "Skip 1st Turn" box not work.

An easy way of giving extra starting units is doing so in the Player Data screen. They will appear in players' starting location.
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Old 11-01-2004, 09:19   #4
Skyfish
 
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Quote:
quote:Why set the diff. for the AI ?
Just to make sure, its a prevention measure more than anything.

Quote:
quote:"Skip 1st turn" box
True, the option does not prevent the AIs from settling as of now but I believe its a bug that could be resolved soon by Firaxis, lets just take the habit
More importantly, it could prevent the AIs from actually moving their extra units so that's at least that taken away from them !

Quote:
quote:giving extra starting units is doing so in the Player Data screen
Indeed extra units can be given through the Player Data screen however one has to be VERY CAREFUL that the units are well selected.

When using that screen do NOT touch the left part of that screen (called "Starting Units") as units get de-selected
(or always keep the CTRL key pressed if you insist on going into that menu).


Do not go into the left side of the screen

Select the extra units with the "Units" menu, they will be automatically added to the "starting Units" menu (left part of the screen)


Choose the extra units you want from the Unit menu

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