Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #38: Planet Generation Part II - Map Setup

Age of Wonders: Planetfall - Dev Diary #38: Planet Generation Part II - Map Setup

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LennartGS

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Hi there, today we take a look at part two of the Procedural Generation.

Let’s first take a look at the default Planet types. The RMG comes with Four Worlds types you can come across in the Star Union which can then be further customized using Quick Settings and Advanced Settings.

The Default Planet types are:

  • Imperial World: A world belonging the fall Star Union that is well suited for recolonization. It contains a well balanced mix or resources and remnants. This is the default scenario.
  • Capital World: These former population hubs are packed with remnants and allow for a more action packed start.
  • Ravaged World: This World Type was heavily hit by the collapse and has more chasms, volcanic terrain and hazards placed in the world make it a harder challenge overall.
  • Frontier World: These world from the edge of the Star Union are more unspoiled by mankind. Its has more open terrain, less landmarks and is suited for empire building from the ground up.

FeralPlanetExplorel.jpg

A flying bug exploring a Feral World down a river (probably encountering other small flying bugs... the bane of a wild life camping). Mostly natural terrain, suited for settling.

CapitalWorld.jpg

Two amazon birds exploring the ruins on this Capital World. The Techno Goth Amazon looks like she might be interested in visiting the techno rave place. The anti-time splitting complex sounds interesting too...

QUICK OPTIONS


Using the quick options player can configure the important feature of their play session.

FeralWorld.jpg


World Size and Number of Players

Planets range from Small to Enormous and Number of Players vary from 2 to 12. (8 Human Players in Multiplayer)

Map setup is closely tied to the Generator. For example, the number of players is a starting point in map generation, there is also a correlation between min and max number of player and min and max planets, to avoid 12 factions starting to close together on a small map for example.

Land Mass Types


The game will ship with three main geography types

  • Pangea Worlds: All players start on a mega continent of varying shapes , surrounded by an ocean containing smaller islands.
  • Continent Worlds: Players start on multiple large land masses, surrounded by smaller islands.
  • Land Worlds: A world with limited water masses All players Water is limited to large lakes and rivers. Mountainous regions are the main separators.
Landtypes.jpg


World Threat Level

World Threat Level determines how powerful the independent forces are on the world map, and how quickly they will get stronger as the game progresses. Lower threat has weaker independent armies, and those armies will not become modded until relatively late in the game. Higher threat has armies start at the same level as normal, but they will gain mods and extra reinforcements much more rapidly than normal. Be careful!

ADVANCED SETTINGS

Advanced settings are spread over multiple tables, unfolded here. You'll have more control over game rules and map generation. Just look at all these sliders and settings!

AdvancedSettings.jpg


Clime Layouts

AoW3 gives control the amount of each clime, but planetfall takes it one step further. In addition, there is control over the general clime distribution across the planet also.

  • Poles: Cold climes are more prevalent towards the northern and southern borders while hot climes are near the center.
  • Patches: Climes are randomly scattered in patches of several sectors.
    Noise: Climes are randomly scattered in patches of single sectors.

CREATING THE PLANET GENERATOR


Every time a map is generated a special .rmg file is created. This contains all the input needed to regenerate that exact same map. When a crash or bug is spotted this .rmg file is used to regenerate that map, this allows carefully going through the code to understand why the bug occurs.

RMG would also output information for the designers. Mostly in the form of statistics (text), but for certain other things it was more helpful to see things at a glance, for example distribution of Supply and Production nodes.

Heatmaps.jpg


Or an overview of which sectors can be colonized, and which cannot, etc, etc.
And so, an entire variety of similar images are used to see if the distributions are as expected.
LotsofHeatmaps.jpg



Modding

The tools allow you to play around further with the RMG than the advanced settings do:
  • Create your own Sectors.
  • Add new clime and overlays
  • Add new structures and pickups
  • Add new player spawn locations / templates
  • Create your own Planet templates
  • Create your own Campaigns
More about Campaigns in a future Dev Journal, but not next week (we have a press event + a national holiday)
 

Ludomancer2

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Th map generation tools look very interesting and powerful. Thank you for the in-depth look!

I can't wait to try community versions of various famous Sci-Fi planets: Arrakis, Trantor, The one with the Unobtanium and the blue cat people... ;)

Ludomancer
 

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I like Having all of those settings.

No world of small (one or two sector) islands?

Also what is "faction invasion" ( in the middle of the settings screens)
 

Snorro Soliman

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Arrakis. Dune. Desert planet. Home of the Spice Melange. A Dune mod fits this game incredibly well. The Amazons are basically Bene Gesserit in Armour anyway;). Thanks for the great dev Diary, very excited!
 

Ridixo

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Good DD, its great to have options.

Enjoy your press event and... Hemelvaartsdag? I am right? Enjoy the week in any case. See you two week from now :)
 

Gyor

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I wonder if the special event next week is the Assembly Spotlight.

Interesting that AOW: PF comes with modding tool right away, that is going to radically boost replayablity right away even before the Expansion packs.

I assume Faction Invasion controls NPC players aggression levels.

I noticed we can even create our own campaigns.

Will Infested World Scenerio that you get with the more expensive preorders a Planet Type or just a Scenerio?
 

nvc for the soul

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Very nice to read. Having many options to control the map generator is imo very important; this keeps the games interesting (I am still playing AOW3 and still got surprised by the nice map layout of the RMG).
Also great to read about modding! I wondered -> is it also possible to mod the Map settings eg. the values of the fields in Advanced Settings? AOW3 has a mod that does this; https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=523178481 - for example, it is nice to play with Superstrong+ Defenders. Playstyle is then so much different than normal settings.
 

Latieon

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I wonder if it's possible to make a full artic, desert or vulcano map, this wasn't possible in AoW:3 because faction had moral-problems with terrains.
Also what is "faction invasion" ( in the middle of the settings screens)
I think it's about how often a NPC faction send armies to you if you are in war with them.
 

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I hope you'll make enough variations of world size. AoW3 was pretty lacking in this part.
 

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The thing that interests me is the question, whether it will be possible (as requested) to set up each (AI) player separately, so that maps can be asymmetric. The AoW RMG is such a powerful tool that it would be a shame if this iteration would not allow individual starting conditions.
 

Snorro Soliman

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I wonder....for future content(or mods), could this powerfull toolset be used to created Habitat maps or Ringworld Maps or worlds with unique prevailing conditions?
Global unique conditions or combat modifiers being in play, or unique restrictions or challenges would add imensly to immersion and replayability.
Image:
Space: units are swifter in zero g space, but may be instakilled by being pushed off the 'ground'? and A special universal mod is Always applied to infantry allowing them to enter deep space, limiting options for moddability of early units?
A shattered world: all combats take place in with unstable tectonics and clouds of ash, obscuring visibility, reducing hit chances and sudden shifts of terrain occuring during combat?
Pulsar Star: Screws up shields, randomizing them each combat round?
Dyson Sphere surface: many energy structures across the strategic map, and a map completely covered in metal and arcane machinery?

Would such things be possible (and more importantly, fun?)
 

Rubidium

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I wonder....for future content(or mods), could this powerfull toolset be used to created Habitat maps or Ringworld Maps or worlds with unique prevailing conditions?
Global unique conditions or combat modifiers being in play, or unique restrictions or challenges would add imensly to immersion and replayability.
Image:
Space: units are swifter in zero g space, but may be instakilled by being pushed off the 'ground'? and A special universal mod is Always applied to infantry allowing them to enter deep space, limiting options for moddability of early units?
A shattered world: all combats take place in with unstable tectonics and clouds of ash, obscuring visibility, reducing hit chances and sudden shifts of terrain occuring during combat?
Pulsar Star: Screws up shields, randomizing them each combat round?
Dyson Sphere surface: many energy structures across the strategic map, and a map completely covered in metal and arcane machinery?

Would such things be possible (and more importantly, fun?)
If we want to go that way, we could also consider "Tidally Locked": half the map is cold biomes, half the map is hot biomes, with a sliver of nice terrain (and maybe more ruins/etc.?) in the middle.
 

Lascha

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I can quickly answer some questions:
* Islands maps. No, sadly. In terms of quality and especially balance it's not where I want it to be, but is perhaps an area to improve later on. Note: It can be enabled through mods in its current state.
* Full arctic, arid, etc. maps can be using the sliders in advanced settings. Note: that some special sector definitions only appear in certain climes.
* The advanced settings for random map are to some extent modifiable through mods, e.g. the dropdowns for map sizes (and map types) expand as new ones are added. Same for overlay/clime sliders. It's even possible to lock the player count to specific values.
* Asymmetric player positions can be created through player position templates, but can be some work to introduce enough variety.
 

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What I mean with asymmetric player positions is a way to have different levels of "readiness" - a simulation of some factions being already on planet for some time. The game basically simulates a simultaneous landing of all players. It would be nice to simulate different "advancedness" (that is, you play, say, Dvar, and the Vanguard AI and the Amazon AI have made planetfall some time before). In practise this would mean individual player settings for:
a) starting units
b) starting resources
c) starting "technology level" (in practise probably the number of pre-researched techs)
d1) number of starting towns (with the existing system this MIGHT not be valid or being a simple decision between 1/2/3. but possibly
d2) number of Sectors already established for starting town.

This would allow to configure maps where all or at least part of the AI players had a more or less distinct headstart. It would also allow to configure maps with an already somewhat established dominant power.

In my opinion this would massively increase the variety and diversity of random maps to create (not to mention that this would increase the options to raise difficulty for human vs. AI play).

In MP games this would allow to play with "handicaps" (you could give weaker players kind of a headstart - I'm sure the community would work out a handicap system).
 

BlackPrince

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It's so tempting to go and poke civ6 devs with this DD, a sadist would do it. Brb

I like Continent Worlds but of course it depends if the A.I understands how to invade over the sea.
It knew how to do the naval invasions in AoW3.

You'll have more control over game rules and map generation. Just look at all these sliders and settings!
Can I entirely turn off Teleporters? They were pain in the ass in previous AoW games.
 

Tel

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If the planet size restricts the number of players, it would make sense to have the size dropdown listed above the number of players dropdown so that you choose size first, rather than having the game change the number of players you selected if you pick a planet size that doesn't allow it.

(Having your number of players selection restrict the planet size list doesn't seem right to me.)
 

Lyesmyth

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is clime as important as it is in aow3? especiely after morale update having correct clime and faliag could mean double the income. I kinda like it in aow but i think it would be super silly for sc fi to be so dependend on it