Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Duck_42 » 25 May 2014, 02:32

As some of you may know, I've been working on a "random" map generator for FA http://www.faforever.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=53&t=7018. It still has a ways to go, but it should be possible for me to generate some playable random maps to use in the next GW cycle.

My questions are:
1. Is there any interest in using randomly generated maps for GW?
2. Who do I need to coordinate with?
3. How many maps are needed?
4. What map sizes are needed and how many players should the maps have?
6. Is there a defined list of planet names for the next GW cycle? If so, I can name the maps accordingly.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby pip » 25 May 2014, 09:00

1. There is an interest if the randomly generated maps are of good quality overall and don't look too simplistic compared to hand made ones. However, I'm not sure what would take the longest time : manually finish to the fix the problems reported with the current maps or create new maps randomly generated with parameters that ensure that there won't be problems.

2. Ze_Pilot and maybe Hawkei, Dragonfire and IceDreamer.

3. As for a number, I think around 100-200 maps would be enough if they replace the GW maps whose problems have not been solved. But if the generator provides good enough maps, there can be more planets in GW or several maps per planet. Not sure.

4. I would say something like this : 30% 5x5 maps 1v1, 50% 10x10 2v2 or 3v3 maps, 20% 20x20 3v3 or 4v4.

5. There is a list of names that GW donators chose, don't know where it is or if all names have already been attributed or not. Also, there should be a proper description with each map (even if short), that can maybe be also added randomly (geographical informations).

But overall, if you are skilled enough with the map editor to make a random generator with fully operational maps, maybe it would be a breeze for you to fix some of the problematic maps reported in the spreadsheet that have not been fixed yet. I think it's at least a good start to check the sheet and check the problems some maps have that should be avoided by your generator.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Duck_42 » 02 Jun 2014, 01:49

pip,

Thanks for the reply. I've put together 150 maps from my random map generator (45: 5x5, 75: 10x10, 30: 20x20). I've opened each one in the map editor to verify map balance, traversability, and map aesthetics. I didn't change anything in any of these maps, so all of the maps are 100% computer generated.

Right now I only have about a 30% pass rate for the maps I generate. I end up tossing around 70% because they are either imbalanced, visually unappealing, or otherwise not suitable. Hopefully I can improve that as I work on the map generator some more. <shameless-plug> I could use some help if there are any map creators out there who are interested in this project. Even if you don't know how to program, I can still use some help putting together map themes in the map editor.</shameless-plug>

As for complexity, every one of the maps could be improved some by a human tweaking it (a computer can only go so far). I should note that these maps are not totally symmetric. Some are very asymmetric. To me, part of the appeal is that every map is different. Nonetheless, every one of these maps should be playable and reasonably balanced (mass wise).

If someone can provide me with a list of names (or other information) for these maps, I'll go ahead and incorporate that into the maps. Otherwise, I need to know where to send the maps. Right now, the zipped map pack is 207MB.

Previews of the first 50 maps...
CollageA.jpg
CollageA.jpg (534.85 KiB) Viewed 2459 times

CollageB.jpg
CollageB.jpg (553.05 KiB) Viewed 2459 times
Last edited by Duck_42 on 04 Jun 2014, 04:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Szakalot » 02 Jun 2014, 10:13

Care to post a randomly generated map or two, as a little bit of hype? : )
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Duck_42 » 02 Jun 2014, 13:05

Szakalot,

There are several in the map vault already.

"Verde Delta VI"
"Muritan Epsilon VII"
"Ledan IX"
"Romulus VI"

Keep in mind, the map preview doesn't really do the map justice. You'll want to actually run the map in FA to see what it looks like. I had to write my own map preview generation code, and since my preview is not based on an actual render of the map, it's a bit ugly.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Iszh » 02 Jun 2014, 13:54

Those maps i checked they are all very nice. But three of them are bugged with water level. If you zoom out Map No. 2, 3 and 4 are under water or partly under water. The one i like the most is the first one Green Delta :)

I like the idea of random maps a lot. Even settler 1 (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Die_Siedler) made 1993 had already very very huge and great random maps. I really wonder why random maps are not done anymore. It keeps the game interesting forever nearly. Lots of early games had random map generators. TTdlx, settler, Anno etc.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Szakalot » 02 Jun 2014, 15:30

Usually its because maps were simpler back then; the days of garage-AAA games are long gone ; )

Not to mention the 3D aspect.

I think random maps can be really nice, there is one danger to them in that too many, if too similar, make the whole map experience dilute.

An oldschool-example: 'gameboys' wtih 500 different types of tetris ; )
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Szakalot » 02 Jun 2014, 18:30

Very impressive work!

I wonder, whether its possible to make this generated maps symmetrical along one axis for fair 1v1 gameplay?
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Duck_42 » 02 Jun 2014, 23:40

Iszh,

That's not a bug. Those maps are supposed to be mostly under water (think Roanoke Abyss).


Szakalot,

I think random maps can be really nice, there is one danger to them in that too many, if too similar, make the whole map experience dilute.


Yes. That is a very real concern. Additional map templates and themes would go a long way if helping address that. The themes are really easy to build, but the map templates can be very complex.


I wonder, whether its possible to make this generated maps symmetrical along one axis for fair 1v1 gameplay?


Yes. That would be fairly easy. I'm using geogen (https://code.google.com/p/geogen/) to generate the height map and stratum data. Geogen uses scripts to generate the maps, so if one has the time, one can design just about anything.
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Re: Randomly Generated Maps for GW

Postby Anihilnine » 03 Jun 2014, 03:31

I had thought after you generate the map geo, then you could programatically mirror it along whatever axis. Just need to mirror the heightmap and props and markers (which should probably be a seperate tool because we could use it to fix unfair maps). The heightmap flip would be some sort of gradient blend to avoid a hard edge.

Really nice work .. you should throw in a screenshot or two in your OP .. you would get more interest!
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