These are the major overall settings that define the resource-placement and map layout.
There are two different settings available: PvP creates a mirrored map layout where the different players are positioned oposite to each other. The mirror types are described later in the section „Voronoi Settings“. Skirmish creates a player-versus-environment layout. This has to be done without mirroring. Each terrain type defines different opponent units. A Skirmish map will also create a number of scipts that get placed in you Battleforge\randommap\<MapName>\script folder
This specifies the setting of the map. There is a large number of totally different settings available, ranging from jungle over lava to frozen areas.
This field is used to create different instances of the generated map. The map generator supports 32 bit seeds (4294967296 variations), but the Battleforge game server will provide only 16 bit seeds (65536 variations) – which will be sufficient anyway.
This defines the distance from the map border that will be used by the generator to shape the terrain and to mark playable area. This means, if a value of 96 is entered here, the player will later have an area of 320x320 grid points to play on a 512x512 map. Skirmish maps adjust their map border automatically to always have enough space to place the database-controlled amount of distinct territories.
Select the amount of players that will play the map later. For each player, some start resources, a playerstart and the correct team settings will be created.
This is an experimental combobox that will change the topology of the map completely. While outdoor-maps are open-ranged, standard Battleforge-like, dungeon-maps have the map topology encarved in the landscape.
This field is only available for skirmish maps. There are ten different difficulties available, each having large impact to how many enemy creatures being created, how the territories get linked to each other, how hard the enemy creatures will be and so on. In Battleforge, this value is defined by the game server – for the Editor, this can be used to simulate these server-based difficulties.
The voronoi partition is a spacial index map that is used during map creation process to creates pathes, place territories, paint textures and so on. Thus it is the very foundation of the whole map generation process. For more information about the Voronoi concept, check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voronoi_diagram.
Create new and Save to target File
This checkbox changes if the map generator creates a new voronoi partition while generating the map or loads an existing one. If it is creating a new one (checkbox is checked), the filename specified in Voronoi Target file will be used to save the result. If the box is not checked, the file name specified will be loaded. Loading an existing file might be faster if lots of sites exist in the partition.
Voronoi Source File/Vornoi Target File
Select a filename from your harddisk that will be used to load a voronoi partition or to save the partition during map generation. The field gets cleared if „cancel“ is pressed in the file browser widget.
The more voronoi sites the map generator has, the more organic the map will look as a result. If there are too few voronoi sites available, processes like path generation might fail because there are always full sites assigned to territories, pathes, blocking areas etc.
This combobox needs to match the game type settings. Only PvP maps must be mirrored, Skirmish maps must not be mirrored. Axis mirrored maps look more like inkblots in a folded paper while point mirrored maps will have a more natural look.
Possible map sizes will be 256x256, 512x512 and 1024x1024. Currently only 512x512 sized maps will be used in the game, but while it will be quite difficult to fit a layout onto a small 256 dimensioned map, 1024 might be a got idea if you want to try something really big.
The values that can be adjusted here are very deep in the map generation process – it is very easy to enter values that will make the successful creation of a map impossible. If it happened that a bad configuration prevent the generator from successfully generating maps anymore, you can delete the settings in the File „My Documents\ToolFramework\ToolFrameworkConfig.xml“. Its safe to delete the whole section from <MapGenerator> to </MapGenerator> - all values will be factory defaults after this.
Minimum Site Distance
This is the minimum distance two voronoi sites must have to be placed into the voronoi partition. As example, if 3 is selected, the next voronoi site will be at least 3 length units away. This can be used to make sure that the Voronoi partition will be more homogenous.
Minimum Border Distance
This is the distance every playable territory (a map area where resources or enemies are placed) has to have to the map border.
Min. Mirror Distance for Players
A PvP parameter that is used to make sure the different player starts are not too near to each other.
Min. Shape Suspension Point Dist.
The shape suspension points are used to create map territories. To make sure that the territories will be as regular as possible, a number of shape suspension points will be created, where the code tries to make sure they are aranged in a radius of at least the minimum shape suspension point distance around the territory center.
Player Start Connections
For PvP, the generator creates as many connections to surrounding territories as set in this field.
Site Count between Territories
The territory shape code makes sure that territories will not overlap or attach to each other to guarantee playability across the different random seeds. The value set in this field defines how far the territories will be grown.
Maximum Sites for Water
If you want to prevent large lakes, this value can be used to adjust this. The smaller the number, the smaller the lakes will be at maximum.
Shape Suspension Factor
This value is a scale factor for the territory size. Its influence will be slightly different for PvP and Skirmish game modes.
Minimum Player Start Distance
This is the distance placed territories will have to the player starts (to make sure that the player starts will not be too near to other resources)
Minimum Map Territory Distance
The distance each territory has to have to each other. When set to 0, code-defined defaults will be used (about 55 for 1on1, 80 for 2on2). If the distance is not large enough, it might not be possible to create proper pathes between the territories.
Minimum/Maximum Path Width
Pathes that connect different territories will at first created with the minimum path width. As a post-processing steps, they will be grown to the maximum path width if nothing is obstructing the growth (like other pathes, territories and the like).
Save intermediate Debugging Images
This stores a lot of images in your „My Documents\Battleforge\randommaps“ folder that document the different steps of map generation. If it is not possible to create a map, check there if the images might give you hints (like pathes obstructing each other).
You now may select a target filename (but most likely, GeneratedMap.map should suffice) and Generate the map. The resulting file will always be put in „My Documents\Battleforge\randommaps“ with all needed subdirectories and data files. Clicking on Generate and Load should be your selection of choice – if you're not sure if the map will generate successfully, simply push the Calculate Preview Button also evident on the Map generator frontend. Using this button, the major steps of map creation will be performed resulting in a preview-heightmap that shows the layout of the map as it will look like.
Settings Import/Export Tab
This tab can be used to store your map generator settings and layouts for later usage. First, you need to create an empty text-file that should be renamed to something ending on .xml. Then, browse for the file to open it as Map Presets File. From now on, every change you do will written there. It is also possible to add new Presets with a given Description or remove them afterwards. You can also Reset them to factory-defaults. These possibilities are mostly used inside of EA Phenomic to create different PvP and PvE layouts to be deployed later on, since these are the „map files“ for the map generator.
The Button Generate Map by existing Heightmap is a very experimental feature that will use several techniques from the map generator to fill a new map based on a greyscale image. This image is taken to create a new map, set the map heights and then applying texturing and cliffs to it to give it a basic colouring. The terrain type currently selected on the Initial Settings tab will be used to evalute which textures and thresholds to use.
Test Tool Tab
This Tool can be used to test your map generator settings for reliability. This means, how often a map with your settings will fail to generate. This is important for inhouse-usage, because we do want to ship only reliable map layouts with fail-rates below 5% (which are about 3276 seeds that are not able to create a map successfull).
The process will be lengthy – depending on the number of seeds you wish to check - and not very interesting after all. A logfile will be written finally to tell about bad seeds.