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Island Hopping

Author File Description
Felix Hermansson Island Hopping Random Map Script

by Felix Hermansson, Tsunami Studios (hoodncloak@hotmail.com)
5 February 2006

This is a large map, highly randomized as far as topology and player placement are concerned. Lots of little islands dot the map and provide an abundance of treasures and resources, but not much space to build. There are only a few native settlements around, which makes them even more valuable allies.
Players start with an additional caravel or galley. Building a strong navy is essential here, not only for exploring the map, but also to transport armies and villagers between the numerous islands, and to prevent the enemies from doing the same. Watch out for pirates in the early stages of the game!

The map can be played 'Nomad' style. In this mode, players start with their explorer (plus envoy, native scout or war dog where available) aboard a caravel or galley, and resources of 600 wood. Once the explorer has used this wood to build a town center at some suitable spot, the usual villagers and starting resources will arrive from the home city.

Due to the well-known problems with water maps in ES's standard AI implementation, the AI usually won't build docks on this map and even ignore the caravel it starts with. Also, since the standard game AI does not know how to play a nomad style game with a starting ship it will just sit around idly if the 'Nomad' mode is chosen. So this map is for all-human multiplayer games only!

To install the map, copy both files 'Island Hopping.xml' and 'Island Hopping.xs' into the game folder '..\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM' (NOT into '..\Microsoft Games\Age of Empires III\RM'!).

You can then play it by checking the 'Custom Map' box on the map selection screen and then selecting it from the pulldown menu.

I would appreciate any honest feedback, good or bad. Please tell me what you liked, what you disliked, and especially, tell me why. If you have any ideas on how to improve it, all the better.

I would appreciate it even more if you did not modify this script without contacting me first.

Please send any comments or questions by e-mail to hoodncloak@hotmail.com. Oh, and add 'Age of Empires' to the subject and use proper language, otherwise your message will probably be deleted by the spam filter.

Have fun!

UPDATE, March 11 2006:
As patch 1.05 has become available I have updated this script to include a tooltip description for the map selection screen as well as a proper description for the game loading screen.
AuthorComments   ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )
grog the conquer this sounds like a really cool map and i was excited when i heard about it. we need a lot more water maps. im not gonna download it yet because i don't play online, i would like you to try and fix this bug that makes the AI do nothing. mess around with that a little and i will give you a full review once i can play it.
RF_Gandalf grog - the bug is not the map scripter's problem - it is in the stupid AI that can only recognize what to do on the standard ES map scripts. It is completely hopeless on any other water map(and just better than feeble even on the ES maps).
Jugit If you add the name of downloaded water maps to the aiMain.xs similiar to the names of the ES standard map scripts you can get the AI to be a little better than feeble on them too. It still doesn't work in Nomad when you have a colony ship; but, for colonial and above, at least it will make a dock, fish, make a navy and transport troops to another island.
B_V war lord I hate the way the AI dose that
I just made a water nomad map just last week but because the AI just sits
there so it must be play on ESO
And even when i gave it a start it did not build a dock so its was no good
RF_Gandalf Jugit - could you describe for us exactly where this file is and exactly what has to be added where?

Would be greatly appreciated by many.
Jugit RF_Gandalf and others - if you look in the game folder AOE3\AI, you should find a file called "aiMain.xs". Rename this file so you have a backup and can avoid the read only problem. Open this file with Notepad or whatever, Save As to make a new file, naming it "aiMain.xs"(that's what the game will look for), being sure to use the quotes when you Save As so it stays an .xs file, and conitnue working with the new file.

The easiest way to say it is to find all the occurances of "amazonia" or "carolina", copy and paste to add a new entry with the new map name.

For example:

gMapNames = xsArrayCreateString(30, "", "Map names");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "amazonia");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "bayou");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "caribbean");

would be:

gMapNames = xsArrayCreateString(30, "", "Map names");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "amazonia");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "island hopping");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "bayou");
xsArraySetString(gMapNames, 0, "caribbean");


if ( (cRandomMapName == "amazonia") || (cRandomMapName == "caribbean") );

would become:

if ( (cRandomMapName == "amazonia") || (cRandomMapName == "caribbean") || (cRandomMapName == "island hopping"));

Copy and paste the amazonia occurances(there are 4) for water maps when you will need a troop transport and copy the carolina occurances(there are 3) when you don't need a troop transport. At least that's what I do. Seems to work, haven't really studied it that much.

I'm not sure if case matters, but I always change the .xs and .xml file names to lower case. Check that if you cannot get it to work. You know it is working when the AI makes a dock and fishes.

ES did not add the large maps they made to the aiMain.xs file, so you could do that as a test case and for experience.

You will probably need at least a limited understanding of scripting to understand the use of the "||" or "or" command.

Hope this helps.

[Edited on 02/07/06 @ 06:29 PM]

Felix Hermansson
File Author
Grog: As has been said, it's not a bug in the RMS that keeps the AI from working. Actually, you cannot even consider it a bug in the AI implementation, at least not in the traditional sense. It's the design as such that is flawed there.

I actually "created" (a big word for two or three changed statements...) an aiMain.xs version which enables the AI to build docks, fish and build a navy on custom random maps a while ago. It's basically similar to what Jugit proposed above. It makes the AI play somewhat reasonable on maps with big land masses and islands, but it won't work for this map here, because the AI doesn't know how to expand from on little island to the next.

Since people seem interested I've uploaded it anyhow, it should be available in the AI download section soon.
grog the conquer whatever it is. i would just like it fixed so i can play this map, i don't use the editor much so i don't know how the AI works
Felix Hermansson
File Author
Thanks for the feedback, glad you liked it!

Btw, I'm working on an improved AI which should be able to handle this map, and probably any other available water map as well. Keep your fingers crossed...
curtcooll i was woundering if u could help me mabye if u have msn like AOE2 the random iland maps were great spawning quite alot of ilands and then spent hours of building up then finding the other players but with AOE3 there only about 5 ilands that includes the 4 players now with the design of ur map is great ive had a mess around with it and getting close to making it just like old AOE2 but need help as i dont know doing the way ur doing it to spawn units i want to spawn the explorer and covered wagon on the players ilands woundering if u could gimme help also spawning tress mabye sourding the players iland so they have to hack the trees down to be able to start finding the other players i know i not got very go english skills just dislexic could u mabye get hold me curtcooll@yahoo.co.uk or my msn curtcooll@hotmail.com i love the way uve done map thanks for brining a bit of AOE 2 back to the game

[Edited on 01/05/10 @ 08:39 AM]

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