A random map script for AOE3
Prairie is a new RMS representing the prairie of central North America, or the Great Plains. The appearance of the map is somewhat like the Great Plains map, naturally, but with a number of important differences.
First, the map is larger - roughly twice the diameter and 4 times the area of the Carolina map, and even larger relative to Great Plains, for a better feel of the expanse of the New World in general and the Great Plains in particular. Natually this size difference affects gameplay, making a rush, and assualts in general, harder to carry out. Also, because of the size difference, scouting takes much more of an effort.
There are 7 different patterns of Trade Routes, with variation in number and placement of the sockets. Sometimes there is a single trade route, sometimes two, and you may have to scout carefully to determine the difference.
There will be 1-3 Native American types per map, chosen randomly. These will vary in number and are placed in a variety of fair, symmetric patterns and combinations, partly based on player number, partly on chance (for 2 players there could be from 2 to 6 total NA villages, for 8 players form 2 to 12 total NA villages). The natives can be Lakota, Commanche and/or Cree. Again, scouting is crucial to see what you have on the map.
Resources vary a little from most other maps - there are a few deer, pronghorn, elk or bison near the player start areas, but out away from the players, often more in the center of the map, there are significantly larger herds of bison. These are large enough to be worth fighting for control of even later in the game. There will be a few berry bushes near the player start areas as well. The forests are placed around the circumference of the map and are not found out in the central prairie, making a difference in wood collection - note there is still a fair amount of wood compared to the standard maps. Mines are placed in a pretty standard manner, as are the treasures or nuggets.
Player position and location will vary randomly, more so in a 2-player game (in a 2 player game the players are not always in a directly opposite position). There is full support for the Free-For-All play with any player number, with the players placed randomly.
The last unique feature of the map is that there are two variations in the map appearance - a summer version where the prairie looks more yellowed and dry, and a spring version where the prairie is greener and flowers dot the plains. Each of these two 'seasonal' variations also varies by lighting, with many different lightings possible. If you have spent much time out on the prairie in different seasons, in different weather or times of day, you would note how different the natural light can make the prairie appear. I have tried to capture a little of that variability. Also regarding appearance, there can sometimes but not always be a few small ponds, sometimes some cliffs, canyons or mesas (more for aesthetics than any strategic value - think Badlands other outcrops of hills or rocks at some places in the prairie). In the forested area sourrounding the prairie, there are small hills.
For those interested, I have included not only the Prairie map in the zip file, but also a Prairie Spring and Prairie Summer map if you want to play only one of the color varations. Both color variations will randomly appear on the base map.
To play this map, the files (the .xs and .xml file for each version desired) must be placed in the folder: My Documents\My Games\Age of Empires 3\RM. Please do not place them in the game's install folder - that will not work. When you start up a skirmish game in Single-player or Multiplayer, use the small blue 'Custom Map' button, which allows you to then select one the random maps in that My Games folder from the drop-down window. Note that the .xml file will give a map description at the startup screen.
I have enjoyed making this unique random map script. Thank you to ES for giving us the tools to do this! Hope you enjoy the map.
NOTE - updated 5/20/06 - thanks to jugit for his comments.
|Author||Reviews ( All | Comments Only | Reviews Only )|
What can anyone say, really?
Another Superb RMS from Gandalf here.
From inception through execution, it’s brilliant.
Great map terrain context idea implemented with all the TLC and attention to details we’ve come to expect in an ‘RF_Gandalf’ RMS.
The variations are more numerous than one might well-expect on such a map.
The bi-seasonal dualism is wonderful as well – great touch!
The size strikes me as a masterful compromise for those who love the Huge Maps but still enjoy them a little reduced in area, as well as for those who enjoy the smaller maps, maybe extended a bit in area for some additional strategic challenges.
All the natural resources and treasures are – as ever – well thought out, evenly balanced, reasonably placed and neither overly-abundant nor overly-rare.
Too, on these Prairies, somehow the herds of Bison look even more impressive than they do on the Great Plains (IMO).
The aesthetics of the fields generated are Superb. I love the blending of the cliffs into the open prairie, and the soft, well-sculpted rolling and wooded hills around the edges are just delightful (to the eye).
These maps offer great variety in the Amount of woodlands one will have as well, as I have had some with quite thick, heavy woodlands and some with scarcely more than a lonely grove here and there which are felled quickly.
The Natives on these fields – Sioux, Comanche or Cree are of course aptly and deftly chosen, and these fierce natives only increase the ferocity of the battlefield once things really heat-up.
Here too, the Native villages are always evenly-balanced and placed with an eye keenly focused on ‘team fairness.’
The wide open spaces of the open prairie offer plenty for maneuver and un-impeded combat (watch out for the cliffs and arroyos tho’! – which can serve or disserve a Commander well or badly, depending…).
In all, I can but give this RMS its well-earned five stars… Tho’ in truth, I’d like to give it 9 …
Which I cheerfully do with much thanks to your talents and attentive efforts yet-again Gandalf – not to mention the generosity with which you continue to share these pleasures with the rest of us.