Lesson Three -- Resources & Sprites

Discussion and help with creating scenarios and campaigns in the Editor
Matt Zimmitti
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Lesson Three -- Resources & Sprites

Postby Matt Zimmitti » Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:39 pm

Ok, in our previous two lessons we carved out a river, raised up some cliffs and painted some textures to make everything look nice. Now we need to go in and add some resources for our citizens to use.

Before we move forward I want to cover a few things regarding flood plain. The reason I’ve saved this bit of chat until now is because flood plain lies somewhere between a texture and a resource. The big question is how much. Generally speaking, the thickest you need to go is 15 tiles (7-8 corner to corner) for straight up gameplay. You might want to refer to the pic below <FP Width.jpg>. This is a little more distance than a barge landing can be built across (10ish tiles) so you don’t want to make your entire flood plain this thick. You can also go thicker if you like, but if you do, understand that there is a law of diminishing returns involved. Farmers have to walk to tend fields and Scribes have to walk to assess them. Just something to keep in mind.

As a rule of thumb, if you line the river with floodplain and evenly distribute the thickness between 5 and 15 tiles the player should have more than enough farmable space to work with. If you want to make the scenario more difficult, consider thinning out the flood plain or making it more irregular (Abu anyone?). Making the flood plain thicker is cool, but does not necessarily make the scenario easier (Shedet is a good example of this).

Now that we’ve gotten the ball rolling with this distance stuff, let’s think about what we will need to place on our map. Heck, let’s make a checklist!

Papyrus
Rushes
Clay
Acacia
Myrrh
Henna
Oil Trees
Flowers
Villager Hovels
Flax
Kohl
Quartz
Tacos
Mines
Quarries
Date Palms
Pomegranate Trees

I’ll lay out some starting amounts below, but keep in mind that we are going to end up tweaking resource amounts once we test (yipe!) the scenario. Let’s get down to bizniss…

1) Papyrus and Rushes
-Select Terrain and check Randomness. This will auto rotate, rescale and nudge the sprites you place, making them look a bit more organic.
-Select Units->Resources->World Level (most craft resources are in this list)
-Method: Basically I paint down paps/rushes in thin swaths at elevations somewhere near the transition between high flood and no flood. I generally place around 15-20 papyrus and 10-15 rushes per clump. I’ll trim back some if I’m trying to conserve barge landing space.
-Amount: Well, here’s how I do choose to do it. I pull the camera all the way back (mousewheel) and face it straight down (tilde and mouse). I try to keep my clusters about one screen distance from one another. That gives the player enough space to build close to the flood plain, allows for barge landings and ensures that the furthest a unit will have to walk is about a screenlength to get to either resource.

2) Clay
Remember the bands of red mud texture we painted in Lesson 2? I cover these areas with the clay deposit sprite. Keep in mind that these sprites are invisible. You can see where you have placed them by drag-boxing over an area. The rings without sprites in them are where you have placed clay. See the pic below for an example of this <Clay.jpg>.

3) Trees and Such
-I use Randomness for these as well
-Acacia, Henna, Flowers, Oil Trees, Myrrh Trees
-Method: I clump all of these up for a couple of reasons <Resource Clump.jpg>. For starters, it is much easier to keep track of how many you have placed when you have them clustered. Second, if you find that you need more resources later on it’s easy to decide between adding a couple of this or that to each cluster (general lack of resources) or adding a new cluster (deficient resources in a specific area of the map). Finally, you always want to keep the player in mind when you place things that cannot be demolished. Shooting a buckshot spray of resources over the map can quickly eat up build space, making it difficult to find places for pyramids, cult temples etc.
-Amount: I start out with 5ish of each of the above resources in each clump. I tend to add a couple extra Acacia trees because they get used for military as well as private crafting. I also add in a few Pomegranate trees because they look nice.
<Lesson 3.5>

4) Kohl & Quartz/Faience
-I just drop a few of these around cliff areas. These will always be the longest walk for your crafters (or their kids). Cosmeticians and Jewelers have it kind of rough until you start importing or mining raw materials for them.

5) Quarries (in this case Limestone and Fine Limestone)
-Quarries are found in Buildings->World Level
-As per our simple design back in the lesson one days, I just dropped these in near the cliffs to the south. Keep in mind that the direction the quarry is facing when you place it. You need to have space in front of the quarry for blocks to pile up and you certainly don’t want to face a quarry into a mountain. I suggest using the direction arrow in this case. Select the quarry from the menu, the click the direction arrow until it indicates the direction you want the quarry to face, then place the quarry. As a tip, make sure the camera is facing north or the directional arrow won’t make too much sense (even though it will still be correct). Press the Home key at any time to reset the camera to facing north. <Quarry Direction.jpg>

6) Mines
-Similar to quarries, be careful about the direction they are facing. I upped the amount of mines from my initial plan. There are now 2 in the NE (copper and tin for military), 3 in the NW (gold and emeralds for trade and jewelry) and 1 in the south (turquoise for trade/jewelry).
<Lesson 3.8>

7) Villagers and Flax (foraged food as well)
-Villager Hovels are found in Buildings->Players
-I tend to build villages of 25ish hovels. Like resource clumps, this accommodates build space and also allows us to keep track of our villager count when we balance things later.
-I also put down Flax near each village. The Flax sprite looks like a little, cultivated farm so line them up near where folks live.
-For each village I place 5ish Pomegranate Trees in the village (Date Palms if the village is further from the river). Generally 5-to-1, Villager Hovels to foraged food, is a good ratio. Space permitting, we’ll probably add more Pomegranate Trees to the shoreline later as well.
-Right now we have 175 villager hovels to start with. My guess is that we’ll bump this up to 200 later, but for now it is ok.

8) Animals
-Found in Units->Land->World Level
-In general, add fewer animals than you would think are appropriate. They reproduce on their own and in most cases will keep up with your society.
-I tend to place cows, fowl and gazelles in herds of 5-10
-Cats, lions, croc and hippos I only place 1-3 of.
-We’ll likely rebalance these numbers once we’ve tested a bit
<Lesson 3.11>

Well, we pretty much have a working city level at this point. There’s no basalt or granite, but we’ll get that from the world level. We also need to gussy up the map with decorative sprites, which we will do in lesson four. After that, we’ll cover fiction, world level, triggers and military.

~Z
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JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:57 pm

Matt Zimmitti wrote:Papyrus
Rushes
Clay
Acacia
Myrrh
Henna
Oil Trees
Flowers
Villager Hovels
Flax
Kohl
Quartz
Tacos
Mines
Quarries
Date Palms
Pomegranate Trees

~Z

Image Tacos! LOL! Image

homegrown
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it goes here!

Postby homegrown » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:59 pm

A quickie tip on painting paths and roads (around your villagers huts), <shift><click> removes an unwanted tile of path/road.

Matt Zimmitti
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Location: Brighton, MA

Postby Matt Zimmitti » Thu Dec 02, 2004 1:18 pm

Good call homegrown. :)

sitearm
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Comment on clay sprites... Demo screenshot...

Postby sitearm » Thu Dec 02, 2004 8:30 pm

Matt: I finished lesson three! That's a lotta' detail to make a natural looking map. I agree you're a good teacher!

Comment on clay sprites... they ARE visible on my machine as little teeny red "sticks". See screen shots.

At first I thot' I was goin' crazy because nothing seemed to be placeable.

THEN I saw the red sticks... WAY lower on the bank than I was looking for, in fact first I could only see them in the water (not placeable). Finally I noticed "faded red" sticks that I could place. As I moved along the banks some places allowed many and some none. THEN I went back and painted them with red mud. (first time was not close)

Off the topic but... did YOU know that "Baton Rouge" (city on the Mississippi in Louisiana) means "Red Stick" (or "Stick Red" to be precise) ... who knew?!
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Zander
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Postby Zander » Fri Dec 03, 2004 12:09 am

Matt Zimmitti wrote:2) Clay
Remember the bands of red mud texture we painted in Lesson 2? I cover these areas with the clay deposit sprite. Keep in mind that these sprites are invisible. You can see where you have placed them by drag-boxing over an area. The rings without sprites in them are where you have placed clay. See the pic below for an example of this <Clay.jpg>.


How much clay is enough? Does it matter?
Last edited by Zander on Fri Dec 03, 2004 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

dreamsoftwilight
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Postby dreamsoftwilight » Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:06 am

When I was editing the coastline, and I wanted to add cliffs to the coast, but wanted to keep my bargelandings safe, I put down a landing everywhere I could find a place for one, and then deleted the landings afterwards.

Im having a problem with the clay deposits though, they dont seem to want to be placed... they should have a flag or something above them while in the editor, that way you know where you placed them without the box drawing...

I coloured some red mud on the ground, and tried to put down clay, and then checked, but it doesnt seem to have worked...

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Sun Dec 05, 2004 2:17 am

you might try zooming in really close (like a single tile fills center of your screen)... select the clay sprite... hover over the river near the edge... do you see a red stick icon when hovering over certain parts of the water? Then move it up and along the shore to where it dims.

It varies where it can be placed... something about the relative shallowness of the bank...

dreamsoftwilight wrote:...problem with the clay deposits though, they dont seem to want to be placed...

Schmophit
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Postby Schmophit » Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:57 pm

Matt Zimmitti wrote:1) Papyrus and Rushes
Basically I paint down paps/rushes in thin swaths at elevations somewhere near the transition between high flood and no flood.
So is this is at the edge of the water in high flood? Or between high flood and low flood(along the line of normal flood)? :confused:


2) Clay
Remember the bands of red mud texture we painted in Lesson 2? I cover these areas with the clay deposit sprite. Keep in mind that these sprites are invisible. You can see where you have placed them by drag-boxing over an area. The rings without sprites in them are where you have placed clay. See the pic below for an example of this <Clay.jpg>.
How do you drag box?
And why can't I see the clay markers, even though I'm zoomed right in and clicking like a mad clicking thing? :confused:
Someone? anyone? Please help, thx in advance :)

sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:11 pm

* First you put on boxing gloves, then you... oh, wait... *

Point your cursor top-left of a section of the floodplain, then hold the left mouse button down and move the cursor to bottom-right. It's just to highlight objects within the boxed area if you can't see them individually.

See the screen shot in post #5. Make sure you have World Layer, Resources, Clay Deposit selected on left. The clay sprites are awkward to see. You don't have to have "tons" of them.

Schmophit wrote:How do you drag box?
Last edited by sitearm on Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Schmophit
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Postby Schmophit » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:11 pm

Have got clay sprites showing now, had re-adjust the floodplain slightly.

sitearm wrote:* First you put on boxing gloves, then you... oh, wait... *
Nutter!!! :D

Point your cursor top-left of a section of the floodplain, then hold the left mouse button down and move the cursor to bottom-right. It's just to highlight objects within the boxed area if you can't see them individually.
Ok, I've tried this, but the box doesn't show, also I can't rotate/tilt the view, for some reason my tilde key (~(it's just left of the return key on my keyboard)) isn't doing the job the manual says it should, have got grid working, my layout is pretty good, but can't check the back of stuff without rotating, can you help, Purrrleease?
Last edited by Schmophit on Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Filzehit
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Identifying French items

Postby Filzehit » Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:44 am

Is this a "myrrh tree" for you ?

in the french version it is called a "balsamier". Would you confirm to me ?
Thanks.
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sitearm
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Postby sitearm » Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:58 am

Yes, that's the Myrrh. Had to get my magnifying glass out! :)

Filzehit wrote:Is this a "myrrh tree" for you ?

in the french version it is called a "balsamier". Would you confirm to me ?
Thanks.


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