ECL Map Design Contest

GermanyEscapeAoE

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#1
ecl-header.png

We invite everyone to submit new (or old) random maps that have not seen much competitive play and will fit into the themes of each stage of the Escape Champions League.
Six of the Seven rounds of the Escape Champions League will feature one map from the Map design Contest.

The Stages

Each stage is themed around a certain part of the world that coincides with an architecture style of some civilisations.
For example, Africa is themed around the African Kingdoms Expansion, and utilises maps such as Sahara, Desert, Serengeti etc. Any maps submitted to Africa need to look like they could represent a part of that area of the world.

Africa
Middle East
East Asia
South East Asia
Americas
Europe West


Prize Pool

$600 ($100 x 6 Stages)

Each stage will have a 1st and 2nd prize, though only the 1st place map is guaranteed to be used in the region.

1st - $60
2nd - $40

Rules
  1. Contestants must submit their own work.
  2. Maps must be submitted by Monday 23rd July. Any maps received after this date will not be judged.
  3. Maps must be playable in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 & 4v4 formats. This prohibits the use of Special Maps.
  4. Contestants may submit as many maps as they like for each stage, but a contestant can only be awarded 1st or 2nd in any one stage. Even if they submit the two "best" maps in that stage they will not receive both prizes.
  5. Contestants must be available to make balance adjustments to ensure the map plays in a consistent & competitive manner.
  6. Maps must be compatible with the latest Userpatch 1.5 & the latest WololoKingdoms versions.
  7. Contestants must have a PayPal account to receive their prize, and will need to fill out an invoice at the conclusion of the Contest.

How to Enter

Reply to this thread with your entry containing;
  1. The Title of your map.
  2. An upload the Random Map Script.
  3. At least 1 Full map screenshot (press Ctrl and F12 while in game and select the correct resolution) in a 1:4 format of the map in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 & 4v4 format.
  4. A short paragraph explaining what the map is, what is unique about it and any other interesting information about it.
  5. Which stage you are submitting to.
 

United StatesTheMadCADer

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#2
So if I want to enter a bunch of maps, do I enter all of them at once and the admins decide which category they fit into? Or do I have to categorize them myself?
 

SwedenAlgernonR

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#7
Such a nice idea to introduce new maps to this event. Really looking forward to seeing what maps people come up with!

Also, the beta sounds fantastic - I didnt read up on it's features before now @Jineapple . Amazing work as usual.
 
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NetherlandsHenkdesupernerd

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#8
I assume the maps should play out like a random map? so no custom win conditions, additional resource gatherings, no custom unit/building costs, changes in tech availablity, and enabling of new units to be made.

Regarding 'competitive maps' that are already being used frequently, we see varying amount of starting resources (like bigger/smaller gold/stone piles, or lack of deer/hunt/sheep) so I assume this is not a big problem.
Some other changes might have a bigger impact and can change the meta significant.

So how do you stand against:
  • custom TC placement? (for example to force some players in the middle and others on the outside)
  • starting units or buildings?
  • unequal starts? (some players spawn on different terrains/with different resources around)
  • multiple TC start?
  • different gamemodes (maps played on regicide, or suddendeath/dm maps)
Other maps that used UP 1.5 features to revert some wololokingdom changes are already commonly accepted by the community like 'arina' (walls with hp like in AOC) or Blackforest NoCut (where an extra upgrade has to be researched to be able to cut trough trees). Should we refrain from thesee kind of map changes?
 

Australiarobo

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#9
I assume the maps should play out like a random map? so no custom win conditions, additional resource gatherings, no custom unit/building costs, changes in tech availablity, and enabling of new units to be made.
Changing the gather rates/costs of units/techs is a no, as players/viewers should expect the games to play the same as a standard game.

Regarding 'competitive maps' that are already being used frequently, we see varying amount of starting resources (like bigger/smaller gold/stone piles, or lack of deer/hunt/sheep) so I assume this is not a big problem.
Yes, having no boar/deer/small amounts of deer etc are all fine, as long as the game is still playable. That means no 'Nothing' style maps

Some other changes might have a bigger impact and can change the meta significant.
So how do you stand against:
  • custom TC placement? (for example to force some players in the middle and others on the outside)
  • starting units or buildings?
  • unequal starts? (some players spawn on different terrains/with different resources around)
  • multiple TC start?
  • different gamemodes (maps played on regicide, or suddendeath/dm maps)
Other maps that used UP 1.5 features to revert some wololokingdom changes are already commonly accepted by the community like 'arina' (walls with hp like in AOC) or Blackforest NoCut (where an extra upgrade has to be researched to be able to cut trough trees). Should we refrain from thesee kind of map changes?
Custom tcs is fine as long as the game is balanced for both teams, and the map is playable in all formats. So if it requires special maps that force the map to be a certain size then thats a no.

Adding starting units such as an extra scout, or horses or extra vils is fine, but adding extra random units such as archers/monks/scenario units is frowned upon. Same with buildings, extra houses are fine, but free barracks or archery range needs to be carefully thought about to ensure the map doesnt become too unbalanced/crazy.

Unequal starts as long as its balanced team vs team (and player vs player within teams), eg one side both flanks have 3 boars, the other flanks have 10 deer, then it will be considered

Multiple tcs are fine as long as it is done well.

Different game modes is questionable, if a map is designed to be played Regicide (like RF/boards of canada in the past) then that can be considered, but DM/SD is a no.

Arina/no cut changes are probably a no, unless there is a very good reason for it.
 

FranceTriRem

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Dec 13, 2015
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#10
Adding starting units such as an extra scout, or horses or extra vils is fine, but adding extra random units such as archers/monks/scenario units is frowned upon.
What about purely graphical changes ? ie starting with a centurion that has the exact same stats as a scout, just looks differently.
 

United StatesJoshuaR

Known Member
Oct 11, 2013
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#12
I say you designers should go to whatever limits you desire. Let your artistic talents soar. After all, El Dorado and Bog Islands seem like crazy maps, but they're pretty cool. Regicide Fortress starts with a freaking castle and towers, and is also a common tournament map. TTF Racing only naturally rewards the most valiant of competitors...
 
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DenmarkChrazini

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#13
Each stage will have a 1st and 2nd prize, though only the 1st place map is guaranteed to be used in the region.
Does this mean that you may consider adding multiple maps to the map pools?
 

United KingdomCicero

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Jul 9, 2017
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#15
Maps must be playable in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 & 4v4 formats. This prohibits the use of Special Maps.
Since each the maps will only be used in two formats (?), does it matter if, for example, I submit a map for the Africa stage (2v2, 3v3) designed mainly for team games and perhaps less suited for 1v1s?

At least 1 Full map screenshot (press Ctrl and F12 while in game and select the correct resolution) in a 1:4 format of the map in 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 & 4v4 format.
Is this one for each of the four formats?
 

Australiarobo

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#16
Since each the maps will only be used in two formats (?), does it matter if, for example, I submit a map for the Africa stage (2v2, 3v3) designed mainly for team games and perhaps less suited for 1v1s?
Yes that is ok. Ideally it would still be playable in 1v1 if we wanted to use it at the LAN final or in other tournaments but its less of a concern.

Is this one for each of the four formats?
Yes please. Even if it isn't the format used in this tournament it's still useful for having a general idea of the map before looking at it in detail.
 

GermanyFaultier321

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#17
you could consider throwing one or two Battle of Africa maps into the Africa Map pool, i really liked Dust & Beachfight for example
 

United KingdomCicero

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#18
@Jineapple
Is there any way of running the automatic map converter built into the wk installer independently of the installer? It appears that unconverted maps can still work, but they don't use all of the new terrains.
 

GermanyJineapple

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#19
@Jineapple
Is there any way of running the automatic map converter built into the wk installer independently of the installer? It appears that unconverted maps can still work, but they don't use all of the new terrains.
Not atm, no. It would be possible in theory of course to make it standalone but I don't have time for that atm and don't really see the need for it either. Running the installer isn't a huge extra effort compared to some standalone converter.

And yeah, depending on the map, it can also still work if you just copy it.
 
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United StatesTheMadCADer

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Aug 14, 2013
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#20
All my maps are here: https://www.aoezone.net/threads/mad-random-map-pack.99809/

The categories for the maps are as follows:
ECL.png

As of now, the only full map prints are of 4v4 situations. Other screenshots for specific maps can be produced upon request.

Also, a few of my maps are already set for the tournament. Some of these were affected by the terrain constant changes in WK the Jineapple pointed out earlier. I recommend for those maps that the admins make sure the latest versions are used so the maps work as intended.
 

United KingdomCicero

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Jul 9, 2017
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#21
Valley of the Kings (Africa)
Players on the same team start close together, but with no gold or stone in their bases. Rather, there are large deposits of gold and stone evenly distributed across the rest of the map for which teams must coordinate in their efforts to secure. The map is open and difficulty to wall, due to the acacia forest and unwallable terrain around the edges of the map, but the towers surrounding their bases will help with early defence. Except for the very edges, the map is completely flat.
The grouped_by_team feature is I think underused in RM scripts; Lombardia being the main example. Teams have to share space and resources and work together more cohesively as one unit. This map should be more aggressive than Lombardia due to the need to push out and secure map control for resources, as well as because it is difficult to properly wall. (This map now uses direct_placement with 2 equal teams to improve the fairness of the starting positions and resource distribution.)
The starting towers are intended to focus the fighting toward contesting the golds (they should also prevent towers rushes) but the map could equally be played without them if preferred. (Players would then maybe need to be given a little starting gold.) Much effort has been spent ensuring that the gold and stone piles spawn evenly and fairly across the map. The map is designed especially for team games, but it should work well for 1v1s also.
Note: doesn't work in the map editor - test by loading a game in singleplayer or multiplayer.

Player Resources: 8 goats, 2 elephants, 6 fruit bushes, 3 zebra
Extra Resources: ~24 tiles gold per player, ~9 tiles stone per player, various groups of 3 zebra/ostrich

MAP000.jpg
MAP001.jpg
MAP002.jpg
MAP003.jpg
Anatolia (Middle East)
Made possible with direct_placement; kind of a cross between Arabia, Scandinavia, plus a bit of Gold Rush. Plenty of fishing is to be had in the two fjords fish running edge-ways along opposite sides of the map, whilst gold is moderately abundant in the centre of the map. Players have a good amount of starting gold but could be put at a disadvantage if they neglect land control for too long. Players/teams are always positioned so with the fjords on either side so they will have equal access to both fjords, rather than just having safe water in the back which would be less interesting.
This map is about balancing map control for the different resources. Players can focus on one fjord or try to contest both, but if they overcommit they risk falling to land aggression. Focusing on the middle too early might risk losing the water and being pushed back by a stronger eco.
Its a little similar to Cross, being an open map with water at the edges, but teams would not be able to just wall and FC/boom, since they would likely lose all their fish. The extra gold in the centre also disfavours passive play, so I'd expect this to be a challenging and aggressive map.
Note: doesn't work in the map editor - test by loading a game in singleplayer or multiplayer. Only works with two equal teams.

Player Resources: 8 goats, 2 boar, 6 forage bushes, 4 deer, 15 (3x5) tiles gold, 9 (3x3) tiles stone
Extra Resources: 7.5 (1.5x5) tiles gold per player, 3 tiles stone per player, shore fish, deep fish

MAP000.jpg
MAP001.jpg
MAP002.jpg
MAP003.jpg
 

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United KingdomCicero

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#22
New World (Americas)
Nomad start, but players on the same team start in the same small area. Players have starting resources assigned to them to ensure a decent start (though it may not be clear who's is who's!) but before long they will have to expand to secure resources. Resources are quite abundant across this map, which the exception of stone, which is relatively scarce. Players start with +3 villagers to compensate for what would otherwise be a slower start.
Another map with the underused grouped_by_team feature. Player on the same team will end up forming overlapping, conglomerate bases as they expand to secure the resources across the map. Much effort has been spent ensuring that the gold and stone piles spawn evenly and fairly across the map. Although this map is balanced for 1v1s, it is more recommended to be used for team games.
Note: doesn't work in the map editor - test by loading a game in singleplayer or multiplayer.

Player Resources: 8 turkeys, 2 javelinas, 6 forage bushes
Extra Resources: ~24 tiles gold per player, ~7.5 tiles stone per player, various boar, groups of 6 deer, groups of 6 berry bushes, shorefish

MAP008.jpg
MAP009.jpg
MAP010.jpg
MAP011.jpg
 

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United KingdomCicero

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#23
Bog-Off (South-East Asia)
Kind of a cross between Bog Islands and Decentring. Mangrove shallows means we could see both land and water units in the middle, and players can simply walk their villagers to the sides. There are no fish, but the starting islands have a fairly large amount of starting food so players will want to build their starting Town Centre there. Moreover, there is a large amount of gold on the starting islands. Teams which win the centre could secure their enemies gold and send army straight through the centre of the map. However, there is an elevation bonus against the centre, and if they over-commit to navy they may still be overrun on land at the sides. I'm hoping the lack of fish and elevation difference should be enough for teams to still be able to win having lost the centre and should make for exciting games.
The starting positions could be made more uniform/consistent with direct_placement if needed.

Player Resources: 4 water buffalo, 3 rhinos, 18 (3x6) tiles gold, 2 tiles stone
Extra Resources: 8 (2x4) tiles gold per player (5x4 total for 1v1), 6 (2x3) tiles stone per player (5x3 total for 1v1), various groups of 2 water buffalo

MAP012.jpg
MAP013.jpg
MAP014.jpg
MAP015.jpg
Bog-Off [Classic] (South-East Asia)
Similar to above but more similar to Decentring: much less gold on the starting island, and fish on the shallows. These fish are collectable by both villagers and fishing ships. Again, the elevation difference should help allow for the possibility of teams to win after having lost the middle.
The starting positions could be made more uniform/consistent with direct_placement if needed.

Player Resources: 4 water buffalo, 4 deer, 3 tiles gold, 2 tiles stone
Extra Resources: 15 (3x5) tiles gold per player (7x5 total for 1v1), 6 (2x3) tiles stone per player (5x3 total for 1v1), various groups of 2 water buffalo, fish (marlin)

MAP016.jpg
MAP017.jpg
MAP018.jpg
MAP019.jpg
 

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Aug 7, 2014
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#24
How important is it to make use of the WK new terrains and stuff? If I can make compelling maps for the regional zones using just the vanilla stuff, will they stand a chance?
 
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