ECL Map Design Contest

Austriateutonic_tanks

Two handed swordman
Mar 30, 2013
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#76
I updated my first 2 entries ([email protected]_Mountains and Mercenary_Camp), please redownload and del the old version. I just made some small ajustments, like reducing the amount of mountains a little bit to make the wood easier to collect, or add some lions/baobab trees on the extra islands of Mercenary_Camp.

I also added the rms scripts everywhere and i think i wont change anything anymore.

Also added birds everywhere.
 
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United KingdomCicero

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#77
Castile (West Europe)
"Most of the stone in Castille has already been quarried for its namesake castles..."
- Age of Empires II: The Conquerors - El Cid Campaign, Scenario 1 (Brother against Brother), Hint 2
Loosely inspired by the Battle of Golpejera as featured in the El Cid Campaign.
Regicide built in.
Players each start with a castle, but there is no stone on the map. They also lack a starting TC. Geographically, the centre of the map is open and completely flat, with the edges of the maps more densely forested, and featuring plenty of elevation and cliffs. Players start with +3 villagers to compensate for the would-be a slower start.
The lack of stone should make king sniping more possible since they will be difficult to protect if the starting castle is destroyed. Because of this, I'd expect to see some fairly different strategies. The castle can initially help civs with strong unique units, but players will not be able to fully commit to those units. The no TC start is partly intended to make the castle positions fairer since players will always have their closest golds covered - players can choose whether to place their TC under/behind the castle or protecting a woodline.
A bit of fun perhaps, for the final stage?

Player Resources: 8 sheep, 2 boar, 6 forage bushes, 4 deer, 5 tiles gold
Extra Resources: various 5 tiles gold (approx. 3-4 groups per player)

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

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NorwayHJFE

Known Member
Aug 22, 2011
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#78
These are the maps I want to submit. I chose these maps because I like them most from my collection. Maps were taken from Anniversary Pack and Shrublands was made in 2018.

Intended for use with Voobly and WololoKingdoms. Standard resources on maps.

Example.jpg

I'd like to point out that the map generation for these maps will look different for each time.

Ghost Forest (Europe)

Ghost Forest Poster
Ghost Forest Poster.jpg
Please note: This is a poster. Fog activated in this photo. It won't look like this in games.


/* ****************************************************** */

Ghost Forest
Features

- Night weather with new lighting. New weather command used.
- Uncommon theme scary map.
- Unique black tree as forest around map (100 wood).
- Creepy objects.
- Flying "Ghosts".

/* ****************************************************** */


Ghost Forest 3v3.jpg
Image shows 3v3 example. This is how it should look like ingame with fog off.







/* ****************************************************** */

Shrublands (Africa)

Shrublands 3v3.jpg
Image shows 3v3 example.

WK_Shrublands Minimap.jpg


/* ****************************************************** */

Shrublands
Features

- Arabia similar map set in xeric shrublands.
- Realistic details such as grass, bushes, trees and wildlife.
- Open map that is hard to wall, Acacia forest can have gaps.
- Acacia forest storage value reduced from 150 wood to 100 wood on Voobly UP version.
- Elevation generation 70% chance to occur and 30% for a flat land generation.
- Two different forest generations - big forest and smaller forest 50 / 50%.

/* ****************************************************** */






/* ****************************************************** */

Two Rivers (Americas)

Two Rivers 3v3.jpg
Image shows 3v3 example.



/* ****************************************************** */

Two Rivers
Features

- Construction on shallow terrain enabled.
- 50% chance for small river and 50% for a big river.
- Rivers with crossings.
- Interesting map layout
- Water can be used be used by both sides for attack or defence.

/* ****************************************************** */






/* ****************************************************** */

Flash Flood (East Asia)

Flash Flood 3v3.jpg
Image shows 3v3 example.



/* ****************************************************** */

Flash Flood
Features

- Construction on shallow terrain enabled.
- Water map with trade route across shallow connections
- Fair resources for all players (No extra resources)
- Opportunity for landing or water war.
- Map control and defence is important.

/* ****************************************************** */






Download
HJ Maps
 

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SwedenAlgernonR

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#79
Riverbed
(Southeast Asia Event)
methode%2Fsundaytimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2Fddc1c9a8-0504-11e8-8182-8ccf9f50529e.jpg


Riverbed1v1.png

Riverbed2v2.png

Riverbed3v3.png

Riverbed4v4.png

This map have players start on the shallow water at the bottom of a large river. The water holds a lot of resources and will be worth fighting for, there is also the hillsides on each side of the river which also have extra resources for players to explore. The river only holds small wood sources and it will be important to secure wood income from the hillsides. Control of the water will be important, but so will controlling the land areas. The cliffs can provide good natural walls towards the river.

There are 2 elephants per player, but also a few extra ones spread around the map. There are 8 water buffalos, as well as fish. Each player have a deep fish spawning next to the TC. Extra deer and berries are scarttered on the hillside. But there is also tigers and crokodiles around. All relics are on the hillsides, as well as extra stones and golds.
 

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#80
Maps must be submitted by Monday 23rd July. Any maps received after this date will not be judged.

Does this only apply to the prizemoney, or are maps submitted after this date ineligible for play as well?
 
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#82
banner3.jpg

Great Rift Valley

African Style (2v2, 3v3)

Context:
The earth's surface is constantly undergoing changes. Mountains arise due to magnificent forces, Volcanos grow, and the widening valleys eventually creates new seas and oceans. As a map-designer (and a geologist) I hold a great interest in these magnificent natural processes. Hence I focus my submission of a African-themed Random map to represent African's greatest geological feature: The Great Rift Valley.

Due to the movement of tectonic plates the East African highlands were rifted apart, and a large valley developed. On both flanks of the rift the lands are barren. Large rock formations and sparse vegetation can be found on the mountainous highlands.
In the valley temperatures are higher. Water is drained by rivers or stored in lakes, but due to the high evaporation fresh water is sparse and the lakes are alkaline. Nonetheless, wild life and a rich vegetation can be found in the valley.


minimap.jpg
The map:
The teams are separated by a large valley. In the valley palm forest can be found, along with fruit bushes and African wildlife. Any traces of water are absent. Just cracked ground is left where the sun evaporated the water. The wood lines in this valley will be important for the mid and late game, since the highlands forests on the highlands are small and not so dense. The elevation difference between both team lands and the separating valley will give even more depth to strategic gameplay, since being in the valley would result in having an elevation penalty.

The highlands are barren lands. Hills, cliffs and large rock formations are the only significant features that paint the landscape here. The wood lines are sparse and inconvienient: dragon trees replace baobab trees making these kinds of forests even more useless with only 100 instead of 200 resources per tree. Acacia forests might be the best option, although they have similarly bad density.
Luckily there are sufficient goats and elephants present on the highlands for food, and gold and stone piles will surround the player lands which gives them a reason to add defenses to their starting town.

Map screenshots
1v1.jpg
2v2.jpg
3v3.jpg
4v4.jpg

Resources
goat.jpg
The resources surrounding the starting town are very similar to arabia:
  • some bad wood lines
    • acacia forest (150w per tree), not so dense
    • dragon forest (100w per tree), not dense at all!
  • straggler trees
  • 8 goats
  • 2 elephants (more combat stats but also more food, 400f instead of 340 of a boar)
  • 6 forage bushes (standard)
  • main gold: 7 tiles
  • secondary and tertiary golds: 2x4 tiles
  • main stone: 5 tiles
  • secondary stone: 4 tiles
Spread around the map are neutral resources:
  • gold piles (groups scaling to map size, 3 tiles each)
  • stone piles (groups scaling to map size, 3 tiles each)
  • lions (far away from the starting towns)
Additionally, in the valley you can find:
  • fruitbushes (5bushes per group)
  • groups of zebra (4 per group)
  • groups of ostrich (4 per group)
  • nice large and dense woodlines (palm desert)
  • the 5 relics

Strategies
The seasoned arabia-player might feel in his element on this map, with the bad wood lines and the open layout. Starting resources are almost similar to this map as well; although there are no deer near the player's bases extra food is provided by the elephants (400 instead of 340 food) or by utilizing the fruit bushes or zebras and ostriches from the valley.

Players are forced to move down the valley once wood runs out in the highlands. Even long before, it can be worth taking the risk to ascend the valley-cliffs to benefit from efficient lumber camps and mills near the fruit bushes and hunt. However, venturing so far from the starting town, risking confrontation with the enemy or with wild lions might not be such a great idea...

Walling on the map is not as bad as expected for such a barren world. Cliffs and rock formations can be added to the wall. Another ballsy strategy would be to team-wall the middle, where dense palm forest significantly reduces the places to wall.

The question whether to move down and when to go and how much priority it takes to ascend to the food and wood rich valley will be a question to remain until a meta is established.
 

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SwedenAlgernonR

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#83
Eastern Coastline
(East Asia Event)

7406d7cd012ae7ca098deedbfa5e7430--qiandao-lake-underwater-city.jpg

Eastern Coastline 1v1.png

Eastern Coastline 2v2.png

Eastern Coastline 3v3.png

Eastern Coastline 4v4.png

This map is set on a coastal strip in the far East. The players will settle on both mainland and the nearby islands and will fight for both land and water control in order to be succesful. The bases holds standard resources, but there are also some extra resources to fight for in the middle of the mainland. On 1v1 the players start with 2 tcs, to populate both mainland and islands at the start of the game - and therefore plays very different to the teamgame version.

The position will be randomized in each team, so one in each team will get an island and one will get mainland. There are possibilities to adjust this to be chosen by player color but I think it works better randomized. Players would probably go for civs that work well on both water and land to ensure succes on both positions.

For 1v1 its a double TC start with one TC on mainland and one on an island.
For 2v2 one player in each team start on mainland and the other on an island.
For 3v3 two players in each team start on mainland and the third on an island.
For 4v4 two players in each team start on mainland and the remaining two on an island each.
 

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Apr 19, 2015
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#84
Rift Island
(Africa)

Teams start on an African island separated by an amphibious rift. Players can choose to boost their economy by taking the plentiful zebra in the centre and/or the fish that are located only in deep water pools irregularly scattered around the edges of the map and in-between the islands. Demolition ship explosions in the centre, sneaky landings and exposed trade lines will force teams to strike the correct balance between water and land.

Players start with normal resources close to their TC minus deer and one berry bush to spur them towards the extra food resources. The starting scout has been replaced by a spearman to avoid zebra luring to the TC - players must commit to forward villagers if they want to hunt.

Which team can find the right strategy to push the other off their island?

Rift_Island_4v4.jpg
Rift_Island_3v3.jpg
Rift_Island_2v2.jpg
Rift_Island_1v1.jpg

Three Paths
(East Asia)

Teams start in a straight line facing their opponents. A large bamboo forest is located behind them and the only cover between the teams are two rows of small forests splitting the middle of the map into three open paths. Due to the starting positions there are no classic "flank" or "pocket" positions and teams must decide which early-game rushes to go for. Teams may also choose to recreate the Great Wall of China or constantly be under threat from enemy raids.

This map has standard Arabia resources with a more regular deer spawn and the starting sheep in the LOS of the TC to create fair starts.

Which team can find the path to victory?

Small Print:
This map uses direct_placement
I would like to thank Teutonic Tanks for his Channel map which code I adapted to create this map.


Three_Paths_4v4 (2).jpg
Three_Paths_3v3.jpg
Three_Paths_2v2.jpg
Three_Paths_1v1.jpg
 

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Apr 19, 2015
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#85
My final map:

Double Water Nomad
(South East Asia)

This map is very similar to regular Water Nomad but with a strategic twist: a dam separates the two mangrove shallow areas. Thus water units can only traverse slightly less than half the map since they are blocked by the dam. Players must decide whether to use the more cost-effective but restricted water units or land units to conquer their foes. The inter-play between land and water is the main focus of this map.

Players start with 7 scattered villagers but without a TC or fishing ships and must find a good location to settle and fish. The combination of a hybrid map with a nomadic start should be a guarantee for ensuing chaos.

Dbl_h2o_nomad_4v4.jpg
Dbl_h2o_nomad_3v3.jpg
Dbl_h2o_nomad_2v2.jpg
Dbl_h2o_nomad_1v1.jpg
 

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Jan 31, 2015
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#86
drought-nomad.png
Drought
(Africa)

Drought is an african-styled land map where teams are separated by dry riverbed. Water has gone and left many gold uncovered on the bottom. But it will be not easy for people to mine it because they have to withstand the lions that came to the last remained watering hole (there are so many lions it is possible to make a lion-rush). The feature of this map is that the gold is scattered all along the river bottom so it'll be hard to control.
Players have standard resources at their bases, with the exception of gold - 2 tiles only, located very close to TC. As this map is african-styled, you'll encounter elephants and rhinos instead of boars and zebras instead of deers. There are a plenty of wood: acacia forest is growing near the dried up river, baobabs are located close to the map sides/edges.
No relics can be found on this map; trade lines will not be perfect because of trees, so players have to mine gold in the riverbed.
And don't forget cracked dirt that paves the river's bottom is bad for building - all buildings placed on will gain 20% increased damage.

At start every player have: 8 goats, 4 zebras, rhino, elephant, 6 bushes, gold (2 tiles), stone (9 tiles total), wood. It may happen ostriches to appear nearby.
Distant resources: a lot of gold on the river bottom, located exactly between the teams.
tc4v4.jpg
tc3v3.jpg
tc2v2.jpg
tc1v1.jpg

Drought-Nomad
(Africa)
Drought-Nomad, as the name implies, is a nomad version of the Drought. Players have 4 african huts instead of a TC, standard amount of villagers and a camel (scout). Starting resources amount was increased so players can start to build their TCs instantly. Everything else is the same, except for the halved lion population.
nmd4v4.jpg
nmd3v3.jpg
nmd2v2.jpg
 

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#87
banner.jpg
DragonCrossing

East Asian style (2v2, 4v4)

[EDIT: added relics and tigers, and a bit more elevation]

Context
Unlike my other submissions this map is not based on realistic Geographical terrains, but rather on the typical shape of a Chinese dragon. Again I used direct_placement to generate a variety of map-generation possibilities. This unique distribution of players questions the whole concept of playing as pocket or flank, but rather focusses on having a forward or back position.
In games of 2v2 and 4v4 this is particularly nice because it means both teams have an equal amount of players in forward and back positions. In 1v1 the map looks much like a standard river map.

The map
Some additional features that makes the map unique is the mixture of shallow, water and deep water which gives the river a organic touch. There will ALWAYS be at least some connections, that connect all player lands and additionally some random shallow can form additional connections. The random mixture of the water does however make it sometimes awkward to dock: fish distribution is pretty even, but there are some spots that are less rich in fish.

Bamboo forests cover the flanks of the map. An additional source of wood is welcome on this map, but also occupies some valuable building space where the players might want to escape to, in case they get pushed away from their starting position.

minimap.jpg

Strategies
Control of the water will be important (as in any water/hybrid map). Not only will it grant access to the fish in the river, but also does it give a large portion of map control over the middle area and the crossings to enemy lands. Warships can be used to prevent enemies from crossing at any of the crossable areas. Additionally, war galleys can range quite a bit of terrain from all enemy players that are close to the water, and especially the players in the forward positions are very vulnerable.

The distribution of players so close to the middle also means that they all are very close to the enemy. Fast castles are risky (especially for the players in forward positions) and we can expect aggressive gameplay.

Resources
Each player starts with:
  • straggler trees
  • 8 water buffalo (150food each)
  • 2 rhinos (400food each)
  • 6 berry bushes
  • main gold (7tiles)
  • second & third gold (4tiles)
  • main stone (5tiles)
  • second stone (4tiles)
additionally there are 'neutral resources'
  • neutral gold (3tiles, about 1 group per player)
  • neutral stone (3tiles, about 1 group per player)
  • NO WOLVES (wasn't possible to add those on good spots on the map, and I don't see them necessary in this map)
  • tigers
  • 5 Relics
  • straggler trees

Screenshots
1v1.jpg
2v2.jpg
3v3.jpg
4v4.jpg
 

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#88
banner.jpg
Wadi
Middle East Style (1v1, 3v3)

Context
The wadi refers to a dry (ephemeral) riverbed, which means that it is completely dry and only contains water after flooding. The desert environment is characterized by sudden but infrequent heavy rainfall, often resulting in flashfloods. Crossing wadis can be dangerous as a result.

The map
In this map crossing the dry riverbed that separates the player teams can be very dangerous as well. Not only do units find themselves in a lower elevation (and are thus vulnerable due to the elevation penalty). But also, the riverbed hosts some dangerous lions. Furthermore, little cover will be found in the wadi, making it nearly impossible to wall in this region or to hide a group of archers. The valley however does include all the neutral stone and golds, as well as some useless rocks.

minimap.jpg

Like the design of the East Asian map DragonCrossing, the players in this map are distributed in a wavy line in the middle of the map, flanking the wadi. Compared to that Asian map, the valley of the map Wadi is curving more gently and the players are located at a further distance to enemy teams. Still the conventional flank-pocket-pocket-flank system is different in this map, as some players might find themselves more exposed and will need support from either flank or pocket.

Even though stone and gold piles are found in the middle, the back of the bases will come into play as areas that provide wood lines and a nice trade route.

Resources
The players start with regular resources:
  • 8 goats (100 food each)
  • 2 elephants (400 food each)
  • 6 berry bushes
  • 4 deer
  • some straggler trees
  • main gold (7 tiles)
  • second and third gold (4 tiles)
  • main stone (5 tiles)
  • second stone (4 tiles)
In the wadi the neutral gold and stones are found:
  • gold piles (4 tiles each)
  • stone piles (3 tiles each)
  • 'useless' rocks
Additionaly, spread around the map one can find:
  • lions (similar amount to Arabia)
  • straggler trees
  • 5 relics

Screenshots
1v1.jpg
2v2.jpg
3v3.jpg
4v4.jpg
 

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Nov 16, 2015
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#89
Chaotic Ring, Africa

Each player start pretty close to each other, and are surrounded by a ring containing extra resources that might be otherwise missing. That ring — which is either a hill or a pit – can contain either extra food, gold, or stone, and will always have wood
If the ring is composed of gold or stone, it will be always visible to all players.
If it contains extra food, it will be only partially visible, so as you can take early food a little bit safer.

Wood will always be a bit further away from TCs than usual (appart for a few starting trees), in an attempt to nerf a bit archers


Screenshots:
 

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NorwayHJFE

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#90
War Camps (East Asia)

Last map from me. This is a grouped team map. Regards HJ.
War Camps 3v3.jpg
Image shows 3v3 example.

Here is an example on details:

Top image shows terrain inside the pits.
Bottom image displays grass patches.
War camps detail.jpg

/* ****************************************************** */

War Camps
Features

- Grouped together. One base for each team.
- Boars under Town Center for easy access.
- Big hills and elevation. In addition two pits in the middle.
- Grass patches on terrain.
- Modified tents and yurts inside player camps. These buildings won't increase your population.
- Tiny map size 1vs1 has normal resources, however other map sizes have resources more spread out.
- Challenging terrain and far away resources in TG. Important to search map!

/* ****************************************************** */





Download
War Camps
 

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Nov 16, 2015
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#91
Cold River, Europe

Each team start on the side of a semi-frozen river that is unwallable. There is some fish, but that could run out pretty quickly. There are only 6 sheep that can be pretty far from the TC, but each player start with a deer under his TC.

Screenshots:

 

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United KingdomCicero

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Jul 9, 2017
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#92
Patagonia (Americas)
(Was looking at AoE3 maps for ideas and found one might be interesting; this is based on the AoE3 map of the same name.)
Made possible with direct_placement. There are two bodies of water - a pond in the centre of the landmass, and a sea along one side of the map. Which do you prioritise? The centre pond is better for map control, and easier to maintain control of once won, whereas the sea has better long-term fishing opportunities.
I'd hope that this map offers both a unique strategical element to water control and a map that is open and ripe for land aggression also.
Note: doesn't work in the map editor - test by loading a game in singleplayer or multiplayer. Only works with two equal teams.

Standard Resources
MAP101.jpg
MAP102.jpg
MAP103.jpg
MAP104.jpg

I've also attached a map without the centre pond called California, for which the only other difference is the terrain palette. I don't consider this interesting enough to enter, but it is a map that is open on land despite the large body of water and ample fishing opportunities and could be good in 1v1.
 

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Last edited:
Aug 7, 2014
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#93
I have my submissions ready.
Everything I have made uses only the vanilla content, although some of it does rely on UP1.5 for direct placement.
I am available to make any necessary changes and/or fixes.

Download link (map scripts):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ascybzin1vofrl1/[email protected]_Maps.zip?dl=0

Download link (mapshots):
https://www.dropbox.com/s/703pihv75gizfyw/[email protected]_Mapshots.zip?dl=0


Middle East
Linear Arabia
It's the Arabia you know and love (or hate). However, teams are placed in perfectly parallel lines that can run horizontally, vertically or on either diagonal. So everyone is equally close to the enemies. The base script for placing lands can be adapted for use on other maps, and I have done so for the Linear Arena map I present later. Unequal teams will not break the map, but will cause it to revert to random placement.

Europe West
Linear Arena
Arena, with direct placement. So no one gets unequal back pockets of resources. Spawns can follow two possible orientations. Also worth noting is that I fixed the "hidden problem with Arena" whereby there is a large resource-less area in the center of the map. Unequal teams will not break the map, but will cause it to revert to random placement. Everyone has walls only on the front and sides and direct forest access at the rear. Player resources are more standardized in that boars and medium gold will always spawn inside the walls, while extra sheep, far gold and far stone are guaranteed to be outside. Basically, every player resource node is either guaranteed to be only inside or to be only outside.

Americas
Mesas
A dry map with large clusters of cliffs around the outside that are supposed to represent the mesas in the south-west of the US. There can also be central cliff clusters, but even then, gameplay is very open. Wood is scarcer than it might seem from the screenshots (because much of it is intentionally inaccessible in cliffs), and will require setting up lumber camps along the edge of cliffed areas. The controlled cliff techniques shown in this map were pioneered by me, and I believe are still pretty unique and not seen elsewhere.

Cliff Rush
A continent with a cliff-filled central mountain. There are individual piles of gold to be obtained at the foot of the cliffs. Additional individual gold piles may become accessible as the outer ones are mined, allowing for a slow trickle of gold, even in the late game. The ocean on the outside has fish, and a thin line of shallows prevents walling all the way to the coast. The controlled cliff techniques shown in this map were pioneered by me, and I believe are still pretty unique and not seen elsewhere.

East Asia
Cheeseburger
A curious Tibetan forest formation entraps the players. Basically, this map is inverse of the "Hamburger" map in Forgotten Empires. In this case water separates the players, and a circle of forest (only two trees thick) surrounds the center. You want to cut through this forest as soon as possible to gain access to the outside of the map. There is no other wood than a few straggler trees on the inside, ensuring that the players will quickly cut passages to the outside. The beaches come pre-blocked with boulders.

Team Causeways
Similar to the classic "Team Islands", except that shallows connect the islands and that there is noticeably more land and less water. In a 1v1 there is one connection. More players will result in disproportionately more connections. Resources are standard. Includes seasonal tilesets.

EDIT: spelling and formulation
 
Last edited:
Jul 2, 2018
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#94
aP's ECL Mapping Contest Submission
As a game designer I found this contest a good reason to learn AoE2 RMS, learning a bit about old procedural level generators.
Each entry is made from scratch, tested, balanced and, in some cases, textured over the last month. It's great to see that a lot of the big RMScripters are participating, I learned a lot from the many tutorials, discord channels and fora they contributed to <3, and of course the awesome additions in UserPatch, (some of the new features make a game designers wildest dreams come true).

I also spent hours and hours on getting the right data on flora, fauna and geographies, always great to "explore" the world.

I feel I have a set of 6 unique maps with different playstyles, regions and RMS techniques. Any feedback is appreciated.


Frisia.png
[email protected] (Europe West)
This coastal area, spanning current day Dutch and German coasts, is surrounded by islands connected to land by shallow wads.
These small islands contain resources that will quickly become scarce on the mainland.
If early agressive strategies fail, the game will see sea brawls with both naval and ground units
on the team-shared coasts of the main land, while shallow rivers allow for some diversity in tactics.
During winters rivers suspiciously become exactly as wide as two docks and the lack of berries lures deer to your TC, very convenient.

The islands are small and can easily be reached with upgraded War Galleys. However they do make for good towerable water choke points.

Dolphins? Yes, many roamed the Frisian seas!

Starting Resources: 8 Cows, 6 Berry bushes (summer) or 4 Deer (winter), 4 Deer (always), 2 Boar, 7 Gold, 6 Stone, Fish, Enough Wood to conquer the entire North Sea.
Extra Resources: 5 Relics, little extra Gold and Stone on land, a lot of extra Gold and Stone on Islands.

Technical Details: direct_placement forcing teams to share a single coast. Custom Wad texture.
PRO_ Version: Removes Wad texture (allows grid & user's textures), birds. Always summer, dock-blockable rivers, berries. Sling nerfs.


RedDesert.png
[email protected]Red Desert (Americas)
The Red Desert (WY) is connected to a large basin, where minerals were left behind after lakes dried up.
Only wild animals can be found near pools left by the summer rains. However these pools are unable to sustain large forests. Most gold has washed away into the basin, leaving several stone rocks behind.
You have to get to the low basin for your Wood and Gold, but the lack of buildable ground makes this lower area even harder to defend.

A classical historic Britons vs Franks situation arises.

Starting Resources: 16 Deer, 2 Boar, 9 Gold, 8 Stone, little Wood.
Extra Resources: 5 Relics, Stone in Desert, Gold in Basin, Lots of Wood in basin

Technical Details: Custom Red desert textures.
PRO_ Version: Removes custom textures (allows grid & user's textures), birds. Sling nerfs.


Hourglass.png
[email protected]Hourglass (Middle-East)
The first Hourglasses can be traced back to Babylon, in the Middle-East. The map is designed in a Hourglass shape. A big choke point in the center of the map. In addition to this main unwallable choke, there are two extra chokes on the middle borders of the map, where a lot of extra resources are centered. Around the Hourglass are two oases, both surrounded by a thin woodline, allowing you to dock, and control half of the fish, relics and a quarter of the wood on the map. Due to the layout of the map the forward player and both flanks can expect early attacks. A 4th team member is rather save though. In 1v1s you will have to scout which oasis your opponent is taking, and act accordingly.

Time is running out, get your priorities straight.

Starting Resources: Standard, with second stone and third gold back.
Extra Resources: 5 Relics in the oases, extra Gold and Stone on each side, fish.

Technical Details: direct_placement forcing teams in an aggressive formation. Quicksand texture (AK)
[email protected]_ Version: Removes birds. Sling nerfs.


Scattered.png
[email protected]Scattered (Africa)
A game designer's attempt at a Baobab "Nothing" map, but turned out to be a highly technical map.
On this map forests, gold and stone are scattered so placing your camps will take some getting used to. Even Farms will be hard to place due to the lack of space.
The forest will force you to place buildings quite far from your TC. Luckily there is plenty of food and even some extra elephants that can be lured to your TC with your scout.
An additional horse is added for exploring while doing that.

Make sure your micro isn't rusty.


Starting Resources:: 6 Berries, 4 Zebra, 8 Goats, 1 Rhino, several scout-lurable Elephants. 9 gold, 8 Stone. Exploration Horse.
Extra Resources: A ton of Baobab trees, extra gold and stone in the center and each corner.

Technical Details: Some AK textures.
PRO_ Version:
No extra textures. Removes birds. Sling nerfs.


Rigde.png
Ridge (East-Asia)
For centuries the border between India and China is disputed. The Himalayas have been an interesting obstacle due to its unhospitable nature. Even these two mighty civilisations could not conquer it. This map will give you a shot at doing so. It's gonna be hard, but if you manage to move the frontline over it, you'll have the advantage. It's easy to know you made it: You will notice the climate change when you managed to cross the Ridge, into dry China or wet India.

Ah, before I forget: Good luck protecting you trade.

Starting Resources: Standard
Extra Resources: There's some extra gold and stone and a few relics on top of the ridge.

Technical Details: None.
PRO_ Version:
Removes birds. Sling nerfs.


Marooned.png
[email protected]Marooned (South-East Asia)
During wars over the many islands found in the Pacific, often crews of rivalling nations would find themselves on the same island. They tried to keep stay alive on tropic islands, while keeping an eye on the enemy.
You start with a very tiny palisade fort, with some outposts. All your resources are in the back. Your task is to wall off access to islands in the back, from both sea and land, so you can utilise them while fending off your bad neighbours.

It's actually surprisingly fun. :O

Starting Resources: 6 Berries, 5 Buffalos, 5 Gold, 4 Stone, 2 Elephants, all in the back. You'll have to share your wood.
Extra Resources: A lot of extra gold, stone, relics and wood on the islands.


Technical Details: RoR textures added.
PRO_ Version: No RoR textures,
Removes birds. Sling nerfs.

------------
P.S. Textures and Maps will be hosted on GitHub. https://github.com/abductedPlatypus/AoE2Maps I will also add the HD versions of the maps where applicable.
P.P.S. After taking the screenshot minor visual changes have been added, such as using consistent terrains in [email protected]
Edit: Fixed some grammar and incomplete sentences.
 

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DenmarkChrazini

Longswordman
Dec 31, 2013
325
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Denmark
Voobly
Chrazini
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RM - 1v1
Rating
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#95
Here is my last minute submissions:
  • Creek (Americas)
  • Shrubbery (East Europe)
  • Skeleton Coast (African)
  • Soaked (South East Asia)
  • Sunburn (Middle East)
  • Tuman River (East Asia)
To see pictures and download the maps, use this link.
To see my 30 previous map submissions, use this link.

I will add some information later, I just needed to get them uploaded before the deadline ended. Though all the maps share the same starting positions and using this formation, I've created some unique maps that I haven't seen before.
 

GermanyRoechelrochen

Active Member
Mar 20, 2016
85
47
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#96
1. Coast to Mountains (Africa)

1v1.jpg

2v2.jpg

3v3.jpg

4v4.jpg

Information for the map:
Coast to Mountain is a nomad style map. The idea behind it is that all players of the same team start at the same spot of the map. That way they can decide which player (and which civ) goes towards the coast and which player goes towards the mountains.
Mountains and coastline are seperated by a desert like open plain with a lot of hunt. Going for the hunt or sending villagers to the other side of the map for TCs/docks will be dangerous once armies are out as they are completely in the open.
Because it might get hard to expand to the other side of the map later on the teams have to decide early how many of their players they want to send to the mountains and how many of them want to go for the water.
The mountains provide a more closed of map with lots of wood, stone and gold. As players start with only 4 goats each they have to go for the hunt in the middle to get enough food.
The coastline is hard to wall of and doesn't provide as much gold and no stone but the sea is full of fish that shouldn't be neglected. Also water control is important to secure a safe trade route. But you might run out of wood.

The map should provide lots of challanges in decision making and coming up with team strategies, deciding on the right civs and positioning on the map.
 

Attachments

Aug 7, 2014
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#97
There I was staying up until 4 AM yesterday making mapshots and polishing up my submissions. Turns out I could have done it all today :tongue:
 
Jul 2, 2018
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#98
Post Mortem
In the community I usually do game design contests with (Ludum Dare) it is common to write a "short" post-mortem on what you did, and why you did it that way. I hope it's okay to write it here, as I don't feel creating a new topic for it is necessary. It's also common to release a Post-Compo version of the game you made, fixing some bugs. I also caught a few I couldn't fix in time yesterday.

Post Mortem, so after the competition ended, keep that in mind when judging.

Late to the party
I'm a member of T90's discord channel, and I often lurk in the mapping channel to see what brilliant, insane ideas they have. (Some are pretty serious too, not just Pizza Nothing maps, with each slice a different type, or whatever they are up to.) I saw them mentioning an ECL mapping contest, so I thought I'd check that out. That was 3 weekends ago, so 1 weekend for learning and prototyping, 1 weekend for making, 2 weeks for testing. Naturally, it wasn't that easy.

Learning
I found a great guide by Bultro, updated by Zetnus, that helped me get started and got me to start prototyping. Getting a feeling for what is possible and what not. I also found the Reference.html in my AoE2 folder, where scripter explains the awesome thing he added in userpatch. This post explains how the most advanced of those things work. I was mainly looking at making other Trees like Boabab and Acacia (this worked) and making an nonconvertible Gaia owned Chinese Wall (this was buggy).

A small list of techniques I figured out:
  • You can use CONNECTION_GENERATION with a terrain_size > 960 (2xLUDIKRIS size) to replace terrains across the entire map. This is useful when using placeholder terrains for, e.g., placing islands only at the left of the map . This does not work with objects, since these are placed afterwards. Also, the land_id, which works only for islands and shallow, does not work. Seems this is calculated at object creation time.
  • A lot of great features are not in HD, (which I used because it runs smoother, (for real)), yet the new UP features are really great. When I found the new assign_to function my head exploded with ideas (only two of which I finished).
  • You can use ZR texture replacement in a similar way as that replacement trick (above), with the added feature that it does work for create_object.
  • Objects with a position/border outside the map have different behaviour, some of which is mention in Bultro/Zetnus' guide. E.g. They have a rounder outline and they are skipped in CONNECTION_GENERATION (was a bug for me, but can be really useful I think)
  • There are quite a few inconsistencies across the functions with similar (but weirdly different) names. I can't remember them so I have to try it out every time.
  • It's possible to make maps that include both HD and UP code enabling them with quick defines. Just by checking on the the new UP only defines.

I still have trouble understanding why Cracked Earth exists in this game. There is no visual indicator (as far as I can see) that this does that. They didn't even opt to go for something more visible like a lower max health. I assume that there is a campaign that notifies you of this. Without the recent WK changes I would have never known about this, and would have probably just used the texture. Can anyone shine light on this?

The ideas
A map in the Netherlands, my home country, with its unique Wadden Sea, an area that has natural shallows (during ebb) to islands. I thought it could be a great area to mix land and sea fights with. This map turned out to be Frisia.

A place with ruins of an old civilisation, and it's relics. This one didn't make it. Relics force you into monks, leaving a few civs a lot better, Aztecs, but also Burmese with a ton of extra map knowledge. I couldn't figure out to balance this without reducing the ton of relics. This became Ridge, probably my most boring map, in the end I even removed the ruins because of the lack of space and it no longer served the purpose of explaining the amount of relics.

One where players start very close, with space to expand to the back. I love games where players figure out the enemy is 1 screen away from you. It got a lot of changes, leaving some balancing for later (I have a few pending as I type, late :< ). This became Marooned.

Something that forces different flanks using direct_placement. I tried a map with lines of players, I felt it gave made travel times for the last players a bit too long. (Not trying to pull down Chrazini's maps, his other direct_placement maps are purely awesome, I'm confident he nailed it, so I assume I did something wrong.) Then I tried a banana shape, making 1 hard forward, reducing the distance between the teams but leaving the others open to attack. I still felt this didn't help much, so I ended up with 1 forward, 2 flanks, 1 backward. In team games always the forward player would be chosen. This became Hourglass (the player positions had that shape from the start).

A nothing map. I just did it for fun. But it turned out pretty great using the thin Baobab forests. I just iterated over the design until I felt it was playable. Basically adding stuff pro's might like, like laming, blaming DauT for his lumber/mining camp placement, owning the big resource pool in the center of the map and having some space to build things. This became Scattered.

I also wanted to make a map with a lot of new textures. (Well, I just recoloured them, I didn't have a lot of time). For this I wanted to make a Grand Canyon map, with it's red surroundings. I mainly learned that there isn't a lot of red in the AoE2 pallete.
I saw a lot of canyon maps already entering the contest. So I had to come up with another red area in the Americas, preferably with some kind of canyon. It turned out the Red Desert has a deep basin next to it, so I used that, making it a deep zone on the map, rather than a separating line.

And one map that I couldn't get to work. I map with the Chinese wall (owned by Gaia) in the center. I managed to get it to work using a granary. But the ways I found replacing them with wall sections were either buggy or would make them convertible again. This one also became Ridge.

The balancing
I mentioned some balancing above, so I will mainly go into the process here.
I used AI for balancing. They weren't always very smart, so I recruited some HD friends to test with. (I dont have WK friends, because I'm a noob at learning build orders.) Them being HD players required me to convert the maps back to HD (so my process was HD->WK->HD, repeat). So I will be releasing HD version of the maps soon, after I ported all the things back to HD for one last time.

The maps here are in order of finishing.

Frisia1v1.png Frisia3v3.png

Frisia
Frisia required some tweaking in the amount of Wood, first there wasn't enough to build a navy during a lot of the time, then the the amount of forests would give fatslob a new favourite map. Also it was kind of hard to regain control of the map, and thus the resource rich islands after you lost it. So I added a few rivers, at the same time making it impossible to fully wall. To counter that I made the rivers dock-blockable in 50% of the maps. I also created a winter version of the map, even though people seem to dislike the white.

Scattered3v3.png

Scattered
Making scattered was purely balancing the whole time, adding stuff pros like, and improving my micro in the process. I don't have much too add here.

Hourglass3v3.png

Hourglass
As I mentioned this map had a lot of different shapes before becoming the hourglass shape. At first the map was even called BananaRepublic. But I had to go with an Arabia style map, since I didn't have one yet, the hourglass shaped helped immensely with that. The main other balancing point was the Oases. the map was unwallable - using Quicksand - from the start, but to make it more open I turned it into water. I wanted to make the water a bit more interesting, especially since there are two. The solution was adding relics in the area and giving some control over some wood. (Which had to be Acacia or Baobab to still be able to dock it.). Giving a more compelling reason to keep the pond after clearing out the fish, rather than being afraid of being landed, which wasn't that important due to the lack of walling locations.

Ridge4v4.png

Ridge
Ridge was mainly born because I my other idea for the East Asian region - Ruins and Relics- failed. It's very simple and rather close to existing AoE2 maps. Normal resources, with some elevation bonus between all players. The fact that you can't build there makes it harder to defend, so you will have to fight into their region to be able to build a border. On the other hand the Ridges make it hard to protect your trade routes. I'm not 100% sure why I couldn't quickly find a map like it, so I must have missed something. Although getting the Ridge to be this height consistently required a bit of a hack (multiple of the same elevation_creation sections), but I doubt that is the reason. So either I lack google skills, or it's just very unbalanced.

RedDesert2v2.png

Red Desert
Red Desert was actually an early prototype with a canyon. So changing this one was something I did in the last days, together with Ridge, and entirely making Marooned. I didn't do much balancing. Mainly in the later added no-build zones in the Basin. I wanted to add those no-build zones to make it harder to defend, like in the Canyon case. Also, I noticed that watching the red area is less comfortable for me than the green area (which is a natural thing), so that was a fun extra for a desert map.

Marooned1v1.png
Marooned
This is the map I like most, even though I didn't really balance it, even though it's balance is quite hard to do. The fact that you start that close to your opponents and in some cases you are unsure who owns what resources leave a lot of open strategies. I watched some game that had people spawn this close (like this in the recent BacT vs DauT showmatch). I saw a lot of towers and walls. So I added a few walls already, and gave them outposts to spot tower attempts aerly. The only thing I changed after some quick playtests were some bigger islands, due to running out of space.

I added a few balance changes today, - splitting resources - since a single tower, especially a Spanish/current Korean one, could deny all resources with a decent, early forward. Luckily it is very easily wallable in the submitted version, so I might be overreacting a bit for missing this earlier.
Final Notes
I was at the point of uploading the updates, but I was wondering what the procedure of updating maps is in AoE2. I assume having two maps with the same name will either overwrite yours with the hosts, or go out of sync. In which case I would either upload them to Voobly only, which should automatically push or add a version to the end of the name. Could someone PM me? Thanks Robo! (see below).

Updates
Some post competition updates:
Red Desert - Added detail, fixed a bug concerning Basin resource placements which would cause a large variety in resources between seeds.
Marooned - Reordered resources. Added resources to the center of the Island. Added deer to the outer islands, replaced shore wish with box turtles. Increased fort size. This should reduce the efficiency of laming, and give more options for comebacks when lamed. Also fixed some rare issues with outside forests no being accessible or being cut off.
Ridge - Added some detail.

All Maps, except Hourglass - Added HD version.

IMPORTANT NOTE FOR JUDGES: It appeared the original version I uploaded had some corrupted .BMP files. I reuploaded them with this updates. Though I'm aware that I'm late :frown:
 
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Australiarobo

Administrator
Staff member
Bronze Supporter
Dec 12, 2011
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Australia
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#99
Final Notes
I was at the point of uploading the updates, but I was wondering what the procedure of updating maps is in AoE2. I assume having two maps with the same name will either overwrite yours with the hosts, or go out of sync. In which case I would either upload them to Voobly only, which should automatically push or add a version to the end of the name. Could someone PM me?
Generally maps will be given ever increasing suffixes. eg Great Wall, Great Wall v1, Great Wall v1.1 etc.

Using voobly map mods will only work if every player downloads the mod. For ECL this is possible as there are a limited number of players who MUST have the mod.

Eg. In a group of players, 1 person is always host and gets the mod. they choose the map in game and it is transferred to the other players.
If the map mod is updated, the host's copy of the map will update but everyone else won't and they will either desync or the game will say you already have a map with this name and refuse to download the map until they go into their map files and delete the version of the map with the same name.
 
Jul 2, 2018
20
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Thanks for the quick reply Robo. I quickly pushed the new files based on your reply. But I feel this is new post worthy.

I was updating my maps with some Grid textures as well. Based on your reply I figured something out, quite obvious, so you might already know this. But if not it might be useful for Zak's unusual(?) texture preferences.

I found that you can interchange maps that use different textures in them, but rely on the same *.rms file. So in the case of the attached file; the files without _G post-fix can be interchanged with the ones with _G (grid) by simply making sure the two files have the same name. This will allow one player (or rec watcher) to use a grid, while the other does not have it, without going out of sync.

I also uploaded my maps on GitHub, but I can no longer post links.

EDIT: All improved textures (not the recoloured ones; most notably farms and mangrove) I used in these maps and some more I made are now part of Wololo Kingdoms. So your not only welcome to use them, but also encouraged now. :smile:
 

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