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Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 14:32:38


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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I think it would add a great new dimension to the game to have a random map generator. It seems to me that many of the maps have little idiosyncracies that give an experienced player an edge.

For example, every player knows the best starting territories on their favorite maps. They know all the choke points, and key territories. Especially in teams games, the peculiarities of a well-known map make all the difference.

With a random map generator, map familiarity could be removed as a factor, and add a new level to the competition.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 14:39:46


Nightshade
Level 54
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Someone has actually started designing something like this, and I guess it works pretty well. None of the maps have been published yet but there are screenshots of the results:

Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 15:05:05


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Nightshade, that is not what taxi was looking for. While these maps are indeed random, the end result will that each will be published and become a static map where familiarity with said map will lead to increased success.

What taxi is looking for is the ability for a map to be generated on the spot which would remove the benefit provided by experience with a given map. While the concept is certainly intriguing I don't think it would be practical given the nature of WL maps system. Too much goes into generating maps to have it done randomly in an efficient manner and the cost in terms of storage space would be too extreme to justify.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 16:02:00


Green 
Level 56
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I believe the AI challenge is employing a random map generator in their next competition.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 17:02:38


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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I remember playing a risk-clone years ago that had a random map generator.

it is surely do-able!
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 17:04:16


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Taxi,
Did said risk-clone store every single game on its server? Or have as complex maps as are available on Warlight?

Have you ever looked into the map-making process to know what it entails?
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 18:11:02


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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It stored player info, number of turns, order of elimination, and victor.

but it did not store the map itself.

though you could save maps locally.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 19:00:30


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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So it had a completely different storage/server structure.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 19:36:20


Ranek
Level 55
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do you want a generator that creates entirely new maps? or a generator that picks a random map from the existing maps? If you meant the first suggestion try out the second one and randomly choose one map from those thousand maps within warlight you dont know yet, which might have the same effect. if you meant the first suggestion, take a pen and write two random numbers. the first one between 1 and 44 and the second between 1 and 25 (or use dices or generate them with MatLab or what ever). First number gives you the page, second number the map. Combine both of my hints and you will have the perfect answer towards your question!^^
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 19:40:06


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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yeah, but storage is so cheap
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 19:56:28


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Storage is cheap when you aren't the one paying for it.

There are already 1000+ maps here at 2-3MB each. That's 2-3GB of storage for maps alone without any gameplay. I would assume that each game played on a given map would require far less space to store the requisite information. Let's say 500K per game as it stands now. That means your 2000 games takes up 1GB of storage.

Having purely random maps would multiple the storage costs by a factor of ~5X. That means your 2000 games now require 2.5MB per game or 5GB total. And that is just for you. MY 1500 games would require 3.8GB.

So in the current system, two moderate players (you and I) require ~ 1.8GB of storage plus the shared 2-3GB for the maps so a total of ~4GB. Your new system would require 7.8GB for JUST two players. Expand to ten players and you go from ~12GB to ~45GB. One hundred players goes from ~100GB to ~450GB

Edited 8/11/2014 19:59:12
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 19:58:50


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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Ranek,

random map picker can be fun, but I bet you'd sometimes get some weird maps - might be disappointing for ranked play.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 20:00:06


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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Richard,

Google cloud offers a terabyte for less than $30
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 20:01:51


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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Nightshade,

those screen caps look like exactly what I am talking about.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 20:06:53


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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Then clearly the game requires a whole lot of terabytes seeing as Fizzer previously stated:
Amazon won't host servers for free, and it currently costs over $1000/mo just to keep the servers online.


That was back in September so I am sure his costs have only increased. Adding in random maps would at the very least double the load.
Random Map Generator: 8/11/2014 20:44:01


[NL] Willem van Oranje
Level 57
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Is this really necessary the whole idea?
Because there are random start positions (see initial distribution) which makes you start on a different territory(ies) every time.
Wastelands to influence the connections and choke points.
And there is also the scenario maker, which gives you all the different versions of maps you needed.
Random Map Generator: 8/12/2014 14:06:00


MrOobling
Level 30
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Taxi driver, are those really the screen caps you are talking about? Because 7.8gb for two players mean 1tb can hold random maps for about 250 people. $30 for 250 people is tonnes for an online game which only very few people get paid for memberships.
Random Map Generator: 8/12/2014 15:00:28


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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storage is typically the least expensive part of any data/hosting service.

I used to have a managed server network of 4 machines sitting in a rack in a national data center. The cost was about $1200 per month. When we doubled our storage, the rate only went to $1350 per month.
Random Map Generator: 8/12/2014 15:40:40


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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As I said before, very easy to say it is cheap when it is someone else's money and time involved!
Random Map Generator: 8/13/2014 17:00:27


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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I can easily see random maps with default parameters becoming a new standard for ladder play.
Random Map Generator: 8/21/2014 14:10:07

{rp} pedrito 
Level 48
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Interesting idea.

I believe storage would hardly be an issue. Here's why.

1. The 3 MB per map Richard suggested earlier, where does that number come from? Maybe nicely designed maps with fancy background images? A computer generated map would be much smaller in my opinion, the SVG file maybe around 100 KB for a 100 or so territories is probably a very reasonable estimate. In a test map I just created I got as low as 59kb. Territories like in the sample map above are extremely simple in comparison to free hand drawn shapes which can have more than a 100 coordinates per path (territory) as opposed to a maximum of 20 in a simple shape.

2.Calculating the storage at a 1 to 1 basis like Richard did taking the number of games someone played and multiplying by the map size doesn't make sense. In the worst case scenario you'd have to divide the storage between at the very least 2 players, because it's only one map per game and there are at least two players in every game. In 3v3 only one map needs to be saved for a game that 6 players are playing. Say for example Taxi's games: The vast majority of his games are either 2 player games (907) or 6 player games (717 3v3 + 137 ffa). So that makes 595 maps saved for those 1761 games, or less than a third than the figure you used for calculations.

3. Considering both previous points, instead of 2 MB per map data + 500 per game data, assuming a high estimate 100 KB per map and only adding half of that (as if every game was 2 players, which it isn't) to the same 500kb game data, I reach an maximum increase of only 10% in storage as opposed to 500% like Richard did, assuming every game was on random maps.

But in fact, not every game would be on random maps. I actually doubt that random maps would be used by anyone but the most hardcore WL fans. There is some irreplaceable attractiveness to conquering real world maps that I don't really see getting replaced by random shapes.

Last but not least: Making random maps a member-only feature (not just creating games, but playing on them altogether) would greatly reduce the storage requirements again while at the same time maybe enticing some new memberships...

But I agree with you one thing Richard: It's easy to throw around numbers and suggestions when it's someone else's money :)

So, if storage was a non issue as I think it is (and could be easily offset by a few more people getting a membership), what's left is:
- Creating the program that spits out random maps (if it doesn't exist already)
- Integrating it into Warlight

The latter is entirely up to Fizzer. It should be a lot of work, but if he thinks there is public demand and/or some more money could be made he might be up for it, who knows? I'll send him a mail with a link to this thread.

Creating the random map generator? I'll put my money where my mouth is, and if everything else was sorted I'd do it myself. Provided the thing doesn't actually exist already as Nightshade said it might.

Edited 8/21/2014 14:25:34
Random Map Generator: 8/21/2014 18:09:14


Mycroft
Level 55
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The storage requirements could be reduced to almost zero with a good design. Say for example that the random map generator takes an initial random seed (maybe in the form of a 5 digit number). As long as the generator isn't changed the map could be generated dynamically by the players computers or sent from the warlight servers but not saved. Then the all that would need to be stored in the game data would be that initial seed.
Random Map Generator: 8/22/2014 14:33:59


TaxiDriver 
Level 57
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a random map generator would make the game endlessly playable.

a big improvement for sure.
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