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Age of Empires Heaven » Forums » Scenario Design » Map size limit has been breached
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Topic Subject:Map size limit has been breached
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 05-21-20 06:33 PM ET (US)         

Ridiculous large map sizes


You thought maps couldn't go bigger than the 255x255 tile limit?

...yes they can.

How about a 512x512 tile map? NO WAY!

A 768x768 tile map? wut

How about we go even larger...

1024x1024 tiles? 0MG YASSSSS11!1!!!!!!!1!


Now, before you start designing your most epic scenario with these... there's a catch (isn't there almost always?). Please read on.

Designing with maps that are 512x512 or larger


Okay, so here it goes. These are real, not joking. I don't know how useful they will be, but they are fun to mess around with however.

But first of all... I will crush your dreams of ever using these maps. *evil laugh*

1. They are all unstable. 512x512 seems to be the most stable but even that one will crash frequently. My preliminary tests found that adding units, text to the instructions and changing the global victory condition helps in stabilizing and getting it to run somehow. Sometimes the map runs fine, other times... you get a crash out of nowhere.

2. All these ridiculous map sizes are shrouded under a veil of darkness, literally. When playtesting NO LOS (line of sight) is present for any object. To even see the map you NEED to use the Reveal Map and No Fog cheat codes. Dropped flares do nothing.

3. The AI goes totally dumb. Seriously, even when it's using the aggressive PER it doesn't do much. Villagers do explore a bit. They prefer to be VERY passive.

4. You cannot build anywhere. You cannot train any unit either. Nor can you unload a transport ship. The game will say that there is no room.

5. RoR only (.scx), I could not get the maps to load in AoE (resulted in crashes).

6. The 1024x1024 map causes an issue with the drawing of tiles, sometimes they appear like jagged black terrain tiles (NOT actual fog terrain) when scrolling, this disappears quickly though:



Now for the fun part. These maps have some really bizarre quirks.

1. You cannot attack ANY unit with a unit of your own even though the diplomacy is set to Enemy! Try engaging an enemy Axeman with your Composite Bowman. Nothing will happen (Compy will walk towards the Axe though). However you CAN convert enemies with priests, and you can also attack them with splash damage (catapult).

2. You CAN attack buildings. It's fun to see the AI try and attack you if you try to raze their TC, they will follow you around but won't do anything else. Strange eh? Enemy Towers won't attack you either.

3. GAIA units/buildings cannot be captured. They CAN be attacked and won't retaliate at all.

4. Ruins/artifacts/war chests/traitors will not change allegiance and cannot be captured.

5. GAIA can actually win and prevail over every player. Put the global victory condition to standard, place a Gaia Wonder on the map, and see what happens at the 16:40 minute mark (in-game time). There is no Wonder countdown!

Creating a 512x512 map or larger using Hex-editing


Before I explain how to create these maps using hex-editing, I first need to give some credit where credit is due. I was not the first to discover the 512x512 map, that credit goes to the person who created the Ludakris map for AoK:HD. I did not copy his idea however, I created these maps on my own while experimenting with the map size data. It is simple to do, but the bigger the map size, the more difficult it becomes to load in the editor without getting a crash.

For those interested:

Open a decompressed 255x255 map in your hex-editor, find the value 9DFFFFFFFF000000FF000000 (start of the map size in the hex-data), and change the following 2 bytes:

9DFFFFFFFF010000FF010000 - 512x512 map size
9DFFFFFFFF020000FF020000 - 768x768 map size
9DFFFFFFFF030000FF030000 - 1024x1024 map size
9DFFFFFFFF040000FF040000 - 1280x1280 map size
(and so on).

Each time 256x256 tiles are added.

Final thoughts


Naturally I tried to load these humongous maps in DE, AoK, AoC and AoK:HD to see if they would work, but in all of them they don't and result in a crash. (If you somehow to get them to work please let us know). It's a small miracle they even load in RoR. Other map sizes, like 256x256, 312x312, 400x400 or 888x888 for example, cannot be created as far as I know.

I created even larger maps, they are 1280x1280, 1536x1536 and 1792x1792 (the latter being the max, 2048x2048 would not load for me).

Interestingly enough the maps larger than 1024x1024 generate their own elevation and terrain in a line-like pattern (similar to a printer), and the 1792x1792 map even cuts off the top-right corner portion of the minimap:



Looks pretty neat if you ask me. Note how small the viewport is!

It's too bad RoR can't handle these properly. If you somehow get a stabilized 512x512 scenario, please do share it.

Download


Download the 512x512, 768x768 and 1024x1024 tiled maps here.

I did not include any of the larger maps (1280x1280,1536x1536 and 1792x1792), because they are simply too big (hell even 512x512 is way more than you would ever need!), they are all just a curiosity, but if you are really keen to have a look at them I can upload or e-mail them to you.


That's about all, have fun with these big weird maps!



[This message has been edited by PhatFish (edited 05-21-2020 @ 06:35 PM).]

AuthorReplies:
Eurotool
Hero
posted 05-22-20 06:23 PM ET (US)     1 / 3       
This is exactly the kind of content I sign up for. It's amazing people still make these finds in a game that's more than 2 decades old.

𝓎𝑒𝓈, 𝒾 𝓁𝒾𝓀𝑒 𝓅𝑒𝓅𝑒
Fisk
Champion of AoEH
(id: Fruktfisk)
posted 05-23-20 11:59 AM ET (US)     2 / 3       
Oh so you can make this run stable but not my 250x250 maps?

What I find most curious about this is that it is RoR specific. If anything I'd expect such a thing to be an unfixed leftover from the original. Then again it might very well be a side effect of something else. I've always suspected that RoR allows for more memory for the map and its objects to support the Gigantic map. At least I've always had more luck running my overfull maps with the Expansion. Any ideas Phat?

//The warrior of Isola

"I lack quotes that demonstrate Humor Intelligence or anything about me."

Pineapplefish
Cleidopus gloriamaris
PhatFish
Mr. Beta
posted 05-24-20 10:57 AM ET (US)     3 / 3       
I suspect this as well, better handling of memory.

If anyone manages to stabilize these it's probably Chab. Rectangular maps work in his RockNRor, but not regular RoR, so who knows, maybe he can get these going properly



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