Shape of the map

4X strategy game from Proxy Studios

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Hiho216
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Shape of the map

Post by Hiho216 » Fri Nov 22, 2013 12:49 am

Was the decision to make the map connect E-W and N-S a design choice, or was it an accident? I don't think that the current map wrap could possibly form the shape of a sphere. Are you planning on adding options to let us disconnect the north and south edges, because it's a little disorienting.

lsc9x
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by lsc9x » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:15 am

LOL!

Is this a troll?

Actually, many of the VERY old school games from back in the 1980s had this sort of "universal" scrolling, where you could go off the bottom of the screen and wind up on top. The down shot is that it defies real physics, but the upshot is that if you are at the top of the map, you need to be watching what is going on at the bottom because they could surprise you from above!

Weird physics, but it does make for interesting game play, in my opinion.

lsc9x
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by lsc9x » Fri Nov 22, 2013 4:15 am

Asteroids! That was the game I was thinking of. =)

fortydayweekend
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by fortydayweekend » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:48 am

Isn't it actually more realistic? You just have to think of half of the minimap having north/south reversed, so when you go over the poles you go from north to north or from south to south (even though it looks like "top" to "bottom"). The main distortion with the projection the game uses is that the poles are stretched east/west and so take up more space.

The problem with a disconnected NS is that it creates unrealistic edges, which globes don't have. It's definitely disconcerting compared to what we're used to, but probably more realistic for a planet-wide strategy game.

A sphere would be the best of course, but if we asked the devs to code a hex tiling of a sphere that'd really be trolling :)

Xytop
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by Xytop » Fri Nov 22, 2013 8:14 am

As long as you find a donut shaped planet realistic, everythings fine :D

Of course it makes sense that you can scroll up till you get back to your starting position but it also takes some time getting used to. Sometimes its hard for me to remember the relative positions of other players if I look at the minimap. As long as I am scrolling trough the world everythings fine but when I take a look at the minimap, its hard to get the "simple" overview I want. Perhaps it would make it easier if the minimap would always center the current view position instead of having the edges of the map always in the same place.

fortydayweekend
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by fortydayweekend » Fri Nov 22, 2013 9:53 am

Xytop wrote:As long as you find a donut shaped planet realistic, everythings fine :D
Wow, true! I didn't think through what those stretched poles meant. I guess there's no way to realistically simulate a sphere using a flat surface of hexes. You'd have to use the occasional pentagon and it would have to be curved.
Xytop wrote:Perhaps it would make it easier if the minimap would always center the current view position instead of having the edges of the map always in the same place.
I think that would help a lot, seeing as the minimap (being a projection of a donut surface onto a rectangle) doesn't make much intuitive sense.

Longasc
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by Longasc » Fri Nov 22, 2013 11:07 am

Xytop wrote:Perhaps it would make it easier if the minimap would always center the current view position instead of having the edges of the map always in the same place.
That's an excellent idea. I sometimes feel disoriented when I start at the top or lower end and go up only to see my units/cities at the other end of the map. Takes some time to get used to.

jdmillard
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by jdmillard » Fri Nov 22, 2013 5:35 pm

This can indeed represent a sphere, read carefully:

Imagine taking a balloon and poking a hole in it (without loosing air, though it's pretty irrelevant). Then without anymore ripping, stretch that hole larger and larger and larger and larger and larger and larger such that the rest of the balloon becomes flat. Now it's a big flat circle and the edges are stretched way way more than the rest of the balloon. Now stretch that shape into a perfect rectangle (now the corners are stretched even more!). Now draw perfect hexes on it. Now let the balloon go back to how it was (same amount of air inside, assuming no permanent deformation of the balloon material). Let that initial hole get smaller and smaller and smaller and then seal the hole. Now it's a sphere again. There would be a HUGE concentration of little hexes near the hole.

Imagine that rectangle again (the map): each hex near the edges of the screen is really representing a tiny tiny plot of land and the ones in the middle of the map would be representing enormous amounts of land. Also, traveling along the edge of the square map from one corner to another would be like spending months walking in a tiny circle. With this explanation, traveling is already messed up, but there are still two huge flaws. First, if the left and right edges are part of the same planetary pole, wouldn't there be tundra there too? (or at least a vertical stripe of tundra somewhere on the map? Second, what kind of orbital mechanics would this planet have in order to have 1 pole that is cold? The only explanation would be if the planet rotated such that during orbit, one side always faces the sun (like our moon to us). But the dark side of the planet wouldn't support human life. (and it wouldn't be called a frozen pole, it would be a frozen hemisphere... not the same thing at all.)

So it's possible, but it's a stretch. Pun intended. It introduces all kinds of discrepancies that can't really be explained away. Also, I'm not trying to discredit the torus idea, rather I'm showing the possibility of a sphere.

I know this ins't what the developers were going for, but I had to contribute. I support map wrapping options upon game creation.

Veneke
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by Veneke » Sat Nov 23, 2013 1:37 am

This is an awful lot of talk about a non-issue. Connecting E-W and N-S is good for gameplay. Why is this even a thing?

SephiRok
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by SephiRok » Sat Nov 23, 2013 2:47 am

It was a design choice -- we prefer the current gameplay.

Doesn't mean we can't eventually add an option for it though.
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Hiho216
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by Hiho216 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:41 am

jdmillard wrote:This can indeed represent a sphere, read carefully:

Imagine taking a balloon and poking a hole in it (without loosing air, though it's pretty irrelevant). Then without anymore ripping, stretch that hole larger and larger and larger and larger and larger and larger such that the rest of the balloon becomes flat. Now it's a big flat circle and the edges are stretched way way more than the rest of the balloon. Now stretch that shape into a perfect rectangle (now the corners are stretched even more!). Now draw perfect hexes on it. Now let the balloon go back to how it was (same amount of air inside, assuming no permanent deformation of the balloon material). Let that initial hole get smaller and smaller and smaller and then seal the hole. Now it's a sphere again. There would be a HUGE concentration of little hexes near the hole.

Imagine that rectangle again (the map): each hex near the edges of the screen is really representing a tiny tiny plot of land and the ones in the middle of the map would be representing enormous amounts of land. Also, traveling along the edge of the square map from one corner to another would be like spending months walking in a tiny circle. With this explanation, traveling is already messed up, but there are still two huge flaws. First, if the left and right edges are part of the same planetary pole, wouldn't there be tundra there too? (or at least a vertical stripe of tundra somewhere on the map? Second, what kind of orbital mechanics would this planet have in order to have 1 pole that is cold? The only explanation would be if the planet rotated such that during orbit, one side always faces the sun (like our moon to us). But the dark side of the planet wouldn't support human life. (and it wouldn't be called a frozen pole, it would be a frozen hemisphere... not the same thing at all.)

So it's possible, but it's a stretch. Pun intended. It introduces all kinds of discrepancies that can't really be explained away. Also, I'm not trying to discredit the torus idea, rather I'm showing the possibility of a sphere.

I know this ins't what the developers were going for, but I had to contribute. I support map wrapping options upon game creation.
I like this response a lot, thanks. I was stuck imagining it as a raindrop shape, which I suppose isn't too different from a sphere if you inflate it out. I guess the thing that is still bugging me after getting used to it is that there is a warm pole and a cold pole rather than two poles, or at least that's how it appears. Does it make a difference to gameplay? Not really; I actually like the idea that the top of the map isn't an edge. It's just the fact that top connects to the bottom throws me off. Would it be possible to leave the sides connected and change the polar connectivity so that if you were moving a unit on north past the edge of the y axis that it would put it in the middle of the x? I don't know if this would be difficult to code, or even more confusing to play, but it seems like it would make more sense.

ichirou989
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Re: Shape of the map

Post by ichirou989 » Sat Nov 30, 2013 3:35 am

While I too really love this game so far, and while I also understand that from a game play standpoint it's not that critical, the fact remains that from a logical point of view we are playing on a doughnut shaped world. And one with only one pole at that. And moving over the pole presents other problems as the last two posts demonstrate; the fact mainly that the closer one gets to the pole, the number of hexes at that latitude needs to get progressively smaller. Like the pole is one hex, the next latitude South is 6 hexes wide, the next one down 12 hexes wide and so on to the equator, and then shrinking back down to one on the southern part of the map; in other words an icosahedral projection map. The trouble is, while that might be more accurate, it also looks crummy and can be confusing to some. So my suggestion is just go with the no north/south edge movement as an option for those who want it, and either add another arctic pole to the south, or keep one pole as arctic but increase it's coverage area to closer to the equator, or even better still give another option as to pole orientation of the planet. More options for setting up the world creation is always good with these sorts of games.

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