Map editor

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    If Urban games want, they can offer a map editor for 100 €. I buy.

    OR : how is the heigthmap generated or generally how is the map generated and how it can be influenced


    While a fully fledged map-editor would take a long time to develop, being able to import a heightmap is something that the developers could implement with little effort. Of course, then you would be limited to 256 height-levels unless you used a bitmap-format with more than 8 bits per greyscale-level (or used something like R*65536+G*256+B). Unfortunately, even with a heightmap, you’d still have no control over town and industry placement, so you’d have a real-world country with all the towns in the wrong places. You could have a secondary bitmap with a spot telling the map-generator where to place a town, and spots in different colours telling it where to place industries. Then you’d have the wrong towns in the right places, but if you are then allowed to rename the towns, then you can have a proper real-world map. Also, we could have a third bitmap telling the map-generator where to place trees, farms, etc. Or a fourth bitmap telling where coal, iron etc. are buried so that the industries can be placed randomly only in those areas.

    Traian Trante

    I agree that we don’t really need a fully developed map editor. Some basic options would be enough for starters:

    – importing heightmaps

    – add/delete industries

    – grow/shrink town size

    – wider raise/lower terrain

    – plant / delete trees


    Most of these functions are already implemented in the game itself, we just need the interface to access that data. Just these should do just fine for a year or two when the have the time to do a decent map / scenario editor.

    Just imagine how many scenarios would the modding community cook up with a basic tool like this and how much will it would improve the game ! Please Urban Games, consider this !


    I really want to see at least some broader map generation options, but a heightmap importer would be a great option, especially if it ends up being the only one.

    I’m not sure people are quite factoring in how massive a heightmap this will need to be though 🙂  I *think* the terrain grid scale is 1m per square, which means that for a full-resolution heightmap to make a large map, you’ll need a 16384×16384 image! (a 4096×4096 one just for a small map)… add to that what electricmonk2k brings up above – that 8-bit images won’t contain enough colours to define height properly without making your map look like it has farming terraces everywhere – you’ll need a 16-bit 16k image (not so bad as a single-channel greyscale image… conventional RGB would need 48-bits-per-pixel)

    There are plenty of free image editing and 3D rendering packages that fully support 16-bit-per-channel colour these days though.  Being a vfx artist, I’d really like to try and build some procedural terrain inside SideFX Houdini and render it out to a 16k heightmap image.

    In fact… yeah!  Give us that heightmap importer Urban dudes! 🙂


    I’m pretty sure a modern image-editing package can handle 16384*16384 – even at 16-bit per colour-channel (apparently, the forthcoming version of GIMP can handle images with 64-bit per colour-channel).

    I’m not sure if there are any restrictions in-game for maximum slopes (would it be OK for example to have adjacent pixels with heights of 0 and 65535)? Even if there were such restrictions, the terrain-generator could smooth out those steep slopes. Also, if using an 8-bit image (256 layers) or an image with reduced area (e.g.. 1024*1024 for the small map), the terrain-generator could always apply some smoothing or even a bit of noise to spice things up. Maybe we could have a really small heightmap-image and instead of using that as the actual heightmap, it would be used to ‘seed’ the map generator (i.e. it give it hints as to where the mountains, plains and plateaus are to be placed).

    Also for the town-map, it could be a 256-colour paletted bitmap (8-bit), where each colour would represent a different town (only one pixel of each non-background colour would be allowed), and there would be a text file with a list of up to 255 town-names so that you can assign a name to the town of each colour. As an alternative to using a single pixel, the towns could be a blob that represents which parts of the map they occupy so you can have things like circular towns and skinny towns (the latter are usually placed in valleys). Alternatively, if the “town’s growth potential” feature is implemented, the blob’s area could represent the growth-potential of the town (is this town capable of growing into a vast metropolis, can it only grow to a medium sized city, or will it stay a small town forever?). However, you’d have to be careful to make sure all of the area of a single colour is contiguous (i.e. no exclaves). Alternatively, the growth potential could be mentioned in the text-file with the names and we can instead use the blobs to define the initial town-area.

    The resources-map and the tree and farm placement maps could be combined to that each bit of an 8-bit bitmap represents the presence of a resource. So if bit 0 represents coal, bit 1 represents iron, bit 2, forests and bit 3 farms (although farms and forests would be mutually exclsive), an area of colour #5 would be a forest with a coal-seam underneath (both the woodcutter and coal-mine industries can be placed at this spot by the map-generator). Unless we use > 8 bpp images, we’d be limited to 8 primary resource-types or landscape features – not a problem for the vanilla game, but once you start using plug-in industries, it becomes a problem.


    So a full map editor is something fien but not really needed yet. Anyway the Ingame generator smooth all edges with noise.tga and ridge.tga.

    To place towns and indusries is a good thing for future.


    Now tehy should give us a way toi say where are the mountains and where it is flat.

    I guess a heigth map or even a algorithmus for the int generator is not a big deal….


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