Expanded map generation options.

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    As I’m hugely interested in making the terrain as much of a challenge as possible when I finally get my hands on the game (watches clock ticking… 28 hours…), I’d like to make a suggestion for a couple of extra options for the map generation.

    • Number of towns/Number of industries – The large map size looks spectacular, but the default map generation looks like it fills it with a *lot* of towns, to the point where you’re spoilt for choice rather than the large distances offering any extra challenge.  It would be great to be able to generate far fewer towns and industries, so that you really have to plan out epic routes on the large map size to connect the few you have available to you.
    • Number of rivers – As rivers tend to be a natural focal point for your rail network, seeing as they mark out the flattest, low-lying routes around the map, being able to generate fewer of them would force you to spread out into the hills sooner.
    • Straightness/twistiness of rivers – Alternately, maybe have similar numbers of rivers, but have an option to make them twist through steeper sided valleys rather than being mostly straight and bordered by flatland.  (Or an option to mix the two)

    I don’t know how much this would require the map generation to be altered.

    I presume the fewer-towns thing would be fairly straightforward… as well, surely it wouldn’t involve much more than needing to set a smaller number somewhere.  I guess the river thing could be a tad more involved, as it may be more intrinsic to the overall terrain generation.

    What do people reckon?  I’d really love to have the town density option at least.


    I hope it’s modable enough to add actual forests to the generation, cause the map now from the screenshots looks an embarrassing green wasteland.


    As far as I know, dev’s said, that they want to fill the map with more things because right now they look a little bleak.
    Also they said, that they want to extend the map generation options. I hope for this too, building railroads in a middle european themed grassland the whole time maybe could get a bit onesided over time 😀


    The dev’s could add seasons to the existing terrain. It should be wonderful to see winter snow in the peaks of the hills, trees, buildings, ice on the water. Snow on the grass etc.


    heh … seasons would be great


    I’m all for them adding in more points of interest between towns.  I think the farmland could use some major work, so that it integrates better with the terrain, has roads, paths, streams and hedges bordering the fields, along with occasional farm-buildings and maybe the odd rural village.

    That’s sort of a different matter though… I think in gameplay terms, it could provide a really satisfying challenge to have greater distances between towns/cities, and it shouldn’t require any significant redesign of the game or even any significant alteration of the map generation script to achieve.  I presume there’s an internal variable to set or limit the number of randomly generated towns already… I just propose that they let us set it ourselves 🙂


    Haven’t really had a chance to play yet, as I’m stuck at work, but had a quick look at the map generation.

    There appears to be a significant difference in town density depending on map size.

    Small (4x4km) typically seems to generate around 5 towns, giving ~3.2 square km per town.  (square root gives roughly ~1.8km distance between each town)

    Medium (8x8km) generates around 14 towns, giving ~4.5 sq km/town.  (~2.1km between towns)

    Large (16x16km) generates around 25 towns, giving a plentiful ~10.2 sq km/town.  (~3.2km between towns)

    …so it seems if you want your towns to have breathing room for some nice long distance routes between them, go for the large maps.

    Even on large and hilly, it feels like there’s a few too many towns conveniently located along wide swathes of flatland alongside too many rivers, for my personal tastes.  So I’d still love to have the option to specify these things in the map generation.

    For now though, I think I’ll be playing on Large 🙂


    Map generation is totally not modable btw.

    Also tried to replace all the non fir/pine mdl files in models/model/trees with duplicating and renaming douglasfir_rt_1.mdl/fraserfir_rt_1.mdl and so on, but there’s absolutely no change when generating a new map.

    Sad. Wanted to have pine forests.


    Hmm, that was going to be my next question.  I would have thought that map generation scripts would have been one of the most obvious things to open up to modding.  At the very least in a limited sense – like changing number ranges around… even if they didn’t let you get at the actual height-field data and such directly.

    Hopefully they’ll open it up more soon, either to modders, or by giving us some of these options directly in the new-game menu.

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