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Subject: TI4 Map Generator rss

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Derek Peterson
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9_Erebus wrote:
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, this map generator is fascinating and great.

I was wondering, exactly how does the weighting work for distance? For example, how much more weight does a system receive if it's one space away (adjacent to) a home system versus two spaces away?

After playing around with this for a while, it seems like some players often get disadvantaged by having empty hexes or wormhole-only hexes next to their home system. It makes me wonder if more weight needs to be applied to the hexes that are adjacent to home systems?

Or, have you considered having the weighting code only consider systems that are within 2 or 3 hexes from each home system? Because it seems like wormholes often make up the deficit for empty spaces in the weighing system, but the systems on the other side of the wormhole are effectively 3 or 4 spaces away and will often be taken before a player can reach them. And in that case, why include systems 4 or more spaces away in the weighting system if the player will rarely if ever be able to reach them before other players?

I'm not a coder so I couldn't do this myself and I'm not sure how difficult it would be, but I wanted to ask what you thought. You've made a fascinating tool here.

So the value of a system to a given home system will be proportional to 1/d^2, where d is the distance between the home system and the system in question.

I agree this seems to cause the optimizer to value wormhole tiles too highly. I've added an active by default option that will assign the value of a system entirely to the closest system(s) within 2 moves. On the standard 6-player map this will result in assigning systems based on pie slices. Systems that are farther away than this (like can happen in star-by-star, or some of the weirder 5-player layouts) will use the 1/d^2 method.
 
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Derek Peterson
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I've also now added a button to display some statistics about the balance of the map.

It will display exactly how each system has been divided between the home systems and the total share of the resources each home system has been allocated.
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Alex Grover
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Thanks so much for adding that pie slice option! And you read my mind by adding the statistics, they're super fun to analyze.
 
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Casey Smith
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One thing I would like to see, is if according to your balance numbers, the pie slices lacking in resources could make up for it in Influence.

So like...

HomeSystem1 Resource 5 Influence 5
HS2 R 5 I 5
HS3 R 6 I 4
HS4 R 4 I 6

And one last thing, I would like a check mark to spread out the blanks. I would understand that this might make balancing hard, but I think sometimes if a pie slice has 3 blanks it become a lot less desirable than the others, even if the Resources and influence are high. Maybe add an * that it makes balancing more difficult.

Thanks!
 
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Michael Miller
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I wanted to say thanks very much for making this map generator. I've used it for a couple of games and it's a great time saver. Plus the random races option makes for much less arguing on the players part.

I got my players (4 of us) to give me a number between 10 and 99 and I strung all those together to make a seed for the generator.

I'll be using it again in the future, so thanks again!


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Andre Zorzo
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Very good tool.

Is there an option to choose which systems will be left out? Maybe just let people send the json with the systems that should be used. I ask because we usually leave 2 empty systems out.
 
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Lars Rignell
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I am going to play a 4-player game on sunday and I just found this amazing tool.
Can anyone give me a good seed for 4 player map?
 
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Alex Grover
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Just reporting a possible bug: statistics for the map below say HS2 has 10.75 resource share, 12.5 influence share, and 1.5 tech share. But when I calculate them manually, I get 11.75 resource share, 11.5 influence share, and 0.5 tech share.



The tech share is what made me investigate this, because the only tech skip in HS2s pie slice is on hex 34, equidistant from HS4.

Just wanted to point this out, maybe I'm not fully understanding how the algorithm works.
 
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Tibor Závetz
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Hello,

This tool is awesome
I was wondering if you could add the 4p map from here https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/151808/ti4-balanced-setup...
or add an option to generate map from uploaded json?

Great work man, keep up!
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Ronald Cruz
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Zavtibi7 wrote:
Hello,

This tool is awesome
I was wondering if you could add the 4p map from here https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/151808/ti4-balanced-setup...
or add an option to generate map from uploaded json?

Great work man, keep up!

I was actually going to make a comment regarding this...

First, there actually IS the option of having a narrow 4-player map on that map generator.

Second, I wanted to make a request to Derek to please revise the narrow map:
-There appear to be (1) extra system tiles at the top and bottom ends of the map, and (2) there isn't the 2 tiles north and south of Mecatol are not guaranteed to be red-backed tiles. These diverge from the "Balanced Setup" maps linked to above. The Balanced Setup is supposed to emulate 5 non-home systems per player, just like the full galaxy map does for 6 players. And so the extra system tiles in your generator still make the narrow 4-player map "roomier" than intended.

Otherwise, GREAT WORK!!! I have used this tool for all of my recent TI4 games and it is a great time saver! We now do a setup where galaxy creation is not an issue, and players get to haggle over starting positions and factions based on the pregenerated map: my favorite method!!
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Derek Peterson
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9_Erebus wrote:
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Just reporting a possible bug: statistics for the map below say HS2 has 10.75 resource share, 12.5 influence share, and 1.5 tech share. But when I calculate them manually, I get 11.75 resource share, 11.5 influence share, and 0.5 tech share.



The tech share is what made me investigate this, because the only tech skip in HS2s pie slice is on hex 34, equidistant from HS4.

Just wanted to point this out, maybe I'm not fully understanding how the algorithm works.

Definitely a bug!

I had incorrectly marked tile 34, Abyz/Fria, as having a blue tech specialty, and tile 25, Quann, as having 1 res/2inf.

Fixed now, hopefully I didn't make any more errors in that file.
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Derek Peterson
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ronaldsf wrote:
Zavtibi7 wrote:
Hello,

This tool is awesome
I was wondering if you could add the 4p map from here https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/151808/ti4-balanced-setup...
or add an option to generate map from uploaded json?

Great work man, keep up!

I was actually going to make a comment regarding this...

First, there actually IS the option of having a narrow 4-player map on that map generator.

Second, I wanted to make a request to Derek to please revise the narrow map:
-There appear to be (1) extra system tiles at the top and bottom ends of the map, and (2) there isn't the 2 tiles north and south of Mecatol are not guaranteed to be red-backed tiles. These diverge from the "Balanced Setup" maps linked to above. The Balanced Setup is supposed to emulate 5 non-home systems per player, just like the full galaxy map does for 6 players. And so the extra system tiles in your generator still make the narrow 4-player map "roomier" than intended.

Otherwise, GREAT WORK!!! I have used this tool for all of my recent TI4 games and it is a great time saver! We now do a setup where galaxy creation is not an issue, and players get to haggle over starting positions and factions based on the pregenerated map: my favorite method!!

Added a 4-player version with the top and bottom tiles removed, as "Balanced 4-Player Setup". I would add the red-backed tiles in those locations but I currently don't have a way to assign certain spots as random red/blue backed, I can only change layout and fix specific tiles in place. It's a feature I'd consider adding, I'll add it to my list.

brusazorzo wrote:

Is there an option to choose which systems will be left out? Maybe just let people send the json with the systems that should be used. I ask because we usually leave 2 empty systems out.

I'm wary to allow json uploads right now. I had in mind features like that, so that people wouldn't have to request me to create things like new map layouts and tile sets. However I have written 0 validation code for the json uploads and incorrect json will give nothing but crashes and inscrutable stack traces. I'll either improve that or come up with some kind of customization interface that always produces correct json, but both are non-trivial tasks and will have to be tackled later.

SwissQueso wrote:
One thing I would like to see, is if according to your balance numbers, the pie slices lacking in resources could make up for it in Influence.

So like...

HomeSystem1 Resource 5 Influence 5
HS2 R 5 I 5
HS3 R 6 I 4
HS4 R 4 I 6

And one last thing, I would like a check mark to spread out the blanks. I would understand that this might make balancing hard, but I think sometimes if a pie slice has 3 blanks it become a lot less desirable than the others, even if the Resources and influence are high. Maybe add an * that it makes balancing more difficult.

Thanks!

I've been thinking of a better way of counting resources/influence. I'm probably going to go with something like Max possible res/influence (i.e a 3/2 planet counts as 3, a 0/3 counts as 3 etc, possibly with some bonus to balanced planets to account for the advantage flexibility has). I'll have to run some experiments, and may throw a bunch of advanced scoring options on the site for people to fiddle with at some point.

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Dmitry Volevodz
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Can someone tell me how resources and influence are counted?

I'm getting everything super balanced on balance info, but far from it on concrete maps, with very varied resource values on systems next to home systems.
 
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Alex Grover
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Only systems up to two movement points away are counted towards a given home system (if you have the "pie slice" option checked).

If a system is equidistant from two or more home systems, the resources/influence/tech are divided evenly between them.

Most anomalies introduce some impedance value into the calculation because ships may have to travel around them.
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Alex Grover
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Hello,

Here's a few questions/suggestions I have after using this tool for a while:

* Can you add an option that puts the wormhole systems as far apart from each other as possible? They often end up only two spaces apart.

* What about an option that puts the highest-value systems at contested locations, that are equidistant from multiple home systems? Helps to encourage conflict.

* Also, I feel that systems on the edge of the board/map/galaxy should be weighted less than others. The system directly in front of each home system is much more critical than the ones to the left or right, and a player can get screwed with an anomaly directly in front of their home system.

Just a few thoughts. Thanks again for your work.
 
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Adam Orton
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Awesome work. I am looking at integrating this into a digital gaming table. Is there a possibility of generating (or at least downloading) with the higher res images?

Tried mucking around with the github code, but clearly there are some things I can't wrap my head around because even after 12 hours I couldn't make it function to save my life.
 
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Dmitry Volevodz
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This still has some serious troubles with balancing.

Take this for example - https://ti4-map-generator.derekpeterson.ca/cgi-bin/ti4-map-g...

Guy to the right has 1(!) resource on all systems 1 tile away.
Guy on the bottom has 8.
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Gahaha, how did I miss this so long?

This might help solve so many issues, in particular, it might help speed up deployment of the board - if my group agrees, I shall use this tool to pre-draft maps and prepare the game already for their arrival!

Just one question - I am sorry if this has been answered already: Has the five player warp zone deployment been balanced in a way that all objectives (worm holes, Tech Spec and planet trait) are easily fulfillable? If yes, then this generator is the best thing since sliced bread!
 
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Alwin Derijck
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GrumblingGamer wrote:
it might help speed up deployment of the board - if my group agrees, I shall use this tool to pre-draft maps and prepare the game already for their arrival!

This is exactly what I do.
I send the board to my TI WhatsApp group and use the race selection tool to pre-draft races. Everyone has to agree on board (or I just run the randomizer again) and they secretly report their chosen race to me.

If all info is in, I will have the game fully ready to go. Zero downtime at the start.

Love it.

 
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Derek Peterson
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CADPAT wrote:
Awesome work. I am looking at integrating this into a digital gaming table. Is there a possibility of generating (or at least downloading) with the higher res images?

Tried mucking around with the github code, but clearly there are some things I can't wrap my head around because even after 12 hours I couldn't make it function to save my life.

Cool that you want to use it for the gaming table! I've gone ahead and added a hi-res option that should be live now. I'd be interested in seeing pics of your setup when you get it working!

Lol sorry you trudged through without getting anywhere. This certainly isn't the cleanest code I've ever written.
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Derek Peterson
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Voley wrote:
This still has some serious troubles with balancing.

Take this for example - https://ti4-map-generator.derekpeterson.ca/cgi-bin/ti4-map-g...

Guy to the right has 1(!) resource on all systems 1 tile away.
Guy on the bottom has 8.

Yes the system I have right now is certainly not perfect, and the balancer seems to have found a particularly bad local maximum in the case you showed.

I would recommend experimenting with unchecking the "Assign value based on pie slices" option. Most people seemed to prefer having all the tiles within a pie slice entirely belong to the respective home system, but this also means that the balancer can value some tiles further than one space away the same as adjacent tiles.

Unchecking that option will use a different metric which you may find gives better results. Systems further away will be valued less to any single home system, and may give you results you're looking for. This option tends to value wormholes too highly though (dealing with the value of systems on the other side of wormholes is difficult, especially when the map layouts get weird).

If you're not liking those layouts either, then let me know if you have any more feedback.

Otherwise until I do more work on the balancing algorithm just run it a couple times and figure out some way to pick an acceptable map with your group.
 
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Casey Smith
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Not sure if you know this, but on the Tabletop Simulator community we have been using your generator to play maps that are completely random and it has been a lot of fun compared to the typical cooperative symmetrical maps.

Trying to get my friends in RL to try it out that way.
 
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Alwin wrote:
GrumblingGamer wrote:
it might help speed up deployment of the board - if my group agrees, I shall use this tool to pre-draft maps and prepare the game already for their arrival!

This is exactly what I do.
I send the board to my TI WhatsApp group and use the race selection tool to pre-draft races. Everyone has to agree on board (or I just run the randomizer again) and they secretly report their chosen race to me.

If all info is in, I will have the game fully ready to go. Zero downtime at the start.

Love it.


I use this tool and the random seed is the date of our upcoming game (i.e., January 13, 2019 would be "20190113". I also take a screenshot and include it in the announcement email that I send to all players together with our setup rules and house rules.
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Adam Orton
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AckbarsRevenge wrote:


Lol sorry you trudged through without getting anywhere. This certainly isn't the cleanest code I've ever written.

Trust me its not your fault. I've never compiled anything in my life before and and I couldn't make the script in the "site" folder work properly locally or on my webserver, and I couldn't figure out why (again, relatively inexperienced in these things).
 
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Cassill
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Thanks for the great resource!

One thing I never have gotten to work for me is the race selection. Every time I put my chosen races in and hit generate it says 'cannot have duplicate races'.

I cannot get a screenshot but here is how it is filled in:

Number of Players: 5
Layout: Good_Sauce's Flat Map
Star-by-Star: off
Select Races: on
- The Federation of Sol
- The Arborec
- The Emirates of Hacan
- The Yssaril
- The Universities of Jol-Nar
Tile numbers only: off
High resolution: off
Assign value based on pie slice: on
Resource Weighting: 2.0
Influence Weighting: 2.0
Tech Speciality Weighting: 1.0
Planet Trait Weighting: 0.5
Give the Ghosts of Creuss a Wormhole: off
Give the Embers of Muaat a Supernova: off
Make sure the Winnu have a clear path to Mecatol Rex: off
Include all wormholes: off

No matter the player count or combination of races I select I always get this error. It works if I choose 'blank home systems' or 'random races' though.

What am I doing wrong? cry
 
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