Making Random Maps

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posted on November 26th, 2011, 5:03 am
Hello,

I would like to create programmatically generated (read: random) maps.  I'm guessing the first hurdle for solving this problem is being able to save BZN files generated from lua scripts. Is there a published specification for the BZN file format?  Is there some code out there that can help? Any help appreciated.

Thanks,

V.
posted on November 26th, 2011, 4:20 pm
I don't think there is. However, there are alternatives.

Using MMM, you can (if I remember correctly) dynamically alter the map, so you would have a blank map saved and everytime you run the mission, the initialization code can generate the map.

Other solution would be to ask the devs to patch A2's random map generator to make it work with FO stuff. However, they are up to their eyeballs in other stuff, and I doubt that they'll do it soon.

Procedural generation is awesome, but hard to do right, since your generated maps will likely be heavily unbalanced.
posted on November 26th, 2011, 4:30 pm
Megadroid made a working random map generator for FO about a year ago - I'd suggest asking him if it is still useable and if he could provide those old files :)
posted on November 26th, 2011, 6:23 pm
Yep, still got it around somewhere. Will update it for the released MMM version.
posted on November 26th, 2011, 8:42 pm
Are there any plans to incorporate MMM and the random map generation into fleet ops official releases? I'm not too keen on the 3rd party nature its in at the moment.
posted on December 1st, 2011, 3:09 am
Thanks for the responses all. The idea of using a blank map and populating it programmatically is intriguing.  I'd like to randomize the size and shape of the map as well though.  Perhaps there could be a set of bzn files with different sizes.  The script would choose one at random and, perhaps, copy it into place, so the scripts use it.  This might happen before the mmm registration call.  I wonder if the way missions are loaded supports machinations like this.

V
posted on December 1st, 2011, 1:38 pm
yes, there are plans for a script language type implementation for random map generation. currently in A2, the random map generator is entirely hardcoded and thus useless for most mods.
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