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SandBar map script

SandBar is a "map script": A program that makes maps for Civilization 4. In more detail, this is a modified Totestra tuned to make maps for Legends of Ancient Arabia (LoAA), but will also make maps for unmodified Civ4 as well as other compatible mods.

I felt that Legends of Ancient Arabia (LoAA), as well as the other Arabian mods like Rhye's Sword of Islam, really deserve their own map script. So, I made one. Or, should I say, I took Totestra (itself derived from Cephalo's excellent Perfect World map script) and hacked it to pieces to (usually) make a single very sandy island. A picture is worth a thousands words:

This map script makes things a lot, and I mean a lot more dry than stock PerfectWorld ever did; LoAA is about nomads adventuring in the desert and the map script makes sure there's a lot of desert to explore.

Since Legends of Ancient Arabia's scenario map does not have "goody huts" on it, I have added an option to generate maps without goody huts.

Having an entire planet that is a desert seems a bit extreme, so the map script makes a flat map that is only supposed to represent a small part of earth.

Being a Tectonic map generator, the forms of land PW makes are very unpredictable. I went to a lot of effort to control this unpredictability in SandBar and force everyone to be on the same land form, while keeping the shape reasonably random. I also tweaked the map to more likely have water near the edge so players are not likely to get annoying starts at the edge of the map--this was the lion's share of the work.

The map almost always makes a single island with a hopefully fairly interesting shape; its form is somewhat reminiscent of Tropico's random map generator.

This map script is in the file which is available on this page:

In addition, has a version of Totestra ("TotestraDry") that makes really dry world maps (even drier than Totestra's "Arid" maps).

Also, the patch file has a new scenario map for LoAA, and some LoAA bug fixes (Random Maps now have the correct civilizations and resources on them, and workers can now actually build windmills in the endgame), though I think I'm the only person who cares about fixing that old mod.

More islands

Playing multiplayer Legends of Ancient Arabia games with my buddy made me realize I really like having a few islands out there, just enough that cruising around with Dhows (Caravels) in the midgame is worthwhile.

That in mind, I have made a version of this map script that will tend to have islands off of the mainland to explore, and the mainland will be a little smaller:

One side effect of the changes to pull this off is that it's now more likely a player will start near the edge of the map.

This file is also included with LoAA-patch9, and can be used by some other mods besides Legends of Ancient Arabia, as well as "vanilla" Civ4/Warlords/Beyond the Sword.

The changes to increase islands in the map can be seen in the diff file and can be described thusly:

  • Pre-meteor land percentage decreased from 65% to 47%
  • "Edge-water" factor decreased; the heightmap is now more influenced by tectonics. In more detail: this is the argument to rotateMap; when it is 1.0, no effort is made to lower the height map at the edge of the map; when it is 0, a lot of lowering of the height map is done at the map edge.
  • The map is now vertically rotated, in addition to being horizontally rotated, so that the part of the map with the most water is at the map edge.