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Topic: Initial musings of a total noob.

GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-10-25, 18:42

I have no idea how SCons works with a Widelands build - why don't you just use ./compile.sh -r? Are you having any problems with it?


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Lokimaros
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Joined: 2016-10-21, 17:51
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Location: Leiden, the Netherlands
Posted at: 2016-10-25, 19:58

@GunChleoc

Oops! I tell a lie, I used ./compile.sh, without "-r", just to see what would fail and get that library or whatever would turn up. Not used to compiles immediately succeeding anymore. But I clearly had all requirements fulfilled by then, and the compile went swimmingly. Kudos to all of you!

But I skipped looking at the script options, because the compile went well, and never bothered to think about looking there. My bad.

(I'd used scons on the source from the the Mint widelands package, which was build 18, hence my confusion.)

But ./compile.sh -r doesn't result in a make install working from the build directory, either. But "cmake .." from the build directory will, of course.


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2016-10-25, 20:15

I'm not sure what you mean by "difficulty of a map". Most maps are symmetrical, so the difficulty is always the same, since you and the opponents start on an equal footing. A few maps are hard because they have strange terrain; probably the best example of this is my archipelago sea map, but in that case it is written in the map description that it is difficult. Or you could mean "difficulty in playing solo against all the AI teamed up", in which case the difficulty depends on how many opponents you have and the geometry (it's much harder if they all come at you from different sides than if you can face one at a time, of course). Then there are asymmetrical maps, and most of those already list which are the easiest and hardest starting positions.

A few things about the differences among the tribes from a strategical point of view:

  • barbarians are the strongest in early game, atlanteans are stronger in late, empire is balanced. A map with fast contact favors barbarians, a slow map is better for atlanteans.
  • barbarians unpromoted soldiers are the cheapest, but weakest. Fully promoted, they are the strongest (by a very small margin, like a 52% probability of victory against a fully promoted atlantean) but they are also the most expensive. Their "shallow" mines are cheapest to operate, the deep and deeper mines are the most expensive. A map with plenty of ores so they can keep using the basic mines will favor barbarians.
  • barbarians don't need fish, because they have very cheap meat. atlanteans need fish as their only renewable meat resource, so they are strongly penalized in a map with limited acces to sea - it can put a cap to how much they can grow economically. Empire can produce mean renewably, but it's expensive, much cheaper to get fish, so they are favored in a map with plenty of fish.
  • empire needs lot of marble; having plenty of rocks around is good for them.
  • empire needs a lot of large buildings for their economy. barbarians need lots of farms. atlanteans need few of either. A map with limited access to large buildings will favor atlanteans.

So you can see for example that a small map will give barbarians a good chance of killing early, but if they fail, atlanteans will be favored because they are better in tight spaces. A large archipelago map will be good for empire, while barbarians will suffer.

EDIT: as for difficult maps, while not included in the core game, there are also a few maps available for download that are designed to be challlenging to play against AI, though you just started, so you're unllikely to be interested in those yet. The one that got more positive reviews is "the great escape" https://wl.widelands.org/maps/the-great-escape/, while the hardest is probably "concentric rings" https://wl.widelands.org/maps/concentric-rings/. Yes, I am shamelessly shipping my own maps face-tongue.png

Edited: 2016-10-25, 20:25
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SirVer
Joined: 2009-02-19, 15:18
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Location: Germany - Munich
Posted at: 2016-10-25, 21:28

Widelands has not used scons in a long, long time.... I am so glad that we got rid of it.


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Lokimaros
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Posted at: 2016-10-25, 23:01

@king_of_nowhere

Those are exactly the kind of considerations that determine the difficulty of a map. Look at it like this: I'm only just now learning the game, so I'm liable to go with default settings, and I played Dry Riverbed. On that map, gold is only available in the enemies thirds of the map, so barbarians won't have War helmets until you get there and establish a defensible position with gold mines under your control. I reached gold on both sides, but only on one side I had a more or less defensible position, so on the other wide I got gobbled up so easy I quit that game. So I'd not recommend that map for a newcomer. it's taken out of the Release for a reason like that, I imagine.

Likewise, if you have a fairly small map with 8 starters, that'll be suicide to try for a noob like me, as well. If, however, you have the largest possible map, with two islands, a tiny one with the AI and an Australia for the player, that'd be so easy even I could win from the AI outright. Differences in difficulty.

I just think it would be helpful if there was some sort of difficult indication with maps, so the newless cluebie, to wit, me, would know which maps to use for practice (the easiest), and which to test the newly acquired skills on (the mid-level ones).


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king_of_nowhere
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Posted at: 2016-10-26, 00:06

if you have a fairly small map with 8 starters, that'll be suicide to try for a noob like me, as well. If, however, you have the largest possible map, with two islands, a tiny one with the AI and an Australia for the player

How do you decide who is the player and who is the AI? you have a large map with one side having an easier start, but you may choose to play either side. so difficulty is not an appropriate definition, since what constitutes difficulty depends on what you are trying to do. that map would be labeled as a map where blue player has a good start and red player has a bad start, for example. The 8 players small map should be labeled exactly a such.

So, you are looking at asymmetrical maps specifying which side has the advantage. there are a few of those, and you can look for more in the download directory on this site.


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DragonAtma
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Posted at: 2016-10-26, 06:40
On a side note, earlier this year we discussed difficulty levels:
https://wl.widelands.org/forum/topic/1938/

And, of course, some maps are more suited for certain tribes than others. Atlanteans, for example, need water if they want renewable meat, so a map with no water hoses them, and a map with some (but little) water will cause problems for them, because they'd face meat shortages.

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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-10-26, 07:16

It is possible to assign tribes to player starting positions in the editor, but when preparing a game, this information is ignored. We should work on that once I have redesigned those screens. This way, a map creator might assign a coastal position to Atlanteans and an inland position to Barbarians, for example.

Edited: 2016-10-26, 07:16

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DragonAtma
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Posted at: 2016-10-26, 15:13
Speaking of map creators, it seems odd to me that the random map creator creates specks of desert around the coast. Yes, they're intended to be beaches, but.... I just don't think they look too good.
My suggestion on redoing beaches is this method:

(1) Assuming it's an island map, check which coasts (triangles sharing a border or corner with water) are next to the main ocean; only those get a chance for beaches (lakes and ponds will not).
(2) For those coasts, inspect how steep they are; depending on a cutoff (I'm sure we can find a good one), they are marked as either "steep" or "shallow".
(3) Check if any shallow coasts have zero shallow border/corner neighbors; if so, set them to "steep".
(4) Check if any steep coasts have zero steep border/corner neighbors; if so, set them to "steep".
(5) Set all shallow coasts to be desert.

That should give us better-looking beaches that are a uniform one tile wide.

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GunChleoc
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Posted at: 2016-10-26, 15:19

We have a series of open wishlist bugs for the map generator - somebody needs to give it a big overhaul. I have other things on my personal todo-list though.


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