- Territory Indexing
- Size Constraint of Territory
- Territory Upper Cap
- Territory Lower Cap
- North/South Pole
- Map Size And Performance Testing
Map Making, Editor And Territory Guide For Humankind
First, I am going to talk about the territory index. Every territory has a unique index ID, to tie all the information that the map editor needs to it, and accurately represent and validate it. For example, the territory with index 10 may refer to a Continent 1-tagged land territory, representing tiles say, XYZ, to the Arctic biome. Or index 40 could refer to an Ocean-tagged aquatic territory, representing tiles ABC to the Temperate biome. Every territory has an index ID, and it is unique to every territory. That’s because any given territory is unique to the tiles it encompasses its biome, and its tag type (Continent 1, Continent 2, Ocean, etc.).
The official map editor guide doesn’t show us the nitty-gritty as we could’ve hoped. It only mentions in passing those continent territories should be “roughly 50 tiles”, while ocean territories “can be bigger”. After detailed testing, it shows that the actual size ranges of territories, according to the validation are much different. Oceans can be minimum of 10 tiles and max 199 tiles. Continents too can have the same sizes.
As you can see, there is no difference between the territories based on type. So you can easily surpass the 50 tile constraint. It has also come to my knowledge that you have to cover the entire map with territories, including ocean tiles. The default index 0 ocean is a territory like any other. As long as it is less than equal to 199 tiles you don’t have to add any explicit territory to it. This is good info to have, because that brings us to the next points, i.e. the upper cap and the lower cap.
The upper cap has only been verified on a huge map. There is an upper cap of the index at 255. There are 256 index IDs in total, as we are counting the initial ocean as index 0. When you surpass 255 territories, the editor shows index errors (visible in the diagnostics report), because you’ve gone over the upper limit. So that’s a sort of a hard cap. This means that we cannot currently have more than 256 territories in total (counting the initial ocean as 0). It appears that the map editor loads the territories and assigns them an index ID sequentially. It starts by giving the first territory in the array index 0, the second territory gets index 1, and so on until 255.
So what happens when you go over the upper cap? All kinds of funny behavior. To begin, it appears that the counter restarts at some point and starts assigning the same index IDs to territories again. This number could be anything between 0-255. Essentially you will be having two same index ids to different territories. This makes it impossible to set the individual territories’ properties, as you’ll always end up changing both territories. The map editor automatically thinks that the two IDs are the same territory, even though they encompass a different set of tiles.
Under the ‘territories menu’ or the ‘create new territory’ option, the map editor insists on a unique and continuous territory along the north and south pole. It is completely unclear if this means that there is already a north/south pole by default, or if you have to create those unique and continuous territories yourself. For one thing, the former could explain the 19 territory difference between the upper and lower caps, but that is entirely conjecture.
Given that the “circumference” of a huge map is 150 tiles, this also signifies one single-tile band across the map in the north and south. The validation doesn’t show any warnings whether you have the band or not. It also makes no difference if you have the band assigned as a continent or not. But you would lose two continent “slots” if you do. This point needs more testing and may cause issues with maps if you try to load them into the game.
I’ve only tested the maximum territory size on a small map. The behavior of the upper/lower cap has been tested on a huge map. Further testing is needed to confirm if this is valid for all map types, or if there is variation. Only after much research against the territories, the tools, and the logic, have I figured everything above out.
I haven’t tested what happens if you actually try to play a map with only 199 tile territories. Or also what happens if you try to play a map that is over the soft cap/hard cap. Presumably, performance would be affected. Or it may also cause crashes, but it needs further testing, especially on lower-end PCs. Only then we can make recommendations for the maps we create.