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Zeus: Adventure Design
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Caesar IV Heaven » Forums » Zeus: Adventure Design » Basic Design Tips
Topic Subject:Basic Design Tips
posted 07-11-02 23:16 ET (US)         
You can build a city map in whatever order you want... but there are certain steps you should follow in order to make it just a bit easier. (Well, *I* find it easier...)

First, make sure you know what size city map you need... the minimum map size you should use is "Large"... click into the File menu and click on 'New Map', 'Large Map'... (remember the fact that not everyone has the same building style during gameplay... some may make compact city designs, others may be all over the place - then factor in any sanctuaries and military)

Next, set up your water... create your harbors and rivers, remembering the fact that in order to navigate any waterway with a ship - Trade or War - you need a minimum of three tiles between shores.

Next, your 'plateaus'... click into the height menu, and create your plateaus/mountains with the "Raise Land" and "Raise Land High" choices. After all that - and it can be tricky; remember to leave at least one tile of open land between the plateau and any water - make sure you add your Access Ramps.

Next, your Scrub... click into the "Scrub" menu item, and 'plant' scrub all over the place - the more often you go over an area with the cursor, the thicker the Scrub will be. If you place a plateau after you place Scrub, you'll have to place the Scrub again over these new plateau areas.

Next, your Meadows... a 'Small' or 'Medium' brush are your best choices... the more often you go over a section, the thicker a Meadow will be - but any Meadow is preferable to none.

Next up, your Rocks... add Rocks, Cliff Rocks, and any quarries (normal and Black), along with any Copper Ore or Orichalc Ore.

Penultimate, lay out your Trees... a 'Tiny' brush is best for this, unless you want a gigantic forest.

Finally, add your 'Points'... Entry and Exit Points, River Entry and Exit, Monster, Invasion (and the 'Disembark', if you have Water invasion Points), and any Wolf (Boar, Deer) Points.

Your design style will probably be different than those you've seen in the game... so whatever.

Just remember that you can 'import' city maps, either through the menu, or through Windows Explorer - for instance, if you've got a city map in the adventure "Monster Massacre", you can import it to "Grecian Formula" by copying it in Windows Explorer... if you want to import Abraxas colony from "Monster Massacre", and that particular colony is the first on the colony list, the copy the file "Monster" from the "Monster Massacre" directory to the "Grecian Formula" directory, and rename it (via Windows Explorer) to "Grecian".

Just remember that the "*" (whatever your adventure happens to be named) consists of not only the parent city map, but also the world map.


David "Nightwolf" Masters
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"When facism comes to America, it will be waving the flag and carrying a cross." -- Sinclair Lewis
posted 12-21-16 05:24 ET (US)     1 / 2       
I was looking through the Miscellaneous downloads section of Zeus Heaven and noticed there are lots of goodies there to provide tips and aids (including Nightwolf's design template). All you adventure designers should check out what we've accumulated there over the years:

Expand your fun by downloading free custom campaigns for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
Visit Zeus Heaven to expand your knowledge of Zeus and Poseidon.
posted 12-14-17 09:03 ET (US)     2 / 2       
One thing that really helps me in my map design personally is that I hand-draft on rough paper the general outline of the city map that I want, and this helps me organize things much better. After drawing on paper, I then start tracing the outline by placing the paper in front of the mini-map on the screen and use the rock tool to trace it on the map (water tool if tracing a coast/river).

This is especially useful if you want to - for instance, draw a very accurate representation of a real life city and its topography right into Zeus' map editor. All you need to do is get a paper and trace the borders of the map in Pecunia's map tool (for the largest map-size, the measurement is around 6.1cm height and 7.6cm width iirc). Then look for a map of the city you want to trace into the map editor, and draw a rough sketch of it. Then after launching the editor, set the screen to one of the corners and trace using the rock tool (water tool if you're tracing a coast).

However, sometimes your sketch - no matter how good it is on paper - won't translate very well into the map editor, so you might need a few tweaks and some beautification on certain places in order to make it look more appealing on the mini-map screen when you load the map on Pecunia's map tool. If you're tracing mountains, dense some of the rocks a bit to beautify the outline on certain places; if you're tracing a coast, the scrub tool and beach tools work great for further beautification.

It may also help to - rather than keep making changes in the same map file - load the map (let's say on a different map file (C1,C2,C3,C4) and make your changes there. So that if you're unsatisfied with your change, you can go back to the previous change by loading on one of the other colony maps and make a new change, without having to re-do the entire thing back to the original.
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