Empire XP

 

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Creating Maps

Map creation can be done with a plain text editor and a .png image editor, no other programs are required.

You need to create two files, .png and .txt and place them where the game can load the 2 files; this depends on the OS you are using, the Map Downloads page describes this in detail.

Have a look at the examples at the Map Downloads page before you begin.
 
The following steps need to be performed to create a map of your own:
 


Create the  .png file

(The example uses Windows Paint and Notepad.)


Open the Paint program and create a .png file, dimensions: 954 x 632 pixels.
        Name the file after the map you are creating, such as Asia.png, Africa.png etc.
        Names must be 13 characters or less (extension excluded) and without spaces.


Paint the outlines of continents and territories using the grey color rgb(127,127,127) or dark red rgb(128,0,64).
The example uses the gray color.


 

The interior of a territory should be all white.
Thicker lines/brushes are also possible.

Other grey colors you can use are :

172,172,172
192,192,192
100,100,100
128,128,128
57,57,57
151,151,151
43,43,43
43,43,42
83,83,83
198,198,198
195,195,195
127,127,127
104,104,104

Make sure no gaps exist between pixels. Zoom in to have a better look.


Apply a double-line / a thick brush as a border between continents (grey or dark red).
Grey areas cannot be crossed (use this to create difficult to reach areas).
The same can be achieved by drawing 'lakes'.
Lakes should be completely enclosed by grey or dark red  lines.

           


Oceans and lakes: select the Flood Fill Tool and Flood Fill with Black.
Grey areas: Flood fill with light grey.

 

Draw white lines to show connections over water (don't draw over the gray territory lines !).

Print it out and number the countries (starting with 1) on the printout with a pen.
Be aware that, within a continent, the territory numbers must be in sequence.
 

Create the .txt file


Open the Notepad program and create a plain text file with the same name as the .png file but with the extension '.txt'
Add the following lines including the square brackets, they are the section headers:

[map]

[player names]

[smilies and codes]

[continents]

[territories]

Below is a detailed description of each section and what should be entered under each heading.

map section
enter the name of your map (should be equal to the .png file name without the extension)
13 chars max.

player names
x and y (in pixels), the upper left corner where the program shows the player names,
select a point in a large expanse of empty ocean.
example:
686 295

Note: Paint shows the coordinates of the cursor at the lower left corner.

smilies and codes
Y or N; N = don't show smilies and codes (the three-letter territory code), useful for small territories.
This option is obsolete and is provided for backwards compatibility.

continents
enter all your continents here, 1 line is 1 continent, examples :
5 France 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
2 Iberia 18 19 20 21
...
..
.

Explanation of first line:
first number ( 5) : the number of bonus armies given for holding this continent.
France : continent name, 20 chars max, no spaces allowed (eg GreatBritain, not:  Great  Britain)
10 11 12 .. : enter all the numbers (territories) that are part of this continent (the numbers you wrote on the printout).

All items must be separated from their neighbours by exactly one space.

territories
enter all your territories here, 1 line is 1 territory, examples :
1 sco 262 80 3 4
2 irl 169 140 3 5
...
6 cor 238 218 5 3 4 7 20
...
..
.
Explanation of first line:
first number (1) : territory number (the numbers you wrote on the printout)
three-letter code (sco) : territory code (displayed together with the army count)
numbers
262 80 : x and y (in pixels) of the center of the territory.
The program uses these to show the territory code and # of armies.

numbers
3 4 : enter all bordering countries here (you can attack territories 3 and 4 from this territory)
                           - don't forget the connections over water!
 


Testing your map :
Run the program in Demo mode (computer players only) and choose Load a Map.
the map disappears ? everything has the same color ? possible reasons for this could be :
        gaps! (see above) or
        misfiring pixel coordinates or
        territory too small to hold the code/smiley or # of armies
if the above mentioned happens :
        remove all the territories but one (territory 1) from the [territories] section of the .txt file
        run the program and choose Map -> Load a Map... You should see white territories (all except 1)
        add territory 2 to the .txt file and repeat the test, go on adding territories until you find the troublemaker.

Buffer underrun error ?  Set [smilies and codes] to N.  (your territories are too small to surround the smilies)


The following limits apply to a map:
. maximum number of territories is 200     (LAN/Internet game: 115)
. maximum number of continents is 25    (LAN/Internet game: 14)
. maximum number of territories per continent is 20
. maximum number of border territories per continent is 12
. maximum number of surrounding territories per territory is 11
. minimum number of territories is 10
. minimum number of continents is 2
. minimum number of territories per continent is 2
 

Campaigns

To create a campaign, you'll need to make a .cmpgn file
You can do that using Notepad again :
Add the following lines including the square brackets, they are the section headers:

[campaign]

[maps]


campaign section
enter the name of your campaign (should be equal to the .cmpgn file name without the extension)
13 chars max.

maps
the maps that make up the campaign, example:

[maps]
Florida
Tennessee


Florida (Florida.txt and Florida.png) and Tennessee (Tennessee.txt, Tennessee.png) must exist as maps.

Up to 20 maps can be listed here, with a minimum of 2.


Misc
you may, if you like, e-mail your map or campaign to me, I will then list your map on the 'download maps' page.
        Compress the files into one .zip file.
Custom maps can be used like the built-in ones, including LAN and Internet games (map files must be stored locally on every PC).
One-way streets are unusable in empire xp, since the AI ignores them (but they can exist for human players).
 

Dark red, rgb(128,0,64) border/outline color
This color can be applied in the following way: Colors->Edit Colors...->Define Custom Colors>>

 

Troubleshooting

Territories without .... error :

It means that there are unreachable countries,
example:

[territories]
1 a01 229 145 3 2
2 a02 273 195 1 4
3 a03 222 226
4 b01 500 125 5 6 12
...

terr. a03 is such a country

Or you forgot to specify any country names, or the name is too long.
 

tr too large  error:

This means that a computer player found more than 40000 roads to go from country A to country B.
This array limit (40000) is for performance reasons.
It can happen when the map contains a large chunk of countries without any artificial borders,
so adding barriers (mountains, deserts , rivers etc) should solve the problem.