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Thread: EC3 New Idea #5 - HEX BASED MAP

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    raingoon
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    Post EC3 New Idea #5 - HEX BASED MAP

    "Use a hex based map." - Grier


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    Chrisp
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    I agree. A hex map would be the greatest improvement of Civ since, well, ahem, how can I end this without being rude? :-) Since the first original Sid Meier's Civ. At least the greatest topological improvment.

    Another map related issue is this: I would like to have an option to play in 2D-mode, i.e. without the semi-3D view. Just like in Sid's original Civ. This will be especially handy when you play on a hex map. /Chrisp

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    Jeje2
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    Big Grin

    A simple and very good idea.
    You got my vote
    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Jeje2 (edited February 19, 2000).]</font>

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    Ekmek
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    Hexes would be better than the squares used now but someone earlier suggested pixels. If anyone remembers the old game COMMAND HQ I think they used pixes. I'd prefer something smaller and better able to measure distances. Something smaller would add to movement flexibility. Instead of an infantry move of 1 and cav being 2 (twice the distance of infantry, not realistic and that's a lot of space) maybe it would be a 5 and 7. Just a thought, but yes i think hexes are way better than squares.

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    korn469
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    Grier

    if asked why out of the five things to put on the new ideas thread why would this idea belong? what are the greatest strength in adding this idea? and what if any weaknesses or exploits does this idea have?

    what problems does adding a hex based map solve? are the problems significant enough for firaxis to do a major game engine redesign?

  6. #6
    Grier
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    At a fundamental level civ is a wargame. most wargames seem to use a hex based map, qed civ should use hexes. On a game design note changing to hexes will cause very little difficulty and it reduces the number of directions you can travel by two. It makes a citys zone of control more circular and fixes movement and sight advantages of moving diagonaly on a square map.

    One advantage of hexes that I have noticed is that the AI can make better decisions due to the reduced number of locations a unit can move too.

    Other benefits of hexes:

    Borderlines will be smoother and more circular than with squares.

    Rivers will be able to flow more naturally.

    The map will look less clunky, with more natural looking coastlines.

    A siege of a city will take fewer units to accomplish.

    Plus others i'm sure.

    Grier.

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    XZealot
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    Thumbs down

    I think a hex based map is a bad idea.
    1) it reduces your movement options and makes combat less fluid( reducing options like hit and run by making the zones of control bigger
    2) it is unintuitive by reducing the number of movement keys to six

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    Glostakarov
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    An annoying thing about squares is the ability to clear out lots of map by walking in diagonals. It's also easier to cover lots of ground this way. A unit can cover 3 squares north, or 3 squares northwest. With squares, the move northwest actually represents a lot more mileage. A hex based system is far more realistic. Admittedly you can't put an intuitive set of keys on the number pad for hexagonal directions, but if you really want to use keys for movement, shift it over to the normal part of the keyboard. The staggering of letters makes a hex pattern pretty simple, though you'd have to shuffle some other things around. Personally, I prefer using the mouse to move units, especially when you can give them a point several turns away and ignore them until they get there.

  9. #9
    Grier
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    <center><table width=80%><tr><td><font color=000080 face="Verdana" size=2><font size="1">quote:
    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1>
    </font><font size=1>Originally posted by XZealot on 02-28-2000 11:14 AM</font>
    I think a hex based map is a bad idea.
    1) it reduces your movement options and makes combat less fluid( reducing options like hit and run by making the zones of control bigger
    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1></font></td></tr></table></center>


    Actually Zones of control are smaller, making hit and run more viable.

    <center><table width=80%><tr><td><font color=000080 face="Verdana" size=2><font size="1">quote:
    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1>
    </font><font size=1>Originally posted by XZealot on 02-28-2000 11:14 AM</font>
    2) it is unintuitive by reducing the number of movement keys to six
    <img src="/images/blue1.gif" width=100% height=1></font></td></tr></table></center>

    This is a good point. It could be solved by using the same technique as civ2 on the playstation (having an arrow point in the direction the unit is moving, with left and right used to rotate). Although in Civ:ctp I didnt use the keyboard for movement because the mouse with path finding was better.
    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Grier (edited February 29, 2000).]</font>
    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by Grier (edited February 29, 2000).]</font>

  10. #10
    Grier
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    On the question of why of 5 things should this idea be included.

    Firstly because it is a fundamental change and has no shades of grey. For example an idea to do with units may be good but firaxis have a million and one choices about what to do with units. With map shapes however its a choice between squares or hexes (triangles are also possible but no-one in their right mind would.......).

    Secondly its a change which will not affect gameplay to much. In a sequal its always good to make changes that dont affect gameplay, so that you get the feel of playing a new game but with the rather familiar play style of the origional. Civ to civ2 did a similar thing by changing the perspective, this would be a similar and significant advancement.

    Thirdly its an idea that a lot of people dont know they want untill they are asked their opinion on it.

  11. #11
    Steve Clark
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    I'm a veteran of those hex-based Battleground Series games from Talonsoft, therefore I'd admit I have a bias towards hexes.

    One of the criticism is that the squares are unrealistic when moving N-S-E-W, as oppose to the diagonal directions. Hexes would solve this problem in that it is the same distance in all directions from any one hex.

    Secondly, the criticism the ZOC would get bigger or that units would get trapped more - just double the CivII movement points (ie, 1 square moves = 2 hex moves). Each hex would comprise of a smaller area than squares, therefore you would need to increase the number of movement points anyway.

    Thirdly, I'm unclear as to why hexes limited the range of movements? You have the same 8 compass directions - only with hexes, the movements are all equal.

    I am in strong favor of CivIII being hexed based.

  12. #12
    Grier
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    [quote]<font size=1>Originally posted by Steve Clark on 03-01-2000 12:22 PM</font>
    Thirdly, I'm unclear as to why hexes limited the range of movements? You have the same 8 compass directions - only with hexes, the movements are all equal.
    [quote]

    Actually with a hex you can only move North, South, North-West, North-East, South-East, and South-West. However, I presume you meant over the course of the movement, which will allow all 8 major compass directions.

    But thanks for the support of my idea. But can we please have more people disagreing so that I can fine tune my case and argument.

  13. #13
    supremus
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    Thumbs up

    I think that's a great idea. Hex are and were from the very beguine, the election land tile used in most of table war games. It is cool and much more accurate. It will make much easier to use relief (is it the right word for this ?) variations because the geodesical possibilities it opens for designers. But there's really these point over to cut from 8 to 6 the attack possible positions to a city (Is it good or bad ?). very interesting discussion !

  14. #14
    Zanzibar
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    Thumbs down

    I'm not against the "hex based map" idea, but I don't think it should be in a "10 most wanted ideas" list. Why? Because I think it shouldn't be our concern. I mean, we are telling to Firaxis: we want beautiful graphics, a better trade system, stacked combat, whatever. But what do I care about the hexes? Isn't that their job? I think the designer team is supposed to answer questions like this, not us, and I'm sure they know much more about this than we know. This idea is limiting their game-design choices too much.
    Hexes are tools, not goals. We must give them goals, not tools. Tools are their job.

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    ChrisShaffer
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    Tools are as important as the things you categorize as ideas. Good tools make good games. There's nothing wrong with suggesting that an improvement in the tools would improve the game.

    And, please, "the designer team is supposed to answer questions like this, not us, and I'm sure they know much more about this than we know" ??? By this reasoning, we shouldn't be making any suggestions at all. "Just sit back and let those smart designers work, sonny, they don't need your input...."

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    Zanzibar
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    OK, maybe you're right, and we should suggest them tools as well. But this particular idea is still too restraining for Firaxis. We let them no choices at all.

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    ChrisShaffer
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    This idea is a LOT less restrictive than many of the other proposals. It leaves plenty of choices for Firaxis. In what way do you think it's too restrictive?

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    Zanzibar
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    Well, you are telling them: "Make hex based map". So where are the choises?
    The idea I had in my mind reading this proposal about hexes was the following:
    "What do I care about hexes?" Why? Because Civ3 could be very well a succes or a failure, with or without hex based map. I don't care if the map is based on hexes or anything else as long as the combat model is good, the resource management is working fine, I have enough diplomacy options, the graphics is beatiful, and so on. So that's why I don't think hexes are essential. They are an option, yes, but not essential.
    But, of course, this is my opinion.

  19. #19
    Grier
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    I think that the points you describe as essential are also essential in the minds of the designers. For example if my suggestion had been "to have a better diplomacy model", then what would the designers say "actually we were going to make it worse", I think not.

    I think that this list of ideas should contain the smaller ideas that are practible but unlikly to cause friction with the overall grand designs.

    For myself I dont believe having a hex based map will make the game ten times better than civ2, but if people like it then it may make that small but noticable effect that I believe the list is aiming for.

  20. #20
    Grier
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    FINAL DRAFT

    Hex Based Map


    Current Problem:
    The ability to move diagonally on a square based map results in uneven movement and sight.

    Basic idea:
    Replace the current square based map with a hexagon based map. This would mean that a unit could now move in 6 compass directions as oppose to 8 before.

    Benefits:
    More accurate modelling of movement and sight. More realistic portrayal of land layout.

    Feasibility:
    Implementation of the idea before the prototyping stage would perfectly feasible without any known disadvantages (on the assumption that code is being written from scratch).

  21. #21
    Grier
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    Ok people time to strart canvasing for more support.

    Lie Number One:
    Vote for me and all of your citizens will be happier.

    Lie Number Two:
    Having a hex based grid will allow you to increase science without having to increase taxes.

    Lie Number Three:
    Hexes will make your cities easier to defend and your opponents easier to attack.

    Lie Number Four (for people who dislike micromanagement):
    Hexes will reduce the level of micromanagement.

    Lie Number Five (for people who like micromanagement):
    Hexes will increase the detail of micromanagement.

    Lie Number Six:
    All the other ideas are spawned from satan himself and will lead to the destruction of civ for all time.

    Lie Number Seven:
    Detailed replays, simultanious turns, stacking, and domestic politics, will all increase the development time of civ3 by two years and lead to slow buggy performance.

    Remember people a vote for Hexes is a vote for Democracy!

  22. #22
    pauli
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    personally, hexes have been something i've wanted in a civ game since, well, civ. the only good thing about square tiles is that they lead to a very simple grid system... but when the grid is tilted 45 degrees, that goes away. so, we now have squares and hexes, with no real benefits for the first, and loads for the second. hexes will make for a much more realistic game. besides, i'm told that hexes slice, dice and juliene*!

    *note: juliening optional. see your dealer for details.

  23. #23
    KoenigMkII
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    I am in favour of a hex based map. Mainly because the diagonal-distortion-effect (i.e. with squares) is horrible in Naval combat.

    A secondary reason is that for multiple hex/square cities with expanded radius (an idea from another thread) gamers would be tempted to make a "Diagonal super city" of squares as this would seem to bring in the most new squares of resources.

    s
    s
    s

    For example, for a "Diagonal" 3 space city
    the total number resource spaces available is as follows:-

    Squares: 35

    Hexes: 28

    This diagonal effect just looks weird and unrealistic on a map IMHO, but with hexs the effect is gone and the cities look more natural.

    Think of the Ruhr industrial area of Germany.

    Ko

    P.S. for interest, a single Hex city has 19 spaces v 21 for the original CIV "square" layout. Any ideas on the effect that would have?
    <font size=1 face=Arial color=444444>[This message has been edited by KoenigMkII (edited March 14, 2000).]</font>

  24. #24
    Grier
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    Cool

    Come on this idea has been recieving a late rush of votes but to secure its place in the top 5 we need more votes. So read through the thread, see what a big improvement it will make and then vote.

    p.s it is possible to change your vote so if you were misguided enough not to vote for me than you can still do so.

  25. #25
    Steve Clark
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    Thought I'd just post a link showing how great hexes could look in 3D. http://www.talonsoft.com/pix/west_fr...s_entering.GIF

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