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Civ 5 Will Let You Import and Convert Civ 4 Maps 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the backward-compatibility dept.
bbretterson writes "From an interview Bitmob conducted with Civilization 5 Lead Designer Jon Shafer: 'You can import Civ 4 maps into the world builder and convert them into Civ 5 maps, including all the units and cities and stuff on it — the conversion process will just do that for you automatically. We're hoping that the first week Civ 5 is out, people will use that function and port all of the Civ 4 stuff over to Civ 5, so everything will be out there already.'"
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Civ 5 Will Let You Import and Convert Civ 4 Maps

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is a good thing for all concerned !!

    • YO DAWG (Score:4, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:04AM (#32690990)

      YO DAWG, we heard you like things that stand the test of time, so we made a game that could stand the test of time, whilst you built a civilization to stand the test of time.

  • Wow (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Wow, this new game must offer a lot compared to the old game..

  • by Maian (887886) on Friday June 25, 2010 @06:35AM (#32688470)
    Civ 4 map plots are squares. Civ 5 are hexagons. I don't see an easy conversion process that won't produce real not-just-semantic map differences (e.g. how to convert diagonal waterways where in a 4x4, one diagonal is water and the other diagonal is land, and ships can travel through the water diagonal?)
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Z00L00K (682162)

      What probably would be more interesting is ability to create, convert and design your own custom units.

      • by sjwt (161428) on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:01AM (#32688566)

        Try looking at how the game Elemental, War of Magic [elementalgame.com] development is going, that might be more your cup of tea.

        Its been developed with the Mod tools, and they are realeasing them with it, its currntly in a true Beta, you know the kind where one can post feedback, and sugest changes that are more then cosmetic or extreamly minor.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Every previous Civ game has allowed modding pretty much every detail including units, what makes you think this one would be different?

    • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Friday June 25, 2010 @06:45AM (#32688516)
      Yeah this was my first question too. Nothing in the article about it, but it hesitantly alludes to the fact that the only things confirmed to "carry over" will be cities and units. So this could very well be an approximation rather than a conversion. Cities roughly in the same place, land masses roughly the same size and shape, rivers running the same general course and touching the same cities etc.

      Units will be interesting though. If you import a map with huge unit stacks they'll have to be spread out to conform to the new one-unit-per-hex requirement. Suddenly a stack of doom will become a huge traffic jam across your civilisation!
      • Even with just cities, simila implications are still valid because there are going to be quite a few mechanic changes:

        Culture is said to be working differetly -> new borders?
        Religion is going to be removed -> what about religion buildings and political ties?
        What about general building not found in new versions?

        Somehow, I just can not get excited about this feature at all: Why would I want to play old Civ4 map in brand new Civ 5 instead of starting new game?

        • That's what I was thinking myself. Why not just start again... it is, after all, a new game...

        • Do you think that maybe, MAYBE they're going to include a "compatibility" or "classic" mode alongside the new rules...
          • by ultranova (717540)

            Do you think that maybe, MAYBE they're going to include a "compatibility" or "classic" mode alongside the new rules...

            If you have Civ 4 savegames, the chances are you have Civ 4. If you have Civ 4, why would you want to play Civ 5 modded to work like Civ 4 instead of just playing Civ 4?

            • I think the idea is that there are special scenario maps already produced for Civ4, and they want those scenarios to provide content for Civ5 as well.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 25, 2010 @06:46AM (#32688520)

      From a computational chemist point of view, who uses both square and hexagonal lattice all the time, it isn't that difficult/strange actually. Thanks to the fact that periodic boundaries are used, it will just be a 'simple' conversion. The main issue one might encounter though is the fact that you'll go from 8 neighbours to 6 neighbours (if I am not mistaken the diagonals are also counted as neighbours in Civ4..., otherwise it's 4 to 6).
      Plus I believe they actually wanted to limit the diagonal travelling, so it makes sense to prevent the diagonal 4x4, instead of encouraging it.
      No, I am not worried about the conversion of the lattice/map. What I am worried about is the fact that in Civ5 it won't be possible to have more than 1! army per tile. So what will happen to the other dozen armies that were on the converted tile?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ivucica (1001089)
      Hexagons? What are they doing to Civ? :D

      I wouldn't be opposed to Civ5 having both hexagon and square modes. That would solve the conversion problem, too.
      • by dingen (958134) on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:40AM (#32688686)

        Hexagons? What are they doing to Civ? :D

        Heh, a true fan I see, learning of new features through a comment on Slashdot, months after the developer released this info to the world.

        • by Lars T. (470328)

          Hexagons? What are they doing to Civ? :D

          Heh, a true fan I see, learning of new features through a comment on Slashdot, months after the developer released this info to the world.

          And a true Slashdotter - as we discussed it several times since then.

        • by ivucica (1001089)
          Sarcasm aside (ha ha.), not a fan, just someone who played a few installments and liked 'em.
      • by Ed Avis (5917) <ed@membled.com> on Friday June 25, 2010 @08:09AM (#32688806) Homepage
        The map for Civ 6 is going to be based on Penrose tiles.
        • Modded funny, but it actually makes sense, if Sid & Co. ever decides to model the sphericity of the globe - in such a case, some sort of Penrose tiling would make a lot of sense.

        • by ultranova (717540)

          The map for Civ 6 is going to be based on Penrose tiles.

          Or prevent the "the" from it, allow multiple maps in the same game, and let me colonize Moon!

          Seriously: Undersea cities, orbital habitats, space-based weaponry, Moon colonies... Call to Power tried some of this stuff, so why not expand the scope of the game to hypothethical future worlds? It would be a lot of fun being able to retreat to the moons of Jupiter and prepare to retake the Inner System while they are sabotaging your attempts to extract hydr

      • by Tridus (79566) on Friday June 25, 2010 @08:24AM (#32688908) Homepage

        Making it so that moving in every direction uses the same amount of movement to go the same distance. Unlike the diagonals on squire tiles in Civ 4.

        The real question is why hexes weren't in use all along.

        • by ShakaUVM (157947)

          >>The real question is why hexes weren't in use all along.

          Because hexes look ugly?

          • by BobMcD (601576)

            Oh come on now, ShakaUVM, clearly I was only joking. I'm sure your mother is a handsome woman. :P

        • Probably because a 2d array of squares is easier and quicker to code (and faster to process). Inertia from there.
      • by bonch (38532)

        Civ 5 will only have hexagons. Hexagons are superior because moving in a diagonal direction in a square grid is essentially cheating. It allows you to cover more distance by skipping a tile. If today's Civ was using a square system legitimately, you would only be able to move up, down, left, or right.

        • by ivucica (1001089)
          Skipping approximately .41 tile, to be precise. Meh, I don't get that argument: It's easy to incorporate this into thinking; on the other hand, hexes make for some weird movement controls if not using a mouse. I liked that I could sometimes play Civ with arrow keys.

          Meh.
    • by gravos (912628) on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:13AM (#32688610) Homepage

      Civ 4 map plots are squares. Civ 5 are hexagons. I don't see an easy conversion process that won't produce real not-just-semantic map differences

      Someone at reddit posted a diagram of how to do this fairly easily: http://i.imgur.com/lpJRd.png [imgur.com]

      The only problem is with moving resources out of city limits, etc... things which may or may not be practical problems.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Thiez (1281866)

        Wow, that diagram was actually really informative. In hindsight it's amazingly obvious :D

      • Very informative!

        Hard to know how resources are allocated to a city in the new Civ, but at very least we know that's going to change. Moving resources outside of the city limits may be an issue - but then again, it may not.

        My guess is that a city will be able to control tiles up to two tiles away (the hexagon system makes this pretty easy to define) as opposed to the "fat cross" system of before. Based on that image, if you place a city dead center and imagine it's "fat cross" as it would have been
      • by Yvanhoe (564877) on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:51AM (#32688724) Journal
        In Civ4 going from (0,0) to (1,1) was possible through a diagonal move. In your conversion, this becomes impossible. This can have real importance in the game. A diagonal waterway in Civ4 will appear as non practicable in Civ5.

        Going from a 8 neighborhood to a 6 neighborhood bears implications that are interesting but make conversion non ideal in most cases. If what you want is a nice map of Italy that looks about the same in Civ5, this is fine. But in the random map you loved so much in Civ4, some straits will disappear, some part of the sea will become lakes and just don't count on roads to be correctly converted.
        • by wjousts (1529427)

          In Civ4 going from (0,0) to (1,1) was possible through a diagonal move. In your conversion, this becomes impossible. This can have real importance in the game. A diagonal waterway in Civ4 will appear as non practicable in Civ5. Going from a 8 neighborhood to a 6 neighborhood bears implications that are interesting but make conversion non ideal in most cases. If what you want is a nice map of Italy that looks about the same in Civ5, this is fine. But in the random map you loved so much in Civ4, some straits will disappear, some part of the sea will become lakes and just don't count on roads to be correctly converted.

          Yes, it'll doubtless need some tweaking and it won't be exactly the same. But versus not converting it at all, it would presumably be easier than starting from scratch again.

          Sheeze, just because it's not perfect, doesn't mean it's worthless. If you really want to play the old maps, stick to Civ IV.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          If I were doing it, I'd "render" the terrain, then re-divide it into the new hexes , and infer the new tiles by the contents of the new grid, including cities, rivers, bonuses, etc. I don't know whether that would work cleanly, but it gets rid of that problem, at least; what used to be in 1,1 is still geographically close to 0,0, even if cell contents get moved, merged, or divided. Further, if a waterway runs between diagonal squares, it's likely that the corresponding hexes will also be contiguous.

          I have

      • The only problem I see with that, is that squares that were diagonal from each other in the original conversion no longer touch each other in the hexagon shape. Follow two diagonal squares on that diagram from start to finish and you'll see what I mean. I'm leaning more towards the approximation idea (which I guess that diagram illustrates).
    • A hex grid can be thought of as a square grid with every second line shifted by 0.5 * squareWidth on the X axis, so the conversion can be rather straightforward. But yes, it will produce semantic map differences as some squares that were previously diagonally adjacent to each other no longer will be after conversion.

      • by delinear (991444)
        I guess the solution would be to allow some tweaking of position during the import process, if they wanted people to get this spot on (for most people close will perhaps be good enough).
    • Totally in agreement. My head asplode.
    • There's a very simple way to convert a map from squares to hexes. Just shift every alternating row down half a unit. This is known as offset squares [wikipedia.org] and it's homomorphic to a hexagonal tiling.

      It would mean a very slight difference in the shape of things, but overall it would maintain the same gameplay. The only difference from the original, square-based map is that the rows that stay the same would lose their two bottom diagonal connections, and the rows that shift down would lose their two upper diagonal c

    • Gosh, I didn't know there was anything after Civ III.
  • Well my only wish... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by g4b (956118) on Friday June 25, 2010 @06:50AM (#32688528) Homepage
    My only wish about civ is, that I can turn down graphics more, than in part 4.

    It should really get a more heatfriendly graphics mode.
    • by X0563511 (793323)

      Perhaps you should go back to Civ III :)

      • by tcolberg (998885)

        Well, I'd like to be able to run Civ5 on my netbook. Civ4 isn't really playable due to interface lag, even though blinding framerates aren't necessary for turn-based strategies. I'd like to use Civ3, but it can't run at anything but 1024x768 (netbook screens are 1024x600).

        Maybe I'll just wait a year, see how the x200 series tables handle Civ5, and upgrade instead.

        • by X0563511 (793323)

          My netbook (Acer EEPC 1000) will let you render at 1024x768, and "scoll" with the mouse cursor. I know this with Windows, and I think it works under Linux too, but I haven't tested (because I prefer to shrink stuff and use the native resolution without scrolling).

          Yours might do this as well - do you have all the drivers/utilities installed? (I'm assuming you do what most do and wipe it on purchase, and do it yourself to avoid crudware etc)

          • by tcolberg (998885)
            I know about the scrolling thing, but I have the Lenovo S10-3t, which is a tablet, which basically means I'd need to use an external mouse to control the game if you have to rely on proximity to screen edge to scroll the display.
    • Heat only becomes a problem if you have a lousy energy policy after the industrial revolution.

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      Good God, yes. Civ IV gets the fans on my gaming laptop spinning faster and more frequently than Left4Dead2. That's just not right. Oddly enough the CPU stays frosty, which I suppose does explain predictable AI but shiny graphics.
  • Linux support (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I love Civ, and I've got the anthology + Civ IV expansions. Thing is, they all currently run under wine (with no-cd patches), mostly.

    I hope (but not too highly), the same can be said for Civ V. 2000 bonus points for no DRM. I would buy it then.

  • by IBBoard (1128019) on Friday June 25, 2010 @07:53AM (#32688736) Homepage

    How can this make a headline/slashvertisement on Slashdot? That sounds like they're doing the right thing and giving the gamers a better gaming experience by not just ditching all of the hard work from previous games. I'm sure there must be some flaw or lie somewhere - it's just not the corporate thing to do!

  • Rumours (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mr Europe (657225) on Friday June 25, 2010 @08:28AM (#32688936)

    Reliable rumours say that civ5 will use a super close view where most of the screen is filled with face of the selected unit. This enables the player to fully see the facial expressions and and have richer gaming experience. Of course You can take a bigger view, but then you will see only clouds.

    And the "Large World" consists of 20 hexagons.

    To give all the equal opportunity to fight in wars, all unit are of same power. The Phalangs will successfully defend against Warships. This is good, because it would be sad if rich people would win all the wars.

    • by Lillebo (1561251)
      Civ 5 should be (Civ 4 + Beyond the Sword expansion pack + Giant Earth mod + 50 Civ mod). Pluss a lot more political tools like cross-civ organizations (UN, WTO etc) and unions (US, EU etc), sanctions, occupation, puppet leaders. Also in warfare there should be a tactical screen for coordinating units from different allied civs. It also wouldn't hurt if Firaxis teamed up with Monte Cristo and combined Civ and Cities XL into one epic world simulation.

      See here [civfanatics.com] for more details on the above mentioned mods.
      • Cripes, fella, just go be a politician if you want THAT much detail.
      • by ultranova (717540)

        It also wouldn't hurt if Firaxis teamed up with Monte Cristo and combined Civ and Cities XL into one epic world simulation.

        How about combining that with Master of Orion?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chowderbags (847952)

      The Phalangs will successfully defend against Warships.

      So what's different than previous versions?

  • by PPalmgren (1009823) on Friday June 25, 2010 @09:53AM (#32689916)

    Its not exactly the same, but I remember enjoying SimCopter a lot because I could take SimCity 2000 maps and load them up in SimCopter and fly around them in 3D. The nostalgia feeling of loading my best cities and being able to play in them was fantastic. I could see people not wanting to lose their custom maps in Civ4, and this is an excellent solution.

    I loved loading up a SC2000 map with the army base and stealing the army chopper. This was the closest thing you could get to 3D GTA at the time.

  • Alpha Centauri II (Score:5, Insightful)

    by metamatic (202216) on Friday June 25, 2010 @10:17AM (#32690324) Homepage Journal

    I've never been into the Civ games, but I'd buy Alpha Centauri II. I wish Firaxis would develop it.

    • You might give Civ 4 a try if you haven't already -- I loved the hell out of AC and Civ 4 is the first game in the series to hold my attention the same way. Even if I can't commit atrocities against my own people.

      That being said, I too would deperately like to see AC2, but I gather the intellectual property rights for it are all tangled up in an ugly way. The AC user interface has not aged well but overall that was such a great game. I think the biggest thing for me is how differently you needed to play

    • by twoallbeefpatties (615632) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:18AM (#32691180)
      As a discussion about Civilization increases in length, the probability that someone will suggest a sequel to Alpha Centauri approaches 1.
      • As a discussion about topic X increases in length, the probability that someone will suggest Y approaches 1.
        It's true for any X and Y. It's the old monkeys and typewriters thing.

    • The production values on that game were really great (considering it's 10 years old). The quotes and tech was very inspiring and the balance and gameplay were really innovative.

      My wish: AC2 with hex maps and some of the features of Civ (culture is pretty nice, but it'd be cool to mate it with the "UN" feature in AC)... that or a modern remake of Master of Magic.

  • ...turned off? That is, does anyone know if tactical combat will be made a feature that can be disabled through options? I'm really not very much into tactical combat (that's why I like games such as Civ). I'm really happy about the hex map, this has been my dream for years.

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      What do you mean exactly? You don't like the way you have to decide which unit attacks out of a stack? If that's the case then you can change certain options to resolve stack combat automatically. You select your unit stack, tell them what tile to attack and it automatically attacks with the best possible unit, again and again until either your stack or the enemy stack is gone.
  • Civ 4 makes me wait a couple seconds for my next move after I hit enter. I'd like to see multiprocessor support and 64 bit support. I hate to wait!

    When I played The Operational Art of War (maybe the greatest game ever), I got a new computer and it turbo-ripped through scenarios that the old one was slow on. Civ 4 seems to proceed at its leisurely pace no matter what the computer.

    Any ideas on this?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by dingen (958134)
      I like the illusion that the AI is actually doing something. I wouldn't surprise me if there is a built-in delay, just to let the player feel like a bit like stuff is happening between turns.
      • by bonch (38532)

        No offense, but delaying the ability to play just for no reason is a silly idea.

      • by sjwt (161428)

        I belive Larry Niven wrote that into one of his Dream Park novles, that the serach program on the computer had been programed with a dealy, as if a human got a responce too quickly they assumed it hadnet worked propperly and hit serch agine..

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