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Map Specs

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 7:11 pm
by dustin
Vox has a map editor inside of it, based on the lux map editor. You can load lux maps into it, in order to convert them into vox maps.
  • Will mapmakers have the ability to change graphics? (units, castles, etc.)
    - yes. Put your 50x05 pixel sized unit images into the map's Theme folder, with these names:


  • Do most Lux map mechanics work? (one-way connections, multiple polygons per country, etc.)
    - One way connections will work (although some bots might not notice). Multiple polygons in a country is not supported right now.

  • How many players does it currently support?
    - Unlimited players. This is one of the fun features of Vox! For more than 8 you need to add them manually in the text file.

  • Can you specify where the castle goes in a country? Can you specify where the recruited troops go in a country? Are these what the VoxPoints are used for?
    - Yes, these are what the VoxPoints are for. The vox map editor has a mode to move these around (Set Vox Unit Point mode). Each country has a specific point for castle, knights, and pawns.

  • What's the team symbol used for?
    - For showing what team you're on, also for showing what teams own what continents. I'm not sure if the symbols is the best way to do it, but that's where it's at currently.
The vox map editor also has a new Set Scenario Player Info (cmd-U) panel.

Here's the link to Submit Maps for Castle Vox.

Here's info about Converting Lux Delux Maps to Castle Vox.

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 9:31 am
by mbauer
How does the country bonus differ from the continent bonus? Is it that obvious, a country bonus gives you a bonus just for occupying that 1 country, where a continent bonus gives you a bonus for occupying multiple countries?

So then this should eliminate 1 country continents, yes?

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 3:28 pm
by dustin
a country bonus gives you a bonus just for occupying that 1 country, where a continent bonus gives you a bonus for occupying multiple countries?
^ yes. So technically 1 country continents aren't needed. But, having them can give the single country continent 2 bonus labels, which looks cool sometimes. Bonus labels for continents and countries look different also, with the continent one having the name included, so sometimes it might be better to have a 1-country continent and then give that country no country-bonus, to get the better label.

Posted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:47 pm
by SunTzu

Is there any chance of getting this feature in Lux?

Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:33 pm
by SunTzu
The castle icon should definitely always be in the same spot chosen by the mapmaker. The other two are a little more flexible, but ideally they should be tied to just one unit-type as well.

And the Castle definitely needs to be in the background of the other units.

Posted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:55 am
by dustin
There's a new release in the download spot now with map making updates. You can specify each unit's spot and Castles should always be behind.

Existing maps will probably need a touch-up under the new version to get good unit-locations.

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:00 am
by Behemoth

How about a Castle BIO map? I've already built the unit graphics!


Seriously though, this is a very cool addition.

Can the png include transparency - if so will it work the same way transparency does on a Lux overground... and would it be possible then to include a 'foreground' unit graphic as well?

Posted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:36 pm
by blackj3sus
fucking awesome dustin

needs to be able to set different unit types to each side
(for the wwii map)

Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:40 pm
by dustin
Different unit images for different players is a cool idea I've pondered also. It might happen, but no promises.

I'm not sure what your question means behemoth. The unit png support transparency.

Posted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:48 am
by Behemoth
Re the unit graphics - I was asking if it was possible to make a unit icon that would use two files, a foreground and overground, just as the maps do.

If possible it would allow designers to add features like illuminance and depth to the unit graphics, something difficult to achieve working with only one file.

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:45 pm
by SunTzu
Will the maximum number of players possible in a scenario always be 8?

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:23 pm
by blackj3sus
ancient italy has 20+ players...

you have to edit the XML (.voxb) file.

Posted: Sun Aug 15, 2010 11:31 pm
by SunTzu
blackj3sus wrote:ancient italy has 20+ players...

you have to edit the XML (.voxb) file.
Hmm... My map always crashes when I have more than 8 players.

It also crashes if it needs to be automatically resized.

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:09 pm
by dustin
Send problem maps to and I'll take a look at them (and fix any app bugs found).

Posted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:43 am
by mbauer
Lupus ferox wrote:It seems map lab has some non-negotiable rules about maps, like sea connection lines, water blockades, no lines over the overground, width of rivers, graphics quality, etc.

It also appears that these rules are more strict for Vox than for Lux.

Fine with me, but I would appreciate a list of these rules here in the forums so I won't make mistakes....
There's no "list of rules" that can be made as things change and people find new ways of doing things. We have to take maps on a case by case basis

I can tell you this, the mapLAB has absolutely no rules pertaining to "graphics quality," as you say. We don't make any demands regarding aesthetics or graphics choices. All of our comments are focused purely on making sure the game-play is the best and clearest we think we can make it for the player.

Of that list that you made the only one that there is any sort of "rule" about is the sea connection lines. So let me take you through my testing process so you can understand where I'm coming from and why I'm asking you to add connection lines. In your wonderful world map you have 5 different kinds of borders, shown below:


Border 1:
The player comes across this border most often, can cross it. OK this is the standard country border.

Border 2
This one is right on the edge of the continents, it can be crossed. OK this is your standard continent border. Cool.

Border 3
Ok, so 2 countries separated by water. It gets pretty thin on the left side and there is a red line pointing to both countries. So what this says to me, the player, is that normally this kind of border I couldn't cross, but that red line is telling me that in this particular situation, I can. OK, so that's what connection lines look like in this map. Awesome. So anywhere I see a border not like border 1 or 2, I need to look for that line to see if I can cross. Got it.

Border 4
Ok, so this looks very similar to border 3. Wider water and no red line. As a player, I'm going to assume I can't cross here. WRONG! The map has a connection here, the player can cross. How is the player suppose to know that? It looks exactly like border 3 but without the red line. Confusing, unclear, and inconsistent.

Border 5
Mysterious 5th border, given that my last border assumption was wrong I'm not sure what this border means. It looks similar to the area between Sicily and North Africa and I can't cross there...hmmm Again, confusing, unclear, and inconsistent for the player.

So in the mapLAB we require that you fix any unclear and/or inconsistent borders. Our suggested solution is to provide connection lines over any borders that don't look like your standard country/continent borders. That way we can ensure that the player is 100% clear as to where they can attack and where they can't. But if you have a better solution to that problem, you're free to try it and we'll consider it as a better solution.

Again, ALL of the mapLAB's comments that we require you make are ONLY our attempt to make the map as clear for the player as we think we can make it. They have nothing to do with aesthetics, nothing. We offer possible solutions to fix whatever problem there is, but you the mapmaker are free to try a different solution if you prefer. What we CAN NOT do, is just ignore the original problem. Unclear borders, is a problem.


Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:53 pm
by nimrod7
blackj3sus wrote:ancient italy has 20+ players...

you have to edit the XML (.voxb) file.
How do I find the xml file to edit it?

Posted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 4:09 pm
by blackj3sus
C:\Program Files\CastleVox\Support\Maps\MyMap.voxb
that's the xml

Posted: Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:29 am
by Shanam
Vox is pretty addictive - reminds me of a mix of civilization and risk!

Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:14 pm
by nimrod7
When updating the theme file, can I just submit the background or do I have to resend everything?

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:44 am
by Lupus ferox
Only new uploads will see the background. So you have to notify people with an older version. Just increase the version number in the voxb file and upload that one too. That should do it.

Posted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 2:19 pm
by dustin
Nimrod7 wrote:When updating the theme file, can I just submit the background or do I have to resend everything?
You just have to re-upload the background. But LF is right, it's best to also update the map file, to ensure everyone gets the update.

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:49 pm
by Behemoth
dustin wrote: When a map is hosted online, and people join, Lux will only check if they have the theme installed or not. It doesn't check that they have the most recent version of the theme. This could be called a bug in lux for sure. But, the easiest solution for now, is to rename the theme whenever you make drastic changes to a theme. Basically create a new theme, instead of updating the previous one.
Does this apply to Vox as well?

Posted: Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:16 pm
by dustin

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 3:10 pm
by Behemoth
I updated the overground and map file for HELLENIC WARS and uploaded the new theme file in a new theme folder called HELLENIC WARS 1.1 (which the map directs to)

I just uninstalled and reinstalled the map and theme to check it all worked and the following happened: The map downloaded no problem but instead of downloading the new theme folder Vox downloaded the old one. When I went to play a game no theme appeared. I did get a message telling me i needed to update the theme and then it worked.

I agree version numbers for updated theme folders are a good idea but the double downloading is a issue.

Posted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:23 pm
by dustin
hmm, updating HELLENIC WARS worked fine for me here.

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 7:56 am
by Behemoth
Well it definitely didn't automatically download for me, although I was sent a message to update upon starting a fresh game. I've just updated Alexander's theme as well. I'll try it with that file.

Now that I'm giving updated theme folder's new names the user shouldn't have to bother deleting their old theme folder right?

Posted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:41 am
by Lupus ferox
Only when they run out of disk space....

Re: Map Specs

Posted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 10:32 pm
by ththth25
I've read through all the links re: map/game creation (I think!), so I'm sorry if I've missed something. I've still got several questions. I'll try to include only a few here (note, as I mentioned before...I'm not fluent in any html, java, or computer languages). If it's something that has already been covered, feel free to direct me to the link rather than repeat your answer here:

1. IMPASSABLE BORDERS: I've figured out how to use the map editor "move hexes" and "country connections" functions to create a hex map and connections, then remove connections from hexes I want to make impassable (then make sure to color these hexes differently so the player knows they are impassable, though I believe I have to set each of these hexes as a particular "continent" in order to color them?). But what I'd really like to do is make particular hex BORDERS impassable (mtns, rivers, etc.). Is this possible in the map editor itself, or would I need to get into deeper code (which, of course, I know nothing about)? Can I do this by drawing shapes OVER hex borders on my hex map and making these shapes impassable (that is, DIS-connecting the implicated hex sides)? It would be so cool if I could just draw or click on impassable borders with a one-step draw tool or something.

2. DELETING HEXES/SHAPES: Once I form my map and pick certain hexes to remove, there appears to be no DELETE function in the menu. What I did was select these "trash" shapes and move them off the map far enough to hide them...and make sure all their connections were deleted, one by one (otherwise, the AI tried to move into those "trashed" hexes off the map board). I figure it sure would be easier if I could just highlight something and then delete it on the spot. Then again, maybe it's possible to do now and I'm just missing something.

3. TERRAIN EFFECTS: Is there a way to make certain hexes affect movement and att/def? For example, "road" hexes or lines would use up less movement than plains. City or forest or mtns would cost more. Mike had asked a similar question about making unit-specific att/def/movement variability, and I believe you said you were working on it.

4. If my above items are going beyond what the present map editor supports, are you (or mbauer et al) possibly working on a more detailed map editor that would do the kinds of things I'm asking about (although I can't imagine why the "delete" item above would be hard to implement)? Such an editor, it seems to me, would be invaluable! I'd pay good money for it. I would imagine it would be immensely popular with game designers the world over! Something to think about!

Many thanks in advance for your time and trouble!

Re: Map Specs

Posted: Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:16 pm
by dustin
hmm, I think I answered you in other threads, but putting it here for posterity.

1. The correct way to make impassable borders is with the theme, not using country hexes. A theme is made up of 1-3 image layers, best created in an image application.

2. When you're in the drawing hex mode, control-click on a hex to delete it.

3. Nope, sorry.

4. The map editor can take a bit of practice to learn how to use it best. And getting comfortable with how maps and themes relate to each other will help you. Taking an existing map and examining it or editing it can be a good thing to do.

Re: Map Specs

Posted: Tue Apr 12, 2016 3:03 pm
by ththth25
Yes, you had answered me in another thread. Again, many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I'm still experimenting. I still have not figured out how to even take an existing map and play around with it, but I'll keep trying. Pulled up one of the existing maps in the vox map editor, but then I couldn't do anything with it (move stuff around, etc.). But I'll try to go over the guides more carefully and try again. If I'm still lost, I'll be crying for help again!

As for using the "country connections" tool to create impassable hexes and hex sides, I've figured that one out, no problem. But, until I learn how to superimpose the overground stuff, I'm still using the existing "draw hexes" and establishing "non-player" areas for my graphics. It's not that pretty, but I've gotten it to work fairly well. So far my games are playing with good challenge and balance. I'm happy to send you what I've got so far.

Quick question: is there a way for me to get email notifications whenever a response is posted in this forum? I checked my control panel and couldn't find anything (but that doesn't mean it's not there!).