Fuzzy map and positions

What would you like to see in Freeciv? Do you have a good idea what should be improved or how?
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Fuzzy map and positions

Postby louis94 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:41 pm


Here is yet another wishlist, divided in two parts...

1- Fuzzy map
Currently, you can send explorers very far without having to fear inexact knowledge. On small maps, you can explore pretty much everything in the early game, and you know the terrain you did see once is what you'll find 3000 years later. Fuzzy map is about inaccurate knowledge of the map (you see something that isn't really there) and the ability of loosing that knowledge over time.

  1. Each tile, instead of the traditionnal "known" boolean, would have a degree of "fuzziness". Fuzziness 0 would mean known, 1 would mean unknown.
  2. Fuzziness would give the probability for a player to know a tile's real terrain. The terrain as known by a player would be random-picked between adjacent tiles of the same type (units would not see forest where there is sea).
  3. Each unit type would also have an associated fuzziness. It would be used to compute the fuzziness of newly discovered tiles, using a function like new_fuzziness = old_fuzinness * unit_fuzziness. This means many units would need to see a tile for it to become well-known.
  4. Map making (and some later techs) would decrease unit fuzziness.
  5. Fuzziness changes would lead to terrain changes.

The following are optionnal:
  1. Tile fuzziness could increase over time, but should only reach 1 after a very long time.
  2. Map making (and other techs or marvels) could decrease the increase of fuzziness, making map knowledge remain longer.
  3. Field of view could be very accurate (fuzziness ≃ 0) at short distance and less accurate at long distance.

2- Fuzzy units
When people discovered seas using triremes or caravels, they didn't know exactly where they were. The first accurate measures of longitude were only allowed by Harrison's watches in the 18th century. This part of my proposal is about units that believe they are somewhere, but are in fact elsewhere. Fuzzy units depend on fuzzy map.

  1. When you tell an unit to go somewhere, it could silently go elsewhere. The player would see that unit as being where (s)he did ask it to go, but for the server it is elsewhere. Ships would have a big tendency of doing so (because of winds and oceanic currents).
  2. Magnetism (compass) then Radio (electric beacon) would increase accuracy, Space Flight would make units totally accurate (GPS). Phare could help, too.
  3. When unit A meets known city or unit B, the following happens:
    1. Both A and B jump to a mean location. (Well-known tiles/modern units having more weight.)
    2. Tiles near original positions of A and B would have an increased fuzziness.
  4. When unit A sees unit B that sees unit C, both three units jump to a mean location.

This proposition of making units and cities jump may seem weird. That's because it is weird. It would make exploration of oversea countries much more difficult. It could cause headaches to beginners. That's why I think fuzzy units should be disabled by default if they ever get implemented.


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Re: Fuzzy map and positions

Postby monamipierrot » Tue Mar 11, 2014 9:59 pm

I only now read this GREAT post.
I'm very active in the Greatturn community and used to be in the LongTurn community.
Your suggestion would be great to implement in single and multiplayer Freeciv games.
I find very interesting the SEA movement fuzziness.

I really would like to hear forward if someone is doing something at this respect, and which would be the multiplayer implications.

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Re: Fuzzy map and positions

Postby Caedo » Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:33 pm

I think the map fuzziness sounds interesting (should be a server option though). Whether two terrains could be confused for each other would probably be determined by humidity and height.

The unit fuzziness however, not so much. It sounds hard to implement, could cause a lot of frustration and the AI would need a big change too probably. And in a game like Freeciv, where you see everything even your faraway ships see, it doesn't sound that logical.
~ A.V. L.

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Re: Fuzzy map and positions

Postby Sarilho1 » Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:45 pm

When exploring the sea, normally you don't know where the land is. This search for land is fuzzy enough. About forgetting maps over time, I really like that ideia, maybe that would stop or decrease with the discorery of map making.

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Re: Fuzzy map and positions

Postby monamipierrot » Thu Mar 13, 2014 9:14 pm

Sarilho1 wrote:About forgetting maps over time

I don't think it is a good idea, cause it will force hardcore players to keep manual copies (screenshots) of the map, so the effect will be lost, with added frustration for players.
I insist about the fuzziness of map itself. If there were a way to make things fuzzy for player, it would be great.