What is a Generated Map?
A Generated Map in Age of Empires IV is a set of defined parameters that are used to create a random map layout.
This is the same process that is used to generate the current core selection of random map formats such as Archipelago, Mongolian Heights, Dry Arabia, and others. These layouts generally follow an overall pattern, but are random every time they are created, placing resources, players, and physical map geometry in varying locations each time the map is loaded.
For example, in the images below show three different versions of Archipelago. In each map the land formation is different yet still produces a similar result, even when set to different biomes.
Generated maps can be loaded in a game lobby, where the map's size, biome, and number of players can be set.
When working on making generated maps, you will use two main programs, the Attribute Editor and the Content Editor. These programs are are explained below.
The Attribute Editor is the program within the Age of Empires IV Content Editor that allows you to edit mapgen data.
This data includes elements such as the name of your map, what resources will spawn on the map, where resources are allowed to spawn, and which grasses can spawn on each biome.
When working with generated maps, you will mostly be making changes to the map_gen_layout within this editor.
The data being edited about the map has more to do with where objects are placed on the generated terrain - the terrain itself is handled through the map's LUA layout script. If you want to change how many relics are spawned on the map, or the types of forest that appear, you would be editing the map data in the Attribute Editor.
LUA is a scripting language that is used to program procedural maps.
If you are making a fully procedural map, you will be editing your map's LUA layout script using the Content Editor.
You can think of a map's LUA script like the map blueprints - they are what set the physical parameters that the terrain uses to generate in a pattern.
The LUA script mainly handles physical map geography, such as determining where mountains and rivers will end up. It also governs where players can spawn, and can place objects and resources in specific locations.
For example, on the King of the Hill generated map, the hilltop Sacred Site is placed in the very centre square of the map using the LUA script. In other maps, the Sacred Sites are placed using distribution data and are not tied to a specific location.
Which method you use is entirely dependent on the type of map layout you wish to create.
Generated Map Content
Use the links below to access additional content on Generated Maps.
For information on loading and playing Generated Maps, see: Publishing and Using Mods
For instruction on creating Generated Maps, see: Creating a Generated Map
For in-depth information on working with Generated Maps, see: Generated map Basics