Information, maps, new graphics, and more about the original The Settlers II: Gold Edition as provided by the community
A new map generator
For over a month now I’ve been working on creating a new map generator, and I’m happy to let you know that it is now ready for daily use!
The map generator provides a lot of options on how to generate your maps. This means the generator isn’t immediately the easiest to learn and use, but I’ve tried to make things clear!
There are also more features still to be done, and the generator code has some features that have not yet been exposed.
Built on seeds
The old map generator had an issue that it was built to be entirely random all the time. This made debugging end results harder and you’d never really know what you would get. A seed value was added into it as an afterthought so it never really worked that well to fix the issue.
The new map generator is consistent: same seed and same options provide the same result each time. As an example of the benefits of this approach you can now share the map URLs with your friends!
Support any known texture set
As I’ve worked on creating alternate texture sets I noticed that there is one big problem: there is no tooling that would support these different textures. This is a problem because you don’t always get visually pleasant results when you’re playing say, a Wasteland map with Rusty Valley texture.
In the future the new generator will fully support creating map optimized for a particular texture set and will allow you to customize the texturization process so you get the kind of map you want!
Information to help you know if the map is fine
As the map generator provides a variety of possibilities it becomes quite important that you can tell if the map is playable. For this reason you can see information on number of mine sites, castle sites, well sites, and mining resources.
The generator has also been split to show five preview images of the final map, each customized to provide information that is relevant to each step of the process of deciding if the map is worthy.
I’m active on Return to the Roots Discord on their #settlers2 channel. You can find me posting about latest changes which currently happen on a nearly daily basis, occasionally multiple times each day.
The map generator is still much under construction: there are things that I’m not happy with, some stuff is incomplete “almost there”, and there are more features to be done. Some notable things to add are balanced multiplayer maps, balancing resources in the unbalanced maps, balancing player placement, allow for entirely custom player placement, making sure players are not too close to each other, making sure players can reach each other… the list goes on and on! I’ve even though about adding Widelands support to increase the user base.
Jürgen Nagel Software site back online
Thanks to community member The Archivist’s efforts Jürgen Nagel has brought back their German site, Software zur Siedler2-MissionCD. The site contains a lot of Settlers II related utilities, graphic changes and maps to play, some which have notable customizations such as the Great Wall of China (see
If interested on other recent happenings on the world of The Settlers II feel welcome to join our chat at Return to the Roots Discord!
A new text tool available!
Our another story today is that the game comes with some string files that are not regular text files. While you can open some ENG/GER files in the
DATA\TXT directory in a regular text editor (which ideally supports viewing as DOS Code Page 437), there are other files that contain binary information.
While there are existing tooling available for localization such as Ingame String Editor and an XML converter, these are not always perfect or ideal. For this reason you can now find The Settlers II Text Editor! It can load all existing ENG/GER files, and save them again in working order supported by the original game. You can also use it for creation of new files, such as files for your own missions. The tool also works as a translation tool as it will display the original unchanged strings alongside the changed ones.
New texture pack: Rusty Polar
Does Wasteland bother you by being dark and dull? Is Winter World nice but maybe too white? Now you have an option! The new Rusty Polar texture pack let’s you experience the game in new beautiful environments: Rusty Valley and Polar Night.
Rusty Valley replaces old underground lava Wasteland with a new dry, sandy, warm toned desert wasteland.
Polar Night replaces “grow grain fields on snow” Winter World by introducing grass fields to the available textures, and being inspired by the moment when sun is past the horizon and sky is turning purple and pink indicating that cold will come.
Release Candidate 1
This is the first release candidate. In RC phase things are mostly set in stone, but some time will be allowed to pass so that possible bugs are found and can be fixed before claiming the pack as “final”.
However for final release I would like to provide the textures with new maps that make use of the changed textures. While the new textures look mostly nice on old maps (and make them look totally different!) the new set of style allow doing new visual combinations that you wouldn’t have done with the original Wasteland and Winter World. At the moment I’m thinking about having three maps for each texture set, so six maps in total. These maps could be small, medium, and large in size. Let me know if you’re interested in making the maps that get to be part of the final release!
I want it now!
Compatible with The Settlers II Gold Edition. Return to the Roots will need some adjustments due to graphical glithes which will be fixed in a future release.
You can find installation guide or check for the latest version at Rusty Polar download page!
World Editor wishlist
I’ve been working on the World Editor slowly but steadily and it now boosts a few new features!
- You can drag’n’drop
WORLD###.DATto merge them into a map.
- You can make the above a game compatible map by toggling the new “Keep only SWD/WLD compatible data”!
- Animal processing has been improved: if animals are found in block that are not in the footer, they are added to footer when downloading SWD/WLD.
There have also been some bug fixes and improvements. Savegame decompression routine now accounts some files missing one byte of data in compression. There is maybe a bug in the original game’s compression routine.
I’ve been thinking about features I’d like to implement and also asked for some thoughts over at RttR Discord.
So here are some of the things to implement:
- Flip map vertically, horizontally
- Rotate map
- Expand map size (add new empty space)
- Double map width & height
- Remove inaccessible resources (granite that can’t be collected, fish that can’t be caught)
- Increase animal populations
- Remove all trees, remove all granite
- Add forest, add granite
- Change mineral composition per mountain
You may be able to have effect on which things get implemented first by throwing comments! But overall I keep doing what I can when I can, and avoid getting too much burden.
A new tool under construction
I’ve named the tool as World Editor and it will be sort of a generic editor for existing map files and saved games. At the moment the editing features are rather minimal, you can only edit stuff like title, author, and the terrain type (greenland / wasteland / winter world).
In the future I hope to incorporate some neat features, like “make this map great” sort of feature where you can drop uninteresting flat map in with solid single type tree forests, but get out a map file that has has ground above water level, uneven ground, decorative objects, forests with varied types of trees, all that good stuff that make a map much more interesting! And you know, there are a lot of old maps that might have interesting layout, but just lack the decoration and polish that would make them stand out. So I hope to be able to do this kind of automated tool which could fix these maps.
- : Return to the Roots 0.8 released!
- : Work again drains my energy
- : New OGG songs (for RttR)
- : Replacement Roman Fortress
- : Safe building palette
- : Improving Charburner for Babylonians
- : New Babylonian building
- : Map header's last unknown byte now known!
- : RttR Campaign
- : To validate or not to validate
- : Hacker's guide to WORLD800.DAT
- : User cleanup
- : Online Editor now good for map uploads!
- : A lot has happened today
- : Gathering objects information
- : BlueByte official site down
- : Forgotten projects: The New Greenland
- : Jesus Builder
- : One more texture ID to use
- : The problems of data and performance
- : Bug fixes and added features
- : Early version of Online Editor
- : Getting into something usable
- : Figuring out building sites
- : Sidequest for more texture sets in S2
- : Map handling updates
- : Canvas limitations conquered
- : Setting a PNG standard
- : BuddyPress removed
- : Economic Basics
- : Return to the Roots has a new domain!
- : Where is the international community?
- : Settlers I remake now open source
- : Texture and palette differences
- : Great LEGO buildings
- : New Greenland texture
- : Too happy colors? Have a new palette!
- : The Wooden Fortress
- : Chat with fellow Settlers II fans!
- : The missing pieces of map file format
- : Artwork @ 1920x1080 (unfinished)
- : Talking about maps and related things
- : Thoughts about the map service
- : Quality map previews
- : Random art
- : Working on it after so many years
- : Technical documentation @ Cheats page
- : Plan revealed: an online map generator & mission builder
- : The map generator is back!
- : Site updates
- : Working on a new tool
- : Reorganization
- : Welcome to the new Settlers II.net!