Terrain is the types of tiles found on the map. The primary terrain types are mountain, forest, field, water, and ocean. Terrain type impacts which resources can be spawned and which buildings can be built. In addition, certain terrain types may hinder movement by requiring a technology for units to move to them and/or preventing units from moving through them altogether.
Every map is randomly generated and unique with different types of terrain in varying proportions and arrangements.
Each tribe has a unique set of spawn rates and unique aesthetics for terrain and resources. During the initial map generation, the land is distributed roughly equally between all tribes in the game.
Tribes that start with a technology allowing them to use a resource (namely Bardur, Imperius, Kickoo, Zebasi, and ∑∫ỹriȱŋ) are guaranteed to spawn with least two of those resources in the territory of their capital.
There are five map sizes in Polytopia:
- Tiny: 121 tiles, 11x11
- Normal: 256 tiles, 16x16
- Large: 324 tiles, 18x18
- Huge: 400 tiles, 20x20
- Massive: 900 tiles, 30x30
Map size changes based on the game mode. Perfection games use a normal map. In Domination, the map size changes depending on the number of opponents: Games with one opponent are on a tiny map, two opponents on a 196-tile (14x14) map, three opponents on a normal map, and four or more on a large map.
In multiplayer, map size is set by the host when creating a new game. Tiny maps support a maximum of nine players, while other maps support up to 15.
- Drylands: Entirely land. (Kickoo and Aquarion terrain will include water tiles.)
- Lakes: A border of land bridges will always generate on the edges of the map. Every player is guaranteed to spawn with land connections to at least two villages.
- Continents: Large but discrete landmasses. Most similar to pre-Moonrise maps. Every player is guaranteed to spawn with land connections to at least two villages.
- Archipelago: Misshapen and discontinuous landmasses. Almost every city is coastal.
- Water World: Small landmasses of one or two villages.
|Inner City||Outer City|
The standard spawn rate for fish is 50% among shallow water tiles. The spawn rate for whales is 33% among ocean tiles; this rate does not vary by tribe, unlike those of other resources.
All resources spawn only within two tiles of cities or villages. This fact can be used to locate villages and enemy cities.
Spawn Rate Modifiers by Tribe
- Xin-xi: 200% mountain, 150% metal
- Imperius: unchanged
- Bardur: 150% fruit, 10% crop
- Oumaji: 10% forest, (--water)[note 1]
- Kickoo: 50% mountain, 150% fish, 40% water[note 2]
- Hoodrick: 50% mountain, 150% forest
- Luxidoor: 50% game, 200% fruit
- Vengir: 200% metal, 10% game, 10% fruit, 10% fish
- Zebasi: 50% mountain, 50% forest, 50% fruit
- Ai-Mo: 150% mountain, 10% crop
- Quetzali: 200% fruit, 10% crop
- Yădakk: 50% mountain, 50% forest, 150% fruit, (-water)[note 1]
- Aquarion: 50% forest, 30% water[note 2]
- ∑∫ỹriȱŋ: 50% mountain, 150% crop
- Polaris: “alien”[note 3]
- Cymanti: 120% mountain[note 4]
- Reductions to the amount of water are found in the source code but are not translated into the world generation and do not impact water rates.
- On continents, Kickoo and Aquarion have 40% and 30%, respectively, of their tiles replaced with water after the initial map generation.
- Polaris is unique in that it has neither its own specific resource spawn rates nor any terrain allotted to it during world generation. Instead, other tribes in the game determine the land and resources, and Polaris simply freezes its territory in the same way as the Freeze Area unit ability. (When a Polaris city is captured, the city's terrain will be converted to the capturing tribe's terrain.) If all players play Polaris, Imperius land, which has the standard spawn rates for all resources, is used.
- Cymanti has spores in place of crop.
Spawning rules can be used to predict the locations of ruins, villages, and cities.
- Villages do not spawn on the edges of the map, and no more than one village will spawn in any 3x3 area. Resources spawn only within a two tile radius from villages.
- Ruins do not spawn within a two-tile radius of a village or city or next to another ruin.
- Any water tile that shares an edge with a land tile is a shallow water tile. Other water tiles, including those diagonal from land tiles, are Ocean tiles.
- Crop, metal, and whales are not visible until Organization (or Farming), Climbing, or Fishing are researched, respectively.
- Bardur, Imperius, Kickoo, Zebasi, and ∑∫ỹriȱŋ are guaranteed to have at least two of the resources they can immediately use in their capital. Resources are force-spawned by replacing tiles with a tile containing the resource if the initial world generation does not provide at least two of the resources. Because of this, Kickoo's capital will always contain at least two water tiles, even on drylands.
- Whales do not spawn next to a city or next to another whale.
List of Terrain Types
|Field||Fruit, crop||Farm (requires crop), Windmill, Forge, Sawmill, Sanctuary, Customs House, Ice Bank, Temple, monuments, roads|
|Forest||Wild animal||Lumber Hut, Sanctuary, Forest Temple, roads|
|Shallow water (water)||Fish||
||Port, Water Temple, monuments|
||Outpost, Ice Temple, monuments|
|Algae||N/A (Alage is also a building)||
||N/A (Alage is also a building)|