Map Creator- Automatic Placement Finder
I don't understand why this tool is set up so much differently than the others. Is there a reason? It would be much more intuitive to me if I could just select the location to save, the center and the polygon files. I had to mess around for about 10 minutes until the automatic pathing worked correctly. You shouldn't have to construct the initial map in that exact location, I've always built maps in a more easily accessible folder, then just copy/pasted after creating all basic utilities.
The older map creators also let you mix the auto-placement finder and the manual one, which was useful. You could auto-roll most of the territories then manually remove or improve a few important or smaller options.
@crazyg Maybe this would be better in "Mapmaking"?
Anyways, I don't think there is a reason or, if there is any, anybody that might know it is probably missing since years.
I agree that making this work like all other utilities (being prompted to select the locations from / to) may be a good feature request, but I think it is fairly usable.
@crazyg Can you post some additional details or screenshots? Unfortunately, I don't know the map creator tools or the code for them very well as they really haven't changed much in the last few years. The recent update I made to allow unit overflow to direct to the left was really the first change I'm aware of in a long time.
@redrum I appear that the auto-placement picker gets stuck since the program is looking for a directory that no longer exists as we use it.
@hepps Uhm, I've not tested it, since I normally define where the map is at the general place for, them, using whatever utility with that set.
If when they changed from "maps" to "downloadedMaps" that didn't influence this thing, and it is still searching in "maps", then we probably have a bug report right here.
I'll do a quick test now.
Negative: there is no bug for me.
I've unzipped "elemental_forces" in downloadedMaps, as simple map folder (old style (you have "games" etc. directly inside the main folder, called just "elemental_forces")), deleted the "place.txt" and run the autoplacement and it worked fine (in giving me a new working "place.txt" and prompting me to save it in that map folder).
@redrum Basically, the difference is that all other utilities allow you to select your stuff you are going to use. Instead, this one requires you to write down your exact map name, and have the map exactly where it is supposed to be and in the normal format; then it goes fetching all it needs, asking you nothing (so, either all is in the right place or it won't work); tho when all is done it asks you where to save it. Really not a big deal, but it might be a little blocker for new mapmakers.
So in order to have the placement finder work, I had to use an old 1.8 version of tripleA. The most recent stable does not have a working placement finder, and the pre-release failed to install at all.
Basically the auto-placement finder tries to do everything by itself (rather than a human pick the files, it decides its a strong, independent program that doesn't need any help) which results in failure. Even if it works its a far less flexible tool, if you want to do something like create a second place file for editing reasons you have to create a second folder, also it always paths to an area that requires administrator privileges to edit.
@crazyg It worked for me. Did you try to use a not zipped folder with the basic (old) path like:
and writing "house_of_absburg" when prompted?
Anyway, valid / confirmed or not, I think you should move this to bug report.
@cernel I've tried again on a map renamed "abc" and it worked, using TripleA 188.8.131.52.9964.
The instructions list maps, not downloaded maps, and I didn't try it zipped. This really should be changed, I should not have to zip a folder in order to create this file, only to immediately unzip it to continue working on the map
@crazyg I said not zipped. I tried it on a not zipped folder in downloadedMaps with the same format as the folders that used to stay in the old maps.
I confirm that there is at least a visual bug, here, as, in the description, it says:
the folder should be located in your users\yourname\triplea\maps\directory
(uh? why the backslash, instead of slash?)
while it should say something like:
the folder has to be located in your users/"yourname"/triplea/downloadedMaps directory
I guess all the ways unzipped maps currently run (I suggested 2 ways only) should be supported.
Also, I suggest changing "PlacementPicker" to "Placement Picker", in the same description.
I'm going ahead moving this to bugs (theorically, it should be opened in GitHub, actually), as it is really something that needs to be fixed, as users are not even supposed to have a "maps" folder anymore.
I really think we should be prompted where to save the file, rather than having it automatically create and replace a place file in that spot. If you wanted to, for example, create a custom place file for just three territories you have to duplicate the entire map folder. You could also easily erase your old place file by accident.
You can also use the place feature to create a PU place file, but once again you have to duplicate everything. If this is being updated, I really think it should copy the much more intuitive format used by centers and polygons. I understand the current design of this program is to help someone who doesn't understand what they are doing make a map, which is fine, but these tools are used for a lot more than that.
@crazyg Well, this would be a feature request for the developers, but I'd rather integrate it in the Placement Picker, where you would have an additional menu option, to click, for "run the automatic placement". I don't see why it is needed having two different placement utilities. Tho, I don't believe it is terribly needed, as you usually run the autoplacement only once per map, and don't need to do it again (in case of WAW, I actually ran it twice, as, if one pays attention, you can see naval units are spread out more than land units, since WAW has sea zones so much bigger than land territories). So, even if the current is far from optimal, it is basically irrelevant, anyways, in the economy of the whole map.
Yeah I had some difficulties recently with auto placement picker as well. It required a zip version of the map files in the end.
This and other zipping requirements are really cumbersome for mapmakers. Anyways I'm glad to see the other zip/load deal resolved.