Great Morava map - my pet project

Hi everyone. I recently started working on something. The intend is always shifting (first I wanted to do a campaign based on Solun Brothers and their arrival to the Great Morava) but now I’m very much into creating a somewhat precise map between “Devin” and “Nitra” fortified settlements. As I progress I will post here some news and pictures.

These are the first two images of “nowadays” area that I want to cover on the AOE2 map.

And, since rivers aren’t much visible, these are rivers, crossing it.

This, on the other hand, is a snippet of archeologically confirmed fortified settlements and villages of the area

And this is a snippet from 500 years old “Lazarus map” of how land looked in the past, before river control and some other land-changes

Finnally, a screenshot from my work, with up-to date Nitra founding of layout of a fortified settlement, translated (with all its limitations) to AOE2 environment.

Although for the purposes of constructing some natural landmarks (mostly hills) I am placing on it also actually buildings, the map itself will be available without them, just for skirmishes.

I also created an interactive google map where I am trying to reconstruct possible bridges, trade roads and other landmarks.

and, for my own purposes of a possible future maps and campaigns, I am putting together a timeline of events: (edited part of this post, timeline was transfered from custom tool to excell)


Hell yeah nice work! Keep it up man there’s never enough custom content for this game. If you need someone to help you test it out let me know.

You take it very seriously, good job!

I erased the original timeline and created new one in google sheets:

As of today, the whole timeline in upper mentioned excel is finished.
I also created 8. text scenarios of major conflicts that can be transformed to campaign maps. Soon there will be the promised skirmish map, which already got mountains and rivers in accordance with the middle ages accuracy of how they looked back in 9. century.

I added few enviromental details and modeled Bratislava settlement.
But today I am mostly proud of this recreation of slavic pagan shrine:


Today I add outlines for hill forests, bridges so that anyone can cross all rivers, the whole “Danubian island” is now mostly a swamp and there are some roads carved into the map already.
Since this region was a borderline of Roman empire and at the time of Great Morava a part of Amber road I decided that the rocky roads and bridges will be partially used for this map, although, in terrible state. In the campaign. Player will hopefully be able to pay for repairment of the bridges and that, in turn, will shorten the waiting time for merchants to travel.

And one more picture of the pagan site:





I added one more fortified settlement (one major one and one or two smaller ones still to go - you can see them as white marks)
Also put in resources - fish, bushes, gold, and stone piles near each settlement in equal amounts.
In later screenshots I’m showing how the distribution looks.

At this time and place, most of the metals were collected by panning for gold, or other mud-filtering metods near river shores and swamps.
For stones, I prefer the stone piles to be addition to eye-candy stones, so in this map they will be found only near stonepiles that are just visual and cliffs.

One more topic I struggled with are the river basins. Some of the rivers in my map are originating directly on the map (they are not just crossing the land depicted) and it looks really weird when pool just starts in the middle of nowhere. In real life, river is usually created by smaller rivers joining together, but in the editor, we can go below certain width. The close-to perfect solution is to originate rivvers in small marches and bogs, especially effective is to hide them inside forests (this is also, very close to real life origins of rivers at this regions).


if i was u i would have made it a real world map first (no gaia things hanging around and than tweak it for some map design

Good thinking. I never did map before, is there some reason why gaia things could prevent this to be skirmish map?

they might get converted and in case of a house, stable, etc will benefit a certain player who finds them first (this can be prevented using repeting change ownership triggers)

I am finalising the groundwork for the map.
All fortified settlements are added, all bridges, terrain has elevation, forests and nice visuals.
As an eye candy and reward for explorers I put in multiple “pagan worship sites” each one represents a little bit different natural fenomenon that Slavs in this region probably worshipped - old trees, forest grove, waterfalls, small springs and pools and similar stuff. Here are screenshots of them:
They didn’t necessarily build totems next to the sites, but this way, player will know he actually found pagan site. Im glad there are wooden and stone statues of Triglav in the game.

Finally, just a screenshot of the map, how it looks right now


Very nice work friend =D

*Be sure to backup your work

Also maybe upload them to somewhere we can get our dirty hands on it, aside from allowing select few to check it over you’ll have a backup in the case of catastrophic failure, unlike me slapping the f- out of my pc one day and HDD decides to turn into a brick like the PSU did as a high pitched WEEEEE teleported out of my speakers. Mentioned cause i lost a map that I was very proud of like that :slight_smile:

The real world maps or similar use a kind of half done map of the geography, placeholders for starting locations, maybe something else, and use a RMS to fill it with resources and trees and doo-dads. Not exactly what you are really wanting, but if u were to save a version as such, and set one version up like that, and finish your full version, you could have one a more random map good for 4v4’s and such, and the final version a custom scenario with whatever you’re going to put in there…

and it’s going to be cool as hell if it keeps going along like it is.

*oh, just noticed you haven’t even started layering and it looks great already. blend in some spoooky textures around those special areas and you can really pull off something scary if u want

Im intrigued. You mentioned “layering” but, I have no clue what you mean by it.

I am creating this on Steam copy of the game, while being online ofc, so untill now I felt safe, that the maps will be stored to their cloud. But you threw me off and maybe I should back it somewhere too.

I was trying to put some triggers in yesterday. My Idea was that I can maybe create some starting spots in which the basic skirmish buildings (based on game mode) would be spawned, then, in the close vicinity of that would mao spawn basic resources like sheep, deer, boar, stones etc. This part would be randomised but the rest of the map with some resources would stay the same.
Sadly I didnt found easy solution to this idea, so maybe I will have to put in everything manually.

It doesn’t back up stuff like that to the cloud, as far as I know it only backs up save-games and recs.

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yeah it doesnt save stuff like that, i lost some maps and can attest to this as well lol.

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Just a brief update.
As the whole world will slowly go to lockdown again (I would rather not but in my country it’s inevitable), I will have more time to finish this map. With my last effort, I put a grass cover almost over all the land and currently I’m discussing on the local archeology forum about other stuff that I may have to adjust for this to be as accurate as it could possibly be. State of the landscape didn’t change much. But I adjusted the resources for each starting location so that it will be at least partially balanced in skirmish. mapa