Citybuilding Minimappers

The Citybuilding Minimappers are small programs to extract the small overview maps (minimaps) from saved games and scenario files from the various citybuilding games from Impressions Games.

To date, I have created four minimappers:

  • Caesar3Mapper, for Caesar 3
  • PharaohMapper, for Pharaoh and Cleopatra
  • ZeusMapper, for Zeus and Poseidon
  • EmperorMapper, for Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom

All of them can be downloaded from the downloads page. The programs are for Windows, but the source is available and can be compiled and run on Linux and Mac OS X as well. The rest of this project site details the technical format of the various files.


Late 2006 and early 2007, I picked apart the scenario and saved game files for the games Caesar 3, Pharaoh, Zeus and (plus their expansions). My main aim was to write a program to extract the so-called “minimaps” from them: (small) overview images which show the terrain, and which building is placed where on the map. That’s also the reason why most of the information here only pertains to getting the necessary information to build such minimaps out of the files.

I didn’t have time at that point to figure out the Emperor file format, as it was using a different compression algorithm and the format looked quite a bit more complex than that of the earlier games.

Late 2007, and early 2008, I decided to finish the job properly and support Emperor as well, and started deciphering that format as well. While some parts of the saved game format are still largely unexplored territory, my main objective was reached: extracting minimaps.

Last modified on 2008-01-16 21:37:06