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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby RjBeals on Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:13 pm

I'm speaking graphically only. The map is not half bad looking. But the web of interconnecting lines looks bad. If there were only 1 or 2 routes off a city, then it might look better, but each city has like 4 or 5 routes leading off it. It starts to get too complciated.

The pattern you've changed the land to is better, but it still could be improved.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:30 pm

What if I were to decrease the opacity on the connecting lines, so that they would blend to the background more? Perhaps they wouldn't look so disturbing then. And decreasing connections... that would interfere with the gameplay, of course.

The pattern you've changed the land to is better, but it still could be improved.


How? Any suggestions?
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby RjBeals on Mon Nov 23, 2009 12:51 pm

Click image to enlarge.
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Well to me this looks like denim. It's not bad, I guess it's different - but maybe include that long verticle glacier patch that divides norway / sweden. Or maybe play around with the Norwegian fjords or the mountain ranges - which are very familiar to people when thinking of scandanavia. Just a thought. Also - I think you've too much dark inner glow, and I think the non-play area lands (gray aresa) should be textured as well.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:08 pm

I already fixed the inner shadow... it should be better on these.

For this one, I played around with the blend modes & opacity of the territory connections.

Click image to enlarge.
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This one is the same, but with alternate texture:

Click image to enlarge.
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So, extending the texture to the non-play-areas... I'm not so sure about that. But I guess I could try it in the next version. However that will mean I will have to redo all the textures again... I didn't think to save a version of the texture where the sea & non-play-areas weren't cut off.
Last edited by natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:04 pm

Okay, something with this map is really wrong. I bet it is because the mapmaker doesn't know the area he's designing. I'm from Norway and I've never heard of this Gudvagen. I googled it and found out it was a supposed to be Gudvangen, a camping site with a nice view! You can't mix up Large citys like Oslo, Stavanger (that's Stavanger without ø - one of the other wrong spelled citys, there are more as well) and freaking Lakselv(!) - it's just all wrong! It's like you make a map of USA and put Coffeyville along with citys like Chicago and New York. If you're going through with this please make sure you get some help from someone who actually knows the area. This map would annoy the hell out of me if it would come through.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:13 pm

I'm from Finland myself, so I know most of the area quite well... But I'm not very familiar with all the cities of Norway. It seems that my source for the city names had some misspellings. If you'd like, you'd be welcome to make a list of all Norwegian city names that are wrong, and send it to me, and I will correct them for the next version.

You have to understand this is the drafting room. It's not unheard of to have a few mistakes here and there at the drafting stage.

I appreciate you posting and pointing out flaws in the map, but if you don't like Lakselv to be included in the map, can you suggest another city in the same area that you think would fit better?
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:27 pm

Yeah, sorry for being so harsh. I didn't know which section I was in as I found the map on a link from another forum. In stead of Lakselv I would put Hammerfest - that's supposed to be the city which lies farthest north in the world. Also it is known as the first city in Norway who got electric traffic lights :lol:

Also Bergen (the second largest city in Norway should be put in before Stavanger. They are in the same area. Mosjøen should be replaced by Bodø. And Gudvangen... well, it MUST be taken out. It's not a center at all. Trondheim could be a centrum in stead.

Other known miss spells: Lillehammar should be Lillehammer. Ålbora should be Ålborg. And I think you should find other places than at least Kolding, Mora (only known for it being the place where Vasaloppet start or ends, don't remember which) and propably Linköping. Also don't know about Arjeplog... I just have never heard of it at all. You should ask someone from Sweden and Denmark as well.

It also feels wrong to have a place like Narvik and Tromsø connect with Iceland. There are no boat that connects with Iceland. I think you should rather use airports to get to Iceland. Maybe from the capitals.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:03 pm

Airports... that could work... But how would you represent it graphically?

I'm all for preserving as much realism as possible, but in some situations it is necessary to sacrifice realism for gameplay. Thus I have had to use some smaller cities, particularly in the northern parts of Finland, Norway and Sweden, there are not many big cities, so if only big and meaningful cities were used, they would be too empty. And Iceland needs some connections. There may be no passenger boats going to Iceland, but both Iceland and Norway have ports.

In stead of Lakselv I would put Hammerfest - that's supposed to be the city which lies farthest north in the world.


Will do.

Also Bergen (the second largest city in Norway should be put in before Stavanger.


Doable.

Mosjøen should be replaced by Bodø.


Can do.

And Gudvangen... well, it MUST be taken out. It's not a center at all. Trondheim could be a centrum in stead.


How about replacing it with Hermansverk? It's at least a bigger city. I need a city in that area, since south Norway would be too empty without.

Lillehammar should be Lillehammer. Ålbora should be Ålborg.


Will be fixed.

you should find other places than at least Kolding, Mora (only known for it being the place where Vasaloppet start or ends, don't remember which) and propably Linköping.


Linköping will stay, as a route from Stockholm to Göteborg. I don't think there's a better alternative. Same with Arjeplog, I don't think there are any better alternatives at that area. That I know of at least.

Mora... Again, is there a better alternative? I suppose I could change it to Rättvik, but I'm not sure if it's any better. I'll look into it.

As for Kolding... How about Vejle? I did some research.. it's the same size as Kolding, but it's the "capital" of the Syddanmark region.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:28 pm

Airports can't be that hard. Just explain it with text that all cities with planes next to them connect. Think about Sidney Metro...

Iceland and Norway have ports, but there are no common boat routes from Narvik or Tromsø that's for sure. The only ports with real routes are in the south, like Oslo, Larvik and Sandefjord. And there's Hurtigruta that goes all along the coast from Bergen in south and all the way to Kirkenes in the north. You could put that in if you want, just check that it goes to every place that you have on the map...

Hermansverk?? Common, that's another place I've never heard of. There's NO center in the middle of southern Norway. There are just mountains and highland that makes it unnatural to have any big city connecting place with the rest of the country. If you need a center, you'll have to go with the capital Oslo in the south or Trondheim in the middle. And if you need a city in the west, you can go with Molde - but don't you dare making it a center! :evil: ;)

You actually have the same problem in Northern Sweden. It's practically nothing there, just forest and mountains... You can't make much out of it.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:31 pm

Another thing: Skien should propably be replaced by Kristiansand in the south.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:49 pm

Airports can't be that hard. Just explain it with text that all cities with planes next to them connect. Think about Sidney Metro...


Thing is, if I include airports, I would have to put in airports to all the capitals, and I'm not sure if that would work for the gameplay.

Hermansverk?? Common, that's another place I've never heard of. There's NO center in the middle of southern Norway. There are just mountains and highland that makes it unnatural to have any big city connecting place with the rest of the country. If you need a center, you'll have to go with the capital Oslo in the south or Trondheim in the middle. And if you need a city in the west, you can go with Molde - but don't you dare making it a center!


What do you mean by center? The territory is in no way a central position gameplay wise. It's not even a border territory.

Anyway I'm sorry if you feel offended by the inclusion of smaller cities, but the thing is, there are not enough big cities. As I explained earlier, sometimes realism needs to be sacrificed for better gameplay. If you look at some other maps, there are loads of maps that have historical or even geographical inaccuracies, but the gameplay works better that way, so that's how it is done. You need to understand, we are not making educational material here, we're trying to make maps that are fun to play.

Anyway, as for the changes that will be implemented:

Lakselv -> Hammerfest
Lillehammar -> Lillehammer
Stavanger -> Bergen
Mosjøen -> Bodø
Kolding -> Vejle
Skien -> Kristiansand

And I will consider adding that airline connection between Copenhagen and Reykjavik. And I could also remove one of the sea connections between norway and iceland, but I think there needs to be a connection there.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby MrBenn on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:55 pm

Thematically this map feels a little confused... It's not quite the Nordic Countries, it's not quite Scandinavia, and it's not even all of Northern Europe :-k

Once you've settled on a geographical focus that makes sense, then you should concentrate on the thematic direction you want to take. If you're going for connecting lines, then some sort of airport-connection map would make a bit of sense - although too many bright lines all over the place makes the map feel cluttered and congested.

There have been some pretty solid drafts of bits of Northern Europe/Scandinavia/The Balkans/The Baltics over the past couple of years - dig through the Recycling Bin for maps of these areas to see if you can find something that works more coherently ;-)
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:57 pm

I could just scrap Estonia and call it Nordic Countries. But according to the poll, the majority of people would rather keep it... So I don't know what to do.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:27 pm

Well, I understand that people that votes on a map called Northern Europe wants Estonia in it. You are still missing some of Northern Europe on the map. If you call it Scandinavia and have a vote on it, you propably get a different result ;)

You forgot my last point in the changes by the way: Skien should be exchanged by Kristiansand which is more to the south - that's a natural place to have bordering Oslo and Bergen. If you REALLY want something in the middle you could add Geilo bordering to Oslo, Bergen and Kristiandsand, but not to Trondheim or Lillehammer. Bergen could border Trondheim though.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:38 pm

If you call it Scandinavia and have a vote on it, you propably get a different result ;)


Well, the vote had an option: "Remove Estonia AND rename map as Nordic Countries"... I even put in a third option - so that all those who are not really interested in the map would not skew the poll results ;)

You forgot my last point in the changes by the way: Skien should be exchanged by Kristiansand which is more to the south - that's a natural place to have bordering Oslo and Bergen.


Will do.

If you REALLY want something in the middle you could add Geilo bordering to Oslo, Bergen and Kristiandsand, but not to Trondheim or Lillehammer. Bergen could border Trondheim though.


There's 2 issues: a) Bad location. It would make the area too crowded, all the necessary symbols and texts would not fit, at least not in the small version and b) Removing those two connections would create an unnecessary bottleneck which would be bad for the gameplay.

I think you'll just have to settle with all but one of your suggestions getting implemented. I mean, it's not like the territory is going to be a focal point of the map... Just another territory.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Eyestone on Mon Nov 23, 2009 8:50 pm

What's wrong with bottlenecks? Making every place on the map having one way to the south, east, west and north is kind of boring as I see it... And it's not a becoming a complete bottleneck if you connect Bergen with Trondheim.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby snufkin on Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:23 pm

I really think you should reconsider using locations/villages/cities just because they would look good on any generic map..
Only people who don´t care about the region will appreciate it, and the map is not unique enough to

My suggestion would be that you at least use the 3-5 largest cities of every country or area.. If you believe it´s impossible to do that and have healthy gameplay..
..then I fear that map wont be interesting at all to many Nordic cc players.

Tampere definitely needs to be in there.. it is not only Finland´s third largest city but also claimed to be the largest inland city in the whole Nordic region.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:36 pm

snufkin wrote:My suggestion would be that you at least use the 3-5 largest cities of every country or area.. If you believe it´s impossible to do that and have healthy gameplay..
..then I fear that map wont be interesting at all to many Nordic cc players.


Which I am doing, within the boundaries of what can be done. First of all, there are size restrictions... The small map must also be legible, so there can't be territories too close to each other. And I can't fit too many territories to a certain area...

The second concern is gameplay. What I'm trying to do is to retain as much realism / geographical & cultural accuracy as possible while at the same time creating a working gameplay structure. This is a delicate balance, and not too easy on a map like this. But I'm doing the best I can.

Tampere definitely needs to be in there.. it is not only Finland´s third largest city but also claimed to be the largest inland city in the whole Nordic region.


Yes, I agree. Tampere definitely would earn it's place in the map. However, the problem with Tampere is that it is so close to Helsinki and Turku. And those two cities are definitely very important.. One is the capital (and connection to Estonia) and other is the former capital (and connection to Åland/Sweden).

So, believe me, not including Tampere had nothing to do with my general dislike of the city and the people inhabiting it :lol:

But in all seriousness... scrapping the interconnected circles and going with a more conventional territory approach has been suggested many times and I am at this point seriously considering it. I would probably still use some major cities as territory names, but at some places, particularly where there are no major cities at the region, I would just use the name of the region as the territory name. The capital territories would of course be preserved, but everything else about the map may change...

Stay tuned.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu Nov 26, 2009 2:42 pm

Ahoy!

I won't comment too much on the graphics...right now it seems like you have a War Games-esque/computer style graphic. Which I think could work for the map, if you push it further.

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I also think the current color scheme could use some rethinking. I'm not sure if anyone else if having a disconnect when trying to match the bonus legend to areas on the map, but I feel like it is taking longer than it should. Maybe experiment with similar regions (all Norway, all Sweden), etc, being gradations of similar colors? Maybe that wouldn't help. But I feel like something can be done here to speed of the recognition process.

I'd also make the islands of Aland and Gotland a little more color distinctive, so there is no question on which bonus zone they belong to.


But on to game play:

Iceland and Northern Norway look strong.

North Sweden may be too strong (at +5). However, this may help people going after it, to combat the strong north (Iceland and Northern Norway, 3 borders for +6). I'd re-look at this area and see how you really want it to be.

Denmark looks like a nice starting point---except that it's expansion possibilities don't look as good as bonus zones in the north. Whoever starts here can't really expand and keep their borders down...they'll keep ending up with 3/4 borders and with minimal bonus gain from Denmark.

Estonia is somewhat similar, though slightly better off because of the near immediate acquisition possibility of grabbing the capital in South Finland. However, expansion from that capital out, and from out of Estonia, looks even worse off compared to Denmark.

Southern Norway, doesn't look like too bad of a start--mostly because the bonus zones near it probably won't have anyone going for them, so they have possibilities of expansion there. But still not great expansion.

Capitals feel like more of a superfluous addition to the map. Someone else mentioned using a couple of other Major Cities I think? Maybe that could help as well.

(P.S. On any map, I usually detest bonus zones with names like "North this" "South that" ---while sometimes helpful for locating an area on the map, they often feel unimaginative. However, such precise/technical names may fit with the "war games" style of graphics if that is developed further.)


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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:13 pm

AndyDufresne wrote:Ahoy!

I won't comment too much on the graphics...right now it seems like you have a War Games-esque/computer style graphic. Which I think could work for the map, if you push it further.


Hmm. Good point, I should think on it.

I also think the current color scheme could use some rethinking. I'm not sure if anyone else if having a disconnect when trying to match the bonus legend to areas on the map, but I feel like it is taking longer than it should. Maybe experiment with similar regions (all Norway, all Sweden), etc, being gradations of similar colors? Maybe that wouldn't help. But I feel like something can be done here to speed of the recognition process.


I'll play around with the colours & see what I can do.

I'd also make the islands of Aland and Gotland a little more color distinctive, so there is no question on which bonus zone they belong to.


Yeah, this has been a major issue. Still is apparently...

Iceland and Northern Norway look strong.

North Sweden may be too strong (at +5). However, this may help people going after it, to combat the strong north (Iceland and Northern Norway, 3 borders for +6). I'd re-look at this area and see how you really want it to be.


The bonuses can be adjusted. How would you distribute the bonuses?

Denmark looks like a nice starting point---except that it's expansion possibilities don't look as good as bonus zones in the north. Whoever starts here can't really expand and keep their borders down...they'll keep ending up with 3/4 borders and with minimal bonus gain from Denmark.


Do you think a connection between denmark and iceland would help it?

Estonia is somewhat similar, though slightly better off because of the near immediate acquisition possibility of grabbing the capital in South Finland. However, expansion from that capital out, and from out of Estonia, looks even worse off compared to Denmark.


Remember, estonia also has direct access to sweden... But yeah I see your point. No idea how to fix it though. Anyway, let's see how the poll goes for Estonia.

Southern Norway, doesn't look like too bad of a start--mostly because the bonus zones near it probably won't have anyone going for them, so they have possibilities of expansion there. But still not great expansion.


Do you have any ideas how to fix this, or if it needs to be fixed?

Capitals feel like more of a superfluous addition to the map. Someone else mentioned using a couple of other Major Cities I think? Maybe that could help as well.


Maybe. As I said in my previous post I'm considering scrapping the interconnected cities ("new classic" style) and replacing them with more standard territories with borders, as several people have wished for this. However I'm not completely sure about it yet, as I quite like the city approach and feel that it fits in the map. What do you think?

Also another idea would be to scrap the +1 autodeploy for the capitals, instead I could add more big cities and make them a collectable bonus (+1 for 3, +2 for 4 and so on...)

(P.S. On any map, I usually detest bonus zones with names like "North this" "South that" ---while sometimes helpful for locating an area on the map, they often feel unimaginative. However, such precise/technical names may fit with the "war games" style of graphics if that is developed further.)


The graphical style may yet change, depending on the public opinion. However this is what we're going with until the map hits the graphics development phase...

Also, all of my map projects have currently been a bit "on hold" as I have been quite occupied with reading the latest Wheel of Time -book. I'm just a fantasy geek in disguise... ;)

Thanks for your comments. :)
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby AndrewB on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:29 pm

You seem to miss quite a few contries from the Northern Europe:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Europe

The United Nations defines Northern Europe as including the following countries and dependent regions:[1][2]

* Denmark
o Faroe Islands
o Greenland
* Estonia
* Finland
o Åland Islands
* Iceland
* Republic of Ireland Ireland
* Latvia
* Lithuania
* Norway
o Norway Svalbard and Jan Mayen
* Sweden
* United Kingdom
o Isle of Man
o United Kingdom Channel Islands: Guernsey and Jersey
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:33 pm

AndrewB wrote:You seem to miss quite a few contries from the Northern Europe:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Europe

The United Nations defines Northern Europe as including the following countries and dependent regions:


Ah, so now the UN is dictating how I should name my maps? :lol:

Seriously though, if you feel this way, simply cast your vote on the poll, as option 2 would remove these issues that you bring up.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Draq on Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:41 pm

As a Swede I have some suggestions for the Swedish cities and some other stuff. Since you have choosen cities and not regions I think you should stick with that. First of all Gotland is just the name of the island so to make it more consistent you should rename that to Visby, which is the main city on Gotland. Åland should then be named Mariehamn and Saaremaa should be named Kuressaare.

Mora should be replaced by Falun or Borlänge, I would go for Falun cause it's more well known, much larger then Mora and have strong ties to swedish culture and industry (Falukorv, Falu rödfärg). Linköping is a good choice in that region. Arjeplog could be replaced by Arvidsjaur, altough it's almost as tiny as Arjeplog it atleast it's a important railroad junction. I also think Östersund is to far north to be geographicaly correct.

Im also for the skipping estonia part and calling it The Nordic Countries.

Keep up the good work!
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby Evil DIMwit on Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:09 pm

natty_dread wrote:
Denmark looks like a nice starting point---except that it's expansion possibilities don't look as good as bonus zones in the north. Whoever starts here can't really expand and keep their borders down...they'll keep ending up with 3/4 borders and with minimal bonus gain from Denmark.


Do you think a connection between denmark and iceland would help it?


Perhaps a connection from Denmark to Stavangør/Gudvagen, and one from Stavangør/Gudvagen to Iceland. It wrecks S. Norway's holdability but I think that's worth making Denmark and Iceland more open.

natty_dread wrote:
Capitals feel like more of a superfluous addition to the map. Someone else mentioned using a couple of other Major Cities I think? Maybe that could help as well.


Maybe. As I said in my previous post I'm considering scrapping the interconnected cities ("new classic" style) and replacing them with more standard territories with borders, as several people have wished for this. However I'm not completely sure about it yet, as I quite like the city approach and feel that it fits in the map. What do you think?

Also another idea would be to scrap the +1 autodeploy for the capitals, instead I could add more big cities and make them a collectable bonus (+1 for 3, +2 for 4 and so on...)


I think anything special you do with the cities is just unnecessary. The map has enough going on without it.
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Re: Northern Europe <v.8> p1,4 - poll

Postby natty dread on Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:17 am

Draq wrote:As a Swede I have some suggestions for the Swedish cities and some other stuff. Since you have choosen cities and not regions I think you should stick with that. First of all Gotland is just the name of the island so to make it more consistent you should rename that to Visby, which is the main city on Gotland. Åland should then be named Mariehamn and Saaremaa should be named Kuressaare.

Mora should be replaced by Falun or Borlänge, I would go for Falun cause it's more well known, much larger then Mora and have strong ties to swedish culture and industry (Falukorv, Falu rödfärg). Linköping is a good choice in that region. Arjeplog could be replaced by Arvidsjaur, altough it's almost as tiny as Arjeplog it atleast it's a important railroad junction. I also think Östersund is to far north to be geographicaly correct.

Im also for the skipping estonia part and calling it The Nordic Countries.

Keep up the good work!


Thanks! It seems the tide of the poll has turned and I probably will have to do without Estonia. What a shame, I had grown attached to it.

So, adding to the to-do-list:

Lakselv -> Hammerfest
Lillehammar -> Lillehammer
Stavanger -> Bergen
Mosjøen -> Bodø
Kolding -> Vejle
Skien -> Kristiansand
Mora -> Falun
Arjeplog -> Arvidsjaur
Gotland -> Visby
Åland -> Mariehamn

Will try to adjust Östersund.

Now all we needs is a Dane and an Icelander to complain about their cities! :lol:

Evil DIMwit wrote:Perhaps a connection from Denmark to Stavangør/Gudvagen, and one from Stavangør/Gudvagen to Iceland. It wrecks S. Norway's holdability but I think that's worth making Denmark and Iceland more open.


That's the thing... I'm not sure if it is worth it. It's already hard to hold northern norway where every territory is a border... Now if you can't hold either there would be not much point in going for Norway.

Evil DIMwit wrote:I think anything special you do with the cities is just unnecessary. The map has enough going on without it.


True. Now I just need to figure out which cities would deserve to be made "capitals but not capitals"... Preferably I'd like to use major cities in northern Norway, Sweden and Finland which don't yet have "capitals". Then of course I would call them something else than capitals...
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