Indochina Map [Done]

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Indochina Map [Done]

Postby freakshow on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:34 pm

As two classes I'm taking on Vietnam draw to a close I felt there was no better way to celebrate then to create a map of the french colony Indochina, with out further ado here's the map links, I'll get started on the XML shortly.
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I know that the map is kinda smallish but It should be fun for play with no more then three people.
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Postby PaperPlunger on Fri Apr 14, 2006 11:48 pm

Constructive criticism- I think it needs more countries, even with 3 people
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Postby freakshow on Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:57 am

the only problem with adding more countries is the size of the map. I based the existing countries off of provinces. I could add thailland but it wasn't part of french indo china so I want to avoid that. In addition thailand would need 12 countries to bring me up to 42 (I have 30 currently) that would make it like a asia except itwould only border 2 other continates. That seems wrong when the smaller countries border 3.
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Postby amandahugandkiss on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:02 am

I would get rid of the white "bubbles," it crowds the map
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Postby Jota on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:31 am

If you wanted to save space, you could pull the title and legend a little closer to the map. That'd allow you to increase the resolution a bit without exceeding the maximum map width.
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Two cents

Postby Scarus on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:32 am

My first reaction was that the colors need to be toned down, maybe given some texture. I'm sure that others will come on here and give you an in depth analysis of the number of countries, bonuses, etc. but it looks odd to me right away that Annam shares borders with every other country/continent yet is only worth 3. Seems like it would be impossible to hold so it needs to worth more.
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Postby Scorba on Sat Apr 15, 2006 5:53 pm

You'll need some uncrossable borders in there. The only continent that is worth holding is Tonkin. Laos has no less than 8 (!) border countries, for a pathetic 5 bonus.
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Postby freakshow on Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:20 am

Ok I just got back from florida so I got a chance to make some simple changes to this map, in addition I'm currently about 2 minutes away from finishing the XML, thanks to all who commented, I feel that adding more countries would be a mistake, as would adding uncrosable borders, instead I've tweeked with the values on each continate.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:12 pm

Okay, before I comment on the aesthetics of the map I've got to get down to the nitty gritty.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

---Cochinchina~~ 3 Countries; 3 Borders; 7 Attack routes. This continent seems undervalued, 3 borders for a bonus of 3 isn't much. But this continent is really the least of all your worries.

---Annam~~ 6 Countries; 5 Borders; 12 Attack routes. Honestly this country has way too many borders to defend it properly. It would be a lost cause, and as it stands 6 bonus even seems to low. Now I know that in these countries in real life there are mountains. Perhaps adding a few impassable borders would help make this map actually playable. Suggestion: A mountain range cutting off Hue from Sekong, and extending north to Dong Hoi, cutting it off from Khammuan. Annam would then have 3 borders, and easier to actually hold in play. The bonus would have to be dropped. I suggest some sort of mountain barrier somewhere for this continent.

---Tonkin~~ 7 Countries; 3 Borders; 4 Attack routes. As it stands this continent is actually doing currently alright. It could use perhaps a bonus up to 4 to make it appealing to hold the 3 borders

---Laos~~ 9 Countries; 7 Borders; 12 Attack routes. As it stands on the map this continent is in utter chaos. The bonus of 7 doesn't even justify trying to hold this continent, for it would be infeasble to even attempt to do so. Again I suggest adding some sort of mountain ranges. The mountain range that could be added to help Annam could also be used to help Laos. Also I know there are some rivers that do run this area up north, and surely Laos would benefit from adding a few impassable borders. Otherwise this becomes simply no man's land.

---Cambodia~~ 6 Countries; 4 Borders; 7 Attack routes. As it stands on the map this country is slightly more balanced than some of the others. 4 borders is pushing it though for a value of only 4. Now a lot of rivers do run through Cambodia. The Mekong is a major river that could be used. There are also smaller rivers like: Song Ba, Srepok, Se San. Any addition those would greatly improve the playability of this map.

---In addition I only count 31 countries...could use a boost there. And it would truly benefit the map to have the number of countries be a RISK numbers (I.E. easily divisible by the amount of players).
=========================================
Now on aesthetics.

-----I immensely dislike the white background for this map. This area is bordered both by water (The South China Sea, the Gulf of Siam, the Gulf of Tonkin), and also by land to the west of Thailand. I think adding those such things for aesthetics would make the map look more realistic and appealing than it currently is.

-----The white circles have got to go. Definitely go for a shade of gray. As it is currently it looks like someone took a paper hole punch to your map. Also the circles out into the middle of nowhere distract, and should be somehow added to the mainland like the others.

-----The colors aren't so bad, but I do suggest adding some sort of shading or texture to at least not make everything so uniform. Perhaps though toning down some of the colors as someone mentioned earlier would benefit this map.

-----The font is alright. Perhaps some sort of font that would compliment this Asian area would be more proper. In some places like Mondulkiri the font is visibly hard to read due to blurriness. Same with Hua Phan. Also Hanoi seems a little drastic. Perhaps by moving Hai Phong's circle you could fit the small name of Hanoi into the country, rather than horribly far from it.

-----The legend needs some sprucing up. It looks like it was thrown together in the last minute. It would benefit from texture, pictures, and sort of visual appealing things. Tonkin seems to have some little white dots surrounding the letters in the red, getting rid of those would help improve a finished quality of the map.

-----I think you could save a lot of space on the map by moving and making the name smaller, and moving the legend around. There is a lot of unneeded space.

============================================

Overall this map needs a complete overhauling work on the borders. Then moving from there into visuals. This maps is far from playable, but with time it could become a rather fun and enjoyable map to conquer.


--Andy
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Postby freakshow on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:24 pm

Frankly I think your wrong. I will conceed that this map is unlike the other maps on this site. Unlike other people who have simply cloned risk maps on other countries or continates this will require a diffrent statagy and the games will play out diffrently. I understand your point on the aestetics, I agree that alittle more work would improve the look of it, this may become a sort of 2.0 map. As for impassable borders, anyone framiliar with the history of the Vietnam war would realize that the Vietnamese were famous for surmounting any obstical. I would really like it if this map was added, I think it would offer something diffrent then the otherwise repetitive nature of the other maps.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:32 pm

It's fine you think I am wrong. Everyone to his and her own. I've nothing personal against you or anything, I just don't feel this map is near playability. But again I am just one person commenting, and surely there are other out there who will agree and disagree with us both. I'm just afraid this map won't be played very often due to balance issues it currently has.

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Postby Fieryo on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:32 pm

graphics aside, i agree with Freakshow, all maps so far are basically the original world map reconfigured a bit with different graphics. i think it would be refrshing and original to add a map that didn't conform to the previously established standards.
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Postby rocksolid on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:38 pm

Yeah, Freakshow, this map is your baby, but if the point of it is celebrating the classes you took on the area - yes, the Vietnamese are famous for overcoming any foe, but you would want the map to reflect some of the Geography/demography you were learning in those classes. Vietnam - tiny country with a crazy huge population; Laos - mountainous, very sparsely populated. If the Vietnamese can overcome any obstacle, they can surely overcome the inconvenience of having to go around a mountain range to attack the Laotians! :D
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Postby Marvaddin on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:46 pm

Sincerely, I think an Indochina map is unnecessary, since we have already the Asia map, and its in truth a map of asian Southeast.

Beyond that, Im with Andy. This map is now far from playable. The appeal is small, and the art is zero. Background, colours, all. The angled names, the names out of the territories, the white circles... I dont know if you can change it, but now it hurts the sight. And the aspect isnt the only problem. The region is not that wide, so we almost dont have non-border countries. And with 31 countries only... I believe you cant change it in a way it will be both playable and beautiful.

Maybe you can still design your map, but I need now suggest you to choose another one.

Ps: can you imagine why a great number of people is still playing a board game created in 1959? If you want do some different, you need first study the classic and think about what can be changed. I believe your map isnt good due to bad playability... maybe you can have it in a paper version and play with your real friends... its a good test, I think.
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Postby rocksolid on Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:52 pm

Just to counter the point that the map is unnecessary - I think the poll in this forum is rather conclusive to the point that even beyond the point where shaking a stick at all the maps is no longer possible, people still want more maps. I'd certainly play on a map of Indochina.

I do feel, though, that a map should have some features breaking up the countries (as done by the oceans on a classic map) otherwise there isn't any real uniqueness to the layout of that specific map - it just becomes like playing Risk on a checkerboard with a different mask. This doesn't mean mirroring the properties of the classic map, but it does mean breaking stuff up somehow.
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Postby freakshow on Sat Apr 22, 2006 2:24 pm

Ok points well taken, I'll mess with the visuals alittle and maybe add an impassible boundry, no can do with moving the names inside the countries though, the map is just to narrow.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:22 pm

I'm sorry to see the map is up and no changes were made, even minor visual ones. Only time will what happens to the map.

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Postby freakshow on Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:33 pm

actually I stand by the fact that changes will be made I'm just kinda busy for a week or so, expect changes soon.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Mon Apr 24, 2006 7:34 pm

Then I don't quite understand submitting an unfinished map, that is if drastic changes are going to be made (either in playability or visuals...or both).

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Postby Marvaddin on Wed Apr 26, 2006 6:23 pm

Agreed, you cant send unfinished maps.
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Postby freakshow on Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:44 pm

actually the map was finished at least structurally, I decided not to add any impassables, it plays fairly well altough I will admit the games are considerable shorter than normal.
I've sent this new image off to lack so you should see it replacing the large map in a few days, I'll get started on a diffrent smaller version soon.
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Postby PaperPlunger on Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:49 pm

cool
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Postby Charbroil on Wed Apr 26, 2006 7:55 pm

Better, but there are natural mountains between Ha Tinh and the west, so could you at least cut Ha Tinh off from what's further west? Thank you.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:03 pm

Well this map looks a dab more appealing than it previously did. It's getting closer to finished, but I still have to say that it must go further. There is no rush to finish a map in a few days. Take longer on them and make them what they truly can be! That said,

~Visual Appeal~

---It's come quite a way from your original map. Kudos on that. But it still feels like a bland cereal box drawing. Give it textures and subtle tones of color change. Each country should feel like it's a country, rather than simply a plot of land. Even the water, Thailand, and China could benefit from some sort of texture.

---The text choice is alright, though it seems some countries are bolder, while others are thinner. Vientiane and Hua Phan for instance. Try to keep a consistency. Minor suggestion of making the Gulf of Tonkin larger, just so as not to confuse anyone that is is a country. Perhaps you can make it larger and more elaborate, same goes for South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, along with the Thaild and China. All of them could be larger and more eleaborate to improve the quality of the map.

---Legend is alright, could use a little sprucing up but I think it is currently the least of your worries.

============================================

~~~Nitty Gritty~~~

---I cannot stand the continent of Laos. It has 7 borders, way too many. It's a 'Lost Continent'.

---Annam isn't any better, it has 6 countries, 5 of them borders. Also seems rather lost.

---Cambodia has 4 borders, it's doing slightly better than the rest.

---Tonkin is actually near balance, amazingly enough.

---Cochinchina has 3 borders and 3 countries, I think it could definitely use a knock down to 2 borders.

------Also...I still count 31 countries...bad number.

==============================

Many people have suggested some sort of impassable boundaries, and you have excluded them. Now maps can work without them, if they are well put together and generally balanced (I.E. Classic Map). I wholeheartedly must agree with them on this issue. Something must be done to make this map playable.

I suggest buckling down and working on this map some more. As I said, there isn't a need to rush a map through the process of quality control. It is a needed process and helps make maps better. I see a lot of potential in this map, but a lot of it has gone to waste currently.



--Andy
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Postby freakshow on Wed Apr 26, 2006 8:37 pm

I'm sorry but until you've played on this map I fail to see how you can call it unplayable.
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