North America 2.0 [Quenched]

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North America 2.0 [Quenched]

Postby DublinDoogey on Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:36 pm

Here's the latest version:

Image

I believe that it *might* be ready, and then I'll begin work on the xml.

From version one, i've added non-crossable boundries using the plethora of mountains and rivers available in North America. My goal with these is to create bonus areas that are obtainable, but a challenge to do so, in the middle of the map. Basically, becuase it's a larger map than what we've seen, it will be inevitable that some of the bonus areas are extremely difficult to hold.

I've also checked spelling, but it's possible that some mistakes have slipped through.

Anyway, lets discuss borders, bonuses and anything else!
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:12 pm

What are the bonuses? And before Marv comes into, do a contintent by contintent analysis of attack routes, borders, bonuses, etc. ;)

It looks interesting though. I'd give it a chance to take up a play spot for myself. Nevada's name looks more like "evada" due to the 'N' being on the border. Same with Kentucky "entucky". And I almost think that Ohio should be named Michigan, and maybe DC just be Virgina. But those are beside the fact. Start with an analysis and then everyone can see how the whole of map pans out balance wise.

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Postby DublinDoogey on Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:58 pm

What are the bonuses?


I left those out for now, since I figured they'd be off anyway :)
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:08 pm

Just asking, it's better to start somewhere, even if it's way off.

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Postby DublinDoogey on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:10 pm

Continent, # countries, # borders to other continents---possible bonus?

Arctic Circle: 7, 2---2

Canada: 9, 7---7

French Canada: 5, 3---2

Western United States: 7, 6---5

Central United States: 10, 7---6

Eastern United States: 9, 6---5

Mexico: 6, 5---4

The Tropics: 7, 2---2


And I just noticed that Nunuvut became nonfat, I must've misclicked during the spell check :lol:

For Nevada and Kentucky, should I make them white, or just make those two have smaller text, I can't really get around the size of the country. Also, is it clear that 'Ohio' (michigan does make more sense) borders Ontario and Ottawa?

edited to add possible bonuses
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:46 pm

I'm afraid that white text will break up the unity of those areas, so perhaps smaller text would be in order.

I thought I noticed 'nonfat' but I don't know much about Canadian geography so I thought 'well....', hehe.

I don't think it's very clear that 'ohio/michigan' borders Ontario and Ottawa. With a glance I hadn't thought they did. Perhaps some of great lakes need to diminsh to show that more strikingly. Just noticed "Oklahoma" is a little cut off also, not quite appearing the way you would like.

"Mexico", seems like there could be a better name for that, but then you might have to argue the same for "Canada".

Now I don't know a lot about bonuses and all that, that really isn't my area of expertise. But it seems like...
---Artic Circle = Fine
---The Tropics = Fine
---Canada = Seems difficult to hold, and with only a bonus of 7.
---French Canada = Bonus seems a little small
---Western US = Seems difficult to hold, and with only a bonus of 5.
---Central US = Also difficulty in holding,
---Eastern US = Erm, same, a little discrepency for bonus perhaps.
---Mexico = Seems closer to alright.

Really I just see problems with so many borders. Western US has 7 countries, and 6 of those are borders for only a 5?

hm, if I knew more things I would comment, but that's all I could come up with. I hope what little I could do will help you out. I think with some work this map could be pretty fantastic.

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Postby DublinDoogey on Sat Apr 15, 2006 10:52 pm

I think with some work this map could be pretty fantastic.


thanks

once i hear more about the borders and bonuses, I'll put another pic up with the smaller improvements.

I just guessed mostly, for the borders, so they'll definatly change later on, probably when marv gets a chance to check it out
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Postby Fieryo on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:07 pm

i know its a common complaint, but the color similarity between the west part of the eastcoast and the east part of the west coast is a little confusing
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sat Apr 15, 2006 11:13 pm

Perhaps more yellow could be put into the East Coast area. Also it looks as if you used two different fonts for making the map...or is it just the variance in boldness due to some being on stronger colors (I.E. dark blue water).

Perhaps for Canada the 'Dakota' border could cease in exsistence. And maybe fix the Ontario/Ottawa area.

And for the Legend, I might make the Names bigger and the colors stronger, or atleast bolder so the countries stand out better from the white background.

Hm, that's everything I can think of as of this moment. Just will have to let others rack their brains and crunch the numbers.

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Postby Marvaddin on Sun Apr 16, 2006 1:24 am

Ok, I will comment... although Im a bit drunk :D

1st, some graphics comments... Your rivers / mountains suck a lot!! Specially the rivers... Keep in mind, this isnt a geo map, so you can use non-crossing borders to increase the playability. The rivers need their own background; they need more attention too: did you realized that Yukon and Northwest Territories arent connected? Well, I think simple non-crossing would be good, as in my map, but its my opinion only.

I also think (my opinion) the names should be same colour for all continents; you could use all backgrounds colours light (and use black letters) or dark (and use white letters). Re-size the words is a valid thing, in cases like Nevada... You also need another legend, its pretty ridiculous with that bad spacement... Some more refined borders would also be appreciated.

About the bonuses, I will discuss tomorrow... but you should add to your analysis the number of attack routes from / to each continent. If the 3 border countries can be attacked from 2, 3, 4, or 5 other countries, it counts a lot... Edit that post, I will be back tomorrow (im tired now).
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Postby DublinDoogey on Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:52 am

so you can use non-crossing borders to increase the playability


That's what the rivers and mountains are, maybe I'm misunderstanding you though. I put a river between Yukon and NW Terr. on purpose, and, there is a river near there in real life. I'm not sure what you mean by "need their on background" they stand out enough for me to see that they're there.

About my analysis, maybe I did it wrong but I simply put the number of countries, and then the number of borders from the continent area to other continent areas, as that is what is important.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:12 am

I think Marv is just saying that perhaps need to be strikingly different from the ocean water...just so it isn't all connected. And I think the border between Yukon and NW hurts the Article Circle...you can't fortify as much then for such a little continent. I still think it's coming along.

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Postby Marvaddin on Sun Apr 16, 2006 11:56 am

1st...
I mean, your mountains and rivers are ugly... They could be more beautiful... another texture for the mountains, and a background for the rivers. Although many players know what the rivers are, they seem extensions of the main background, not rivers. The river between Yukon and NWT is a terrible idea. I believe a continent cant be splitted this way... If a player want conquer it, but has no countries in one part, he needs to conquer at least 3 useless countries. The continent simply becomes useless.

2nd...
The number of routes is very very important, sometimes more than the border countries. Its because 2 borders countries can be connected to only one country of the neighbour continent... so those border countries count as one. Examples? Goiás and Brasília in Brazil map (if you take Tocantins, one border only), Sardinia and Sicily in Europe map (you need only take Tunisia), Hungary and Austria in the same map (you only need take Croatia), etc... So, its essential in an analysis.

I will comment the bonuses, putting the route numbers too.

Arctic Circle: 7, 2, 2... 2 armies is a ridiculous bonus after conquer 7 countries (or 10, because that river)... 3 at least. Would be better with one more border country.

Canada: 9, 7, 8... Impossible to hold. you should consider ways that can reduce the border countries to 5. How about extend a bit Ottawa and Saskat, so Ontario and Alberta could be no more borders? After these changes, bonus of 7

French Canada: 5, 3, 3... fine, bonus of 3.

Western United States: 7, 4, 5... I counted 4 border countries and you counted 6... maybe its something wrong... Fine, except for the lack of a connection to Eastern US. You should put a route between Oklahoma and Louisiana. Bonus of 4

Central United States: 10, 6, 5... again, different number of borders between us. One less border country should be good, maybe Dakota. Bonus of 6 or 7

Eastern United States: 9, 3, 6... only 3 border countries. The single problem is hold Ohio. Add that route between Louisiana and Oklahoma... Bonus of 5

Mexico: 6, 4, 4... bonus of 4 is good, I think.

The Tropics: 7, 2, 2... very easy to hold, but not that easy to conquer... 7 countries... bonus of 3. Maybe with the greater bonus you should add a route between Florida and Bahamas.

Hey, avoid perfect frontiers like California / Baja California and Arizona / Sierra Madre. It will always bring the question... "Can I attack from California to Sierra Madre? And from Baja California to Arizona? That frontier is 1 pixel to the right, so I think its possible..." Another one: Ontario / Nunavik and Ottawa / Quebec.

Dont forget about another legend, and refine some borders, like in Ohio, Nova Scotia, etc.
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Postby Haydena on Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:22 pm

Those circles seem a bit small...

Otherwise, I think it doesn't look too bad, however I know nothing of the bonuses etc...
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Postby DublinDoogey on Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:45 pm

Image

Changes:

Took out some "four corner" boundries

Changed the water, I'm not sure what kind of background for the rivers, I wish that the ripples in the ocean would show (the water's all one layer)

Boundry lines changed to make continents easier to hold

Legend changed, i prefer a simple white legend, what do ya'll think?

In my mind, this is *almost* done. I'm sure there are a few changes that will happen, but overall, I think it's nearly ready. Maybe that's only because I want it to be ready, but I have put hours and hours of work into it.

Anyway, we're off to Easter Dinner, I'll be checkin back later though
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:14 pm

Well I'm liking the visuals on this map a little more.

First of all...

---Legend~~The font should be perhaps holder, and I think sticking to more of an all white legend would be better. But atleast making the font bolder and thicker would help alleviate the problem it had.

---Florida~~As Marv said I think, it should be able to attack the bahamas perhaps. That would help perhaps increase balance, but maybe it really is fine the way it currently is. The bold black lines; however, seem rather 'too bold' and out of place.

---Rivers~~Is it possible to add more texture to them? If not they will probably do...perhaps a different shade of blue would be better if texture was not an option.

---Border Outline~~In some places it seems like the border is godly thick like in Mexico regions and French Canda, but then like in parts of the Eastern US it is just one thin line. I think some continuity would be good and help the over all visual appeal.
=============================
Now for individual continents...

---Artic Circle~~I think deleting the border between NW and Yukon was a good idea. I think now it was pretty well balanced and doesn't need to be messed with save visual reasons.

---Canada~~6 borders for a 7 bonus...not too bad I don't think. I am not sure any of the borders could be taken away, if they needed to be. It's alright I'm thinking,

---French Canada~~3 borders for a bonus of 3...alright I believe.

---Western US~~4 borders for 4, it's looking better

---Central US~~5 borders for 6, looking more balanced now.

---Eastern US~~4 borders for 5. The borders between Ottawa and Michigan look much more clear.

---Mexico~~4 borders for 4, it's alright. Maybe the 'Meixco' border isn't need, I am not sure. Perhaps a better name for 'Mexico' region (near texas and New Mexico) would be "Rio Grande" due to the river right there. And then you wouldn't have the confusion between 'Mexico' as a continent and as a country.

--The Tropics~~2 borders for 3, as I stated maybe connection link between Florida and Bahamas, to give it perhaps some resemblance to French Canada and Artic Circle, but maybe not.

I think the map is coming along quite nicely, just a few more revisions and I think it will be ready. You've come quite far from your original map! Much to be proud about.

--Andy
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Postby thegrimsleeper on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:22 pm

Your connections would look much more professional if they didn't overlap the countries they're connecting. You do a good job of this in the tropics, but nowhere else. Also, they are perfectly straight in some instances (Cuba-Florida, Baja-Sierra Madre), but obviously hand-drawn with a paintbrush in others. Why not just use the line tool?

I'd get rid of the drop shadow on the connections and the mountains. Also, try adding a light bevel/emboss style over the mountains.

The rivers look fine, although I agree that it's a shame the oceanic effect isn't showing through. You could try creating another layer that would be hidden under the land, but over the ocean, playing with that and seeing what works. Speaking of rivers, could you make the Yukon-NW Territories a river again, and just connect the two over it? It looked much better as a river than a mountain range that doesn't go anywhere. ;)

Another thing I'd recommend is to taper your mountains and rivers to a point. Also, ask yourself whether it's really necessary for the mountains and rivers to continue where they are erroneous: Alberta-Saskatchewan, Nevada-Arizona, Utah-Colorado, Missouri-Michigan-Kentucky...

Just my suggestions. I think you're doing a fantastic job on this map. You're almost there.

+++As for the legend: Absolutely love the font you chose. Hated the all-white. Perhaps the answer is making the font bold, and gradiating from a not-quite-white to an almost-charcoal. It may benefit from texture as well.
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:28 pm

I actually like the little exstentions of the mountains...real mountains don't just stop a country borders. I think the way they cut in is fine; they shouldn't confuse anyone on what is impassable and passable.

The rivers on the other hand would be alright to taper them like Grim said. Dakota would be a good place, same with Michigan and perhaps between the Canada and Central US border some tapering there. Throw in Arizona also.

Also, is there any particular reason why Louisiana is so small? You could buff the size of that up a bit since its got the room in the water, similarly to Florida.

Other than that...I'm fresh out of ideas for now. Keep it up.

(If cahoots is offended for not including Arkansas, I should be offended for not including Iowa! But I'm thinking that Missouri is better name for the area. ;) )

--Andy
Last edited by AndyDufresne on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby areyouincahoots on Sun Apr 16, 2006 3:30 pm

I won't play it, and I'm offended as you didn't include Arkansas :shock: ...
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Postby SMITH197 on Sun Apr 16, 2006 5:39 pm

ya know cahoots, that kinda hurts a map makers feelings...


FEELINGS...u should know about those considering your a female and all...
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Postby areyouincahoots on Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:33 pm

SMITH197 wrote:ya know cahoots, that kinda hurts a map makers feelings...


FEELINGS...u should know about those considering your a female and all...


haha...well, Mr. Doogey hurt my feeling by not including Arkansas...I simply cannot respect a map that excludes my state...
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Postby DublinDoogey on Sun Apr 16, 2006 7:42 pm

Image

Don't have time to add much, i've gotta go again.

SMITH197 wrote:
ya know cahoots, that kinda hurts a map makers feelings...


FEELINGS...u should know about those considering your a female and all...


haha...well, Mr. Doogey hurt my feeling by not including Arkansas...I simply cannot respect a map that excludes my state...


haha, i can only see this as good sign really... :)
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Postby Hoff on Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:14 pm

i'm diggin
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Postby DublinDoogey on Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:31 pm

I went to check the recommended sizes, for small and large.

When the height is only 350 px, none of the country names are legible. I'm guessing/hoping that in photoshop there is a tool to help me out. I tried the smart sharpen, thinking that would be best, but it made it look funny.

Would people mind scrolling down to attack, is that big of a deal?

Anyway, help/advice about the size thing would be awesome!

edit: the above version fits w/in the parameters for large, it is 595 by 651, if anyone was curious...
I still don't know what to do with the small one though
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Postby AndyDufresne on Sun Apr 16, 2006 8:38 pm

I especially like the rivers now, they seem more realistic. Everything looks quite fantastic, only a few little gripes:

---'New England' looks a little small, and it has the room to be larger.

---Canadian Shield looks a little odd, perhaps the name should go in the water, or part of it perhaps?

---Also, is there any reason why the names in Mexico are white (fine), and the Tropics are black?

Other than those things I'm liking it. Looks playable, hopefuly the bonuses and everything are alright. The Legend looks better, the fonts might benefit from being a bit 'stronger' in boldness. I wouldn't mind scrolling...that is depending on how much I would have to. If I would have to scroll half way up and down the page...that seems like a little awkward. But if it's only a minor scroll I wouldn't mind so much.


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