Northwest Passage [Quenched]

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Re: Northwest Passage

Postby shakeycat on Wed Mar 31, 2010 2:46 am

Ever evolving:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Changed the colours of breakups (water: white, land: grey)
Changed names, got rid of the general "greenland" and "nunavut" type names. Will probably need to make clear the difference between some colours (NWT + Ellesmere?)
Changed some borders - Ellesmere Island now has three isolated territories making it up. Eureka links to Axel Heiberg, probably unclear.
Added some impassible areas on Nunavut and Baffin.
Became friends with the opaque ice.
Last edited by shakeycat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Northwest Passage

Postby natty dread on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:43 am

Ok... The ice looks nice. But now I'm stuck with the bonus areas, the colours you use are way too similar. I cannot find a single bonus area...

You should either a) change the colours or b) use a minimap. I'd prefer option b, as the colours do fit the theme.
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Re: Northwest Passage

Postby MarshalNey on Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:43 am

I think Natty's right here- the ice is wonderful, and this map has me excited, but the bonus territories are too similar in color.

I'm not a fan of minimaps, however, so I'd vote for changing the colors.

Also, the sea borders crisscrossing the expedition lines get a little visually distressing.

But this is all graphics or graphics-related-to-gameplay stuff.

The idea/concept seems good enough. The look is certainly a very strong start. Why is this map still in the Melting Pot?
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Re: Northwest Passage

Postby shakeycat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 1:53 am

Click image to enlarge.
image


I could go for the same mini-territory style I used in Vancouver to make the bonus list, if it doesn't leave us looking too cluttered. The colours could change too.

It's still in the Melting Pot because I was very slow in getting my Design brief in.

Visually distressing ... ouch. I do need to work on those. What in particular is it about the crossing that makes it distressing? (or perhaps, which area makes your head ache most to look at?)
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:51 am

Well, the lancaster - Parry channel area is kinda mind boggling. It's just too busy... I'd prefer just removing the lines and just using the army circle colours, like you've done in the latest.

As for bonuses, I don't know, I'd kinda prefer a minimap. The bonus areas are such funny shapes, it's hard to match the ones in the legend to the ones on the map IMO...
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:13 pm

I'll admit, Barrow St was doomed from the start. Updated (see above).
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 01, 2010 2:29 pm

Still looks busy. I'd like to see a version with no lines at all.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 3:41 pm

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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby natty dread on Thu Apr 01, 2010 4:59 pm

Well that does look much easier to read. I think you need to ditch the lines. Just use the coloured army circles like you had in the previous version, to mark the routes.

Also, some of the smaller territories that are surrounded by ice & water (such as King William island) could be made a bit larger, for legibility. It's allowed to botch the geographical accuracy slightly for gameplay/legibility purposes.

Also there's some places where you need to fiddle around with the territory names & borders so that they don't overlap. Viscount melville sound being one...

Also, Thule is a bit confusing, does it only border Nares strait or does it also border Baffin bay?

That's all I got for now...
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Thu Apr 01, 2010 7:13 pm

Updated.
Click image to enlarge.
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Made thin lines. If possible to make dotted lines in Fireworks MX, may try that too.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby MarshalNey on Thu Apr 01, 2010 11:27 pm

Better, and at the same time worse.

My eyes aren't as boggled by all of the lines crisscrossing, but the expeditions are much harder to pick out now... and they are the centerpiece of this map, methinks.

I wish I could give you some clear-cut suggestions here... Natty says to just use the army circle as a guide, but there's a downside to that. People (myself included) are comfortable with seeing routes depicted as lines on a map. Trying to follow the colors on the circles might not flow so well... can't say that for sure, but that's the feeling I get.

The real trouble for me is the lines used as sea borders. They stand out, often perpedicular to the expedition routes.

Meh, maybe Natty is right. I say, try the map without the lines, just the colored circles that you've got. You'll be able to judge its merits from the response it gets.

Oh, and you could always add the Barrow St. back in again, if you get rid of the lines. It bugs me that you had to take out a territory and thus shortened all of the expeditions by one.

As always, great work.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby natty dread on Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:04 am

I have to say, the Tundra isn't working. It's too similar to the other colours... impassables need to stand out.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:33 pm

Click image to enlarge.
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It doesn't really work without the lines.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby natty dread on Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:46 pm

How about coloured outline on the territories? Could be worth a shot...
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby MarshalNey on Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:03 pm

Is there anything you can do to eliminate the sea territory border lines? I think those are the lines that really make the map look over-the-top busy.

Maybe if colored outlines don't work, you could try just different shades for each sea territory... dunno. Just shooting out ideas.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby lzrman on Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:18 pm

MarshalNey thats an excellent idea, why not color code the sea's and make it like a puzzle pc w/ a straight line?
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Fri Apr 02, 2010 10:50 pm

Like:
Click image to enlarge.
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?
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby MarshalNey on Sat Apr 03, 2010 11:07 am

yessss.... I think, I like :D

And the tundra is much better too, btw. (Nice catch Natty, didn't even notice the 'tundra' under the impassables)

Although I do have one question: Why isn't Cornwallis part of the Franklin Expedition? The route seems to loop right around it.

Hopefully this goes to gameplay without delay.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 1:32 pm

Marshal, I'll have to ask the expert, but it sounds like Franklin went all the way around Cornwallis but did not stop there. He did, however, winter at the small Beechey Island just off Devon Island, so perhaps Devon will be where Franklin gets an extra territory (even though Cornwallis looks more obvious). Beechey is the site of those famous mummies. Good point!

Tundra: I just wanted something natural looking that mimics the terrain. This may not fly to the end, but I like it for now.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby TaCktiX on Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:44 pm

Some good improvements to this map, I like it, but it's still missing a few things.

Graphics
- The routes have a nasty tendency to arc, and then completely change direction to another arc. It doesn't look smooth. Now, I get the impression that you meant to show the stopping points on the route. If that is so, I would suggest that instead of smoothing the arcs out all the way, put some sort of "waypoint dot" on the point, to show that "hey, the expedition stopped here and took snapshots."
- I know you were just showing off different colors to sea, but here's my suggestion for improving it. Instead of abruptly different colors, have a fairly quick change in gradient. It's a fairly simple effect and will look better. Likely said graphics feature will change several times before we figure something out that looks good.
- The lines being expeditions is fairly apparent, but why not also make the text for the bonus the same color as the line? The white + line is jarring, even though I know you're intending for it to be thematically appropriate to the ice on the map.

Gameplay
- Bonuses are still a bit sparse, though the +1 per 3 is a good start with the islands. Why not add that sort of bonus to the seas, just lesser to account for the existence of the expeditions? It's something to try, even if you don't go with it.

I expect this map to switch into Gameplay Workshop soon, so keep up the good work. :)
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 1]

Postby shakeycat on Sat Apr 03, 2010 9:22 pm

Tactix - thank you, I'll get on this :) I thought it looked like some raggedy denim quilt too, it was done rather quickly to show a friend and see if I had the right idea.

Here's something closer. Though this style does nothing at all for Barrow Strait and the Coronation Gulf.
Click image to enlarge.
image


I'll look into the route paths and water bonuses. I suppose having territories without bonuses isn't very fun, but bear in mind that water is necessary in these to reach the build-a-bonus of all the land except NWT. I still haven't calculated what is fair for each bonus, but upped Franklin, Nunavut, etc. because Franklin is just as long as Manhattan, and all the land bonuses other than NWT take three separate sections to hold.

Smoothed out Amundsen's line, but Manhattan still juts up in the west. I'm guessing those are the points you meant? I think Manhattan must've tried that path and found it wouldn't work, perhaps something like Franklin heading around Cornwallis.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 3]

Postby ender516 on Sun Apr 04, 2010 11:58 pm

Here's another idea for sea territories: different areas could use different textures which resemble waves as seen from satellite or aerial photographs, with the waves running in different directions and/or with different wavelengths.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 6]

Postby shakeycat on Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:00 am

Click image to enlarge.
image


Waypoint dots. I didn't think I would like them, but they are kind of cute. They say "Expedition stopped here over a winter or two, dropped off some men and hung out with the natives." But they do add to the busy-ness of it all.

Changed SS Manhattan, a modern route, to the double route of Parry and McClure. Parry made it to Melville, and McClure later made it to Melville from the other side, confirming the existence of the passage. I am not liking the look of the +3 next to Parry.

Ocean bonuses. There are 9 ocean territories currently not included in any bonus, plus Quebec makes 10 unbonused places. If I wanted to go really nuts with expeditions, I could cover Foxe Basin + Channel [Parry or Foxe], Cumberland Sound [Parry again?], Nares Strait [people headed to North Pole], Boothia and Prince Regent [Ross], leaving only Arctic Ocean, Hazen, and Norwegian. Jones, not sure. But that seems overkill?

Jones and Nares are key to the Ellesmere bonus, Arctic as well. Cumberland key to Baffin, and Foxe Basin holds two internal islands. Foxes and Boothia+Regent key to Nunavut. The only place really lacking any play is Hazen and Norwegian.

Why are you still there, Quebec? What am I going to do with you? Did Henry Hudson, by chance, stop on your mystic northern shores? I want to know.

Barrow Strait is not going to work.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 6]

Postby Industrial Helix on Sat Apr 17, 2010 6:02 pm

Hmm, looking at the map I think perhaps you could get away with just having the landing points and areas the explorers stopped at and expand the view of the middle bit which I find confusing. I mean, from my knowledge, there wasn't a whole lot of land exploration in these expeditions, why include them?

Perhaps you could penalize holding all water territories as ships need a place to stock up on supplies.
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Re: Northwest Passage [Apr 6]

Postby shakeycat on Sun Apr 18, 2010 2:24 am

Water or land, either would work for supplies - fellow ships, shipwrecks, or natives.

The landing points aren't just where the fellows stopped for a quick washroom break, except perhaps Disko Island. King William Island is where remnants of the Franklin expedition were found, including the famous (and only) note. It's as far as the ships made it, and where the men set out on foot from. Amundsen spent two years there at Gjoa Haven with the natives, so named for his boat. Devon Island (Beechey, actually) is where the mummies from Franklin's crew were discovered. McClure, though I didn't show it, actually sledged across Banks Island (while camped there for winter) to the north coast, where he saw Melville Island, earlier landed by Parry, and then knew the Northwest Passage existed.

Penalize all water? Maybe dead ends - basically any water without a path on it. I could ring those ones in dark blue, to say "this is water, and you'll be losing men here." Logically, Hudson Strait/Bay would be losing territories too, but perhaps Hudson gets points for trying.

This may drive people to try to capture and travel only along the routes, and completely avoid Ellesmere Island and the whole Northwest section there.

If water territories lost men each turn, then wouldn't they have to all start neutral as well? Or at least be evenly distributed by starting positions.

and where exactly is it confusing in the middle? Is it Cornwallis, Stefansson? Is it the water, Parry, Lancaster? I see it could be confusing where Parry meets McClintock channel, it looks like it has to pass through this Stefansson first, perhaps. Somerset can certain be more in line with its circle. Is it the fact that three routes run through the middle, the lines confusing? And we do know the lines don't make a transit route of sorts, and are merely set below their water/land territories, yes?
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