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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg2

Postby RedBaron0 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:09 am

I've taken Andy's advise and pared the number of territories down to 32, eliminating 1 bonus region in the process.

I've also changed out the background image to an oriental fabric wave design, but I really liked that dragon so I painstakingly cut the dragon out and masked behind the bonus minimap - newly added, replacing the named bonuses on the folding screen. I still need to add the names of the bonus regions back onto the minimap.

The main country outline is a stronger line and the bonuses are also separated by a stronger line.... but most land bonus connections are short. I've also added quite a few sea territory connections that I think even out the playing field, at least some. North and South aren't as easily defensible and I could see landing just about anywhere on this map and having a chance, although the pink region (Hokuriku) is screaming "classic Europe" to me... :|

Wanted to show my progress, this map is without the circles again, but most everything else is there.

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Last edited by RedBaron0 on Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg3

Postby oaktown on Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:44 am

For these early stages in development you might be better off without the background images. The waves are distracting, and the dragon makes it really hard to read the small map.

Overall your regions look really hard to hold - that'll make early rounds of a game frustrating. In at least two regions every territory is a border. Sado doesn't need to connect to Akita, and you could reposition lines/mountains around Chiba and Tochiga to make one of them a protected interior territory.
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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg3

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:03 pm

Make the mini map less detailed and lose the waves. As far as the actual map goes it's pretty good, maybe some more territories would be nice. Also I think there are too many mountains, but that's just me.
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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg3

Postby sailorc on Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:09 pm

I agree with oaktown. The waves are more noticeable than the map. They should be toned down or removed for now. Also, it's difficult to see the bonuses map with the dragon behind it.

(sorry if this double posted)
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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg3

Postby captainwalrus on Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:37 pm

This seems sort of fuzzy for some reason. I think some of the boarders could be sharpened. The attack line from Nagasaki to tsushima is unnecessarily curved. I see no reason for it not to be straight. Same thing with a few others, if it doesn't need to curve, don't make it so curvy.
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Re: Japan - 2nd revision pg3

Postby DublinDoogey on Sun Jun 28, 2009 12:24 am

For gameplay--and because of space--it might be better to only use the mountains to separate bonus regions. There are a few places where they separate countries within a single bonus which doesn't really do more than take up space and allow for the regions to be very difficult to hold. Perhaps you could take advantage of the natural linearity of the country to use the mountains in a way that makes the sea routes very very important. That way you could simply start at one end and march through but then someone would be able to swing around via the ocean and disrupt your bonuses.

For graphics (when you get there), if you like the dragon it might be a good idea to take your colors and such from it. Some of the subdued maps are the easiest to read and are nice to look at (i'm thinking middle east in particular). Also, there are a lot of good prints and such from Japan's art traditions that are much nicer than the background that could maybe be used. I'd look through museum websites and find something nice and simple.

You've got a good start, I think taking it down to a lower country count was a great idea. Good luck!
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby RedBaron0 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 4:44 am

Click image to enlarge.
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Alright, I've deleted a few connections and straightened the lines. There is at least 1 non-border territory in each bonus region. I've toned down the bonus colors which now gives a more subtle look. And for now at least all graphical frills have been removed, for now, with earlier versions though, I hope that you can see what I'll be aiming for when the focus turns to the graphical. Only graphical highlight, which is more noticeable now without the other backgrounds is a blend from northwest to southeast on the blue background. Perhaps the dark blue on the background made and graphical background more annoying, perhaps a lighter blue behind the graphical background, or a sea-green color might be more suitable?

Mountains are little smaller and on the slightly less numerous side. I did redraw the internal bonus boundaries, I think they're coming up a little pixelly now, so I gotta fine the balance between this and the blurry before version.

Looking at it now, Kanto has too many borders to be a 2 army bonus, it should be a 3, either I should bump that up, or have just one connection from Izu-Oshima to Chiba, but then I'm sliding back to the other problem of having too many dead end territories, which I count now at 3. On that same tangent, Hokkaido might be better suited to being a 2 than a 3 with only 2 border states.

Just to ask for a clarification, GhostSniper15243, when you say "too detailed" for the minimap, do you mean the dragon, or the actual outline of the minimap?
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:38 am

I was referring to the dragon itself. After the change, I like it. I like the backround color. I think the small map should be moved a bit up, litterally. I think it's too close to the actual map. Also I was thinking Chugoku should get more than 3 bonuses. Holding 7 territores and defending other borders is hard. I also think Hokuriku should be bumped down to 4 bonuses. There's only 5 territories and 3 borders. I was also thinking for later development there should be anther small bonus, like holding Tokyo or something, just a suggestion. Overall this is a really good start. I'll be looking forward to seeing the next version.
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby sailorc on Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:56 am

like u said, Kanto should have 3 bonus armies. other than that, I don't see much wrong with the bonuses. u should also add more graphics after gameplay is sorted out.

nice map.
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby thenobodies80 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:16 am

Not have a map of Japan is a real shame.
Good choice ;)

i think you can find the best result for gameplay trying a mix between your map and the one oaktown posted.
show: oaktown version

Hokkaido,kanto,chugoku are good on your map.
But i think that oaktown version is more interesting about kiusu/sikok and nippon north
About sikok, space could be a real problem on your version....so i don't blame you if you will not try to have another bonus zone ;)
Anyway i'm really happy if you can set your tohoku zone taking inspiration from oak's map...

looking forward to your next update :)
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:29 am

I'm not trying to create drama here or anything, but I see nothing wrong with Kanto only having 2 bonus armies. There's only 4 territories and 3 borders. It shouldn't be that hard to hold. Also the mountains give it protection too. I think it only needs 2 bonus armies. That's just my opinion.
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby Industrial Helix on Sun Jun 28, 2009 11:29 am

Looking good!

i think the bottle neck at Fukui and Ishikawa needs to go though. You could have a third of the map and only have to defend at one terr.

Shouldn't Okinawa be on this map? You've got all the other minor islands, leaving it out would seem a shame... you could fudge it as stick in over to the lower mid-right.

I like all the sea routes as well, I'd like to see little ship graphics or something as well.

I think the green in the mountains is doesn't fit well with the map, but that might be something to work on later as gameplay is the objective now.
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Re: Japan - 3rd revision pg3

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:13 pm

I agree. I think Okinawa should be in there.
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Re: Japan - 4th revision pg3

Postby RedBaron0 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 5:45 am

Click image to enlarge.
image


I believe I've hit everyone's concerns with the new version. Okinawa has been readded to the map, although it's true geographic position is a couple hundred miles south of Kyushu, I thought it was best to add it there to put in the 7th bonus region back on the map. In that area I've straightened the line showing the connections. I'm not necessarily liking the look, curved lines might have to return there, but I'll have to be sure they are subtle and connect at the same point so it looks like you can hope from one territory to the next, to the next, etc. This adds 2 territories to the total, so I eliminated Mie and merged it with Osaka. Osaka now also connects to Aichi so the southern third of the map isn't bottle necked at Fukui.

Bonuses:

2 - Kyushu - 4 territories, 2 borders
2 - Shikoku - 3 territories, 2 borders
2 - Kanto - 4 territories, 2 borders
3 - Chugoku - 6 territories, 3 borders
3 - Hokkaido - 5 territories, 2 borders
4 - Hokuriku - 5 territories, 4 borders
4 - Tohoku - 6 territories, 3 borders

Hmmmmm....... A couple bonuses seem to be off by an army up or down, since I changed a couple territories, added and subtracted, my thoughts might be: Hokkaido may have to goto 2, Tohoku should drop to 3, but I keep looking at it and it looks really tough to gain control of, so I'm not sure there. Chugoku seems right now now that it's down to 6 territories. When I guess at the bonus values I weight border territories higher than territory total, I put Kanto at 2 because I took out the extra border. Hold the 2 borders and reinforce just those 2, in most cases you're going to get 5 armies so you have to, in theory, leave one border a little weaker which allows for another player a chance to break that bonus. It makes sense in my mind, but I do need some sleep. :lol:

Oh I did raise the minimap up and shrunk the title for a better fit in the top corner. I readded the Kanji title. (It translates: Japan) I really would like to put that on the map somewhere as a graphical accent, but the current version is very boxy, and at some point I'd like a calligraphy-looking version and see how that works.

I haven't changed the mountains, yet, but I can change the mountains by either coloring the bonus regions in a similar way oaktown has in his version, or color them brown, gray, or a little bit of both and vary the shapes so they aren't so uniform. I can do that in more detail as once the placement is pretty much set.
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Re: Japan - 4th revision pg3

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Mon Jun 29, 2009 7:09 am

This is a good one. I like what you did. In my opinion I think Hokkaido should stay at 3 armies. One concern I had is Tohoku and Chugoku.I think they should have the same number of bonuses. It doesn't really matter if it's 3 or 4. I just think they're too similar in some ways to have them be different bonuses.They both have 6 territories and 3 borders. I like Kanto's bonus, but maybe you can consider only 3 for Hokuriku. Kyushu and Shikoku are good. Those are just suggestions. I like where the small map is and I like the symbols. I think when it comes graphic time you should try to ge that in there somewhere. Thanks for taking our suggestions. =D> =D> =D>
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Re: Japan - 4th revision pg3

Postby sailorc on Tue Jun 30, 2009 4:10 pm

I'm not an expert at gameplay, so I'll only talk about graphics for now. I think the water should have some kind of texture, but not as bold as the beginning. the land itself could also use some texture, too

it's coming along nicely
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Re: Japan - 5th revision pg4

Postby RedBaron0 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 4:59 am

The last few comments have been more on the graphical side, so I've made a graphical overhaul:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Went with the suggestions I got adding texture to both land and sea, and added the Japanese style boat(called a "junk") near the longest sea connection. I changed the direction of the blend to mesh with the background "wave" pattern. I've updated the kanji "Japan" to a calligraphy looking one.

Couple of tweaks to the playing surface, I did change the bonus value of Tohoku to 3; the other bonuses are the same from the previous version. I added a couple of mountains to the center of the Tohoku bonus, those 4 territories had a 4 corners thing going on that bothered the hell out of me.

Future versions may include the following as I spitball ideas to myself...

1 more territory to Hokuriku to better justify the 4 bonus value, I'd think about putting the territory Gifu back on the map which is currently merged with Aichi. I could then think about merging a territory in Tohoku (probably Akita or Iwate to Aomori) to keep the territory count down. Of course this may change bonus structure and basic gameplay.

Lets see what you guys think... ;)
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Re: Japan - 5th revision pg4

Postby GhostSniper15243 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:08 am

Nice graphical start. Very nice. Maybe shrink the symbols a little bit. Not much, just a tad.
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Re: Japan - 5th revision pg4

Postby Industrial Helix on Wed Jul 01, 2009 7:58 am

Nice update.

I think the mountains could use a little desaturation.

I take it both Rishorito islands are the same unit. I kind of looks like one mainland terr attacks one island and another up by Hokkaido attacks another. I suppose it would becleared up once the numbers are in the game.

I'd suggest editing the dotted line between Sado and Ishikawa so that the space in the line is between the distance of the two places. Same for Oki island and Izu-Oshima.

I think it might be better if the logo Japan and the Japanese written Japan were closer together for a single logo.

The words that are over the lighter bit of the ocean are kind of hard to read, such as Abashiri.

Nagasaki and Kagoshima are a tad difficult to read.

I think you could enlarge the fort or change it on the bodies of water to make it stand out or appear different than the playable terrs.

Tokushima is slighly difficult to read... maybe if you added a drop shadow to the word they might stand out a little better. And where will the numbers fit on the Tokushima terr.?

Otherwise, great update.
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Re: Japan - 5th revision pg4

Postby oaktown on Wed Jul 01, 2009 11:04 am

Hi again red,

In case folks aren't aware this map has been chosen to be a subject in our first Map Incubator, so hopefully you'll be seeing the same few faces pop in here weekly.

I'm glad you've removed some of the decorative elements for now - basics first. A good trick for making words and numbers more readable against a colored background is giving them a light outer glow or stroke that will contrast with the surrounding colors. Some of your territory names and region values are lost against the land, so a soft black glow will make them pop out.
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Re: Japan - 6th revision pg4

Postby sailorc on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:13 pm

nice update. I like the water and land textures much better than before. I also like the "junk". maybe something similar could be done to other empty spaces in the water, like other things related to Japan. the text should clearer in some places, like where text goes over a border.
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Re: Japan - 6th revision pg4

Postby RedBaron0 on Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:21 pm

Click image to enlarge.
image


Sue me... I have nothing better to do today.

This should satisfy everyone's concerns, I may need to touchup and add to the text highlights, but I've added a question for the Incubator crew before I go any further on that front. (on 1st page)

The ship I've changed from black and white to color. I merged the Title with the Kanji text to form a singular title. The mini-map is moved up higher into the corner to fill in the space where the title used to be. The mountains has been desaturated and the land texture is now behind the mountains too. I think it looks really good, compared to the green before, thanks Helix!! I may want to smudge some the mountain edges in spots to for a more seamless look.

sailorc wrote:nice update. I like the water and land textures much better than before. I also like the "junk". maybe something similar could be done to other empty spaces in the water, like other things related to Japan. the text should clearer in some places, like where text goes over a border.


The dragon I had before is what I'm hoping to add somewhere, although its a fire dragon... I may want to look for a water dragon moving in and out of the water perhaps? Or how about Godzilla? ;) :lol: (Toho Studios would most likely never give me permission anyways)
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Re: Japan - 6th revision pg4

Postby oaktown on Wed Jul 01, 2009 8:43 pm

re: your text question, i think the white text looks good against the map... the map uses light colors to begin with, so go with it. Not sure I'm a fan of the shadow behind the text, as it makes the top half of the text readable but not the bottom.

Out of curiosity, what software are you working in?
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Re: Japan - 6th revision pg4

Postby sailorc on Wed Jul 01, 2009 9:02 pm

RedBaron0 wrote:
sailorc wrote:nice update. I like the water and land textures much better than before. I also like the "junk". maybe something similar could be done to other empty spaces in the water, like other things related to Japan. the text should clearer in some places, like where text goes over a border.


The dragon I had before is what I'm hoping to add somewhere, although its a fire dragon... I may want to look for a water dragon moving in and out of the water perhaps? Or how about Godzilla? ;) :lol: (Toho Studios would most likely never give me permission anyways)


you could always use some type of Japanese monument. or a water dragon (although I've never heard of a dragon breathing water, not fire ;) )
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Re: Japan - 6th revision pg4

Postby lancehoch on Wed Jul 01, 2009 10:05 pm

Just wanted to say I like the look. This is also my first time commenting on a map, so I am sorry if the comments come off a little less than what you are used to. Is Tochigi supposed to be a border territory or not? To me right now, I am seeing a pass between the mountains to Niigata and also, I am not sure if Fukushima is supposed to connect. If it is not supposed to connect, I would suggest moving that last mountain to the right about three or four pixels and adding another one into the chain.
I think that the border between Chugoku and Hokuriku is a little strong. I think you toned down a lot of the other continent/zone borders when you added the color and texture, which looks great. This one border happens to look like the island is getting cut in half. Also, the connection between Hiroshima and Nagasaki got a little blurred in the last update.

Again, I am sorry if the comments are not what you are used to, this is my first time commenting on a map.
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