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Re: Baltic States

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 4:57 pm
by captainwalrus
natty_dread wrote:Graphics are, generally speaking, quite nice. What software are you using?
GIMP, as always. It is the best value (it's free) for a high quality product. I know you always insist paint.net is great, but have you ever tried GIMP?

I'd suggest trying some different fonts. IMO that handwritten font is not doing the map any favors... also a white drop shadow / glow around the text, if you insist on using black text, will do wonders to legibility.
I don't insist on using black, what do you suggest would be better?
The colours are nice. Not sure on the dotted lines for borders though... they look a bit weird IMO. Guess I could get used to them, but...
Yeah, I might get rid of them, or make them thinner.

Re: Baltic States

PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:04 pm
by natty dread
captainwalrus wrote:GIMP, as always. It is the best value (it's free) for a high quality product. I know you always insist paint.net is great, but have you ever tried GIMP?


I tried it, a long time ago. It was so slow on my computer, I got frustrated with it... I don't know, maybe the current versions are better, but I'm so used to working with paint.net.

I don't insist on using black, what do you suggest would be better?


I'm not saying black is bad necessarily. It's just that since you have such a dark background (sort of) it's hard to read unless you add some kind of white glow around it.

Black with white glow, or white with black drop shadow or outline. Either works IMO.

Yeah, I might get rid of them, or make them thinner.


Thinner? Hmm. I'd have to see how it looks, but I don't think it would be much better.

PS. the upper right corner is missing a piece of outline on the neutral area.

Re: Baltic States V1

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 10:07 am
by amazzony
So, made some research with Latvian map and here are Latvian cities that I'd use (moving from left to right, top to bottom):

Ventspils
Liepāja
Talsi
Tukums
Limbaži
Riga
Jelgava
Bauska
Valmiera (previously Vatka)
Ogre
Gulbene (previously Batvi)
Madona
Jēkabpils (previously Preiji)
Rēzekne (previously Ludza)
Daugavpils (previously Keastava)

I changed a few and added most of top 10 cities and in some cases I wasn't sure because I'm not too familiar with Latvian geography and best would be if some Latvian took a look at it but I think it's quite accurate at using biggest/more important cities. BTW, all the wiggly thingies in the names - very important for correct way of writing :)

Sorry, I'm not much help with graphical/gameplay suggestion, just don't get that part :(

Re: Baltic States V1

PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2010 11:44 am
by captainwalrus
Thanks a ton! I will try to make it more accurate soon.
I might have an update tonight, if I do this during commercials of the superbowl.

Re: Baltic States V1

PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:12 pm
by captainwalrus
I will update this once it gets into the gameplay section. I have some small changes I made, but it is on my other computer. I hope that it will soon be moved.

Re: Baltic States V1

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2010 9:09 pm
by captainwalrus
Click image to enlarge.
image


If this doesn't move soon, I will probably just give up. I don't have the patience to sit around and wait for it.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2010 5:54 am
by natty dread
Have you put up a design brief?

edit: I see you have. PM MrBenn, he might have forgotten to evaluate it. It happened with our Lunar map as well.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 2:37 pm
by MrBenn
Hi captainwalrus,

Sorry for the delay in responding here - your design brief is one of a handful that got skipped over when I last checked up on them - I can only apologise for that :oops:

As far as the map goes, you're definitely ready to move to the gameplay workshop; although there are serious concerns about the gameplay schema which looks like giving a serious first-player advantage with little obvious signs for how to reduce it.

The first task will be to work out how to ensure balanced gameplay - I had hell trying to get it balanced equitably on England; you may need to switch from the completely open gameplay to something slightly more traditional - particularly as you find the balance between geographical accuracy and solid gameplay.

[moved] to the gameplay workshop

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:33 pm
by Coleman
I find the rail mechanic of this map a little confusing. It may just be the wording in the legend. Lets say I have Rapla, Pamu, & Limbazi, but do not have Tallinn or Riga. Do I receive that +4 bonus? If so isn't it far too likely that someone might start the game with one of those bonuses?

Also from a gameplay standpoint it is hard to play a map that has nameless territories. Granted on this map there is only one, the island territory between Pamu & Hulu, so that helps, but I think you'll want to name it soon anyway.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 7:10 pm
by natty dread
Coleman wrote:the island territory between Pamu & Hulu


I think that's Saaremaa.

Have you ever drank Saaremaa Vodka? ;)

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:31 am
by Scania N113
Sorry for finding this out so late. One word, NICE! I like this map. However, I should once again remind you that there are some wrong spellings. Such as Kaunus is mis-spelled as Kanus, and Alytus is mis-spelled as Alutus.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:39 am
by natty dread
I think you should label Kaliningrad as Kaliningrad, as it is now labeled Russia... it is Russian territory, sure, but Kaliningrad would be a bit more specific and make more sense.

Make it Kaliningrad Oblast, I think that's the official name of the territory.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 2:35 pm
by captainwalrus
natty_dread wrote:I think you should label Kaliningrad as Kaliningrad, as it is now labeled Russia... it is Russian territory, sure, but Kaliningrad would be a bit more specific and make more sense.

Make it Kaliningrad Oblast, I think that's the official name of the territory.

Is it that much of a difference? It is still Russia. I put the country name for the other borders, why not that one?

Also, bonuses, might need to change to higher values but more territories to prevent unfair drops. That would mean that no longer can two people hold a bonus in one country, but it should still be Okay.

Railroads: You need to hold the capitals too. Anyone have any ideas as to how to word that better?

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:31 pm
by natty dread
captainwalrus wrote:Is it that much of a difference? It is still Russia. I put the country name for the other borders, why not that one?


Well, it's not a big deal. Just an idea. If you want to keep it as Russia then keep it as Russia.

captainwalrus wrote:Railroads: You need to hold the capitals too. Anyone have any ideas as to how to word that better?


Hold 2 capitals with all rail territories between them: +x
Hold all 3 capitals with all rail territories between them: +y

It's a bit long, but at least it should be fairly idiot-proof ;)

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 3:42 pm
by skepticCS
I am a little confused at the rail situation. Do railroads only connect to capitals or to every territory they pass through? Graphically, it looks as though it's the former, but I just can't image why there would be a +4 bonus for only holding two territories, so I'm assuming it's the latter. My suggestion would be to literally connect the rail to each of the territory army bubbles that it passes through in the same way as you do with the capitals. I realize this is more of a graphical concern, but I bring it up because, for me at least, it confounds comprehension of the gameplay.

My other suggestions, as others have mentioned, would be to add some impassibles. Where and what kind will obviously have to be determined mostly by how you want the map to play out and partially on geographic realities. I say just color some lines where you would like to put them and we can discuss them then. Once they're finalized you can work on real graphics for them.

Also, why not connect the southern Estonian island to Talsi in Lativia? They feel a bit like dead ends right now.

Overall, this map is looking good. It's a unique and interesting area and I'm glad to see it paid attention.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 4:20 pm
by Coleman
If you need the rails and the capitals what is the point of those bonuses? If you could actually keep them you are already winning, is it just so the clear front-runner can win faster? Why is there a rail-road at all? Is there something about the history/culture/geography of this part of the world that makes the rail-road necessary? From a game-play standpoint I just don't see the need for it.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:59 am
by captainwalrus
Coleman wrote:If you need the rails and the capitals what is the point of those bonuses? If you could actually keep them you are already winning, is it just so the clear front-runner can win faster? Why is there a rail-road at all? Is there something about the history/culture/geography of this part of the world that makes the rail-road necessary? From a game-play standpoint I just don't see the need for it.

The rail makes it so there is more bonuses. If there were just three bonuses too much of it would be luck, as most people would just get 3 for most of the game. Also, +4 for 5 is not that big.
As for the significance, I am not from the Baltic, but I was under the impression from my (admittedly minimal) research that Rail was big there, and the rail line connecting the three would therefore be very useful to have is someone were to start fighting over the Baltic States.

Also,
New bonus structure?
Lithuania (10 territories 5 borders
+4 for 7
+ 6 for all

Latvia (15 territories 10 borders)
+5 for 7
+10 for all

Estonia (12 territories 4 borders)
+3 for 6
+6 for all

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:18 am
by natty dread
Why not divide each country into a few smaller bonuses and make a regular bonus system? I don't think this current bonus style fits very well with a random drop map.

You have 37 territories. The smallest bonus is 6 territories. Or 5 if you count the rail bonuses. You don't have any small bonuses that are easy to take in the beginning of the game. Thus I fear the game would largely be decided by whoever gets the best drop & dice in the beginning.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:50 pm
by skepticCS
natty_dread wrote:Why not divide each country into a few smaller bonuses and make a regular bonus system? I don't think this current bonus style fits very well with a random drop map.

You have 37 territories. The smallest bonus is 6 territories. Or 5 if you count the rail bonuses. You don't have any small bonuses that are easy to take in the beginning of the game. Thus I fear the game would largely be decided by whoever gets the best drop & dice in the beginning.


I agree with natty's assessment. Split it up into county bonuses perhaps. One thing I recall from my visit to the Baltic was the proliferation of ferry routes from one country/city to the next. While a cursive search via GoogleMaps shows no ferries connecting these countries together (only out to other countries) maybe you could find a way to incorporate that into the map. It could open up connections between the north and the south and possibly provide a new source for bonuses. If you don't feel this fits into your map, I can understand you turning it down.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:24 pm
by natty dread
Well, dividing the countries into bonus regions could be problematic. I only looked at Estonia, but it seems at least Estonia doesn't have any larger administrative divisions, than the counties that already are represented as territories. So I can see why you went with a more unorthodox bonus system. Hmm.. :-k

Well, I did find this historical map that shows some ancient divisions of Estonia, which could be used as a base for bonus regions:

Click image to enlarge.
image


But it gives little help to naming the bonus areas.

Latvia is a bit easier:

Click image to enlarge.
image


Also found this for Lithuania:

Click image to enlarge.
image

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:35 am
by amazzony
Coleman wrote:If you need the rails and the capitals what is the point of those bonuses? If you could actually keep them you are already winning, is it just so the clear front-runner can win faster? Why is there a rail-road at all? Is there something about the history/culture/geography of this part of the world that makes the rail-road necessary? From a game-play standpoint I just don't see the need for it.


Don't know how I didn't mention it before but railway in Baltics... it's not very advanced and there isn't a good connection between the 3 countries. What I suggest you to check out this wiki page about the highway that connects the 3 countries (and other parts of Europe): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_route_E67 It would suit to this map very well because everybody in Baltics knows Via Baltica.

natty_dread wrote:I only looked at Estonia, but it seems at least Estonia doesn't have any larger administrative divisions, than the counties that already are represented as territories.

Actually, Estonia has 15 counties which are not all on the map currently. Next (smaller) regions which I don't know how they are called, Estonia has 194 of those so they are definitely not fitting on the map :P
About the map you found - if it's supposed to be a modern map then there's no point looking at historic maps.

I've already said that if you need help in naming regions, especially Estonia's, then I can help out. That said, The lonely island should be called Kärdla (as it's capital is) and the bigger island Kuressaare. If you decided not to make them 2 different then you should call the bunch of them Kuressaare (capital of bigger island).

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 10:53 am
by natty dread
Actually, Estonia has 15 counties which are not all on the map currently. Next (smaller) regions which I don't know how they are called, Estonia has 194 of those so they are definitely not fitting on the map


The smaller divisions are municipalities. The point was, that the counties can't be used as bonus areas, and there are no larger divisions to use...

About the map you found - if it's supposed to be a modern map then there's no point looking at historic maps.


Historical regions can very well be used as bonus areas, if there are no modern alternatives.

Btw, I don't see the point in naming the regions by their capitals. Why not name the regions by their actual names?

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 11:06 am
by amazzony
natty_dread wrote:Btw, I don't see the point in naming the regions by their capitals. Why not name the regions by their actual names?

Mapmaker had used them so I just helped him correct the grammar mistakes. Plus, city names are waaay more beautiful than the county ones, at least in Estonia. Overall, I think it's easier to use cities as region names because then you can have exactly the number of territories you want. For example, there's 47 cities in Estonia but if you need 20 regions in Estonia then you can just take the 20 biggest and voila - 20 correctly named territories :D Instead of using historical names which have been changed oh way too often in the history of Baltic states. Or if to use historical names then all 3 countries should have names from the same time, otherwise it's a very weird mix IMO.

Re: Baltic States V1.5

PostPosted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:05 pm
by captainwalrus
natty_dread wrote:Why not divide each country into a few smaller bonuses and make a regular bonus system? I don't think this current bonus style fits very well with a random drop map.

You have 37 territories. The smallest bonus is 6 territories. Or 5 if you count the rail bonuses. You don't have any small bonuses that are easy to take in the beginning of the game. Thus I fear the game would largely be decided by whoever gets the best drop & dice in the beginning.

But it is impossible to add six, seven or eight small bonuses, so adding one or two would make it way more imbalanced.

I know I could divide it up more, but It would no longer be a small map, which was what I was going for.
If people want another pretty standard gameplay, normal sized map, then I can do that, I was just trying to make it different.

And before, some territories were squished and so it looked bad, so I combined some. Also, Lithuania had way less than everywhere else and it was awkward. Also, Lithuania divides up pretty poorly, the top five are in one region and the bottom five are in another.

Re: Baltic States - Bonus discussion.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 5:42 pm
by captainwalrus
While I realize that there are errors in territory names, I want to go into the bonuses more.
Any suggestions?
Potentially:
Lithuania (10 territories 5 borders
+4 for 7
+ 6 for all

Latvia (15 territories 10 borders)
+5 for 7
+10 for all

Estonia (12 territories 4 borders)
+3 for 6
+6 for all