The Balkan Peninsula [FF] --Feb 2nd 2010--

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The Balkan Peninsula [FF] --Feb 2nd 2010--

Postby ZeakCytho on Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:52 pm

The Balkan Peninsula
There's been no attempt at making a map of this region of the world for CC before, or at least, none that I know of. So here's a solution to that problem.

Required Info:
Mapmakers: MrBenn and ZeakCytho
Territory Count: 54. 2 neutral starts, and 4 starting positions each with 3 territories
Bonuses: 11 regions and 1 'capital'
Gameplay Notes: Standard/Classic gameplay based on the geographical and political boundaries of the Balkan Peninsula. Kosovo, part of the Serbia continent, is worth +1 if held on its own and starts neutral. Both territories in Bosnia are coded as starting positions (for different players)

ImageImage Image Image Image


Current Version:

Small Map:
Click image to enlarge.
image


Large Map:
Click image to enlarge.
image


File Links:
XML: http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/1/9/2259283//Balkans03.xml
Small: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans11S.jpg
Large: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans11L.jpg


Previous Versions:
XML: http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/1/9/2259283//Balkans02.xml
Small: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans10S.jpg
Large: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans10L.jpg


XML: http://www.fileden.com/files/2009/1/9/2259283//Balkans01.xml
Small: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans09S.jpg
Large: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans09L.jpg


Small: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans08S.jpg
Large: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans08L.jpg


Small: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans07S.jpg
Large: http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans07L.jpg


http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans06L.jpg

MrBenn wrote:http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans04s.jpg
I've been playing around with the legend area; I think it's less "stuck on" than previously, but I don;t know if the hex/flag motif is a bit overkill?
Is it slightly clearer to indicate the total bonus for Serbia as +5, and highlight the Kosovo +1 slightly differently? I've never been a fan of overly wordy text legends...
The border between Burgas and Thrace has been widened to make it more obvious.
The Bulgaria bonus could flit between a +3 and a +4; I'd prefer to leave it slightly higher, and if there is outcry once the map hits beta, knock it back down to 3.


MrBenn wrote:http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans03s.jpg

There are a couple of small changes that have been made, which I'll try and remember to list here:
The Western side of the map offered very good expansion opportunities, which worked out at a +8 that could be defended with 2 territories. To help even this out, the river between Raska and Bosnia is no longer impassable - this doesn't alter the number of territories that need to be defended for any individual bonus, but helps to reduce the bloc. Additionally the bonus for Croatia has been dropped to 3. This makes the bloc bonus 12 terrs at +7 with 3 defending places; which is not as over-powered as previously.

On the Eastern side of the map, the bridge between Dobrudja and Varna has been changed to a path between Dobrudja and Burgas. This makes Bulgaria slightly easier to defend. It's a tough choice between dropping Bulgaria back to 6 terrs, but in the end I decided to leave it at 7, as adding an extra territory to Greece seemed to make it more like Asia but without the big bonus to go with it. Additionally, I think that Bulgaria needs to be +4 to make the West of the map balance with the East. On this Eastern side you can now get +6 bonus with 4 borders and 11 terrs; not quite as good as on the West, but there's likely to be a bit more competition over in the West from the start with the larger number of small bonuses.

As far as Greece goes, I've removed the sea route to Makedonia to reinstate the bottleneck, which I actually like- as Ian said, this offers the possibility for somebody to build within Greece and stand a chance of actually holding the bonus. Depending on territory numbers I might consider adding Corfu as a territory, although I would then want to bump Greece back up to a +6 bonus.


MrBenn wrote:http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans02.jpg
OK... Here's a quick update to show how things might work if I knock Crete off the bottom. I've also shaved a bit of headroom from the top which makes the map a lot shorter, and personally I think it looks quite a bit better because of it.
Gameplay-wise I've bumped Romania back up to 6. Keffalonia has been added to replace Crete (to keep the territory count the same), and I've shuffled some of the attack routes around a bit. I was a little worried about Attica becoming the gateway to half of Greece, which is why I've got rid of the bottleneck there. How does this look now?


MrBenn wrote:http://i275.photobucket.com/albums/jj320/bpawley/Balkans01.png
I've added a couple of paths to clarify attack routes around the islands, and have reduced the Greece and Romania bonuses to 5; hopefully this should be enough to pick up the gp stamp.
I think I've fixed all of the gfx issues that I picked up on before the map stalled; the biggest thing I've spent time working on is a new title for the map (which I think works a lot better than the old one, although it' could probably do with a few tweaks)
The biggest task on the to do list, is to work out what do do with the legend and minimap(s), and to work out what's going on with the sizing - the following image isn't the size that the map will end up at...
[/quote]

Old Versions by ZeakCytho:
Version 13(Large)
Version 12(Large)
Version 11(Large)
Version 10(Large)
Version 9(Large)
Version 8(Large)
Version 7(Large)
Version 6(Large)
Version 5(Large)
Version 4(Large)
Version 3(Large)
Version 2(Large)
Version 1 (Large)[/spoiler]

I'd like to thank qwert and Yamakasi for helping me determine some territory names via PM.
Last edited by ZeakCytho on Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:58 pm, edited 22 times in total.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby the.killing.44 on Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:54 pm

I was just working on a draft ](*,) . Ah, well. I really like the look of this so far. It's 'Czech' not 'Czeck,' though. I would also take out the (letters) in the minimap and make the list have glow — it looks very chaotic atm.

Nicely done,
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:01 am

the.killing.44 wrote:I was just working on a draft ](*,) . Ah, well. I really like the look of this so far. It's 'Czech' not 'Czeck,' though. I would also take out the (letters) in the minimap and make the list have glow — it looks very chaotic atm.

Nicely done,
.44


Good catch on the Czech, I fixed it just now. Sorry about preempting your map - I'm sure there's another part of the world you can apply the style to. Out of curiosity, how did your territory groupings compare to mine?

For the minimap, I experimented with a number of ways and determined that the current way looks the least cluttered. There needs to be an association between the country names and their location somewhere on the map, and the minimap is the best place for it IMO, but it's too crowded to put the names on directly.

What do you mean by making the list have a glow? Instead of the stroke? I assume you mean have it glow with the color of the country? From personal experience, this is very bad for colorblind players. The continent colors are rather similar, which is fine gameplay-wise because there's a minimap, but just having a glow around the name would not be enough for me to be able to associate the country with its location.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby The Neon Peon on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:01 am

Good. Nice graphics. Might consider making the borders between territories/continents thinner. Looks a little odd in Greece where there are many islands.

Nice texture or color pattern you have going on the map. Makes it much more pleasant to look at.

The abbreviations of the continents might be more of the first letters of the country's name rather than the first letters of the alphabet.

I love how you kept in the countries around the Baltic still visible, yet in a gray tone. They look really nice.

I also love the title. It is simple and small, but it has a nice feel to it.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby edbeard on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:04 am

I agree with dropping the letters on the mini-map. I would just replace the letters on the legend portion with the bonus numbers. On the mini-map just put the bonus number


I'd be better if you had impassable borders in there.

let's see what you've got when you get up to 42 territories
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:06 am

ZeakCytho wrote:Good catch on the Czech, I fixed it just now. Sorry about preempting your map - I'm sure there's another part of the world you can apply the style to. Out of curiosity, how did your territory groupings compare to mine?

Don't worry 'bout it — it was in the very first stages and yours looks great. Our groupings were very similar, however I had less and combined most of your small ones.

ZeakCytho wrote:What do you mean by making the list have a glow? Instead of the stroke? I assume you mean have it glow with the color of the country? From personal experience, this is very bad for colorblind players. The continent colors are rather similar, which is fine gameplay-wise because there's a minimap, but just having a glow around the name would not be enough for me to be able to associate the country with its location.

Hmm, good point. I would look at Neon Peon's comment about the abbreviations, though. I agree with him on that.

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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:09 am

The Neon Peon wrote:Good. Nice graphics. Might consider making the borders between territories/continents thinner. Looks a little odd in Greece where there are many islands.

Nice texture or color pattern you have going on the map. Makes it much more pleasant to look at.

The abbreviations of the continents might be more of the first letters of the country's name rather than the first letters of the alphabet.

I love how you kept in the countries around the Baltic still visible, yet in a gray tone. They look really nice.

I also love the title. It is simple and small, but it has a nice feel to it.


Thanks for the input! I like the thick continent borders on land, but I'll look into making it thinner for the Greek islands - you're right, it does look out of place.

The abbreviations would be hard to do via first letter, since a few places start with the same letters - Montenegro and Macedonia and Serbia and Slovenia. These are also some of the most crowded places - I'm not sure (Ma) would fit in Macedonia.

The title is simple, but it feels a bit too simple to me. I don't have any ideas on how to make it better, though, so it'll stay simple for now, until someone suggests something that I like.

Thanks for the color/texture/unplayable land comments, too!

Edbeard wrote:I agree with dropping the letters on the mini-map. I would just replace the letters on the legend portion with the bonus numbers. On the mini-map just put the bonus number


I'd be better if you had impassable borders in there.

let's see what you've got when you get up to 42 territories

That could work - I'll substitute the letters for the bonus number for the next version

I'll add impassables as soon as there's a little discussion about where to put them. I think Tirana/Pelagonia would be one, and perhaps Shkoder/Kosovo, Vardar/Central Macedonia, Gorski Kotar/Sarajevo, Plovdiv/Pleven, Epirus/Thessaly, and Plovdiv/Thrace?

-Zeak
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v1)

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:31 am

Here's version 2, with Ed's suggestion for the minimap implemented and the island border thickness reduced, and the typo in Czech fixed.

Click image to enlarge.
image


I'm not sure the legend still conveys which countries are which, though it's certainly more visually pleasing than before. I tried stroking them with the continent colors, but it didn't look very good. Any other thoughts on this?

Edit: I forgot to change the color of the new borders, they will be the same color as all the other borders in version 3.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:41 am

Much better … I think you'll still need some impassables in there though …
EDIT: well I realized it's kinda impossible to tell which bonus you're holding, seeing how multiple continents have the same # of extra men. Gotta change the text color.
EDIT II: the middle-left bonus worth +1 should be +2 — I know it's just 2 terts but they can be attacked by 8 different ones

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Last edited by the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby edbeard on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:41 am

I think that's fine how you have it but you could...

move the mini-map to where it says ITALY

under that you have the legend portion

put the whole thing in a rectangle section where the mini-map and legend have their own boxes.

colour the text
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:45 am

the.killing.44 wrote:Much better … I think you'll still need some impassables in there though …

.44


See my comment above - I plan on adding them, I'd just like some discussion of where they should go first. I listed the places I think are appropriate two posts ago.

edbeard wrote:I think that's fine how you have it but you could...

move the mini-map to where it says ITALY

under that you have the legend portion

put the whole thing in a rectangle section where the mini-map and legend have their own boxes.

colour the text


In one of the versions I made before I had the minimap on a dark box like that - I don't think it looked very good. Take a look for yourself:
Click image to enlarge.
image

Though I didn't position it very well - it was just to test to see how the box would work (not very well, IMO).

The main problem with moving it up to Italy is that the area underneath the minimap becomes much more visible. It needs a box and background around it, and of what I've experimented with, these all look pretty bad. I think the positioning of the minimap is optimal right now, since it doesn't require any background to it.

What if I gave the list of countries a box and dark background and stroked them with their corresponding colors? I think I'll try that for v3.

Any thoughts on whether to include Crete, European Turkey, etc.?
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby edbeard on Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:14 am

well I don't think either is particularly good in terms of mini-map placement. though version 2 is the better. I don't think it's a big deal to have it just like you have it there (non-coloured legend I mean).
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby gho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:03 am

I would add european turkey and get rid of crete. It would be interesting if you had no impassables as you would have created a very open map, there aren't many open maps in CC.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v2)

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:40 am

gho wrote:I would add european turkey and get rid of crete. It would be interesting if you had no impassables as you would have created a very open map, there aren't many open maps in CC.

I think the gameplay would be pretty bad without any impassables - it would be almost impossible to hold some of the continents.

Thanks for your comments on Turkey/Crete. I'll wait for more people to speak up before deciding.

More on the minimap: look at version 3, below, and tell me what you think. The translucent beveled box probably won't stay, but how do you guys feel about positioning and the idea of boxes in that location? If I go with that style, I'll just need to decide how to make the boxes.

Click image to enlarge.
image
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby edbeard on Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:27 am

why don't you try something else entirely

increase the size of the legend area. drop the minimap.

have it look like

Slovenia +1 [shape of continent]
Croatia +3 [shape of continent]
etc
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 11:30 am

edbeard wrote:why don't you try something else entirely

increase the size of the legend area. drop the minimap.

have it look like

Slovenia +1 [shape of continent]
Croatia +3 [shape of continent]
etc

I like that idea. But I would get rid of the bevels on the box, if not the box altogether.
Oh, and add the color of the continent on the shape.

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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby zeros on Sun Jan 25, 2009 12:09 pm

This looks promising. However I was confused for a moment when I looked at the bonus key map which shows "Italy" to the north of the region!

An essential correction is needed I think!

Image
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:01 pm

zeros wrote:This looks promising. However I was confused for a moment when I looked at the bonus key map which shows "Italy" to the north of the region!

An essential correction is needed I think!


The Italy is referring to the land beneath it, not anything to do with the minimap.

I will be doing what Ed suggested for v4, expect an update later today. I'll keep the bevel box for now because it's easy to work with, but that will be changed too once we agree on a good minimap shape.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby jnd94 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:19 pm

Seems like there are too many small bonuses.
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby Mjinga on Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:01 pm

You have four +1 countries listed in your legend, and three on your minimap... one of the +2's mislabeled, I think.

The purple-pink country is to bright. It sticks out from the rest of the countries.

To me, the borders look like they fade into the unplayable land, so that the effect is of a bunch of floating coloured spots. Maybe if it was a different colour from the grey of unplayable?

Is there any way to partition off the minimap? It looks like Italy suddenly blossoms into a coloured tumour, and then resumes being grey underneath.

That's all for now. Peace out. ;)
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v3) Jan 25

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 3:34 pm

jnd94 wrote:Seems like there are too many small bonuses.

Perhaps, but bonus numbers will be changing once we decide on impassable locations

Mjinga wrote:You have four +1 countries listed in your legend, and three on your minimap... one of the +2's mislabeled, I think.

Fixed with the new minimap style

Mjinga wrote:The purple-pink country is to bright. It sticks out from the rest of the countries.

To me, the borders look like they fade into the unplayable land, so that the effect is of a bunch of floating coloured spots. Maybe if it was a different colour from the grey of unplayable?

Anyone else have these problems? I don't.

Mjinga wrote:Is there any way to partition off the minimap? It looks like Italy suddenly blossoms into a coloured tumour, and then resumes being grey underneath.

The minimap area is redone for this version. Better?

Here's version 4:
Click image to enlarge.
image


Again, the black bevel-box probably won't stay. Please don't comment on it unless you're suggesting a better idea - I know it looks bad already. But is the positioning of the minimap good now? Does it convey the bonuses and country shapes properly?

New Discussion Points:
1) Crete and European Turkey - in or out?
2) How to split territories up better
3) Impassable placement
4) Legend issues
5) Color problems?
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v4) Jan 26

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:09 pm

I like that, but a couple points:

• organization: could you make them listed in order? They're a bit like that atm, but for instance Montenegro before Serbia.
• maybe it's just me and my slight OCD, but could you move the note about Kosovo to the right more so it's aligned away from the I part of the L shaped box?

.44
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v4) Jan 26

Postby ZeakCytho on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:13 pm

the.killing.44 wrote:I like that, but a couple points:

• organization: could you make them listed in order? They're a bit like that atm, but for instance Montenegro before Serbia.
• maybe it's just me and my slight OCD, but could you move the note about Kosovo to the right more so it's aligned away from the I part of the L shaped box?

.44


The order is definitely changeable. The way I did it, went from left to right across a row of the map - Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, then down to the next "row", Montenegro, then the next one, Albania and Macedonia, then Greece. But it does make more sense to move Montenegro up. How about this for an order: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Serbia, Romania, Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece.

I can move the Kosovo text without problem :)
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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v4) Jan 26

Postby the.killing.44 on Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:23 pm

Here's what I suggest
Slovenia . . . . . . Romania
Croatia . . . . . . Bulgaria
Bosnia . . . . . . . Macedonia
Mont. . . . . . . . . Albania
Serbia . . . . . . . Greece

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Re: The Balkan Peninsula (v4) Jan 26

Postby cairnswk on Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:03 pm

Nice map Zeak. not sure i like the transparency of the mini-map with Italy underneath, but well done. :)
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