Hello foundry regulars, passers-by, and newcomers,
Another two weeks have slipped by so quickly. So quickly in fact that this issue is out late, much unlike the previous 5 issues. I moved back to school today, the same day as a publishing date. And then despite having all the content ready, forgot to post the issue. Sorry about the delay on the issue, but better late than never, yes? As I'm sure everyone's noticed, we've got those long-quenched maps rolling out for live play at last, and with it has been an upswing in activity in the Foundry. A lot of maps not seen since as far back as the 2nd Issue are active once again, and covered in this issue. Also in this issue is a different editorial than the norm by Foundry lurker jiminski, a spotlight of Edbeard and his map of Haiti, and what the community's impressions of the Foundry were when they first stumbled upon it.
I know you'll enjoy it,
Name: Nubian Egypt
Description: In what the creator calls the third map in the Egypt Quadtych, the lesser-known part of the Nile, Nubia, is getting covered. It's a small map with fairly easy bonuses, and a dedication to the Egyptian theme that cairns has cultivated in his other Egypt maps.
Present Development: Quenched.
Name: Supermax: Prison Riot
Creators: mibi and Coleman
Description: Rival gangs are at war with each other in a maximum security prison. They're willing to bribe guards, use weapons, and even take over the entire prison to accomplish their goals. This detailed map offers dozens of ways to build forces, and its gameplay is like no other on CC right now. Take a look at this one before it takes you by surprise.
Present Development: Quenched.
Creators: ZeakCytho and Mjinga
Description: A small chain of islands is at war! This fictional archipelago is fought over by the players in a simple classic-style map. The sharp graphics go hand in hand with the lack of gameplay quirks, a driving impetus behind this map.
Present Development: Following some graphical tweaks on a particular volcano, this map looks to be nearing an XML stamp in the near future.
Name: British Isles Revamp
Description: One of the most beloved maps in the game is getting a makeover. The creator has redone the look of the map to be much cleaner and geographically accurate to the Isles.
Present Development: Stalled, but more or less complete.
Name: CC City Mogul
Description: The dice have been complained about since the birth of CC. This map aims to make that a non-issue by making every single bonus 5 times the normal size. Craft a shopping empire on this blueprint-styled map, and erect a manor and shopping mall to declare your mercantile victory.
Present Development: Final images are posted, the Quench is expected very soon.
Name: The Citadel
Description: What better place to have a military takeover than at a military college's campus? That is the premise of The Citadel. Based directly off of the campus and its buildings, this medium-sized map goes for fairly straightforward gameplay, with a couple of quirks.
Present Development: More or less complete, with an XML stamp added to the list recently.
Name: Conquer 4
Creators: gimil, KEYOGI, and yeti_c
Description: In some ways, Conquer 4 is a simple map: all bonuses are determined by only two rules. But every territory can attack 8 ways and bonuses are where you make them. This map will certainly be crazy to play, with bonuses coming and going simply by conquering one territory.
Present Development: Despite the monumentality of the task, the XML has been posted, though as yet unchecked.
Name: Golfe du St-Laurent
Creators: Lone.prophet and Unit_2
Description: The Gulf of St. Lawrence (French, Golfe du St-Laurent) is the world's largest estuary, but conservation takes a backseat to beating the pulp out of others on this map of the gulf and its surrounding areas. It's an average-sized map with well-done textures and area-appropriate colors. Its classic gameplay is without any gimmicks and should be easy to pick up.
Present Development: Due to the Final Forge slowdown, this map has been very quiet of late. A completed XML is still on the way.
Name: Imperium Romanum
Description: The Roman Empire was one of the most powerful empires that ever existed. This map encourages you to build that empire for yourself by commanding legions, cities, and ships to gain an edge on your foes. Graphics are vibrant and eye-catching, with lots of Rome-related paraphernalia on the edges.
Present Development: More or less complete, awaiting XML stamping as the Forge slowdown resolves itself.
Description: Calling Oasis a phenomenon would do it no credit. This graphical feast has taken the Foundry by storm, leaving several regular commenters drooling for the next update. It's based around a central objective Grand Oasis surrounded by decaying desert, and lots of one-territory bonuses sprinkled throughout. Watch out for this map, it's certain to change the way objective maps are made.
Present Development: A finished XML is due any day now, and font differences between large and small are being discussed on the graphical side.
Name: Poker Map
Creators: yeti_c, Coleman, and WidowMakers
Description: Go all in with this take on a poker game. With a mixed-up deck spread on a well-rendered poker table, gameplay will revolve around creating poker hands through force. No bluffs here, this should turn out to be quite an interesting map.
Present Development: XML has been posted, and the text explanations on the map are being fine-tuned for easier understanding.
Name: San Marino
Creator: Ruben Cassar
Description: The Ruben Cassar formula to a T: a simple map based around a small area. It's attractive to the eye, and while being average size has plenty of bonuses that should be easy to get and hold onto.
Present Development: This map has been relatively quiet in the wake of the Forge slowdown. More activity should be on the way.
Description: The ultimate winner of the well-publicized Brazil Revamp Competition, Rj has created a map that simply oozes with color, fitting for a nation known for its vibrant culture. Graphics are the order du jour now.
Present Development: Brazil regained its true north orientation and the neon impassables went up in a haze of smoke thanks to comments. Other tweaks are certain to be in the works.
Name: Charleston, SC
Description: Charleston, famous for its role in the American Civil War, the American Revolutionary War, and...Conquer Club maps? In this take on America's second largest Atlantic seaport, Rj has created a straightforward large map with simple but attractive graphics.
Present Development: Back in production after a brief hiatus, the map is getting positive comments and small tweaks..
Creator: Ruben Cassar
Description: Cyprus is a hotly contested country, with a Berlin Wall-style line splitting two disparate populations. So what better place to make a map all about conquering? The creator has created a map that not only incorporates the Green Line UN peace zone, but turns it into an interesting gameplay device. The simple, clean graphics only add to the attraction of the map.
Present Development: The colors of the continents have been in debate, with the present color scheme thought of as being too cold. Nothing new has happened recently, likely due to the mapmaker having a map in Final Forge.
Name: Das Schloß
Description: This map is unique in several ways. For one, it is the only map that can only be won by completing the objective. For two, it's gone back from quenching into the foundry with a major rework of the map's mechanics to fix some unforeseen balance issues.
Present Development: Discussions about the bonuses and the reworked gameplay are the main focus right now. Once issues are resolved on those and all present games on the older map are completed, the map will get re-quenched.
Name: Eastern Hemisphere
Description: What happens when you slice the world in half then age it 90 years? This map showing the far side of the world around 1910! It's the time when the great European empires are crumbling, and the creator has worked hard on making gameplay appropriate to the time setting. Expect a fresh world experience soon.
Present Development: Changing text so it's thematically accurate and various other tweaks are the topics of discussion right now.
Description: The creator set out upon a simple goal: make a map about the way Europe really is, even down to Vatican City. He's stayed true to that vision, and the map reflects it, with a clean look to all the countries no matter their size. The map makes good use of natural boundaries to create impassables, adding to the clean feel of the map.
Present Development: Further title options are being posted, while elements of the map are being nitpicked for accuracy and prettiness.
Name: Forbidden City
Description: The Forbidden City has always been an interesting part of Chinese history since its construction in the Ming dynasty. So the most quenched mapmaker has taken a unique bent in portraying it. Instead of just featuring the City itself, he has added outsiders from all over history that have tried to take over the City in some way. Add to that the simple, illustrative graphics reminiscent of Chinese culture circa 19th century, and you've got the whole enchilada.
Present Development: Map understanding has become easier as time has gone on, and the text on the map is being nitpicked most heavily right now.
Description: 8 players, 8 castles, and a famine on the land. Grab your empire's territories, but also grab the resources to feed it. It's a unique premise gameplay-wise, and should make play on it fairly exciting and ruthless.
Present Development: Awaiting a big graphical update, promised in the near future.
Name: France, 18th Century
Description: The French Revolution changed the course of European history, so having a map based on the country at that time only makes sense. It's a simple, attractive small map, with classic gameplay. The clean approach to the map has made it very interesting to watch as it has progressed.
Present Development: The color debate resolved, the map is awaiting a few clarifying updates.
Name: Germany Revamp
Description: The current Germany map, as many German members have pointed out, is quite inaccurate. In this revamp, Pepperonibread is redrawing many of the borders to more accurately reflect the real Germany, as well as changing many of the territory names. Finally, the graphics will be completely overhauled and replaced with, in the words of Gimil, "super cool, shit hot graphics."
Present Development: Some further tweaks are being done on the color palette, and how territories look to enforce the same gameplay as the original Germany map is a topic of discussion.
Name: Holy Roman Empire
Creators: Grayhawke and Pamoa
Description: The Holy Roman Empire has been said to neither be Holy, nor Roman, and most certainly not an Empire. At least CC players can fix the last part by building their own on this map detailing the HRE and surrounding nations. Taking a combination continent/influence bonus gameplay, the map tries to bring out some of the history of the HRE, all the while backing it with simple, solid graphics.
Present Development: Now enlivened with more vibrant colors, small nitpicks on the graphics are driving updates. The gameplay stamp was recently handed out as well.
Description: Another small map in the pipeline, this time of the island nation of Madagascar. Gameplay is straightforward, and the territory naming accurately reflects the regions of the country. Graphics are fairly simple, which helps the appeal of the map.
Present Development: Small graphical issues are getting addressed, making this map look very likely to enter the Forge soon.
Name: Maze Craze
Creators: WidowMakers and yeti_c
Description: This map is big: 454 territories big. And it has a very novel gameplay revolving around neutrals that reset to much higher values when they're conquered. This is definitely a map to watch as it develops further.
Present Development: After a short hiatus, the map is back to the grindstone, working toward finalized graphics.
Name: Rail Australia
Description: Cairns is becoming a master of serial maps. Following up Rail USA and Rail Europe is this third map, Rail Australia. It brings, as expected, the rail system from Down Under into vivid color. Unlike the other two though, there are added twists to the map that should make play very interesting and varied.
Present Development: Now with the signature Rail look and graphical explanations of the unique parts, this map is coming along nicely.
Description: Switzerland is famed for its bank accounts, neutrality in war, and sweeping mountains. So have a hostile takeover on this average-sized map of the country. Graphics are simple and the gameplay matches, with only classic continents and impassables.
Present Development: With a lighter look, the map is making good strides toward being Graphics Passed.
Name: War of the Triple Alliance
Description: This map captures the War of the Triple Alliance, South America's bloodiest war, fought on one side by Paraguay and on the other by Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. The muted colors and faded images help make this map truly feel 19th Century. The gameplay is classic, lacking any sort of twist or gimmick.
Present Development: The gameplay is being hammered out right now, along with a few graphical tweaks. Some stamps should come in the near future.
Name: WWII Europe
Description: Long stalled due to its large size, this map has undergone a weight-loss program and now fits within the size requirements. Taking his WWII Eastern and Western Front maps and meshing them with a Central front in the middle, this is a map that covers the entire theater of the war in Europe. With a large scale, and lots of opportunities, it will definitely be the WWII map to play when it's quenched.
Present Development: The map is showing significant improvement and input is being requested on map abbreviations on the small and large versions.
Name: Bering Strait
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: This is a geographic map of the region of the Bering Sea. Half of the map is in Asia, half in America. The game play is all classic, with the minor exception of a few territories that are not part of any continent. The graphics are fairly simple, and capture the cold feeling of the Arctic.
Present Development: Silent of late and in danger of being moved into a forced vacation due to a lack of updates.
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: Romania is a little-known country in Eastern Europe, yet steeped in history dating back to the Roman Empire (hence its name). This map takes the country and infuses a piece of parchment with a no-frills depiction of the country, with a touch of hand-drawn charm.
Present Development: With numerous tweaks to fit the theme better while making it easier to understand, the map recently became an Advanced Draft.
Name: USA 6 Region Map Pack
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: This project is bold. WM is aiming to create 6 maps based on the 6 regions of the USA map, all with the same essential mechanics. The graphics are simple and effective, reflecting the colors and territories of the USA map while keeping a new set of flair. It's sure to be perfect tournament material, as well as an interesting set of maps to play with friends.
Present Development: All six maps are up, and gameplay is being discussed before further graphical improvements are incorporated into them all.
jiminski wrote:As with all art, for a piece to succeed, it needs to resonate with the essential nature of what it seeks to portray. What the foundry and its unique collective of creators, coders and hey.. even the snipers.. what they do so remarkably, is form art by committee.
The talents who instigate the ideas and do the fundamental work are extraordinary. But the process and individuals' willingness to work together towards what best characterises a project... that is truly unique!
Hah and now a poem :
Wrought on the anvil of naughts and ones,
New Worlds created, sated, shunned!
We little gods with mouse for clay,
Will surely Change the World one day.
Ancient rivers shaped at will,
Brutal tools to shape and fill,
The greatest jungle turns lush and green,
Idealised thought turns fraught serene.
And thus our land of Now and Then,
Evoked in minds from hand to pen,
Their smell, their touch, their jealous charm!
Our pleasure plucked from genius palm.
Thank you, Foundry, Jim
edbeard-ed wrote:How old are you/what gender are you/where do you live? Answer specifically, vaguely, or not at all.
I am not older than 27 and not younger than 25. I do not have a menstrual cycle and while I do live in North America, I do not live in Mexico or Canada.
How did you find out about Conquer Club?
My buddy lives in Alaska and was reading the news on some local website. Apparently a kid had been caught stealing the wireless internet from a library for a second time (I think?) and was using it to take care of moderating duties on Conquer Club. This was AK Iceman and my buddy told me about the site a few weeks later.
What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one?
I don't think I have a favorite. I'm more of a fan of standard game-play, but I do enjoy the occasional non-standard game so I'm looking forward to seeing my map ('Operation Drug War'), mibi's 'Supermax: Prision Riot!', and cairnswk's 'Treasures of Galapagos'. I enjoy most of the standard maps out there but I can't decide on one. I like most of 'em, so I use tournaments as an excuse to play more maps.
How did you first find the Foundry?
Soon after I joined CC, I saw new maps pop up: 'King of the Mountains'; 'Chinese Checkers'; 'U.S. Senate'. I didn't particularly love any of those but it made me interested in new maps. My buddy (same as above) originally was going to do a map but never did. He did help me a lot on my first map by looking at most of my versions before I posted them. It's quite helpful because if he said it didn't work, I didn't have to wait for Foundry folk to come in and say it. I could just change it right away.
What was your first map? Why that one?
Caribbean Islands. I don't remember why it came up but the first version was quite a horrible mix of reality and fantasy. I took existing islands (Cuba, Jamaica, I think Hispaniola too) and moved them so they all fit in one space. Anyway, I quickly realized a reality based map would be much easier and it made a lot more sense, so I stuck to that area.
How many quenched maps do you have?
Three. Caribbean Islands, South America (worked with Marvaddin of Phillipines and Brazil fame), and, the soon to be uploaded (hopefully) Operation Drug War (graphics thanks to Telvannia!). It's an objective map that has four different objectives. Or, you can just 'kill everybody'. I think (hope) it takes the good parts of a symmetrical map and combines it with the good parts of a non-symmetrical map.
What's your favorite kind of feedback?
Any feedback is good because it tells you this person has SOME type of interest in the map. My favorite is the kind from the person that take the time to think from my perspective and solve a problem I've been having gameplay-wise or graphics-wise.
What "keeps you going" through getting a map through the Foundry?
All my maps (and I'm assuming other people's) are ones that I want to play. I'm a selfish mapmaker. I want maps that I'm going to have fun playing and I use the Foundry to help make a balanced game. After every map I've said, "that's my last one." But, each time I've come back. I do think I'm getting closer to really stopping though. I'm interested in making maps to play but not so much making maps that look good. Obviously this is hugely important, but I'm here to play a game.
What inspired you to make Haiti?
I was thinking, "hey I want to make another map." I looked at various things and came across Haiti. It was fairly easy to start because of how the departments (they're like provinces or states) are setup. My bonus areas were pretty much sculpted for me. I just thought it'd make for a fun small map.
There have been a lot of issues regarding the bonuses for Haiti. Could you give us your take on the challenges behind balancing this map?
Well, the game play on small maps is harder to do. Balancing just has no room for error. Anyone that followed 'Doodle Earth' knows how long that map took to finish. It's frustrating but very necessary. If you look at where the map started and where it is now, it's quite different. That's what the Foundry does. It takes your idea and stretches it to places you didn't even think it would go.
How much time do you spend on each update?
It always depends. On my earlier maps, it took me quite a bit longer. I didn't know how to use all the tools and had bad organization for my layers. Some can take 20 minutes. Some can take hours. If you have to redraw all your borders, be ready for a boring afternoon.
Haiti has had a number of sporadic updates, sometimes with long periods of inactivity in between. What keeps bringing you away from, and back to, this map?
Some of it is laziness. Some of it is being too busy. I took a long break when preparing for my master's exam. Some of it is me trying to figure out what the heck to do with the map. The game play issues are tough to hammer out. Often, if you take yourself away from the situation for an extended period of time, the answer will come when you come back. And, it'll seem obvious. I think it also helps because feedback can be sporadic so it can be quite frustrating.
Was there anything in the Foundry that you found surprising or unpredictable concerning your map?
I think the early reception that was mostly positive. My maps don't usually bring loads of people. I was just surprised at how many people posted and said they liked the map.
What do you think of the Foundry process in general?
Umm. Some is good and some is bad. It's easy to criticise when you're not part of the process. The volunteers work quite hard, and it's a thankless job. I do think there's a lot of bad bureaucracy and unnecessary things we have to do. But, it's always getting better. There's tons of maps being developed and probably less people commenting per map. It still chugs along though.
Any questions that weren't asked above that you'd like to have answered?
Just some advice for people wanting to make maps
1. To get a map quenched, you have to be dedicated. You have to be patient. You have to be able to update on a regular basis. You can't pop in and say, "I want to make a map" and expect to be done in a month or two. It'll take months. This is the downfall of many maps.
2. Make a good base for your map. This means the borders. This is the most frustrating thing to redo so make sure it's done right the first time. Make copies of your layers. Make each continent its own layer. Make the outside borders its own layer. This helped me a lot.
3. Be ready and willing to do what people say. The comments are about your map, not you. It won't be perfect on the first version.
It seems most people come to the Foundry to see if they can make a map themselves. A fair percentage come to suggest any idea, but others stumble in by accident or find themselves lost and confused!
whitestazn88 wrote:I've always found the maps on conquer club to be something special. When I first arrived to the site, I didn't realize that RISK could be played on so many maps, and they were are pretty good looking at the time too. So when I started looking around in the forums, the first place I went to was the Foundry, because GD seemed, and still seems, like a place where only "veteran" players who have been around since way back when in terms of this site go. I liked the process that maps have to go through, that people have lots of input on what they want to play, and how it all led to quality maps being produced.
Bryguy wrote:when I joined, I mainly just played the maps. Then I noticed after a little while that there were maps that would come out with the new tags on them, and I wondered where the maps were coming from. Thats when I first wandered into the forums, saw the map foundry, and decided to look around. My initial thoughts were, so this is where the maps come from! I wonder if I can make one?, So I started looking around and after a while figured out how to make maps, and since then ive been hooked
I'm not sure I'd still be here a year later if it weren't for the Foundry.
edbeard wrote:When I saw 'Chinese Checkers', 'King of the Mountains', and 'U.S. Senate' come out, I thought making a map would be a cool thing to do. I read all the rules, regulations, how to threads, and even some developing map threads before I posted (very strange way to do it, I know) and started my first map. It was a very horrible map in the Caribbean, but it eventually became the map known as 'Caribbean Islands'.
Jiminski wrote:Definitely "what the heck is going on.. i am lost"
but with a little perseverance, it is a welcoming (in the main) and fascinating place which buzzes with ideas.
Next issue's perspectives poll deals with the number of maps you play on average! Please vote (clicky)
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ZeakCytho - Perspectives Editor, Spotlight Editor, Maps In Development Editor
wcaclimbing - Graphics
gimil - Formatting Editor, Graphics
InkL0sed - Proofreading Editor
TaCktiX - Senior Editor, Editorial Editor, Maps in Development Editor