Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry - in progress

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Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry - in progress

Postby oaktown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:29 pm

      THE MAPMAKER'S GUIDE

This map guide is still a work in progress; some parts are very incomplete, and some chapters are not yet fit for publicaiton. Contributions have been made by yeti_c, Gimil, Oaktown, wcaclimbing, MrBenn, IanCanton, WidowMakers, RjBeals, taCkTiX, cairnswk, and of course AndyDufresne and lack himself.

Part 1: Foundry Process and Infrastructure
Hi, and welcome to the foundry! Whether or not you intend to creat a map of your own, we hope you keep returning, as public input is what keeps the foundry running. Each map exists in its own development thread, where mapmakers receive input from the rest of the community, helping them balance the gameplay and improve the graphics. The maps progress from one forum to the next, receiving "stamps" from the Foundry Mods and Foundry Assistants as the maps meet certain criteria.
show: What are the different Foundry forums for


The rules of map making
Before starting your own map it is recommend that you read and understand the following rules to ensure that the process is as enjoyable and efficient as possible for you and the community at large.
show: General Rules
show: Title Requirements
show: Information Requirements on the first post of a maps thread


Some good foundry conduct
We know everyone has there own way of doing things. Below is just our advice to you on good foundry conduct when it comes to posting map updates or posting feedback to a map you have interest in.
show: Good conduct when posting a map update
show: Good conduct when posting feedback on a map


Map making medals and our copyright agreement
For each map that travel through the map foundry process they are two map making medals up for grabs for the maps main developers.

        Image
Despite two medals being up for grabs one person must take responsibility for map image ownership and agree to the copyright agreement below.
show: copyright agreement
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Captain oaktown
 
Posts: 4552
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Location: majorcommand
Medals: 30
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1)
Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)

Re: Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry

Postby oaktown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 9:42 pm

Part 2: Making Your First Map
You've been playing games at Conquer Club for a few weeks, and you've begun to notice that each map has the creator's signature. You ask yourself, "Who are these people? And why do they get to make maps for this site?"

Well, these people are ConquerClub users like yourself, and their maps are on the site because they took their work through a rather extensive Foundry Process. It is a step-by-step process in which the basic idea, the mechanics, and the final look of a map are closely scrutinized and ultimately given stamps of approval. It is also a collaborative process in which the mapmaker seeks feedback from the CC community, receives support and criticism from players and mapmakers who have been through the process, and makes a series changes to the look and play of the map.

What You Will Need Before You Begin
Before you even think about making a map, you'll need the basic building blocks.
show: What you need before you can begin


Getting That First Map Started
So you've got the basics, time to really dive in.
show: Your first draft
show: Creating a thread


First Draft Posted; Now What?
You've got an image posted, so you're done, right? Not quite...
show: getting Feedback
show: The All-Important Second Draft
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Captain oaktown
 
Posts: 4552
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: majorcommand
Medals: 30
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1)
Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)

Re: Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry

Postby oaktown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:04 pm

Part 3: Developing Gameplay
Once your map has moved from the Drafting Room to the Foundry's Main Floor, it will begin receiving a lot more attention and more feedback. Most of the feedback you receive can be put into two general categories: Gameplay or Graphics. In both areas your map must meet the formal and informal standards of the Foundry, and as it does so you will be receiving stamps for each. As the Gameplay stamp is usually handed out first, this is where we'll start.

To begin with, what is "gameplay?" Gameplay is anything that affects how a game on your map might progress. Many of the factors you'll need to consider when designing your map should be fairly obvious to CC players - bonuses, victory conditions, territories that start the game neutral, etc. - but there are a number of factors that may not be so obvious, such as making sure army counts won't interfere with other elements of you map, and making the map accessible to players who may be color-blind.

show: gameplay terms


Balanced Gameplay
Basically this means that a map should be fair for all players. We've all been in games where one player got a lucky drop and began the game with all of Australia, and while you can't account for luck you take into consideration whether or not your map will be prone to advantageous starts, or will quickly become lop-sided affairs. When developing your gameplay consider the following:
show: balanced gameplay basics
show: what to avoid
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Captain oaktown
 
Posts: 4552
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: majorcommand
Medals: 30
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1)
Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)

Re: Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry

Postby oaktown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:07 pm

Part 4: Developing Graphics

under construction
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Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)

Re: Mapmaker's Guide to the Foundry

Postby oaktown on Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:08 pm

This is the original XML Tutorial posted originally by lack, but expanded upon by yeti_c.

Part 5: XML Tutorial

Pretty graphics are not enough to make a successful map. You also need to think up good gameplay rules and write them down in an XML file. This tutorial will explain how to do that. Don't worry, you don't need any technical skills or special software. Just pay attention and fire up your favourite text editor, such as notepad.

show: tags

show: The header

show: Territories

show: Bonus regions

show: Objectives

show: Putting it all together

show: Random Notes


It's time to learn some new toys.

So you've played with the basic XML map options and now you are bored? Well we've added some new toys. 2 of which I hid up in the original tutorial. The more complex ones I'm going to explain below.

show: start positions

show: reinforcement adjustment

show: correct order
User avatar
Captain oaktown
 
Posts: 4552
Joined: Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:24 pm
Location: majorcommand
Medals: 30
Standard Achievement (2) Doubles Achievement (2) Triples Achievement (1) Quadruples Achievement (1) Terminator Achievement (1)
Fog of War Achievement (1) Cross-Map Achievement (3) Ratings Achievement (1) General Achievement (1) Map Contribution (12)
General Contribution (5)


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