I told you you'd get an issue in 2 weeks' time! So yes, we are once again men of our word, and the Foundry Newsletter is bringing the latest in spring fashions, styles, and...wait a sec. Yeah, we get you the Maps, a Spotlight, an Editorial (believe it or not!), and A Look Back. Throw in another challenge by WCA in his Tablet, and we've got a full issue. In the Spotlight, we're looking at Oceania, which due to some really fast movement is nearly Quenched, even though we picked it up in the Foundry. It's a two-person interview with some interesting perspectives. A Look Back views the long-in-development San Marino, and its creator Ruben Cassar. The Editorial is written by another Newsletter editor, samuelc812.
Hope you enjoy the issue,
In this section we cover every map presently in development. Each map is accompanied by a brief description of the map's theme, graphics, and gameplay, as well as what's been happening in the last couple of weeks. Finally, a link to each topic, the map's creator(s), and what stamps it presently has are noted.
Name: Germany Revamp Creator:
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."
Forged but once again slowed by school.
Name: Golfe du St-Laurent Creators:
Lone.prophet and Unit_2
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.
"5 more minutes of work" to finish it off, or so it's been said. Presently held up by Lone.prophet being absent and Unit_2 without the PSD.
Name: Poison Rome Creator:
The Julio-Claudian dynasty of the early Roman Empire has a family tree complicated by multiple marriages between the members of the gens Julia and the gens Claudia. This map is currently in version 8, with a unique family tree layout. It will make for some interesting gameplay.
Just forged, but already with some XML to check.
Name: Atlantis Creators:
Premier2k and Nemesischild
Ever want to visit Atlantis? Ok, maybe a myth, but not anymore! Atlantis is unique map that is sure to get CC gamers talking. Great layout and design, with a bounty of colors keeping it lively.
No update since last issue, but one sure to come soon.
Name: Balkan Peninsula Creator:
This is a plain map of the Balkan Peninsula. The gameplay is classic, with numerous small continents and easy to take bonuses.
Recently updated with some gameplay changes, further graphical improvements to follow.
Name: Battle of Trafalgar Creator:
The Battle of Trafalgar was a turning point in Europe during Napoleon's reign With unorthodox naval tactics, Admiral Nelson destroyed the French/Spanish fleet with no ships lost. This map strives to depict that pivotal battle, with cannon bombardments, boarding parties, and bonuses requiring most, but not all, of ships to be held. A clever model depiction and a solid color scheme help to make the map a bird's eye view of naval warfare at its height.
Gameplay is being worked on heavily, with new elements like two-territory commanders being recently added.
Name: Brazil Creator:
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.
No recent updates.
Name: Castle Lands Creators:
Pikkio & Thenobodies80
This map is a depiction of a castle under siege. The central castle is surrounded by four quadrants of terrain, each with catapults capable of bombarding the castle's tower. For the most part, however, this map has classic gameplay.
Gameplay and Graphic stamped in quick succession, with small tweaks to both still being done.
Name: Central America Creator:
Fresh out of the Central America Amateur competition, this map is a representation of the Central American nations with classic gameplay and smooth tropical graphics.
Recently updated to Version 6, with comments being requested.
Name: Chess Creator:
A map based on one of the oldest games, to put it simply. It's a lovely rendering of a late-game chess match, with auto-deploys on held pieces and attack routes based on piece movement. That alone makes for a different and engaging gameplay, sure to set this map apart. So grab the speed clock and claim checkmate soon.
Currently doing a poll between wood and stone background textures.
Name: Conquer Mart Creator:
Ah, the shopping mall. Home of After Thanksgiving sales, last stands against the zombie apocalypse, and armed conflict. Well, in the past there wasn't any armed conflict, but this map seeks to change that, with fights over the departments and stores of a standard shopping mall being the order du jour. An overhead view shows off the floorplan of conquest, similar to a mall directory.
Further graphical improvements have happened, with feedback requested on the latest version.
Name: Das Schloß Creator:
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.
Once issues are resolved on those and all present games on the older map are completed, the map will get re-quenched. According to Game Finder, that is a mere
games (9 months after the map released).
Name: England Creator: MrBenn Stamps: Description:
Green and Pleasant Land indeed. This map displays England and only England, in many shades of green. Wonderful graphics make this map a showcase of real talent unless you happen to not like green. No special features except for a inset to include London.
Under gameplay discussion, a heated argument, and few other things. Tempers seem to be cooling down, though.
Name: Feudal Epic Creator:
The long-awaited sequel to the original conquest map, Feudal War. Whereas Feudal War was restricted to only 6 players, Feudal Epic has enough for 8 people, with wide and expansive village regions in between to clash and vanquish your enemies in. Otherwise, the gameplay is the same, if not better, than the original Feudal War, making this a certain favorite when it quenches.
Sporting a darker and overall better-looking version, the Epic looks to be closing in on a Graphics stamp as soon as a full version is posted.
Name: Gilgamesh Creator:
This map is unique in at least one way: it grew out of a rejected revamp entry. Now divorced from the confining Centerscape gameplay, the maker has crafted a vibrant and mythologically-informed look at the Fertile Crescent during ancient times. Utilizing portions of the Gilgamesh epic, the map has both standard and special bonuses, leading to a very diverse gameplay.
Looking to be approaching a Gameplay stamp in the very near future.
Name: Greenland Creator: the.killing.44 Stamps: Description:
Greenland, you get the icy chills just from looking at it. Nothing but blue, white and a battle. Circling around an impassible zone, this map looks to give a new challenge to players. Icy graphics done by
makes this map a real looker.
After some "flare" from mibi, looking very near a Gameplay stamp.
Name: Indian Empire Creator:
Taking a cue from another, more modern attempt at India and its surrounding countries, Oaktown has taken the period of time when India was a British colony, and translated it onto a beautiful rendering of a history book (Editor's Note: he used the same book for the Brazil revamp contest). Combining simple colors and a hand-drawn look for terrain features and the like, the map is fairly simple on gameplay, with classic continents and a railway bonus to spice things up. Rewrite history for who controlled the region in the 1800's, or join those building the next railway for the ruler. The choice is yours.
Still awaiting another graphics update.
Name: Jamaica Creator: cairnswk Stamps: Description:
Colonial style graphics on a Jamaican setting. This map takes the player to a battle where many European countries have landed on the Jamaican shores encountering neutral after neutral as the player searches for resources to give them the edge over their enemies.
Gameplay is being balanced, as well as the legend being made easier to understand at a glance.
Name: Korea Creator: the.killing.44 Stamps: Description:
A rough Asian looking map littered with astonishing mountains that divide territories. two islands interrupt the flow of the main land but still fit in amazingly. Two killer neutrals, designed to play to the north south divide and bombard routes are the only features on this map.
In the midst of a complete overhaul, slightly slowed down due to computer unavailability.
Name: Long Island Creators: sailorseal
LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: Description:
A long thin block of territories surrounded by boats forking off at the end is the basic design of the map. A medium to small map with very few bonuses will give a new challenge to any player that decides to take it.
Getting lots of tough gameplay feedback, but looking to be creating solutions from that soon.
Name: New Zealand Creator: Reggie Mac
LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: Description:
This is a map of New Zealand, complete with some surrounding islands. The graphics are clean and simple, and the gameplay is totally classic.
Very recently picked back up with a new mapmaker, and already looking shnazz with numerous edits to address old concerns.
Name: Rose City Creator:
lostatlimbo has a very creative premise for this map: highlight all the unique features of Portland and turn them into gameplay features. That coupled with a bright and borderline garish color scheme creates a different map that likely will break the "limited appeal" problem that other city maps have run into.
Getting a gameplay twice-over, with some graphical feedback tossed in for good measure. Work is slowing the next update, but it'll be around soon.
Name: Switzerland Creator:
Kaplowitz and Wcaclimbing
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.
No update since last issue, but one should be around soon.
Name: Treasure Map Creator: LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: Description:
A colorful take on a classic nautical "Treasure Map" featuring skull and cross bones with a few classic sailing ships thrown in. An objective style game play with a island hopping setting gives the player the feel they are hunting for a treasure. Arrr!
Looking really good and under some minor gameplay edits.
Name: Vancouver Creator: Shakeycat Stamps: Description:
This is a map of the greater Vancouver area. It has mostly classic gameplay, with attack routes between ports and special bonuses for holding various transportation modes, i.e. train lines.
Under a revisionist style of feedback response, with suggestions being turned quickly into "beta" images.
Name: WWII: The Invasion of Poland Creator: samuelc812 Stamps: Description:
Sporting the colors of World War II, this starting positions map has many special features keeping you always interested such as planes, tanks and bonuses for commanders. Take a look at this map and you just might learn something.
Getting lots of gameplay comments to improve the understandability of the map.
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
is at it again!
Have you ever wanted to be Napoleon? Well here is your chance fight his battle, win his victory or turn it into his defeat. With new and complicated game play, this map will be challenging players for years to come. The beautiful landscape is full of small details and a little history for those of us not fully aware of Napoleon's triumph.
Present Development: It has recently received advanced draft. The creator is thinking of adding color to the legend.
Name: Europe 1099 Creator: Beko the Great Stamps:
The Crusades, you can hear the clashing of swords and the crying of peasants just from a glance at this map. Look closely and you will see it was painted on cloth. The setting of this battle, Europe and a touch of Africa during the 1099 Crusade. This map plays to the religious aspects of the time period and looks like it will make a great game.
Still awaiting a draft stamp, likely to occur after another version update.
Name: Japan Creator: InkL0sed Stamps:
Ink style graphics with a few game play twists including an inset and inter-continental assault routes. Japanese characters can be found all across the map giving it a very Asian feel. Many island surrounding the main land giving this map the full Japanese experience.
Another great-looking update that helps clean up the map. No word on moving out to the Foundry yet.
Name: Zodiac Map Creator:
The Zodiac has been a centerpiece of astrology for generations, enshrined most noticeably by the naming of constellations in the stars. This map portrays their constellations and has bonuses centering around the seasons and the elements those constellations comprise. It also features a super-connected Black Hole territory, allowing a lot of mobility for such a large map. The map beckons that you decide your own fate among the stars.
Presently plagued with bad image hosting, which will likely be fixed in the near future.
In A Look Back, we look at either a recently quenched map or a mapmaker who has contributed to CC but hasn't done so recently. It's a great retrospective that is certain to be an interesting feature as time goes on. This week, we look at Ruben Cassar's recently quenched San Marino map.
How old are you/what gender are you/where do you live? Answer specifically, vaguely, or not at all. I am a 31-year-old male and I come from Malta. For those who do not know, Malta is in Europe, a small island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea to be precise, near Italy. How did you find out about Conquer Club? I did a search using Google once and I found this site. I played a couple of games and then I got hooked. What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one? I do not have a specific favourite map but a bunch of maps that I like. I prefer the classic style maps. What interested you in mapmaking? Hmm. I do not know actually. I guess I went into the Map Foundry forum and said “why not, let’s have a shot at making a map, this could be fun”. How did you form the idea for this map? Honestly I do not remember. I think I was reading something about San Marino and then I looked at the map and started working on it. When you’re into map making your mind starts thinking about how anything could become a map as second nature I guess, even more for those who specialise in abstract maps. What stamp did you find the hardest to get? Any reason why? On this particular map there was no stamp that was harder than the rest to get if I remember well. On the contrary, quenching Malta was tough back in those days. Some people just demanded too much from a mapmaker. Back in those days quenching a map was a gargantuan task. I think the foundry works better now and is much more organised. There are some great guys with a lot of dedication on the team. What ended up being the most rewarding part of making this map? Seeing it go live, playing it and comments from people saying they like the map. This map has the distinction of having been featured in every single issue of the Foundry Newsletter since the Newsletter's creation (including this one). What sorts of things kept you busy and away from the mapmaking scene? I was busy with my personal life. I got a new job, new commitments, and limited free time. Sometimes I take a break from map making. Some people who only play the maps do not realise how much time and dedication is needed to make a map. But after a break I always return and work on something new. Any other thoughts on what it was like to make this map? Yes, I was never completely satisfied with the map and I think it could have been better graphically speaking. Aesthetically I prefer the Luxembourg map. However this is the map that I prefer to play on from the once I have created so far. Do you have any other projects you plan to work on in the near future? If so, what are they? I have the Punic Wars map on hold. I want to finish that one someday. The gameplay is a bit different from my usual maps. I had started working on a Cyprus map last summer but I do not feel the motivation to work on it right now…do not know if I ever will. This week I started working on a new map. It’s about Veneto, a region in Italy and it can be found in the drafts section.
In the Spotlight, we typically cover a staff-selected map and mapmaker in an interview. Mapmaker motivations, inspirations, and the like have been covered, with plenty of surprises in between.
How old are you/what gender are you/where do you live? Answer specifically, vaguely, or not at all. pikkio: I'm 30. I'm a male and I live in Bologna, Italy. thenobodies80: I'm 28 years old, male. I live near Milan. How did you find out about Conquer Club? pik: Casually. I saw it on a game's top 100. tn80: Two friends: Dr.Belo showed to me the site, and dave9516 first discovered the site on the web. What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one? pik: It's difficult to answer... but in the last month I really like to play Chinese Checkers and Madness, cause they have an unusual game play and everyone can try strange strategy. For the classic game play map, I love Charleston and World 2.1 cause they have a lot of territories and bonuses. tn80:Like many risk players I started to play with the Classic map. Actually San Marino, in beta stage, is my new favourite map. But also there're many maps I like to play on. What interested you in mapmaking? pik: I'm generally interested in computer graphics and when I play on a browser game I'm usually use my knowledge and spend my time to do my part in the community. tn80: Just a case. I met Pikkio on Italian forum and after some posts we find ourselves in the Foundry to help each other develop a map. Day by day Foundry takes a big part in my "life" on CC. What kind of feedback do you like getting the most? pik: Like everyone, i love the congratulations messages. I like when someone give a critic with a solution suggestion (for example "I don't like the texture, maybe you can use something like this or that") tn80: A feedback has to be helpful; not a problem if good or bad one. What "keeps you going" through getting a map through the Foundry? pik: The congratulations message. My obstinacy, I think, and cause I'm with thenobodies and if i abandon, he must abandon too, and this is not straight. tn80: In order: Many hours spent on map. Friendly support. Play the map. Both of you are first-time mapmakers. What advice do you have for people who are starting on their first maps? pik: Don't do it!! Think to be patient and then try to be more patient. tn80: 1. Understand very well how Foundry works. 2. Discussion is the life blood of your map so learn when to accept good suggestion and critics (during the process many things on your map will be changed), but don't be afraid to refuse a bad suggestion/critic if you have a valid reason. 3. If you need help, call for help. 4. Buy the world's biggest bag and fill it with a ton of patience. How did you decide what graphics styles to go with? pik: We always listened the suggestions and go on the way that the community preferred. tn80: Trying to explain how this map was born is very difficult in a few words; I think community on the whole decided the graphic style. In the first part of Foundry process we were well opened to all type of graphic suggestions. We discuss via PM about them, then pikkio did the graphic. When he was ready, we discuss the result another time and after last small modifications i posted the final results. In general, i leave pikkio free to develope graphic as he like. How much time do you spend on each update? How much of that time do you enjoy? pik: Some updates are easy, some other need more work. Sometimes the changes are interesting and you can be happy for the result; sometimes you spend several hours trying to make a boring change and sometimes you're not happy for the result. It's a hard work, and if you make 2 maps at the same time (I started togheter "Castle Map" and "Oceania Map") you obviously must spend a lot of your free time working on the maps.. in the last 2 month i must leave aside some other hobbies cause i need more time for the mapmaking.. tn80: Not easy to give you an answer... probably Pikkio can give you the answer you want. I spent most of my time developing gameplay, xml and to check the thread and filtering all the information and modifications to leave Pikkio as free as possible to concentrate himself on graphics. All these things takes a big numbers of hours; I think at least 2 hours each day in the last 4 months. In spite of some bad moments, I enjoy all time, and Pikkio is a good mate to spend time with . Were there any suggestions that you absolutely loved? Or any that you really hated? pik: I loved the congratulations message! I love when someone suggest how can I change or improve my map, and I really hate when someone says only "I don't like that" or "I would like if you modify that". tn80: Personally I loved old members suggestions about gameplay. I hate when suggestions disappointed some things decided previous with a poll or after a long discussion. What do you think of the Foundry process in general? pik: It's too long and too frustrating. It's impossible to make a map that everybody likes, so it's not good that a mapmaker must listen all the people's critics. i think that it will be better if 10-15 really expert people (maybe the game's admins and the founders) follow every map after the first steps (when an idea is concrete and there's some people that like it, and when is certain that the mapmaker will keep going) until it's quenched, and only those people help the mapmaker to improve his map. The real problem is that too many times someone that read for the first time the topic, suggested to make a thing that in the past we changed cause nobody likes it; I think that everyone who make suggestion or critics must know the history of the map and follow it from the start to the end. thenobodies80: The Foundry process works good on the whole. It assures high quality maps and this is a good thing. In my personal experience the worst part is the "sticky thread period" before the map was moved to the Final Forge. These few days were the most frustrating of the entire process! Seems some members don't (want) understand the difference between a refinement and a overhaul.
In the Editorial, we ask a member of the Conquer Club community to write about some aspect of the Foundry. Subjects thus far have ranged from first-timer perspectives to a fictional look at future mapmaking, with plenty in between. Anyone interested in writing an Editorial is asked to PM
samuelc812 wrote:I find it an honour to be asked to write for this weeks Editorial piece. I’ve accomplished a bit in my time on this site, although there are many others who have accomplished a heck of a lot more than me, these people I respect for their hard work and I admire them in some ways. I enjoy the time I spend here on Conquer Club, contributing through several aspects including Newsletters, Tournaments and Map-Making, it makes me feel good to log in to a site I enjoy and to contribute the way I do, its very fulfilling. I have found the Newsletter takes up most of my time here on CC, apart from the games, which are the main reason I’m here. From having six tournaments running at once, I now have whittled them down to only two. I have made a few attempts at making a map; I am now on my third attempt with WWII Poland and it seems to be progressing well. I love organising things and doing things well, hence my tournament organising and the CC Newsletter. I have found map-making a fraction more challenging than my other endeavours but I’m hoping my patience will pay off in due season. The first thing that I started doing on this site was organising tournaments back in August 2008, I’ve always liked organising things and this seemed the best way to put my skills into action. I then got involved in the Tournament Newsletter writing as the News Hound for about 6 or 7 issues, I then resigned as News Hound and I now do any new graphic pieces that they need since Sir. Ricco retired. All the while I was trying my hand at map-making, not being so successful with the Mediterranean Basin. I then entered the Central America Competition which was quite fun, except for all the controversy which I think it could have done without. I came second which gave me some confidence to try and make another map. So I started with Poland which eventually evolved into a WWII theme and is currently in the Main Foundry looking for gameplay comments. The work I did with the Tournament Newsletter coupled with organising multiple tournaments gave me some inspiration to start the Conquer Club Newsletter. With the help of gimil who I couldn’t have done it without, it is now on it’s 5th issue and going strong. I’ll be honest with you, there have been times when I have thought to myself “You’ve got too much going on; just drop a few things” but I always find time to do everything I need to do. I believe I could even take on a couple more things and I would still be going strong; it doesn’t stress me out because I enjoy doing it and in order to keep contributing, you really need to enjoy it. On a final note I would like to encourage everyone who is reading this, that if they aren’t already positively contributing to an aspect of the site, that they do so if they have the time because it really is very fulfilling if you know what you’re doing. Happy Contributing, samuelc812
Inspired by mibi's 'flare and spice' thread, I would like to extend another challenge to all of you.
I have this extremely simple map for you guys. The challenge for everyone is to add their own 'flare and spice' to the map. Like my first challenge, there are very few rules on this one. The only thing I can think of is that you have to keep the territories in the same place. You can change the color, style, whatever you want to make it look better. If you do attempt it, PM your results to wcaclimbing . And here's the PSD, if that helps. http://senduit.com/396dd2 Good luck! I hope a few of you give this a try and submit something good. Anything submitted will be featured in next week's issue. Until then, have a nice week or two! ~wcaclimbing Subscription
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gimil - Graphics
InkL0sed - Formatting Editor, Proofreading Editor
sailorseal - Maps In Development Editor
TaCktiX - Senior Editor, Editorial Editor, Perspectives Editor, Spotlight Editor, A Look Back Editor
wcaclimbing - Graphics, WCA's Tablet