It be our 19th issue, a week and a half late. Nothing like a college senior capstone course in engineering to utterly annihilate my free time, in addition to my sleep schedule, mental reserves, and amount of patience. It was pretty bad, but I'm done with it now, and I shall graduate in a week and a half's time! But enough about me, we have an issue to look at, don't we? Maps has all of the usual trappings, save two current Advanced Drafts that missed our cutoff. They'll be there next issue, promise. The.killing.44 has written our editorial, speaking of the difficulty of developing two maps at once (and to think cairns did
...miss the guy I do). The Spotlight looks at Long Island with LED ZEPPELINER, while A Look Back has RjBeals and WidowMakers tag-teaming about Midgard. Finally, WCA's Tablet has all of the "flare and spice" responses he got. We're hoping to get more in future "contests," so participate as you can!
Standing tall, feeling fine,
PM me if you want to know what the tagline means
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: 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.
Recently forged, but moving forward in short order.
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."
Working on ironing out the XML centering the the like.
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.
Reinvigorated by Oaktown stepping in and fixing the small problems needed. All that's left is XML centering and a few other minor tweaks.
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: Austerlitz Creator: pamoa Stamps: Description:
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.
Gameplay discussion about the bonuses has been the focus of late.
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.
Bonus balancing has been the most recent discussion.
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.
Updated at last, and getting closer and closer to a Graphics stamp by the looks of it.
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.
Updated, and in need of comments.
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.
It's the wood texture, and further suggestions for graphics and gameplay are being made.
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.
Version 23 recently came out, and comments as always are requested.
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 (nearly a year 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.
Looking great, with a new graphical element to display the bonuses, a quote, and lots of other tidbits.
Name: Europe 1099 Creator: Beko the Great Stamps: Description:
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.
Recently concluded a poll about territory naming, with native language names winning out just barely.
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.
Further small tweaks have been done, with polls and feedback a-plenty.
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.
Graphically updated with a really cool crease effect.
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, an update to happen very soon.
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.
Now shown the way by new lighthouses, lots of comments have poured in.
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.
Lots of comments to help the next update, which should release 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.
Updated, with some more small tweaks suggested to inform the next version.
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 in its latest update, with some cool names likely to be in the next version.
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.
More territories to balance out 1v1 starts, with comments requested.
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.
Being rebuilt again from scratch (this editor knows how that is), but a new version is promised shortly.
Name: Conquer Club National Bank Creators: lzrman
(Alarm goes off)
You are breaking in to Conquer Club's National Bank, they have made the map, all you need to do is get the money and get out. Objective: Get 6 money carts and the get-away car to win. The only problem: there are other players standing in your way.
A unique style of gameplay forces players to break their way into a bank with all of the territories named after members of the crack team who made the map. Sneaking your way past alarms, searching for carts of money, this map has many thrills to come.
Lots of small changes to make the map more readable recently.
Name: Route 66 Creator: oaktown Stamps:
Route 66, nothing says USA like this good old-fashioned road. Look at it, and you see a miniature USA. There are no territories out on the open road, just lots of different routes. From Chicago to LA, branching out all of the country. Players have to scramble for routes from sea to shining sea bringing a sense of home for players all across America. The fun isn't just reserved for them however, as any player will enjoy this new map created by the recently retired from C.A.
Being tweaked in readiness for a move to the Foundry.
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.
In this issue, we look at Midgard with both RjBeals and WidowMakers. Some responses were already answered by WidowMakers when we featured him in Spotlight in the 13th Issue.
How old are you/what gender are you/where do you live? Answer specifically, vaguely, or not at all. Rj: 34, M, South Carolina, USA. How did you find out about Conquer Club? Rj: My friends and I used to play risk years ago. They actually found the site and told me about it. It was a way we could all play again, since none of lived close enough to meet. What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one? Rj: Charleston; Not because it’s mine, but I think for the same reason a lot of others like it – classic game play with lots of small bonus regions, and balanced play. Plus, it’s my favorite city and I’ll be headed to Isle of Palms for vacation this summer! What interested you in mapmaking? Rj: My career is not very creative at all, but I’ve always been a creative person. Back in 2006 when I joined, I looked at the maps on the site and felt like trying to create one of my own. There was not an Italian map (although there were several attempts at one), and I’m of Italian heritage, so I picked Italy. It was a very good feeling to have a quenched map in live play. I remember that evening well, and actually playing my first game on it. What a sense of accomplishment. This map was the winner of the revamp competition. How did you build your theme to match the gameplay? Rj: I based my map off the “Lord of the Rings” edition Hasbro Risk Map. It’s a beautiful map, if you haven’t seen it yet. When I start a map, I normally have a very rough idea of what I want, but it develops though experimenting with Photoshop. I created the entire map in roughly 2 weeks (at least what was submitted first round of the revamp competition). Even though the attack routes were already in place, it was harder than you might think to map out the fictional lands to match them. I nailed the style down, but people wanted a theme to go with it. Over the past few years, I’ve become good friends with WidowMakers, and asked him to pick up the map through the forge. He graciously did, and I was extremely impressed and thankful for his help. Do you feel the revamp competition made the map better than it would have been otherwise, or merely compressed the time scale? Rj: I’m not totally satisfied with how the revamps work. There’s talk of how the revamps can be improved, which probably means more voting rounds (and more updates with member feedback incorporated). As my “2 week production time” comment above proves, this map basically flew through the process. I’m not sure if this map were to have been created through the standard map foundry processes, if it would have been even better, or stalled out and never have made it… ? How did you go about sprucing up the map after Rj passed it over to you following the competition? WM: First off, I loved the style he brought to the competition. I have said this before but he has a very good, clean, simple, crisp style. He can cram a lot of visual eye-candy into a small space and not make it look crowded. Once I saw the 4 entries, I knew he which one he made and that he would win easily. Now back to the actual question. I really did not need to do anything to make it look better. He had already established the visual look adn I was not going to try and impose my own ideas to the map that had won. There were several things that still needed to be worked on: 1) Territory border fixes 2) Bridges/Lakes/Mountains 3) Overall Theme of the map 4) Names of bonuses and territories 1) So first off I needed to tweak the map a bit. There were several areas in which the borders were not correct. Basically I just picked his photoshop file apart and adjusted the layers to get to the map we have now. It took a bit of work to make sure I had everything in order, there were like 7 different layers to the land. When i modified one, I needed to do that to many more. I think i spent about 2 hours just looking and going over the file before I started anything. 2) Now since the borders were changed, the original bridges, lakes and mountains needed to be moved as well. People had suggested that all three of these be modified in some was also. So the bridges got shadow and color tweaked. I removed a couple lakes and added mountains and then made a adjustments to a few lakes 3) There was not a theme for the map at the end of competition. People were wanting to know what the map was about and where it was. Before Rj passed the map off to me he had messed around with some names and dragon images. The community took to this and the basic idea that we started with was flushed out to the final map. Rj decided to use Midgard and "The Lost Realm" was added later. The dragons in the map and legend (along with the name) were added to also help place the map into a fantasy theme. 4)Once the theme was decided upon, the names came pretty quick. We wanted to pay respects to the map that Midgard was replacing so many of the names that the community came up with relate back to the old map. I ma sure you can figure out what that was. And that was about it. Little things here and there but those were the major areas. Oh plus the XML. What ended up being the most rewarding part of making this map? Rj: The positive response I got from the community. Do you have any other projects you plan to work on in the near future? If so, what are they? Rj: My projects seem to come and go. I had the Iron Curtain, which is now in the recycling bin. I wanted to do a big map, with 100+ territories, and started a “Shadowlands” map, but that idea sort of fizzled out. I’ve since been working on a Gettysburg Civil War map (Day 3: Pickett’s Charge) with a partner kevlove102, who knows the details very well, and has a fresh outlook on cartography. I’m trying to break away from my standard style, and try something a bit different, and a bit more complicated. We’ll be posting a draft sometime soon. WM: Right now I have nothing really ready . Maze Craze needs and XML update and I have many other ideas that could take off. My next project will be a joined effort with edbeard to remake the pirates map that got crushed by Rj's in the Centerscape competition. I just need to find time to make it so we can post the idea and get feedback. Stay tuned.
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. For this week's spotlight we decided to interview a new map maker that already has three maps in the Main Foundry,
. We have spotlighted the first to enter the Main Foundry, Long Island.
How did you find out about Conquer Club?
From my teacher in a class at school. What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one? France. I like this map because I am fairly good at it, the graphics are good, it isn't a map purely based on luck, and it's not too big that it takes too much stradegy. What interested you in mapmaking? I am fairly good in Photoshop, and I just felt like it would be really fun to put my skills to the test, and see what people thought. What kind of feedback do you like getting the most? I like getting comments about graphics the most because that is mainly what I deal with, and am good at. But at the moment, all 3 of my maps are in need of game play comments. What "keeps you going" through getting a map through the Foundry? What keeps me going is the thought that I will eventually have an end product that I, all of my friends, and the rest of the world can play on. What advice do you have for people who are starting on their first maps? My personal advice would be to have a solid idea and build up the graphics because they are easier to comment on, and they help people to understand your gameplay. Then when you have good enough graphics that people can understand what is going on, work on developing the gameplay a little more. How did you decide what graphics styles to go with? I decided mainly through trial and error. I set up a main graphics scheme, and then from there tried new ideas, and saw if people liked them. If they did, then I would keep them (maybe touching them up). If they didn't I would try something else. How much time do you spend on each update? How much of that time do you enjoy? I cant really put a specific amount of time on one update. Different updates take longer, and I would say I enjoy most of it although I cannot specifically say what I don't like doing. Were there any suggestions that you absolutely loved? Or any that you really hated? I cant say that I loved or hated any suggestions. When going through the Foundry, it is important to be open minded, so I did not specifically like or dislike any of the comments. What do you think of the Foundry process in general? I think that the process works. The Foundry process changed in the process of Long Island getting draft stamp, but it still got there. The one thing that I don't like as much is that the gameplay stamp comes before the graphics stamp. I am much better at graphics than gameplay, so for me it would be better to get graphics done, then gameplay. What is one major mistake you have made during your time in the Foundry? Let's see, my biggest mistake was when I was still a n00b to the foundry, and only spent my time in the drafting room, I took a voyage into the Main foundry and looked at all of the maps. I was stunned by the graphics, and went through all of the maps I liked, and posted something along the lines of, "I love this map" or "this map is awesome" with a bunch of smilies after. I was not aware that this was spam, and I got a warning. Uh-oh How do you juggle three maps in the Main Foundry? I work on one map update, then move onto the next, and then the next, sort of like an assembly line of maps
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
Well folks, here's my experience in the Foundry. More specifically, handling two (well, at the moment it probably feels like one … I will actually finish Korea someday) maps in the Foundry. It's a funny one that's really shown how a mapmaker goes through the Foundry. I started off with a truly (I know realize) crappy map in Saratoga. Then moved on to Korea, with that same pencil tool-filled (yikes!) style in mind. That went through the Drafting Room slowly, finally getting into the Main Foundry after a couple different graphical revamps (a gameplay one going on now).
Enter Greenland, the reason for the demise of Korea. I've really fallen in love with that map, hence the updates that come sometimes multiple times a day and the reason that as I write it's the top non-sticky thread and Korea sits in the corner third-from-bottom non-locked thread. So that's really taken over my mapping time, besides the other things I do.
Korea hasn't totally sloped off and been killed by Greenland, though. Their respective graphical styles differ vastly, but each one benefits from the other in a way. Well, you're thinking that there's no way in hell — a simple glance at the update dates on Greenland'll tell you that that's above there on my priority list, and looking at the graphics show that it's definitely more advanced in that stage as well in comparison to Korea. But that's where the benefits come in — behind the scenes, while I develop Korea, I'm taking lessons and tricks learnt from Greenland to Korea.
The updates have come infrequently, I know. The period of time between when Greenland was Foundry-worthy and ian left me that fateful comment on Korea which has lead to this slow, painful redo (that will be posted sometime), so there wasn't much time for me to really draw a pattern between updates. Greenland had a lot of momentum coming out of the Drafting Room, so naturally I took it and ran with it. Ian pops into Korea, notifies me of the "8 provinces", and whatta ya know, it was February and now mid-April and my .psd was last updated "3/18/09 1:18am".
But, as you can imagine and infer from the threads' respective activity levels, I've had serious doubts about Korea on multiple occasions. Vacations, abandonments, etc. have been in my head every time I hold down the spacebar for too long on the Main Foundry page and I see Korea sitting down there. I once drafted a vacation request via PM to oak … as Andy Samberg so quaintly put it in Like a Boss, "Oh f*ck man I can't f*cking do it... sh*t!"
I'll keep plugging away — hopefully Greenland sees some advance shortly
, and I can reset my mind on the pioneer map in my experience of mapmaking. I haven't forgotten you, my last-completely-updated-on-February-23rd dear!
*the.killing.44 dusts off Smallv13.psd
*the.killing.44 pauses in front of computer screen …
*the.killing.44 checks if Greenland has any comments
See ya in the Foundry!
Hello once again everyone!
These past two weeks were great, I got tons of submissions for my most recent challenge.
---------------------------------------------------------------- In case you don't remember what that challenge was, the goal was to take this image and do whatever you need to do to make it look like a good map: And we got quite a few nice responses to that challenge. ---------------------------------------------------------------- sailorseal Here is a good attempt at messing with the colors to bring the rainbow in my image under control. Could use a bit of cleaning up around the borders, but it looks good overall. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Danyael Here, Danyael went for a realistically textured terrain, and I think it came out well. I think what he did here would work well for making a map. I'll be interested to see if he uses this texture to make a full map. ---------------------------------------------------------------- the.killing.44 I really like this one, cause I really like realistically colored and textured terrain. Nice work, killing. ---------------------------------------------------------------- RjBeals And RJ brings out the grunge effect once again to provide the Tablet with another nice looking map. I like it. ---------------------------------------------------------------- MrBenn With the most complete submission to this challenge, MrBenn has provided a great looking map. He kept the rainbow used in the original image, but worked with it enough that it actually looks like a real, quality map. I really like the flags and army circles. Good work, MrBenn! ---------------------------------------------------------------- I'm always surprised about how much variation can come from a simple map outline when you give it to a bunch of different mapmakers, and this challenge was no exception to that. With five mapmakers and five really unique maps, I couldn't have asked for anything better. Thanks to everyone that submitted an image! I'm not really sure what I will be writing about in the next issue. I may put out another challenge to all you mapmakers, or I might feature something else graphics-related. If you have a good idea for what I should do next time, PM me about it ( wcaclimbing). Until the next issue of the Tablet comes out, I hope you all have two weeks of happy mapmaking and happy conquering. ~wcaclimbing Subscription
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gimil - Graphics
InkL0sed - Formatting Editor, Proofreading Editor
sailorseal - Maps In Development Editor, Spotlight Editor
TaCktiX - Senior Editor, Editorial Editor, Perspectives Editor, A Look Back Editor
wcaclimbing - Graphics, WCA's Tablet