Small World

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Small World

Postby MrBenn on Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:55 am

Small World
Ever since the original Classic Map was taken away from us, I have wanted to put Kamchatka back on the map. I have therefore set myself a challenge to create a micro-map that shall be the antithesis of SuperSize.. a map of the world that pits within a mere 300 400px wide that will make it easier for people to play conquer club whilst on devices such as PDAs and mobile phones.

So, here it is, 34 territories across 7 continents. In order to limit the luck of the drop, each continent has 4 or more territories with the exception of Antarctica. Each territory within the Antarctic will have a -1 decay, but other than that everything is completely standard. The twist on classic gameplay comes from the fact that there is no wraparound (ie Kamchatka and Alaska do not border)

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While the small image will be a paltry 300px wide (although this could be increased to 320px if required), the large image will weigh in at a whopping 600px wide :o

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Latest Update - 9th November 2013
>A double-route looked a bit odd, so after much fiddling about, I opted for an Iberia/USA link and a North Africa/Colombia link.
>I added in an Alaska/USA link which felt like it should be there and makes N America less linear.
>I'm still undecided what to do at the top of the map. I've toyed with a Greenland/Siberia path (which looks OK), a Greenland/Euro-Russia path (which looks strange).
>In this latest version I've squeezed in an extra territory (Svalbard) into Europe and linked it to Greenland and Scandinavia, although I'm not happy with the way it looks - especially on the small map.
>The small map is shown here with 888 digits just to show that they'll fit.

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show: Update - 3rd November 2013
show: Update - 1st November 2013
Last edited by MrBenn on Sun Nov 10, 2013 6:50 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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Re: Small World

Postby Industrial Helix on Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:08 am

The idea of such a small map makes me glad I use the large map. But thinking from the point of view of a person using the small maps, I'd be upset if I selected this map and ended up with this little guy. A player might prefer smaller maps on this site... but then would have to switch to large map preference simply for this map to be easy on the eyes. Yeah, its good for people playing on their phone or something... but, I presume, most of us play on our computers.

Now here's an idea... what about a Conquer Club App? In that case, this might work nicely.

Otherwise, perhaps an individualized approach to the size preferences a player wants for each map. That way I could select small for something like classic and large for this map.
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Re: Small World

Postby natty dread on Tue Feb 01, 2011 11:25 am

This seems to me to be a novelty map... fun at first, but will grow old fast. Something like this might go better as a seasonal map, maybe for April 1st?
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Re: Small World

Postby DukeHazzard on Tue Feb 01, 2011 1:14 pm

I think its an awesome idea! doodle is smaller in region size and ppl still play the f*ck out of it. This looks cooler and more fun! go for it!
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Re: Small World

Postby Evil DIMwit on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:42 pm

I dig this idea.

One issue I see: The '-1's on Antarctica aren't particularly prominent, and there's no indication of what they actually mean.
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Re: Small World

Postby MarshalNey on Tue Feb 01, 2011 2:58 pm

Industrial Helix wrote:The idea of such a small map makes me glad I use the large map. But thinking from the point of view of a person using the small maps, I'd be upset if I selected this map and ended up with this little guy. A player might prefer smaller maps on this site... but then would have to switch to large map preference simply for this map to be easy on the eyes. Yeah, its good for people playing on their phone or something... but, I presume, most of us play on our computers.

Now here's an idea... what about a Conquer Club App? In that case, this might work nicely.

Otherwise, perhaps an individualized approach to the size preferences a player wants for each map. That way I could select small for something like classic and large for this map.


My only worry in this regard is with the 'Random Map' setting, otherwise players can easily avoid the map. But even then, The Hive (among other maps) is out there and that map is definitely a non-starter for some CC players, understandably so with the length of games using No Spoils. Really, the 'Random Map' setting needs a fix, but I think that's a topic for Sugs. And clicking the 'map size' option isn't that big of a deal.

Also on that topic, all of my friends whom I've sucked into this site have played turns on their phones- one of them takes turns about half of the time on his phone.

Which is why I think that this idea is a good one. :D

------------------------------

That said, whether it can be pulled off or not is yet to be seen. But the goal is worthy of the chase, methinks.

Obviously the biggest problem will be clarity. The regions and the bonus continents/bonuses are clear enough. Using a different shade for each region (territ) works well. However, there are still some connections that are unclear, and the 88's will have to be placed carefully so that a player won't think that a connection is obscured that really isn't there. A couple of areas that I see are:
The Phillipenes. Not sure where it connects (China and Indonesia would be my best guess)
Madagascar. Is that small chunk bordering Congo and S. Africa its border connections?
Iberia. The 88 is awfully close to the UK 88, and someone who doesn't know any better might think that those two connect. Also, the sea route from Iberia... does it go to Canada or the USA?
The Greenland-Canada connection should be more explicit than a group of islands with indistinguisable colors.

Finally, you'll need space to explain the -1 decay (which I like btw). There's a little bit of room around Antarctica, but I'm not sure if it's enough.

As far as gameplay goes, the big flaw I see is the decay. "But wait, Marshal, you said you liked the decay!" Well, yes, I do like the idea for the bonus continent, but decay regions should almost always be neutral in my opinion. Otherwise it just makes the drop a real kick in the jimmies for two or three players, nearly guaranteed. The drop is already going to be a tad bit dicey for dropping bonuses, but overall I think it should be okay.

If you make the Anartica regions all neutral (neutral 1 I'd say) then you'll only have 31 regions for the drop. Having 32 would be better, especially for 8 player games.

Hope this helps, and again great idea.

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Re: Small World

Postby iancanton on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:35 pm

the idea of a micro-map that can be played on a phone is an excellent development. the fact that it's a world map which isn't instantly distinguishable from the one used for the-game-which-must-not-be-named, but with 20% fewer territories and an extra continent is, let us say, a disappointment. it does also beg the question, "why can't we have a similar-looking map for classic?", so only two cheers from me for this one, simply for the lack of an original theme.

ian. :)
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Re: Small World

Postby natty dread on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:00 pm

I echo ian with the thought that this map would be much more interesting and long-lived if it would have an interesting & original theme.
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Re: Small World

Postby Victor Sullivan on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:06 pm

#-o MrBenn! I respect your efforts at creating a mobile device-friendly map, but... I don't much care for this idea. Aside from the incessant "It's A Small World After All" tune ringing in my ears, it just seems like an attempt to repackage old news. I mean, I'm all for a mobile map - why not support CC's mobile users if we can? But I think you can come up with an original map concept and still have the uniqueness of the mobile device-friendly aspect. You can simply use the smallness of the map as its selling point.

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Re: Small World

Postby Teflon Kris on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:59 pm

I like playing on my phone - its ok-ish, slow, lots of scrolling around the screen and PMs and forums are nigh on impossible.

A smaller phone-friendly map would be cool.

However, consider the pace of phone technology progress. I haven't got my hands on the latest generation but I suspect playing is easier on them and while a smaller map might be practical, it might not need be quite this small? 400 x 400 might be a better bet? Certainly in a couple of years time 300 x 300 might be unnecessarily small?

Aside from the general debate - the eastern connections (Phillipenes etc) could also do with a bit of clarity (as well as the decay).

The decay explanation could be added to the bottom of the mao perhaps? Phone users would only need scroll down to read once or twice when they start to play in order to get the message?
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Re: Small World

Postby Victor Sullivan on Tue Feb 01, 2011 7:05 pm

Also, Madagascar isn't connected to anything :P
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Re: Small World

Postby isaiah40 on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:17 pm

I 'd say this is a great idea (from someone who has played on a phone and hated the scrolling)! I echo everyone who has commented so far. Maybe we can get it up in BETA testing for those who play on a phone or PDA. Then they can comment on it, and make recommendations and/or suggestions. I thin this would be the only way to really know if it will work IMHO.

The numbers on Scandinavia probably will be hard to read. Also what will happen if a game on this goes on for a while? I foresee numbers overlapping in a few areas.

Victor Sullivan wrote:Also, Madagascar isn't connected to anything :P


Great!! I drop Madagascar so that means I win automatically!! :lol:
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Re: Small World

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu Feb 03, 2011 4:03 pm

Lack has long wanted to get more into the phone/smart device market. An App was his first idea, but the undertaking is quite huge. But seeing this effort of a small map that could be done for mobile web (i.e. a stripped down website) has sparked his interest in going that route. We had an interesting pre-preliminary discussion about it all---I see a future here. But we probably don't want to start creating maps for the platform until things get set in-stone in a development plan. It's kind of like Los Angeles selling naming rights to a stadium they haven't built yet. But this is an area I'd definitely like to see growth in, I'm going to do my part to keep something on track.


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Re: Small World

Postby Evil DIMwit on Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:20 pm

If this portable map idea becomes a thing, we can start throwing in some of the smaller countries.

Like Tinysia

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or Wee Lanka

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Re: Small World

Postby MrBenn on Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:24 am

MarshalNey wrote:Obviously the biggest problem will be clarity. The regions and the bonus continents/bonuses are clear enough. Using a different shade for each region (territ) works well. However, there are still some connections that are unclear, and the 88's will have to be placed carefully so that a player won't think that a connection is obscured that really isn't there. A couple of areas that I see are:
The Phillipenes. Not sure where it connects (China and Indonesia would be my best guess)

My thought was to allow the Phillipines to connect to Indonesia only... it might be better to use Papua New Guinea (PNG) instead of the Philipines, as it may be easier to show the connection to Indonesia there? I could add a connection to Asia through Japan, but would like Asia to be in with a chance at being held? (although the easier bonuses are at the opposite side of the map, so leaving Oceania with more territories to defend could work?)

Madagascar. Is that small chunk bordering Congo and S. Africa its border connections?

Madagascar will only border S Africa - I've just forgotten to add that connection line on the above draft.

Iberia. The 88 is awfully close to the UK 88, and someone who doesn't know any better might think that those two connect. Also, the sea route from Iberia... does it go to Canada or the USA?

The Iberia connection goes to Canada (Newfoundland). I originally had the connection further North but it was too obscured by the big bonus number in the sea. I guess I could make the line into a 'dogleg' so it connects to Canada a bit further North.

The Greenland-Canada connection should be more explicit than a group of islands with indistinguisable colors.

I can add a connection line on top of the islands

Finally, you'll need space to explain the -1 decay (which I like btw). There's a little bit of room around Antarctica, but I'm not sure if it's enough.
As far as gameplay goes, the big flaw I see is the decay. "But wait, Marshal, you said you liked the decay!" Well, yes, I do like the idea for the bonus continent, but decay regions should almost always be neutral in my opinion. Otherwise it just makes the drop a real kick in the jimmies for two or three players, nearly guaranteed. The drop is already going to be a tad bit dicey for dropping bonuses, but overall I think it should be okay.

If you make the Anartica regions all neutral (neutral 1 I'd say) then you'll only have 31 regions for the drop. Having 32 would be better, especially for 8 player games.

The whole issue with the Antarctica decay is one that I need to be more clear in my mind. I'm not convinced that there's enough room to explain it, but I equally don;t want Antarctica to be there for the sake of filling up space (which ostensibly it is - to make up the territory count). I dislike the thought of needing to add starting neutrals to the map - which would be probably be required if it were a plain 3-territory bonus area. I equally don't want to make it an area without a bonus - this is one of the few things that bugs me about the World 2.1 map!
I initially had more three-region bonuses, but when I worked out the odds of getting one on the drop, they were significantly high; about 17% I seem to recall? The probability of dropping one of these 4-territory areas is around 4% - not much higher than dropping Australia on the original Classic map. So, I can live with that. My thought behind adding the decay to Antarctica in part means that the effective bonus is +1 (it can be defended with a single army on Enderby), and that if somebody drops there from the start it's less of a game-breaker by virtue of the decay.

For the record, I have spoken with lack, and as Andy said there is a possibility that the development of this map might help contribute towards the development of a CC app for the iPhone/Android marketplace... but that's beyond my control. In any case, CC currently works (to a certain degree) on people's smartphones, so I see no real reason not to continue with this project.

DJ Teflon wrote:I like playing on my phone - its ok-ish, slow, lots of scrolling around the screen and PMs and forums are nigh on impossible.

A smaller phone-friendly map would be cool.

However, consider the pace of phone technology progress. I haven't got my hands on the latest generation but I suspect playing is easier on them and while a smaller map might be practical, it might not need be quite this small? 400 x 400 might be a better bet? Certainly in a couple of years time 300 x 300 might be unnecessarily small?

The small image will remain 300px wide for the time being. The large image will be 600 px wide. My working image is 1200px wide, so there is plenty of scope for upscaling things at some point in the future - even if we choose to go with bigger map sizes down the line, I want to ensure that the map remains playable at the smallest size.
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Re: Small World

Postby grifftron on Sat Feb 05, 2011 7:11 am

YES PLEASE.

great idea, really hope this goes thru, it would give me more time on CC without the wife knowing! Until she found out CC had an Phone App. O:)
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Re: Small World

Postby MrBenn on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:17 am

Further to my previous post, I have cleared up some of the connections and tried to make things slightly more clear. I have made several small tweaks, and the following adjustments which are more significant/obvious:
  • Madagascar is now connected to South Africa.
  • Greenland is now connected to Canada with a line as well as the islands
  • I have moved the Phillipines slightly, which makes the Indonesia connection clearer. I have also moved the labels for Phillipines and Japan, and made it so there is 'white space' between Asia to help clarify that there are no borders there.
  • The Iberia-Canada connection has been 'hooked' to make this clearer. Personally I preferred a straight line path, so may consider fudging the USA/Canada border a bit around newfoundland and putting it straight again.
  • I have added a short label about the Antarctica decay; I think the simple text should be sufficient, but am not wholly convinced it's wholly legible on the small map
  • The territory label font has been changed for the 'large' map

And here are images for the map - small (300px) and large (600px), complete with tentative army placements.

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Re: Small World

Postby thenobodies80 on Sat Feb 05, 2011 10:23 am

This map project no longer belongs to the drafting room.

Onward and Upward!

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Re: Small World

Postby Evil DIMwit on Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:23 pm

88s look all right, but can we see 888s?
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Re: Small World

Postby Victor Sullivan on Sat Feb 05, 2011 6:47 pm

Don't forget to update your first post, dear ;)
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Re: Small World

Postby MarshalNey on Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:57 am

Update is worlds clearer, I do think that the '-1's on the small map are still pretty hidden. Why not just state the negative decay directly in the text?

"Antarctica loses troops to frostbite (-1)'

The text seems legible in the small version, btw.

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Re: Small World

Postby MrBenn on Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:18 pm

Here are some quick updates:

Image

Image

And for those who are interested in these sort of things, here's an example of a very early draft:
Image

(I'll get around to updating the first post when there are more than a couple of pages of posts)
Image
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Re: Small World

Postby 24Keyser on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:15 am

Philippine-Japan Sea Route?

Alaska-Kamchatka Cross Map Route?
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Re: Small World

Postby Victor Sullivan on Wed Feb 09, 2011 12:21 am

New Guinea looks weird - a large island (with Oceania's color) that's not actually a territory... I think you can squeeze text and another set of 8's in. And have you considered the possibility of S.A. being +3? 3 borders and 4 territories, and N.A. is not far off.
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Re: Small World

Postby Victor Sullivan on Wed Feb 16, 2011 11:33 pm

How goes this, Mr. Foreman?
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