New map idea about Warring States of China

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New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby Cynther on Fri Sep 14, 2012 5:29 am

Hi everyone :)
I would like some input for a map idea I am considering. It is based on the Warring States period of Chinese history. This was a really interesting time period with numerous States competing for power and influence. It was a time of warfare and deception, as well as rapid advances in technology and philosophy. In this period lived many legendary generals and great philosophers, including the author of the Art of War, Sun Tzu, and the founder of Confucianism, Kong Fuzi. I am designing a scenario in which the players can research technology and develop philosophies in order to gain the edge in battle.

Map Name: Something like Warring States of China, 7 Kingdoms, 100 Schools of Thought, Chan Kuo or Chinese Unification
Mapmaker(s): Cynther + possibly a more experienced graphics artist
Number of Territories:
Special Features:
These are some of the gameplay ideas that I am currently working with. Nothing is set in stone, and everything is open to discussion - any input is much appreciated :)
  • Tech trees / Schools of Philosophy
    Chains of "technologies" (territories) that can be "researched" (conquered), which provide some benefit like a one-way assault opportunity or a troop bonus. Possible research chains include Weapon techs, Art of War, Great Wall, Legalism, Confucianism, Mohism, Taoism, Mandate of Heaven, Five Elements, etc.
  • Composite bonus areas
    The larger states form the basis of the bonus areas, while the smaller states that were historically conquered provide additional bonuses if the conquering state is held.
  • The King of Zhou
    Controlling the domain of the Zhou dynasty (who was the nominal ruler of the entire area) will give a bonus based on the number of State Capitals held.
  • Xiong Nu barbarians
    These can be controlled and attack the northern provinces - perhaps through one-way bombardment (if held) or decaying provinces (if not held). Researching Great Wall can protect against barbarian attacks.
What Makes This Map Worthy of Being Made:
Has potential to take advantage of some of the newest XML features like conditional attacks & bonusses. Also, the addition of a tech tree to a normal map type is not seen on many existing maps. I know there's already a couple of maps featuring China, but those maps have a broader geographic scope (i.e. Greater China area or South East Asia), and they cover different time periods with different province division.
Map Image:
Currently working on a draft, but I am not a great artist. The image below is from Wikipedia, but will not be used in the map. However, it shows roughly the area I imagine the map will span. So the whole of China will not be included, just the eastern plains with the Yellow and Yangtze Rivers, which is the area that was historically under Chinese influence in this period.

What do you guys think? :) What I need help with the most, I think, is ideas for which research chains to include. Which are exciting, and what benefits could they provide?

show: Inspirational image


First draft
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image
Last edited by Cynther on Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:48 am

I don't have much input to add right now, but this sounds like a really good idea. I hope to see this advance in the foundry.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby koontz1973 on Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:56 am

Cynther, welcome to the foundry. You can find all the information you need to make a map right here. But if you have any questions, just ask away.

I will say though, I am intrigued in seeing your first draft, what programme are you using? With your tech trees, what are you going to incorporate into them? I assume it would be bows to gunpowder type of things. But will you add things like fortifications to it as well. I mean, step one is mud brick and easy to get through to wood forts to stone buildings. Harder to attack as you go up type of things.

Good luck.

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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:06 am

So, is it just the area inside the yellow lines that you want to make into the map?

And do you still plan on pursuing this?

If not, somebody else should pick it up. This would be an awesome map. Hint Hint...Koontz.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:10 pm

If I did it, I might get accused of re writing history, forgetting to put in Korea, changing all the names into Greek and placing the great wall in the wrong place and time. :lol:

nope, I want to see how Cynther does it.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:19 pm

koontz1973 wrote:If I did it, I might get accused of re writing history, forgetting to put in Korea, changing all the names into Greek and placing the great wall in the wrong place and time. :lol:

nope, I want to see how Cynther does it.

Haha, probably so.

He did say that he would like to team up with somebody who is experienced with graphics. I would offer to help, but I don't have the skill. The way it sounds, neither does he.

Somebody should collaborate with him, this is an awesome idea.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:23 pm

It is a nice idea and I hope someone takes it up. The only problem I have at the moment is maps everywhere all demanding attention. And right now, I have new ones ready to be posted, just holding of till Escape and Madrid are slightly further along.

Cynther, if you need help with graphics, send me a PM and I will help you out.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Sat Sep 15, 2012 12:42 pm

One thing I see right off the bat is that it's going to be hard to make the playable area big enough, especially with needing the extra room for techs, etc. Those central areas, Cao, Cai, Zheng, etc. are pretty small.

I actually messed around with a draft on it, made it 840x800, of course I didn't have the playable area take up the entire map, but those areas were barely big enough for one terit.

Something will need to be done about that.



As far as techs go, wasn't this a big time for siege warfare advances? If so, that would make for some good tech advances. Moving from battering rams, to catapults, on up. Weapons are always good. Could be weapon styles or weapons materials, bronze, steel, whatever. Perhaps political techs as well. Lots of different ways to go with the techs.

This could be a much cooler version of that Omega Cities thing Natty was trying to do, well, sort of. Or I guess more like Research and Conquer. Either way, I have a feeling it would be a lot of fun to play. This is an interesting time and place in history.

Has anybody ever played those video games, I forget what they're called, but they're about this time frame and place. It has Cao Cao, and other famous leaders that you play as and you face off against massive armies. I mean, you can end up killing like 1,000's of people in one battle just by yourself. They were really repetitive games, but lots of fun. They even had a strategy version on xbox 360 back in the day. That one was especially fun. Anyway, this map reminds me of those games.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby Cynther on Sat Sep 15, 2012 5:02 pm

First of all, thanks for the positive response :)

tkr4lf wrote:So, is it just the area inside the yellow lines that you want to make into the map?

Yeah basically, but with the states of Shu and Ba in the Sichuan Basin included. Probably also with more smaller states, and Jin will be divided into Zhao, Wei and Han.

tkr4lf wrote:One thing I see right off the bat is that it's going to be hard to make the playable area big enough, especially with needing the extra room for techs, etc. Those central areas, Cao, Cai, Zheng, etc. are pretty small.

I actually messed around with a draft on it, made it 840x800, of course I didn't have the playable area take up the entire map, but those areas were barely big enough for one terit.

Something will need to be done about that.

Well, the borders were shifting constantly and the cartography of the time was not as accurate as today, and the sources are often unclear or conflicting. So I think we can afford to be a little liberal with the borders. The smallest states were nothing more than a city anyway, so they should just be one terit. But to be honest, I have though about the possibility of applying for supersize, because I need more space for the tech trees, and if they are used in novel ways I also need a lot of text to explain that. But let's see if that is going to be necessary.

koontz1973 wrote:I will say though, I am intrigued in seeing your first draft, what programme are you using? With your tech trees, what are you going to incorporate into them? I assume it would be bows to gunpowder type of things. But will you add things like fortifications to it as well. I mean, step one is mud brick and easy to get through to wood forts to stone buildings. Harder to attack as you go up type of things.
...
Cynther, if you need help with graphics, send me a PM and I will help you out.

About the graphics, I have had a look at a couple of tutorials for GIMP, and plan to follow natty dread's also. I would like to have a go at it myself to see how hard it really is, but I'll let you know if I need someone to take over that part. Thanks for the offer though :)

As for the tech trees, advances in weaponry should definitely be in there. As you said, siege warfare saw many improvements, for example the trebuchet. Other weapons that were used in this period include the war chariot, crossbow, horse archers (this tactic was not invented as such, but adapted from the neighbouring nomad tribes). Metallurgy could also be a tech tree, with different kinds of bronze alloys, different kinds of furnaces and iron casting. I don't know much about defensive fortifications, maybe they made something like moats, arrow slits, murder holes, etc. I'll look into that. But I do know that many of the northern states made long walls of stamped earth. The Great Wall was created by the first emperor(s) by linking these walls together, but that was (shortly) after the Warring States period.

I think we really need to consider historical accuracy. What do you guys think, is it important? Of course gameplay always comes first, but I would like to do as authentic a job as possible. Maybe there is some Chinese people and/or history buffs out there who can correct me (I promiss I won't give any of the territories Greek names ;)). There were at least as many advances both in technology and philosophy in the period leading up to this one (the Spring and Autumn Period (771 BC to ~450 BC), and I am actually thinking it will be easier to simply make the scenario cover this period too. That way I can accurately include for example Confucianism and Daoism.
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Sat Sep 15, 2012 7:36 pm

Historical accuracy is always nice, but as you said, gameplay comes first. Just strive to get it as historically accurate as you can without sacrificing gameplay, and I'm sure it will be an awesome map.

All the tech stuff you talked about sounds good. Just need to figure out what those techs give you. Of course, you have plenty of time to figure that stuff out, but it doesn't hurt to start thinking about it. Stuff like bonuses, auto-deploys, conditional borders, one-way assaults like you stated, etc.

Natty's tutorial is great for beginners. Follow that, then search around and find some more. Koontz posted a youtube video somewhere, I don't remember if it was in this thread or a different one, but it was some guy that does tutorials. Those would be good, especially since you can watch as he goes along.

Glad to hear about that borders. I was wondering about that. And very good that those huge provinces (not sure if this is the right word to use...) will be broken up. It does look a little weird having like 2 or 3 huge areas, with a ton of tiny areas right in the middle.

As for supersize, from what I understand, there is basically no supersize anymore. Well, for the large you can get some, but the small map can be no bigger than 630x600 I think, which is a huge pain. I don't really understand why they allow it for the large map and not the small, that's pointless. I guess it's to appease the people who only play on an iphone or whatever. In my opinion, if you play on an iphone, just don't play the supersize maps. Let the people who have good monitors get to enjoy the supersize. But oh well, enough of my ranting. It is what it is. But hopefully you can make it all fit into a 630x600 and a 840x800.

I'm looking forward to seeing your draft! :)
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby koontz1973 on Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:00 am

Cynther, natty dreads two gimp tutorials are great. Follow them and you will get a map. But you will need to learn more than what is in them to get a map that is playable. Just look at these two maps from first time map makers who followed his tutorial.
Click image to enlarge.
image

Click image to enlarge.
image

As you can see, not great and very different from the end product.

Here are some things for you that might help in the long run.
Official army numbers. Each territ must have these in as well as the name. Start with the large map and make sure you have more room so when the small map is made, it will also fit.
Image
Free textures for you to use.
http://www.cgtextures.com/
Fonts for the map.
http://www.dafont.com/
This guy is good. Has lots of videos explaining beginners and advanced techniques in GIMP.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E84BNlYvcNk
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:26 am

Any progress on this one?
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby Cynther on Tue Sep 25, 2012 6:43 pm

I've been somewhat busy this week, but I have managed to finish the first draft. I am only just getting to know GIMP, so it looks absolutely horrible, but at least it points in the general direction that I want to take the map.

The map shows the 7 largest states (dark colours), which form the basis of the bonus areas. The lighter coloured areas are smaller states that are occupied by the large ones, and give a composite bonus if held together with the corresponding large state. The grey areas are impassable mountain regions; the sandy/beige area is desert, which is impassable in itself, but will contain paths leading from one end of the map to another. The rivers are impassable too, but I will add river crossings in suitable spots.

The cities are not supposed to be like they are now, rather, I plan to divide each state into territories based on the cities. I will probably add a few more to get a more gameplay-friendly amount (right now there are 59, not counting the two desert territories). I would also like to use the names of the smaller states somehow, perhaps as territory names if the state is large enough to consist of more than one territory.

tkr4lf wrote:As for supersize, from what I understand, there is basically no supersize anymore. Well, for the large you can get some, but the small map can be no bigger than 630x600 I think, which is a huge pain. I don't really understand why they allow it for the large map and not the small, that's pointless. I guess it's to appease the people who only play on an iphone or whatever. In my opinion, if you play on an iphone, just don't play the supersize maps. Let the people who have good monitors get to enjoy the supersize. But oh well, enough of my ranting. It is what it is. But hopefully you can make it all fit into a 630x600 and a 840x800.

Seriously?? That makes no sense to me at all. What is the point of supersizing the large map if everything still has to fit into 630x600? Right now, the city names are a bit big, but even if I make them smaller, I really doubt that I can cram everything into a small map, with the tech trees and all the text explaining all the special features. Oh well, I guess I will just have to try...

I was thinking that I might get away with cropping the southern and western parts of the map and possibly relocate some of the cities closer to the centre. I kind of like the idea of having a mix of large and small-but-easy-to-defend bonus areas on the periphery and a chaotic battleground in the middle (that is certainly historically accurate :)), and I am afraid that that feeling might be a bit lost if I crop the outer territories, but it might be a necessary compromise.

To-do
  • Divide into territories
  • Philosophers
  • Philosophy tree
  • Tech tree
  • Zhou king's seat
  • State capitals
  • Paths through deserts
  • Mountain passes
  • River crossings

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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby tkr4lf on Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:51 pm

Hey man, just glad to see that you're working on it!

It doesn't look good right now, but like you said, you're learning. Looks will come with time. At least we can get a rough idea now.


I like the idea about having some of the smaller kingdoms inside some of the larger ones, and then having a superbonus for holding the whole thing. I think that's the idea there, yes? If so, I like it.

For your next update, can you change the color of the purple Yan province to something else? It doesn't contrast much at all against the ocean, makes it really hard to see it. You could also use a good land border to seperate the ocean from the land. Just a black line similar to your territory borders would work.

A question, are you using the ink/drawing tool to do your borders? If so, you should use the paths tool instead. It makes it so much easier to get nice smooth borders than trying to hand draw them with a mouse. I think natty's tutorial covers those and how to use them.


As far as the supersize issue, I'm pretty sure that is the case. Maybe Koontz can come by and confirm/deny that, because I'm not absolutely certain about it.


Nice to see the progress being made...keep it up!
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Re: New map idea about Warring States of China

Postby Cynther on Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:02 am

tkr4lf wrote:A question, are you using the ink/drawing tool to do your borders? If so, you should use the paths tool instead. It makes it so much easier to get nice smooth borders than trying to hand draw them with a mouse. I think natty's tutorial covers those and how to use them.

Actually, I used the magic wand to cut out and "colorify" the borders from an existing image, then hand drew a couple more (that's why there is so much noise). I am not concerned with looks at all at this stage, I actually just wanted to visualize the area so that I can divide it into territories. I made the rivers the same way, and they should probably be much more stylized (a simple line/path rather than the actual silhouette).
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