Battle for the Spice Islands

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Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:28 pm

Battle for the Spice Islands - Updated 6/24/2014 - Version 22 - Page 11
Number of Territories - 33 Regions/9 Fleets - 3 Armadas/10 Sea Passages/5 Ports/3 Major Ports/4 Continents/Spice Islands - 4 Spices
Special Features - Inset Maps, Navies, Spices, Ports
What Makes This Map Worthy of Being Made? - Historical significance based on Wallace Map of the Malay Archipelago 1869 and the Dutch East India Company, Special Game Play, Lack of Maps of this region of the world
NEW NEW CHANGES: Lowered Bonus for Oceania. Changed border of Siam/Burma. Renamed Malasia to Sarawak.
NEW CHANGES: Changes to Legend/Rules. Renamed Continents. Lowered Bonus for Oceania. Changed color of Ocean and South Sunda slightly. Changed font to more reflective of period.
The Dutch East India Company - Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC, (United East India Company) Chartered in 1602.. It is often considered to have been the first Multi-National Corporation in the World and it was the first Company to issue stock. It was also arguably the first Mega-Corporation, possessing Quasi-Governmental Powers, including the ability to Wage War, Imprison and Execute Convicts, Negotiate Treaties, Coin Money, and Establish Colonies. Western European Powers Dominated the Malay Archipelago during this period relying on superior arms and naval power.

Made Fleets 1-Way Attack Ports to emphasize the Fleet's power in this part of the world, similarly with the exception of Burma and Malaka the Continents can not attack each other - without going to sea. You CAN leave a Port via a Sea Passage. Sea Passages are -2 armies per turn visa-a-via 'Napoleonic Europe Map' So if you have any armies over 1 you will lose 2, if you only have 1 army it will remain - this is intended to model the high cost and risk of open ocean voyage, Fleets do not receive bonus unless they possess a Spice as without cargo Fleets are expensive to maintain. 3 Fleets of same get +1 bonus to reflect naval might. Sea Passage 1 or SP1 has 2 spots on this map - by the Spice Islands in the upper or main map and in the lower right inset map of the Spice Islands, this is how I move between maps. Best I came up with... Victory Conditions can be reached by holding an Armada (3 Fleets of the same suit) Spice Monopoly (All 4 Spice Islands) and 1 of the 3 Major Ports outside the Spice Islands
Hopefully above information is reflected in the map - if any thing is unclear, I will attempt to clarify. Suggestions welcome.
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Last edited by vaughn03 on Wed Jun 25, 2014 9:33 am, edited 61 times in total.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:43 pm

Hello -

I'm vaughn03 and I'd like to design a fairly sophisticated map of the Malay Archipelago. I'm a professional retoucher so I'm proficient in photoshop, but not XML.

The map is based roughly on Wallace's Map of 1869. If possible I would like to introduce some elements that I have not seen in other conquer club maps. (I've been told that everything has been done, but I have not seen what I have in mind but I've not played all the cc maps either...) Am also looking for suggestions regarding historical, geographical, design, game play - willing to change anything to improve look and gameplay.

Special Features I would like to incorporate if possible.

1. Pop-up map - Map in bottom right corner would change to 'active island'. - This allows more complex game play each island can have objectives, etc.
2. Moving Navies - transport troops, bombard ports.
3. Typhoons - randomly generated storms, can destroy ports, fleets.
4. Supply Lines - reinforcements based on contiguous supply lines being maintained.
5. Volcano Eruptions - randomly generated eruptions, destroy troops to neutral.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby tkr4lf on Sat Oct 06, 2012 10:18 pm

vaughn03 wrote:Special Features I would like to incorporate if possible.

1. Pop-up map - Map in bottom right corner would change to 'active island'. - This allows more complex game play each island can have objectives, etc.
2. Moving Navies - transport troops, bombard ports.
3. Typhoons - randomly generated storms, can destroy ports, fleets.
4. Supply Lines - reinforcements based on contiguous supply lines being maintained.
5. Volcano Eruptions - randomly generated eruptions, destroy troops to neutral.


I'm no xml expert, but I'm pretty much 100% sure #'s 1, 2, 3 and 5 cannot be done with the current xml.

The map looks cool though.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby koontz1973 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:19 pm

tkr is right, some of those features are not doable at the moment. But it is a very nice looking map and hope you do not get discouraged and try to continue with it.

Some thoughts for you are...
The typhoons can just become killer neutrals and placed strategically around the map to stifle/open game play up. Example - Place one between Borneo and Java so a player can either go the long way around of have a short cut that kills troops.
The hexagons are very small. Remember, they need to be able to hold a name and the army numbers. Image
Here is a previous map similar to yours. viewtopic.php?f=242&t=160761 Maybe you can take some of the ideas away from this one.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby AndyDufresne on Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:28 am

The idea sounds alright (minus the undoable parts). Best of luck on developing your idea! I look forward to seeing a proper draft sometime.


--Andy
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby nolefan5311 on Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:45 am

I honestly think this is a very strong first draft...did you do it yourself vaughn, or is this a map from somewhere else? The only thing I don't like are the hexes, but otherwise, I can't wait to see this in the MFW.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby Huegelkoenig on Wed Oct 10, 2012 12:35 pm

looks great, even without the undoable parts
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:08 pm

Are the parts undoable because they do not work with the XML Templet currently be used or they will not work in XML period? i.e If I had an XML guy who was qualified, it could be done?

That being said - I would be willing to develop for current XML with an eye towards improving with my ideas in the future - 'Ring of Fire II'...

I need to look at suggested map some more and see what I can garnish from that - it does look similar, more so than any of the active maps I've seen and making fleets and typhoons static is doable if not preferable...

My original idea was to use the inset map just for the 'Spice Island'. Then I thought why not make it a 'pop-up' and have it change to whatever island the battle was raging. So - for now - back to the original idea. I also like the idea of victory conditions perhaps with some combination of ports and resources being reached.

The 'hex' marks can easily be removed - I've thought the might work well and maybe not - more so if navies can move... So I can eliminate.

I'm a Studio Retoucher using Photoshop so this is all pretty easy for me and I try to set up my files to be as editable as possible.

I worked on the 'Mississippi Magnolia' map but the originator became frustrated when he could not super-size and abandoned the project. I'm probably more willing to compromise than he...

As stated before would love suggestions on game play and adding historical elements to the game play. I've spent time in this part of the world but still learning...
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby nolefan5311 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:17 pm

vaughn03 wrote:Are the parts undoable because they do not work with the XML Templet currently be used or they will not work in XML period? i.e If I had an XML guy who was qualified, it could be done?

That being said - I would be willing to develop for current XML with an eye towards improving with my ideas in the future - 'Ring of Fire II'...

I need to look at suggested map some more and see what I can garnish from that - it does look similar, more so than any of the active maps I've seen and making fleets and typhoons static is doable if not preferable...

My original idea was to use the inset map just for the 'Spice Island'. Then I thought why not make it a 'pop-up' and have it change to whatever island the battle was raging. So - for now - back to the original idea. I also like the idea of victory conditions perhaps with some combination of ports and resources being reached.

The 'hex' marks can easily be removed - I've thought the might work well and maybe not - more so if navies can move... So I can eliminate.

I'm a Studio Retoucher using Photoshop so this is all pretty easy for me and I try to set up my files to be as editable as possible.

I worked on the 'Mississippi Magnolia' map but the originator became frustrated when he could not super-size and abandoned the project. I'm probably more willing to compromise than he...

As stated before would love suggestions on game play and adding historical elements to the game play. I've spent time in this part of the world but still learning...


As far as the XML is concerned, it's not that they can't be done at all period somewhere on the interwebs, it's just they can't be done with the current game engine on this site. I really hope you further develop this idea...I like it a lot. And the Foundry always needs more mapmakers :D
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:37 pm

I'll go with the game engine and keep an eye out for an XML programmer. I'm looking for help with the XML from the game community but hoping I can pick it up some...
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby nolefan5311 on Wed Oct 10, 2012 3:46 pm

vaughn03 wrote:I'll go with the game engine and keep an eye out for an XML programmer. I'm looking for help with the XML from the game community but hoping I can pick it up some...


There are a lot of people on the site who can write the XML for you, within the constraints of the game engine. However, the only person who can expand the game engine to allow XML updates is the site administrator.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby thehippo8 on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:07 am

vaughn03 wrote:Hello -

I'm vaughn03 and I'd like to design a fairly sophisticated map of the Malay Archipelago. I'm a professional retoucher so I'm proficient in photoshop, but not XML.

The map is based roughly on Wallace's Map of 1869. If possible I would like to introduce some elements that I have not seen in other conquer club maps. (I've been told that everything has been done, but I have not seen what I have in mind but I've not played all the cc maps either...) Am also looking for suggestions regarding historical, geographical, design, game play - willing to change anything to improve look and gameplay.

Special Features I would like to incorporate if possible.

1. Pop-up map - Map in bottom right corner would change to 'active island'. - This allows more complex game play each island can have objectives, etc.
2. Moving Navies - transport troops, bombard ports.
3. Typhoons - randomly generated storms, can destroy ports, fleets.
4. Supply Lines - reinforcements based on contiguous supply lines being maintained.
5. Volcano Eruptions - randomly generated eruptions, destroy troops to neutral.

Welcome vaughn - we are very lucky to have you interested in making maps. Your comments here are so interesting to me that I am going to go a step further and draft some suggestions by way of an article for the Dispatch newletter. Rather than double up - look out for the article and hopefully that will also drive some traffic back here!
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby generalhead on Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:18 pm

Very nice looking map. Nice detail for a first draft.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby thehippo8 on Mon Oct 15, 2012 8:28 pm

I wrote an article on this in the Dispatch Here's the article if anyone missed it:

Ring of Fire – doing the undoable by thehippo8
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby cairnswk on Tue Oct 16, 2012 12:30 am

vaughn03. i was impressed by your graphics ability...
but not impressed by the first rule you broke in design anywhere, and that is...legibility.
I have to squint to strain to read what is written in those instructions. :( Sorry to be blunt.
Your typeset looks nice but without it being legible...it didn't cut the mustard.
I do however, encourage you to listen well to some of the more experienced foundry folk (not necessarily myself) in developing those workarounds for your xml.
Your ideas are great from concept, now you simply have to be creative in the execution to develop a workable map within the xml engine possibilities.
You've also taken on a subject of "Indonesia" which is great to see.
Nice start as a first concept draft... :)
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:21 pm

Sure - I'm pretty sure all that copy will change a lot of it is greek. I sort of like the stuff about the Dutch East Indy company but it's superficial to gameplay. It's never really been in my purview to pick fonts so I'll do the best I can. Suggestions would be welcome. I'm thinking that I'd like fonts that reflect the period - 1602-1798. Of course I can do things to improve legibility of the fonts as they are - size, color, color of background, but many of those adjustments are subject to where and how much copy we end up with.

I've checked out thehippo8 article and agree that some of my ideas do exist just in a different form than I envisioned. I want the little boat to move... Oh well, I can deal with it... I need to talk to him or someone about some of those maps. Have not played Das Schloss - looks interesting but scares me some, I'm going to lose points figuring it out... Played Trench Warfare once but couldn't dig out so didn't really figure out all that gameplay either. Will ask for more explanations/examples - maybe you can help...? I guess I can look at games or the rules somewhere as well...

Thanks for input.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:19 pm

Battle for the Spice Islands:
vaughn03:
Number of Territories - Uncertain:
Special Features - Inset Maps, Navies, Supply Lines, Commodities, Ports:
What Makes This Map Worthy of Being Made? - Historical significance based on Wallace Map of the Malay Archipelago 1869 and the Dutch East India Company, Special Game Play, Lack of Maps of this region of the world:

Battle for the Spice Islands:

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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby vaughn03 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:45 pm

I've posted a revision to the map in order to keep things moving - it's still not all thought out but I would like input.

Due to not being able to randomize volcanos and/or typhoons I've decided to drop them from this map and hence I am also dropping the 'Ring of Fire' from the title. Perhaps a future version.

Also since no pop-up maps I have made a single inset - The Spice Islands - this is also based on a historic map, near as my limited knowledge can surmise, there seemed to be a lot of spices and hence fighting around these small islands.

Here I'm thinking somewhere along the lines that perhaps each island in the Spice Islands can be one-way attacked from different ports and/or fleets. Spice Islands could attack internally. Same with fleets and ports, perhaps one attacks the other and vise versa but land in the archepagos has to be attacked via the ports and other land..?

Ports could get bonus's compounded by number of ports, but I sort of like the idea that ships perhaps cost something because they are, after all, expensive to maintain. Maybe like 'Russian Winter' in NAPOLEONIC EUROPE -1 troop per turn?

I also like the idea of incorporating commodities as part of a bonus - historically it was what everyone was killing each other for. Maybe they could have some heirachy for a bonus and/or role in a victory condition.

I think the nature of the geography with the island chains makes for nice one way attacks which a enjoy ala FRACTURED CHINA map. Also here - if possible - still like the idea of receiving bonus for supply lines - not clear to me if that is allowed and if so how much control/latitude I have.

I have Ships or Fleets but not sure how I want to play them - I like the idea of them having some movement, perhaps as thehippo8 suggested ala 1982 and TRENCH WARFARE. I agree that that does essentially the same thing as what I wanted, if not giving me the pleasure of my little ships moving across the map. Also not sure how to illustrate there range/territory - I prefer the lines to be natural perhaps incorporating the Longitude and Latitude lines that are on the map..?

Lastly - I realize my type/fonts need to be improved. I've been building this in Photoshop much bigger than the meager 840 x 800 pixels that CC allows. Unfortunately when I bring it done the fonts suffer and I will need to deal with that.

Thanks - looking forward to input.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby thehippo8 on Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:51 pm

Yes, you can do supply lines ala Northwest Passage and commodity bonuses ala Age of Merchants or Tribal War ... there are other examples but those will do for now!

Otherwise, I am enjoying your thought processes and would be good to see some input from others on your gameplay suggestions.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:46 am

[Moved]

Into the drafting room you go. You should get a few more to look over there.

vaughn, territ names are to bloody small. I find it very hard to read them and when you make the small, it will be even harder. When you shrink you map, you need to do the names on the shrunken map. Text does not scale nicely.
Ships need to have a name put on them. Will think about connections but lines are the norm. different ways can be found and will think on it. Theme, why spice islands? What made these islands so special people fought over them? And how can you bring them into the gameplay. Think about maybe holding port(s), a ship and a spice. Make these bonuses progressive so holding the same spice will increase with the amount of ships and ports you hold. More ships allow you to transport more, and ports allow you to sell more. You only have 5 spices so there is plenty of expansion for small games and plenty to fight over in large games. Spice islands inset. You can remove the pretty graphics (compass and ships), move the islands down and bung a port on each island. This makes sense as all are islands. You can then use the spices at the top as the spice territs needed to hold for a bonus. Link each one to specific island(s).

Will have a longer/better look later for you and try to come up with some ideas.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby koontz1973 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 7:46 am

vaughn, now that you are in the foundry proper, their are some little things you need to do to make things simple for everyone.

Title of thread needs to be changed and kept up to date.
Maps name - date of last update - page of latest version.

I have done this for you this time around, but please keep it up to date.

Secondly, keep the latest version of the map in post one. Drafts can go into spoilers.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands [1/10] Pg2

Postby AndyDufresne on Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:07 am

I am liking the development of this map. In terms of the small version, have you played around with how big you'll want that to be?


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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands

Postby isaiah40 on Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:04 pm

koontz1973 wrote:Title of thread needs to be changed and kept up to date.
Maps name - date of last update - page of latest version.

Basically like this: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands [1 Nov 2012] v1, pg 2
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands [1/10] Pg2

Postby thenobodies80 on Tue Nov 06, 2012 4:21 pm

First of all let me say that I'm very impressed for a such nice draft.
In past I tried to develop a map about this zone and I'm well aware about how much is hard to find a good layout staying within the size limits, but I'm with cairnswk on this one.
Actually your map is really challenging: text is hard to read, there're important information that are not exaplined, it's not easy to understand how it will work...actually it would be an hell to play without the bob.

So, my very first suggestion is to make it more friendly. All the information you need to play the map should be clear on the map and you should be able to gather them just looking at it. Here we have a thread and we can discuss, but when the map will be played players should be able to play it without having to come here and ask for a clarification.
If you want to develop something that isn't exactly classic, if you want to go into something more complex....then it's fine, but please keep in mind that there's a big difference in having a complex map and a confusing one. A clear and complex map can be fun to play, a confusing and complex one will be just frustrating and players won't play it. That's simple.

I would like to comment a bit more the gameplay but actually it's not totally clear to me how you want to it plays...:?
For example ships, they connect together? Can attack ports? It's a two way thing or just a one way attack? Also ports connects each other?
Some land connections are also not so clear, for example how do you reach Tanimbar? Bali connects with?
Also ships have names? How people will distinguish them when playing the map? (I know we have clicky maps but we can't assume everyone uses them)

A final note, the minimap on the left...there's a reason for a such big space? Symbols can be visible even if you make the land smaller, moreover I think that they can pop out more if you reduce the size of the land but leave the symbols as they are now, or maybe just a bit smaller. reducing the space required for the minimap you can expand the bonus legend a bit more, actually i need a telescope to read names. Vertical text is in general ahrder to read when it is typed on 2+ lines (our brain tend to read horizzontally in any case, well not if you're japanese, but this is not the case I think ;)), so you have to use or a very clear font (basically CAPITAL letters) or write it horizontally.
Also the other inset on the right, you have a lot of "wasted" space in the lower part. If it was my map I would try to increase a bit the playable area, even if it means have a few pixels more than the limits of width. In the same time you should try to organize the other parts of the map in a better way, if possible try to keep the height within the limits.

I will leave more thoughts soon, keep it up...it's a good map and I like the spice theme.
Looking forward your next update.
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Re: Ring of Fire - Battle for the Spice Islands [1/10] Pg2

Postby Industrial Helix on Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:38 pm

I have very little input outside of that I love it, but the text seems very small to me.
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