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Age of Man

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Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:11 pm

Image


Map Name: Age of Man
(Circa 550 BC)

Mapmaker(s): Teflon Kris

Number of Territories: 79

Special Features:
    Autodeploy. Killer neutrals. 1-way assaults. Build-your-own-bonus (villages +2 for every 3). Bonuses for individual key regions. Two objectives. Losing condition. Conditional Borders and conditional auto-deploys. Transformations (other players' regions, and killer-neutral regions losing troops when special regions taken).


What Makes This Map Worthy of Being Made:
    (1) Only the second world map with conquest gameplay (the other being the more imaginatory 'All-Your-Base'). (2) A historical world map from an interesting ancient period where there was no significant major empire, and many empires were developing (or fading). Gameplay means that players can truly determine historical events, playing one of the multi-cultural protagonists and building an all-conquering empire to shape history from this brief moment (of opportunity) in world history. (3) A medium-sized conquest map (larger than Woodboro/WWII Poland yet smaller than typical conquest maps). (4) A conquest map with a focus on additional features in the central area. (5) Gameplay arranged to focus on the key battleground of the era (the mediterranean). (6) Incorporation of key concepts of the era: heroes, afterworlds, Gods and the infamous Kraken. (7) Key concepts logically linked to transformations and conditional borders, and forming strategic end-game elements.



Map Image:

Coloured army numbers denote starting positions (each would start with 3 troops, probably).


I may possibly add: "Standard deloyment 2 troops. No territory bonus." or "Standard deployment 2 troops. Region bonus: one troop for every 5 regions over 10."

Image


show: Gameplay Guide for Multiplayer Games


show: Previous Version


show: Earlier Versions
Last edited by Teflon Kris on Tue Jul 21, 2015 10:03 pm, edited 49 times in total.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Fewnix on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:43 pm

Love it.

\:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/ \:D/
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Re: Age of Man

Postby waauw on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:29 pm

Love the concept and you're definitely making progress. Not sure blue lines are the way to go though, with oceans being blue and all.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby ManBungalow on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:38 pm

Hiya,

Looks like a cool map!

Some constructive comments:

Some sea routes are hard to see (especially the one leading from Holy Land across the Red Sea)...blue line on blue background - might just be something to do with the mode you have the layer set to? eg. try 'burn', 'hard light' etc then mess with colourise if you're using GIMP

Lots of clutter for 'Centres of Civilisation', due to many different icons. Perhaps it would be possible to replace all of them with a uniform star or other shape? Makes them easier to identify in gameplay and makes more space in the legend. The icons you have could graphically be placed in the background but unrelated to gameplay.

Neutral 7 for treacherous routes is high!

If you're having difficulty squeezing all the info and regions in, remember that the large image can be up to 840x800 px.

For starting positions you basically need to make sure that none of them have a big advantage over others, in terms of how far they are to bonuses and how many directions they can be attacked from.


Will check back in here soon!
Image
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:49 pm

Many thanks MB - lots of constructivity :-)

And thanks especially for the very quick input.

=D> =D> =D>

ManBungalow wrote:Some sea routes are hard to see (especially the one leading from Holy Land across the Red Sea)...blue line on blue background - might just be something to do with the mode you have the layer set to? eg. try 'burn', 'hard light' etc then mess with colourise if you're using GIMP


Yeah, a totally different colour for sea routes (and maybe land) routes coming soon.

Lots of clutter for 'Centres of Civilisation', due to many different icons. Perhaps it would be possible to replace all of them with a uniform star or other shape? Makes them easier to identify in gameplay and makes more space in the legend. The icons you have could graphically be placed in the background but unrelated to gameplay.


Yeah, I have done this, will post result soon.

Neutral 7 for treacherous routes is high!


Maybe it could go down a touch, but my concern is to make quick-kills very unnatractive (e.g. a player going first gets his +1 'centre' quickly and can soon kill a neighbour who struggles with dice first 2 rounds). Happy to discuss further :-)

If you're having difficulty squeezing all the info and regions in, remember that the large image can be up to 840x800 px.


Thought I'd better start with the small map in case I made a large one then found crowded areas to be totally unclear when reduced-down.

For starting positions you basically need to make sure that none of them have a big advantage over others, in terms of how far they are to bonuses and how many directions they can be attacked from.


Hopefully there is some relative equality, I have kept it at the forefront of my mind.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Fri Jun 12, 2015 9:26 pm

Update

:-)

Image

And, with a slight filter:

Image

I think I'd prefer the first, or maybe somewhere between the two. Or maybe I should stop fiddling and look again in a day or two. ;-)

I'll almost surely make the main parchment lighter and the scrolls darker.

:oops: Treacherous Seas must change back to Treacherous Routes, and some of the attack routes missed being coloured somehow.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby waauw on Sat Jun 13, 2015 9:24 am

Some remarks:
  • I think You should completely colour the background map. The real life map you used is just too detailed in my opinion.
  • Maybe apply a slight gaussian blur to the black line encircling the map, too make it less edgy.
  • Little territory circles, should probably become somewhat wider. Requirement is at least 3 numbers can fit in.
  • I like the scrolls idea, but somehow I feel that it leaves too much open space. If you could find anything as ornament...
  • Some of the texts in scrolls, especially the 2nd and 4th on the right, are difficult to read
  • I agree with Manbungalow, the different icons somehow don't fit. Making one universal icon could help make the map cleaner and easier to understand.

Teflon Kris wrote:
If you're having difficulty squeezing all the info and regions in, remember that the large image can be up to 840x800 px.


Thought I'd better start with the small map in case I made a large one then found crowded areas to be totally unclear when reduced-down.


On the other hand, if you start small and enlarge later, some images might turn pixelated. Though however you want to tackle your project is up to you of course.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:00 am

Thanks for all your thoughts mate, I will certainly take them on board.

waauw wrote:I think You should completely colour the background map. The real life map you used is just too detailed in my opinion.


Yeah, it is too detailed, maybe total colouring, or I might try two or three textures.

Maybe apply a slight gaussian blur to the black line encircling the map, too make it less edgy.


Aha, thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a try, something is needed, especially on the left.

Little territory circles, should probably become somewhat wider. Requirement is at least 3 numbers can fit in.


Hmm, well, I'm not so sure. If it is a rule then its totally ignored on other maps. Often there are no circles at all. I copied the circle exactly from some guide-type page in this forum somewhere. If it were law, its probably like laws for businesses compared to laws for citizens - nobody cares, even mentions and nobody enforces. :lol:

I like the scrolls idea, but somehow I feel that it leaves too much open space. If you could find anything as ornament...


Yeah, I might try and have a feint Zeus or Poseidon embossed into the background parchment, but prob later on. The space can be spare for now I hope

Some of the texts in scrolls, especially the 2nd and 4th on the right, are difficult to read


For sure. So far, I have imported some text and then shrunk and adjusted - I find Gimp goes totally mental with text layers (e.g. I can no longer use the font I have for territory names for some reason, either when trying to edit or adding a new text layer). Perfecting the text is therefore more a long-term thing in my head. However, I can quickly improve some of the scrolls now that I have more space.

[*]I agree with Manbungalow, the different icons somehow don't fit. Making one universal icon could help make the map cleaner and easier to understand.


I agree too which is why I thought I'd started to try and address this with the different-coloured circles. I read his point as referring to the legend. The icons aren't universal, and how could they be, aborigines, american indians, egyptians, celts, persians, .... they are different and that's cool .... the multitude of cultures is the whole point of the map and this brief moment (of opportunity) in world history. I think MB was suggesting that the icons fade into the background more on the main map. Maybe there might be a way to stylistically adjust the icons (e.g. colorise them a little and adjust brightness)? And / or, have fewer, such as in the inset, many of the cities would have had similarities (so a couple of 'stronghold' icons as opposed to a range of shields, cities and pyramids)and fewer village icons (teepees and huts instead of 4 types). I am attached to the elephant and pyramids though! :lol: For starters, I'll look at a smaller Ayers Rock in Australia, maybe with one digeridoo guy, and the more standard village icons.

..... if you start small and enlarge later, some images might turn pixelated. Though however you want to tackle your project is up to you of course.



Yeah, but less work than totally restarting the project because there isnt room on the small map. You're above point about background detail is even more important if I start small though, I started with larger icons and stuff so have them saved etc., larger text (after lots of Gimp-cursing), no problem, but a larger background will need some work (to de-pixelate), so, yeah, better to have less detail on the small version I will be enlarging.


Another thing I was thinking

Maybe I have symmetrical OCD but I wonder if the map would look better with the underworld underneath the Med inset. If I move the Med inset up close to Bantu 2 / Madagascar then there would just be room (also using the bit of space at the tope of the map). It kind of makes sense for the underworld to be at the bottom anyway (technically I could make it a 3-region zone with maybe the Palace of Hades and Tartarus - they could all have decay and the min objective could become 'Hold the Underworld or both Olympus + Atlantis'), although I'll leave this idea to one side just now (there is already enough of a Greek-bias on the map, this idea would make it even more so, given that the underworld concept belonged to many cultures).

It would take a little time so I'll wait for some opinions on this first. O:)


To-Do List - Soon
    Improve text on scrolls where it is least clear
    Consider moving things around a little so the Underworld is below the Med inset
    Background colouring / texturing
    Gaussian Blue for black line of main map (plus tiny edit of circle surrounding inset on the main map)
    Work reducing the number of different icons to some degree and consider further feedback
    Maybe try different shapes instead of army circles for 'Strongholds' and 'Villages' (like the 'Holy Lands' and 'Great Sea' 'circles')

To-Do List - Further Ahead
    Pay a politician so the circle size doesn't matter / enrol Sepp Blatter as my lawyer
    Background ornaments - Zeus / Poseidon / Egyptian Gods etc.
    Large Version - do lots of work after enlarging with the background and some other aspects.
Last edited by Teflon Kris on Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:41 pm, edited 8 times in total.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Sat Jun 13, 2015 11:01 am

Maybe some points partly addressed in this latest update (although, in the bottom-right scroll, the circles/stars need to have a more pastel shade, ship icon removes and 'seas' swapped for 'routes'):

Image



To-Do List - Soon
    Improve text on scrolls where it is least clear :-)
    Consider moving things around a little so the Underworld is below the Med inset
    Background colouring / texturing
    Gaussian Blue for black line of main map (plus tiny edit of circle surrounding inset on the main map)
    Work reducing the number of different icons to some degree and consider further feedback - Started on this - some icons removed, others given less prominence - Austrailia typifies the adjustments.
    Maybe try different shapes instead of army circles for 'Strongholds' and 'Villages' (like the 'Holy Lands' and 'Great Sea' 'circles')

To-Do List - Further Ahead
    Pay a politician so the circle size doesn't matter / enrol Sepp Blatter as my lawyer
    Background ornaments - Zeus / Poseidon / Egyptian Gods etc.
    Large Version - do lots of work after enlarging with the background and some other aspects.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:23 pm

Changes:

    Some more background colouring (removing excess detail).

    Lots of icon removal, scaling-down and adjustments into the background.

    Holy Lands renamed Israel for further Med inset de-cluttering.

    A change in the Med (Sparta swapped for Athens) including a small change in gameplay. Athens is now assaulted by all (9) other central strongholds, removing the need for most of the Med sea routes :-). Also, main map strongholds can no longer bombard Atlantis and the Underworld (both are now a little more accessible through the centre though). Olympus can also no longer be assaulted directly by Med inset strongholds (but can be accessed quickly from them through their connection to Athens).




Latest version:

Image



And, here's a (slightly less cleaned-up) version with different coloured circles for villages (I prefer the version without myself):

Image




To-Do List - Soon
    Improve text on scrolls where it is least clear :-)
    Consider moving things around a little so the Underworld is below the Med inset
    Background colouring / texturing - Some progress on this.
    Gaussian Blue for black line of main map (plus tiny edit of circle surrounding inset on the main map)
    Work reducing the number of different icons to some degree and consider further feedback - Lots of progress on this - (I hope that's about it now).
    Maybe try different shapes instead of army circles for 'Strongholds' and 'Villages' (like the 'Athens', 'Israel' and 'Great Sea' 'circles')

To-Do List - Further Ahead
    Pay a politician so the circle size doesn't matter / enrol Sepp Blatter as my lawyer
    Background ornaments - Zeus / Poseidon / Egyptian Gods etc.
    Large Version - do lots of work after enlarging with the background and some other aspects.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby waauw on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:17 am

Teflon Kris wrote:For sure. So far, I have imported some text and then shrunk and adjusted - I find Gimp goes totally mental with text layers (e.g. I can no longer use the font I have for territory names for some reason, either when trying to edit or adding a new text layer). Perfecting the text is therefore more a long-term thing in my head. However, I can quickly improve some of the scrolls now that I have more space.


I use GIMP as well. You are correct you can't change text once rotated, at least until you de-rotate it. As for the shrinking, I don't see a problem unless you used the scale-tool. Just select the text(not just a click, but really drag the select) and change the size.

As for the backgrounds, take a look at these guides.
https://www.conquerclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=649&t=140723
https://www.conquerclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=649&t=141577

About the icons and pictures. Did you get them from the internet? Because you need to watch out with copyrights.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Wed Jun 17, 2015 6:16 pm

waauw wrote:
Teflon Kris wrote:For sure. So far, I have imported some text and then shrunk and adjusted - I find Gimp goes totally mental with text layers (e.g. I can no longer use the font I have for territory names for some reason, either when trying to edit or adding a new text layer). Perfecting the text is therefore more a long-term thing in my head. However, I can quickly improve some of the scrolls now that I have more space.


I use GIMP as well. You are correct you can't change text once rotated, at least until you de-rotate it. As for the shrinking, I don't see a problem unless you used the scale-tool. Just select the text(not just a click, but really drag the select) and change the size.

As for the backgrounds, take a look at these guides.
https://www.conquerclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=649&t=140723
https://www.conquerclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=649&t=141577

About the icons and pictures. Did you get them from the internet? Because you need to watch out with copyrights.


For some reason, I cant adjust text layers once they have been created, but I can live with that for now. My main problem, I now realise, is the Papyrus font I made the region names with, is different on the Mac I am now on, to the font on my former Windows machine (when I first started this project). So I have to cut-and-paste letters from existing region names when I make a new one (what a farce). :lol:

Anyway, yeah the background will be coming to the top of the list soon, once I'm happy with the overall layout (and fitting into size etc).

Thanks for the links, I havent looked in that forum for years, lots of great stuff now - there will be something in there that could save me hours of fiddling around.

Most of the icons I have obtained from elsewhere are either from royalty-free sites (e.g. http://www.fotolibra.com/gallery/32487/ziggurat-mesopotamia/ or are derived from photos (i.e. shapes obtained just as a map may be traced), following the principle of my image being unrecognisable from the original (guide here). Cerebus below is a classic example. There are a couple that need replacing with something else or creating from scratch (roman colisseum, building in south america), unless I stump up the couple of quid required to use them. May need to work on Atlantis a little as it is not quite 100% 'unrecognisable from the original'. Edit: Will swap ampitheatre for icon from this site in my next update.


Here's the latest:


Changes:

    Some more background colouring (removing excess detail).

    Created the Underworld and moved things around - scrolls need updating as Underworld regions will have decay.

    More icon removal / fiddling.





Image







To-Do List - Soon
    Update scroll(s) re. decay on Underworld regions.
    Finalise gameplay ideas for further additions (along the Netherworlds theme ;-) ), then create and find minimalistic explanations for further scrolls.
    Further work on Cerebus and Underworld background.
    Work on Atlantis Inset.
    Improve text on scrolls where it is least clear :-)
    Consider moving things around a little so the Underworld is below the Med inset :-)
    Background colouring / texturing - Continuous progress on this.
    Gaussian Blue for black line of main map (plus tiny edit of circle surrounding inset on the main map)
    Work reducing the number of different icons to some degree and consider further feedback - Lots of progress on this..
    Swap icons for Roman Colliseum / Ampitheatre.
    Remove icon in South America and create a new one (plenty of possibilities here as no common visual concept of how Tiwanaku looked).
    Maybe try different shapes instead of army circles for 'Strongholds' and 'Villages' (like the 'Athens', 'Israel' and 'Great Sea' 'circles')

To-Do List - Further Ahead
    Pay a politician so the circle size doesn't matter / enrol Sepp Blatter as my lawyer.
    Background ornaments - Zeus / Poseidon / Egyptian Gods etc.
    Large Version - do lots of work after enlarging with the background and some other aspects.
    Update Gimp to see if text issues fixed / work on text on windows laptop.
Last edited by Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby ManBungalow on Thu Jun 18, 2015 1:07 am

Hi mate, thought I'd give you a brief comment now and will reply properly in a few days.

- missing links in the Athens/Israel area? Or is this intended?

- I think your civilisation regions are two different shades of blue, which is confusing, especially to the colourblind!

- underworld is now 3 regions? Not really explained in the legend!

Looks good though, cheers!
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 2:20 am

ManBungalow wrote:Hi mate, thought I'd give you a brief comment now and will reply properly in a few days.

- missing links in the Athens/Israel area? Or is this intended?


The legend shows all centres in the inset can attack all 3 star regions.

- I think your civilisation regions are two different shades of blue, which is confusing, especially to the colourblind!


Yeah, centres near starting position aand centres in the inset have slightly different properties (e.g. the above) - but, good point, I will make them more different for clarity (prob go with same colour, 2 different shapes)

- underworld is now 3 regions? Not really explained in the legend!


Its a 3-region bonus, but yeah, I did say in last post that there is legend info to add re. U'world. Was just happy to have moved stuff around, so posted update before it was fully finished.


Thanks for your feedback MB

I'll address these points quickly as they are pretty important for people's understanding of the map (before I add any more complicated elements).

:D
Last edited by Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby yclee0206 on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:06 am

It looks like players with Ab1, Andes and japanese starting position will be hard to win
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 6:18 am

yclee0206 wrote:It looks like players with Ab1, Andes and japanese starting position will be hard to win


Please tell me more, you are looking at the map with fresh eyes so I would love to know what you see. To me the start positions are similar, but maybe they are not, or maybe the connections aren't clear enough? Are you referring to how many regions these starting points need to take to get to the central area?
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Re: Age of Man

Postby yclee0206 on Thu Jun 18, 2015 7:37 am

Yeah, I meant that. Those and CT3 would need to defeat two more neutrals in order to get to the blue stronghold. Bantu1 and FN1 will be the best place to start. Maybe it wouldn't matter that much, but I am just saying that it might be unfair for them.

Except for that, This map is very nicely made. You've made it so that no two players would collide with each other to get to the stronghold. Great job!
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 12:28 pm

yclee0206 wrote:Yeah, I meant that. Those and CT3 would need to defeat two more neutrals in order to get to the blue stronghold. Bantu1 and FN1 will be the best place to start. Maybe it wouldn't matter that much, but I am just saying that it might be unfair for them.

Except for that, This map is very nicely made. You've made it so that no two players would collide with each other to get to the stronghold. Great job!


I understand - hopefully it shouldn't make much difference given that players start with 7 troops. I've read some gameplay discussion about conquest maps before and there seem to be two schools of thought, one insisting on total equality for start positions and the other preferring slight differences. If folks think its a problemn then a solution (at least partial solution) to provide more balance would be to have the standard (non-village, non-stronghold) region in each area a single neutral (n1) - I might do this anyway in fact.

Thanks for looking-in - another update imminent.
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Update

Postby Teflon Kris on Thu Jun 18, 2015 5:15 pm

Latest Update:
    Legend updated re, Underworld Expansion
    Standard regions (x9) changed to n1 starts
    Atlantis & A couple of icons changed to avoid issues
    Tibetan snow, horses and camels added.
    Some fiddly cleaning-up.



Image



Next Update:
Army circles colour system / shapes
Further work on Cerebus and Underworld background.
Some work on the background


Other Stuff on To-Do List - Soon
    Update scroll(s) re. decay on Underworld regions.
    Finalise gameplay ideas for further additions (along the Netherworlds theme ;-) ), then create and find minimalistic explanations for further scrolls.
    Further work on Cerebus and Underworld background.
    A little further work on Atlantis Inset.
    Background colouring / texturing - Continuous progress on this.
    Gaussian Blue for black line of main map (plus tiny edit of circle surrounding inset on the main map)
    Work reducing the number of different icons to some degree and consider further feedback - Lots of progress on this..
    Maybe try different shapes instead of army circles for 'Strongholds' and 'Villages' (like the 'Athens', 'Israel' and 'Great Sea' 'circles')

To-Do List - Further Ahead
    Pay a politician so the circle size doesn't matter / enrol Sepp Blatter as my lawyer.
    Background ornaments - Zeus / Poseidon / Egyptian Gods etc.
    Large Version - do lots of work after enlarging with the background and some other aspects.
    Update Gimp to see if text issues fixed / work on text on windows laptop.

show: Done
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Re: Age of Man

Postby yclee0206 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:29 am

There seems to be a minor error in the text.
In the civilization strongholds scroll, it is 'assault' and 'bombard', while in other places, it is 'assaults' and 'bombards'
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Fri Jun 19, 2015 12:43 pm

yclee0206 wrote:There seems to be a minor error in the text.
In the civilization strongholds scroll, it is 'assault' and 'bombard', while in other places, it is 'assaults' and 'bombards'


Yeah, it just grammer, the strongholds are plural, so its like 'they assault', as opposed to 'it assaults'.

:-)
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Re: Age of Man

Postby yclee0206 on Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:17 pm

Oh now I get it. I thought the whole underworld could attack those circles, but it was just Hades Palace
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:44 pm

Further update:

Graphical improvements (I hope)

Army circles / shapes update next.

:-)

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Re: Age of Man

Postby waauw on Sun Jun 21, 2015 5:11 am

It's better, but the deserts and continent borders are still quite edgy. And personally I'd prefer the grass to be just a slight bit greener.
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Re: Age of Man

Postby Teflon Kris on Sun Jun 21, 2015 8:10 am

waauw wrote:It's better, but the deserts and continent borders are still quite edgy. And personally I'd prefer the grass to be just a slight bit greener.


Agreed, I assume you mean the continent / desert outlines? Hopefully some of them are better (for example, maybe not so much edginess in S America where rain forest meets grass / desert)? Anyway, the guides you indicated above will be useful for this work. Thanks man

While I'm at it, I'll use the guides to get some better attack routes and sea routes, and add a small scroll to show the 3 types of connections (attack routes in underworld as well).

Plus, I haven't forgotten the gaussian blur, have noticed a perpective issue with the Olympus background, and finally (for now), I plan a minor overhaul of the army circles.


Grass easily sorted though. :-)
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