The Foundry Newsletter: 12th Issue
Posted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:02 pm
I'll be forthright: this issue is barebones. We've got your Maps and an advice-giving Editorial from InkL0sed, but that's more or less it. This is due to several factors. First, we've polled about virtually everything we can think about for Community Perspective, so until we can think of some new ideas, we're at a stand-still (suggestions accepted, send to ZeakCytho). Second, the entire Newsletter is presently being done by 3 people, and we've got busy lives that often has the Newsletter slipping through the cracks. The result is missing features (didn't give enough leadtime to contributers), delayed issues, and profusive apologies from me. We need new people to help out in making the Newsletter a reality. It's not that time-consuming (really, we're procrastinating like crazy over here) and only requires an open mind and the ability to send PMs. If that sounds like something you could do, PM TaCktiX. Sorry again about the short issue, but hopefully you know why things are as they are.
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In this section we cover every map presently in development. Each map is accompanied by a brief description of the map's theme, graphics, and gameplay, as well as what's been happening in the last couple of weeks. Finally, a link to each topic, the map's creator(s), and what stamps it presently has are noted.
Name: British Isles Revamp
Description: One of the most beloved maps in the game is getting a makeover. The creator has redone the look of the map to be much cleaner and geographically accurate to the Isles.
Present Development: Looking to actually get hit with a Quench stamp soon.
Name: Golfe du St-Laurent
Creators: Lone.prophet and Unit_2
Description: The Gulf of St. Lawrence (French, Golfe du St-Laurent) is the world's largest estuary, but conservation takes a backseat to beating the pulp out of others on this map of the gulf and its surrounding areas. It's an average-sized map with well-done textures and area-appropriate colors. Its classic gameplay is without any gimmicks and should be easy to pick up.
Present Development: This map has remained very quiet for quite some time. A completed XML is supposedly posted.
Name: Holy Roman Empire
Creators: Grayhawke and Pamoa
Description: The Holy Roman Empire has been said to neither be Holy, nor Roman, and most certainly not an Empire. At least CC players can fix the last part by building their own on this map detailing the HRE and surrounding nations. Taking a combination continent/influence bonus gameplay, the map tries to bring out some of the history of the HRE, all the while backing it with simple, solid graphics.
Present Development: A recent entry into the Forge, and already soon to get an XML stamp.
Name: Rail Australia
Description: Cairns is becoming a master of serial maps. Following up Rail USA and Rail Europe is this third map, Rail Australia. It brings, as expected, the rail system from Down Under into vivid color. Unlike the other two though, there are added twists to the map that should make play very interesting and varied.
Present Development: Also new to the Forge, the map is undergoing a few minor graphics and gameplay tweaks before finalizing the XML.
Description: Romania is a little-known country in Eastern Europe, yet steeped in history dating back to the Roman Empire (hence its name). This map takes the country and infuses a piece of parchment with a no-frills depiction of the country, with a touch of hand-drawn charm.
Present Development: Likely to quench soon, an incursion of real life has been the delay cause.
Name: San Marino
Creator: Ruben Cassar
Description: The Ruben Cassar formula to a T: a simple map based around a small area. It's attractive to the eye, and while being average size has plenty of bonuses that should be easy to get and hold onto.
Present Development: XML should come soon from someone, though the original creator is bogged down in that pesky thing known as real life.
Name: War of the Triple Alliance
Description: This map captures the War of the Triple Alliance, South America's bloodiest war, fought on one side by Paraguay and on the other by Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay. The muted colors and faded images help make this map truly feel 19th Century. The gameplay is classic, lacking any sort of twist or gimmick.
Present Development: Currently working on a proper solution to the Corrientes territory.
Name: WWII Europe
Description: Long stalled due to its large size, this map has undergone a weight-loss program and now fits within the size requirements. Taking his WWII Eastern and Western Front maps and meshing them with a Central front in the middle, this is a map that covers the entire theater of the war in Europe. With a large scale, and lots of opportunities, it will definitely be the WWII map to play when it's quenched.
Present Development: Forged and in process with the XML.
Description: Conquer Club has featured at one time or another all continents, save one: Antarctica. To avoid the problems of "boring chunk of ice with only research stations on it" and the treaty protecting it from conquest, the mapmaker has cast the map forward in time to 2060, when ice has given way to land, and everyone is vying to conquer it all. The graphics are suitably cold yet colorful, and the conquest basis of the map has been well-thought-out. The map merely asks that you conquer the previously unconquerable Antarctica.
Present Development: Currently in the midst of colorblind approval and other associated coloring of the continents.
Description: The ultimate winner of the well-publicized Brazil Revamp Competition, Rj has created a map that simply oozes with color, fitting for a nation known for its vibrant culture. Graphics are the order du jour now.
Present Development: 2nd reworking of the borders to keep the flat style of the map, as opposed to google earth roundness.
Name: British India
Description: Taking a cue from another, more modern attempt at India and its surrounding countries, Oaktown has taken the period of time when India was a British colony, and translated it onto a beautiful rendering of a history book (Editor's Note: he used the same book for the Brazil revamp contest). Combining simple colors and a hand-drawn look for terrain features and the like, the map is fairly simple on gameplay, with classic continents and a railway bonus to spice things up. Rewrite history for who controlled the region in the 1800's, or join those building the next railway for the ruler. The choice is yours.
Present Development: Updated and in the main Foundry now, the map is looking just as shnazz as always.
Name: Cairns Metro
Description: In yet another map by the seemingly tireless Cairns, he's covering the metropolitan area of his hometown, Cairns. Adopting a slightly more pastel color scheme than his recently-released Sydney Metro, the map also employs fewer continents and territories, making it have a significantly different gameplay than Sydney. So for yet another top-quality Australian experience, look for this map in the coming weeks.
Present Development: Now on a shnazzified version with trees and other terrain. Border connection understanding, particularly tinnie routes are being resolved.
Name: Das Schloß
Description: This map is unique in several ways. For one, it is the only map that can only be won by completing the objective. For two, it's gone back from quenching into the foundry with a major rework of the map's mechanics to fix some unforeseen balance issues.
Present Development: Discussions about the bonuses and the reworked gameplay are the main focus right now. Once issues are resolved on those and all present games on the older map are completed, the map will get re-quenched.
Name: Eastern Hemisphere
Description: What happens when you slice the world in half then age it 90 years? This map showing the far side of the world around 1910! It's the time when the great European empires are crumbling, and the creator has worked hard on making gameplay appropriate to the time setting. Expect a fresh world experience soon.
Present Development: Being nitpicked to death with general dissatisfaction at either the mountains, the ocean, or both.
Name: Europe 1914
Description: Another covering of World War I, this time from an overall theater look. With eye-popping colors, rigorous detail, and a slew of bonuses, this map definitely gets one's attention. With two objectives that aren't mutually exclusive (unlike Operation Drug War), the gameplay looks to be a mix of classic and complex. Overall it's a new look on a oft-forgotten war, which is bound to turn out interestingly.
Present Development: Stamped both ways and stickied at the top.
Name: Feudal Epic
Description: The long-awaited sequel to the original conquest map, Feudal War. Whereas Feudal War was restricted to only 6 players, Feudal Epic has enough for 8 people, with wide and expansive village regions in between to clash and vanquish your enemies in. Otherwise, the gameplay is the same, if not better, than the original Feudal War, making this a certain favorite when it quenches.
Present Development: Gameplay balancing in reference to the way the original plays is the discussion right now, with various solutions being proposed.
Name: Germany Revamp
Description: The current Germany map, as many German members have pointed out, is quite inaccurate. In this revamp, Pepperonibread is redrawing many of the borders to more accurately reflect the real Germany, as well as changing many of the territory names. Finally, the graphics will be completely overhauled and replaced with, in the words of Gimil, "super cool, shit hot graphics."
Present Development: Nearly there stamp-wise, we have to wait until Thanksgiving break for an update. Stupid school.
Name: Land and Sea
Description: This is a map of the world including both land and water territories. The graphics are basically non-existent right now, but the gameplay is undergoing serious discussion. The main feature of the game is that land and water territories only connect at certain points.
Present Development: Borders and gameplay options are being discussed. After the gameplay stamp, Edbeard will need someone to do the graphics for this map.
Name: Maze Craze
Creators: WidowMakers and yeti_c
Description: This map is big: 454 territories big. And it has a very novel gameplay revolving around neutrals that reset to much higher values when they're conquered. This is definitely a map to watch as it develops further.
Present Development: Sitting at the bottom of the forum looking for a Graphics stamp.
Name: New Zealand
Creator: Reggie Mac
Description: This is a map of New Zealand, complete with some surrounding islands. The graphics are clean and simple, and the gameplay is totally classic.
Present Development: In a firestorm of discussion, comprising the gamut of gameplay concerns.
Description: Switzerland is famed for its bank accounts, neutrality in war, and sweeping mountains. So have a hostile takeover on this average-sized map of the country. Graphics are simple and the gameplay matches, with only classic continents and impassables.
Present Development: Restarted and looking really pretty, gameplay concerns are being retrod.
Name: Trench Warfare
Creator: Mibi, Incandenza, and Yeti_C
Description: This map brings WWI style Trench Warfare to life! Two opposing fronts are separated by a large no mans land. Players will scramble for bonuses in trenches and use gameplay features such as mortars and artillery to bombard a path across no-mans land before rising from the trenches and blasting through to the other side. The high-quality and realistic graphics compliment this gameplay style very nicely.
Present Development: Allaying legend concerns as of late, looking for a Graphics stamp.
Name: USA 6 Region Map Pack
Description: This project is bold. WM is aiming to create 6 maps based on the 6 regions of the USA map, all with the same essential mechanics. The graphics are simple and effective, reflecting the colors and territories of the USA map while keeping a new set of flair. It's sure to be perfect tournament material, as well as an interesting set of maps to play with friends.
Present Development: Bonus discussions, graphical shnazz, and even XML are going on in this very busy topic.
Description: With maps of Ireland and Scotland already quenched, it is only natural that a map of Wales be developed. The graphical style is simple, and makes heavy use of Welsh motifs. The gameplay is mostly classic, with one twist: each geographical territory has two sets of armies, one for each clan in the area. Special bonuses are given for holding both clans in the same shire.
Present Development: Various gameplay changes have been made, and understanding of the map's mechanics is currently being discussed.
Name: WWI: Ottoman Empire
Description: World War I has also slipped into the void of uncoveredness, but thanks to Trench Warfare and this map the War to End All Wars will get its just deserts. The map takes on a lesser-known part of the war (though the famous battle of Gallipoli was fought here), focused around Turkey and the Central-allied Ottoman Empire. The general theater is portrayed in simple, understandable colors and the gameplay is fairly standard on this medium-sized map.
Present Development: Sporting even an XML before getting Gameplay stamped off, cairns appears to be pushing this map very heavily forward.
Name: Castle Battle
Creators: Marvaddin and Telvannia
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: This map is a siege of a fictional castle. The top-notch 3-D graphics give this map a perspective that not many other maps have. The gameplay heavily utilizes elements such as autodeploys and bombardments.
Present Development: Nothing in the past couple of weeks.
Name: Mediterranean Basin
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: This is a map of the regions around the Mediterranean Sea. It has classic gameplay and a simplistic graphical style that is still being developed.
Present Development: Back from a brief hiatus, the map is seeking a Draft Stamp.
Name: Research and Conquer
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: This map has a unique premise: you research your greater bonus by attacking separated territories, then use those greater reinforcements to either conquer others or fuel stronger research. It's an interesting twist on standard conquest play, and the graphics are looking simple yet eye-catching.
Present Development: Much is left to be determined, including researches, territory names, and any other special parts of the map.
Name: Zodiac Map
Stamps: [Advanced Draft]
Description: The Zodiac has been a centerpiece of astrology for generations, enshrined most noticeably by the naming of constellations in the stars. This map portrays their constellations and has bonuses centering around the seasons and the elements those constellations comprise. It also features a super-connected Black Hole territory, allowing a lot of mobility for such a large map. The map beckons that you decide your own fate among the stars.
Present Development: In danger of hitting the Scrap Heap due to a lack of updates.
Editor's Note: This editorial contains irony...a lot of it.
InkL0sed wrote:All too often, I hear how forbidding the Foundry is to the newcomer. It’s a maze of subfora, there are so many map threads, so many rules to follow! What is a newbie to do? As a Foundry veteran, I find this state of affairs to be both incomprehensible (since I caught on fairly quickly, myself) and saddening. The Foundry is actually quite simple. Let me explain.
The subfora are intuitively organized. They’re basically how you’d expect them to be divided. There is a separate subforum, through which map threads are moved by moderators, who simultaneously give these maps what are known as “stamps”, or graphical displays of approval for a certain aspect of the map (such as graphics, or XML), for each stage of development, the first of which has its very own subforum for maps no longer in development, this not including the ancillary subforum for proposals, or ideas, for maps, followed by discussion on said proposal, the extent of which depends, of course, on the popularity and viability of such a map.
But that is simply the nuts and bolts of the process, none of which is really very important; after all, the one question every important newbie to the Foundry has is “How can I make a map?” Well, the answer I would give you, and with which most would likely privately agree, is this: ignore all of the comments and suggestions people make. All of them.
For example, a common map idea is one based off copyrighted material. The most popular reply to such drafts is a trite, one-word “Copyright.” Many newcomers would give up there, and this is where they would make their first mistake. After all, where would the Classic and Middle Earth maps if we had let copyright get in our way? Certainly not in play, that’s for sure.
When somebody tells you that the borders are too pixelly, don’t listen to them; they clearly just don’t like you. When somebody suggests a different brush, they’re just being silly and promoting their personal favorite brush (which is usually pretty horrible, by the way). And when somebody tells you that a +7 bonus for a continent with 4 territories and 2 borders is a little high, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Usually, they’re lower ranked than you, so their opinions are invalid anyway.
You are always right, because it is always your map. The biggest misconception about the Foundry is that it is a process that is supposed to change your map. In fact, it is actually a testing ground for you, and only by extension your map. If you can refuse to change your map and instead defend it as staunchly as possible, and pester the Cartographers to stamp your map through the entire process, then your map is deemed playable, and is quenched. Your first draft, strange as it may seem, is perfect. The most prolific map makers fall under three categories: either they are very popular with the moderators, they are very good at being annoying, or are very gifted writers.
So, go forth, budding map maker! Heed my advice, and you will do well. Or, if you just want to look at the pretty pictures... well, I hope this clarifies things for you. Good luck, in any case.
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ZeakCytho - Perspectives Editor, Spotlight Editor, Maps In Development Editor
wcaclimbing - Graphics
gimil - Graphics
InkL0sed - Formatting Editor, Proofreading Editor
TaCktiX - Senior Editor, Editorial Editor, A Look Back Editor, Maps in Development Editor