And it's our first official issue on the Newsletter forum! The previous one released a week before the switchover, so go figure. In true Newsletter form, we're asking whether or not you think the switch was a good one and why. We'll post the results next issue. Also, a warm welcome to grayhawke, our new proofreading editor, and the.killing.44, our new layout editor. Thanks for stepping up! In more Foundry-related news, no new maps have released, but there's a massive amount of them in the main Foundry right now in development. Check out the hustle and bustle and find your favorites. We've also got WCA's latest challenge, this time simpler than a full-deal map. Andy brings us a well-written editorial, speaking of the latest debate about the Foundry's problems. Finally, a Spotlight about samuelc812's WWII: Poland.
And if you're wondering why the issue is a week late, I had a very nasty case of Airport Hell, arriving at my intended destination 2 days later than intended. Add to that the fact that the wifi at said airports wasn't free, and I wasn't online much.
Direct the hate mail to,
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.
Nothing in this issue.
Name: Germany Revamp Creator:
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."
No recent updates.
Name: Golfe du St-Laurent Creators:
Lone.prophet and Unit_2
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.
Picked up once again by sailorseal to finish off the map.
Name: Antarctica Creator:
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.
No recent updates.
Name: Atlantis Creators: Premier2k
Nemesischild Stamps: Description:
Ever want to visit Atlantis? Ok, maybe a myth, but not anymore! Atlantis is unique map that is sure to get CC gamers talking. Great layout and design, with a bounty of colors keeping it lively.
Awaiting an update to address colorblindness issues.
Name: Austerlitz Creator: pamoa Stamps: Description:
Have you ever wanted to be Napoleon? Well here is your chance fight his battle, win his victory or turn it into his defeat. With new and complicated game play, this map will be challenging players for years to come. The beautiful landscape is full of small details and a little history for those of us not fully aware of Napoleon's triumph.
Updated with a poll on which map background to use.
Name: Central America Creator: Igoasklucyl Stamps: Description:
Fresh out of the Central America Amateur competition, this map is a representation of the Central American nations with classic gameplay and smooth tropical graphics.
So close to a gameplay stamp you can smell the ink.
Name: Chess Creator: john9blue Stamps: Description:
A map based on one of the oldest games, to put it simply. It's a lovely rendering of a late-game chess match, with auto-deploys on held pieces and attack routes based on piece movement. That alone makes for a different and engaging gameplay, sure to set this map apart. So grab the speed clock and claim checkmate soon.
Polling to see whether army shadows would be good on the map.
Name: Conquer Mart Creator: lzrman Stamps: Description:
Ah, the shopping mall. Home of After Thanksgiving sales, last stands against the zombie apocalypse, and armed conflict. Well, in the past there wasn't any armed conflict, but this map seeks to change that, with fights over the departments and stores of a standard shopping mall being the order du jour. An overhead view shows off the floorplan of conquest, similar to a mall directory.
An update has been posted, but zero feedback since then.
Name: Conquer Club National Bank Creators: lzrman
a.sub Stamps: Description:
(Alarm goes off)
You are breaking in to Conquer Club's National Bank, they have made the map, all you need to do is get the money and get out. Objective: Get 6 money carts and the get-away car to win. The only problem: there are other players standing in your way.
A unique style of gameplay forces players to break their way into a bank with all of the territories named after members of the crack team who made the map. Sneaking your way past alarms, searching for carts of money, this map has many thrills to come.
In the foundry and under the scope of the gameplay team.
Name: Das Schloß Creator: Cairnswk Stamps: 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.
At long last, finally all games are complete and discussion on the long-edited version has begun. Get to it!
Name: England Creator: MrBenn Stamps: Description:
Green and Pleasant Land indeed. This map displays England and only England, in many shades of green. Wonderful graphics make this map a showcase of real talent unless you happen to not like green. No special features except for a inset to include London.
Still bogged down in gameplay balancing hell.
Name: Feudal Epic Creator: Gimil Stamps: 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.
Finally graphic stamped.
Name: First Nations of North America Creator: Tisha Stamps: Description:
Painted on a parchment for all to see, a picture of early North America. Divided into its early tribes, from the tip of Greenland to the tip of Mexico, and everywhere in between. With good old fashion standard game play this map will be a delight to those players that like to keep it simple.
In the process of being gameplay balanced, with some rather fervent discussion on the matter.
Name: Gilgamesh Creator: Oaktown Stamps: Description:
This map is unique in at least one way: it grew out of a rejected revamp entry. Now divorced from the confining Centerscape gameplay, the maker has crafted a vibrant and mythologically-informed look at the Fertile Crescent during ancient times. Utilizing portions of the Gilgamesh epic, the map has both standard and special bonuses, leading to a very diverse gameplay.
Two stamps have indeed happened in quick succession, leaving Gilgamesh in Final Review.
Name: Goblin Tribes Creator: Danyael Stamps
Goblins, short, ugly or misunderstood?
Enter a tribe to find out, will you be a Red Goblin? Green Goblin? Crazy armed Goblin? This map brings an interesting story for these fun little critters. Will over all simple game play this map looks to be a nice fun game.
Recently received its Draft stamp.
Name: Iron Curtain Creator: RjBeals
the.killing.44 Stamps: Description:
The Soviet Union and its constituent Warsaw Pact nations formed the basis of the feared Iron Curtain. This map takes that large region and turns it into a 96 territory map colored in shades of iron. Its construction is very clean, and the gameplay fairly open with a minimum of impassables. Recreating a symbol of oppression never was so much fun.
An update has been promised very soon.
Name: Long Island Creators: sailorseal
LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: Description:
A long thin block of territories surrounded by boats forking off at the end is the basic design of the map. A medium to small map with very few bonuses will give a new challenge to any player that decides to take it.
Nearing some finality when it comes to gameplay, though graphics seem to be a ways off.
Name: Mexico Creators: fumandomuerte
MrBenn Stamps: Description:
This map just oozes the flavor of the country it is representing. It's a classic map with ports similar to the Philippines map, and its color scheme is straight off the Mexican flag itself. The vibrant colors and Mexican theme definitely contribute to the appeal of this map.
Incremental improvements awaiting the addition of some improved mountains.
Name: Monsters! Creator: dolomite13 Stamps: Description:
This map makes you think just to look at it. A highly complex game play style with a fun and lovable theme, MONSTERS! It is essentially Monsters vs. Wizards in a fight for power stones, monsters, wizards and points.
Working on gameplay and graphical improvements.
Name: New Zealand Creator: Reggie Mac
LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: 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.
Awaiting an update.
Name: Portland: Rose City Creator: lostatlimbo Stamps: Description:
lostatlimbo has a very creative premise for this map: highlight all the unique features of Portland and turn them into gameplay features. That coupled with a bright and borderline garish color scheme creates a different map that likely will break the "limited appeal" problem that other city maps have run into.
Recently gameplay stamped.
Name: Route 66 Creator: oaktown Stamps: Description:
Route 66, nothing says USA like this good old-fashioned road. Look at it, and you see a miniature USA. There are no territories out on the open road, just lots of different routes. From Chicago to LA, branching out all of the country. Players have to scramble for routes from sea to shining sea bringing a sense of home for players all across America. The fun isn't just reserved for them however, as any player will enjoy this new map created by the recently retired from C.A.
Sporting the look of a postcard on top of a science fiction magazine now, definitely very pretty.
Name: Switzerland Creator: Kaplowitz
Wcaclimbing Stamps: 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.
An uncertain future for this map.
Name: Trafalgar Creator: Cairnswk Stamps: Description:
The Battle of Trafalgar was a turning point in Europe during Napoleon's reign With unorthodox naval tactics, Admiral Nelson destroyed the French/Spanish fleet with no ships lost. This map strives to depict that pivotal battle, with cannon bombardments, boarding parties, and bonuses requiring most, but not all, of ships to be held. A clever model depiction and a solid color scheme help to make the map a bird's eye view of naval warfare at its height.
Fully reworked with a crisper look.
Name: Treasure Map Creator: LED ZEPPELINER Stamps: Description:
A colorful take on a classic nautical "Treasure Map" featuring skull and cross bones with a few classic sailing ships thrown in. An objective style game play with a island hopping setting gives the player the feel they are hunting for a treasure. Arrr!
Recently updated to continue gameplay discussion.
Name: Vancouver Creator: Shakeycat Stamps: Description:
This is a map of the greater Vancouver area. It has mostly classic gameplay, with attack routes between ports and special bonuses for holding various transportation modes, i.e. train lines.
Looking smoother and cleaner.
Name: World Cities Creator: sully800 Stamps: Description:
For those who loved Classic, maybe this will fill the void left in your heart. A typical image of the world (Moved 40* to the left) with cities instead of countries. With a well done graphical style and interesting game play to boot, this looks like a great map.
A brand new look and title have been released.
Name: WWII: The Invasion of Poland Creator: samuelc812 Stamps: Description:
Sporting the colors of World War II, this starting positions map has many special features keeping you always interested such as planes, tanks and bonuses for commanders. Take a look at this map and you just might learn something.
Recently updated with likely the last update before the Forge.
Name: Danelaw Creators: naxus
"It's the ninth century and the danes are coming from the north and laying eyes on England." That's the stated premise to this simple and down to earth display of England surrounded by the Danish fleet. Will England repel the invaders or will the Danish conquer?
Recently called for Preliminary Review.
Name: The 13 American Colonies Creator:
Yankee doodle went to town riding on a pony...
The 13 original American Colonies from Maine to Georgia. With a focus on regions far surpassing states from a territorial perspective.The land mass has ships to its right and Indian Territories to its left, but beyond that is other all a simple game play map.
Just called for Preliminary Review.
Name: Welcome to Mars Creators: gimil
The secret to space travel has been unleashed! Humans can now create colonies throughout the universe. What better place to start than Mars? With a simple and relaxed feel this map looks to bring a good ole' game by two good ole' cartographers.
Recently called for Preliminary Review.
Name: WWII: Stalingrad Creator: cairnswk Stamps:
The Nazis have pushed their way deep into Russia. Will they take the Russian's glorious city of Stalingrad. Impossible. In a complicated battle of skill drive the invaders from your motherland!
Recently called for Preliminary Review.
In the Editorial, we ask a member of the Conquer Club community to write about some aspect of the Foundry. Subjects thus far have ranged from first-timer perspectives to a fictional look at future mapmaking, with plenty in between. Anyone interested in writing an Editorial is asked to PM
This issue, Foundry Foreman and admin
writes the editorial.
Elitism: Real, Imagined, or a Product of Community Wait a minute, this sounds like an essay. I'll try to keep it from being one. Over the last couple of weeks, the Conquer Club Newsletter has encouraged discussion about the Foundry in their Community Opinion piece. Some of the discussion has spilled over to the Foundry Proper. So what do we make of this ongoing, and reoccurring, discussion about the Foundry and how it is perceived by those who participate less in the Foundry Process? Good question. I'm not sure I have a good answer. I, and a few other old chimps, remember the early days of the Foundry. I know there has been some talk that "things just aren't the same as they used to be," and that the Foundry is perceived to be growing "increasingly less welcoming to new users." Is this all real? Is this all imagined? There have been some excellent posts in recent days, and I recall a specific one by our retired Cartography Assistant, Oaktown. I'll paraphrase it briefly---it went a little something like: "Those you interact with in the Foundry [or any community] shape your perception of it as a whole." I think this is an interesting observation, and one of the larger points to this whole ongoing and reoccurring discussion. One of the trademarks of any community, be it in your hometown, at work, or online, is the interaction of people with one another. I think this may be one of the most distilled definitions of "civilization" even, now that I think about it. People work, play, argue, fight, kill, sabotage, love, etc, in any community, in civilization in general. One of the greatest achievements (via natural processes or by other means, whatever you prefer, your choice, it makes no difference to me), is that we, as wonderful, unique, exquisite human beings, though utterly weak and fallible, have achieved non-survival-necessary thought. Stick with me on this. Let's think about how many times a day we make decisions that have no impact on our survival in daily life. More than we can count. So what do we, as unique human beings, choose to do with all this extra thought and time once devoted exclusively to ourselves? We turn it towards one another: you to me; me to you; him to her; and so on. This is where the rub occurs, that so often leaves people with a foul feeling in their mouths. We often interact with people that treat us not how we would treat ourselves, had we continued to use the time and thought for ourselves. Because we generally lack the ability to control another person’s speech, actions, and thoughts, it frustrates us when that lack of control is most evident-- -in any and every interaction. So where does that leave us? Good question. I'm not sure I have a good answer. Though try as we may, we cannot directly control nor change another person, community, or civilization. Once we all learn to accept that, perhaps the realization sets in that we actually can control and change people, communities, and civilization as a whole, though indirectly, through our own speech, actions, and thoughts. The real trick, don't try changing the world. Change your position and how you interact in the world, and the world will follow. So let us not get bogged down in tearing each other down, but let us instead, rejoice in the fact that we have achieved the wondrous opportunity to do so in the first place. Oh, and Bananas to everyone! --Andy
In the Spotlight, we typically cover a staff-selected map and mapmaker in an interview. Mapmaker motivations, inspirations, and the like have been covered, with plenty of surprises in between.
samuelc812: What was your inspiration for making this map? Didn't really have much inspiration for it, my first two map attempts failed which included my entry in the Central America Competition. I wanted to make a map of somewhere that hadn't been covered by the maps already quenched or in production. So at first I just made a map of Poland by itself, it didn't really have a WWII theme to begin with. Then cairnswk suggested a WWII theme of the invasion of Poland by the Germans would be a great map, so I took the map in that direction. What graphics editing program do you use? I always use Photoshop as I don't really know how to use any of the other programs. I've used a mix of the old Photoshop 7.0 and the new Photoshop CS4. What's the hardest thing you find about making maps? The easiest? The hardest thing is doing graphics by far getting all the nitpicks sorted out, and all the little adjustments you need to make to make everyone happy can be a little annoying at times but in the end I’m sure it will be well worth it. Easiest would probably be gameplay although it's not that easy it is the easiest in my opinion. What sort of research goes into your maps, if any? I researched the history of the invasion of Poland, and found a map of where the enemy attacked from, as well as the commanders. Modern Poland looks a lot different to the Poland depicted in my map, I had to make sure that it looked as Poland looked back then in 1939. Do you base the design of this map off of any others? If so which? No not really... How old are you/what gender are you/where do you live? Answer specifically, vaguely, or not at all. I'm 19 / Male / Australia How did you find out about Conquer Club? Same as most people, Google What is your favorite map currently up for live play? Why that one? I once hated it but now I love it, Waterloo. Once you understand it, it really is a fun map to play so many different possibilities for gameplay and I really enjoy it. What interested you in map-making? I started map-making because I wanted to be able to play a map of which I can say "I made that", I've always loved to design and create "arty" things so I wanted to give it a try. What kind of feedback do you like getting the most? The kind that not only identifies a problem but suggests a solution to get around it. What keeps you going through getting a map through the Foundry? To see a project through to the end is diffidently a hard thing to do and one I’ve struggled with in real life (don't we all?) but it's the finished product and the encouraging feedback that keeps me going. You are a first-time mapmaker. What advice do you have for people who are starting on their first maps? Be patient don't get frustrated (like I have), comment on other people's maps and you'll gain respect and people will comment on your map. If your first attempt at making a map doesn't work then try again. A Champion is not someone who always wins, but someone who never quits How did you decide what graphics styles to go with? Well it's a war theme so I wanted a grungy dark effect which I think looks nice and suits the time period in my opinion. How much time do you spend on each update? How much of that time do you enjoy? I'll admit some of it is tedious, but again it's the end result that you strive for and that's what keeps you keeping on. At one point I’d spend a couple of hours on an update, but now as development winds down I don't spend as much time, as it is just tweaking a few minor details. Were there any suggestions that you absolutely loved? Or any that you really hated? Well I won't say that I absolutely loved any of them, but I also won't say that I hated them. All the comments that the map received, I looked at each one and if I thought it could improve the map I would at least try it. If I didn't think it would, then I would just say sorry I think it looks better this way and so on, but I didn't hate any no. What do you think of the foundry process in general? Very long and tedious at times, I find it best while you’re waiting for comments, run a tournament or get involved in some other area of the site while you’re waiting. Or even better yet comment on other people's maps and then maybe they will comment on yours. But generally I find everyone really friendly and helpful. I have made some good friends in the foundry. My commitment to other areas of the site have delayed updates a bit but that is nothing to do with the foundry itself. What would you have to say you have learned about making maps with the creation of WWII: The Invasion of Poland? Not giving up as the process is long and slow at times, but all in all it is only so the quality of the map is the best it can be right at the end. And I must say it's worked for my map, without the input of a certain few foundry regulars, my map would look no where near as good as it does today. Some elements of the map are simply amazing (Such as the planes, barbed wire, legend, tanks, etc). Is there any chance of you possibly creating a tutorial in the future about how you made such parts of the map, so that other members may learn how they were done? Possibly haven’t really thought about it, I’m not really an expert at Photoshop so I’m not so sure it's really my place to be doing tutorials etc. Have you learnt anything about things that have happened in history while making this map? Not a whole deal except for maybe the order of events that occurred in the invasion but the majority I already knew
Since last week's column was pretty much a big mess, I'm going to take a chance and give the 'community map submission' thing a second go and hope it works. This time, I am challenging you all to, as RJbeals suggested, simply create a mountain range that could be used on a map. Nothing complicated, Just make a mountain range however you would want to make it. If you decide to make some mountains for us, send the image to wcaclimbing. Please, keep the image smaller than 300 pixels tall and 400 wide. You don't have to do the whole map, just a mountain range. This issue of the Tablet has been kinda short also.... hopefully I'll have something to write about next week. Until then, good luck with the mountain-building everyone. ~wcaclimbing Subscription
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the.killing.44 - Formatting Editor
grayhawke - Proofreading Editor
sailorseal - Spotlight Editor
pikkio - Graphics
TaCktiX - Senior Editor, Editorial Editor, Perspectives Editor, Maps In Development Editor, A Look Back Editor
wcaclimbing - Graphics, WCA's Tablet