Projects, drafts, ideas ...
  • 36 posts
  • Page 1 of 3
The_Bishop wrote:
I plan to create new maps almost all the time, but I rarely show my works because most of the time they are unfinished. And even when I think it's done, still the graphics require a lot of work or a complete remake and I am not a graphic designer so it can take ages. I just want to create a space to collect ideas, projects and drafts and perhaps I'll draw the attention of someone who can potentially offer support.

This is not to be confused with the Map Suggestion thread which contains, in most cases, just requests for some specific place/area to be turned into a map, with some reference images and nothing more. Here I want to show and discuss real works (if not finished at least started)! Little by little my PC is getting full of these stuff, so it doesn't cost much to me to share a few and maybe I can offer something interesting, or maybe not, who knows...

It could result to be similar to Hoodlum's Map Dabble thread from which I got the idea. The difference is that Hoodlum is able to do much more work than me, much faster and better. Well, I'll go slowly and take my time... Anyway there is no competition between us: we are totally collaborative one another, or at least I hope so! :P

...  ...  ...

Well, so first post first proposal: it's a Middle East map themed as a "battle for oil".

Features:
56 territories,
8 regions + special bonuses (not defined yet);
Bahrain is a little state island in the Persian Gulf and to include it in the game I had to enlarge it with a lens effect.
Middle East -- battle for oil (click to show)
Any reference to actual wars in the area is intentionally avoided, the only theme here is oil.

Saudi Arabia is by far the largest oil exporter (4 wells), followed by Iran (2 wells) and then the United Arab Emirates, Iraq and Kuwait (1 well each). The main extraction area is in the Persian Gulf, but oil is also extracted in the southern Caspian Sea and in numerous inland areas. However, none of them compare with the amount of oil that is extracted from the Persian Gulf and there I placed the most of the wells.

Arabic names have some convention problems in transliteration into Latin characters, so they may differ slightly from one source to another depending on the author. I tried to be consistent and use the same method for all Arabic names. In particular, the use of the article "AL" is questionable and I have tried to follow the most common trend for each name when it is written in English. When the letter Lam merges with the letter that follows I carry the sound in its actual pronunciation, so I write Ad-Dawasir and not Al-Dawasir. I avoided accents, but I could not avoid apostrophes as they represent a precise sound of the Arabic language.
«God doesn't play dice with the World» ~ Albert Einstein
Hoodlum wrote:
i like this! looks very clean. i'm always excited when others want to make maps.
ill give ya a tip with the small islands.. you can remove the shadow from them so that you can see the colour it's meant to be. 
all the lines look glossy wet, i think it suits with the oil theme,

Win clause: Eliminate the House of Escalus (mafia) and all hostile neutrals, while outnumbering the House of Montague.
Virtuosity98 wrote:
I'm very impressed! This map seems very very well thought-out :) I like the oil theme, I envisage the extra bonus to be battle-of-the elements-style: +1 for owning 3, +2 for owning 4, +3 for owning 5, +4 for owning 6, etc (this would be possible to program, I think, but very very messy).

Graphically it is good! Like Hoodlum said it really fits the theme.

General points:
- Some of the regions are too similar in colour in my opinion. More differentiation would be appreciated!
- I fear that the gulf states region would be really hard to label on the minimap. This region especially would benefit from a very noticeable colour.
- Allocating crete to the Turkish region might make some people unhappy! :P But I guess there is nowhere else for it! Also Cyprus but at least that is partially occupied by Turkey.
- I'm not too much of a fan of the title sharing the 'e'.

Anyway points are becoming more and more fussy, my main point is that I'm both impressed and excited with this map! Great job so far :):)
Virtuosity98 is online.
The_Bishop wrote:
Thanks Hood, I'll follow your tip! In fact I had to add a red layer over the red region (Persian Gulf Area) because it wasn't red enough for my eyes (and on my screen!). With what you have suggested I will probably solve the problem. Glad you noticed the wet effect. : P

Thanks Virtuos, I was initially thinking at the Battle-of-Elements style for the oil bonuses but I think that's not feasible here. So I think like this: +1 for owining the two in the north, +3 for owining all four Saudi wells, +2 for the remaining three in the Gulf. I will do it in a way that is clear.

- Which regions have similar colours, please? Because from one of my screens to the other the colours change a lot, difficult to assess. Well, I assume yellow-ish and light-green-ish but I'm not sure. Everything have low brightness and saturation and probably this makes the colours similar.
- Greece and Turkey are enemies, Israel and Lebanon too and the French are disgusted by the Italia map which includes Corsica ... Frankly I don't care. It's smart to have raised the question, but the point for me is, we decide what's best for the maps and ignore political conflicts. However I only know one user from Greece and I think there is no problem for him.
- I can easily separate the two "e"('s) of the title... Oh no, wait! I'm lying, I can't because they are merged. However I can do it differently. ;)
«God doesn't play dice with the World» ~ Albert Einstein
The_Bishop wrote:
I would like a map of 117 territories.
Wouldn't this be cool?

Great... Triple (click to show)
117 territories
21 regions

It's scrolly, yes I know!
«God doesn't play dice with the World» ~ Albert Einstein
aeronautic wrote:
The way you have the bonuses is simple to do, we just make those territories into a region with a bonus.

I'm not too sure about zooming in on Bahrain, it puts too much ambiguity into the map.
You should make the Territory Dividers a tiny bit thinner or less black, as they look too close to the Region Borders.

Overall it's looking quite nice, but would need some refining as far as the Graphics side is concerned.
Have you sorted out the game-play yet?

(The GB "Great Triple" Map idea, I don't like).
Hyd yn oed er fy mod Cymraeg , dim ond yn siarad Saesneg, felly yr wyf yn gobeithio y bydd y cyfieithu yn gywir.
The_Bishop wrote:
Thanks Aeronautic for yor reply. Yes, they are just like normal regions. I discussed the oil bonuses with friends and it seemed the best compromise, but I would like to test it with some D-twelve players.

It would be a bit painful for me to remove Bahrain from the game as it would change everything, no more sense of a Persian Gulf Region, Kuwait should be probably joined into Iraq... Everything to re-think. But if there is too much ambiguity I can change it. Below I show an image with the game-circles to see how it looks.

Yes, I'd say the game-play is sorted out. I have already played two games on a printed draft with 5 players involved. In the first one oil bonuses were different though. Small region bonuses can seem a bit low at +2 but it works finely with the oil bonuses. I mean this actually put a bit more of interest on the oil wells rather than the small regions. The total bonuses on the map sums to 34 as it is for other same size maps we have. Iraq+Mazandaran gives a nice +3. Middle sized regions (Turkey and Egypt) aren't much hard so their bonuses can come into play. Persian Gulf region and Gulf Oil bonus cannot be held by two different players and this can cause some hot fights, eventually ending with one player holding both bonuses. Saudi Oil giving a +3 is also quite interesting but not that easy, and once again it can cause fights as Dammam is the "bridge territory" of the Persian Gulf region. The Southern region at +2 it's just for the desperate which cannot get a better region: it's hard to defend but in this case the low bonus can play a positive effect as more likely the others won't break you. Iran is very hard, Saudi Arabia is just impossible unless it's the very ending of the game.

Capitals are also decided.

Middle East (click to show)
Added circles
Made the dividers less black
Slightly moved some weels and territory tags
Added compass

«God doesn't play dice with the World» ~ Albert Einstein
God_of_War wrote:
I cant look past the Bahrain area with the bigger circle and little circle. Thoughts on just eliminating that small island and keeping the bigger island, thus not needing the outlying circles or just remove those circles as I'm not sure it matters? Does it mean anything?
Hi there!
Virtuosity98 wrote:
God_of_War
I cant look past the Bahrain area with the bigger circle and little circle. Thoughts on just eliminating that small island and keeping the bigger island, thus not needing the outlying circles or just remove those circles as I'm not sure it matters? Does it mean anything?

The bigger island doesn't exist in real life. Bahrain is the tiny island shown, but since it would be too small to hold a territory circle it needs a zoom lens effect. Personally I think the lens effect works absolutely fine.
Virtuosity98 is online.
Virtuosity98 wrote:
aeronautic
Overall it's looking quite nice, but would need some refining as far as the Graphics side is concerned.
Have you sorted out the game-play yet?
Gameplay looks pretty set to me! :)

Since this map is looking more and more complete, and also since I know you like constructive criticism, here are some points I'd like to raise about the map:

1. Personally I'm not in favour of the following territory names: White desert, Black desert, Western Yemen, Eastern Yemen, Southern Oman, Northern Oman.
- Egypt: most maps looked like this one, and in none of them did I see references to a black or a white desert. Maybe I was just looking at the wrong maps! Also I didn't see any with your particular subdivisions. I suggest Western Desert or maybe Al Wadi Al Jadid for Black Desert. For White Desert I'm not sure, since your divisions are so different from the maps I referenced.
- Yemen: maps vary a lot, but this one is fairly typical. I would suggest Sana'a instead of Western Yemen and Hadhramaut for Eastern Yemen.
- Oman: Oman isn't easy. The map doesn't lend itself to easy conclusions. For southern Oman I'd change it to Dhofar probably and Northern Oman in my opinion should be Muscat

2. I think the oil graphic looks a little messy at the moment, but I can't quite place why. Maybe someone with more graphical know-how would be able to back me up and explain what exactly can be done. I'm interested in what @aeronautic would suggest.

3. The heavy black border does not work for the greek/turkish islands, or any of the really small islands actually. I think for islands where it becomes hard to see any colour (except black) then the border needs to be thinned significantly or the islands just need to be removed altogether. Also the north-eastern tip of Bahrain looks messy for the same reason in my opinion.

4. I'd personally love to see the neutral non-playable area spiced up just a little. Grey for me does not suit the middle east. I think thematically and aesthetically it would be better with a dusty/sandy neutral texture. Just an opinion :)

5. The title... I don't know but for me it doesn't scream middle-eastern. What do other people think of the title font? Regardless of what font is chosen in the end, I think it would be really cool to put the title in Arabic underneath or maybe silhouetted in some fancy way over the title. In Arabic it is الشرق الأوسط according to Google translate. (generated text)

6. I get why you've aligned the edge of the minimap with the edge of egypt, but for me it makes the space to the left of the minimap look completely wasted. Maybe try moving it over to the left of the map and then we can decide which looks better.

7. Just a couple of really tiny things now. I think the space you've put in U.A. Emirates should be removed, leaving U.A.Emirates. I think that would be standard. And I think while it's always a nice thing to include a compass, the one you have chosen is perhaps too simple in my opinion and looks like an afterthought.

Well, thank you for a. reading all of those and b. taking them into consideration! I really love the map despite all of these comments - take this long post as a compliment and an expression of my sincere interest in the map! It is looking really great! :)
Virtuosity98 is online.
Cireon wrote:
I'm not a massive fan of the colours. I guess why you would go for them (there is a brownish gritty theme to the map), and if I have my screen on full brightness, they're clear enough. When I look at the map with my blue light filter in the evenings, they start to blend together. If looking at the image through colour blindness filters, you can see how the colours blend together:

2 examples (click to show)
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
The_Bishop wrote:
I just wanted to show on my own another version with brighter colours and then I have read Virtuosity's post, not addressed yet except for the Arabic sub-title which is indeed a great idea. You are probably right, Virtuos, also about the mini-map and the compass, I'm going to modify them too.

Brighter colours (click to show)
Previous for comparison (click to show)

White and Black Deserts come from this source: https://www.mapsofworld.com/egypt/
I don't know how correct or official these names are, but I find them cool/suitable and useful for dividing the Western Desert into 2 territories. Egypt is the only country where I didn't follow the administrative divisions (mostly impossible). It's divided in physical areas: Cairo, Luxor and Aswan are just the lower, the middle and the upper run of Nilo river, Marsa Matruh is the Mediterranean coast, then the Sinai peninsula, the Eastern Desert and the Western Desert divided in two because is a very large area. In my opinion too many (hard to read) Arabic names make things hard/unpleasant for players. However I can try the changes Viruosity has suggested.

And thanks Cireon, nice suggestion, I will try to see the image through colour blindness filters. I also feel colours aren't great for now, but I don't know exactly what to do.
«God doesn't play dice with the World» ~ Albert Einstein
Cireon wrote:
I like the brighter colours much better already.
“This is how humans are: We question all our beliefs, except for the ones that we really believe in, and those we never think to question.”
- Speaker for the Dead, O.S. Card
God_of_War wrote:
Virtuosity98
God_of_War
I cant look past the Bahrain area with the bigger circle and little circle. Thoughts on just eliminating that small island and keeping the bigger island, thus not needing the outlying circles or just remove those circles as I'm not sure it matters? Does it mean anything?

The bigger island doesn't exist in real life. Bahrain is the tiny island shown, but since it would be too small to hold a territory circle it needs a zoom lens effect. Personally I think the lens effect works absolutely fine.

Ok, now I see what the point of that was. It's just an eyesore to me. I guess I'll just have to get used to it.

Could the lettering of that island be squeezed inside the magnifying glass to make it look less cluttered?
Hi there!