Whats a "Good" Map supposed to be like?

Lux maps won't make themselves.
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Jimmy_D
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Whats a "Good" Map supposed to be like?

Post by Jimmy_D » Sat Mar 31, 2007 1:31 am

Im new to making maps and I would like some advice.

What makes a map "good"?

What makes a map "bad"?

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Blind Willie
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Post by Blind Willie » Sat Mar 31, 2007 5:35 pm

Just off the top of my head:

Bad:

* tiny countries - keep them large enough so the player color can be easily seen, and keep in mind that if your map is very large, some of us have to shrink it down to fit our monitors so countries will get even smaller

* country connections that aren't obvious (be especially aware of this on maps with islands)

* dark shaded overground files that obscure the player colors, or overgrounds that are too busy and clutter up the map

* excessively large file sizes that cause the map to load slowly and lag


Good:

* all country connections and continent boundaries obvious

* clean graphics

* space provided for Player Info box in map

* bacon

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octobclrnts
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Post by octobclrnts » Sun Apr 01, 2007 2:35 am

mmm...bacon...

-innovation is usually a good thing
-maps that allow all players to form a strategy and follow it to a win are good. For example, if the start that a player got by chance allowed them to dominate, then that map is less good than a map that allowed anyone to win as long as they play their hand right.

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dustin
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Post by dustin » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:12 am

GOOD:
clear borders

chokepoints in the country connections

different areas of the map should usually be balanced against each other in bonuses

a nice theme

a starting scenario that isn't just random

room on the map to put the player info inside of it

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mbauer
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Post by mbauer » Mon Apr 02, 2007 10:22 am

Well that's a subjective question, it differs from person to person. I don't think there's a silver bullet to making a universally good map, but in general I've never come across anyone who has actually liked small countries, countries hard to see, or unclear connections.

But if you are asking just our individual opinions then mine would be

GOOD
-Historical maps
-Clear Borders/rules
-Intuitive
-A theme
-A blanced starting scenario
-Internal player info window
-Interresting strategy
-bacon

BAD
-small countries
-countries where I can't see who the owner is becuase of obstructions
-unclear rules or borders
-figs

MB

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RandomGuy
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Post by RandomGuy » Mon Apr 02, 2007 11:51 am

I'll echo a lot of things said already. Here is what I find I like about maps:

-Crisp clean graphics (they don't block the countries, or clutter the background)

-Clear connections between countries. This is critical in my opinion. If I can't figure out what connects to what, a map is practically unplayable (unless the lack of info is by design)

-Countries large enough to see and tell who owns them.

-Theme. I like maps that tell a story or have some historical relevance rather than just a made up country or random shapes. (A map with a twist or innovative game play can make up for a lack of a story)

-meaningful scenario. I play the scenario a lot offline, so I like when it is balanced and gives everyone a fair chance. I also like if it mirrors the historical nature of the map or ties in in some way.

-support for player info window. I usually play with it in the window, but not being able to find a place for it without blocking something is annoying. Luckily I have a big monitor and can resize, but it is preferable to support it. (Dustin, can we have the info button toggle inside, outside and off? so maps that don't have a spot we can toggle to outside PI without having to go into preferences?)

-chokepoints. It makes gameplay more fun if you can work to control an area, then defend it and gradually expand as opposed to a wide open map.

-balanced bonuses. nobody should have a distinct advantage for starting in one particular area of the map. Someone should be able to win from all areas.

-error free. This probably goes without saying, but if a map has missing connections or ones that shouldn't be there but are, etc. This really detracts from my enjoyment of a map.

Oh, and when you submit a map - listen to the feedback the mapLAB gives (whether you use it to change your map or not is up to you). They usually have good ideas for improving a map and have helped me greatly with suggestions for my own.

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Post by BDF » Thu Apr 12, 2007 11:51 am

Ok, ok... a question from me...

How bothered are people about scrolling when it comes to playing very large maps?

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RandomGuy
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Post by RandomGuy » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:00 pm

BombDiggityFresh wrote:Ok, ok... a question from me...

How bothered are people about scrolling when it comes to playing very large maps?
I'd say very.

see this thread for a few opinions:
mollyemo wrote:Scrolling *really* annoys me, even more than having to guess where to click for a country.
Sir Holo wrote:Scrolling? Never.
Blind Willie wrote:And I will never play a map that I have to scroll on. Ever.

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my wife hates me
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Post by my wife hates me » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:00 pm

very

:evil:

to expand - I have a large monitor so a little scrolling is ok but I am not the norm. Think of a person with a small monitor. Any game involving the timer settings mean that speed is paramount and the last thing you want is added clicking. Thats not to say that I cant resize the map but then you run the risk of having very small, somtimes unclickable countries.

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Post by BDF » Thu Apr 12, 2007 12:51 pm

that sucks, i have that massive map ive almost finished making now (a lot bigger than the dark ages), and im not sure if i should publish it... I might get laughed at for it
If you resize my map to fit the screen, each country is about 1 mm wide, so that's a BIG no no, and i would not recommend to play my map online, because it is too big.

BUT, but, but, but, but, but, buutttt...
You only really need to focus on one part of the map to grow strong, because the continents are mostly not that difficult to defend, so maybe its not THAT bad.

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my wife hates me
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Post by my wife hates me » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:03 pm

POST IT!!!

Never fear getting laughed at for your art - 2 reasons...

- If just one person enjoys the map, you've done 100 times more than most. If the map is as big as you say it is, the map makers in these forums will understand the time and effort put into it and at least give you enough respect to at least try it.

- The feedback you will get will hopefully give you a bug to make your maps better. These forums can be brutal but when it comes to map / bot development, you'll find the honesty and criticism to be an hugh help. I've only published two maps (started 100's) but from those two maps, the knowledge I've gained gives me enough insight to know right from the start how to take an idea and turn it into somthing that is playable, balanced and visually appealing.



Plus if there's anything completely screwed up, you'll get a love letter from MB on how to fix it before it even hits the store shelves!!!

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Post by BDF » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:48 pm

ur serious that u've got a monitor the size of a small football stadium... no offence, but i don't really think that's possible...for anyone

Just to get an idea of how u interpret my messages:
How many countries and continents on average would u say a
a)large map has
b)a very large map has
c)a enormous map has
d)a MASSIVE map has

:twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

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mbauer
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Post by mbauer » Thu Apr 12, 2007 1:52 pm

my wife hates me wrote:The company that made it is the "Gulli B.L.E. Corporation" but I can't find an address or website.
:smt044

Bomb, I'd advise against making a map that is as big as you are letting on. While there is not a limit on the amount of countries or dimensions of a map locally, there is a limit to what the plugin manager can handle and distribute. We just recently had to turn down a map because it was 3000 pixels wide, which was too much for the plugin manager to handle. I hate to break it to ya after all your hard work, but if your map is larger than that it's not going to make it in the plugin manager. But you can distribute the map manually outside the plugin manager the way blackj3sus does with copyrighted maps.

I'd say a large map has between 80 and 100 countries.
A huge map has upwards of 200
Anything above that is probably just too much and unfeasable.

Why don't you break up your map into several sections the way SunTzu did with his Dark Ages series?

MB

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blackj3sus
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Post by blackj3sus » Thu Apr 12, 2007 2:27 pm

yea u could cut it up into quads and release them individually

BDF
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Post by BDF » Thu Apr 12, 2007 3:55 pm

1500 countries...
95 continents...
seems absurd now

MB.. was the map turned down because it took up too much space (as in MegaBytes), cos my map has very limited graphics and it might take up less space than it seems.
All the countries are hexes, and the backround image is just one straigh picture. None of the 3D graphic stuff or foreground image things which i see other people doing up to now.

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mbauer
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Post by mbauer » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:13 am

BombDiggityFresh wrote:1500 countries...
95 continents...
seems absurd now

MB.. was the map turned down because it took up too much space (as in MegaBytes), cos my map has very limited graphics and it might take up less space than it seems.
All the countries are hexes, and the backround image is just one straigh picture. None of the 3D graphic stuff or foreground image things which i see other people doing up to now.
1500 countries will not make it in the plugin manager.

The map was turned down because it was too big both in megabytes and in dimensions. The map that was turned down also only had a background image.

Sorry,
MB

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