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Subject: Civilization: Total Graphic Redesign rss

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Evan Derrick
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I have been working, off an on, a little here and a little there, on a complete graphic overhaul of Civilization. When the whole package is done I hope to release it as PnP so that, hopefully, a new generation of gamers can enjoy Avalon Hill's classic game.

Overall, I'm going for an antiquated feel for all of the game components. Faded and torn paper, burnt edges, a look of antiquity. The challenge, of course, is not to sacrifice playability for prettiness.

For starters, here is the map that I've created. You should be able to see lots of detail with this, but the original file measures 45x21 inches long and has a DPI of 300. Probably overkill, but I wanted to create it at the best level of quality. I designed it so that it can be printed off on 12 letter size sheets of paper so people can print it off at home.



A few notes on my design process. I used maps from William R. Shepherd's 1923 "Historical Atlas" as a starting point. I didn't want to simply make a carbon copy of the original Avalon Hill map - I wanted slightly more realistic geography. What I discovered, naturally, is that AH had cheated on their map to improve playability. Certain islands are larger and certain waterways were enlarged just to make it easier to read the map. I ended up cheating slightly as well. But in the end I got what I was going for - a brand new map that does not conform exactly to the original (you'll notice, for example, that some of the territories on the eastern part of the map are significantly larger than they are on the original gameboard).

I had thought about using topographical data to add details to the map but ultimately ended up digitally painting the plains and forests by hand. I used the original gameboard as a reference, and then simply tried to mimic the forest patterns and density. I ended up with something that hopefully pays homage to the original board but also is a new creation.

In doing this, I did sacrifice some readability of where, exactly, the flood plains lie. I didn't want sharply delineated borders on the flood plains, as that would go against the spirit of my design, but I didn't want players guessing at where they were, either. So I simply included a little flood icon on each territory that is considered to be in a flood plain. Hopefully that is an acceptable compromise.

I obviously incorporated the Western Expansion map into this (which just made sense). I almost incorporated the Eastern Expansion map as well, but after reading a bit about it (especially since it is a more-or-less fan made expansions with no input from the original designers) decided against it.

I would love any feedback from dedicated Civilization fans on the map. Hopefully I got all of the information correct, but I'm sure some eagle eyed geek will spot anything amiss.

I'll continue to post pictures of the cards, player boards, tokens, etc. as I finish them.
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Jonathan Harrison
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It's beautiful!

I'm curious, though, why you changed the civilization colors?
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Evan Derrick
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Well, I was trying to come up with my own palette that worked with the map. The original Civ colors were too bold for the map - a lot of primaries, and the map worked better with pastels and earthen tones. The jury is still out on the Civ colors, though. Nothing is set in stone quite yet.
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Jonathan Harrison
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Ah, I see. I'd be interested in printing this map, but would be playing with my old components. That's why I was curious.

You mention that the map worked better with earth tones, but here I see some fairly bold purple and some quite bright pink.

What if you took an earthier version of the original colors. Say, a more earthy green for Crete, a sandier yellow for Illyria, a more desert red for Italy/Spain, etc.?

I'm afraid the colors are so color-coded to their respective civilizations that I'm confused when I see other colors in their locations.
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Evan Derrick
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Ah, gotcha. Well, ultimately I'll be redoing ALL the components, not just the map. Hopefully when you see the rest of it you'll want to print it ALL out and not just the map.

I'll definitely think about having the new civ colors hew as closely to the old ones as possible.
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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Wow. This is fantastic. I play once a year with my group and we're just about due for a game. Getting this printed for it would be great.

I don't have time to scrutinize the map at the moment but I'll pass this on to the expert in our group. I will say that I like the flood plain icons, the original could have used these to avoid a couple of ambiguous cases.
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Jonathan Harrison
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I'm starting another game of this tonight, actually. My wife's first play. I'm teaching her the rules beginning, well, right after I write this.

Would be beautiful to play on this map someday. Great work!
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Jon Ben
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Of course I've been up all night! Not because of caffeine, it was insomnia. I couldn't stop thinking about coffee.
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My lurking friend probably won't say anything so this is the feedback I got from him:

What about adding some kind of graphic to help delineate sections of the board that get removed with fewer players?

We don't play with the Western exp. though, so we're not sure how this is handled. Of course people might want to play the base game with this so it would still apply to that section of the map.
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Nate Sandall
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Looks nice. It's missing one city - Halicarnassus I think it's called. It's in the (I) space just North of Rhodes in Asia Minor.
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Beutiful!

Can´t wait to see the AST! (I´m hosting a game November 10th, noch,noch whistle )
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Jonathan Harrison
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derrickec wrote:
Ah, gotcha. Well, ultimately I'll be redoing ALL the components, not just the map. Hopefully when you see the rest of it you'll want to print it ALL out and not just the map.

I'll definitely think about having the new civ colors hew as closely to the old ones as possible.

This is the map we play on now:


I quite like the much earthier starting area colors. I'd tone Crete down even more, but on the whole I'm a big fan of this approach to keeping the original colors while making them (much) less garish.
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Wade Nelson
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This is an awesome idea. I've been thinking of doing my on PnP using original scans and some CivProject artwork. Now I'm really eager to see how this turns out.

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Evan Derrick
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JonBen wrote:
What about adding some kind of graphic to help delineate sections of the board that get removed with fewer players?


Yeah, there are a ton of different layouts based on player count and whether or not you're using the WEX section, including which civilizations you're allowed to play. I'm planning on creating a bunch of markers (like an 'X' or a skull and crossbones) that you could simply place over the areas not in play.

Cavedog_pdx wrote:
Looks nice. It's missing one city - Halicarnassus I think it's called. It's in the (I) space just North of Rhodes in Asia Minor.


Ha! You are correct sir. Thanks for spotting that.

Maktor wrote:
Can´t wait to see the AST! (I´m hosting a game November 10th, noch,noch )


Hmmm.... well, I can probably show off the AST next, but I doubt the whole package will be ready in 5 days. Even if it was, this will be no small printing project: a massive, 12 section gameboard; 9 full counter sheets; AST board and trade card board; 9 player mats; and over 140 cards. That's gonna take a little while to put together.
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Evan Derrick
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
derrickec wrote:
Ah, gotcha. Well, ultimately I'll be redoing ALL the components, not just the map. Hopefully when you see the rest of it you'll want to print it ALL out and not just the map.

I'll definitely think about having the new civ colors hew as closely to the old ones as possible.

This is the map we play on now:


I quite like the much earthier starting area colors. I'd tone Crete down even more, but on the whole I'm a big fan of this approach to keeping the original colors while making them (much) less garish.


Ok, I'll take a look at doing that, Jonathan. The only Civ color I would probably definitely have to change is Egypt's, as the tan color will not show up very well over the "desert" sections on my map.
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Richard Dewsbery
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Is there a market for a proper reprint (perhaps via Kickstarter)? I'd be sorely tempted, not least because every other Civ game fails to measure up to the original in both scope and playability.

IIRC, the IP is currently in the hands of Hasbro (who presumably won't ever let the rights revert to the original creator, given how much time, effort and money went into making absolutely sure that they obtained them in the late 90s), but they have shown a willingness to licence games which they don't regard as central to their business model (like Merchant of Venus and ASL), so presumably they might be willing to do the same here. Although given past tribulations, a name-change might be insisted upon!
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Evan Derrick
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I'm guessing a Kickstarter campaign would probably be out of the question unless an established publisher finagled the rights away from Hasbro. Then there's the problem of the name, which would have to be changed.

Your best bet on getting this printed will probably be from Andrew Tullsen of PnP Productions (if he wants to sell it).
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Evan Derrick
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Here is my take on the AST. I called it the 'History Track' simply because 'Archaeological Succession Track' made little to no sense to me. That feels like a VERY clunky name, but die-hard Civ'ers can feel free to correct me on this.



I haven't modified the civilization colors that I have on the map, but it's my intention to try out some colors that hew closer to the originals without compromising the color palette I've chosen.

On the far right, you can see the icons I've selected for each of the Civilizations.

Feedback and comments very welcome!
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Kevin Youells
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Why the dual AST tables for Africa and Iberia at the top? Why not just use the standard Advanced Civ chart since you have incorporated the Western Expansion anyway?
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Evan Derrick
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Kevin Youells wrote:
Why the dual AST tables for Africa and Iberia at the top? Why not just use the standard Advanced Civ chart since you have incorporated the Western Expansion anyway?


From what I understand Advanced Civ is a different beast, right? My goal was to do regular Civilization first since I have friends who insist it's better than Advanced, and then if this turns out to be popular enough, do Advanced Civ later. And from my cursory investigation, the Advanced Civ AST is entirely different from the one in the base game.

Am I missing something? I'm no expert on Civ vs. Advanced Civ.
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Álvaro Suárez Riobó
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I am really glad. I swear you I was going to make a new redisign of Civilization and Advanced Civilization. But I have found your job.

In fact, I was wondering a design like the new Glory to Rome. Easefull and stylish.



But yours is much better.
The only problem I (do not) find is the Advanced Civilization. I hoped to remake both (just because once I seat in front of my computer...). How can we get both games?

May I help you?
So, do you need any help?

I did want the game for my own and I was also interested for presenting to a friend. Could we have it before Christmas?

Thanks again!
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Evan Derrick
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First four trade cards for your consideration. Dimensions are regular poker size, I believe, since I hate handling/holding/shuffling those tiny cards.

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Jonathan Harrison
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So are you going to do a separate set of trade cards for Advanced Civilization? Or just do the Advanced Civilization cards, with people playing knowing they can't collect up to the max number of cards?

Perhaps you could do the full Advanced Civilization card value table on each card, and just highlight the box corresponding to the top limit on card collection for that type of card.

For example:

-----------------
|#|#|#|#|#|#|#|#|
-----------------
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Evan Derrick
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HuginnGreiling wrote:
So are you going to do a separate set of trade cards for Advanced Civilization? Or just do the Advanced Civilization cards, with people playing knowing they can't collect up to the max number of cards?

Perhaps you could do the full Advanced Civilization card value table on each card, and just highlight the box corresponding to the top limit on card collection for that type of card.

For example:

-----------------
|#|#|#|#|#|#|#|#|
-----------------


My original plan was to just mimic the way Avalon Hill originally did it - update the necessary cards and then watermark them some way so that they can be easily separated.

Your idea might work, though.

However, are there different amounts of cards in Advanced Civ? For example, perhaps in basic Civ there are 10 Hide cards, but in Advanced Civ there are 12. Is that the case?
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Evan Derrick
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Ok, so after doing some investigation, the card counts ARE different between the two games. There are 5 Iron cards in basic Civ, but 8 in Advanced. Looking closer, it appears that only the Iron, Papyrus, and Gold cards would need to be replaced. All the other trade cards stay the same (and Advanced Civ adds a whole bunch of new trade cards).

So, two options.

1) Continue to work on basic Civ as is and create a completely different set of Iron, Papyrus, and Gold cards for Advanced Civ.

2) Try to combine all the information on one set of cards. However, this would mean you'd have to do some sorting during game setup (for example, be sure to include only 5 Iron cards rather than the full 8 included).

The second option seems more confusing and prone to error, but the first option would result in having to print off more cards if you wanted both versions.

Any thoughts?
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Jonathan Harrison
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derrickec wrote:
Ok, so after doing some investigation, the card counts ARE different between the two games. There are 5 Iron cards in basic Civ, but 8 in Advanced. Looking closer, it appears that only the Iron, Papyrus, and Gold cards would need to be replaced. All the other trade cards stay the same (and Advanced Civ adds a whole bunch of new trade cards).

So, two options.

1) Continue to work on basic Civ as is and create a completely different set of Iron, Papyrus, and Gold cards for Advanced Civ.

2) Try to combine all the information on one set of cards. However, this would mean you'd have to do some sorting during game setup (for example, be sure to include only 5 Iron cards rather than the full 8 included).

The second option seems more confusing and prone to error, but the first option would result in having to print off more cards if you wanted both versions.

Any thoughts?

I recommend option 2. Easy enough to count cards before beginning (I inventory the full game every time I put it away), and you wouldn't have to design two sets of cards—and we wouldn't have to print two whole sets of cards in case we sometimes wanted to play Civ and sometimes Advanced Civ.
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