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Subject: Re-styled map rss

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Nathan Richardson
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I've put in some work re-styling the Mega Civilization map, drawing largely from the map released as part of the Expansion Project back in 2008. I love the changes the retail release of Mega Civ made to the gameplay since that project was last updated, but I confess I preferred the art style of the older map.

So I spent some time updating the 2008 map to reflect Mega Civ's changes, plus some of my own aesthetic preferences. I'm interested to hear what you think, and in particular to get a few eyes on it to catch any errors before I have it printed.

Once this gets to a stable version I'll post it in the files section.

I'm considering doing the advances and trade cards as well in this style, if I have time.

Here's what's changed:

Aesthetics:
-Modern/minimalist typefaces (Futura and Trajan Sans)
-Minimalist volcano/city icons
-All civ start points are the same color (my group likes picking a color of pieces independent of their preferred civ/starting location)
-General cleanup
-Increased size of some zones in crowded areas of the map
-Added some mountain terrain (gray) and some additional variety in barren areas of the map
-Trimmed a few inches from the top and bottom of the map (there was some wasted space). This required moving some borders and coastlines, particularly in Central Asia and the Horn of Africa. I tried to minimize violence to geography. Because most tables are more width than length-constrained, this lets the map be printed larger, allowing more space for units.
-Removed AST and Trade Card spots from the map. This lets you use the Mega Civ trays and AST with this board, or print your own.


Content (all changes match Mega Civ map)
-Added new areas
-Adjusted all pop values(no more "5" areas)
-Adjusted flood plains
-Added new volcano sites
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Bill K
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There are many game boards and game maps which I find less than attractive and less than functional--but the game map for Mega Civilization isn't one of them. I think it's a work of art. So if I had any artistic talent and the time to undertake such a project, Mega Civilization wouldn't be the game I'd start with. I actually prefer the new artwork style--the non-straight border lines, the more-artistic city-site markers, the color choices so that all of the population tokens stand out from the map, etc.

Not that the Expansion Project Map is ugly--it isn't. But as for me I prefer the Mega Civilization map.
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Raffaele Porrini
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I agree with Bill. The only think I like about your map is that Petra is again a coastal area.
 
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Nathan Richardson
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Smash62Bill wrote:
There are many game boards and game maps which I find less than attractive and less than functional--but the game map for Mega Civilization isn't one of them. I think it's a work of art. So if I had any artistic talent and the time to undertake such a project, Mega Civilization wouldn't be the game I'd start with. I actually prefer the new artwork style--the non-straight border lines, the more-artistic city-site markers, the color choices so that all of the population tokens stand out from the map, etc.

Not that the Expansion Project Map is ugly--it isn't. But as for me I prefer the Mega Civilization map.


To each their own. I'm not trying to convince anyone that this style is better. If you love the Mega Civ map more power to you. In fact I don't mean to start an argument about the Mega Civ map at all. I think it's great that a lot of people like it. I'm just offering an alternative that I happen to prefer, in hopes others might too.

I agree that the subtly irregular borders are a nice touch in the Mega Civ map, making it seem less "gamey" and more organic. I could do that in mine, but it would take a lot of time. I also think straight lines fit in with the more minimalist aesthetic I'm going for.

rporrini wrote:
I agree with Bill. The only think I like about your map is that Petra is again a coastal area.


...and that's not intentional. Thanks for catching the error!
 
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Daniel Kearns
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I like the new map but I also really like your minimalist design.

The counters will really pop on the plain color fields and I like the angular territories because the make the hard geometry of the tokens feel more at home.
 
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Nathan Richardson
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dkearns wrote:
I like the new map but I also really like your minimalist design.

The counters will really pop on the plain color fields and I like the angular territories because the make the hard geometry of the tokens feel more at home.


Thanks. Would you suggest making all the borders straight lines? Some are curved/irregular, I think where the Expansion Project map artist followed river basins. See the Rhine or Danube areas, for example.

I tend to think a few organic borders is a nice change of pace, but I can also see how it might be jarring.
 
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Nathan Richardson
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I started working on Civilization advances in the same style. Comments welcome, of course.
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Flo de Haan
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Smash62bill wrote:
There are many game boards and game maps which I find less than attractive and less than functional--but the game map for Mega Civilization isn't one of them. I think it's a work of art. So if I had any artistic talent and the time to undertake such a project, Mega Civilization wouldn't be the game I'd start with. I actually prefer the new artwork style--the non-straight border lines, the more-artistic city-site markers, the color choices so that all of the population tokens stand out from the map, etc.

Not that the Expansion Project Map is ugly--it isn't. But as for me I prefer the Mega Civilization map.


This is exactly what we tried to do Bill. The choice of colour was thoroughly tested and under debate. We also wanted to take this historical approach (eighties) to a next modern level (2015). That includes those mountain prints, color gradients, and stuff.

We also never wanted too much details (which we see at many other gameboards). Too much detailed coloured illustration on any board makes it less functional.

I believe our version is a perfect balance in this approach.

Nevertheless I love the effort taken into re-creating our map into the 'old style'. Our play-test map was more like that. It must have take quite some time to do so. And we can tell. Good job!
Still I see this more as a tribute. Though very functional!

I hate the old style cards-layout for the advances though. Anyone who knows what I've done for the civproject back in the days knows how and why.
I've worked the advances and took them to a higher level, both aesthetically and functionally.
In debate with Franz Vohwinkel we took it even to a higher level.
Of course it's a matter of taste, but I'm in love with his artwork.
A lot of them were based on my own drawings and holiday pictures. (I went to a lot of historic places for research)


Note: I do love the old avalon hill Civilization version, but that is more a nostalgic thing. Because it is an old game. We wouldn't and shouldn't create a game that way nowadays, and THAT makes it beautiful. That doesn't mean we shouldn't create 'tributes'.

And anyone is free, of course, to create anything he likes.

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Flo de Haan
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richarnd wrote:
I started working on Civilization advances in the same style. Comments welcome, of course.


Note: We have written 51 flavor texts for all the advances, bases on updated historical research and in line with what is displayed on the artwork. In fact we spent quite some time on that.

Those we intended to be printed on the cards, but this idea was dropped in the production process. And some artwork-concepts were changed during the process.
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Nathan Richardson
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I think I had read elsewhere on BGG that you (Flo) had to drop flavor text during production, likely from one of your posts. That's too bad - I find players really like it. But it doesn't take away from gameplay of course.

I really appreciate all the work you and others put in to Mega Civ. It's a great achievement and none of the small aesthetic changes I'm doing here, mostly for my own unique preferences, is meant to take away from that.

In particular, I really do like the advances cards in Mega Civ. I wish I had a poster of the astronavigation card. The only reason I'm making changes is to match the map I'm working on, and as a graphic design experiment.
 
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Flo de Haan
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richarnd wrote:
I think I had read elsewhere on BGG that you (Flo) had to drop flavor text during production, likely from one of your posts. That's too bad - I find players really like it. But it doesn't take away from gameplay of course.

I really appreciate all the work you and others put in to Mega Civ. It's a great achievement and none of the small aesthetic changes I'm doing here, mostly for my own unique preferences, is meant to take away from that.

In particular, I really do like the advances cards in Mega Civ. I wish I had a poster of the astronavigation card. The only reason I'm making changes is to match the map I'm working on, and as a graphic design experiment.


That's nice.
By the way. Astronavigation is my favorite too. I have drawn the black and white version first, and gave that to Franz, including some instructions (and pictures of those ancient constellation-skies). He took it to such a higher level. I was amazed when I receive his colored image of my idea.

A change we made to the civproject-version (and the original Civ) is that we changed "Astronomy" to "Astronavigation" cause that's all what the card is about. Besides, it leaves room for any new idea on a card called "Astronomy"

Anyway. I like what you do.
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Andreas Brueckner
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Flodehaan wrote:

Note: We have written 51 flavor texts for all the advances, bases on updated historical research and in line with what is displayed on the artwork. In fact we spent quite some time on that.

Those we intended to be printed on the cards, but this idea was dropped in the production process. And some artwork-concepts were changed during the process.


That is sad, I would have loved to have the text on the back of the cards. I love that kind of teaching experience - I do play mainly with kids though.
 
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