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Subject: Corresponding map? rss

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Eric V
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Glenn,

One of the things that impresses me so much about this game is that despite the abstract nature of the RR connections, there is so much historical accuracy in the elements: the graphics on the tiles, the relative economic power of the cities (expressed in # of cubes placed), and the railroad companies serving each city. You obviously did a lot of research for this... can you post (or point us to) a graphic of a map showing the actual city-to-city connections? Even a cartoonish map would work.

I think it'd be interesting to have a laminated map and connect each of the cities as the tiles are placed. At game end, we'd see how many of the real-world connections got made.

I can certainly create such a map once the game is in hand, but maybe you can point me to one? Thanks in advance.
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Glenn Drover
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Plainfield
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Thanks Eric,

I love historical research, and we did quite a bit of it for this game.

1) I researched the top 100 cities in the U.S. (by population) in 1890, and cross-referenced this list with cities that were key cities across the country along major railroad lines. I picked 37 of the most significant (1 starting city and 36 others. 36 is a good number because it divides equally by 2, 3, 4, and 6 players, and is very close for 5.

2) Once I had selected the key cities, I researched the most historically significant railroad lines from 1830 - 1900, making sure to select railroads that could cover the entire country and link all the cities. Some smaller railroads had to be left out, and even a few mid-sized which were still too small, or larger ones like the SAL, which was essentially redundant to the ACL in the network.

3) Then I found the old Railroad Maps from the 1800's that showed the routes of the actual railroads. This allowed me to select which railroads serviced which cities and which ordinal direction the rail lines entered and left each city. Naturally, there had to be some fudging and simplification because I only had room for up to four sides for each city. However, the degree of accuracy is surprisingly high for such an abstracted game.

4) Then, I hired an architect/ artist friend of mine (Renato Imana), to research and hand draw a unique building from each city that existed in those cities from 1880 - 1900, so that each city's skyline depicted on the tile is unique and accurate.

5) Lastly, inspired by feedback from Mark Streed, I hired Mark Page, a talented Disney Artist who is working on our Pirate Game (Coming this Fall) to colorize the city tiles to bring them to life, and to create 10 unique characters (5 male and 5 female) that filled the roles related to railroads around the turn of the century (Tycoon, Office Clerk, Conductor, Locomotive Engineer, and Passenger). I did the research on the correct attire/ looks from old photographs.

Yes, we absolutely did the research and creative to give Railroad Rivals a high level of authenticity that I believed railroad fans would appreciate.

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Glenn Drover
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With regard to the maps that I used, you can find them easily by googling the image of 'X Railroad Map' where X is the name of the railroad (like B&O).

These maps really fascinated me; so much in fact that I ended up buying a book of Railroad History that is chock-full of them. (Just wish that I had the book when I was doing all that research). Popping back and forth from map to map on the internet while parsing out the networks and ordinal directions was kind of a pain.

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