Shannon V. OKeets
From: Honolulu, Hawaii
ORIGINAL: brian brian
this gets confusing. the map is 'done' but crossing arrows can be tweaked. I've been fooling around with a print-out of the Caspian area, that could still use work. an entire hex-row or two could be eliminated between Grozny and Baku, easily. Baku and Tiflis are so far apart, either side can be said to suffer from the distortion depending on who you are playing at the time. Reinforcements from Baku take forever to reach the Tiflis front; likewise after the Axis take Tiflis they have a long march to Baku still in front of them. it appears we have plenty of time till release and this could be a good area to work on still. I know you put a lot of time in to it already. one way to approach it might be to do some basic measurements of distances; I know there are several border/geographical features you wished to illustrate, however if including them introduces so much distortion, perhaps some of them should be edited out. I wouldn't worry about the effects on Turkmenistan, but the west side of the Caspian and the entire north/south alignment of it is just wrong. subtracting a row from the Kalmyk Steppes above it wouldn't hurt anything....except of course for the entire structure of the map data files. but I get a little confused as to why small things can still be worked on but bigger things can't.?
Yes, the map is "done", but little corrections can hopefuly still be done.
Adding a strait hexside arrow is adding or modifying 1 line in 1 of the 12 data files that make the map.
Adding a name, is adding 1 line in 1 of the 12 data files that make the map.
They are trivial things to modify.
Changing a railway path can also be relatively easily done.
Changing the position of icons within hexes is also relatively easily done.
Changing a river path or a coastline is an order of magnitude above that.
Shifting a portion of the map 10-20 hexes abroad and 20 hexes tall require changing the data for 200-400 hexes.
Those data are on the top of my head : Terrain, weather zone, to which sea area it is coastal, text, icons (city, ports...), hexsides (rail, alpine...), country (to which country it belongs).
There is no software that can delete 1 hexrow on the map in the data files, and put the hexes below that hexrow 1 hexrow higher as there is in Excel.
You have to recreate the whole data for the 100-200 hexes, in the 12 files, with the risk of confusing old and new data for EACH hex.
That's a pretty daunting task, that I would be willing to do because I can always spare the time needed, and I am not that much working on the map these late months, if there were not the real threat thereafter :
Real threat number 1 : That the new drawing will be worse than what it tried to correct.
Worse, because taking 10-20 x 20 hexes (the caspian) 1 hexrow to the north means that you have to adapt all the land around the caspian so that it has either 1 less hexrow, or that it is redrawn adding an unknown number of hexes data to change, AND you have to adapt all of what is south from the Caspian so that it is 1 hexrown larger north to south, or redraw it too, thus involving other hundred of hexes data to change.
Who knows if there will not be someone in 12 months from now saying : Damned !!!! India is completely out of sync with the rest of the Middle, East, you NEED to take India 1-2 hexes to the north. Well, what will I do at that moment ?
Real threat number 2 : That we waste Steve's precious time, and risk having the game non functionnal for unknown lapses of time because of the map. After all those changes will be done, and probably many times during the time they are done to evaluate the result (when we edited Scandinavia, we experienced all that), Steve will have to generate new coastal bitmap files as well as new river and lake bitmap files, which is a task that takes him and his computer some amount of hours, with the risk that an error in the data from the files delays everything and that he have wasted the time trying to rebuild impossible files. If I could do that task myself, which I don't because Steve did not took the time to build tools that would be used by someone else than him for that final map making task, we could have a private lab and make the changes and try them without wasting Steve's time, and only providing him the final files, but this is not the case because Steve lacks the time to develop an easy to use map making tool.
To be able to fulfill the task of editing the 12 data files, we would first need to have a map with 2 layers : how it is now (old data) and how it must become (new data) so that by alternating the vision of the 2 maps I can know what data to change. This only is a great task.
In my list of things I consider done and do not want to even think about (much less change) any more are:
the units (especially unit types)
optional rules (included/excluded),
Perfection is an elusive goal.