Monday, September 24, 2012

The Majesty of France

Tragedy tomorrow, content tonight.

As I have done before, when completing one of the map areas of my world, I love to finally post it.  This one is created sans roads ... roads are complicated and must be calculated after the map is created, as the shape of the map determines the travel times between market cities.  I will be working on this map over the next week, adding the market cities (only a couple are shown below) and then ultimately the roads after that.  Travel times, for those who don't know, are adjusted if the next hex is higher or lower in altitude, so that two hexes through the mountains are always farther than two hexes on flat land.

While the maps are helpful the campaign, ultimately the purpose of the maps was to establish a single baseline for mastering my economic system.  While Google Earth does give me a map of everywhere, it is a pain in the ass to measure distances on it, not being very friendly, and unfortunately there are no Google Earth maps from the year 1650.  Having my own maps means I can create my own roads, based on the shortest distance between two trading centres, or the least number of hexes/least amount of elevation change.  Working on something like Google Earth means having those routes defined by modern highways, which did not exist and in many cases could not exist even as tracks in 1650.

Thus, my consistent map system, reliably designed for one consistent trade system.

I really appreciate how nicely this shows the Central Massif, that patch of brown in the lower centre of the map, extending to the northeast in a series of hilly mountains.  At a later point I will add labels for those ... but this is a tremendous amount of detail for one person, and even to get the map to this stage pleases me.  There was a huge headache that I experienced when my old maps were frozen out by a computer that went awry, and thus these are designed in a new program with a new colorscheme.  Translating the old maps to the new is a very slow business, one that can take a long time to get the specific details just so.  There are more than 700 cities, towns and villages in France alone ... which makes this map only about 7 times more difficult to upgrade that some simple piece of crap like Greyhawk.  It's a pretty good, clear picture from the image, which surprises me.  Blogger must be taking steps to improve itself.

Let me know what you think, or I'm warning you, I'll have to squawk again about inattention from the internet to get comments.

(content raregly gets comments.  anyone noticed that?)

Anyway, just thinking about it, this is a long way forward from when I was working on Switzerland three years ago ... you can see Switzerland in the center right side of the page ... which can be compared with this set of maps here.  The reader can also compare with the earlier version of France back in February, which I posted here.


Charles Taylor (Charles Angus) said...

Awesome stuff. It's bringing back memories of exploring the "Cathar" castles in the South, and Carcassone, the Black Mountains...

Driving around down there you can almost believe it's still 1650.

Sigilic said...

So there's a navigable estuary on the Bay of Biscaigne. Never knew that!

Alexis said...

To what do you refer to, Sigilac? I cannot find a Bay of Biscaigne on Google, and Biscayne Bay is in Florida. Count me confused.

Lukas said...

Is it bad I'd rather play civ on one of your earth maps than their sad version of a 'huge' earth?

Alexis said...

Back in the 80s I used to play campaign games for Panzerblitz and Panzer Leader. Wouldn't that be fabulous?

There are a number of war games, from Axis and Allies to Third Reich, that I would have liked to have played with these maps.