Monday, October 6, 2014

More Sea Routes

My apologies for not putting up a video on the weekend for the trade course.  I did not want to rush into it, feeling that more thought and organization was needed.  Plus, I suppose, I felt strongly inclined to work on my world rather than describe it.

I do have something to show today - additional seagoing trade routes that I've worked out.  Excellent versions can be found on the wiki, but I'll put up the images here so blogger can make them fuzzy.

I finished the seas around Arabia and India a week ago - easy stuff, really - so I'll put those up first:

The reader will have to open these in another window even to get a sense for them; they're just too darn big.  Like before, lines are based on shortest distance routes between trade ports that are able to import from markets up to 10x their own trade number.  The trade numbers shown on the map - ignore the red/yellow coloring, it means nothing.  As I did trade ports, I generally changed their color just so I'd know they were done.  This isn't consistent and nothing should be read into it.

Here's the one that took me all week (finished it yesterday.  Wasn't quite as bad as the Mediterranean, but Northern Europe was complex nonetheless:

The series of straight lines across the North Sea shows the relationship between specific Belgian and French ports and their Norwegian counterparts - no doubt this is not coincidence.  I suspect the placement of these port cities reflects the relationship between shipbuilders and their supplies of timber and pitch.

Obviously, this map will get a lot more complicated whenever I get around to adding England/Scotland to the system.  That's another day, however.


Arduin said...

I always thought it was weird you didn't have the UK already done up. Compared to say, France or India, it just seemed like an easier undertaking!

Obviously though you'd be primarily motivated by what areas were interesting to research and "explore", not to mention what your party has eyes on, so it makes more sense in that lens.

That said, I freaking love the maps. Just. So. Awesome. Thanks for putting them up.

Alexis Smolensk said...

"I always thought it was weird you didn't have the UK already done . . ."

Certain strange effects from running characters, actually.

My first group started in western Russia, so I started working outwards in circles, doing the Black Sea, Romania, Hungary, then Poland and Scandinavia, then swinging back to do Turkey.

The party decided to go east to China, so I worked on Iran and Afghanistan, as well as central Russia, then did the research for India without laying out the map.

The party retreated back to Romania, however, so I went back to Europe, filling in Greece, then Germany - which took a long time. Because I started running the online party, I began on Switzerland, then Italy. Not long after I was encouraged to do the Mediterranean basin for a friend.

Back in 2009, when my writing/magazine jobs caved on account of the recession, I had plenty of time so I finished India and more of Russia. I cleaned up Italy in 2011.

THEN I decided to update the mapmaking files to a better program, and so I have been redoing maps for two and a half years. I've got the research done to put Spain in place, but haven't done it yet - and I have started researching Great Britain to finally finish Europe (Iceland will be easy).

Sometime after that I will flesh out Africa and begin researching the New World. I think I'd rather go across the Atlantic than do China, but circumstances may change.

Brendan Swagerty said...

I wanted to first say thank you for this blog. I just found this blog about a week ago and have read a lot of the archived content. I love the part about upgrading the game from pen and paper to more digital formats. I would love to do this in my campaign setting and the maps that you give (Combat and World) are fantastic! I was just wondering how you did it? Is there a program that you use? I recall you saying that Hexographer sucks, and that's an understatement from my experience. Or if you have explained this previously could you give me a link? I'm only up to 2010 January.

Alexis Smolensk said...

Welcome Brendan,

You want to look through the 'Mapmaking' category (as opposed to maps) for some of your answers. You can also have a look at this video. That should show you some of the functional process.

Brendan Swagerty said...

Thank you for the quick reply! I will check both of them out.

Keltoi said...

I was wondering if you have any intention of adding in the complexity of embargoes, bans, increased taxes and duties(whether they be specific to an item or to goods made in a certain country), smuggling, or the like into your trade system.

Alexis Smolensk said...

At the moment I'm adding to the cost of items that travel through multiple cities, adjusting the system so that smuggling will be more effective. At present, it is illegal to set up shop and sell anything directly to a population without approval by the merchant's guild - though goods that are obtained by the party can be sold back to vendors. I haven't had a player propose to take action against that policy.

I haven't worked on embargos because, honestly, I doubt the players would notice. Things go unavailable all the time, and players are not familiar enough with an area to notice any pattern (not that they've ever said so).

Think about it - if the news didn't exist to report on the unavailability of something, would you even notice - or take any action if you couldn't find it? Eliminating, of course, 'cool' items like ipads and iphones - which are also only desired because of media pushing.

What I'd like to add is seasonal availability - but as my bookkeeping sort of crashed a year ago as I tried to add France, I'm mostly just redesigning the method I use for keeping track of things.