Friday, May 15, 2015

Spending My Time

What have I been doing?  Why can I not write about my D&D world?  Am I not working on it?

I am working.  For months I have been taking this:



And transforming it into this:


Obviously, not just for Corsica.  I have made more than 250 of these adjustments.  I have perhaps another hundred.  This is all part of point 8 described on this post.  I finished point 7 for France back in October.

What is the adjustment?  I am changing the way my trade system's imports are calculated.  Let me show you a map of Corsica to give an idea of how these relate to each other.


From the beginning, I have had a number of territories, like Corsica, that possessed more than one trade city.  In this case, Ajaccio and Bastia.  Since my data on the island would only give what the whole island produced (antimony, copper, coal, etc.), I felt the easiest thing to do would be to assume both cities had access to these goods.  Thus, goods shipped out of Corsica would come from either Ajaccio or Bastia - and if the market you happened to be in was nearer to Bastia than it was to Ajaccio, then the distance was counted to Bastia and Ajaccio could be ignored.

This was fine, except that each time I added a new section of my world to the trade system, it was necessary to hunt down all the incidents where one city was ignored for another manually.  This was no big deal when I had less than 200 market cities.  It became more and more of a problem as I expanded into Germany, Italy and India.  And then France . . . well, France broke me.

France is huge where it comes to my system.  This is fair; in 1650, it was the world superpower.  At various times in history France fought against England, Austria, Prussia and Russia, often in combinations of two or three or all four . . . because for a time it was the wealthiest, most populated and most diverse economy in the world.  England was nothing like France at the time.  If you look at England in 1650, you will find a great many of the large industrial cities we recognize were just little burgs or not founded at all . . . places like Bournemouth, Manchester and Birmingham were insignificant when Marseille, Lyon or Le Havre had huge economies.

I realized to shorten my work in the future I was going to have to chop these multi-trade city market zones into pieces, making each one a separate table.  This meant separating them out according to population, which meant assigning towns within the province to one trade city or another:


Ajaccio gets those towns and cities that have the easiest access to Ajaccio; the rest go to Bastia.  Thus Corsica is not divided evenly down the middle, but according to its urban population dividing the former total (33,254).  The products of Corsica are rolled randomly between the two markets (using excel) and the specific placement of the goods and services are assigned.  If there were multiple totals for something (say, Antimony), then each reference would be rolled for individually.

I decided not to use fractions (which would have been a huge pain) for simplicity reasons.  For the game, it really doesn't matter that in the real world antimony in Corsica is actually mined in Bastia.  As I said, I have around 350 splitted markets requiring this sort of work.

It is patient, it is time-consuming, it is pedantic (because I don't like arbitrarily assigning anything) and there is absolutely no way I would have time to do this if I were working forty hours a week.

So, between looking for work, going to interviews, missing out on jobs by a hair and being generally low, spending my time profitably.

Hard to explain this or expect anyone else to 'get it.'

1 comment:

Wandrille Duchemin said...

While I don't have a lot of constructive things to say, I just want to express that I like this sort of post and am always happy to hear about your maps and trade system.