Saturday, April 27, 2013

Trade Video, Part 1

If the last one was death for some people, this will be ten times worse.  This video was made for an exclusive, small but very loyal readership of this blog, who are interested in this sort of thing.

I'm choked that I've made at least one error while describing the process, simply because it is complicated, and requires focus to manage all the details.  I screwed up on one point, 9:33 in, where I forget to adjust the positive/negative.  Ah well.  It's not like I rehearsed.

This, at least, should show to what extent I'm willing to go for this business.

Well, you could do it with pencil and paper ... but, it's going to take longer than you have to live.


Anthony said...

So can I buy an equipment list generated for Prague for $1.33?

Alexis Smolensk said...

Yeah, sure.

Taren said...

Awesome! I love what you're doing here. Thank you for posting your video, Alexis. I can better understand your maps and the designations you've put on them.

Man, I just have to say I totally dig your commitment to these maps, They are truly excellent.

Couple of questions for you:
How do you create the hex grid to begin your maps? Does Publisher have a hex grid overlay option?
How do you get the cities in there - do you type them in yourself, do you start with a source map?
I apologize for the questions if you've already posted this information or an earlier state video.

Also, your formatting is very consistent, i.e. the elevation numbers are in the same corner in all hexes, etc. Are you manually placing all the data in each hex? I have found that with something like word, elements get moved accidentally by the shifting of other elements... very cumbersome. How is Publisher for that?

What are the thick gray lines? I'm referring to the ones that seem to bound groups of hexes. Not rivers, but maybe are these political boundaries?

One question I'd love to see you address is how you play with these in game. Do you already have a post I can check out?

Do you share any higher resolution images for any of these maps? I'm starting a game in Metz and have been looking for a contour map to use in game. That's one way I found some of these posts - Just as you said above, you're the top hit on a google search for a number of D&D topics, especially mapping.

If you share your higher resolution maps, I would love to look through them.

Thank you for sharing what you have done, Alexis.


Just a thought vis a vis your distance calculator - have you tried using a formula to automatically change the negative to positive etc based on the condition? Maybe something this in B3: IF((A4-A3)<0,"-1","1"). That way a drop in elevation automatically decreases the travel time and vice versa. You can copy this down and the cell references will move apace.

I don't know all of the formulas you use your sheet, but I thought this one might find a place. If it helps, great!

Alexis Smolensk said...

Hi Taren,

Some of the questions you ask can be answered by this new blog I've started: Tao's Work.

The gray lines are borders; thicker lines, between nations, thinner gray lines, between provinces.

The hex map was built by making one exact hex and then duplicating it and fitting it to the next hex, until I had the whole map made. You can find a link to the publisher hex map I use on my Wiki and on the Tao's Work blog above.

I plot the cities. I made a video Sunday about plotting coastlines; that should give you an idea of how I plot cities. I'm going to do a video showing city plotting soon (in Spain).

I'll see what I can do to address the subject of using the maps in a game.

I have been using a hex generator to get grittier with maps. You can find those posts under Hex Generation 2.0 (on the sidebar). Most of the time I just use Google and my imagination to get more detailed (then drawing diagrams/small maps on the fly of streets, castles, hillsides, etc).

I could fix the distance calculator as you say. Would be very easy. Perhaps I will.

John MacKenzie said...

Hi Alexis,

While watching the "Trade Video, Part 1", I was wondering how you would handle the following situation:

Suppose you had a particularly entrepreneurial player who starts producing a commodity in a region which would not have been producing the product during 1650 in the real world and for which no reference exists in that part of the world in your trade tables. Would you add a reference to the region once production reached a certain level? I'm thinking this could happen with certain spices.

John MacKenzie

Alexis Smolensk said...

I encourage that, John! I think that would be great.

It would depend on the actual resource/service/industry in question. Since my data comes from a 1952 encyclopedia and not wikipedia, there are plenty of possibilities for mineral wealth of a completely different type than my trade table would show. Obviously, if it were animals or vegetable matter, it would have to fit the climate/region. If it was an industry, they'd have to be concerned about the source - fuel + iron to make weapons, etc.

Expertise should matter as well. You can't just make swords if you don't know how to puddle metal or make weapons. On the whole, you'd expect the players to have to choke up a starting capital that would be a challenge; and they'd have to sort out the existing competition's resentment ... but if they choose right, they might just make something no one in the region has, and be loved for it.

My trade system could add the new reference so easily it hurts.