Thursday, August 2, 2012

progress report - anatolia and levant mapping; Interactive PDF books

in terms of expectations I hope its pretty low, since I'm doing this in my limited free time. 


anyway here is what I've done so far: 


I was able to find out the 200mi zoom of gmaps is perfect since US letter-sized landscape hex maps with 13 columns x 8 rows is about 10hex-inches x 8hex-inches. At 32 km per hex, it fits perfectly at 320 hex-in x 256 hex-in because 200mi is 320km. 


I've already done the grid, now I'm putting it to action. The delay is that Inkscape with the boardgame extension is crashing in my home computer that has 21" screen and the 4G RAM and 2000 pasmark CPU. My office computer is crap compared to this and has only a 14" screen. So you can imagine how much work I can get done with a much larger screen. 

The Process:
  1. Have a fair map of Levant and Anatolian Peninsula. 
  2. make a SVG inkscape file in letter size 8x13 hex map. 
  3. Scale the Anatolian and Levant map properly against the 8x13hex map even if the image file so much bigger. 
  4. With use of Layers and extra hex map layers, Plot where each maps fits into the whole picture using the grainy A&L map. 
  5. Chop it all up: save an instance where the correctly ploted sections of the A&L map is on the hex. That would be a saved file per hexmap. 
  6. use these maps to align the map made by Cplakidas to get the Anatolian side ok. Cplakidas maps' details remains intact. Use filters and extensions to soften up the map into Vector shapes. 
  7. Repeat till whole area is macro-maped on day scale. Since I assume it will take about 30-45 mins per map and there are about +21 maps this project will suffice for now. Wargamers and any Gamer can use it. Hopefully the map when done is something printable and something that can be assembled. 
  8. Create a Tutorial of this process (I need to figure out how to record doing this). 
  9. Create a process so that I can probably hire a student to do this in the office when I move to hourly scale 4km per hex creating 40kmx32km map on a 13x8hex US lettersized map. Find out how much it costs to make one so that I can theoretically cost how much it will cost to make maps of the key locations of the crusade. Find out how to make this on the cheap or free.    


Of course I will be writing will do this. 


Revelation:  After all those audio lessons I finally get it since I started looking at the map. Having done my own pathfinding exercises (miserable competence) in Airsoft I fully appreciate how difficult it is to navigate and travel on foot and looking at the map I can see why one side is greek and the other side is Hittite/Turkish/Analtolian etc. Cplakidas maps were very helpful in putting names to places, and I finally saw where the Isaurians were from and the other Roman Military colonies. 


This would be a very fun Campaign setting, especially in the "randomly" rolling the stats of various cities. I could probably make a Libreoffice spreadsheet to generate those or make the calculator built into the PDF document... 


PDF Document with World Building Tools built into it. 
Why not? have the tools that generate the towns, the manors, the equipment lists etc... built into the spreadsheet? Its Libreoffice Basic based on VB, one of the most obsolete and poorly used programming languages used outside school  yet very common in Philippine educated IT graduates.

Why not? If I could make a simple script and forms functionality, what more a team of programmers and their PM creating a PDF that generates the output for game material? 


What if the Expansion of the Ancient Era: The First Crusade + Large Scale Game expansion allowed the generation of varying town stats, armies, and NPCs with a form button and option to print out the data... and make more and generate various other random data.


My Open Source Mindset
Open Source doesnt mean you will give your Time, Motion and Costing to the world and run yourself out of business. You show how its down, but all the indirect costs and complexity is up to you to keep. I personally want to end the regurgitation of game material, automating what can be automated... even if it appears I'm killing off a way to make money. 


I think this is an era that innovators have to look farther forward, constantly pushing the envelope to to do things that cannot be "replicated" by automation (like GMing). If someone can close of something to automation that will increase productivity but close off a market... why not. Close it off  and push to create a new business, fill a new need. 


This is what is underlying in Open Source; sure you can give people the means to do it for themselves but as the economy grows things change and sometimes it can support it self. OS and Office Tools are open source now, so: "get out of the OS and Office Tools game" and leave it to the people dedicated in keeping this great product free and innovating. Move on to a new business, a new model of making money.













the white space is for reference purpose. Its for my hex maps, the hexes should completely cover the white area. 200mi wide or 320km.
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