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A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

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A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

The Red Baron

Hello All,

As perhaps a few of you know, the new TripleA website, found at triplea-game.org began with a maps page, small in scale, with only a tiny portion of the maps featured. It has been my goal since the launch of the website to provide TripleA with a comprehensive maps page that will give more exposure to the maps. The developers and I have made significant progress on this, and a working, though simplistic maps page has already been coded. However, currently, the only information available for display on the maps page is the name, the version number, and the download link. We'll be working on some additional info that map makers can add to triplea_maps.yaml, the index file that the engine uses to download maps. Namely, we are currently considering the following as being available for map-makers to add when they edit triplea_maps.yaml:

  • A map thumbnail
  • An uppercase map name, e.g. Total World War, instead of total_world_war
  • The name of the Github repo, e.g. large_middle_earth
  • A short description of the map
  • An era or time period to describe the map's setting
  • The filesize of the ZIP file
  • Number of Players/AI
  • A date with the last time the map was updated
  • The maker of the map

All of these will be displayed on the listing except for the Github repo name, which will allow users to star your map on Github. The maps page is designed for the benefit of the map-makers, so anyone who would like to suggest a feature should. Please let me know any suggestions you have for the improvement of the page. The page in progress currently looks like this:

The corresponding pull request is here, while the issue is here. More details about the proposal can be found here. The website gitter chat room is here.

Please don't hesitate to comment and add your thoughts
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

Cernel
What about the "estimated average live playtime" and an evaluation of its balance, with the advantaged side, if unbalanced, for example:

New World Order: Very Well Balanced
Ultimate World: Very Well Balanced
Lord Of The Rings: Well Balanced
World At War: Well Balanced
The Rising Sun: Decently Balanced
270BC: Decently Balanced
Word War II v4: Well Balanced
World War II v6: Decently Balanced
World War II Revised: Badly Balanced (pro Allies)
World War II v3 1941: Badly Balanced (pro Axis)
World War II Classic: Badly Balanced (pro Allies)
Total Ancient War: Dubiously Balanced
Global War: Unbalanced
Red Sun Over China: Broken

Very Well Balanced: Identifies those games that it is virtually impossible to agree on a better balance than the current one (reserved only for games that have or had a big pool of highly skilled and active players).
Well Balanced: Identifies those games that might have some arguably small balance issues only for the very best players, but hard to say.
Decently Balanced: Identified those games that are totally fine for noobs, but might have balance issues for good players, yet are fairly playable without bid.
Badly Balanced: Identified those games that are balanced like crap and no serious decent player on earth would reasonably think to play them without a bid (for example, nobody in his right mind would play WWIIv3 with NO without a bid in favour of Allies).
Dubiously Balanced: Identifies those games that you don't know their balance (meaning that maybe they are perfectly balanced, but you don't really know), but some effort is supposed to have been made.
Unbalanced: Identifies those games that nobody even tried to balance or nobody knows if anybody did (meaning that maybe they are perfectly balanced, but you don't really know).
Broken: Identifies those games that cannot be balanced because of issues.
History plays dice
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

Cernel
I have no idea about the balance of "World War II v5 Second Edition".

Average playtime of "World War II v3 1941" is 3 hours dice and 5 hours low luck, imo. I think the average playtime should only refer to well played games on both sides.

Not sure, but I would say "World War II v6" is 3 hours dice and 4 hours low luck.
History plays dice
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

The Red Baron
In reply to this post by Cernel
Ahh...a very good idea. I really like the estimated playtime idea. The balance evaluation may be interesting as well, maybe when we introduce separate map feature pages, that could be added to a more detailed description, perhaps along with a suggested bid. Is this what you have in mind?

How do you suggest we calculate these? Is there a way the lobby or warclub tracks the outcomes, or is there some sort of consensus?
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

redrum
Administrator
I'd agree with Cernel's idea and would also consider adding something around complexity (how difficult are the rules to learn).

So something like:

Avg Play Time (hours): 3 hours
- Gives an general estimate in hours probably not worth separating LL and dice.

Complexity Rating: 2/5
- Gives a feel for how complex the game is to learn so classic/revised would be like a 1 or 2 where as Global/TWW would be 4 or 5. Similar to the complexity rating on boardgamegeek: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/161936/pandemic-legacy-season-1
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

Cernel
While theorically a dice game can last very long, because you can theorically always win if you have not already lost, it is my experience that dice games tend to averagely last significantly shorter.

I'm thinking there should the a Topic where to give balance opinions, and you should take the responsibility of updating them mostly arbitrarily. At the end, also deciding if a map should stay in High Quality or in Good Quality is for a big deal arbitrary.
There is no need to do everything immediately; likely many maps will have the "balance level" and "estimated average live playtime" missing, to be progressively filled overtime.

Also, if you are going for 1 map = 1 game, you should specify what it is the main referring game for the map; for example, unless you are splitting them up, you must make clear that you are talking of "Pact Of Steel", not of "Pact Of Steel 2", as they are so much different games.

Complexity I would skip it, because it is a very though call, especially because there are 4 main form of complexity: rules complexity and map dimensions and gameplay variety and units quantity, that multiplies each other into general complexity.
Meaning you can have a game with very simple rules that it is extremely complex because you have an enormous map with thousands of units to manage (Ultimate World) or you can have a game that it is very complex just due to the sheer amount of rules to take into account and micromanagement to be done (Civil War).
Complexity depends on totally different elements (the complexity of World At War is totally different from the complexity of Total World War), so I think it would be very hard a call.
If you really want to, I rather suggest you divide up complexity into:
- Rules Complexity / Micromanagement (for example, fuel costs are not that complex to explain, but require an enormous amount of micromanagement, thus maps like Civil War are extremely hard to play)
- Map Dimensions (if you take a game having exactly the same rules as Revised, but make a much bigger map for it, you are likely to have a much more complex game)
- Gameplay Variety (a map can be enormous, but if it is so railroaded that you don't use 95% of it ever, then it is a moot point; example is South America in WWII games or the fact that you don't use half of the map in 270BC)
- Units Quantities (if I take a same map but increase the production values, the starting units, and the starting income, I will have much bigger stacks, and the map will become harder to play, to be multiplied by all the above, especially if I have like 200+ units stacks and all a set of fuel costs to micromanage)
I think that complexity is based on too much diverse elements, and I don't see how a general rating for it can be agreeable or even useful (I can make a very small map with extremely complex rules or a very big map with very simple rules; I don't know how you can rate who is the most complex of the two (for example, what is it the most complex between "New World Order" and "Pact of Steel 2"?...)).

Probably the "estimated average live playtime" is already a good teller of game's complexity, unless you want to rate the "rules complexity" of the game only.
History plays dice
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

The Red Baron
Currently, maps are not shown by game, though I think that maps that contain multiple games could give information about all of the maps contained.

I agree that complexity level and playtime don't all have to be added at once, and not all of the features will be on the actual listing, which means they will be left for the map feature pages, which will be completed later, if the map-makers actually would use them. For now, though, I'm happy to discuss these additions, and we can discuss their place as well.

I think complexity could be computed by an equation of sorts. Perhaps a number derived from the number of territories, one derived from the number of units per player, one from use of technology, etc. However, this might be difficult to decide. Regardless, I'd rather have a mathematical complexity rating than voting, which depends more on the game compared to games the user has played more than all the games. Playtime could also work, though a long game does not necessarily mean that is is difficult to learn.

Thank you both for your suggestions.
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

crazy_german
You could just list the number of territories (maybe split between land and sea) and the number of useable units, I think just putting the numbers themselves would be better than running them through an equation and posting its output.

The issue with trying to post a single number or phrase to describe balance is that you download the entire map but the XMLs within can have very different balance. Age of Tribes being an excellent example, the Renaissance is well balanced but the other start dates are not. Also, even if a map had a 50% win rate for both alliances, it can still have problems. Age of Tribes primeval seems reasonably balanced in that I think East and West have roughly equal odds to win, but its not a good game for competitive multiplayer games
Correctly crazy, disingenuously German
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

Frostion
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
Yes, nice ideas!

What about an AI compatibility rating? I don’t know by who or how this could be measured. But, I mean some maps seem to be well played by the AI and others not. It might be a good thing to know for a player who is  looking for a single player challenging map or a coop against the AI?

User generated rating? If user, then the IP address or whatever should have the option to re-rate as the map maybe gets updated or the user just gets more experienced with the map and therefore able to give a more objective rating.

Also, I think it would be wise to keep the number of “rating” categories low. I can see that a player would realy want info about rules complexity and playtime, but stuff like units count, variety and map dimensions may be going to too much detail. Just a thought.

@Redbaron
“I think complexity could be computed by an equation of sorts” I like this idea, but maybe this could still be user generated if the ratings were based on a small survey answering process? But the mathematically approach is also still a nice idea.

@Crazy German
Posting the numbers (and many of the things Cernel mentioned) would mean a lot of info and webpage space used to describe the map. But, if the ratings were based on numbers, maybe there could be the option to press on the ratings and thereby explore the details that have determined the rating?
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

Frostion
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
Another thing, maybe we should think about having a “comment” and or “discussion” thread attached to each map description at THIS website page? Maybe threads generated for each map? Maybe it could act as the official “comment on this map” and “request changes or work made on this map” thread. I know that there is now a “give map feedback” button in TripleA linking to Github, but I have only seen this button when just about to download a map. I have not seen it in-game while playing … And while playing and after playing is where a player could and would give feedback.
(Right now my TripleA seems to crash when opening the “give feedback” at the downloads.)

It would be nice to have comments on the website, and ALSO have ingame links to that same page on the website (meaning moving feedback away from Github). Maybe the link could be coded into the XML and displayed in the in-game top "Help" menu, along side the current "Send bug report"? It would also generate some traffic to the website?
There are most likely a bunch of complications that I am not aware of concerning this
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

The Red Baron
In reply to this post by The Red Baron
@crazy_german: Yes, we'll have to do something for maps with multiple games. I haven't quite figured that out yet.

@Frostion: AI Compatibility is a possibility. Perhaps it could be measured by the recommended AI bonus. On feedback, I'd like to keep it centralized on the Github issues. Maybe engine changes could be made to give that option during a game as well.

@all: I'm also open to suggestions on what information you'd like to see on the listing, and what information you'd like to see in a map feature page. I'll be working on the listing now. We'll see what comes of the map feature page ideas.

I envision a listing very similar to the one here, except with thumbnails and more appropriate details for maps, rather than plugins for a text editor : http://atom.io/packages
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

ZjelcoP
In reply to this post by Frostion
Frostion wrote
Another thing, maybe we should think about having a “comment” and or “discussion” thread attached to each map description at THIS website page? Maybe threads generated for each map? Maybe it could act as the official “comment on this map” and “request changes or work made on this map” thread. I know that there is now a “give map feedback” button in TripleA linking to Github, but I have only seen this button when just about to download a map. I have not seen it in-game while playing … And while playing and after playing is where a player could and would give feedback.
(Right now my TripleA seems to crash when opening the “give feedback” at the downloads.)

It would be nice to have comments on the website, and ALSO have ingame links to that same page on the website (meaning moving feedback away from Github). Maybe the link could be coded into the XML and displayed in the in-game top "Help" menu, along side the current "Send bug report"? It would also generate some traffic to the website?
There are most likely a bunch of complications that I am not aware of concerning this
Really like that idea. Besides feedback players can also ask questions about things they don't understand.
For popular maps the link could even point to to a cluster of threads about that map: Feedback, rules questions, strategy discussion etc.
But key thing, the option to link in game to a dedicated forumthread of the map played at that moment I think is brilliant!
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Re: A Page with all of the Maps for TripleA

The Red Baron
The form is now live for submissions to rate the maps. Please make submissions to help populate the data for the website maps listings and bring more players and downloads for TripleA. Rate the TripleA maps on the following metrics:

- Estimated average live playtime
- Balance rating
- Suggested bid (if applicable)
- Complexity rating (out of 5)
- AI Compatibility rating

The form is right here:
https://goo.gl/forms/cMLtqR68HAtrJb6W2


For more information, read here: https://forums.triplea-game.org/topic/102/triplea-players-and-map-makers-please-help-contribute-to-the-website-with-your-input
"The aggressive spirit, the offensive, is the chief thing everywhere in war, and the air is no exception." - Manfred von Richthofen
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