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Thread: Historical European Board Game (Project)

  1. #1
    Guild Member Facebook Connected Micah Doulos's Avatar
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    Post Historical European Board Game (Project)

    Hello All,

    I'm new here to the forum (I said Hi in the new members area).

    My goal here is to create a board game set during the religious civil wars of 16th and 17th century Europe. My problem? I can't find good maps of Europe! I've tried to make my own but failed. So I joined here looking for help. Both from artistic talent and reference. My goal is to either find a good map of Europe for the game, or create one. Will you join me?

    The map should (this is not a commission):

    - Have a historic feel to it.
    - Not contain modern political borders.
    -- It should either be devoid of borders which I can fill in later.
    -- or it can contain borders from the 16th or 17th century.
    - Not contain text or graphics that can't be easily removed or altered.

    - I'm really digging the artistic styles being used on overland maps here. What I'd really like to see is the same style applied to the European continent as far as geography is concerned.
    - Clearly defined mountains.
    - Clearly defined major lakes.
    - Clearly defined major rivers.
    - Other clearly defined geographic landmarks possibly relevant to Europe.
    - A parchment looking border, like the outside edge of the map looks like it's made of medieval paper.
    - The inside area of the map can have more color.
    - However not so much color as to serve as a distraction to city, road, political borders, and textual graphics to be added later, and player controlled pieces.

    So this is kind of an outline to exactly what I'm looking for. Does anyone know of already existing maps that fit this description for the most part? What's the best way to go about obtaining this map in your opinion? If I have to create the map, how should I go about getting started?

    Thanks so much!
    Micah

  2. #2
    Guild Member Facebook Connected Micah Doulos's Avatar
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    Historical European Board Game (Project)-europemap.jpg

    Here's a draft of the board I made before. The color has been damaged by the light and there is a lot of smearing. As you can easily tell, this is nowhere near a professional level. The coastlines were not traced, they were all drawn freehand by simply referencing a map of Europe, hence the coastal errors.

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      Raptori is offline
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    Sounds like an interesting project, will be nice to see how you get on

    If you can use .svg files (needs a vector editor), then Wikimedia has a ton of European maps you can edit. Here's the category, and here's one particular map that looks like it'd be a good start. Obviously you'd have to alter the style, borders, etc, but in terms of having something to work with I think it's a good option.

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected Micah Doulos's Avatar
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    Thanks Raptori. That's a good map. Might be a bit small though. I've never edited .svg files before. I only just yesterday learned what vector graphics were. lol. Is GIMP a vector editor? I'll need to figure out how to paint over existing graphics and replace them with a new style. All new to me! The major part is the coastlines. I'm always afraid if I'm using a paint brush or something, that I'll accidentally destroy a coastline. lol

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      Raptori is offline
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    No problem! The size doesn't matter because it's a vector, you can make it as big as you want and it'll stay crisp and clear

    I've never used GIMP, but assuming it handles them similarly to Photoshop then it should be able to open them and resize them properly, just not edit them very well. For that you'd need a vector graphics program like Illustrator - I've heard good things about Inkscape in the past.

    At least it's fun though! I'd probably just use that existing image as a reference, so that if you change anything you can always compare to the original to see if it still matches reality

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    I like your project, the setting definitely makes for an interesting one.

    I think with the map you were on a good path with the one you posted. The projection seems good for a board game. The one off wikimedia is a straight top down view, and although it shows all of Europe, I don't think the parts east of what now is Germany are needed for the game. As far as I remember, most of the wars happened in western Europe. Not entirely sure though...

    Anyway, my point is, if you want enough space on the board for markers and such, you'd need a proper projection, since most of Europe is relatively small.

    I also wouldn't worry about the coastlines too much, realism probably wouldjust get in the way of praticalitiy. If you look at the boards of Ticket To Ride, for example, they are nowhere near accurate.

    GIMP s not a vector editor, it's pixel based. Illustrator or Inkscape (which to my knowledge is freeware) are vector based programs.

    I don't think I could help you with the actual drawing, since I am still learning and have limited time, but if I can help with anything else, I'd be happy to do so! Looking forward to seeing how this'll turn out!

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      Llannagh is offline
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    Oops, I just realized I was thinking about te wrong time period! I thought you meant the hundred year's war, but that was a couple hundred years earlier... ahem.

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    Guild Member Facebook Connected Micah Doulos's Avatar
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    You're still spot on about the battles being mostly fought from Germany westward. East of Germany Lutheranism took root fairly safely without causing too much political turmoil (from what I've read). I think the finished project will not include northern Africa or the Iberian and Italian peninsulas, but will focus on central Europe and Britain. What is this you mean by projection?

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      Maraxus_ is offline
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    The orthodox Russians and Muslim Ottomans make a natural eastern border for a game that focuses on the Catholic/Protestant struggles.
    I would, however, include Poland and Lithuania, just because they successfully averted most of the trouble in the real history does not mean, they would do this in any alternate version and that's what the game is about, isn't it?

    However, I would expand the map northwards, at least all of Denmark should be in there.

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      Azelor is offline
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    Is it just about the civil conflict? I'm asking because if you include wars between countries you would have to add country like Russia and Sweden for the Thirty years war.

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