Hello folks, I stumbled across these forums today and I gotta say Iím overwhelmed by the amount of fantastic work here.
I was hoping to get some feedback or maybe advice on a project Iím a part of called ďDawn of VictoryĒ, itís a total conversion mod for the RTS game Sins of a Solar Empire.
When we first started working on the project we didnít put too much time into creating a detailed backstory or universe, but as time went by we starting filling in some details, eventually creating a wiki where fans of the mod could help contribute to the backstory and be part of a collaborative sci-fi universe.
As it turns out, the wiki is in some ways more popular than the mod and is up to over 500 articles and inspired some artwork and short stories. I ended up designing a map detailing the universe behind the mod, but I think it suffered somewhat from my lack of photoshop experience. Iíve updated it over the years as my experience grew and I feel comfortable enough now doing a major redesign.
Hereís the latest revision of the map: (my apologies, itís very large so Iíve divided it into 9 different sections).
I think my main problem I have with it right now is the square shape I used, I donít think the shapes of the various nations ended up being very interesting (there all more or less squares). I also think I need to rename some of the star systems, at the time I didn't do too much research into what stars were actually in Earth's proximity, and I'm kicking myself over it now.
Iíve taken a look at some of the other great space maps on these forums and I got some ideas, but I figured some people here might be able to give me some criticism.
And for those interested, hereís a link to our collaborative wiki.
I think it looks really cool - I'll agree that the naming is not very sci-fi - but depending on your backstory any naming convention will do. What I do feel is missing is some distances between the systems, the map conveys a "flat" sense, and differing distances might help convey depth to the map Another thing that could spice it up a little is differing the synbol for a system, right now they are all white circles, but you could use different colors and sizes to show for instance star type or system aliegance. And have some rep for your first upload
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Wow dude, you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something? He already mentioned the backstory wasn't well designed and that he was ready for a full remake. It's also a community wiki project so I imagine there are a lot of things that were added by people with half baked ideas. In any event, you sound like you are personally effected by it or something. Maybe I'm just cranky because I've been sick the last 3 days but to me you sounded a little harsh.
Personally, I think it's a pretty cool looking map and I agree with Tilt's comments on distance and icons. Not sure if you wanted to tackle it but you might consider doing it as a 3d box so you can have X,Y,Z coordinates. Probably be tough to make everything visible though unless you have an application that allows you to rotate the map as needed.
It would probably be helped by renaming some of your stars as well but it's going to require you coming up with an idea behind each one so it has some sort of meaning.
Probably should have put an emoticon in there somewhere. But as I said, it is a major problem. I don't mind some lapses in research and I make more than my share of errors; nobody is perfect - but ouch, calling a state the new weimar republic? And having it coexist with the "greater german reich"? Let's see.
The Third Reich was only made possible by the fall of the previous republic, i.e. the Weimar Republic. You couldn't really have both - it's one or the other. You could, I guess, create an althistory where the outcome of WW2 was a stalemate rather than a clear victory on teither side, and divide Germany along an occupied area, and a remnant of the Reich. The occupied area may, eventually, turn into a sovereign Republic again, but you'd have to really construe strange circumstances for one to assimilate the other.
But even *IF* you manage that, there's one huge snag. The name "Weimar republic" was not the name of the German democratic state before the Third Reich. That, too, was just simply the German Reich. Historians later gave it the name Weimar Republic because the assembly to establish the constitution was held in Weimar. It's like calling the US interstellar colonial empire the "New Philadelphia Republic". Yeah, has a great ring to it, eh?
Or in other words: It's the political/historical equivalent of a river running across the Himalayan Mountains to connect the Baltic Sea to the South China Sea.
Yeah, this is a very annoying problem, a lot of our contributors are fans more of the mod than of history, for every article that totally makes sense within a historical setting, you have 4 or 5 articles about a planet of genetically enhanced Aztec Supermen. Of course, we do end up deleting those ones.It's also a community wiki project so I imagine there are a lot of things that were added by people with half baked ideas.
I do somewhat agree with some of the nation names and such, however most of them have been around so long and already mentioned in our "official" newsposts that it’s in the better interests of the mod to make those names work rather than change them.
“In-universe” this is generally explained in that the destruction of Earth resulted in its former cities, landmarks, nations, etc etc gaining a sort of mythical status within the culture of the offworld colonists.
The New Weimar Republic (located in the Vega system) for example, was originally a Greater German Reich colony that was among several dozen planets granted independence from the major superpowers in order to ease tensions that had resulted from an unsuccessful joint-venture on Alpha Centauri. While now technically independent, the Vega colony was a German puppet-state, known as the “Imperium” (once again, not the most original name but whatever).
However, during the Second Scinfaxi War huge numbers of refugees were evacuated from Earth by the Democratic Federation. The Democratic Federation colonies didn’t have the necessary infrastructure to support the huge number of refuges so the DF instituted a program known as the “Sanctuary Worlds”. In return for aid from the Democratic Federation over the next 50 years, independent colonies and worlds across the Orion Arm would grant citizenship and provide residence to refugees arriving from Earth.
Vega joined the program and became one such “sanctuary world”, the huge influx of refugees changed the political landscape and tensions grew between the original pro-GGR colonists, and the newly arrived refugees. In a national referendum a portion of the Imperium seceded, forming the New Weimar Republic.
The Soviet Union took an interest in the NWR and funnelled various aid shipments, including arms and weaponry; this later resulted in a war between the Imperium and the NWR, which left the New Weimar Republic victorious.
At the start of our mod, the Greater German Reich has launched an invasion of Vega and is fighting both the Soviet Union and New Weimar Republic, having restored Imperium Rule to their “liberated” section of Vega.
Wow that was a pretty big block of text, hopefully it made sense, here’s some screenshots and stuff to make up for it.
Last edited by SwissKnight; 11-23-2010 at 08:04 AM.
I think its a great map. The background might not be the most realistic alt-history, but its certainly fun, and an excellent set-up for a SoSE mod. Bartmoss's objections are based entirely on the fact that he chose not to do any further reading about your mod and as such can be safely ignored. While I'll agree that 'the New Weimar Republic' might be kind of a silly name considering its actual historical use, that shouldn't dissuade you from using it.
People choose unusual names for things all the time, but you don't think they are because you've accepted them. There's no telling what a future group of people might choose to name a state or a planet. I'll give a real example. Canada being named Canada is the result of a misinterpretation by early explorers. It's an anglicized Saint Lawrence Iroquois word for village, which is a silly name for a country, but it is, and nobody thinks its weird.