East vs West Developer diary 2 - Our vision for the map

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kunadam

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Hi and welcome to the second developer diary for East vs. West: A Hearts of Iron game!
Your country’s fate during the tumultuous years of the Cold War is all decided here, in your war room. In front of you, you have the large map of the entire world. This is where you can ponder your next move, where to build factories, move troops, where to seek allies or places to send under-cover operatives to.
If I had to summarize our goal for the map in East vs. West in one word it would be “authentic”. We strove to create a world map that looks like a map from an atlas, so that you will instantly recognize countries, regions, and provinces by their shape as well as their name.
Why is the quality of the map important? The map is where we make the Cold War come to life for you. And to be frank, to make a historical game, we must be pretty sure we have the basics straight, especially since you can lead any nation in the Post-World War II Era. We suspect that most players will, of course, like to start off as the big boys like the USA or USSR, but we also know that as a gamer, there isn’t anything more exciting than being the underdog and creating your own destiny.
We started with the blank contours of the continent, like the ones you will find here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_cylindrical_projection).
This is a common way of “projecting” the surface of our planet to a rectangle. Those familiar with Victoria II will recognize this, as well. This blank map had to be populated with the three administrative levels our game uses: countries, regions and provinces.
Country borders are well defined, so we populated our map with countries to start.

MapDD-AfricanNations.jpg
African nations after the end of colonial era

Nations in turn are further divided into regions. Regions, as in real life, are administrative divisions that serve as the basis for the economic and the diplomatic system of the game. We based this division on real life administrative divisions that were in effect around 1990 and on contested areas during the periods. As regions (states, counties, cantons, etc.) have very different sizes (just compare the states Maryland (USA) to Texas (USA), or the Moscow Oblast (USSR) to Yamal-Nenets Oblast (USSR)), we had to merge or split some real life administrative regions to give some sense of consistency to how regions look. Still, we hope people will immediately recognize their country when looking at it on map.

MapDD-SAmericaRegions.jpg
South American regions

Finally the lowest level of detail is the a province level, the level where most of you will engage with East vs West. Troops move on the province level, attacking, defending and outmaneuvering your opponents, using the terrain to their advantage. So with that primary purpose in mind, we decided that provinces would be roughly equal in size across the globe. For those of your that are curious about numbers, there are about 15,000 land provinces and 3k sea provinces. Provinces are not only battlegrounds, of course: your people live there, cultivating the fields, tending orchards or toiling in various mines. As such, provinces are equally important in the densely populated Indian coast, the resource rich Peruvian mountains or in the contested areas of the Middle East. All corners of the world have advantages and disadvantages, whether the fringes of the Sahara, the jungles of Central America or the rice fields of the Far East.
This beautiful map is more than an abstract projection of the surface of Earth on which we can place counters, buildings or targets for launching nuclear Armageddon. It is a testament to a timeline of events, from the recent past, many of which that bear the mark of history stretching back several hundred years.
Starting a grand campaign at the beginning of 1946 will bring you into a world just at the end of one of the greatest conflicts in human history, World War II. You will quickly notice the gains and losses of that war are still deeply ingrained in the minds of the people and are clearly visible on the map, as a testimony of the times. Nations are liberated and under occupation but there are also seeds of new nations ready to burst out of the ground ready to grow as independent, sovereign entities. These seeds were planted hundreds of years before, foreshadowing the decades of decolonization struggles that were to come. The struggle of ideas through this time left some nations divided, some reborn while others successfully unified. The basis for all of this and more is the map of East vs. West which faithfully serves both the past and the myriad of possibilities that the future would hold during the Cold War.

MapDD-Yugoslavia.jpg
Yugoslavian provinces

MapDD-MiddleEast.jpg
The Middle-East

MapDD-BalticStates.jpg
The Baltic States

I will see you on the battlefield!
Ádám (kunadam) Kastytis (Legolas)
Head of Map Team
 
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Bad_Haggis

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Yeah, looks great :D
 

htilden42

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The map looks great. It looks like you took my favourite parts of both the maps of HoI3 (lots of provinces for troop movement) and Victoria 2 (nice-looking borders, regions represent administrative units).

About how many countries are in-game? I noticed some sort of green country broke away from the Central African Republic, so will there be representation of at least historical breakaway states?
 

Bad_Haggis

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Israel and Palestine looks like it's going to be very interesting.
 

kunadam

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Historical yes. But that looks like a problem. Thanks for spotting it.
 

Veneke

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A very interesting read indeed. Looking forward to future updates.
 

Samilou

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The map looks great. It looks like you took my favourite parts of both the maps of HoI3 (lots of provinces for troop movement) aned Victoria 2 (nice-looking borders, regions represent administrative units).

About how many countries are in-game? I noticed some sort of green country broke away from the Central African Republic, so will there be representation of at least historical breakaway states?

So the Congo Crisis and events leading to it, as well as the consequences of it, will be represented, along with Belgian intervention attempts, influx (and expulsion by UN troops) of european mercenaries and UN troops on the scale of multiple battallions from countries including India, Ethiopia, Ghana and Sweden being involved in combat in the area?

Overall I think minor to medium scale internal conflicts in the third world should be the main focus of the military part of the game, so I really hope the Congo Crisis will be elaborately simulated to give the game some well-needed sources of conflict and action for the player, especially players who choose to play a UN-focused game with neutral nations (NATO or Warsaw pact nations had to refrain from combat action unless absolutely necessary in UN interventions, unless both sides were in agreement in the conflict in question).
 
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Samilou

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I have a small concern about amount of provinces in hotspot areas (Israel/Palestine, Korea). Imo bit to low. Are they final?

While I agree that they seem to need a few more provinces, we do not know about the movement speed or combat speed in the game, which may as well be quite low early-game. Warfare in Israel/Palestine has historically been very fast-paced since the distances are quite small and terrain pretty traversable though-Korea is another question entirely. I would say the sheer size of the forces involved there should massively slow down advancement in that area (while also having devastating consequences in terms of collateral damage on infrastructure and local economy due to large-scale combat), compensating for the few provinces-Korea should be a meatgrinder once larger forces are deployed, as in RL, thus also encouraging all involved sides to peace out or ceasefire as soon as they can. War should not be profitable in this game, only a political necessity for some situations, with devastating effects to the local region if the balance of power is not extremely uneven.
 

kunadam

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I have a small concern about amount of provinces in hotspot areas (Israel/Palestine, Korea). Imo bit to low. Are they final?
Korea you have not seen (the previous screen on it is not indicative). Israel is finished.
We cannot put more here. They are very-very small already.
 
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