Sparta 101: Creating Game Maps

6 Replies
The Irate Penguin
Moderator
14 February, 2017, 10:03 AM UTC

I've always found it useful in games such as this to create charts, graphs and maps showing locations, distances and distributions of cities and other landmarks. Be it a map of the cities showing all coalition members, a view of bot-cities in the neighborhood or a distribution chart of abandoned cities to help plan a "Pool of Fidelity" move, it is often the quickest way to get the lay of the land.


Luckily, spreadsheet applications offer most everything we need out of the box to create these maps and graphs. Microsoft Excel would probably be the tool of choice, but Google Sheets does the job just as well. The following example will work in either, or any other, older spreadsheet app you might have installed.



Map A (open high-res zoomable version)

The above map is a bubble graph, a chart type available in most spreadsheet applications. Bubble graphs are similar to simple x-y charts, but refine these by adding differently sized bubbles for each data point according to some value, in this example it is the player's level. Depending on which app you will be using, it's mostly just a matter of selecting the data and inserting a new chart of the appropriate type.


The Data - this is the finished product:


Table A

The table contains six columns. Only the first three columns are needed for a standard x-y scatter chart, but the three additional columns do make the map a bit more interesting.


Columns 1 to 3 (Member, X, Y): contain the coalition member's name as well as the x and y coordinates of his or her home city. Although this data is readily available at the embassy, chances are one of your coalition brethren already has a members list handy and will be happy to share.


Column 4 (Level): the first three columns are sufficient to create an x-y chart, but adding player level information will allow you to create a bubble graph.


Column 5 (Dist.): a column indicating the distance from one's own home city to the mapped target is usually a welcome addition. If you're into Excel or Google Sheets formulas, then the calculation would look something like this: "=SQRT(POWER(X1 - X2) + POWER(Y1 - Y2))" where X1 and Y1 are the home city coordinates and X2 and Y2 the location of the target. (See also "Sparta 101: Doing the Math" elsewhere in this forum)


Column 6 (Label): this column does not contain any new data, but rather concatenates the content of the other columns into one string which will be the label content shown near each data point on the map. To combine contents of other cells into one string, simply use the ampersand (&) character, for example: =A56 & " (" & D56 & ")" to show a player's name and level in one cell (where A56 is the cell containing the name and D56 the one showing the player's level).


Should you feel up to it, you could also add some frilly graphics such as distance markers ….


Map B (open high-res zoomable version)

… or perhaps an overview of the abandoned cities which are begging to be plundered (please don't froth at the mouth, the coordinates have been changed :-) ...


Map C (open high-res zoomable version)

… or maybe you just need to know where the closest members of that dastardly coalition you are planning to declare war on are at:


Map D (open high-res zoomable version)

Depending on which spreadsheet app you will be using, once you have the data, creating the graphs is a rather straightforward task, but you will have to consult your application's help for the details. If you're not (yet :-) comfortable using spreadsheets, please feel free to PM / MSG me with questions.


Cheers

"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
UTC +2:00
Xena
Moderator
14 February, 2017, 10:28 AM UTC
Really great job done there Dio! I hope I have some more free time in the future to try and make one of those! 
Warrior Princess
UTC +2:00
The Irate Penguin
Moderator
14 February, 2017, 11:23 AM UTC
Xena said:

Really great job done there Dio! I hope I have some more free time in the future to try and make one of those! 
The only real work is compiling the data, although chances are other coalition members will have lists as well which they might share; creating the graphs in Excel, (Google) Sheets or elsewhere is usually just a few clicks and then adding some formatting to make it look pretty :-).
"Work like you don't need the money, love like you've never been hurt, dance as if no one were watching." (Satchel Paige) - https://youtu.be/dy4kaB4HmyQ
UTC +2:00
Alyona Kolomiitseva
Community Manager
14 February, 2017, 2:34 PM UTC
Wow! 
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UTC +2:00
kjm
15 February, 2017, 1:41 PM UTC
Very good idea!  
UTC +9:00
ANKAN
25 February, 2017, 5:51 AM UTC
Diomedes analyzing things from different perspective. A good technique to ponder upon.
Win The War Within
UTC +7:00
Fortuna
13 March, 2017, 5:13 PM UTC

nice! I use a lot excel for coalition purposses , control activity and all that stuff, never though of a map (and i was missing it), maybe i will have to have a chat with our expert in data :-)


nice work pinguino!
Good evening infidels
UTC +0:00
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