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The out Of Character Meta-Thread


Wakshaani
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At this point I should note that I have *absolutely no idea what I'm doing*.

 

I can't wait till the time when all the orders and secret dealings are for all to see. There will be a lot of laughs. Men did I make mistakes this week. Though the consequences could have been worse. It helps having contingency plans in case you botch your own plans.

 

I also had no idea what I was doing from the beginning, so I treated this as a game of PbP-diplomacy.

For me the most fun is reinventing Aysle and finding adventure ideas with the help of Google Earth, Wikipedia and others. It is amazing what you can find just by looking closer at your stelae zones in Google Earth. I have provided most of my Stelae with adventure ideas for ripping them up as if I was planning an adventure and tried to be creative with it. I can't wait trying this out as Torg GM - it will be fun to see how players will overcome the obstacles I placed for them.

 

And I know, the chances are good that earth wins, after all, we are the bad guys.

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The number of placemarks keeps bogging my browser down, so I'm starting to get shy of even looking at the Core Earth map. The first lesson that I'm taking from this game is that Google Maps is not the way to do this game.

 

I've replaced the cloud icon with one without a shadow to hopefully decrease the load on the browser (it doesn't have to bother with the shadow's transparency effect, and the icon 60% smaller in terms of file size). Not sure what else we can do without getting complicated - there's marker clustering at further out zooms which I may look into, but I don't know how easy that would be to maintain. It's a compromise between prettiness, speed and maintainability.

 

One possibility would be to replace the cloud icons with thick (10-15 point), semitransparent lines. Not sure how it would look but the lines would scale with zoom, take less marker space, and be less likely to obscure markers behind. I'll have a go tonight on a dummy map if I get chance and see how it looks and runs.

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How about putting the cloud markers into a different layer or file, so that they can be turned off and on? In Google Earth it could also help to abbreviate (f.i. instead of "Placemark 24" only "24"). Maybe another layer or file for the Core Earth armies would help too.

Edited by Stormchild
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That's a really good idea! Worth looking into, I think. It could help with Google maps not wanting to display more than 200 markers on a single page too (currently when viewed in a browser there are two pages of icons to flip between, which don't seem to be viewable simultaneously).

 

Google maps is really cool and great for sharing information, though it seems we're stretching its capabilities in this aspect. I'm sure they'll keep on upgrading it - it's changed a little even over the past month.

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I haven't worked with Google Maps and Google Earth before this game. After the initial problems I can work with both pretty good now. And it is obvious to me that Google Earth is far superior to Google Maps. Though to begin with in Google Earth nearly every layer of standard information has to be turned off. It tends to swarm the user with data.

 

Zooming is easier and more fluent with the mouse wheel

Google Earth zooms deeper and refreshes faster

Handling of icons is much more user-friendly

Different Sub-folders can be added to Google Earth

File Sharing is easy - though it is not always clear what information Google Earth shares data or simply data address and where the data is going to

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That's a really good idea! Worth looking into, I think. It could help with Google maps not wanting to display more than 200 markers on a single page too (currently when viewed in a browser there are two pages of icons to flip between, which don't seem to be viewable simultaneously).

 

Google maps is really cool and great for sharing information, though it seems we're stretching its capabilities in this aspect. I'm sure they'll keep on upgrading it - it's changed a little even over the past month.

Yeah, I noticed that when they changed it, it made it harder for me to switch between which layer I was editing at the time, and it completely dumps me whenever I try to do a search for a specific location. I've started to use Maps on two separate tabs.

 

Showing the storms as lines is a good idea. I'll get to work on that as we progress. I'm also going to start putting the armies onto each private thread's map, which is where they are easier to manipulate by all of us, and I don't have to waste time by translating them. The Core Earth armies will go to the private Storm Knights map where I've got them running around and causing trouble. So the armies won't be publicly visible after this week, but instead I will put temporary placemarks to mark major battles, so that everyone will still be able to see where the fight is going on, but will use fewer placemarks.

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I am not sure what to do now. On the Core Earth Google Map there are less armies shown than I have. Shall I fill in my armies or is somebody working on filling them in already? I am listed as a collaborator on the Core Earth Google Map, so it would be no problem filling my armies in (I presume).

 

Another topic: As far as I understand it Google Maps can only add icons that are available on an URL. Does anyone have a web page where we can park the .png?

Edited by Stormchild
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Well, the page is so full on Google Earth that it now has a SECOND page for additional marks.

 

I was terribly curious why several clouds were where they were until I saw the second page and was, like, "Holy cow. There's a BRIDGE there! And look at all those armies I didn't see before!" The Living Land is at 26 tribes, last I saw, and Aysle's not far behind. Doc Mobius seems to be having a bit of trouble taming India, but has dropped a second bridge, which I didn't expect at all. Aysle and LL both have three, while the Cyberpope and I are still at just one.

 

And *nobody* know what Marketplace is doing. Crafty lil guy!

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I don't know what you are seeing. I can see only 6 Ayslish armies in Google Maps where there should be 15 (count is 16 but one has been destroyed) and they are placed wrong. On Google Earth though it is shown correctly. Also, the two layers make it incredibly difficult understanding the map. It certainly would be better to put all Cloud marks on one map and everything else on the other.

Edited by Stormchild
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The ! really is intriguing. Did the Indian army react with atomic bombs or are these Gospog fields? Don't be so shy Doc Mobius, share your sorrow or joy with us :D

 

Btw what is Aysle Army 22, 23, 24? Is this a misnomer, three armies combined or 2 armies destroyed with one remaining or a secret the Saar wants to keep to himself?

 

Congratulations Gaunt Man on your newly hatched 2nd planting. I hope you had a nice celebration.

Edited by Stormchild
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Well, the three armies in one peg thing is what I'm generally doing as well. Easier if there's one "Stack" of several units than if there's a bunch of pegs all together.

 

And thank you! My new babies are all grown up, now. Just had a happy Mazel Tov and I look forward to more in the future. (The wife and I are so proud!)

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Congratulations aside I'm beginning to have problems with the Google Maps device of yours, it is too slow and does not allow me to observe everything that is happening at once. Is this so-called "Google Earth" any better?

 

In direct comparison Google Earth is much better. Though you might object to the notion of magically looking onto the Earth from above. It zooms smoothly, can handle different subfolders, you can switch parts on and off and working with the tools comes much more naturally. On the other hand it tends to give information-overflow when you don't turn off all the pre-delivered info.

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Congratulations aside I'm beginning to have problems with the Google Maps device of yours, it is too slow and does not allow me to observe everything that is happening at once. Is this so-called "Google Earth" any better?

 

Catstacker posted earlier that he'd look into replacing the storm cloud icons with lines, and move the individual armies onto our realm maps, putting markers to show the big battles instead. If this knocks the number of icons on the map below 200 (which it likely will), all the icons will fit on one sheet and it should be much quicker to scroll around.

 

Having said that, even with lots of icons the speed is fine for me, even on work's computer which is running Firefox 3 (need to upgrade that to 3.5) on a 2.6Ghz (single core) with 0.5Gb ram.

 

Doc Mobius seems to be having a bit of trouble taming India

 

Um, not at all! The glorious conquest of India is proceeding EXACTLY as intended. The four Core Earth hardpoints, Indian stormers, and spirited resistance from the world's third largest army is all part of my brilliant plan.

 

:)

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I was getting lazy by the time that I was placing the Living Land's 16 new armies, and so by the time that I got to the three going to take down the SAS forces, I just represented them with one placemark.

 

My trouble with Maps is when I'm trying to look at the Core Earth map and a realm map, and possibly my Storm Knights map too. It just takes forever to scroll around, and so I want to move the army placemarks to the individual realm maps where I only have to have one map on at a time. I'll still have to stop and wait for a minute every time I accidentally zoom in or out, but at least all the placemarks can be updated on a single map, instead of having to switch between maps, which makes Google Maps have to start back at zero every time.

 

Dyschunky is right, those ! symbols are to mark where major battles have occured so that everyone can know where the war is going on without having to see the individual armies. I haven't fully implemented it, but hopefully all the placemarks will be where they should be by next week.

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You can import and export maps from Google Maps to Google Earth and vice versa, if that's any help.

 

It might be easier to:

Export the map from Google Maps to your computer (get the URL of the map from the 'link' button in the top right of Google Maps, paste it into the address bar of your browser, and add '&output=kml' to the end and press enter. You'll then be asked whether and where you want to save it);

open it in Google Earth, edit it, save it;

and then re-import to Google Maps.

 

Rather than editing in Google Maps directly.

The thing to watch with that is to keep an eye on the 'last updated' time to make sure not to overwrite someone else's edits. Oh, and make backups!

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Thanks to Dyschunky I could exchange my army icons.

Now I understand what you mean with Google Maps clogging up.

It takes an eternity to upload.

 

Funny thing is, though the Computer is still working (Hourglass icon) the update has already been done.

I waited for over an hour but the hourglass didn't go away. So I tried again and again. Eventually I shut down my browser.

 

When I opened it again I realized I had uploaded my icons 4 times and had to delete them by hand again.

I only uploaded the .kmz for my armies and my direct enemies (3 Core Earth army, 1 Core Earth Navy) but found out that some cloud placemarks are doubled too.

As there is no reason why this could be a result of my actions, I assume some of you had the same problems.

Edited by Stormchild
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I haven't, but, Google stuff is way over my tiny head, so, I let the bossman move stuff around.

 

He gets drowned in messages, tho, and scanned files that I send in. "Stelae should go here, here, and ... heck, lemme draw you a picture." *attach* *email*.

 

Poor guy!

 

And poor EUrope. Gadzooks. I don't think anything's *left* of it, save eastern Europe. Guess the Iron Curtain did something after all. :) You two have just *gobbled* that place and all, what, 300 million people? And you're not even done.

 

I'm starting to think that with it getting this lopsided, Earth is supposed to go down in another month, then we're supposed to scrap between ourselves, instead of us ganging up against Earth and, eventually, losing.

 

Meep.

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Also, the icons took. Just hit the Google Maps thing and you're there, tho moved entirely from page 1 to page 2. 14 armies of Aysle and three bridges! Gadzooks! LL is at 26 armies and three bridges, Space Gods at 24 armies and three bridges, Marketplace is the Great Unknown, Nile has trhee bridges but I have no idea how many armies anymore, I've still only the one bridge and 11 armies, and the CYberpapacy seems to have fallen off the face of the Earth. Has anyone emailed Punjab and gotten an update? Or has he taken "The 3327 Approach" and gone into radio silence mode? He's the only guy I'm doing better than! Harumph.

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For equality of information for this week, the Glorious Empire of the Ganges is currently defended by 20 armies:

 

Battlegroup Teth-Net; Battlegroup Black Marquis; Battlegroup Red Hand; Battlegroup Xerxes; Battlegroup Hercules; Battlegroup Wu Han (damn his eyes!); the Cult of Shiva/Set; the Cult of Kali/Nepthys; the Cult of Yama/Anubis; Battlegroup Ivanov; Battlegroup Sesetek; Battlegroup Shakti; Battlegroup Kraken-Tut; Battlegroup Solipsus; Battlegroup Wendell; Battlegroup Nitacris; Battlegroup Marshall; Battlegroup Omar; Battlegroup Excelscior; and Admiral Seth & his flying fleet.

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