More Hacienda–Making And Playing My Own Map
Posted by sodaklady on June 25, 2007
All Saturday evening my mind was caught up in what didn’t work in the 2-player map we played. First thing Sunday morning, I started working on my own map using the Westpark Gamers’ map-generator.
I decided there were three issues that I wanted to address to give the game back its tension and decision-making. First, there weren’t enough markets; it was too easy to get to all of them. This brought up my second issue—everything in the previous map was just 1 space away from something else: land-land, land-market, land-water. I think it should be harder to make the jump, at least in some places. The third issue, which was my first thought after the last play, was the balance of terrain types.
I started with a slightly larger playing area, increasing the columns by two and then plunking down seven markets and five water holes in an asymmetric pattern. Maybe it says something about my personality, but I don’t like maps where one side mirrors the other; I like to mix things up a bit.
I filled in the random hex areas that would be non-pampas terrain, mixing up the length and placement. I also left at least two pampas spaces between most of the features, with only a few 1-spaces. By now Cori showed up to take a look and said she thought there was too many markets. Alright, we’ll turn one market into a water hole although I like the market better. The water hole in the upper left corner used to be a market. Excuse the quality of the printing—I guess it’s time for a new ink cartridge.
When I hit the button to place terrain randomly, it came up with an even distribution of terrain: 7 of each except mountains which were 6. Well, that wouldn’t do, would it? Time to short-sheet one of the terrains. You, mountains, as long as you’re already a bit shy, you’re elected. My map has 8 forest and rocks (or mud, as we like to call it), 7 swamps, 6 meadows and 5 mountains.
Cori and I play tested the map twice with excellent results. No one was able to make huge land chains and it wasn’t as easy to gobble up markets. Our games were very close even though our scores for various items varied. The first game Cori won 131-128. The second game was a tie score, with Cori winning by $5. Here’s an end game photo of the first game. I’m blue and, as you can see, I’d have been more likely to spend animals to connect to the upper left corner if it had been a market! Then again, maybe it would have given me the game instead of Cori!
I really enjoyed this project. In fact, creating maps could become addictive if it weren’t for the cost of buying new ink cartridges!
This entry was posted on June 25, 2007 at 8:15 am and is filed under Do-It-Yourself Games, Game-related Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.