Thoughts about the map service
I’ve been spending some time thinking what kind of features I provide with the map service. The easiest thing to do is simply let people upload maps to the site one by one and then show a simple list of downloadable files. But that is something I don’t want. There is already map listings of that kind.
The first thing to include is of course the basic information from the maps: thumbnail, title, who made it and number of players. But even that is quite simple. The thing is that I know the map file format quite well, so that also means I can get more advanced information. Such as number of continents. Or how many harbors can be built. And even some validation can be done such as removal of bugs.
Ever wondered why you have a Fishery at 0% but never got any information about it running out of fishes? In reality this happens because there is a location the fisherman can’t reach. Such as fish spot set on coast of a swamp! Can’t walk on swamp. The solution is to simply remove that spot from the map information, it can’t be accessed anyway so why keep it?
World Campaign also has one feature that is not available in Unlimited Play or Roman Campaign: you can set in the map file who you are. Not just Octavianus anymore! This creates a possibility for easy-to-do non-story campaigns. But at first I’ll probably just give a possibility to set the map’s players.
To really make things interesting I’ve thought about some community features. Changed a map? Maybe you could share that customized map with others! Or you downloaded a few maps and played them through. Then you could come back and give a short review of the map, give four stars to great maps and thus let others know that the map is good. And that way it also becomes possible to find great maps much more easily.