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A place to discuss topics/games with other webDiplomacy players.
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Enriador (1431 D (B))
16 May 18 UTC
(+2)
Classic Redrawn
I got bothered with some of the historical inaccuracies of the Classic map - like French Corsica being painted Italian green - so I went on and redrawed the entire map.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
16 May 18 UTC
The changes are very subtle, but should make for a more historically appropriate experience!

Link to new maps: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/e01myzs3q1ng6zd/AACQQYb7VMfzPXE_CFbA4N54a?dl=0
Enriador (1431 D (B))
16 May 18 UTC
As a bonus, I also made new unit icons inspired by @Firehawk's icons used in 'Napoleonic'. I don't know if people prefer the good old low-resolution tank/gunboat icons, but it's an option.
Mercy (2043 D)
17 May 18 UTC
Cool. I like the changes.

It is hard for me to see, but is Crete considered to be part of Greece now?
Enriador (1431 D (B))
17 May 18 UTC
Yes @Mercy, it is. So whoever takes Greece will also flip Crete's color.
What system do you use to draw maps that look like classic? Those are the best kind imo but I don't know where to go to make new maps in that style
Enriador (1431 D (B))
18 May 18 UTC
1) Go to the variant page for Classic (id=1)

2) Go to View/Download code

3) Download "smallmap.pgn" and "map.png".Modify them as you wish; I use paint.net.

There is some more work to do, but the first steps are these.
Firehawk (1225 D (B))
20 May 18 UTC
(+1)
My icons are spreading, soon they will take over all the variants! Muahahaha :)
Ah Corsica. Home to the Bonapartes. Although he never really had their backing as they wanted independence from both. They had it for a couple years from Italy then the French came.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Tue 17 Jul UTC
I really enjoy your icons @Firehawk. They are simple and elegant, yet makes each power look much more unique!

Would people feel bad at losing the vanilla icons though? The "green army & grey ship"? The new icons can be viewed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0trpqr2wv5aidvy/AAD9TfEFvgtR2A7Ns891wbEFa?dl=0
drano019 (2179 D)
Thu 04 PM UTC
(+1)
For me, there was always something nice about how simple it was to see fleet vs army with the "green army and grey ship". While yes, the square and hexagon are more akin to the original style of pieces from the board game, it might cause at least a little potential confusion to people who aren't used to that style (which is probably a decent percentage of people who have only played online). So I guess I'd say something to the effect of "if it ain't broke, why fix it?". Have we had any issues with the "vanilla" icons that have necessitated a change, or is it just aesthetics?

Piggy-backing on that last sentence about aesthetics...the unit designs for War of Austrian Succession. They're really nice looking, but the army unit shields being the only difference made things odd for me in the game I played with them. Especially when someone occupied an opponent's SC in spring (so the color of the territory did not change yet), it wasn't very obvious at a glance who's units were where on the board, as the shields aren't as visible as what you would see in "classic" Dip where there'd be a colored border around the green army.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Thu 05 PM UTC
> it might cause at least a little potential confusion to people who aren't used to that style<

Would it? I find people (from outside the site that I try to pull into vDip) are actually more confused about how all units don't even have unique colors of their own.

I mean, only the webDip family uses such model. PlayDip, Backstabbr, Diplicity, Conspiracy, jDip, DAIDE Diplomacy, etc etc etc all have units with unique colors for each power. So does the board game. It's the closest we have to a standard, and it's a standard for good reason.

>Have we had any issues with the "vanilla" icons that have necessitated a change, or is it just aesthetics?

Aesthetics is certainly a factor, but the current setup *is* confusing for many. What can be more confusing than units shifting colors!?

If France's Army Paris sits in Paris, it's pure green.
If France's Army Ruhr sits in Ruhr, it's green with a blue square around it.
If France's Fleet Brest sits in Brest, it's pure grey.
If France's Fleet English Channel sits in English Channel, it's grey with a blue square around it.

Of course, that's my own personal impression when I first came to this site, one also shared by many players. Perhaps we could try a poll?

>it wasn't very obvious at a glance who's units were where on the board<

That's a problem that requires a simple thing to get solved:*high contrast*.

High contrast between the powers' map colors and the powers' unit colors means:

1) England's map color should have a tone different from France

2) English units' color should have a tone different from England's map color
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Thu 05 PM UTC
Here's the UNOFFICIAL poll: https://strawpoll.com/g8ef2s6h

Disclaimer: The poll's purpose is to know what people prefer. In no way the website is obliged to follow its result.
jason4747 (798 D)
Thu 09 PM UTC
Enriador, I want to to the poll, but if it's no trouble could you make a sample, populated map also we can see the new icons? It would help to see what the other discussions are about
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Thu 10 PM UTC
Should be feasible @jason. Working on it.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Thu 10 PM UTC
I am using France as the basis for the sample maps below.

If you want to take a look at each of the New Icons, feel free to see the whole gallery here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/0trpqr2wv5aidvy/AAD9TfEFvgtR2A7Ns891wbEFa?dl=0

Old Icons: https://imgur.com/a/LEgWHOH

New Icons: https://imgur.com/a/uUguz2p
jason4747 (798 D)
Fri 12 AM UTC
Thanks, nicely done.
JECE (1184 D)
Fri 12 AM UTC
Enriador: I love flags. I mean really: I can identify way more than your average Joe. I'm not sure about this change, though. It does work. I don't think you need to change your variants. But I think that there's something to be said for using better representations for armies than a square and an elongated shape. I find the green tank anachronistic and would prefer for it to be replaced with something like the Monopoly cannon that the official board game uses. So I do welcome a redesign of the icons, but I'm not sure that your idea is a universal fit. I realize that your design caters more to the board game pieces from earlier versions of Diplomacy, but I fear that most users will have a harder time distinguishing between armies and fleets if your change is implemented on the various Classic maps.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 02 AM UTC
@JECE

>I fear that most users will have a harder time distinguishing between armies and fleets<

I haven't heard a single complaint about it from all players who played through Canton, Napoleonic and 1800. Literally, not a single one. I recognize that the army/fleet icons are somewhat similar, but I don't think this is a real problem for anyone still wearing their glasses.

Still: I am quite fond of the cannon/gunboat combo myself. I might try drawing something like that. Much better than the anachronistic green tank (well said!) I think.
Mercy (2043 D)
Fri 04 AM UTC
I agree with drano and JECE.

I have the board game myself, but it must be a different version than what Enriador has, for my game doesn't have squares and hexagons representing armies and fleets. Rather, my version has tin cannons and tin ships in different colors to represent the respective units, and flag symbols are placed on top of supply centers.

I think the current webdip icons are better than the flags as a representation of units, because they make it easier to distinguish between the unit types. That doesn't mean that nothing can be improved; I like the idea of replacing the tanks with cannons and coloring them in the color of their country. If we place flags on supply centers, just like in my version of the board game, then we no longer need to color territories, which is an interesting thought to me.
Retillion (2221 D (B))
Fri 05 AM UTC
@Mercy : coloring territories makes things very clear. I don't see how anything else could be clearer than that. What's more, most players love painting the map with their color.
Firehawk (1225 D (B))
Fri 09 AM UTC
My main problem with the classic units is that they change depending on where they are, and that apart from these strange boxes that appear when in enemy territory, they are all indistinguishable from one another. Another issue is that tanks weren't used in battle until 1916, and even then only 3 of the powers involved in the war ever even used them, so they don't represent armies well.

In all iterations of the board game the pieces are at least different colours. My goal was to create units that were different depending on who you are playing, and are unchanging wherever you put them. I prefer simplicity personally, having developed a few different custom units, the units for small maps need to be incredibly small (a handful of pixels) and a simple flag is something that can still look good at this scale.

I would never change colouring territories, that is a clear and obvious advantage of the online platform!
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 11 AM UTC
>I have the board game myself, but it must be a different version than what Enriador has<

Come on @Mercy, don't sleep on the job! The icons are based on @Firehawk's art style, not on whatever Avalon Hill has ever done.

I agree with @Retillion and @Firehawk, coloring territories is awesome. It makes historical borders accurate and gives (to me at least) some degree of satisfaction as I see my color spreading across the map.

Like @Firehawk I prefer simplicity as well, hence why I chose his art as inspiration. I find the national flags encased within simple (yet recognizable!) geometrical forms to be very pleasing to look at, and I believe most do (especially compared with the time-travelling green tank of death!).

I will try my hand at some cannon/ship duo though, might be fun.
drano019 (2179 D)
Fri 11 AM UTC
(+1)
"I mean, only the webDip family uses such model. PlayDip, Backstabbr, Diplicity, Conspiracy, jDip, DAIDE Diplomacy, etc etc etc all have units with unique colors for each power. So does the board game. It's the closest we have to a standard, and it's a standard for good reason."

I could theoretically agree that having the armies/fleets be colored according to what power owns them would be an improvement. The "vanilla" units aren't *that* confusing (you just have to think of France as a green army with a blue box on it...but you can't see that box when it's in a blue territory), but having colored units themselves could definitely be an improvement.

Regarding the square/hexagon - I still would argue that those shapes aren't intuitive like an actual tank (or cannon or soldier) and ship are. Everyone knows a ship is a fleet and a soldier is an army. Ask a n00b what a square means and they'll have to think about it. Ask someone who's been playing Dip on sites that use icons (soldiers/tanks/ships) for awhile, and they'll tell you they have to stop and think for a second as well (guilty as charged).
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 02 PM UTC
>but you can't see that box when it's in a blue territory)<

It's not really complex, but it *is* an extra complication.

webDip has this special effect for the solo purpose of easily making armies/fleets available to variants, without obliging mapmakers to also draw custom units to every single power.

>Ask a n00b what a square means and they'll have to think about it<

Give the person the two different rectangles, and ask them what is the army and what is the ship. I bet they will correctly identify the elongated shape of one of the ships.

Again: ***is there any evidence that people (noobs or not) actually get confused by these shapes?*** Like, anyone? We are not discussing theory alone: we have got 13 games of Canton, 13 games of Napoleonic and 8 games of 1800.

Where are the confused masses? I played all of these variants above and never saw a noob question what units were what.

Besides, now we get the unit icons next to the drop-down interface. So you have a square (or a green tank) next to "The army in Paris". It's literally a simple matter of connecting dots, a "feat" which all evidence shows has been successfully made by 100% of players, noobs & veterans alike.

You are missing the important question as well... If we do have cannons, where do they face: west or east?
drano019 (2179 D)
Fri 02 PM UTC
(+1)
"Again: ***is there any evidence that people (noobs or not) actually get confused by these shapes?*** Like, anyone? We are not discussing theory alone: we have got 13 games of Canton, 13 games of Napoleonic and 8 games of 1800.

Where are the confused masses? I played all of these variants above and never saw a noob question what units were what."

No one is arguing that there's "confused masses". I have made the argument that a square and hexagon are not intuitive and that people will have to stop and think about things for a second since it's not intuitive. I myself have had this happen to me. The cannon/tank/soldier and ship are very intuitive. Why change something that is blatantly intuitive into something that is even borderline not intuitive? It doesn't make sense. I'd also argue that as a proponent of making a potential change, the onus would be on you showing that the square/hexagon is a better option than the tank/ship we currently have. To make the same assertion that you have, where are the confused masses regarding the tank/ship (the coloring of the units and box around them is a separate question completely and I'd tend to agree that it clears things up by just having colored units themselves).
drano019 (2179 D)
Fri 02 PM UTC
And obviously the cannons switch around depending on which way they're ordered, duh. Why would the cannon face east if Russia moving west. Seriously, I mean, it's like you're not even paying attention Enriador. :p
JECE (1184 D)
Fri 04 PM UTC
But wouldn't the cannons face the opposite direction if they are being drawn by cart or transported by truck? Jeez, not everyone has railway artillery.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 06 PM UTC
>people will have to stop and think about things for a second since it's not intuitive<

>something that is even borderline not intuitive<

My point is: do people actually "stop and think for a second"? If they do, fine, excellent observation. If they don't, there is no problem at all.

You may prefer the tank/gunship, fine. But I ain't sure the problem you are appointing with the new icons *even exists*.

>where are the confused masses regarding the tank/ship<

There aren't, really - all icons are fine, we could even replace icons with the words 'FLEET" and "ARMY" for maximum clarity. If I have a problem with the old icons, it's more about their lack of power-specific flavor and the blatant anachronism of that time-travelling war tank.

It's primarily a matter of aesthetics, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

> the cannons switch around depending on which way they're ordered <

How didn't I think of that before! I will add it right after I add some flowers and fallen leaves map effects for the Spring/Autumn turns.

>wouldn't the cannons face the opposite direction if they are being drawn by cart or transported by truck?<

Fair point. And what about convoys? If F MID convoys F BRE-NAF, would the cannon face the sea to the west, or Tunis to the east?

The world wonders.
JECE (1184 D)
Fri 06 PM UTC
If a fleet convoyed directly from Bre to NAf, the world would wonder. ;-)
JECE (1184 D)
Fri 06 PM UTC
"do people actually 'stop and think for a second'?"
Yes. At least three alone in this quiet Forum.
"You may prefer the tank/gunship, fine."
I don't, anyway. Yours are prettier, for sure. I prefer neither. I haven't voted in your poll because 'neither' isn't an option.
"But I ain't sure the problem you are appointing with the new icons *even exists*."
It does exist.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 07 PM UTC
>If a fleet convoyed directly from Bre to NAf<

F MID borders both Brest and North Africa. The convoy is allowed Jece.

>Yes. At least three alone in this quiet Forum.<

Did a quick search, and only @drano actually played a game with the new icons (Canton/1800/Napoleonic) recently. @drano had 9 other people with him. Some questions for him:

1) Did anyone ask in the Public Chat what units were what?

2) Did anyone misordered (or even just claimed to) due to the "confusing" unit icons?

Unless I get some positive answers, I dare say that nobody actually "stops and think for a second" when the unit icons have literal subtitles next to them.

> I prefer neither<

You prefer no units at all? You know what, that's the best compromise. =D

>It does exist.<

It's a conjecture so far, one that I find hard to remedy without any evidence of what exactly is wrong (besides, "hey it's not a literal army"!).

Just realized that '1900' also uses geometrical shapes for its units. No one said a word about it being confusing or forcing someone to "stop and think". Actually, if someone needs to "stop and think" to understand what units are what, perhaps writing down "FLEET" and "ARMY" may be good enough?

They may as well think "wait a minute, that's just one little tank, not an army!". Hehehe...
drano019 (2179 D)
Fri 07 PM UTC
"1) Did anyone ask in the Public Chat what units were what?

2) Did anyone misordered (or even just claimed to) due to the "confusing" unit icons?
"

Now you're just being silly Enriador. Just because someone doesn't post in the global chat, or misorder doesn't mean people don't "stop and think for a second".

"It's a conjecture so far, one that I find hard to remedy without any evidence of what exactly is wrong (besides, "hey it's not a literal army"!)."

It's not a conjecture. I'm literally telling you right now, that in my game with those icons, I had more than one moment where I glanced at the map and had to stop and think to remind myself which shape was army and which shape was fleets. Yes, it wasn't a "major" problem, and no, I didn't have to go to global and ask, but it certainly exists. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that if someone who's played a fair amount of Diplomacy and has been fairly successful in those games (myself) has these thoughts, that there are other people who have the exact same thoughts. It's really not a stretch at all.

And again, even if it's only a minor issue, this issue literally DOES NOT exist for the tanks/ships. If it's not broke, why fix it?

Now if you want to focus on the coloring of the icons instead of the box around it, cool, that's an issue that exists. I'm not sure why there's a push to change things that don't have a problem though. It's pretty much literally impossible to confuse a tank for a fleet or a ship for an army. However, it most definitely *IS* possible to confuse a square and hexagon, as I've done it myself. Even if it's a potentially really minor issue, why would you make a change that adds more potential confusion?
drano019 (2179 D)
Fri 07 PM UTC
As for 1900, I've never played it, so I didn't realize it uses geometric shapes. But since you bring it up......

1900 uses Hexagons for armies. Napoleonic, 1800, and Canton use Hexagons for fleets. You want to discuss confusion Enriador? There you have it right there. Same shape, different meaning on different maps. That's poor design. Once again, tank/ship is impossible to confuse. Hexagons? Don't even have the same meaning on different maps.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 08 PM UTC
>Just because someone doesn't post in the global chat, or misorder doesn't mean people don't "stop and think for a second". <

It's the best piece of evidence we can get - someone speaking up what they think about.

>it certainly exists<

I can accept that the problem exists for *you*, but probably not for a majority. And if all that takes you is one second to realize what is going on, well, then you are perfectly fine.

> I'm not sure why there's a push to change things that don't have a problem though<

Going to quote myself:

>It's primarily a matter of aesthetics, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread.

> it most definitely *IS* possible to confuse a square and hexagon

ಠ_ಠ

>adds more potential confusion?<

It's a pretty weak potential I guess. Nobody ever complained about it.

When there is a major issue, be either in terms of gameplay, a bug, aesthetics or whatever, people complain. There has been zero complaints about these icons, and you played a full match of '1800' yourself without any loss (perhaps some seconds taken to figure out what was a square and what was a hexagon).

>Same shape, different meaning on different maps. That's poor design<

You should study something about design then.

Contrast is the name of the game. If, say, supply centers were circles with a flag in the middle of them, armies cannot ever be circles as well, or there will be an obvious degree of confusion...

...Unless you make these circles *CONTRAST*. An example is found in Backstabbr (http://www.backstabbr.com/). Dots and armies *are the same shade and shape*, yet their SIZE is key in creating a contrast capable of setting both meanings apart.

All the variants' icons you mentioned have different authors. nopunin10did, Firehawk, VaeVictis and Webb didn't conference with each other when deciding upon the icons they would use for their variants, yet all of them managed to make the icons look apart well enough by applying contrast.

1900 uses hexagons for armies, but their fleets are (distorted) triangles - and thus not a single soul complains. Canton uses hexagons for fleets, but their armies are squares - once again intuitive contrast, in both shape and size, enables the reader to understand what unit is what.

You (@drasno) played both 1800 and Classic yourself. It's unrelated, but I am curious: would you say that the extra seconds lost "stopping and thinking to remind yourself which shape was army and which shape was fleets" had any influence on your performance in the games?

>Don't even have the same meaning on different maps.<

They don't need to. What is needed is the reader to look at the map with attention, and read it the subtitles right besides them.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 08 PM UTC
>You want to discuss confusion Enriador? <

Honestly, I do. I can't figure out (yet!) how people possibly get confused with a squares, hexagons and triangles for more than (maybe?) a few seconds.

I must declare, however, that it's perfectly fine for people to think that the new icons are ugly, or that the old icons are traditional and thus should be kept, or whatever. My issue is this "issue" you talk about; I believe in you, but I don't believe it's a credible problem.
RUFFHAUS 8 (2501 D)
02:40 PM UTC
(+1)
Honestly, you don't. You come here to bombard the forums with inane discussion and a trove of "new" variants with no point apparent behind them. You're not interested in honest feedback from people who actual play, just praise from all your efforts. On one hand your industrious effort has it's appeal and shouldn't be discouraged, but the reality is that you're not adding anything of merit here. And your obnoxious shout down conversation style prevents any progress or improvement from being made. You're one of these guys that never lets a conversation end, always needed to get the last word in. Sometimes it's like you're arguing with yourself.

There are very few players in the hobby now who analyze a map, the rules, or the mechanics of Diplomacy variants like Drano does. He's a highly intelligent and experienced player with an understanding of how these various matters engage with the dynamics of the game of Diplomacy, something gained by extensive play. If you're dismissing his opinions and perspectives, you're not only doing yourself a disservice, but you're demonstrating that you're here for an ego boost more than anything else.
drano019 (2179 D)
03:02 PM UTC
(+1)
"I can accept that the problem exists for *you*, but probably not for a majority. And if all that takes you is one second to realize what is going on, well, then you are perfectly fine."

I never made the claim that it was a problem for the majority. I have claimed, repeatedly, that there is potential for an issue. And given that you yourself have admitted that this entire discussion is about an aesthetic change, I would make the argument that no change should be made for purely aesthetic reasons if it increases the potential for confusion and mistakes. If even one mistake is made due to these aesthetic changes, that's 1 mistake too many.

"When there is a major issue, be either in terms of gameplay, a bug, aesthetics or whatever, people complain. There has been zero complaints about these icons, and you played a full match of '1800' yourself without any loss (perhaps some seconds taken to figure out what was a square and what was a hexagon)."

You're quite confident there's been zero complaints. Zero complaints on the forum, sure. Zero complaints in private conversation? Surely there's no way to know that. I have issues with the icons, and I'm voicing them here. Is that not a complaint? I did not bring it up earlier as I didn't feel it was a huge issue. Now that the discussion is ongoing though, I have no issue bringing it up and talking about it.

"You should study something about design then. ........"

I'll admit I'm not artist, and I don't know much about designing maps. I'm a civil engineer. We work to optimize things. What I do know is that when you have the same icon mean multiple things, it can cause a lot of confusion. I stare at 4-500 page blueprints every single day for work. There's a REASON that they have standard symbols for things in construction, and the same symbol doesn't mean different things on different pages of the blueprints. Edge lines are always shown the same way throughout a plan set. Storm sewer lines are drawn a specific way. Electrical duct bank is drawn a specific way. Flip through the plan sets, and they're shown the same way. Storm sewer isn't shown as a solid black line on one page, and a dot-dash line on the next. Standardization helps to prevent mistakes by making things clear and concise.

Let's be honest, people make mistakes. Having the same symbol mean different things only facilitates this. Can you honestly say that you don't think someone would ever get confused if they're playing both 1900 and 1800 at the same time, and are flipping between games? You've never had a "brain fart" where after doing one thing for awhile, you forget to shift your brain to a new way of thinking? If you say that you've never had that, I'll say you're probably lying. We've all done things like that. It's natural. This situation is just like that. Hexagon means fleet while playing 1800, and if someone shifts to their 1900 game for a few minutes just to check something, they could easily have a "brain fart" and think hexagon means fleet, even though now it means army! Sure, "just pay attention" would technically solve that. But surely we've all not "paid attention" at least once in our lives and made a stupid mistake? Hell, I've done it dozens of times in the past year probably! This problem is only made potentially worse by the fact that there are people who play vdip solely on mobile. Smaller screen and less details on the screen at once make it potentially easier to make a small mistake like this.

"All the variants' icons you mentioned have different authors. nopunin10did, Firehawk, VaeVictis and Webb didn't conference with each other when deciding upon the icons they would use for their variants, yet all of them managed to make the icons look apart well enough by applying contrast."

And that's fine that they didn't conference with each other! But their maps are being hosted on a centralized site. In a vacuum, they're each totally fine. But when you put them together, and people potentially play them all at the same time, is when the issue arises. Imagine playing 5 games in which hexagon = fleet, and one game where hexagon = army. 80-90% of the time you're thinking hexagon = fleet. It's easy to see how the other 10-20% of the time, you might accidentally make a mistake once in thinking hexagon = fleet still.

"You (@drasno) played both 1800 and Classic yourself. It's unrelated, but I am curious: would you say that the extra seconds lost "stopping and thinking to remind yourself which shape was army and which shape was fleets" had any influence on your performance in the games?"

Honestly, for me, no. But - and I really didn't want to have to go into "tooting my own horn" to make my point - I do consider myself an exceedingly experienced and quite talented Diplomacy player. My entire life I've found analyzing boards like Diplomacy to be a "natural talent" of mine. My record here and on the few other places I've played back that up. I'm sure there's at least a handful of people here who will attest to my abilities (thank you Ruffhaus for the support!). Just because something isn't a problem for me does NOT mean it's not a potential problem. The vast majority of vdip players don't have the same analytical mindset that I do, nor do they necessarily spend as much time thinking about the games as I do. My own experience shows me there's a large chunk of players who log in, send a couple messages, and call it a day. A 2 second mistake of thinking a fleet is an army could easily cause them to make mistaken orders simply because they DO NOT necessarily analyze the board for that long. They see "oh, it's a fleet in Belgium", and enter their orders, not going back to reanalyze and realize it's an army.

Anyways, I've gone on WAAAAAY too long in this message, and I apologize for the wall of text. I'm sure there will be more messages to respond to anyways!
Firehawk (1225 D (B))
06:42 PM UTC
(+2)
I think it's clear there is certainly no overwhelming consensus to change the icons so this question is resolved! Of course I was always going to have to argue for my own icons but at the end of the day I think the strength of this site is for developers to create variation in to map design. There's no problem having different units for different maps because that's part of what makes them different, and allows the creators to add flair to them. Lets just leave all icons however the original creators chose to design them! If it aint broke and all that :)
I'm chiming in for the first time on this thread...

Re: colors
Just make certain you offer the three color variations that fit for the 20% of the male population that is colorblind.

Re: Symbols and Icons. Symbols that don't intuitively reflect what the represent in a game are bad form but to let them potentially represent different things is simply bad graphic design. Consistent use of symbology is important in cartography which is essentially what our game boards are. The best icons can be intuitively understood: A sailing vessel or modern battleship for a navy, a tank or man on horseback for cavalry (for scenarios with such units), and a rifleman, swordsman, or shield with crossed pike for army/infantry.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
09:11 PM UTC
Replying to @Ruff's surprisingly butthurt comment:

>Honestly, you don't.<

Nah, honestly I do. Believe me, I know better about what I want than you do.

>You come here to bombard the forums with inane discussion<

That's your opinion @Ruff, and I respect that. If you find the discussion "inane", you can always get lost. I don't at all mean to sound rude, but if you don't find a discussion worthy, why care in first place? Or, perhaps, you do find the discussion enjoyable?

If so, welcome to the thread.

>"new" variants with no point apparent behind them.<

Does a variant have to "have a point", Mr. Variant Specialist? Are you the judge in when a variant "has a point"? I know I ain't.

You gotta warn the people who played (and replayed) the variants I ported though, they haven't got the good news.

>You're not interested in honest feedback<

Oh, but sure I am! I carefully consider what people talk about, and more than once I took steps to solve the issues they appointed. Issues not just technical, you see ("Ravenna doesn't have a SC dot!!!") but stuff like "hey Enriador, I didn't the color for Dai Viet, it's too yellow for me". I have an open-door policy regarding feedback, and I always had.

The only thing I know about you, Ruff, is that you aren't a very good reader (if that's your sincere analysis of this thread), and the only thing you know about me is that I don't birch out in internet forums with internet strangers about what I perceive or not as ego or whatever.

It actually might look like it's about *your* ego - you obviously didn't come to contribute to the discussion, and seems actually overconcerned with attacking a fellow site member.

Well, unluckly for you, I don't care about you (or your mumbling, devoid of substance) whatsoever. I can play my games, make my maps, debate stuff in the forum and live on. I do all this for my own personal pleasure, but if one guy or two also enjoy what I make for vDip, then great.

So chill buddy - there is no need to take things to the personal side (I know Diplomacy does that to people). If your personal feelings *are* hurt (poor boy!), perhaps you should take a break? ;)

>On one hand your industrious effort has it's appeal and shouldn't be discouraged<

That's sweet! A sentence that isn't a pile of crap, at last.

>you're not adding anything of merit here.<

And... *you are*? I don't think so. You're here literally just complaining about a person that, bad news for you, isn't goin anywhere or changing their approach.

It's harsh, but I am sure you will cope.

>You're one of these guys<

Whoa Ruff, calm down. Why the finger-pointing? You do sound like one of these internet trolls who randomly cast "ad hominem" attacks on people... but we know you aren't, right? Right? ಠ_ಠ

You are a civilized diplomat, and someone with enough brain so to know that you cannot take things personally on internet discussions (especially *written* discussions, even moreso with a game). Relax...

There are very few players [...] like Drano<

Agreed. But no one attacked @drasno's intelligence, good character, or love for the game. You are just overreacting (for God knows why).

>you're dismissing his opinions and perspectives<

I ain't, really. I could just ignore the fella and do as I please, couldn't I? But I wouldn't, for I correctly identified his attempts at feedback as good-natured. If in some point I don't agree with the issue he claims to exist, that's my personal right.

If you dislike my opinion, well, live with it. You got no other choice. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

>you're here for an ego boost<

That's how you argue? "You are here to steal the Magic Lamp for yourself, evil villain!". Screaming that smooths your own ego? How pathetic Ruff, I am disappointed at you! You had a good reputation in my eyes.

Answering @drasno's civilized reply:

>If even one mistake is made due to these aesthetic changes, that's 1 mistake too many. <

I completely agree, but has this mistake ever been made? We are arguing on theory here, obviously - no one got proof of how often people confuse one unit with another.

It's like anothe proposed change in the thread - the new maps. Will paint Sardinia the color of Rome make people think that Rome is adjacent to Western Mediterranean (like in several variants, like recent 1900? Maaaybe, in theory, but I haven't seem the problem arise.

I think the vDip community is way more intelligent than you are giving us credit for. When a symbol is written right next "The army in Paris", I bet people will correctly indentify that symbol as an army.

>You're quite confident there's been zero complaints<

I cannot prove the lack of complaints, I am guilty of that. Proving non-existence is kinda my weak point.

> I have issues with the icons, and I'm voicing them here. Is that not a complaint?<

You educatedly pointed out that the army/fleet icon aren't literal tanks/ships and people may confuse them. This is a potentially bad issue, I agree.

But do people actually confuse them? I am honestly curious to know if they do, because that can radically change the way I draw these unit icons. Believe me, it's not easy to discard stuff you made yourself without knowing exactly if it's strictly necessary in first place.

>There's a REASON that they have standard symbols for things in construction, and the same symbol doesn't mean different things on different pages of the blueprints.<

This entire paragraph makes an excellent point, but I argue that *vDiplomacy is not a factory*. We *can* afford to be imperfect, or non-optimal.

>Can you honestly say that you don't think someone would ever get confused if they're playing both 1900 and 1800 at the same time, and are flipping between games? <

I admit this is a perfectly possible scenario. If your brain has "farted" enough however, you may commit similar mistakes even without any possible design mistake (who never sent a message to Russia that was meant to go to Turkey?). But are the non-uniform icons across the site's 100+ variants a *issue*?

I genuinely think not. vDip has a salad of icons, and survive so far.

> This problem is only made potentially worse by the fact that there are people who play vdip solely on mobile. Smaller screen and less details on the screen at once make it potentially easier to make a small mistake like this.<

Funnily enough, I find the mobile view far better. I can put my eyes closer to the screen, and even read fonts that are otherwise hard to read (like Classic's Turkey's hyper-light tone of yellow). Of course, different people may have different experiences, so you might have a point.

>when you put them together, and people potentially play them all at the same time, is when the issue arises<

Hmm, but ever since the dawn of time vDip has got different icons for different maps - I only made a dozen maps from February to July 2018, so this is an "issue" that precedes my own work here.

And this "issue" never was an issue with anyone - I may be speaking out of ignorance, so I add "that I have heard of".

>Just because something isn't a problem for me does NOT mean it's not a potential problem<

As I explained above, this potential problem is an old one.... Do you have a proposed solution yourself? Unless we standardize all icons across all variants, the problem you highlight will remain.

I am not discussing for the Classic icons' own sake - I prefer their fate to be decided by the community at large (including the players that might be victims of the "potential problem"), and whether they will be accepted or not is ultimately the smallest thing on my "to-do list" for this website.

However @drasno you raised a very interesting theoretical question here, and that's why I am discussing with you. In no way I meant any disrespect (which I guess you noticed, for unlike @Ruff you paid close attention to the matter at hand and didn't for a second attempt to insult anyone), but I am interested in finding out a possible consensus to the question: "is vDip's ultimate goal of fun hurt by non-standard icons?"

> I apologize for the wall of text<

No need to apologize. Good discussions are fueled by walls of text!

> it's clear there is certainly no overwhelming consensus to change the icons<

I disagree, @Firehawk. Online communities, for all their wonder, are also susceptible to "loud minorities" and I won't take a couple of comments (both civilized and rude) as evidence that change isn't welcomed.

> just leave all icons however the original creators chose to design them! If it aint broke and all that<

I greatly respect who took the time and care to build up webDip and designed the original icons. Hence why I didn't suggest spreading it to the other Classic subvariants (including one of my own, 1913) as I believe they should be kept alive somehow. I even asked "Would people feel bad at losing the vanilla icons though?" at the start of the thread.

Curiously, sentimentalism for the old icons didn't arise (yet!). But I argue that the old icons are somewhat weird at least in a historical sense (the already-mentioned time-travelling war tank).

"Broken" is a strong word though, and shouldn't be the only incentive for change. Otherwise one might imagine, "webDiplomacy isn't broken - why have vDiplomacy then?"

>Just make certain you offer the three color variations that fit for the 20% of the male population that is colorblind. <

I took care to make sure nothing in that regard was modified. The new maps respect vDip's native adjustments for colorblinded people.

> Symbols that don't intuitively reflect what the represent in a game are bad form but to let them potentially represent different things is simply bad graphic design<

Bad form? Bad graphic design? Would you say the supply center dots (supposed to represent cities and centers of military supply) are "bad graphic design" because they are circles rather than a cozy little town or army depot?

>Consistent use of symbology is important in cartography which is essentially what our game boards are. The best icons can be intuitively understood<

Funny thing you mention cartography. Did you know military cartography uses *rectangles* as stand-ins for armies? (https://www.hpssims.com/pages/products/RifMusk/Chickamauga/Chickamauga-Battle-Map.jpg)

Does anyone think "where the hell is 3rd Regiment, that is just a square."?

I confess I don't know.
Re: Military cartography - Yes, as a Marine and avid Warhammer, I do know standard military notation. But this is a game played by all types of people, not just MI and former Marine tacticians. Thus the icons should probably *not* discourage civilians with no military tactical and strategic cartographic knowledge.

Re: SC dots. A) standard civilian maps also use these symbols with size shape and fill reflecting population size. So this is not something the general populace doesn't know. Although map reading is becoming a lost skill.
Avid wargamer. Stupid fucking phone.
Enriador (1431 D (B))
12:54 AM UTC
>the icons should probably *not* discourage civilians with no military tactical and strategic cartographic knowledge. <

I completely agree with you in that regard @YouCan't. However I dispute that these icons go so far as to "discourage" anyone. Maybe, as @drasno suggests, they can possibly confuse, but I think "discourage" is a strong word.

If anything, the low-resolution icons actually discourages people from vDip. I consistently try to draw new players to vDip from other Dip places (mostly Conspiracy) and a major issue people say about the site are the low quality graphics for units and order-arrows (and a few maps).

> standard civilian maps also use these symbols with size shape and fill reflecting population size<

And as you know, even civilian-made maps of battles (like the one I linked) show the poor rectangles.

I have seen maps showing cavalry as *triangles*, even. I don't think there is a universal standard for representing military units on maps (is there?), but as long as there are subtitles somewhere people can find their way.


43 replies
Flame (1058 D (B))
10:14 PM UTC
Mistake in Known World 901 variant
In "Known World 901" we have Principality of Kiev (short - Russia). But it's a mistake which I have fixed when I did the php-adaptation to Western Known World 901 variant. The power must be called as Kievan Rus (short - Rus). It's not Russia at all. So it must be also fixed in Known World 901 variant I think.
2 replies
Open
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Fri 09 PM UTC
[New Variant] Edwardian 3rd Edition
An updated version of 'Edwardian' is coming to vDiplomacy! Check it out: https://vdiplomacy.com/variants.php?variantID=130
3 replies
Open
gman314 (1016 D)
12 Mar 11 UTC
(+18)
Winning
Oli won.
On Imperial Civilization's off-topic thread (link inside), there was a brief stint of Second to Last Person to Post Wins. Now that the thread is closed, Oli won.
6765 replies
Open
JECE (1184 D)
Fri 12 AM UTC
The variant page is down. This is what I get:
Error triggered: A software exception was not caught: "syntax error, unexpected ''Ghana'' (T_CONSTANT_ENCAPSED_STRING), expecting function (T_FUNCTION)".
4 replies
Open
butterhead (975 D)
21 May 12 UTC
(+11)
Advertise your NON-live games here!
In an effort to compromise the pro-ads versus anti-ads for games: Post here for your non-live games to cut down on the number of ads but still advertise games. Post game link, WTA or PPSC, and the bet. Note: this doesn't count for special rules games.
2425 replies
Open
Enriador (1431 D (B))
04 Apr 18 UTC
(+2)
'Edwardian' - A new variant
Greetings diplomats.

I present you @VaeVictis's 'Edwardian' - an upcoming jewel to vDiplomacy's glorious crown. 'Edwardian' is set in 1901, the start of the Edwardian Era, and represents the intrigue and tension of the period with a level of elegance and detail never seen before
42 replies
Open
kaner406 (1500 D Mod (B) (B))
10 Mar 18 UTC
(+4)
Bourse 2018
See below:
194 replies
Open
WWII Tournament
I would like to start a tournament. I've seen the Known World and 1v1 tournaments, and those are great fun. So why not apply it to World War II? I'm still working out the details, but I'll post some details.
311 replies
Open
Oli (977 D Mod (P))
Mon 09 Jul UTC
(+2)
You can now access the server via https...
So friends in the same network can no longer spy on your network-traffic here to gain an advantage over you... :-)
9 replies
Open
Penguin_XX7 (1029 D)
Sat 14 Jul UTC
Sitters for four games.
I need game sitters for 3 Gunboat games and one full press until July 24th. Please PM me.
1 reply
Open
Thanks to the winning thread, I lost The Game...
...and now you have too.

The perfect thread for all of us losers to post when we've lost. There can be no winners here.
7 replies
Open
The Ambassador (1633 D (B) (B))
02 Sep 16 UTC
(+7)
New podcast for online Dip games
Hi everyone

Kaner and I have started a podcast about playing Diplomacy online....
184 replies
Open
Strider (1294 D)
Mon 09 Jul UTC
Preview in fog of war
Why can't you preview your moves in fog of war? I understand that some features might need to be turned off for fog to work but it this required or just an acident.
6 replies
Open
Antiloquax (1315 D)
23 Jun 18 UTC
Why is the red box attacking me?
The red box on games with no saved moves is stressing me out! I have 2 days. What's the emergency?
23 replies
Open
Retillion (2221 D (B))
Tue 10 Jul UTC
(+1)
A thick and ugly blue box
Please read below.
8 replies
Open
Enriador (1431 D (B))
22 May 18 UTC
(+3)
New Variants (yup, plural!)
Four new variants, based on Classic, will be coming to vDip!

Some of these were directly taken from the DP Judge. Others were lost in the Variant Bank for a long while.
28 replies
Open
RVG1984 (986 D)
Mon 09 Jul UTC
sealanes
How do they work?
15 replies
Open
Anonymous Games
Anonymous Games grant liars a shelter to do there worst, making abusive and absurd offered and generally making me passionately hate this game, which can lead to NMRs . Having to be out there means you have to have honor, and enables revenge. I have seen allies pitch in by hopping from one neutral territory to yhe next in the name of their promises. This site seems to be for the childish.
98 replies
Open
Devonian (1871 D)
29 Jun 15 UTC
(+13)
1v1 Tournament Rules, Rankings, and Challenges
Official Rules for 1v1 Ladder Tournament
1601 replies
Open
Flame (1058 D (B))
Mon 09 Jul UTC
First Diplomacy game edition 1959
Who got the photo or scan of the first Diplomacy edition board (500 pieces), 1959? Please share to be used in an article.
7 replies
Open
nopunin10did (987 D)
18 Jun 18 UTC
(+2)
Replace PPSC with something rank-based?
I've put together a length proposal over on PlayDip to provide a rank-based scoring system for draws that's similar to the Carnage system used in several North American Dip tournaments today.

https://www.playdiplomacy.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=57975#p951166
103 replies
Open
Enriador (1431 D (B))
Sat 07 Jul UTC
[New Variant] Machiavelli - To the Renaissance
New (official) subvariant of Machiavelli coming up on vDip. Not a single case of adjacent home centers - praise be God!

http://vdiplomacy.com/variants.php?variantID=115
0 replies
Open
Enriador (1431 D (B))
25 Apr 18 UTC
(+2)
New Variant: Crusades 1201
Hail diplomats,

New 11-players variant coming up, set in the High Middle Ages.
44 replies
Open
gremlin (1000 D)
02 Jul 18 UTC
New Variants
Just curious, what is the process for creating new variants?
1 reply
Open
WiJaMa (994 D)
26 Jun 18 UTC
Looking for game sitters
I'm looking for a game sitter for three games while I'm out from 1 Jul to 22 Jul. PM me for details.

Also, is there supposed to be a thread for these? I can't find it but the help page says there is one.
2 replies
Open
ubercacher16 (1112 D)
25 Jun 18 UTC
Strategy - Hold Order
See First Post
16 replies
Open
nopunin10did (987 D)
12 Jun 18 UTC
(+2)
At long last: 1900
With some help from Tobias & Oliver, my implementation of Baron VonPowell's "1900" is finally live.

64 replies
Open
Looking for someone to take over my country (Not in a bad position)
Currently 13/35 countries remain and my country, Brazil, is in 8th place after some set backs with NMRs. Currently allied with the 2nd place country, Argentina, as a fight between the two of us will ultimately be the doom of our existence. Argentina has said that a substitute will not charge the alliance between our two countries.

Reply if interested in taking over.
3 replies
Open
RVG1984 (986 D)
21 Jun 18 UTC
convert fleet to army
How do I convert a fleet to an army and the other way? I see people do it, but don't see the option on the dropdowns.
12 replies
Open
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