Map Scenario Categories In Download Windows


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Cernel yes I would but @Hepps was mainly referring to timeline either is fine



  • Probably would be pretty helpful, though I don't know if its necessary to divy up the maps chronologically by era with that much detail. Especially if half of them are set in WW2. Still I like the idea of more information provided by the categories.

    Also, while we are on the subject...

    I think the qualitative categories we have currently are kind of rough. They seem sort of subjective, like who is the arbitor quality, and what criteria is used for deciding what is high quality or low quality or whatever? I think categories like "Most Popular" or "Unfinished" might be more useful, or at least easier to assess/defend objectively.

    It's nice to have a way to dump defunct or poorly designed games into a category where they aren't being showcased front and center, but the descriptions we have now don't provide a whole lot of info explaining what determines the various gradations of quality.

    Perhaps something describing gameplay-scale (ie. size/length of an average game) or how old it is, would be helpful in a category breakdown too? Maybe we should start putting some dates in the game notes, so people can see which maps are more recent vs old as dirt. Or to see popularity over time. Things like that.

    Or if all that is too much effort another approach might just be to do like an Editor's Choice, Fan Favorites or Top Picks type thing. Maybe a periodic review of the entire catalog would be nice. Even if it's just a separate article.

    But yeah, I like the idea of more info. I think it would be good to start with maybe half a dozen chronology/era based categories.


  • Admin

    Good feedback/discussion. From a dev and admin perspective a couple questions to answer:

    • How to manage the data?
    • How to handle the UI?

    To clarify a bit and also to jump to my point. 3 layers of tabbing for categories is overwhelming for a UI. 2 layers is already a bit much, but I think mostly works for us. Regardless it still sometimes would have been nice at times to see all maps in one list (I've hunted for specific maps before and it took a few tab clicks to find the right category).

    So, I think we can only really long term support 1 level of tabbing, the 'installed', 'to-update', and 'available' tabs.

    Shifting approach a bit, we could define 'tags' for each maps. For example there could be a "category" tag, an "era" tag, a "is in testing" tag and so on. At the bottom of the download screen we can add drop down lists so that someone could filter between the options. It would actually not be too much trouble to make this free-form, what set of tags we define in map download config are the set that UI would render. It may be better though to keep it to the one or two really useful filtering options and pre-define a limited number of tags such as "era" and "quality". 'Author' would be a good candidate for another tag.


  • Admin

    @Cernel
    I would avoid using terms like early modern and late modern for the same reasons most other games would avoid them. Gamers and normal people are not historians. Modern, in many people's minds, mean now or close to now, not 1492 or something like that. Based on what I see in other games, I would divide time periods into something like:

    Prehistoric
    Ancient (Could be excluded and go direct to classical)
    Classical
    Medieval
    Colonial (or Renaissance)
    Industrial
    WW1
    WW2
    Modern
    Sci-fi
    Fantasy


  • Donators

    I have been categorizing scenarios on my wiki for a while category list. Any 1-dimensional category system will not do a good job of classifying scenarios. That being said, your best bet as a purely time-based system, separating out scenarios with no particular time, but including hypothetical or even fantastical scenarios that have a particular year (such as the Great Steampunk War). For the range of years see timeline.

    I would suggest the following broad categories

    Ancient to 476AD
    Medieval 477 to 1492
    Gunpowder 1493 to 1903
    World War 1 1904 to 1932
    World War 2 1933 to 1945
    Modern 1946 on
    Other No specified date or far future


  • Moderators

    @Frostion To me using "Modern" to mean after WW2 is absolutely unacceptable, as the Reinassance is in my mind the start of modernity, and considering the time of Leonardo etc. anything else but modern makes no sense to me.
    I think "Late Modern" is fine, as 1945 onwards is very late in modernity, and it is really the last small fraction of modernity, but I don't like it very much, either, as I would prefer something defined in itself, instead of late-part-of-something.
    I don't like "Contemporary" that much, either, for the opposite reason, as I don't really think to the Korean War as something "contemporary".
    But definitely would prefer "Contemporary" over "Modern" for 1945 onwards.
    If we don't use "Late Modern", then there is also the issue of how we call the "Early Modern", as we would need a definition for something going from the XV to the early XX century (we really don't want to split that up, obviously).
    I don't like "Gunpowder" as a definition for it, but it is fairly good covering, except that it would leave us not covered if somebody makes a map about the Russo-Japanese War, for example, that we can't classify as WWI; so we would then need another age between "Gunpowder" and "WW1", but that would be very marginal.
    So we need something that can go from the XV century till 1914 there. I can't think of anything else but "Early Modern", tho admittedly that is a bit of a stretch, as with the French Revolution modernity gets out of the truly early phase.

    So, to sum it up:

    • If "Late Modern" is not nice to most for 1945 onwards, then I would say "Contemporary", even tho I don't really like it much.
    • But, if so, then we need of a good single alternative to "Early Modern" for 1500 to 1900, and I really don't like "Gunpowder" (tho it is fairly good telling).

    Anyways, it all depends if the developers want to make scenarios for the download list (I think it would be quite helpful and neat) or it's all a moot point.


  • Moderators

    @RogerCooper said in Map Scenario Categories In Download Windows:

    I would suggest the following broad categories

    Ancient to 476AD
    Medieval 477 to 1492
    Gunpowder 1493 to 1903
    World War 1 1904 to 1932
    World War 2 1933 to 1945
    Modern 1946 on
    Other No specified date or far future

    That is about exactly what you can see at the first post of this topic, except mainly that I split Ancient into Primeval and Ancient (not sure if you consider "Jurassic" as part of Ancient) and WW1 starts in 1914, instead of your 1904 (but I actually considered to include the Russo-Japanese War into WW1).
    So, since these divisions are about exactly mine as well, I, of course, agree with them, except that I really don't like the "Gunpowder" and "Modern" labels.
    So, it seems that at least for the time periods we have a prevailing consensus here, tho (both because ancient and medieval wars are very similar and because there is very little medieval in TA) I'm now inclined to think that it is better that we have a single age/scenario for anything from the XV century beforehand, thus mainly merging Ancient and Medieval into a same category (do you think that "Antique" would be a decent label for Feral+Primeval+Ancient+Medieval?).


  • Moderators

    @Frostion said in Map Scenario Categories In Download Windows:

    Modern, in many people's minds, mean now or close to now, not 1492 or something like that.

    Well, at least I assume that about everyone at the very least consider WW1 and WW2 "modern wars", so using just modern as meaning after WW2 would not make sense anyways.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Cernel i would recommend @RogerCooper list below

    The simple reason is many are not historians. Modern etc they don't or will not get with a first glance at the maps list.

    jmho


  • Moderators

    @prastle Main point is: does anyone have a label for an age spanning from 1492 to 1914 (I think that if the next scenarion is called WW1 it would have to start in 1914 or very shortly beforehand)?
    If we are not using "Early Modern", then we have to use something else.
    Till now, the only one suggestion has been "Gunpowder", which seems out of place with the other names, to me.
    So, does anyone have an alternative to "Early Modern", beside Gunpowder? If using "gunpowder", then I think we should name the other ages all alike, for example "atomic" for all after 1945 (not a fan).


  • Moderators

    For 1945 to present I think we can use "Recent".


  • Admin

    As I mentioned before; Colonial or Industrial. I think both would fit circa 1500-1900. Colonial times, from discovering America to the colonization of Asia and Africa. Industrial times from very early masproduction to the industry in the late 1800s.


  • Moderators

    @Frostion said in Map Scenario Categories In Download Windows:

    As I mentioned before; Colonial or Industrial. I think both would fit circa 1500-1900.

    Personally, for 1500-1900, I don't like either Colonial or Industrial.
    Industrial makes me think of XIX century to present time, and definitely not the Renaissance, and WW1 and WW2 are surely "industrial" as well. So, the main problem is that "industrial" definitely doesn't stop in 1900.
    Colonial is a good term itself, actually, as (as you point out) that age starts with the Spaniards colonising the New World and ends in 1900 when pretty much everything colonisable has been colonised, a lot very recently.
    But the problem I have with "Colonial" is that it refers to a specific phenomenon of the time and would be strange to have "Napoleonic Empires" or "The Great Northern War" or "Civil War" called "Colonial".
    Maybe a better term for 1500-1900 would be "Revolutional"?
    Not very intuitive but, after all, the Renaissance is sort of a revolution, then you have the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, the French revolution and all the revolutions of the XIX century, so that, in a way, 1500-1900 might be see as the "Age of Revolutions"?
    Still not very fitting for, like, "The Great Northern War" or "Civil War", but it might be a decent choice, instead of the disliked "Early Modern"?


  • Moderators

    Regarding futuristic and fantasy I'm thinking that they should not be specifically represented. The reason is that it is hard to differentiate and, for example, one could make a map about another fictional world that maybe has no supernatural elements at all, just like a realistic map, but in an alternate world, and I don't think that would rate as "fantasy", would it? So, then, we would need a 3rd, and maybe also a 4th totally fictional category. War of the Relics is actually close to that concept.

    So, here it is my new take:

    1. Antique : dinosaurs to 1492
    2. Revolutional : 1492-1914
    3. WW1 : 1914-1929
    4. WW2 : 1929-1945
    5. Recent : 1945 today
    6. Multi-Age : at least two of the above fully covered
    7. Fantastic : any totally fictional settings or having totally fictional elements
    8. Abstract : maps not aiming at representing anything

    (the perspective is European; thus other realities may shift the timeline)

    So, I think the preference is not to have a counterfactual category, and have, for example, "Cold War" as part of "Recent" and "Age of Tribes" as part of "Multi-Age".
    The open question is if "Fantastic" should or should not have maps set in a real timeline but having totally fictional elements (meaning something that does not possibly belong to reality); examples:
    Steampunk in Fantastic or WW1?
    Zombieland in Fantastic or Recent?
    My preference is such maps staying in "Fantastic".

    ?


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Cernel I think what u have missed here is what the word fantastic means ...

    It means AWESOME! OR AMAZING! This is why all are saying a new name is needed such as fantasy or whatever


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @prastle And the word Antique is less than ideal.


  • Moderators

    https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fantastic
    Oxford says that the actual meaning is "Imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality" and it is informally used as meaning extraordinarily good or attractive. But I'll take your word that maybe the basic meaning is so uncommon to be hardly understandable?
    Also "epic" is used like that, but it is not that, then, we can't use "epic" to mean what it actually means, I think.

    Ok, so it looks like that now the remaining issues are only related to the names.
    Of course, the more we split up, the better names we can get, but the fact is that we don't want to split up a lot, and ending up with categories with 2 or 3 maps each.

    Well, always assuming that at some point in the sci-fi future a developer will turn this into something, I might get some help, then:

    1. We need 1 word for identifying something that has nothing or almost nothing to do with the real world, but can be used for whatever thing not belonging to it, either fantasy, or fictional science, but also an alternative world that maybe it is very similar to our own, but just not our own, or something like Zombieland, that it is our world but with Zombies running around (we definitely don't want to split this concept into 4+ categories).
      My other ideas would be "Fictitious" and "Unreal". Are these terrible too?

    2. We need 1 word for summing up Feral, Primeval, Ancient and Medieval all in one (couldn't find anything better than Antique), in a way that it would not feel out of place if used to define a Medieval setting, which I believe "Ancient" would, as it is normally used to mean a period at the very most until Charlemagne (IX century AC), but I'm not sure, since the French used "ancien régime" to mean feudalish stuff.


  • Donators Moderators Admin

    @Cernel The definition for the word fantastic in English is quite a bit different from its common usage. Fantasy is far and away the most common term used to define a category or genre.... while fantastic is predominantly used as a descriptor... ie. "That fantasy game was fantastic".


  • Moderators

    @Hepps I think "fantasy" is too much specific, and can be used only for D&D kind of stuff, while fictional is too broad, and can be used also for a "Cold War" or "World War 2010" scenarios, that never happened in reality.
    I was thinking "fantastic" was just fine, in its meaning of "remote from reality".
    Well, I think I'm out of ideas for the labels.


  • Moderators

    To be clear, I wanted a term for something that it is not set in any time in real history, but maybe it is just perfectly realistic, albeit alternative, or it is so fictitious that can't be considered merely counterfactual.


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