Hi guys (& gals)
For whatever reason, the Piazza stopped notifying me of new messages on this thread. Sorry I missed your messages.
@Traianus [[You're work on the various Alphatian states is fantastic, I've really enjoyed revisiting them on your blog. In some earlier blogs, you mentioned you had found an "updated" version of the Dominion Economics spreadsheet. I've got the original version you can still download from Pandius, but it is a bit wonky with the newer versions of Excel. Would you consider making the updated version available? It really is a fantastic world building aid.]]
The "updated" version is of course very different and much more complicated. Unfortunately, I still use the same spreadsheet version on my computer, so problems related to the more recent Excel release are likely to be accentuated. That's one issue. The second one is that the updated dominion worksheet isn't formatted to be used by the public. For example, there are no explanations, safeguards against accidental deletions, convenient graphic layout, etc. Finally, after all the second-thought developments, corrections, and transitional coding, it now looks like "Frankenstein." It's full of patches, large sections of obscure coding cluttering the screen, and older parts I'm not entirely certain I can delete without provoking a problem elsewhere in the file. The cleanup is very slow. It's a nasty little bugger, if you'll pardon my Renardois, that requires constant vigilance on my part to make sure it is used correctly. Even then, I find myself fine-tuning internal mechanics, refining conceptual issues, and, erm, adding *more* stuff! For example, the issue about airships and submersibles came up, prompting me to add subroutines to analyze the data and provide results both logical and informative. Neat stuff, but unfortunately, it requires more input from the user (affinities to air and water elements, general fleet strategies, etc.) One major problem I ran into was the issue of basic population numbers vs. the existence of experience levels. How do you account for this as regards realm-wide economics? Is the population counted as 0-level citizens, 1st levels, or do we account for the population solely from the standpoint of total Hit-Dice-worth of living beings, including normal people and monsters, right up to multi-HD creatures like dragons and such? Naturally, trying to retrofit old mechanics with this concepts or with ideals designed to reflect D&D-ish matters causes many headaches and conundrums. Another retrofit was the idea of general economics based upon the price of bread, thus devising a system to calculate a fluctuating price of bread and the effect of such on local economies and, in particular, the military... As you can see, I'm no-way-near able to release something like this to the public.
@Cthuldrew [[Speaking of spreadsheets, what I found really impressive was his latest work on Stoutfellow, with the demographic breakdown of the capitol city of Denwarf-Hurgon. That was really cool!]]
Thanks. That's another example of the sort of things in run into, such as combining data from two separate dominions. It was more complex than I first thought. It's added experience for me as I progress through my re-hashing of Alphatia. The next hurdle is to figure out the economics of the Imperial District, since it's collecting tributes from all other subject realms... Ya-freakin'-hoo!
@Havard [[Great article you wrote on Aasla, Bruce!
Again, thanks! That one was pretty silly and vastly more fun to work on as a result. Again, I fixed some data processing issues related to grossly-oversized city population. Things like calculating city area, port area, wall perimeter, etc, led to interesting demographics research about current day cities. That one was really time-consuming.
@Carillion [[I must echo the sentiment of some of the posts above and offer a big thank you for the excellent work you have put into developing Alphatia. I also don't know how you do the maps so quickly. It always takes me weeks, if not months, to do just one!]]
I do these maps in my sleep. I've gotten so used to the software, I can move pretty fast now. I spend more time thinking about what I actually want to do with the realm and what slant to give feature names (city tags, forests, etc.) than actually keying the map. The latter is the easiest part.