Evolution of the prototype: summary

Genesis and assembling from the first ideas until the creation of the prototype

Evolution of the prototype: summary

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 20:53

MedioEvo Universalis was born by mistake and definitely a necessity for us (I and all my friends) to play all together rather than in 2 or 3 separate groups.

It has evolved over time thanks to my friends "canottieri" who have spent hundreds ... yeah, calculating that we started in the 80's ... thousands of hours playing with me.

We have always been fascinated by the idea of trade to be able to manage and buy means/armed/fortifications and not have the resources automatically as in other games.
If you think that we start with the map and cards of Marco Polo (Clementoni), tanks of Risiko and money of Monopolies ... we made very long road.

Already then we had introduced the cards to attack and to defense, calamities, random events ... computers as we know now not existed yet (only the commodore 64 and early PC 8086 and 8088), so we "stolen" any game canned in my possession for exploit, if possible, the components and perhaps give its meanings sometimes completely different ... we had arrived at use a deck of mixed cards that exceeded calmly 300.

I thing we have tried and plytested everything:

- add Shogun units for special combat units

- miniatures of Civilization to try diplomacy with emissaries that physically moved on the map

- using sticky notes exchanged among the players

- locked alliances, 2, 3, to areas, random and so on

- 2 and even 3 parallel systems of coins, maybe an exchange for goods and armies

- calamities managed/controlled by players

- various historical periods and not ... the game for a short period had taken the way of the Napoleonic period (I had already bought 3 boxes of Napoleon in Europe to prepare myself)

- a player extra whitch became GM and/or banker

- infinite number of units and not

- 4 types of maps completely different ... it was also preparing a map "universal" (3600x1800 mm.) that could be used both for this prototype that for other boardgames (Risiko and axis & Allies for example), but always scale to 10 players.

- and much more ...

Many ideas inside my mind that already more than 2 years ago we write to try to implement some aspects of the game ... I still have the 2 sheets of Zamein with at least some forty notes and/or suggestions:

- new combat system, it is our main strengths, we would like to create a similar system and simple, yet completely different

- custom cards about COMMANDER, like previous characters as Richard the Lionheart, Saladin etc etc

- strategic cards combined expertise of the FLAG to implement combat bonus, like Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage

- adding diplomatic options like type regal marriages

- and so on...

Everything that you see in this prototype is the rationalisation of what we invented, copied or modified by other boardgames or PC games. The same maps that were created in 1999, still in use since today, were the summary of that super deck of 300 cards used for previous 12-15 years.

Currently the game can be defined as a managerial one, set in the medieval period, more precisely in 1265.
Considering that a full round is equivalent to approximately 1-2 months real time, the longest matches don't go over 5 years ... also because historically Europe 5 years later would already be quite different.

Each player has to start match one of the major Kingdoms of the era:
Kingdom Almohad
Kingdom Mamluks
Horde gold
Byzantine Empire
Novgorod Republic
Kingdom of Hungary
Holy Roman Empire
Kingdom of France
Kingdom of Castile
Kingdom of England

Map is modular, divided in SET1 according to play up to 5-6 players and 2 EXPANSIONS to play up to 10! The player has available land and sea units to trade 8 different types of goods in 36 cities on the map, so fiorini obtained can be invested to increase the cities, building fortifications, buy new units, recruit new General, build siege machines or new cathedrals/mosques to have more control over the population, specialize the cities in a commercial sector, and more.

With fiorini also you can buy technologies to improve some aspects of the game; technologies are divided into 5 kinds, up to 3 layers, so if I will have STREETS, I must buy ARCHITECTURE and MATHEMATICS before yet.
The technologies also help me to eliminate or reduce the effects of CALAMITIES: MEDICINA against PLAGUE, AGRICULTURE against FAMINE, etc etc etc.

There are also game cards, named EMPIRE that allow the player to do more things: spying your opponent's cards, earn more by trade, taxing better territories, ask truce during a war, get bonuses during attack or defence etc etc etc.
Many of these cards have combinations with technologies, for example the GENIUS has + 1 bonus during attack or defence, but if it is accompanied by the ENGINEERING he take + 2 bonus... and so on... MERCHANT with COINS, TEMPLARE with MONOTHEISM, MERCENARY with ARMY etc etc etc.

As you may have noticed, I used the colors to help you learn many components of game, there are references and descriptions on each card and also I inserted in front of the player a summary of the game turn and 3 summary tables of classic 50 questions that a player always stolen ... so I have dramatically reduced learning time and in fact, when I played with my friends younger (13-14 years) the thing was very useful.

Other?

In addition to CALAMITIES cards there are random events which affect only 1 areas of the map; I added other units on the map, the neutral (or dead, barbarian, as you prefer), which with 4 simple automatic rules can expand its neighbours or attack weaker player or rebel territories with low defense... to move even more the game.

The territories have 5 different terrain types: plain, hill, forest, mountain, desert and in addition the rivers ... all this leads to limits of population or costs in movement.

Also diplomacy: there are 6 diplomatic options that can be broken at any time (so look back!), obviously players take consequences (for example, if a player Christian declares war to another Christian would almost certainly the excommunication of the Pope and therefore would fall out of favor).

The sequence of players is random, if now you are the 1st, in the next turn you could be the 3rd or last ... pay attention to your enemies!

Object of the game is to get as many HONOR POINTS ... during the game, depending on what you do, you may gain or lose HONOR POINTS.
So you can play: by TIME, with a MAX NUMBER of points to reach or with a defined number of TURNS.

FOTOGALLERY: http://www.medioevouniversalis.org/html/galleria.php
PHOTOSTORY OF THE PROTOTYPE: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=9969
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Evolution of the prototype 80s

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:50

The idea we came to the end of the 80s: to create a boardgame management consists of the games that we had.

The first version of this game was primarily composed of following components:
- Map of Marco Polo (Ravensburger)
- Tabulation of trade of Marco Polo
- Event deck of Marco Polo
- Deck of cards attack and defense of Marco Polo
- Monopoly money
- Tanks of Risk
- dice of Risk

Some features:
- cities were chosen 1 at a time by players at begining by following the sequence of the game, but instead (starting from last to first).
- The armies were placed in 36 cities.
- The movement had to follow the various maritime and land routes indicated on map
- You could create "roadblocks" on these routes, but everything that was outside of the city were exposed to attack's cards from other players.
- There were no limits about armies, transport units and gold coins.
- Objective of the game, I think to remember, was the conquest of a defined number of cities.

Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=63#p80
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: initial study

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:52

In 1999 I taken the decision to create a more serious boardgame... it took me 1 whole year to put together all the rules, combos and ideas gained during the games with the old prototype.

Collection of ideas:
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Means of transport, ability to move, goods transport and armed:
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Types of land, moving cost and limit overpopulation:
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Limit overpopulation:
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Study of the EMPIRE deck:
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Study of the balance of attack and defense cards in the EMPIRE deck:
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Calculation of the amount of cards in the EMPIRE deck:
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Study of CALAMITIES cards and theirs combo:
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Probability calculations with roll of 2D6 for CALAMITIES, random EVENTS and BARBARIANS:
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Split into groups of TECHNOLOGIES cards:
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Summary table of all the TECHNOLOGIES cards and all the EMPIRE cards:
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More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67#p100
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: graphical map

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:54

In 1999 I did not know very well use the computer, and certainly there were no coputer today... I'm not a graphic... so I arranged.
I should note that at that time I did not care that the map was historical, I was interested that the game worked ... then I took a lot of artistic freedom.

I created screenshots of the map of the game Europa Universalis like this:
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Then I joined them creating a giant map:
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Then I cropped and resized for my needs, for example zooming England and shrinking Africa:
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I cleaned up the map and I fixed the boundaries of the territories:
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I created the boundaries of kingdoms with line widths larger:
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I colored areas of the map depending on the 5 religions that I wanted: Christians, Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Shiites and Sunnis.
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I added a map to the outer perimeter of 15 cm where to put the pieces of the game, the cards, sandwiches and drinks:
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I used the icons of some PC games to represent the city:
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And I used the icons of some PC games to represent the various types of terrain:
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Numbers and letters to identify the 5 zones of land and 8 sea areas:
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Names of the Kingdoms major, minor kingdoms and cities:
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I added some graphics to beautify the map:
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The upper right of the map was used to support the decks of cards and dice:
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Same thing at the bottom center of the map:
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The map at the end looked like this:
Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67&start=10#p113
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: trade

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:55

The trading system was very simple and very similar to that of Marco Polo (Ravensburger).
Having decided on the location of the city (2 for 1 for the Kingdoms Major and minor kingdoms, positioned in areas not adjacent to each other)...
Immagine

... I chose 8 types of goods for each commodity and decided what was the city with the highest price and the one with the lowest price.
Immagine

The price of all goods in all other cities was given by a base value multiplied by the distance from the city with the lowest price.
This is the final table trade, up there are 8 goods, in the left column there are all the cities and for every good there are 2 columns, the first column with the purchase prices and the second with the selling prices; highlighted in orange the best purchase price and in blue the best selling price:
Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67&start=10#p114
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: decks

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:56

Again I had arranged with the images of other games, then assembled as I liked:
Immagine

Here a card of EMPIRE deck (blue):
Immagine

Here examples of the other decks, CALAMITIES (red), TECHNOLOGY (green), EVENTS (yellow)... In the descriptions of the cards (text below) you can see the colorful references to names of other cards of different decks:
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This is the table of technological advancement, the cards are divided into families and each family spread over a maximum of 3 levels (the yellow lines join together levels):
Immagine

These are the 5 decks of cards for technological advancement:
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Some cards in the EMPIRE deck:
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Some cards in the CALAMITIES deck:
Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67&start=10#p117
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: other components

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 22:58

To complete the prototype I created and / or modified other components:

11 colors for the armies (10 players + the barbarians who have automatic rules to expand, attack and even win 1 time):
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Immagine

The panel player with some tables summarizing the rules you use most:
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The flags for the means of transport:
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Immagine

Money from Serenissima and Anno Domini, trade ships from Serenissima, swords and General from Shogun, cities and warships and means of siege from Civilization, fortifications from Anno Domini and Serenissima and Shogun, and so on...

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67&start=20#p128
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Evolution of the prototype 1999: finished

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 23:02

We played with the prototype version of 1999 for 4-5 years every weekend. There were several changes in the rules and in the balance of the cards, however, the prototype remained so until 2007:
Immagine

More photos of this version: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=67&start=20#p132

In 2008 I started working on the new version...
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The map from 2008 to 2011: historical research

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 10 dicembre 2015, 23:06

I try to summarize the evolution of the map in these 4 years, I've redone 3 times because as was fine-tuning of the Kingdoms historical research and the boundaries of the territories.
Obviously I could not keep the Kingdoms smaller because of the scale of the map and for the same reason I had to enlarge some areas.

The previous version of the game was not historic, so the first problem was to decide on the historical period in which to set the game ... I was very tempted by the Napoleonic period, but at that time there were not enough Kingdoms for 10 players.
So I started the first historical research, avoiding the ancient period until the fall of the Roman Empire.

1000:
Immagine

1100:
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1200:
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1300:
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In the end I chose the thirteenth century, more precisely 1265. At that time, the kingdoms were constantly changing, I know, but it will be the players to make history.

Other historical maps:
Immagine

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After a first version of the map, I started a more in-depth historical research to fix many blunders, for example:

- Ireland
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- Empire Byzantine
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- Sultanate of Rum
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- Ghaniya
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- The Republic of Genoa
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- Teutonic Order
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- Galicia–Volinia
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- Golden Horde
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- Kingdom of Bohemia
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- Sultanate Mameluk
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- Holy Roman Empire
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... and so on...

This is an old version of historical research:
Immagine

Some people helped me by making corrections like these:
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Lately I've also used to help the map of PC game Crusader Kings II, very useful for correcting a few small error:
Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=6&t=729
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The map from 2008 to 2011: heraldry

Messaggio da leggereda Veldriss il 11 dicembre 2015, 0:33

In 2009 I decided to add the heraldry on the map, I thought it was a pretty easy thing, however proved to be a very complicated and lengthy research.
The coats I needed were not a few, in the historical period under consideration (about 1265), Europe was divided into many kingdoms ... here is the list (I removed the Kingdoms too small that I could not be on the map):

SACRO ROMANO IMPERO GERMANICO
REGNO DI UNGHERIA
Regno di Serbia
REGNO DI FRANCIA
Contea della Provenza
REGNO DELLE DUE SICILIE
REPUBBLICA DI VENEZIA
STATO DELLA CHIESA
Milano
Genova
Firenze
REGNO DI CASTIGLIA
REGNO DI ARAGONA
Regno di Granada
REGNO DEL PORTOGALLO
REGNO DI INGHILTERRA
REGNO DI SCOZIA
Regno di Gwynedd
Regni di Irlanda
Regno di Boemia

GRANDUCATO DI VLADIMIR-SUZDAL
KHANATO DELL'ORDA D'ORO
REGNO DI SVEZIA
REGNO DI NORVEGIA
REGNO DI DANIMARCA
PRINCIPATO DI NOVGOROD
ORDINE TEUTONICO
Ducato di Slesia
Granducato di Cracovia
Ducato di Polonia
Ducato di Pomerania
PRINCIPATO DI GALIZIA E VOLINIA
GRANDUCATO DI LITUANIA
IMPERO BULGARO E DI VALACCHIA
IMPERO BIZANTINO (dopo la riconquista da parte dell'Impero di Nicea)

Impero di Trebisonda
SULTANATO DI RUM (turchi Selgiuchidi)
IL KHANATO
Regno di Gerusalemme
Regno della Georgia
Regno Armeno di Cilicia
Principato di Antiochia
Contea di Tripoli

REGNO DEGLI ALMOHADI
REGNO DEI MAMELUCCHI
DOMINI DEGLI AYYUBIDI
EMIRATO DEL BENI GHANIYA

2 people have helped me a lot: "Silverwolf" (degree in medieval history) and "The Housekeeper" (a modder of Bellum Crucis).

I started a first search asking advice each time on which coat of arms to use and which to discard, some examples:
Immagine

Immagine

Immagine

Immagine

Immagine

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At the end of 2009 I have these coats of arms...
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... but I was not satisfied, so I started a more thorough search to correct a mistake.

For example, the coast of arms of the Russian principalities:
Immagine

Or coast of arms of Ulster:
Immagine
+
Immagine
=
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At the end of 2011 I fixed these:
Immagine

More info in italian: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=766#p1472
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