My Dear Mr. Duk:
I am very impressed with the latest Alex. Spectacular! I also agree that there's no need for further experimentation in gridsize: every 3 units seems like the best compromise. Any more and it would be too hard to read positions.
You said you would be willing to switch over to the "non-destructive" method of gridlines if I insisted. After careful consideration I believe I will insist. When we start drawing piece icons on the map I believe having a uniform block to place them in will be essential. This is probably why the current Conquest game uses the non-destructive method. Also, the effect of destructive gridlines is quite noticable, especially when one red spark in a lower left corner is near another spark in the upper right corner: one is an oblong 18x13, the other, at 17x14, seems almost square in comparison.
I like gray for the gridlines. A (low priority) enhancement request, however, is that you fiddle with the land and sea colors; pure green and pure blue are too bright. I've examined several varitions with Photoshop; unfortunately the numbering system you are using does not seem to correspond to any of Photoshop's numbering systems, so I can't express my preferences as numbers. But perhaps you can just try for a lighter blue and a browner (olive) green.
When I first saw your red sparks I thought they were cities. And then I thought, why not make them cities? We haven't given much thought yet to selecting cities; the simplest method would be to use the initial sparks as cities (we would have to increase the number from 20 to what? 100?). On the other hand, this method would not ensure a proper balance between inland and port cities and between starting positions unless we did some additional fiddling. Just thinking aloud...
The numbering strips are MUCH better. A few minor bug/enhancements:
When I return from Thanksgiving I'll try to attack the smoothing problem again. I've been considering the random walk approach - it's worth a try. Unfortunately I know next to nothing about bezier curves or splining.
I'll be in Paradise with my grandmother and the whole family but will still be online thanks to my trusty powerbook. And the Newton is WAY cool! More about that on the next tape. And please, DO get that pelago packet in the mail. I need to get issue 30 launched by Dec 15th!
Have a very happy Thanksgiving. Please give my regards to your sister and all the other Walkers.
Yours in haste,