Working on Minor Powers PDFs

While we’re working on several different concepts that we pitched a while back to you guys, one that I’m most excited about right now is the Minor Powers PDFs (plural, because there’s no way to get them all into a single PDF).

We’ve been kicking this concept around for a while, and I’ve got an internal discussion that emphasis that there’s numerous ways to proceed on this. Ultimately I’ve decided that since these are for you guys (especially the PDFs), that I should go ahead and tap the community to get your opinions on this.

With that in mind, here’s an excerpt from that internal discussion:

    So been thinking a while of different ways to put these together. My initial concept was to try and pair things up like we’re doing the major factions, but it’s just too funky…you go from Brazil which is close to a major power and then Greece or Peru or Spain with anemic fleets.

    I then thought about regions: say Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru as group 1, then Spain, Portugal, Greece, Ottomans as group 2 and finally Scandinavian Union, Holland and Denmark and group 3. However, I didn’t like that either for several reasons. One, the second grouping again is pretty small and lackluster compared to the first and third. Also, it would mean making the PDFs potentially significantly larger than I’d like.

    With that in mind I’m actually thinking we release them as single factions. The price for each, then, would scale based upon size; i.e. some will have more ships in them than others, and so will be larger, so we scale it up. Obviously we’re not going to provide all ships…simply not possible and we don’t want to go there for the biggest factions. But still the Brazilians should have more ships in this than say Greece or Spain.

    As I see it the PDFs would be as follows:

    Page 1: Cover Graphic that’ll be the same through the series, just changing the flag and name.

    Page 2: Intro to the Minor Powers Fleets and how to use the PDF (mostly identical to every PDF).

    Page 3-5: Fiction piece that really conveys the flavor of that faction.

    Page 6-9: Write-up of the nation in question, including map and world-map inset (needs to accentuate the material contained in the Gazetteer, not replace it).

    Page 10 (or more as necessary): Recognition Card write-ups for fleet.

    Page 11 (or more as necessary): Ship Cards. As noted, for the really large fleets like the Brazilians, I’d still say no more than say 6 or ‘maybe’ 8 ships max we’d actually include in this as Ship Cards with Recognition Card write-ups.

    For “primitive” ships, may want to change the color card back, or some such thing, to help differentiate a “modern” ship from a non-modern ship.

    As noted, art will be mash-ups of pre-existing art to date. This will actually determine whether we can do all of the factions quickly, or whether we have to make it more like a PDF every few months or more so that we can get art generated for additional major factions to be used in the minor factions so it doesn’t look like the entire world is based upon British/French designs.

    Page 12 (or more as necessary): Constructible Fleets; i.e. we’d do up counters like the British/French fleets, not like the James’ Fighting Ships counters. This is fully based upon the concept that we can ‘mash-up’ the orthographics from all sides to make that work.

    Anyways, that’s my current thoughts on the subject. Counter thoughts?

So there ya go…what does the community think…one PDF per Minor Power faction, or would you rather try and see them grouped somehow?

Next, you’ll note that I mentioned “mash-up” art…what do we mean by that? Well, to be blunt, the orthographics for the ships (both generated to help create the CAD files and then used in various ways, such as on the Ship Cards) are expensive and we can’t possibly have new art of that scale generated for every ship that would appear throughout the Minor Powers PDFs.

Luckily, by following the “real world” model of ship evolution and construction, we’re able to take pre-existing illustrations and thanks to John’s mad skills (after Matt provided the correct type of files stripped of artifacts that were making it impossible to work with), we’re able to finally create the mash-ups discussed above (literally just got in this art this week).

The art below shows a “standard” ship that will eventually appear in print form, along with a “primitive” ship type sold to a minor power (the Type nicely tying into the new fiction we’re posting).


Just thought it would be interested for you to see the behind the scenes of how we’re trying to expand the depth of the universe for more enjoyment in a lot of different ways…and along the way asking for your in put.

Look forward to reviewing your comments…

See ya next duty shift!


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