Screen shot of the Map of Waterloo painted by an Eyewitness from Antiques Roadshow. This image has been brightened and the contrast increased for legibility. Click to Enlarge.
I happened to be watching Antiques Roadshow from Exeter on BBC America last night when this extraordinary map of the battle of Waterloo was presented. Though it bears no date or signature, it clearly was painted, “by an Eyewitness” shortly after the battle itself. I was immediately struck by the lettering and how similar it was to our efforts in General Staff to recreate the look and feel of 19th century maps for our wargames.
Below is the link to the entire segment hosted on the BBC web site:
Link to Antiques Roadshow BBC clip, “Map of Waterloo A beautifully detailed map of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo drawn by an unnamed eyewitness.”
Last week we ran a quick survey to get your opinion on the legibility of two Victorian typefaces (see here). The clear favorite was the font ‘Monastic’ garnering 73% of the votes. However, we also received numerous personal emails and comments from grognards that were also very fond of the Phectic font. The decision was made to go with Monastic but to use Phectic in a larger point size when appropriate.
Below is a screen shot of how we will be using Phectic:
Screen shot of the Unit Types information display. The ornate Victorian font at the top is Phectic.
Your comments were greatly appreciated (it was especially enjoyable to hear from a letterpress operator who fondly remembered metal type). The interactive Army Design Module is almost completed and we will be posting a video of it shortly.
We need your feedback about the typography used for editing units in the Order of Battle (OOB) table. In the first example (below) we would like to ask if the typeface for ‘Edit Commander Data’ and ‘Leadership Value’ is legible for you. This font is called ‘Phectic’.
Screen shot from the General Staff Army Design Module Order of Battle table. Do you think the type for ‘Edit Commander Data’ is legible or not? Click to enlarge.
Below is the alternate typography which is currently being displayed for editing the subordinate commander data. This font is called “Monastic”;
Screen shot from the General Staff Army Design Module Order of Battle table. Do you think the type for ‘Edit Subordinate Commander and ‘Leadership Value’ typeface is more legible than the above display? This font is called ‘Monastic’ Click to enlarge.
Our overarching design goal has been to create a wargame with an ‘authentic Kriegsspiel‘ look. If they had computers in the 19th century what would the design look like? Phectic by the way, is from Walden Font Company’s, “The New Victorian Printshop, Volume One.” Walden has done a fantastic job in finding, scanning and digitizing old typefaces (including a series of the American Civil War that I used on a previous project). A link to their site is here.
Please take a few seconds and answer the survey question below:
I tell my students that one of the first things they should do when creating a game is design a logo. This may not seem obvious or logical. Probably a lot of people leave designing a logo towards the end of a project. I think this is a mistake.
Click to enlarge.
Once you have a logo it shows everybody working on the project exactly what the feel and image is we’re working towards.
For General Staff I wanted a 19th century feel; something that brought back the original Kriegsspiel, old, faded maps and general staff officers in Napoleonic and Victorian uniforms. The type that I chose (Blaisdell and K22 Monastic) are classic Victorian fonts. The image in the logo is an engraving of the original Kriegsspiel being played; presumably in Prussia.
When you look at the General Staff logo it is obvious what the game looks and feels like; this is not a zombie chasing game, this is not an RPG, this is not Lara Croft, Tomb Raider (games that I all like and play, by the way). General Staff is a thinking game. It is a tactical game.
Ed Isenberg did a fantastic job creating the first map for General Staff.
He perfectly captured the feel of playing Kriegsspiel on an old map; complete with coffee stains and map folds.
The first General Staff battlefield. Click to enlarge.