Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 110 – Interview with Joren on Diplomacy maps

Venue: The Charles & Exhibition, Brisbane

Drinks of choice:

Kaner: 3 Bolt Pale Ale from Brisbane and Dreaming of Sunshine Californian IPA by Ranger Brewery

Amby:  Lino Ramble Vinaly Shiraz from the McLaren Vale in South Australia and Dreaming of Sunshine Californian IPA by Ranger Brewery

The guys interview Joren, one of the Diplicity app’s incredible map creators. They talk all things Diplomacy maps. Plus all the cool updates over at webDiplomacy will blow your mind. And Kaner picks on Amby’s 1066 variant.

Intro & webDiplomacy awesomeness

  • The guys introduce the show, the venue and their drinks. They then go through how the show will run this episode (0 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner introduces a new games engine introduced to webDiplomacy: a great new click interface, against bots and no account needed! You’ll find it at play.webdiplomacy.net Thanks Andrew Goff for the hot tip (8 mins)
  • Amby talks about his experience giving it a go (10 mins 45 secs)
  • They discuss why vDip has interactive interface options but webDip didn’t (18 mins 15 secs)
  • They talk dumbed down bots before the batteries dies (20 mins secs)

Interview with Joren on Diplomacy maps

  • They start introducing their interview with Joren from Diplicity, one of their incredible cartographers (22 mins 20 secs)
  • The interview starts with Amby asks Joren how he got interested in maps (24 mins 35 secs)
  • Kaner gives his perspective on Joren’s maps and give thanks to trampolinebears Classic map. He goes onto explaining how he got involved in helping Martin Bruse with Diplicity (30 mins)

Joren's Classic map

  • They discuss the aesthetics of the Cold War map (36 mins)

Diplicity Cold War map


  • Joren walks through the creative process in developing a map using examples that support David E. Cohen’s Unconstitutional (39 mins)

Joren's Diplomacy map process: step 1


Joren's Diplomacy map process: step 2


Joren's Diplomacy map process: step 3


  • They discuss the meditative process of drawing maps and what software is used to develop (47 mins 30 secs)
  • Joren discusses steps being taken for Diplicity to be available as an iOS app (50 mins 30 secs)
  • If you want to support Diplicity in covering some of their costs for this project, go to Diplicity, click on the top left “hamburger” menu, then at the very bottom right click the “$” symbol (53 mins)
  • Amby asks Joren what he looks for when deciding to embark on a new map. He discusses Unconstitional, Three Kingdoms and South America variants (58 mins)
  • Amby then brings up when Kaner first shared Diplicity with him and the Vietnam War variant before discussing map cultural context (1 hr 0 mins)

Joren's Vietnam War map


  • Joren talks about collaborating with variant creators and getting work in progress input on maps (1 hr 3 mins 45 secs)
  • He touches on a Diplomacy variant community (1 hr 6 mins 30 secs)
  • Joren gives his recommendations on how to make a variant and map in the Diplicity community. They talk about the learning curve (1 hr 8 mins 15 secs)
  • Kaner asks about where people can find out more about participating in the Diplicity Discord community (1 hr 12 mins 50 secs)
  • Kaner goes onto discuss some .SVG issues he’s had in the past with graphical editing (1 hr 14 mins)
  • The guys return and have moved to Exhibition, they give a drinks update (1 hr 15 mins 30 secs)
  • They give their thoughts on the interview with Joren and what they got out of it (1 hr 19 mins 15 secs)
  •  Kaner reflects on maps as a cultural lens (1 hr 27 mins 45 secs)
  • Kaner geeks out on ceramic sake bowls (1 hr 32 mins 30 secs)

1066 variant talk

  • Kaner has an issue with standing armies in the 1066 variant that Amby co-developed. Amby doesn’t understand why there isn’t a Classic variant with standing neutrals. They go onto discuss the different versions and tweaking them based on game results (1 hr 33 mins 45 secs)
  • The guys begin wrapping up the show, with Amby reminding folks we’re still looking for someone to give us a hand with our WordPress instance. Reach out of you can give us a hand (1 hr 48 mins 45 secs)


Just a reminder you can support the show by giving it 5 stars on iTunes or Stitcher. And don’t forget if you want to help pay off the audio equipment… or get the guys more drunk, you can also donate at Patreon, plus you get extra podcast episodes!

Lastly, don’t forget to subscribe so you get the latest Diplomacy Games episodes straight to your phone.

Thanks as always to Dr Dan aka “The General” for his rockin’ intro tune.

1 thought on “Diplomacy Games podcast: Episode 110 – Interview with Joren on Diplomacy maps”

  1. Very cool, and not just because my name got dropped! A few miscellaneous comments and clarifications:

    I love Joren’s approach to map drafting. The historical “flavor” he imparts, together with the wonderful aeshetics, really makes for a beautiful package. Way beyond my level of skill.

    The Chinese variant that you and Joren were discussing is Mandate of Heaven, which is set in the Warring States Period, not the later Three Kingdoms Period.

    Regarding the ‘private’ discord community you and Joren were talking about, I direct you to the movie “Fight Club”. In it, the first rule of Fight Club is “Don’t talk about Fight Club!” ;^)

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