Once a map has been awarded foundry stamps for gameplay and graphics, it will be advanced to the Final Forge where it will be given a final lick and polish before being hung out to dry in Live Play and the Viewing Gallery.
- XML Development - Once a map is in the forge, it is time to start writing some XML. There's no need to be afraid of writing XML - it's simply a technical description of a map that enables the game engine to convert a finished map image into a playable board. The description has to follow a set structure and format, full details of which are available in the XML tutorial. While you don't need anything more complicated than notepad to write your XML, the are a couple of community-developed tools that may help, including a Spreadsheet-based XML Tool, an Online Map XML Wizard and an XML Generator Program.
XML Checking - Once the XML has been completed, it will need to be posted in your thread - either in [/code] tags, or by uploading your file to a host site and posting a link to it in [/url] tags. It is also necessary to submit map image/xml links in the Official Map XML Check Thread.
Final Checks and Balances - In addition to writing the XML, it may be necessary to make minor amendments to the graphics or gameplay of a map to ensure that everything is clear for prospective players. As a failsafe, the cartographer may be asked to designate a 'deputy' who has access to a copy of the layered image file - the intention here is that should the owner disappear, then his nominated deputy will be authorised to make graphical and gameplay updates of a critical nature. This authority should remain in place until the map is quenched.
- Once the gameplay, graphics and XML stamps have been awarded, and the Foundry Foreman deems the map ready; your map will enter the Beta phase. This stage is the final testing ground to ensure that there are no critical graphical or gameplay concerns, and to catch any mistakes or omissions in the XML. Beta maps are not completely finished: It is possible that gameplay, graphics or the XML may need to be altered and tweaked in order to add further clarity and perfection to the map. The cartographer(s) must be willing to engage in updating their map, and if any bugs or imbalances that are found they must be attended to in a timely manner by the cartographer(s) or other people designated to fix and alleviate any issues that arise.
- After the Beta period of play-testing has passed, and the Foundry Foreman considers there to be no further concerns of significance, the map will be fully Quenched, and mapmaking medals will be issued (a maximum of two medals are issued per map). At this stage, the completed map will be moved out of foundry development, and hung in the viewing gallery.