> Whew, I unleashed something here. Jos has found this discussion, but it
> ought to have been on -dev as well as -i18n, so that other nation
> contributors have a chance to join in.

Yes. We should at least contact Andrzej.

> I think there's two things here: whether all these nations are enhancing
> the game and belong in the core Freeciv distribution at all (ignoring
> for a moment the impact on translators), and if so, how to help players
> navigate them, and then there's managing the impact on the translation
> team specifically.
> 
> Personally, I'm quite fond of our nation collection; I think it's pretty
> cool that there exists this growing GPL'd set of nation descriptions,
> with flags, cities, leaders, relationships (civil_war, conflicts_with)
> and potted histories (from which I've learnt some stuff), of consistent
> quality, all curated by a qualified historian.
> I accept that's not necessarily a reason that it has to live in the core
> of Freeciv, though.

That's my feeling as well. I like being able to choose between a lot of nations 
including obscure ones, and it doesn't hurt having them in anyway. But at the 
same time it shouldn't become a nuisance for players who don't care much for 
having a multitude of nations.

 
>  * More, finer-grained nation groups, and maybe subgroups ("Europe/Baltic").
>    This would also help automatic nation selection; if I select some
>    Baltic duchy, it'd be kind of cool if the game is specific enough to
>    throw six other Baltic duchy AIs into the game with me.
>    Requires re-classifying existing nations, and for period-based
>    grouping, probably some scholarly discussion and compromise (see
>    "Early Modern" discussion in <http://gna.org/patch/?1698> et al).
> 
>  * More sophisticated UI for selecting nation groups. Being able to
>    filter on the intersection of Ancient AND African, for example, to
>    get down to a manageable list to browse. Don't really know how to
>    make this intuitive (I'd try Ctrl-clicking on the nation group tabs
>    to select more than one, but it's not very discoverable).

I like these ideas; it would allow for thematic games.

> If we are to be ruthless and somehow divide the nations into "core" and
> "extended" ones, well, I have no idea where to start :) I'd want to
> leave that up to Jos & co, if they are willing.

The core nations could be all nations that have appeared in one of the 
Civilization games. That would be 40-something nations, which seems like a 
manageable number. Actually, it might be a good idea to introduce a "core" 
nation group already in addition to the already existing nation groups. It 
could replace 'ancient' as the group that appears first when selecting a nation 
so that people who don't want to plow through large nation lists can pick a 
core one immediately.

> re incompleteness/imbalance: I wouldn't judge by the current snapshot of
> nations, since there's been a continuous flow of them for years. Jos can
> probably comment further, but <http://gna.org/patch/?2010> suggests that
> they're approaching it continent-by-continent, so some areas are going
> to be fatter than others while that's going on.

For some time I was making mothern nations based on the list of countries by 
population, but apart from that it's mostly random. All but two modern nations 
(Palau and Tuvalu) are included in the game now, three if you count Azawad. I 
have a list of nations that could be included (attached) but I don't have any 
systematic approach of which nations I make then. I usually just make a nation 
when I feel like it, though of course it often happens that I make a couple of 
geographically or historically related ones together. As far as I can tell 
Andrzej has the same approach. 

> re in-game confusion caused by Poles vs Greater Poles etc:
> conflicts_with already exists and is maintained to discourage nations
> with confusingly similar names or flags from appearing in the same game.
> I checked a couple of the examples listed as confusingly similar, and
> they are marked as conflicting.

On a related issue, it would be a good idea if the borders of flags and shields 
could be in the player color rather than default black. It would make 
identification slightly easier and as an additional plus we could have separate 
designs for flags and shields (cropping it out of the same source as used for 
the flag sometimes leads to ridiculous shield imagines).

                                          
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