For travle 2.0 I decided to try to be much more transparent about how the game works. This page provides some in-depth information about the various countries, borders, connections and rules that govern travle. I don't expect the decisions here to please everyone, but I hope there is at least some consistant logic.
Of course there will also be mistakes and bugs! And really, my knowledge of geopolitics isn't strong enough to have opinions on lots of these issues. I'm always happy to be corrected and/or informed. Share any questions or comments on Travle's new Subreddit: /r/travle_game, on twitter @onemoremoose (with #travle) or email me email@example.com. (However, please read below before asking me any FAQs)
The idea of an unlimited travle, and/or allowing players to catch up on previous games is something I'd like to add, but I'm also really not sure if the game could lose its fun if played a lot. I'm worried that new players would join, play a few times and leave - never to return. I guess that's pushed it down my priority list for travle. (I totally get that this is annoying for players that like the game, but I'm also sure travle wouldn't be nearly as popular without the daily aspect of it) Before it, I'd like to add more challenging random levels ('get to x without y', or a trip combining more than 2 countries)...
I'm also working on other games and have a full time job, so time's been tight lately unfortunately!
Travle doesn't have a true mobile app. However, you can add still add link on your home screen.
On Android: Tap the three-dot icon in the top right, then select 'Add to Home screen'.
On IOS: Tap the Share button, then select 'Add to Home Screen'.
Overall, travle takes a 'more is more' approach to adding regions...
Travle includes some regions/countries which aren't either aren't recognised by all major regions or have disputed borders. Below is a list of these who's exact borders or status are disputed by 2 or more other regions:
|British Indian Ocean Territory|
|Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus|
|Country||Is treated as the following separate regions|
|Australian Indian Ocean Territories||Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands|
|France||France, Mayotte, Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe, French Guiana|
|Netherlands||Netherlands, Caribbean Netherlands|
|New Zealand||New Zealand, Tokelau|
|Norway||Norway, Jan Mayen, Svalbard|
|Portugal||Madeira, Portugal, Azores|
The Travle map uses a map projection which tries to minimize distortion on visible countries. It is much more accurate than a simple mercator map, or even viewing a globe - especially when there is a small part of the globe visible. However, this means countries near the poles may not look how you're used to seeing them on a standard mercator map.
The Travle map uses a geoAzimuthalEquidistant map projection, where the center of the projection is the Geo-Centroid of all currently visible countries.
Travle uses data from Natural Earth, who provide the geojson data used both to generate connections and puzzles, as well as in displaying the game. The method they use to determine country borders may surprise some: Using the current 'who controls what' information to draw borders.
"Natural Earth draws boundaries of sovereign states according to de facto (“in fact”) status rather than de jure (“by law”). We show who actually controls the situation on the ground because it turns out laws vary country to country, and countries are only loosely bound by international law in their dealings with each other. While our de facto policy does not please everyone, it is rigorous and self consistent."
You can read more about their methodology here.
This has some impact on disputed regions, for example Western Sahara is only shown to have territory to the west of the Berm wall, the east of which is currently controlled by Morocco.
The exception to this is Ukraine, which retains Crimea despite the current situation.
Travle does not treat each country or region as one singular piece, and requires you to make a joined path from Start to End. These rules were voted on by the community, and are a change from Travle 1.0!
The exact rules that cover all cases are:
Countries and Regions in the game each consist of one or more disjoint Areas. You may pass from one Area to another Area either if:
An example of the latter case is Northern Ireland and United Kingdom (Mainland) are two Areas in the United Kingdom. The shortest line between them only passes near the United Kingdom, hence they're connected. A counterexample would be Kaliningrad Oblast does not connect to Russia's mainland: The line connecting them goes through Lithuania and Latvia too.
You Win when you can pass from Start to End through only connected Areas which are within Countries or Regions you've guessed.
Connections are determined automatically based on adjacent countries from the Natural Earth geojson data. An exhaustive list of examples that affect gameplay are listed below.
|France & United Kingdom||Channel Tunnel|
|Denmark & Sweden||The Øresund Bridge and Drogden Tunnel|
Additionally, Travle allows Island Hopping: Jump across (narrow-ish stretches) of water between parts of the same nation, as long as you don't go near any other countries while you do so. There are other cases, for example in the south of Chile, which don't create any connections to new countries and are therefore not listed here.
Island hopping is allowed in the following countries or regions:
|Croatia||Southern tip joins with the mainland, hence shares a border w/ Montenegro. There is also a bridge!|
|Indonesia||Jump between islands|
|Malaysia||Jump between islands|
|Turkey||'Island hopping' over the Bosphorus|
|United Kingdom||Northern Ireland connects with the rest of the UK.|
Additionally: Greenland connects to Canada due to their shared ownership of Hans Island. Each can Island Hop to Hans Island, which is a surprising land border between the two countries. See here for more information.
However - Island hopping does not apply to the following countries, which each fail the 'connecting line test':
|Angola||North-west part is disjoint. Angola therefore doesn't connect Congo to Namibia.|
|Azerbaijan||South west is disjoint, Azerbaijan therefore doesn't connect Turkey to Russia.|
|Palestine||Gaza Strip not considered connected to West Bank|
|Russia||Kaliningrad is disjoint. Russia doesn't connect e.g. Poland to [anything mainland russia touches]|
|Spain||Mainland Spain does not connect to Morocco via Ceuta or Melilla (the shortest line narrowly passes nearer Morocco in both cases)|
A short list of surprising edge cases (pun intended).
|Morocco and Mauritania||Do not share a border (Western Sahara perfectly divides them).|
|Russia and North Korea||Share a border: See here for more info|
Puzzles for travle are autogenerated based on the connections graph. This first generates all possible routes between countries and their lengths, then picks a sequence of puzzles for the next ~10 years or so according to some rules...
The distribution of puzzle lengths for v2.0 is much more random. You can see the distribution of the next 1000 puzzles' lengths shown below. (UPDATE: 14th May 2023 - puzzle list regenerated, removing puzzles requiring 2 guesses)
The number of guesses for a Travle is based on the length of the shortest path.
|# Guesses in Shortest Solution||# Extra Guesses|
For example, if the shortest path between two countries requires 6 guesses, the game will give you up to 6+5 = 11 guesses.
There is always a minimum number of guesses you are from completing a travle. This is what travle uses to determine guess 'quality', and which emoji to give to each guess.
If you make a guess which decreases that number, the guess is marked ✅.
For example, to go from Spain to Austria you can go to France, then via any of Germany, Switzerland or Italy. You're 2 guesses from the answer. If your first guess is Germany, you're now one guess from the answer - so Germany is marked ✅. If you then guess Italy - even though that country was on the shortest path to begin with, you're still one guess away. Italy doesn't help you now, so it's marked 🟧 instead.
🟧 means the path through the newly guessed country is a similar length to the shortest. In the previous example, after guessing Germany and Italy, the shortest path is 1 guess. The shortest path which passes through Italy also only requires one additional guess. Hence, it is marked orange. The rule allows a leeway of 1 extra guess too, so even Slovakia would still be marked 🟧 - the path via Slovakia requires 2 additional guesses: France and Poland, which is just 1 more than the shortest path - which only requires France.
🟥 means the path through the newly guessed country is longer than the requirement above.
⬛ means there is no path through the newly guessed country. This also means there is no path from the start or end point to the guessed country.