View Full Version : -~@ January 2011 Challenge - Points of Light Theme @~-

01-02-2011, 05:09 PM
This month's challenge is to map out a journey between two points. We just did a planet/world challenge so this month we're going with a smaller scale - nothing above continental scale. The Points of Light idea is specific to fantasy but there's no reason why your journey couldn't be made in a land speeder or a steam train. Your map should include the start and end points, any waypoints along the way (if you want any), and the obstacles between the two points - be they monsters, canyons, nomads, whatever. The Points of Light idea is that there are few human settlements in the world, mostly curtailed to isolated cities, with lots of open area to explore and some few small settlements here and there.

Some examples:

~ a continent map with two towns connected by mag-levs with Dune worms in between
~ a regional map where you go from town to dungeon fighting goblins along the way
~ a city map where you have to navigate dark alleys to the evil sorcerer's tower while smackin down the pick-pockets
~ a starship or sailing ship map where you have to get down to the storage areas while jackin-up the zombies
~ a structure map where you have to get from the bar to the bathroom while fighting off dancing girls trying to get your phone number
~ a casino - so many temptations there (not the singing group).

The smaller your scale the more baddies you're going to need so keep that in mind. Folks will mostly vote on style and execution but a great idea also gets many votes so if you don't have any great ideas just make it uber sweet or use one of mine above :)

01-04-2011, 09:43 AM
I have an idea I kind of want to do, but it is too broad! Has anyone ever seen a map with 5-7 insets successfully executed? I feel like I want to do a whole adventure with monster stats and so on! I've never seen a multi-page PDF document win a challenge... too much of a hassle to download! Hm...

01-04-2011, 09:44 AM
Sounds fun - but to be clear, there will be a lot of dark space in-between that we should fill fill in with our obstacles. Like a lit town on one side of the map, and another lit town on the other side of the map, with a lot of dark shadows and obstacles along the pathway between them?

(edit) - For some reason I thought the Points of Light had to be incorporated, not just mapping a span between points. I have an obscure idea that I think I'll attempt.

01-04-2011, 09:52 AM
Remember that we're voting on the map, not the story. So while you may include some sort of story or adventure (might get you some brownie points) ultimately, we're not supposed to consider those sorts of things. Plus, the thumbnail scraper only picks up image files so pdfs don't show up. As to insets - include as many as you want, it's your map (or in this case maps) just realize that drawing extra maps means extra work.

01-04-2011, 10:10 AM
RJBeals - Hey there. I am sure it is open to interpretation but when I suggested the challenge (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?12861-Points-of-Light) I was inspired by the new Dungeons and Dragons setting (which is unofficially called 'points of light') where the world is mostly unpopulated and full of danger, with the points of civilization and safety being rare and hard to come by: The "light" on either end of the journey are civilization, or 'safe' places, the 'darkness' is the uncharted, untamed, or forgotten wilderness.

So, two 'safe' places that bookend dangers, horrors, evil, or the wild. Of course, part of the fun of these challenges is the freedom of interpreting them! Perhaps a literally lit area and shadows between, or abstractly, the safe-haven of birth and death straddled by disease and heartbreak!

But you probably knew all this! Anyhow, I can't wait to see what you come up with! You're one of my favorite artists on here!

Ascension - Thanks amigo. Maybe I'll embrace the spirit of the journey and make a map that is really really tall, where you have to scroll down through each consecutive horror and danger!

01-04-2011, 02:56 PM
the thumb scraber should pick up the first page of a pdf... and I have an idea for next map scale downwards Ascension... how about a map of a table where you have to fight of others hands to get to your beer *lol*

01-04-2011, 04:14 PM
Ah, yeah, that would be like my fraternity :)

01-07-2011, 10:55 PM
Ok, I have my idea for this. Good grief but I hope I can make this thing look like I see it in my head. I'm pretty busy for the next 36 hours though so probably won't be able to do much until Sunday. Hopefully the rest of the month will be kind to me and I can get it finished. Even if I don't I am so putting it into my game world.

01-20-2011, 10:00 PM
does this challenge end jan 31?

01-21-2011, 07:05 AM
I was thinking the 30th since it's a Sunday. That gives everyone this weekend and next weekend to finish off. But since I probably won't close it late at night like that I'll probably close it Monday afternoon (31st) when I get home from work. That time is up in the air so try to have things done by the 30th to be on the safe side.

01-27-2011, 08:07 PM
You know what's funny is when you post an image but don't get much or any response....Is it just me, or do you keep looking at it wondering, "Does it suck or is it so great nobody knows what to say?" I have a new one now, "Have I taken this as far as it can go and there just isn't much else to discuss?" I don't really worry about it a lot and I don't get all bummed out when there is a lack of feedback, but I do start to look at the image with a rather critical eye. I always figure if I learned something from the project it's a win but does anyone else have these thoughts? I know they say 'self doubt' is a typical issue for a lot of artists. When I think about that it kind of makes me mad. I mean, why should we self doubt ourselves, it's not everyone in the world who can make something like what we do. And, so far, there are few things in life that I utterly failed at. In fact, in most cases I successfully accomplished whatever I set out to do. So what's up with the self-doubt rubbish?

If you find this to be true for you, I can only offer the one thing I have found that helps the most: Start another project!

It gets your mind off it and back to being creative again. If you keep at it you will always look back and say, regarding your prior works, "I could do it better now". Perhaps that is why we have these self doubts....we are always learning and therefore seeing ways to do things better than we did before. This in turn means that as we finish each masterpiece it is only a matter of time until it's just not as good as we can do. Could this be madness?

01-28-2011, 12:00 AM
Jax, I totally agree with everything you just said. I mean everything. I go through the same "hmm, maybe it just sucks so bad everyone's just being nice ..." to "maybe it's just awesome and no one has anything to crit!" ... and yep, the self-doubt remains.

01-28-2011, 12:36 AM
I generally look at it as equating no comments with mediocre to good. There's not really anything wrong with it, but its also not wowing anybody either. It's certainly occured to me that no comments equal absolute crap, but thinking that way isn't really healthy imo. If I start thinking that way, then I'm not going to be enjoying myself while I do this stuff. Of course, if you post a lot of updates, most people aren't going to give an "Oh wow that's amazing" post after post either :)

And I think, in the end run, if I was doing this only for myself, I wouldn't feel the need to share my work here. Everything that I do falls into one of two categories: Good enough for me, or crap that I just didn't finish. Actually, there is a third category - good stuff that I also just didn't finish :D What I'm trying to say is, I post my stuff here to share it with all of you. Being praised for my work feels great for me, in that I like being praised ;) and that I made something that was nice enough that somebody else enjoyed looking at enough to offer me praise.

This post got sort of introspective. I'm also tired. Hopefully it made sense :)

01-28-2011, 12:50 AM
Well that's the point I guess. None of us have to share our stuff but we like doing it because we in turn get to see other people's work as well which is fun. Sometimes we get praise for an item but other times we just learn what not to do next time. :) As long as we can take constructive criticism and are willing to keep working at honing our craft I think we are able to help one another quite a bit. In any event what I started out doing about a year ago is miles from what I'm doing now. I certainly hope that in another year I can say the same.

01-28-2011, 08:33 AM
Most of the time that I don't say anything is because I can't add any anything or don't feel like giving advice (which is quite rare and only happens on days when I'm feelin crappy). I almost always avoid saying things on maps using software that I don't know (like CC3, Corel, vector programs) or subjects that I don't know (sci-fi). Also, someone might be experimenting with new techniques and I don't want to influence them one way or the other until things get close to the end so that they can feel their way through this new technique. I can always add my eye and opinion to any discussion but, often, it only makes me sound like a know-it-all so I try to avoid that. Like Jax's current challenge map, I had some thoughts on color early on but after that I didn't really have much to share or advise on so I let ya go your own way with it. The other thing is that I'm not going to make a comment on a map every single day unless I can really help. For that reason I've stopped posting so many progress updates cuz it's kinda overwhelming.

01-30-2011, 07:28 PM
I'll wrap this up sometime tomorrow night after dinner, nap, and wake up but before I go to bed for the night around midnight. Speaking of which, time for my nappy time. :)

01-31-2011, 08:14 PM
In an effort to not leave out anyone hoping to get their last-minute changes in I will end this at 10pm central. That's about 2 hours and 45 minutes from now. I'll be watching Samurai Jack at that time so it may be slow going but that's the time.

01-31-2011, 08:53 PM
Woo Samurai Jack! Wacha!

01-31-2011, 09:34 PM
Get yer cows in the barn!!!