View Full Version : Tag-team mapping! A collaboration challenge.

01-31-2011, 12:59 PM
I have these fond memories of when I was a kid--on these big community picnics my family used to go on, they would always cover the tables in thick white paper. After the meal, my father would invariably draw out the heavy silver pen he used to carry in his pocket and have me make a quick scribble on watermelon-stained makeshift tablecloth. Then he would take the pen back, consider for a moment, and turn my scribble into an entirely different drawing, incorporating my lines into a car or a plane, a series of mountains or a mermaid. I really enjoyed that act of participating in the creation of a piece of art that was more than just mine.

I propose a strange twist on the regular challenge--a collaborative map.

Link up with another artist or contributor (perhaps someone on The Cartographer's Guild or someone you know in real life) and get to mapping! The only requirement is that you make notes in the thread about how each person has contributed.

--What is that friends list in your profile actually FOR anyway? Time to send them some messages and see who wants to team up!
--Have a son or daughter who likes to doodle? Have them draw some floorplans and you can pretty it up!
--Have a girlfriend or wife who can't understand why you spend so much time clutching a wacom pen, squinting into a photoshop window? Time to let her contribute!

I bet it would be fun grouping up in the main thread and then seeing how collaboration goes on throughout the month. Also, seeing two artists try to reconcile their differing styles would be a blast.

01-31-2011, 01:24 PM
Sounds like a fantastic project to do. If nothing else it would be different, that's for sure.

01-31-2011, 02:41 PM
I've been proposing this for a long time but we never could figure out how to make it work. This one has some merit to it, though.

01-31-2011, 04:32 PM
--Have a girlfriend or wife who can't understand why you spend so much time clutching a wacom pen, squinting into a photoshop window? Time to let her contribute!

Or husband! Although, my husband would probably see it as cruel and unusual punishment if I made him contribute to my mapping obsession ;)

01-31-2011, 06:03 PM
I think it would be great. If say 12 - 16 people could get together then we could have 3 or 4 teams of 4. I think more than a pair would be better but I think any amount more than one would make a valid team. You could have the provision that you cant have more than X number of gold compasses winning badges in one team where X might be say 6. Dont know how you would judge it or how to prevent one guy from the team doing all the work but I think these could be resolved no problem with some thought.

01-31-2011, 08:47 PM
Heh - bonus points if no one on the team uses the same software :-). And a coupon toward psychiatric treatment after !

01-31-2011, 09:37 PM
Maybe it could be a third class of challenge: Light, Regular, Team. If so, it should probably be on a less frequent schedule (Once every two months?) to allow for time involved in coordinating a team. Or maybe every nth regular challenge could be a team challenge.

02-01-2011, 04:58 AM
sounds like a great idea - probably a lot harder to do than one thinks - but could be fun :) ... and if it works out well, it could be used more often as a challenge. And I propose (just to get it out there) that people only can join one team :)
And even without the challenge part it could be fun to make a collaborate map (on a smaller scale than the world building that is allready taking place) where for instance you have to expand the current map in one compass direction (or just go east for everyone).

02-01-2011, 09:55 AM
Ascension - great minds thing alike.

Gidde - Sorry for my absent-minded sexism!

Redrobes - I hadn't considered teams of more than two! Good idea, though. I especially like the idea of limiting the number of compasses as a way of leveling the playing field and making the rock stars team up with the rabble. Though I must admit, I salivate to think of the kind of maps the major players would come up with if they teamed up--no doubt turn out some artwork for the ages. I think, as with all challenges, the voters will decide on how well the team followed the concept of tag-team mapping, so that shouldn't be a problem. As I said, just encouraging people to keep the thread updated with what each individual person is doing would probably give enough criteria for judgement. The start-up conversations alone would be entertaining: "You do the town symbols and border while I work on this mountain range." And the main thread would probably turn out something like a bizzare dating website: "Single gold compass seeks big bruiser to work on isometric encounter map."

Hai-Eltik - I would love a third challenge option, if there is enough interest! Two months seems like a long time to work on a project and wait for a vote, though. I like the idea of an occasional team challenge though.

Tilt - I bet it would be extremely messy and difficult! That's part of the fun! :) You're right--only one team at a time seems fair.

02-01-2011, 10:25 AM
The only drawback is that folks get busy and stall on the mapping. It could hold up other team members if someone sits on their task for a week or 2.

But I like the idea. I know when I share PSD files with fellow mappers, it blows my mind how different they work than me.

Aval Penworth
02-01-2011, 05:59 PM
I suppose it could work. Personally, I have usually found artistic collaborations to be tricky. Unless all contributors agree to a benevolent dictatorship, and I get to be the dictator. :)

02-01-2011, 06:52 PM
I guess I could play the scribbling child role.

02-01-2011, 07:49 PM
If you want this to work I would suggest that each team elects a project manager because basically, someone needs to keep track of where everything is or you are headed for all sorts of fail. Wouldn't you be irked if you created a killer map border and frame only to end up with no map to put in it?

This could go pretty quickly if you set it up right. Say, one person does the brushes, another builds the map, another works on the border and labels, someone does illustrations. In the end you pretty much function like an art department. This would be pretty good practice for anyone wanting to work in a collaborative environment. Probably need to have an initial team meeting to determine the style and kind of map to be done and figure out who's doing what. If it was me I think I'd ask for a rough concept sketch from each person and then discuss those as a team, incorporating the various ideas we approved into our final plan. Then get the assignments setup and it's off to the races.

Of course, you could just go freestyle and see what happens but I think chaos would ensue.

It is also somewhat possible that we might find we don't like each other very much once we work together on something :)

02-01-2011, 09:12 PM
I hate to say it, but I'd probably bow out of a team competition. As artistically challenged as I am, I'm afraid I would frustrate and/or bring down the rest of the team. I don't mind trying anyway when it's just me I'm affecting ;)