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e_i_pi
03-10-2009, 08:44 AM
Long time reader, first time poster. I apologise in advance for the length of this post :)

I am creating a gaming website, with the game being a turn-based territory conquer type game. Gamers who enjoy Risk, Diplomacy, and Axis & Allies will likely enjoy the game I am creating. I have around 15-20 playtesters signed up, along with about 5 users who specialise in such things as tournament organisation, game balance, and strategic development.

The site will launch Jan-Feb 2010. I plan for this site to be run as a business, changing to a company once it is generating sufficient revenue. I expect the shift to a company to occur early to mid 2011. I foresee the potential to hire several staff and contractors, in roles of administration of Community, Tournaments, Graphics/Cartography, and Advertising. In the meantime, work will be contracted out as per site requirements.

I am looking for cartographers who are looking for two or more years dedication to producing maps, both in unique one-off styles, and in series style, and have experience in board/turn-based games.

Details below:

Commission:
Initially paid for on a commission basis, fee is as per agreement between myself and mapmakers(s). These discussions will be transparent (ie - if there is more than one mapmaker, all will be privvy to fees, so collective bargaining can occur)
Initially, only a few maps will be required, but once the site begins generating income, demand for maps will increase dramatically
Once the business becomes a company, more options will open up. This will be according to agreement between myself and mapmaker(s) formalised during hiring process


Time Constraints
I require 2-3 working maps by the end of financial year (June 30 2009). I can generate maps myself (and will be for the site) but I have a lot of coding to do, and it is feasible to delegate these duties to dedicated graphic designers.
Once the site starts generating income, maps will need to be produced on a regular basis, as per demand, which I expect will increase dramatically


Style
I am looking for maps in various styles. It will come down to the strengths of each mapmaker, and what they most enjoy making, subject to my requirements. In a nutshell, I require Ancient Empire maps, Fantasy maps, Middle Ages maps, Golden Era, WWI/WWII, and Modern era. These need not all be addressed at once, they are simply the choices mapmaker(s) will have.
Maps will need to be professional/realistic and/or clinical in appearance. Also, they need to be of reasonable filesize, but can be of any resolution. They will be utilised on a gaming website, of which the game page is likely to have an odd 200-400kB in html/scripts/imgs already, so keeping a gamepage under about 750kB would be good. There will be leeway, but maps that are for general play will need to consider users internet speeds / patience in downloading.


Description of Map

World Map (Earth), with territories and continents delineated
One map for each continent, each with territories (ie - a zoomed in map with more territories than shown on the world map)
Eventually one map for each country (again zoomed in, showing further detail, ie - more territories)
Additional requirements will be for 'bridging' .pngs to be generated, so multiple maps can be 'stitched' together on the website to create meta-maps (I can explain the process)

Quality & Size


Professional / semi-professional. I am after a specific look. There must be consideration of filesize without sacrificing map quality. Obviously, this will be a challenge for some cartographers.
Required for web gaming
Maps will be of any dimension, though a tentative limit of 3000x2000 is advised for the absolute largest maps. Further size considerations will be in place, and will be explained during discussions with candidates
Maps must be submissible in parts. A map that cannot be submitted as base layer + territory layer + inset/legend layer, will not be able to be used. If you hand-draw or paint, you must also be able to utilise PS/GIMP effectively to create layers that will mesh properly when superimposed.


Copyright

The artist will retain copyright of the map(s), though the mapmaker must sign an agreement that the site will have permission to utilise the map(s) so long as contractual agreements are met.


Essential Criteria

You work in Photoshop (pref CS or higher), OR, are at least willing to step me through GIMP while I learn it so that I can properly integrate imagery into the website, and guide you on what you should be doing to make your maps website compatible. At the moment, I don't have time to learn yet another piece of software inside-out, but if I only need to know the basics to co-operate with your mapmaking, then that is acceptable.
Are willing to undertake a project that will likely last several years
Can dedicate time to the project on a week-to-week basis. We all have holidays, I accept this, but when not on holidays I would expect email correpsondence / forum updates quite regularly.
Must present a portfolio. This can be of as little as 2-3 maps, but I must see a refined style that you feel you have mastered. Snippets / unfinished maps are acceptable, as are small resolution images, so long as they demonstrate an ability to use layers/brushes/filters effectively to achieve results I am interested in.


Desirable Criteria

Live in or near Sydney Australia
Have experience with board games
Have experience with online turn based strategy games
Are familiar with XML
Are familiar with phpBB3 forums and PHP Live Chat


Regards,
Kjartan

HandsomeRob
03-10-2009, 01:33 PM
Hello Kjartan,
Your project sounds very interesting to me. I've passed the information you provided on to my boss and she agrees that we would be well-suited to take on this work. Our company (XNR Productions) mainly produces maps for print; we do a lot of textbooks, travel guides, and atlases, but we have also done maps for websites, television, and other media and we think we have all the skills you are looking for.
If are interested, please have a look at the samples on our website: http://www.xnrproductions.com. You can find our contact information there as well.

Thank you!
-Rob

Nomadic
03-12-2009, 04:15 AM
Hello e_i_pi,

I would be interested in offering you my graphic design skills. I am experienced with photoshop in both map making and general graphic art. My portfolio hasn't had much of a chance to get set up but it does have a couple maps (and I can always show you some of my other work).

Portfolio (http://garrettdmorrison.deviantart.com/)

That is two examples of my photorealistic style. I am also capable of doing more abstract styles including hand drawn. Throw a PM my way if you are interested and I can get you my e-mail.

e_i_pi
03-12-2009, 10:27 AM
Thank you for the replies both private and public. I now have sufficient parties interested, and will not be requiring further expressions of interest. I expect to post again in the future, possibly towards the end of the year, but for now I believe I have enough potential contractees.

Regards,
e_i_pi

Nomadic
03-12-2009, 02:35 PM
Awesome, thanks again for the chance to offer my skills. I have sent you an email (let me know if you didn't get it for some reason). Can't wait to get started (a combination of three of my hobbies... graphics, online turn based games, and board games... so I'm excited heh).