View Full Version : cartography "challenge"?

04-23-2007, 05:11 PM
Okay, I was wondering: would anyone be interested in entering a cartography "contest" of sorts? Well actually, since there would be no winner and no prize, it's not a contest per se but a "challenge." Just for fun & for the intellectual/artistic exercise.

The challenges themselves could either be conventional (ex: create a temple crypt in the shape of a 100' wide giant hexagon), OR.... here are some other, quick ideas I jotted down:

Create a tutorial teaching someone to draw a multi-level castle ruin in under 2 hours.

Transform a map of your home state/province/country into an island fantasy/sci fi realm that is at once recognizable and unrecognizable as a real place

Create a reasonable, "realistic" dwelling for some hitherto unknown race (ex: Holskhinn, otherwise known as "Hedgehog Men")

Create a map (both 2-D & 3-D sketch) of a mountain slide-revealed, eon-long abandoned fortress

Change this basic map [post pic of lame sketch] into an Arabian-themed medieval map.

Lord Gystric chartered construction plans for a great ditch to be dug & a wall to be built to surround the holy landmarks of Glak; recreate the blueprints

The city is on fire! People are fleeing in panic! It's spread from the docks to the hilltop & threatens the keep itself! (Draw it)

Given such-and-such parameters, create a city/village/hamlet in 1 hour or less

Create a "snapshot" of the game board for "Pikes," King Valdric's of Thew's favorite strategy game (Bonus 1: in 3-D also draw the wooden pieces on the board) (Bonus 2: create playable rules for the game)

A faerie found a giant's buried bones & transformed them into a home; draw it.

Using only black & white, crate a map in 4 hours or less depicting the multi-level prison ship to which the Gorgon creature Naechtolyptefiamindor was banished by the great heroes of old.

Turn this photograph into the site of yesterday's battle between units of __________ and a legion of ___________.

In insanely minute detail, draw a 30' diameter woodland pond.

Create official region map for the Land of Wamp, a fairy tale region (ala' [i]The Wizard of Oz) split into the Land of the Wicker People, the Land of the Mimosa Men, the Sapphire Spire of the Soots, etc.

The aboriginal tribes of this desert have long held the secrets of survival; map out their country from which their techniques could be surmised.

These are just some ideas :)

If our benevolent Guild webmasters would agree, we could run the fun right here, issuing challenges and then assigning a due date, say, 1 month later.

So would anyone be interested in these "challenges"l? Can you think of improvements to my idea? I like this sort of thing, & I'd definitely like to see what others could come up with! Just brainstorming ideas here. Thoughts? :)

04-23-2007, 06:54 PM
Actually I could probably put up some kind of minor prize...be it, a special rank for winners, or the occasional gift certificate or something...Let me put some thought into it, I like this idea a lot.

04-23-2007, 09:31 PM
Ok...I've thought about it...and I've decided to roll with it. I'm goign to start the first challenge, and the reward will be a special rank with a VERY noticeable appearance. However, the only way for this to succeed is to get people involved. We can't have just two or three people entering the challenges every month, or this will fail as all the contestants will eventually be winners.

I'm going to create a new forum and make a post with the rules, and a post with the announcement of the first mapping topic...which isn't going to be one of the above ;) I already have an idea for one, and its based on a discussion in the forum here with Tintagel I believe. Its a very simple start, and I think a simpel start would be a good way to drum up interest. More to come.

04-23-2007, 10:29 PM
Okay, wow! this is one of the reason The Cartographers' Guild rocks: whip out an idea & the webmaster waves a hand, says "make it so," & it is done. Now that's what I call results! :)

I'm going to say I do not think it should be a contest--although I by no means think it would "ruin" the fun to make it one. I believe a "challenge" engenders the spirit of camaraderie, spurring everyone to strive to compete with themselves while learning from the others, and that less people will be intimidated (knowing they will be "judged" changes what people are willing to risk, I think). That's my two cents.

If we do decide to make it a contest, however, let's have voting by poll of registered TCG members as the determinant, rather than a judge or panel of judges. Let's have Robbie or whomever collect all the entries blind, then post them at once for all to see, with voting available for the next week (or something). This way it's a community event. Go ahead and place rules so no one person can win every time, etc., but let's get everyone involved. (Additionally, I'd like to, after this first one, have the community create & decide on which challenge to do next, too). That's another two cents.

Okay, I'm up to 4 cents now, which is way more than can be withdrawn from my brain in any one post.

Oh, wait! Let me make it 5 cents: Please have each contests be...
1) fun & interesting for cartographers to design
2) unique
3) easily fulfilled in a short time (like 4-5 hours max. vs. 20-30 hours; otherwise I don't know if anyone would do them instead of their own campaign's maps)
4) able to be drawn up in any mapping/graphics program (CC3, Dundjinni, Photoshop/GIMP, etc.)

Thanks, & I'm looking forward to this!

04-23-2007, 10:47 PM
I just love your ideas...and I'm gonna build on em...I already posted some rules that are subject to change, and I do like the term challenge, but there should be a winner of sorts I think...since the winner only gets a special rank, there's really no pressure.

I liek the idea of public voting, because I originally planned to just judge them myself...Although i don't want to collect votes...I'm going to use the built in polling system. My first idea is kinda simple, but I'm giving the opportunity for originality...I'm hoping to encourage mappers to think outside the box for something they probably map often. You'll see.

04-23-2007, 10:53 PM
Eh...I change my mind...since this contest is your idea...as a tribute, I'm going to use one of your challenge ideas.

04-23-2007, 11:21 PM
Hahaha--well that's a nice tribute. Thanks. I'm quite interested in your running with this, because I think the entire project could, month after month, be a continual source of inspiration, admiration, and enjoyment.

I'm changing your name to "Rocky Powell," because you "rock." :)

05-07-2007, 10:00 AM
More ideas for challenges I've brainstromed:

Design a local map for use with an established campaign setting (ex: Eberron, Dragonlance, Forgotten Realms--or even non Fantasy settings...)

Draw a map for the following one page description of this solar system/building/adventure/etc.

Create a chart mapping the spiritual universe (heaven, underworld, etc.) of the Khoganians or Khall (use medieval maps as a guide)

The boatmen of No-Latiuf have long travelled the River Iu; you have been hired by the merchants' guild to record their knowledge of landmarks, currents, dangers, and depths. Draw your findings.

The brewers' guild depicts all their recipes as flowcharts, presenting the step-by-step processes in detail, each step illustrate; draw the recipe for orange blossom honey mead.

The intelligent primates of the planet Eak love creating pictographic maps made on strips of bark, scraped with sharpened stones, colored in natural dyes; what would their home village's map look like?

05-08-2007, 12:31 AM
Okay, I really need to get a life; I keep thinking of more "challenge" ideas. It's actually kind of fun!...

Attached is a drawing I made while sketching around for a few hours of fun in Photoshop. Give this race a name, habitat, personality traits, culture, etc., then use it to.....

Create a "footwork map" (akin to those old "how to dance" mats that showed numbered pics of feet the student could step on) for their warriors' most powerful combat techniques.

Map their home country/typical home/military installment/etc.

Symbolically map their ordering of the universe (God/gods, planes, creatures' & races' places in the world, etc.)

The graves of the ________ are sacred, secret burial grounds located in a distant _________[swamp, forest, etc.], which only the shaman/priest/elders and pallbearers visit once a year with all the bones of the dead. Draw the valuable, esoteric, and enigmatic directions to the revered spot(s).

The favored weapon of these people is the __________; catalog its features and measurements.

Draw a star map, highlighting their constellations; make sure it includes myths, history, and prophecy

Artistically map "the known world" of one particular tribe/nation/group/ethnicity, showing both friends and enemies; make sure their slant (for better & for worse) is apparent from the map's visuals and place names.

I could go on & on! :)

05-08-2007, 03:24 AM
I shall never look at asparagus in the same way again!


05-08-2007, 07:45 AM
Hahaha--It would be downright embarassing to get your rear kicked in while in melee with a creature like that, wouldn't it though? :)

05-08-2007, 11:09 AM
<smoke filled room appears to be a college dorm room, beer cans all over the place and music playing quietly in the background>

"Ok, ok, ok... "
*takes drag*
"You take an asparagus right? Then, then get this... "
*takes another drag*
"You've got Yoda and Kermit de Frog see?... "
*takes still another drag*
"Now combine them all together... "
*moves hands in big circular motions*
"And then, and then... "
*takes final drag*
"You put a sword on his back! Is that friggin' awesome or what?"
<riotous laughter ensues>

Good stuff Don! :lol:

05-08-2007, 11:44 AM
My first though was Oscar the grouch crossed with ET....

-Rob A>

05-08-2007, 12:25 PM
Bwahahahaha!!!!! Hilarious! When I was messing around & sketched it out I started laughing at what my own bizarre hand had done--so I did the logical thing & finished it.... ;) I still giggle--I mean, I am still giggling :)

05-09-2007, 08:02 AM
Somebody was hittin the peyote a little extra hard it appears hehehe.