View Full Version : *** October Challenge VOTING - Trading ***

10-26-2009, 03:49 PM
!!! VOTE FOR 3 (THREE) !!!

view the thumbnails: October Thumbnails (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Oct09.htm)

Thank you to all the participants for their efforts and entries. Let the voting begin!

Summary of the rules for this month's challenge:

This is another theme challenge, meaning you can do whatever kind of map you like, as long as there is a strong connection to the trading theme.

Some suggestions for possible maps:

- Map of a trading empire, displaying traderoutes or commodity availability.
- Sailor's map (how do you get from Rome to Constantinople by boat without running aground?)
- The Silk Road
- Supply Chain Map
- Star System Resourcing
- Map of a trade building
- Map of a trade ship
- Map of an underground market
- Map of trade fair

Your map must include:

- Anything goes, as long as there's a strong link with the theme.

Good Voting everyone and don't forget to rep the work you liked!

Steel General
10-26-2009, 05:37 PM
Another group of great entries, and a tough time voting again...

My votes ended up going to Immolate, Ravells & Sapiento in no particular order.

10-26-2009, 05:48 PM
As much as I reckon you need to back yourself... I think I've been aced once again by others... so wd to Sapiento, Immolate & Nolgroth...

10-26-2009, 05:51 PM
My vote was almost identical to your, SG, except for Coyotemax instead of Ravs. While I did like Ravs map and his innovation of animating it, I think I would have much rather seen a Point A to Point B to Point C to Point D then back to Point A again as a trade route by ship is most often "circular" - kinda, sorta. Ravs just showed Point A to B, which was not enough. Still a great map however, but CM's just was a hair better for me.


10-26-2009, 06:17 PM
It was really hard to just pick three. Sapiento, Immolate, and Coyotemax. Roger was next in line but I was limited to three :( Those are in order of the the level of which these "grabbed" me - not indicating my assessment of quality or execution. Many of the ones I didn't mention wowed me from a technical perspective just the same.

Nice work, everyone!

10-26-2009, 06:36 PM
I've spent so much time mapping this month that I've barely had a chance to look at the other entries, much less do much constructive criticism. I'm going to study these for a bit before voting. I'll try to get my vote in by tonight. It didn't seem as hard to vote when I didn't know much.

10-26-2009, 06:56 PM
My votes cast from mexico (WOOO SEA TURTLES!) ..
I had to go with the ones that drew me in the most.
not that there was anything wrong with any of the others! Just went with the gut this time :)
I reviewed them before we left, and there don't appear to be any major changes that would have affected my votes. I'll go around repping everyone when i have a stable fast connection again :)

10-26-2009, 07:10 PM
Wow. Another great round of entries, and another hard time voting. What I find amazing is just how incredibly different all of these maps were. Each had such a unique style.

I ended up voting for:

Immolate: This is one of the most beautiful city maps I've ever seen, and the trade theme was executed beautifully in all of the signage for the businesses.

SteelGeneral: I really liked the icons in this one, the effect was awesome. Not to mention that it's also a gorgeous map in its own right.

Ascension: I really love this style. It's almost impressionistic.

All of the entries were really well done, and now I'm off to rep you all for some really great maps (and courage, considering I just chickened out of yet another challenge) ;)

10-26-2009, 07:45 PM
Gah! This month was even harder than last month's Challenge! Still, here goes:

1. Coyotemax, Gromet and Friends vs Caravan Raiders (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7445): A very nicely hand-drawn map, appropriate insets, amusing comments. Still, the move to actual dialogue through the notes didn't really work for me. Couldn't they just have, you know, talked to each other?

2. Immolate, Siete Torres (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7425): It was amazing watching this one come together in the WIP thread. Doing all of those shadows manually is just this side of crazy, I think, but the result is absolutely gorgeous. The biggest problem with it is in the section that's walled, but not in the castle area: part of this was the last stuff added, so perhaps the lack of polish is understandable, but the northern bits also seem to look eye-defyingly strange. The lack of a legend for the icons which lack text is also a bit annoying. Still, easily the most aesthetically attractive map of the Challenge.

3. Roger, Calgary, Post-Apocalypse (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7465): Well, I have to give props to my people, which is to say that I live in Calgary and find this one pretty funny. It's strange that the streets would so closely match the pre-apocalypse streets, but it's only been fifteen years, I suppose. Possibly too many in-jokes on this one, and I find it hard to believe that the malls would still be lootable fifteen years later, but still a winner for me.

Other maps I liked:

There were a lot of maps which showed some large area, along with resources exported (and maybe imported) and trade routes. I have something of a problem with these, since I can't think of many actual "trade routes" in the real world, outside the Silk Road at least, which means that at the scale of these maps (regional or perhaps small continental), the "trade routes" don't make sense. The best of these is Sapiento's (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7510), both aesthetically and because it implies the existence of a rigid bureaucracy which might have predefined "trade routes". Ascension's entry (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7505) is beautiful and doesn't include trade routes, but is pretty hard to read. Takota Basin (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7468) is clean, but the trade routes can't be mistaken for roads, and are polylines to boot! Ever-Isle (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7489) is pleasant to look at, but the routes are hard to see. Blacklemon67's entry (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7463) could possibly be ... what, a smuggler's map? At any rate, it suffers from a mismatch of detail levels: routes have amusing names, there's a lot of countries shown (even inland), but cities have no names.
There were a few maps showing one merchant's route. Isle of Eagles (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7376) is an informative enough map, but it would have been nice to show the route of the merchant to go along with the journal fragments. Martian Milk Run (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7552) is attractive and clever, but not especially informative. (Why take that particular east-west alternation, instead of alternating north-south?) A Merchantman's Tale (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7421) is an interesting idea, and a really nice map, but unfinished.
Neither of the space maps really worked for me; the two-dimensional arrangement of the planets in Sector Trade Lanes (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7423) seemed arbitrary and unnecessary. (And really, would you need a trade summary for a research station with a few hundred people?) We're back to "trade routes" with Risky Business (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7519), but at least they fit the sci-fi setting; this map suffers from font mismatches and, worse, no real idea of how it would be used for navigation purposes.
Finally, the Market Square (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7470). Very nice looking, but unlabeled it's not especially obvious that it's even a market square, much less what they sell. Yes, it's a battle map, but it still seems a little lifeless.

A great Challenge this month, though! Can it be pulled to three in a row?

10-26-2009, 08:15 PM
My votes went to Immolate, Ascension and Shantedracule.

I don't think I really need to heap any more praise on Siete Torres. I said enough in the thread itself.
I really liked the watercolor effect on Ascension's Empire of the Son map. For some reason it drew me right in.
And I have to admit that, while I think the Risky Business map could have been more refined, we need more science fiction themed maps around here. Shantedracule got my vote for taking that step.

I liked nearly all of the other maps for different reasons, but these stood out as the best to me. Kudos to the others that entered the contest.

10-26-2009, 09:34 PM
My wife and I just spent the last hour looking at every map in detail and discussing what we like and didn't like about each one. It was an interesting process because looking at it through her non-cartographic eyes made me see them all again like it was the first time. Interestingly, we reached consensus fairly easily, without much disagreement.

Our first vote went to mogul76 with his Chinese market. We both loved the little details everywhere and the obvious meticulous, loving detail that went into crafting it. I didn't agree with all of the choices he made and we spotted some shadow problems (yes, I'm a shadow cop now), but they were minor and didn't detract from the overall enchantment of the map. The theme was strong in this one, and it got our vote. Well my vote. My wife doesn't have an account and she can't have one because she'll just log on once a month to vote for me and that's cheating :).

Our second vote went to Steel General and his Black Hills of South Takota (okay they aren't black, but they look a bit like hills). We both really liked the velvety feel of the grass and trees and the dynamism of the animal icons. I wish I'd spent half the time criticizing SG's map that he spent on mine. He is a warrior when it comes to helping others and deserved my vote for that alone, but I didn't have to peddle my influence with my wife as we both agreed that the overall appeal was excellent.

Our third and final vote went to nolgroth's Parangael sector. I'm not a space map guy and I've never been a Traveler player, but the balance on this map was so strong between textual and visual information, between science and art, darkness and light, real and artificial. It just worked very well and we both believed it. The font was even perfect for the map. What IS that?

All of the maps had redeeming qualities. Ascension's is gorgeous, but at some point he left me behind on his color voyage. My wife, who is an amateur stained-glass artist and would kill to do some of the stuff Ascension has done is a fan of his too, but didn't like this map as well as she liked the last one and couldn't get past that. CoyoteMax's second in his series was as playfully delightful as the last. Jug's was very visually appealing, while RobA's we didn't really understand at all but both liked it.

Roger did a fine job of packing a lot of info into a pencil map and did more with words than a lot of people do with lines. Juggernaut's map was at once soothing and promising of excitement to come. A very treasure-mappy feel. ffxfiend did a great job, but needed more more more! More stuff, more size. Very pleasing style. Gilgamech's was visually engaging and looked like it was computer-generated by some kind of mapping software: very convincing. Ravell's was the first good application I've seen of Alfar's world builder software. I look forward to seeing more as it progresses now. Blacklemon's maps was surprisingly powerful in spite of or perhaps because of its simplicity. Shantedracule's space map had a very realistic computer display feel to it and tons of information that he put a lot of time and effort into.

I could easily have voted for a eight or ten maps and they all were worth entries. Every month the challenges get tougher.

Later I will rep everyone who participated. My rep stick isn't yet big enough that I've become afraid to use it, and nobody in the challenge was a slouch.

My apologies for anyone who slogged through all that looking for great wisdom or answers to life's questions. That's just how I roll. Now you know better :).

Oh good Lord, I almost forgot Sapiento's map. It would look perfectly at home on a glossy pamphlet sold for $5 in front of a major theme park. That is high praise from me, living in theme park central as I do. It was perhaps the most professional "graphic art" looking piece in the contest. I think you have something marketable there.

10-27-2009, 12:24 AM
I'm going to study these for a bit before voting.
Dittos. But I have my eye on some standouts.

This guild frikkin rawx.

10-27-2009, 12:52 AM
At least I'm keeping good company with RobA down on Zero Votes...8):(

10-27-2009, 05:21 AM
At least I'm keeping good company with RobA down on Zero Votes...8):(

Democracy sucks :)

10-27-2009, 06:03 AM
Immolate, the font I used is called Serpentine. Varieties of Bold, Medium and Light.

10-27-2009, 06:07 AM
Ok... man, this is harder than last month.

After thinking long and hard about it my votes are going to go to:

Immolate: His map is simply gorgeous and though I think he didn't quite get that last area up to the standards of the rest of the map, it's a minor negative in a map overflowing with positives.
Sapiento: I love the colour and feel of this map. It reminds me of the old colour maps in the Lone Wolf books and I used to sit and look at those for ages. If there's one thing I don't like about it it's the symbols. I think they are too neat and symmetrical for the rest of the map. The whole map has a kind of cartoony vibe to it and I don't think they fit in.
RobA: I'm not a massive fan of space or SF maps but I really liked the idea on this one. I do wonder if "Decent Rim" and "Decent Floor" is supposed to be "descent"?

It was really hard to choose three and aside from Immolate's map, which I never had any intention of not voting for, the other two choices were very fluid and were at times were totally different.

Anyway, there's my votes. Good luck to everyone who joined and I wish I could vote for you all.

10-27-2009, 09:39 AM
My votes went to

Ascension: Wonderful symbols and texture.
Immolate: Simply a joy to look at this map.
Nolgroth: Very good attempt on a SciFi map.

It was very hard to decide this time. The maps of Coyotemax and Shantedracule are great, too.

10-27-2009, 10:54 AM
It was hard to pick just three this time. I decided to pick based on Beauty, Usefulness, and Sci-Fi/Modern.

Ascension's map just really grabbed me with it's unique style. It's hard to read but the look is just amazing and unique.

I had to vote for mogul76's map just for sheer usability. I'm not running a fantasy or historical game at the moment, but if I were that would be a really usable battle map.

Finally I voted for nolgroth's system map. I wanted to pick a Sci-Fi or Modern map just because we don't get nearly enough of them around here (fantasy is far to over represented) and nolgroth's map struck me as a pretty useful map of a star system for a civilian/trade based game. It would make a great player handout for such a game.

10-27-2009, 12:58 PM
My votes went to

Ascension: Wonderful symbols and texture.
Immolate: Simply a joy to look at this map.
Nolgroth: Very good attempt on a SciFi map.

It was very hard to decide this time. The maps of Coyotemax and Shantedracule are great, too.


Those were exactly my choices for pretty much the same reasons too!

10-27-2009, 05:24 PM
Well I'm there on consistency...
Last Month: 1 vote (MINE)
This Month: 0 Votes (I didn't back myself...)


10-27-2009, 05:31 PM
Don't feel bad...it took me a year to finally win something.

10-27-2009, 06:09 PM
Ascencion> Self Mockery is a very very Aussie thing. The first thing when you do badly is to bag yourself out about how badly you've done... it's not "Awww I feel bad" but "Check out the loser... ME! Hahahaha" (hence the :p at the end).

I'm not that worried, it is what it is.

10-27-2009, 09:11 PM
If it's any consolation I thought your entry was awesomely good. :)

10-29-2009, 04:47 PM
I have been waiting patiently for someone to push me up over 300 rep so I could rep all of my fellow contestants. You all deserved that and more. It is an honor as always to stand in the company of such talent.

10-29-2009, 07:12 PM
Rep for everyone who entered, yay!

-Rob A>

10-29-2009, 07:27 PM
If I had a rep bat like yours RobA, I'd be more careful how I swung that beast than I am now. You could hurt someone with that thing.

10-29-2009, 08:11 PM
Congratulations Immolate! Well done! Inspiring work!

(I used to know him when he was just a little person like the rest of us. Really. I did. Honest!)

10-29-2009, 08:17 PM
Thanks Ashenvale, but though I am ahead, I have yet to win.

Only my mom remembers me when I was little :D

10-29-2009, 08:39 PM
Ha! Deadlines. Never met one I understood. Or liked, for that matter.

I'll just have to repeat myself in a few days.

(Once, during a embassy party at which I'd proved my uncanny ability to speak coherently with my foot in my mouth all the way up to the ankle, my wife asked me, "Honey, was you pa's name, "Faux"?)

10-30-2009, 05:15 AM
Congrats Imm, and to Ascension and Sapiento for a fine chase!

10-30-2009, 05:26 AM
I think having a 'challenge' is a great and fun way to inspire some creativity in a guild!

I voted for:
- Coyotemax: A great concept to draw up a map made by an 'actual group of adventurers'. Great touch to even vary the handwriting by character!
- Immolate: Amazing detail, amazing amount of work in locating all the artisans and the like, and just a joy to watch.
- Sapiento: Great fun to mentally 'explore' this empire. I hardly would dare trading though. Straying from the routes means death? I'm prone to getting lost... so not the safest place to be a trader. Also very beautiful, and original 'precious goods'. This map somehow feels like it could be placed inside a game or something.

10-30-2009, 10:38 AM
I'm a bit disapppointed, because I don't think any of these entries really show significant trade information, which was the challenge. Those that have commodities seem to have dropped them in somewhat randomly, and none of them relate to each other (e.g. a cotton producer would export to a textiles producer!). Those that have routes don't seem really anything more than the normal sea lanes or roads between cities ... which routes, I know, the trade would follow, but the routes don't relate at all to the commodities. Unless I missed it, which is quite possible, in which case I apologize!

For the record, for me to vote for a challenge entry, it must have two things:

MAPNESS. It can't be just a picture. It needs labels, a legend, etc.
RELEVANCE to the challenge. It can't be just a map, no matter how beautiful. It has to answer the challenge somehow.

I voted for only one:

SAPIENTO. I am really coming to appreciate this cartographer's imagination and graphic talent.

I wanted to, but didn't, vote for:

RAVELLS. No trade aspect to the map. Love the style, though.
BLACKLEMON67. That color palette is ... not good. And you need a legend.
IMMOLATE. Beautiful piece of art! Starving for labels & a legend, though. (Looks like you're the runaway winner!)
ASCENSION. Ditto Immolate. (I think the graphic styles filters might be a little over-applied. I'm often guilty of that myself.)
ROGER. This is everything Coyotemax's is, with a somewhat better focus.
COYOTEMAX. Somewhat confused in focus, trying to do too many things I think. Doesn't really indicate a lot of trade, but there is some.
STEEL GENERAL. The commodities and routes seem underdeveloped. Did you run out of time? It's visually gorgeous but I don't read enough of a story from it.
NOLGOROTH. Ditto Steel General, times 2.
FFXFIEND. Not sure how to critique this one, sorry. "It needs something." :?
ROBA. I love the idea. The routes make no sense though. a) Why are they surface routes? Can't these people fly? It looks as if the surface is extremely difficult. b) Why is there only one route that snakes linearly through the whole system? Can't Dolan trade with Jonah? I suspect there's a huge backstory to explain all this, but the map doesn't tell it.

10-30-2009, 10:47 AM
While I voted for two others as well, I agree that Sapiento's map is by far the best IMO.


10-30-2009, 01:04 PM
The descision wasn´t easy again, but now i voted for:


The details in these maps impressed me very much.

10-30-2009, 01:29 PM
I voted for:

Immolate - Map is very well painted...the trades are logically grouped well in and around the town - This map is ready to play on!

Coyotemax - I love the continuing adventures of Gromet and friends! I have to salute you for how legible the handwriting is and the details on the map are all very clear even though its been folded and aged and really looks like a hand drawn adventurers map. The trade theme is very well represented as well.

Ravells - Its a beautiful map. The way the labelling is done is so sweet, it looks like the classic old world type maps that first fascinated me with cartography as a child. I love the gif animation of the trade route as well.

I really do love Sapiento's map but I just couldn't read the labelling font at all...The work that went into this map really shines though.

Lots of great entry's, so many styles and genres...I am really looking forward to taking part in the November challenge.

10-30-2009, 03:37 PM
Ravells ... I love the gif animation of the trade route as well.

10-30-2009, 04:15 PM
My first vote goes to Immolate's city map. "Siete Torres" is just an amazing piece of art with lots of details.

Second vote: Ascension's "Empire of the Son". Great colour scheme. Impressive mountains. The map almost looks like a painting.

My third vote: Sapiento's "Trade Map of the Ynchong Empire". Excellent symbols. Nice, oriental atmosphere.

10-30-2009, 05:17 PM
Thanks Tom, but repeat of Toff's emoticon - it had a long, long way to go but I ran out of time.

10-31-2009, 02:40 PM
Well, I have to say this was a great experience. I'm actualy suprised that I got a vote other than myself. Any who whish I could of gave you guys a better map. My main focus right now is my game world,to which I am as of yet unready to produce a map for trade or at the scale that it would take. My entrie was not nearly as thought out as it should have been, lacking anything resembling a setting wright up realy plays a large part to this.

This all be true I entered this map for two main reasons (it was somthing different than a fantasy map, my main focus, and it gave me a great chance to see how the challenges worked as far as the development goes I do want to thank all of you for the candid advice/comentation. I do plan on working on this map on the side after the challenge, but will not have this as my main focus. I encourage all of you to follow along until you see a product you like and then use it. As I will not be using this map myself for anything in the future I will gladly let any of you use it as you wish.

10-31-2009, 03:21 PM
repeat of Toff's emoticon - it had a long, long way to go but I ran out of time.I meant the emoticon to express surprise that there was animation in your entry. I just looked at the thumbnails, so all I saw was the JPG, which of course had no animation.

Flaw in the WIP script?

10-31-2009, 04:05 PM
Congrats Immolate on your win!
Now I need to find the gold medals... I think I saw Steel General running away with them. Give me a moment.

10-31-2009, 04:30 PM
I meant the emoticon to express surprise that there was animation in your entry. I just looked at the thumbnails, so all I saw was the JPG, which of course had no animation.

Flaw in the WIP script?

Heh, you didn't miss much with the animation. Congrats Imm! Fabulous entry.

10-31-2009, 04:39 PM
Gratses, Immolate!

10-31-2009, 04:48 PM
Congrats Immolate!!

11-01-2009, 12:56 AM
Congrats Immolate. A fine map you made there.

Thanks to everybody that voted for me.

11-01-2009, 01:24 AM
Thanks everyone for your virtual back-patting. Every time I enter a challenge, I'm amazed at the sheer volume of effort that is required before I'm satisfied with an entry, and this map was no different. I am also always humbled by the quality of the competition, and again, it was no different this time.

There is a magic something in a map that connects with people here. You can't plan it, you can't force it, and most times you can't even see it yourself. If you capture that magic something, and it isn't nearly as simple at technical competence, everything else becomes easier. Every map that someone starts working on for one of these challenges has the potential to win. It the cartographer can just turn over the right rock and find the magic, it's half won already. I'm glad I found that rock.

Good luck to everyone on the next challenge!

11-01-2009, 04:15 AM
Congrats, Immolate. A well deserved victory.

Second place for me, not too bad. :D
Thanks to all my voters and the kind words for my map.

11-01-2009, 04:21 AM
Congratulations Immolate. A well deserved victory.

11-03-2009, 11:55 PM
Hear, hear!!

11-04-2009, 07:15 AM
There is a magic something in a map that connects with people here. You can't plan it, you can't force it, and most times you can't even see it yourself. If you capture that magic something, and it isn't nearly as simple at technical competence, everything else becomes easier. Every map that someone starts working on for one of these challenges has the potential to win. It the cartographer can just turn over the right rock and find the magic, it's half won already. I'm glad I found that rock.

This is so true.

11-04-2009, 08:21 AM
Well done imolate. I really liked your entry.