View Full Version : February Entry: U-Turn Challenge

02-04-2010, 05:55 PM
Nothing fancy here, just an old school dungeon drawn up with CC2...

The U-Turn Challenge: Enter through one door and exit the other. Couldn't be simpler, right?

This dungeon can serve as a proficiency test for mercenary adventurers or as a form of punishment. ;) I've made a rough "sketch" of the floorplan; there will also be a large cavern.

02-04-2010, 06:42 PM
Simple but *very* effective! The design reminds me of chemistry apparatus.

02-04-2010, 06:51 PM
Nice to see more entries.
I feel like I need to sit down and just do more work on my own thing...

02-05-2010, 02:46 PM
Update: cavern added and did some tweaking in PS7.

02-07-2010, 06:25 PM
Here's another WIP update. I've been working on the text for the encounters and will be hard pressed to squeeze it all onto one page with the map.

02-07-2010, 07:39 PM
If you need more room for text then you have two options:

1. smaller font size
2. make everything else smaller in order to fit the text

So what I'd do is put everything together on one layer (except for text and paper) and then shrink that down to 75%...need more space then go 67% then 50% etc.

02-07-2010, 07:51 PM
Also your image looks to be square and a 'page' in the comp is A4 or US Letter.

02-08-2010, 04:30 AM
I should have clarified that I'm inserting the map into a Word document and writing the text in NTR 8 point, which seems to be the limit for readability in printed form. Maybe if I do everything in PS I can fit more.

02-08-2010, 04:07 PM
After a lot of editing I managed to make everything fit. Here is a snapshot of the Word document (sorry about the poor quality).

02-08-2010, 04:10 PM
Ah sorry, my bad. Don't know the answer to this but are small fonts more legible if they are serif or sans?? Does anyone know?

02-08-2010, 04:49 PM
Serif fonts are more readable - there's more to see. Sans-Serif fonts are too simple.


02-09-2010, 05:39 PM
Serif fonts are generally more readable IN PRINT. San-Serif are generally more readable in DIGITAL formats.

The theory on this is that the serifs in print draw the eye along the word, increase the ease of recognition and, since we don't read full words at speed only their shape and opening & closing letters, this makes it much easier to read. As a teacher, I've found that once students are used to reading cursive handwriting and serif fonts, they actually read and recognise words much faster (especially in areas such as mathematics and science with a number of technical topic-specific words and word-uses).

02-10-2010, 04:18 AM
I've been working on a PS version using Tempus Sans 6 pt and it looks clear enough on my screen but I haven't done a print test, yet. Maybe I'll just do 2 versions and submit the one that is legible in print form. The smaller font size allows me to fit a random encounter table.

02-10-2010, 02:12 PM
Alright, here is my PS7 version. The text is tiny, but it is legible in printed form. :) C&C welcome.

02-10-2010, 05:37 PM
Whoa, that's some nice lookin dungeon there. Good job.

02-10-2010, 06:14 PM
Absolutely beautiful!!!

02-11-2010, 05:58 AM
Whoa, that's some nice lookin dungeon there. Good job.

Thanks; I used your aging technique on the paper but went with monochromatic noise.

Steel General
02-11-2010, 09:31 AM
Well done mrrkyl!

02-11-2010, 05:56 PM
that's a great job! looks like ye ripped it right out of an official DM-guide!

02-14-2010, 06:13 AM
I made a few minor adjustments: edited some text and added ridge lines to the elevated areas in the cave. Unless I feel an urge to clarify some of the room descriptions this map is done.

### Latest WIP ###

02-14-2010, 08:30 AM
That turned out beautiful. Don't forget your WIP tag so it gets picked up in the scraper.

02-14-2010, 09:36 AM
I put the tag in for him.

02-15-2010, 04:03 AM
Nifty. You went a little wild with the commas in 19d. The commas after "the" and "now" should taken out. These may be profitably transferred to the following sentence after "lever" and "purpose".

The Caverns description has a mismatch between pronoun and antecedent. It should be "These caverns... Their inhabitants..."

Overall, that's quite clean for this amount of text. The dungeon map is good, I think. It has a few exotic features to make it interesting, but not so much as to make it confusing to use.

02-15-2010, 04:53 AM
*deleted; see below

02-15-2010, 05:09 AM
...fixed post icon since it switched back to WIP - or maybe not. Looks like something an admin has to change ;)

02-15-2010, 07:29 AM
Thank you all for the comments and feedback, especially to rdanhenry for the text proofing. I was concerned that my description of the trap in area 19 would be inadequate. In addition to fixing the text, I emphasized the word, "thief" in 19d just to remind the DM that although Miss Crazy can't remember her name, she hasn't forgotten how to sneak around and surprise her prey. Once upon a time, before my heavy editing, the description for 19a ended like this: "The elemental is aware of its neighbor (see "d") and has grown attached to her, perhaps due to their common bond of madness. Because the woman remains terrified of it, the aerial servant surreptitiously discards its victim's corpses for her to find, and consume."

While trying to make it all fit on one page, I decided to keep my submission PG-13 and removed all of the weird stuff. Best to leave some things up to the imagination.

(I tried uploading the PDF but even when zipped, it exceeds the forum's size limit.)

### Latest WIP ###

02-15-2010, 09:31 AM
mrrkyl the tag always has to read ### Latest WIP ### so I fixed that for ya. It has to do with how the thumbnail scraper works...it has to be exact.

02-16-2010, 06:56 AM
mrrkyl the tag always has to read ### Latest WIP ### so I fixed that for ya. It has to do with how the thumbnail scraper works...it has to be exact.

I don't know what a "thumbnail scraper" is but thanks!

I really thought I was done with this project but I fixed a few more things: Text has been modified so that emphasized text is more discernible and text associated with the maps has been changed to Times New Roman for consistency. I also learned how to reduce the PDF file size so that will be included too. ;)

### Latest WIP ###

02-16-2010, 08:52 AM
I don't know what a "thumbnail scraper" is but thanks!If you look at the challenge topic then you will see a sticky thread for the challenge thumbnails. There is a script which rips the latest WIP images from the entrants list and forms that page. If there are no new entrants or drop outs then its a one button push now to get that synced with all the new postings - provided that the latest wip tags are all ok. Yours is fine btw.

02-16-2010, 09:17 AM
Aha, that's a really cool feature.

Listing my resources for this project might help others in their cartographic endeavors so here goes:

Floorplan "sketch": drawn in CC2 (because for me it is faster and more efficient than doing it by hand and scanning it). I took a black and white image of this and used it to create an alpha channel in PS7.
Fonts: not knowing how well unusual fonts translate into a pdf, I stuck with the standard ones (Times New Roman & Tempus Sans ITC) except for the "S" below the compass. For that, I used Treasure Map Deadhand.
Compass: from "compass pack2" in the download section; layer effects were generously applied
Paper creation & texture: ZombieNirvana You Tube tutorials #1 & #2 (my patience for doctoring the edges gave out quickly so don't look too closely!). Additional "aging" was done referencing Ascension's, "Antique Style" tutorial.
Creating a brush for the elevation "feet" in the caves: ZombieNirvana tutorial #17 (which also covers pathing) - incidentally, anyone following Ascension's "Antique" tutorial might want to use this method for the mountains, especially if you use a mouse instead of a tablet like I do.
PS Tricks & Shortcuts: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=14&t=247294 (why? because using PS without them is like playing Starcraft without a keyboard)
Creature references: Monstrous Mamual from the Core Rules CD (flipping through the pages made populating the dungeon painless and if you're unfamiliar with all things DnD then try doing keyword searches for such things as "cave", "guardian", "trap" or whatever suits your fancy)

There is still ample time to submit an entry to the OPDC so I hope my entry serves as encouragement.

02-27-2010, 01:37 PM
Very well done Mrrkyl! I love the maps and the overall presentation. I think that, like some of the others entries that I've commented on, your work could have benefited from a bit of distressing, but your selection of fonts was inspired and compensates well for all that. This is one of my favorites!