View Full Version : *** March '10 Challenge Voting Take 2 - The Town of Iwaizumi ***

03-30-2010, 04:06 PM
The entries have been dusted polished and buffed to a shine. The time is upon us once again to judge between our fine stable of entrants. The winner will take home a golden compass, a pdf subscription to Kobold Quarterly and have their map published in Red Eye of Azathoth.

Remember that the map that wins must be judged not only on its attractiveness but also on how well it fulfills the art brief. The art brief includes very specific instructions. Please re-read these before you chose the map that you vote for:

Map Brief, Town of Iwaizumi, 1287 C.E. (1287 A.D.)
Red Eye of Azathoth, Chapter 2

This chapter is set in Iwaizumi, a small town in the northeastern part of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. This part of the country is known as the “Tibet of Japan” – steep mountain valleys, rushing mountain streams, and winter snows make travel difficult.

Iwaizumi is intended to be a remote location in which the investigators are stuck by the winter snows. An inset region map showing the mountain road and valleys would be a nice touch but is not required by any means.

Iwaizumi is located at the junction of two rivers, one flowing east-west and one joining from the north. Two notable features outside Iwaizumi should be noted on the map, at least as directions:
1. the water-rich limestone caves of Ryusendo, which are up the northern river about an hour's march for armoured men.
2. Mount Sakainokami, southwest of town.

About 250 people live in Iwaizumi. The exact locations of buildings within the town are not important. For the sake of the plot, there must be the following items labeled or on a legend:

• a central square,
• a shrine to the local deities,
• a large fortified wooden house with guest quarters for the village governor, and
• twenty or so peasant houses clustered around the central square and governor’s house, including rice, wheat, and vegetable farmers, a beekeeper, sheep herders, and so forth.
• a mill,
• a tannery,
• a bridge over the east-west flowing main river, and
• a ford across the north-south flowing tributary.

The thumbnails of the challenge entries can be found here:

Challenge Thumbs (http://www.cartographersguild.com/utilities/Thumbs/Html/Challengers_Mar10.htm)

Please vote for two (2) maps only.

Please rep those that you vote for and any others that you think are worthy of it.

This poll will end in 4 days time (4pm EST on April 3rd). Good luck to everyone!

03-30-2010, 04:28 PM
People sure loved to go for the bird's eye view / isometric for this challenge :lol: My votes went for Djekspek and Gamerprinter.

03-30-2010, 05:03 PM
I voted this time on what really made me feel interested in going there in person. Sap's snow reminds me of my childhood in West Virginia and Ravs' just looks eerie and creepy...very cool. I was tempted by Red's new techniques, which look really interesting, and Imm's buildings. GP's inset map really sold me and it was a toss up. Arkanin's reminds me a bit of Samurai Jack but needs a bit more polish to it and Naj's road needs work. Dj, well his stuff is always good but this one just didn't grab me as much as his other stuff.

03-30-2010, 05:52 PM
I voted for Immolate, who really did a great job labeling and keeping the feel, and Sap, who I think did the best job of capturing that winter feel.

I have to say it was fun doing the map and I'll probably continue to participate, but I'm humbled by how good you all are. I'd have any of you map makes for me in a heartbeat.

03-31-2010, 12:41 AM
I kept my vote as is.

Araknin we're all a little overwhelmed when we start. I persevered by doing a lot of tutorials and entering challenges, which kept me learning and practicing. I am not what I would consider a model of success, but for a regular joe who is a technician rather than an artist, I think I've made a lot of progress.

Thanks for the vote and I think you did a fine job. There is also a challenge lite where previous winners can't particpate. I encourage you to check that out if you haven't already. Good luck my friend. I hope to see a lot of great stuff from you :)

03-31-2010, 11:28 AM
I stuck to my previous choices too. It was a really hard vote.

03-31-2010, 11:34 AM
I hadn't actually gotten to the point where I was voting.. I was still taking my time trying to decide :) I just had to go with Gamerprinter and Djekspek though, I liked the others, they all had good things going for them, but in the end I had to go with my gut (and it wasn't easy to narrow it down to 2, for the last few days I've been constantly going back over the entries to look at them again and think about them some more, lol)

Hopefully soon I'll be sorted out on the new meds and able to focus on more than one thing at a time again (and sleep less than 16 hours in a day) and get back into entering challenges!

03-31-2010, 11:59 AM
I voted for the same I voted on before. Since there were so many isometric maps, I voted on the primarily top down maps. Though in retrospect, I really liked RR's new style, he should have gotten one of my votes. While there were road problems, I thought Najmir being a newbie, did a great job for his first challenge entry.

Great job everyone, and as always the choices were difficult.


03-31-2010, 02:45 PM
Djespek and Gamerprinter got my votes, but really nice maps all of them and kudos to Araknin for going up against the "big guys" :)

Greason Wolfe
04-01-2010, 10:22 AM
Wow, that was a tough one, and it came down to balancing the requirements of the map against what, as a player or GM, I'd like to see when I open up the adventure pack. In the end, I really liked the atmosphere of Ravell's map as it had a kind of spookiness to it that I thought might fit well with, if I read the description properly, what could be considered a horror type of adventure. My second vote was even tougher as both GP and DJ had outstanding presentations. It came down to a "coin toss" between those two for my second vote with GP just edging out DJ. All in all, I'd have to say all the maps were fine, even those that might have needed a bit more work, and if I were the publisher, I might even pick up a few of them as auxiliary illustrations.

Great job, everyone!!


04-02-2010, 02:12 PM
Djekspek got my vote because the map just managed to capture my imagination and when I think to myself "I can use this in a campaign" is always a great sign for me.

04-02-2010, 03:37 PM
Except you're supposed to vote for two maps! :P

Don't worry, you're not alone, but people don't seem to be reading the voting criteria.


04-02-2010, 03:42 PM
Eye candy almost always wins out over reading stuff :)

Steel General
04-02-2010, 04:46 PM
Don't worry, you're not alone, but people don't seem to be reading the voting criteria.

Happens nearly every month...

04-03-2010, 06:43 AM
I think this month is interesting tho as we have a publisher who has to include this map and will choose independently from the vote - or at least I hope its independent cos that's why I entered this month.

The two leaders are very close this month and I didn't feel like being a decider (being an entrant too). I also thought Ravs map had some neat new ideas in it. But I voted for the two newcomers to the challenge cos I am glad they are submitting something. The challenge has been tough to win now for just ages so you gotta be in it for the love of it really. So kudos to all who took part. The winner is still very much up for grabs even at this late stage so it will be an interesting finish !

04-03-2010, 02:23 PM
This was a really tough vote -- all the entries had something to recommend them, and I was thrilled to see how well everyone evoked an isolated Japanese town in which something awful is happening.

Thanks for the great work!

04-03-2010, 02:47 PM
We had a tie, back in Dec '08 Challenge, so its not unprecedented and two golden compasses were awarded. Of course this month, there is the publication award which is separate from the public vote. Still another day (or two) of voting to go, so nothing is locked in stone yet. I am glad that everyone has gotten at least two votes. In some of our past challenges there were those who got no votes - which is never fun for entrants, so this voting session is better for all, IMO.

For those who have yet to enter a challenge, consider this, while one may not win a given challenge, there is no better way to learn to map than participating. The fact that there's a limited time to create the map in following a specific theme or rules is very much like getting a commission from a publisher in working for a deadline. I know that I make better maps now because of challenge participation. After three such challenges, I got my first professional commission and have since created over 30 maps for various publishers (and got paid for it!)

So don't limit yourself to just voting. Get involved, you won't regret the experience gained and it may lead to a side career as a professional cartographer, which is just fun to earn money from something you love. Most people don't get paid for doing what they love, but we cartographers do!


04-03-2010, 10:05 PM
Well said, GP and I agree whole-heartedly.

04-03-2010, 10:54 PM
Nice job guys. I looked at this strictly from what would suck me in quickest if I was going to GM the game. There were several that I liked but I could pick two (at least I think I got to - I may have missed the time cut off).

I chose Dj's and RR.

A couple that I did not choose on and what I liked/why I did not choose them:

1) Najmir - I loved the colors used and from the thumbnails it was first to catch my eye but once I clicked on it there just wasn't enough detail for me.
2) Immolate - I thought this was an excellent map however while I liked the look of the labels I found them hard to read. I could see myself quickly having to redo all the numbers to be legible for me as a GM. I'm not sure what it would look like if the print had been less stylized and maybe it's just a product of my being frustrated by less than stellar vision but in the end it bugged me too much.

I just noticed that the two maps I did choose both have the labels on the locations so I don't have to go look up a table. I guess it's personal preference but I prefer to be "in the map" when I'm leading an adventure and having to bounce out to a table to see where I am breaks up the flow of my imagination. Evidently that had a lot to do with my selections and I only just now realized it.

Keep up the great work guys, they are all worthy works and as of yet I don't think I can compete with the quality.

04-03-2010, 11:10 PM
edit: If my vote counts and it turns out it was a tie breaking vote, I just want to say that I'm real glad I was not aware of this beforehand. I probably would have abstained...it's the pressure of it I guess :)

I always try not to read other peoples views on the voting until after I have cast my own because I don't want to be swayed by someone else's opinion. So, if I did create a tie breaker, either blame someone who voted before me :), or be glad I came along. At the very least, please don't hate me GP!

04-04-2010, 12:55 AM
No hate here :)

I chose to go with a legend, because this is intended for a letter size PDF, and direct text might be difficult to read at this scale. The legend and numbers is far easier to read for a print publication.


04-04-2010, 06:58 AM
Your vote was honest Jax and thats the right thing and it just so happened to break the tie and give an honest win to Djek. So well done to you Djek once again. Your gonna need extra support beams for that mantle piece now.

04-04-2010, 08:13 AM
So well done to you Djek once again. Your gonna need extra support beams for that mantle piece now.

Yeah, i'd enter one of these but what's the point (0:
Actually, i'm just kidding... i'll get around to it one of these days.
Congrats again Djekspek.. and Gamerprinter for the Silver, Sapiento for the Bronze...
and everyone else that participated!

04-04-2010, 08:35 AM
Now that is a close finish... I thought GP was going to get the compass for this one so the outcome is unexpected. Thanks for voting for my piece. But this is a 'two stage' challenge so the 'real vote' has to take place yet and my money is on GP for that one as I think his piece is better suited for print (besides japan and maps, he also knows printing ;) ) But basically the challenge is wide open again so let's see who gets the 'final vote'...

As for winning the public vote again, It is very nice to get appreciated for my work. Personally I enter these challenges to improve my mapping skills (although to some it 's more drawings then maps, and I cant disagree). I started last august with mapmaking and did the challenges to learn fast. This month I got my first commission which feels really cool. So I totally agree with GP's comment that these challenges (=deadline+requirements) are a great way to learn fast. So.... I just saw the next challenge, it's about beer, which should be an inspiring subject to many (it is to me ;) ) so I'd expect many entrants.


Blaidd Drwg
04-04-2010, 08:44 AM
Meh, I managed to miss the voting deadline. :(
I had a very hard time choosing between Djekspek, Gameprinter and Immolate, so rep to all three of you :)

04-04-2010, 10:21 AM
Indeed, in the closes possible win, Djekspek picks up another gold. Congratulations! Now we shall see which map the Open Design team choose for publication. They have been notified of the end of the competition and I expect a response from them sometime in the next couple of days.

04-04-2010, 10:56 AM
Congrats, Djekspek! Well, deserved for a really good map. Obviously, I forgot to vote the second time, but my vote would have gone again to you and GP, who delivered a very fine piece!

04-04-2010, 11:25 AM
Hmmm... I'm trying to rep the people I voted for, but couldn't remember. Didn't we used to be able to see who voted for whom? Has that capability been lost in the site upgrade? Or am I just not looking hard enough?

04-04-2010, 11:28 AM
You need to click on the numbers on the right side of the poll.

04-04-2010, 12:10 PM
You need to click on the numbers on the right side of the poll.
Great! Thanks!

04-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Congrats, Djekspek! It looked almost like a tie up to the very last hour - I checked in the middle of my weekend D&D game, last night. And that was certainly an exciting voting session. As for next month's challenge, I have to finish writing the third adventure to my Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting to complete my mini-campaign arc for publication - that's my first obligation. If I have time, I'll try to enter the beer challenge.

As Djekspek stated, the beer challenge should get more participants aboard - I hope we get a record number of entrants!

And good luck to all for the publisher's vote on this one! Now I got to spread some REP!


PS: I tried to REP all I could, but have to spread some around before I can do DJ again! I owe you some REP...

04-05-2010, 04:14 PM
Congrats to everyone who took part. Good close finish!

04-06-2010, 10:58 AM
I’m pleased to announce that Djekspek is the winner of the Open Design portion of the Iwaizumi map contest. We polled the patrons of the project on their preferences, and much like here at CG, the maps from Djekspek and Gamerprinter were the most popular. In fact, by decision time yesterday, the two were tied.

It fell to me, as the author of the scenario, to choose between them, and I chose Djekspek’s map. I had three reasons. First, and most importantly, the palette, border, and style of Djekspek's map evoked the horror mood of Call of Cthulhu more strongly (at least for me). Second, when I printed both out, I found the inset on Gamerprinter’s map somewhat hard to read in black and white. Finally, as written the scenario depends on the caves being located up the river to the north, and the location of the caves on Djekspek’s map fit that the best.

It was a difficult decision, though, and none of this is meant to slight Gamerprinter’s map in any way – I particularly appreciated its clear lines and attention to period detail in the buildings. For that matter, all of the entries were top-notch, and I liked some element of each and every one of them.

Finally, on behalf of the Open Design patrons, I wanted to thank the submitters, voters, and commentators for their excellent work!

04-06-2010, 06:26 PM
Double congrats to Djekspek then. I can see why it was a difficult decision.

09-23-2011, 07:29 PM
It's been a long time coming, but Djekspek's map is finally available in print - well, at least in pdf - here (http://www.koboldquarterly.com/kqstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5&products_id=144)!