I have a suggestion
So, I had a brief chat with IndustryGothica a while back about how I was interested in getting involved with the CWPB, and I recently decided I might take the plunge and give it a shot. So, I browsed through the wiki and these forums in an effort to figure out how to jump in. To be honest, it is incredibly nebulous, and hard to get a handle on as a newcomer--I'd imagine that is the biggest hurdle to a huge project like this. I see a good number of "I'd be interested in helping but I don't know how to go about getting started" posts.
I have a simple idea (either one of those 'so simple its brilliant' or 'so simple it must have already been thought of and rejected' type things). It goes like this: One of the Big Dogs who has a good handle on how the project works (Redrobes, IndustryGothica, Torq, Ravells, etc.) come up with a list of a few specific areas that could do with expanding and make a monthly post in the Mapmaking Request Forum. I know I for one would be a lot more eager to jump in in I saw something like this--I wouldn't be worried that I was jumping on anyone else's toes, or going about it wrong. Also, if it was a monthly post, people might not have to wade through threads 15-20 pages deep to figure out what they need to do.
A few maps from each 'category' each month would be great:
-Two or three regional scale maps an image/grid showing what area of what region could use expanding (even better if there could be some kind of template to work from like the approximate overlay from Ravell's map here.
-Two or three cities that have yet to be mapped
-A couple temples/forests/underground networks that could use battle maps.
I'd be pumped to see something like this become a regular feature, and I know I'd pick one up whenever I wasn't busy with other projects. If it isn't crossing a line I haven't had the good sense to see yet, I think I am going to try and start this myself but feel free to delete the thread in this isn't welcome (again, I am terrified that I am stepping on toes or going about this wrong).
Actually, rather than filling up a forum with such posts you could just put the list on the wiki itself. People could update the list vis-a-vis - "I'm doing this one", "Unallocated" and so forth, themselves?
I think this is a pretty good idea. I've been slow to complete my one (albeit major) contribution to the CWBP but did find it hard to figure out how to get started. Putting a list of open "reqs" on the Wiki's not a bad idea but putting them in the help wanted forum will better serve to put it in front of people that might not have considered taking part in the project.
I'd really like us to revisit the whole CWBP project and do it from scratch with some coherent end in mind to make it a living world. The guild has matured incredibly from when we first started on the CWBP.
For example: I saw IG's post about an RPG he was running which was set in the CWBP - something involving us all expanding outwards from a point (so the players/DM have maps galore) would be good.
Or: We actually make something like a Greyhawk world map with descriptive text leading the mapmaking.
Or: We have some sort of simple Guild game (I'm not sure how this would work) in which there is some sort of RPG aspect to the mapmaking. E.g. Cartographers get sent hither and yon to map a bit, but they might not make it there or back again alive.
We really could make this project immersive and fun which I think will encourage all guild members to have a bash at doing the mapping.
Crayons - Do you think trying one post a month in the Map Making Request forum would be cluttering the place up too much? I was thinking along the same lines as Mearrin--I would bet if there was a single post with a small list and a good chunk of detail and guidelines in once place (a brief step-by-step), it might seem more attractive and welcoming to people, whereas editing a wiki feels so formal, to me at least. But I like the idea of having links to all the areas and having a "This area needs a map" tag attached to the empty links. But you might have a point--If anyone else thinks this is a bad idea, I'll consider this vetoed. Otherwise, maybe I'll try it once and see what happens?
Ravells - I had similar thoughts. I doubt anyone would want to throw away the awesome contributions the guild has already, but having a small area to focus on absolutely sounds like the way to go: Rather than making a patchwork world and working from the outside in, starting with a small setting and fleshing outwards would give DMs enough material to start an adventure. It was IG's post that inspired me, actually: I figure picking one region, then a few cities and areas that are right next to each other and prompting for maps would be a lot of fun, and more useful than a bunch of disparate cities so far apart that no PCs could ever travel from one to the other. And IG has kindly provided a convenient starting point!
Actually, I think both aspects are useful. You and mearrin are right, it needs to attract people - and I hope to have a go myself but came across the same sorts of issues you mentioned.
However, threads have a tendency to fill up, or distract. The current Request forum is probably best left as it is for other projects and have another sub forum for CWBP "requests" as a more internal function.
The wiki page is just something that would provide a one page "status" of each request.
All this does need managing tho! It could be that the status is just a constantly edited "sticky" - that would work.
While it could use some tweaking, I made this this category for unmapped locations quite some time ago. It's not much, but it's a start...
IG: Yes, tweaking!:D
If it were tabulated and had a "Being done by" column, that is updated as people take on the task? That would be the basics covered, I think?
It's one thing to keep track of who's doing what, it's another to get them into CWBP in the first place, so "advertising" each change/addition to the table in its own "Request" forum in the main section of CG might accomplish that - linking to the table too, of course. It's all very "tidy" having CWBP all bundled on its own but it rather hides things away too?
Yes yes ! The thing I tried to do in my area was to make a small section so detailed that you could start to game in that region so people might like to play in it so that when they stepped foot into an area that was not mapped that they might post their un-detailed hacky map and we could then do something about it to freshen that area up a bit. Then the likelihood is that we would get an area fully mapped and ready to use by non mappers. I don't care which area that is but that's what id like to see. Were gaming with IG around Port Magalie in the Witchlights area and IG is making a few maps for that but we need more people to game in it generally. Id not like to completely restart the CWBP but I would like to focus on one area and do more detail just there. I think we could do a better job next time but redoing the amount of maps in there so far is not really a goer.
I reckon there is a feeling that were a bit too protective about regions but we should just map anything we like even if that means having multiple maps of an area in a collision situation. Obviously better to do different areas but Id rather people just mapped than hold off in case of colliding.
So to answer the original post - yes id like to see map requests but being driven from people gaming who need the map for that area not just random points sprayed over the map. Maybe the gamers could just rough sketch what they did or would expect from the place as a kind of starting point to make it fit with their current game. I was always hoping that we could not only have all the maps but maybe some game mechanics text for the areas too from peoples adventures.
I think Redrobes has brought up a valid point. There really is no reason that anyone can't map an area that has already been mapped, or take two areas--or portions of two areas--and merge them into a single map. In fact, I think it would be kind of neat to see multiple maps of the same area done by different people. Hell, even updated maps done by the original artists... I can't tell you how many times I've thought of redoing the Witchlight Strand.
That being said, a cartographer would have to realize that, in most cases, an area's history has already been written, and that a re-imagined map does not include a re-imagined history. Unless, of course, that history is an account from a certain sect of peoples or whatever. For instance, I'd love to see a map from the perspective of the Stoutlings in The Hallows of the Tawaren Basin, which may include their version of the history of that area... to include the onset of the Plague and the devastation that followed.