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Thread: Thinking Big about Guild maps

  1. #21
      pyrandon is offline
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    OK, Bryan--I agree with Neon: that idea right there just upped my interest in this project by a big leap! Wow--what a fun idea!!
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  2. #22
    Guild Master Gracious Donor Midgardsormr's Avatar
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    Um... wow. High praise for idle speculation! Thanks, though!
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  3. #23
      Torq is offline
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    Great idea Mid. Though for those mappers with unique artistic styles it makes it easier to adopt a fictional persona, but for those of us who (particularly close-up) tend to aim for something tending towards the photorealistic, it could be problematic ...... no wait, I just thought of something.

    I repeat, great idea Mid!

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  4. #24
      ravells is offline
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    This sounds like a great idea. Torq, you should have a think about adding another level of detail to the execution of it. I guess the question that occurs to me is, do the mappers also do the world building or is some sort of basic (or advanced) worldbuilding done first?

  5. #25
      Redrobes is offline
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    I reckon it would take a bit of a group think there to decide how to tackle it. You need some sort of world mapped out first. You must decide on some basic things like climate & geography as well as the sort of general styles that each area would have. You cant have big cities in one spot and then this points of light approach for all the area around it.

    I would also suggest that the whole effort be focused on some smallish area of the world so that you get at least one place with some coherent, in depth mapping going on. Thats like the Cormyr area of Forgotten Realms that had a lot more detail than the rest when it started. You could work with that and fit RPGs into it easily therefore it would get traction by other users to get more into it.

    Particularly for the large scale maps you need some very common software to do it. Possibly even general software. I would suggest any bitmap editor and use RobA's style of using B&W maps with cloud filters / fractal noise to raise the detail and fill in the areas with more detail as the scale gets lower.

    Another hot tip I have learned from experience is that you need to map in topo - i.e. straight down mode. You cant use the perspective style mountains like 'M's to do it unless your prepared to completely loose one map when zooming into higher scale. Also for the same reasons, its easier if you go for a realistic style of map rather than say an Atlas style like HandsomeRobs. Both look nice and the latter is probably easier to read but if you want to use scaled down version of small scale maps in the large scale maps then they just wont fit. Otherwise you have to decide on which sets of fixed scale to run with and map them all separately.

  6. #26
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    Post CG and CBG should work together on this project...

    Quote Originally Posted by Torq View Post
    After my eralier post in response to GP, I thought of a potential problem with collaborating with the Fantaseum Alliance partners. Work sharing is fairly easy to do when you are hsndling the mapping, but not so when you are creating the backstory or campaign details. The other two sites would struggle to get a brief to us for a long time, because their processes are, by definition, much slower if major collaboration is sought between their members.

    Torq
    This is the case only if we are planning to be the world-builders of a brand new project. Consider that among the many campaign worlds being developed by the Campaign Builders Guild is a project called CeBeGia. This world has already a significant developement as well as some ideas on the world geography itself.

    Not that there aren't adequete world-builders among the membership of the CG, and not that there aren't substantial mappers in the CBG community - its just that we are an alliance of sites and we should be working together in some respects. It seems playing World-Builder among the CG is counter-productive to involving the CBG.

    Both projects are similar and yet are treated as mutually exclusive. Besides the CeBeGia project is not without some level of development already and may be ready for mapping by CG members without having to wait or struggle to new developments.

    In all sincerity from me, however, I understand the marketing viability of working with a vanilla world - to capture the attention of the widest pool of players and GMs, but I've never played, GM'd or spent any development time on vanilla worlds. I like my icecream with flavor! I would work on any periphery areas of the campaign world that's not completely vanilla. Even if I participated, I'd never play in a vanilla campaign world. For me it would be an exercise in world development, rather than a project fulfilling any personal goals beyond that.
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  7. #27
      Torq is offline
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    Thanks to everyone, and most recently to GP and Redrobes for engaging thoroughly and candidly on this issue. I think a major issue of contention will be the level of "directorial control" that would be both healthy and necessary. On one hand higher levels of control will mean more thematic consistency, more seamless blending of various levels of zoom and probably a more polished product at the end of the day. The result would be a more or less uniform world with its own "flavour" to use GP's word with corrected spelling and which could be mapped and plotted smoothly using a product like Red's Viewingdale, without too many hiccoughs.

    On the other side, and the approach I would favo(u)r, would be a looser managerial model. It would strive to allow mappers on this site, to to what they already do, namely make maps in their own styles and feel free to experiment and develop their styles in different directions. There would obviously be some basic paramaters eg, global geography, climate, cultural info, planetary size etc., but the control would not extend so far as dictating style and nuance to individual mappers. The pitfalls that I believe exist with the first method would be caused by the fact that many mappers would feel its a bit of a chore if their brief is too specific and would be more likely to lose interest. It would also, in my opinion, discourage people who would otherwise like to have a go but feel a little self-conscious about there maps or their skills. And can you imagine sending an e-mail to HandsomeRob saying "We really like the continent map that you've put together, but do you think you could make your mountains look a bit more like Pyrandon's?"

    On the whole I believe the essence of this site and the reason for its success is participation. Encouraging participation, possibly at the expense of stylistic consistency, would be better in my view. I would go so far as to say it would be necessary to achieve the levels of participation from this community that would ensure a project like this didn't die out. I may be alone in this view, but there it is.

    Torq
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  8. #28
      NeonKnight is offline
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    I agree with Torq. I would rather a comprised world map of a fantasy world to mapped with a variety of styles. Looking at past historical maps from Earth, they did not all have the same style to them, thus we had things like the Mercator Style, the John Speed Style, and other incongruous styles.

    Even the Forgotten Realm Atlas had a few different styles of maps within it.
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  9. #29
      Redrobes is offline
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    I am in agreement in that the style should be loose. People comment on my maps for using pen and ink + photos + 3D renders all together. The problem comes if one map of a region has very sparse small villages with a kind of frontier rustic feel and then a new megaplex of high magic is placed down in the middle as a city. It would feel absurd if there were no limitations.

    You kinda want what the wikipedia has with its discussion forums. You discuss the changes, and in our case, new maps, before going ahead with one so that there is some overall acceptance of the idea. Actually we should take some pointers from the bigger collaborative web sites out there as, no doubt, they have been through all of this before.

  10. #30
      ravells is offline
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    Here's an off the cuff idea. Generate a random planet using FT, and superimpose state bounderies on top of it. People can take ownership of a state and start mapping it, giving it labels and names etc. I guess the useful thing about using FT would be that you could get it to generate climate / rainfall /altitude and scale data so that the mapper would have something to start with.

    I'm not quite sure what you would do with it afterwards.

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