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Thread: Meyhovic House - Because Everyone Needs a Haunted House Now or Then

  1. #1
      Ashenvale is offline
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    Post Meyhovic House - Because Everyone Needs a Haunted House Now or Then

    Here's my first map post as a new member. Please tell me what you love and hate!

    I created this country manor ground-floor map in Photoshop for a one-session D&D adventure (with a strong Call of Cthulhu bent) that I wrote called "True Malice." It has almost seen publication twice. (I hate the word "almost".) As an RPG supplement, I designed each room after I'd written the encounter for each. Every room has one or more clues through which the players can unravel the arc of a horror mystery driving the adventure. With respect to the map's visual presentation, I focused on compelling light conditions. I wanted the map to remain dark overall, suggesting a house long abandoned by the living. Simultaneously, however, with isolated sparkles and pools of light, I hoped to present a full range of color that both suggests something terrible lingers here on the edge of life, and, from a purely artistic standpoint, supports the overall composition's rhythm and movement. I strove to make the image at once beautiful . . . and scary. I kept the word "haunting" at the front of my mind from the beginning to the end of the creation process.

    The image I've posted here can't begin to reveal the details the original map contains. My website, however, has close-ups of all Meyhovic House rooms. Please, please, PLEASE check them out there! CLICK HERE to go to this map's webpage, and then click anywhere on the main map image. That will pull up a detail page showing the specific room on which you clicked. Then use the next and previous arrows at the top to scroll through the details, taking a tour of the ground floor of the manor. My hope is that you feel like you're inside each room -- and you're unsettled by the experience.

    The big questions about the finished map (whose answers will greatly assist my second floor cartography project!): Do the walls confuse you? Are light conditions overdone? Is the excess of detail too distracting? Do you too wish your home looked like this? No . . . wait . . . that's a personal question for me and my therapist.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Meyhovic House - Because Everyone Needs a Haunted House Now or Then-map-meyhovic-house-ground-floor-small.jpg  
    Last edited by Ashenvale; 08-16-2009 at 12:24 AM.

  2. #2
      Jykke is offline
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    Quite nicely done! I wasn't bothered by any of the things you mentioned on your post. First the walls distracted for a second, but when I looked at them for a while, they just fit right in. Good work, have some rep!

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      Coyotemax is offline
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    That's great, i love it.

    Looking through with a critical eye, the only thing I would comment on is that the floor tile grid shows through the bearskin rug on the one room.

    That having been said, this is one fabulous piece of work, I think you've carried it off well. I myself might have used more muted and darker colours, some places seem a bit bright for a horror setting, but really, that's a personal preference. If I sat down at a table with this map, I woldn't think twice about going "eep"

    Nice!!

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    "...sometimes the most efficient way to make something look drawn by hand is to simply draw it by hand..."

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      Lwaxana is offline
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    I love the walls. Just irritated me for a second. Can't wait to see the 2nd floor :-)

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      Gandwarf is offline
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    That's awesome work Ashenvale!
    I do think the walls are a bit too thick/much, but they don't really bother me. The layout of the mansion is great and I love all the stuff in the rooms.

    Did you draw the symbols for the furniture and other stuff yourself or did you get them somewhere?
    (always looking for more symbols )
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

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      Ashenvale is offline
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    Thanks, everybody!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Did you draw the symbols for the furniture and other stuff yourself or did you get them somewhere?
    (always looking for more symbols )
    I did almost everything by hand, and all in Photoshop. I drew all the pots, barrels, pillars, tables, candles and light sources, books, potion beakers, windows, staircases, skeletons, the mummified cadaver, the harp, the piano, the chapel benches and altar, the front gates, the ghostly outdoor trunk, and so on. Many of the repeating forms, like the pots and barrels, lean different ways (each room has its own one-point perspective) or have different illumination depending on where they fall in each room, so I had little choice.

    I downloaded chair photographs from the internet and then manipulated them in Photoshop. I did the same with the carpets, including the bear-skin rug, adding a translucent version of the floor grid to each. I likewise saved carriage photos from the internet and played with them to age and splinter them up. The wall paintings are all fantasy illustrations of mine from other projects that I warped into perspective (and to which I added frames) with Photoshop. I hung my camera over the stairwell and shot a photo of myself lying on the floor for the dead guy in the northwest tower.

    I created the leaves inside the arboretum and everywhere outside using the leaf brush of Photoshop's brush tool. Fastest, easiest cheat I've ever found!

    Edit: Wait! I lied! I created the upright pots throughout the map from scratch, but I shot photos of a couple pots around the house for the pots and urns lying on their sides in the aboretum, and then Photoshoped their colors, contrast, and dimensions, and added highlights.
    Last edited by Ashenvale; 08-16-2009 at 07:01 AM.

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      Gandwarf is offline
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    Yeah, I kinda figured most of the stuff was custom made or at least heavily edited. It all fits in so well...
    Great background story for the dead guy in the northeast tower
    My favorite rooms are the one with the bear skin and other creatures (great lightning there) and the room to the northwest of it, with the pots and leaves on the ground. Love those leaves

    Anyway, you can be insanely proud of this work. Must have taken quite some time to create this mansion!
    Last edited by Gandwarf; 08-16-2009 at 07:00 AM.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

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  8. #8
      Ashenvale is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Anyway, you can be insanely proud of this work. Must have taken quite some time to create this mansion!
    Wow! Thanks!!

    It's probably more accurate to say I'm insanely foolish to have taken the time to create this mansion. This one ate up some serious late-night hours. But the measure of detail let me do all the fun stuff, like hiding the skeleton in the courtyard pool, and etching the same arcane symbols on the coffin door that I inscribed in color on the ballroom floor. And I got to feature a handful of beloved D&D miniatures in a room as life-sized trophies! I want a REAL room like that.

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      Ascension is offline
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    Very nice. Must have taken forever to do.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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      Skaryn is offline
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    For a first map, that is just simply amazing. The fact you did it by hand is even more amazing to me. As I mentioned in another post, I am a programmer, so by law my hand drawn art skills are horrible Have some rep, you definitely deserve it.


    This makes me want to stop working on my site and go work in dunjdinni now!!and I still have city designer 3 to play with still arghh! This is the mapstyle I plan to use for my PBBG game at the lowest level, something that you can move characters around on. Looking forward to seeing other maps you make

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