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Thread: How can anybody ask for an unpaid map?

  1. #41
      Master TMO is offline
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    First off, fair warning, I am brand new to the fantasy mapping environment, so I have no personal experience with the market supply or demands. So please don't be upset if my post bears no relation to the reality of the situation. I'm just throwing it out there so that folks who are familiar with the environment can kick it around some and maybe pick something useful out of it.

    When I first started looking around for ways to get started with making maps, I envisioned possibly some day being able to make a little bit of money off of it, if it grows out of just being a hobby. What I pictured was a site where folks could download a map set I had created for a small amount - $1 to $5, depending on the size and detail of the map. Each download wouldn't net me much, but it could add up if a map becomes popular and multiple folks download it.

    There is no reason that the idea can't be applied to multiple cartographers - a marketplace, as it were. Artists could upload their maps and descriptions, search keywords, etc, and the site could handle accepting and disbursing payment for a percentage, or it could just have links to Paypal, whatever. It could also be used as a way for those seeking a custom map to find an artist whose style they like and a way to contact them to request a commission.

    It's got some issues - how do customers get a preview of the maps to see what they want to buy without accidentally giving the whole thing away? How do we determine those who download for personal use vs those who download to resell? (That one may be solvable through the licensing rights, I don't know) Will many folks just buy a map once and then forward copies to all friends who want it, thus denying the artist the multiple fees? Etc, etc, etc.

    Hope this post is useful, and not just a noob blathering on about things he has no understanding of.

  2. #42
      tilt is offline
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    it is not blathering at all and the questions you raise are those all sellers of immaterial things/electronic wares have to concider. I've been having almost the same idea for some years, but haven't gotten any further than making a layout for the site and buying a domain. In Denmark we have a saying that translates to "many small streams make a big river", and I believe in that concept business wise also
    Concidering previews - watermarks can make your map safe from downloading, no not 100% since you can with hard work erase a watermark in photoshop, but the low price should deter you from that.
    Reselling shouldn't be allowed - ie, so if you see the map on sale some where someone is breaking the law. (period)
    Yes, some people will print maps for their friends, but I'm guessing most wont since they probably play in the same group. (and one should also cater to peoples sense of morale ie. we can't sell at this low price if you don't pay). And there are other ways to ensure loyalty too
    But there will always be someone who will upload the map to some pirate site, its just a question of when... and thats probably few minutes after the first map is sold *sigh* which brings us back to morality
    regs tilt
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  3. #43
      RobA is offline
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    Old thread but I recently say this post and had to add it here:

    Designers, Should You Work for Free?
    Short answer: hell #$%*ing no. (Unless it's for your mom.)
    And a link to the flowchart: http://www.shouldiworkforfree.com/

    -Rob A>

  4. #44
      tilt is offline
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    hehe ... the chart screws up a little under the charity section - but funny
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My mapping blog tilts fantasy maps :: My work Catapult - Perry & Gehrke - EasyTruckIT ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Cartographia - Breakwater -Market -Lands of Twilight -Battle City :: Competion maps Iron Giant ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

  5. #45

  6. #46
      Jaxilon is offline
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    Hehe. Oddly enough, I was thinking about this thread this morning.

    The thing that puts me off, (and I'm still new to making money on what I yet call my hobby), is when people ask for the work to be done for free but want commercial rights to it. That's like, "Hey, will you build me something nice that I can sell to make money?"

    Umm, I don't think so. At least offer royalties or something....I mean seriously? Have the prior artists of the world just been stupid and screwed future generations? Is it just me because it seems there a malfunction in asking for work to sell while offering no compensation to the one who created it?

    I feel that if you have plans to sell something commercially you should at least offer some royalty in case things pan out. Otherwise, if you really don't want to pay for it, do the artwork yourself.
    “When it’s over and you look in the mirror, did you do the best that you were capable of? If so, the score does not matter. But if you find that you did your best you were capable of, you will find it to your liking.” -John Wooden

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  7. #47
      jtougas is offline
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    As a complete noob to doing any cartography for anyone but me. I tend to agree with you Jax. If your planning on going commercial than you should plan on the budget for the cartography. I enjoy helping people out and have only taken a couple of commissions to this point. Hopefully someday my skills will reach a point where I can feel comfortable taking money for my work.
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

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  8. #48
      ravells is offline
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    I like to help out people who want maps for their RPG games (it's my way of vicariously taking part!) in which case I retain copyright.. The guild is a friendly place and helping people out gives me a fuzzy glow which is payment enough. If it's something I can bash out quickly or a way of testing a new style I'm working on (might as well have the example map serve a purpose), I'll do it for free but I usually suggest a voluntary contribution to Arcana's costs of running the Guild by pressing the 'donate' button.

    If it's something much bigger, but still for a personal RPG game (i.e. non-commercial), I'll charge a cheap rate (sometimes I sell the copyright, sometimes not).

    If it's for commercial use I'll charge a more expensive rate, and usually sell the copyright to the map.

  9. #49
      rdanhenry is offline
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    That's a pretty useful flowchart, but neglects two important considerations:
    (1) Is it something you were going to do anyway, just not necessarily to their specs? If you're practicing making a world map from a tutorial, and someone is asking for a map in that style, you're not giving up much by making it to a reasonable set of requests (and it might even save you some time coming up with names).
    (2) Do you even money? Most of us do, but if you happen to be lucky enough to be born into the ranks of the idle rich, making free maps for people is probably a lot healthier (mentally and physically) a hobby than dressing up in a costume, equipping yourself with an arsenal of cool gadgets, and spending your nights dishing out vigilante justice.

  10. #50
      jbgibson is offline
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    Yeah, the chart has some truth in it. And I realize the original query was slanted toward commercial requests. But for random citizens just asking nicely for a map, there's getting paid , then there's Getting Paid. Realistically I don't have time to get good enough for cash payment, but a good dose of that kind of appreciation is pretty good pay :-).

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