I think we've had a tie before and both entrants got the golden compass.
Ascension - No Title Yet
Immolate - Deep in the Wood
JDCt - Heroes' Path
Jaxilon - To Ravenkhor
LonewandererD - Escape the Estate
Ravells - To Rivendell!
RjBeals - Ice Cream Run
Sapiento - From Highstone to Viewfort
moutarde - The Coreroads of the Bergan Dwarves
pindercarl - Mission on Mars
I think we've had a tie before and both entrants got the golden compass.
Hmmm... I was reading that it looked like a tie, so I thought I'd better vote to try to break it. That didn't work.
Bryan Ray, visual effects artist
The Coreroads of the Bergan Dwarves was my favorite, but there were several I really liked.
Ok, I finally cast my votes. It was not at all easy this month as there were a lot of great maps. I will attempt to explain my convoluted logic in making my choices. Not that it really matters.
Ascension - I felt this did the best in hitting my interpretation of the rules. It was dark, it had cool spooky lighting. Yeah, I know where the gate is but not the other point but I felt that was only a minor deal. Overall my favorite. Love the hilarious stuff too, "Diabolical Dachshunds" and "Plague of Earwigs", haha - VOTED
Immolate - I loved the look of this one but it's always harder for me to vote for maps that use brushes and stuff from other sources. Nothing wrong with this but if someone else has spent the time making the parts themselves I'm always going to feel a slight edge toward that. This would be my third place choice I think.
JDCt - Not finished and I think he even said so ahead of time. I thought it held some promise however and I hope you keep joining the challenges.
Jaxilon - I spent a lot of time and effort on this but I think the one thing missing is that the map just doesn't quite suck the viewer in. I hope to master that by learning from the likes of Ascension, Sapiento, DJ, Immolate and others who do such a great job of this. It was described as "Van Gogh, flakey, intense and chaotic" which leaves my head spinning a little but I think it all means good. I don't like voting for myself since I feel it's a little odd so I won't. One point was mentioned that said I didn't have a start and end, however the dead city of Ravenkhor is the end and you can start wherever your ship hits land. Evidently that was not made obvious enough so lesson learned.
LonewandererD - Great use light but I liked the daylight version better. Not much you could do about that however, given it was 'points of light' you were after.
Ravells - I like to reward thinking outside the box when I can and I felt this was a nice changeup from what we normally get. Well done and it had me going back through the story as I followed this. My wife now wants to sit down and do another LOTR marathon. VOTED!
RjBeals - Wonderful illustrated map here. I enjoyed it but had a bit of a hard time merging it with my interpretation of "Points of light" so for that reason I did not place a vote here. This style is really great for a map of an amusement park or something though. I'm sure it's a money maker.
Sapiento - Fantastic representation of the environment. I love the view you chose. This would work really well for a game session too. I think it could have stood to be a bit darker but that may just be me. The one nitpick I have with the illustrations is they lack a certain bloodthirstiness. The Harpyra is great but the rest need more hatred in their eyes or something if they are going to strike fear into your average adventures. A couple of them look like they are ready to sit down for Tea and have a nice conversation on Philosophy. It bums me out when it happens to me and it would have been nice if I had said this beforehand but it took me staring at this for a while to figure out what my issue was. I was just too busy with my own entry beforehand. Sorry about that. I totally see why this got a lot of votes though, it's well done.
moutarde - Excellent map as well. Not sure where the journey was from and too but as mentioned before not something I was overly worried about. I really like the twisty mines you have here. Maybe it's like wine appreciation but I'm just not a big fan of the faded colors. Perhaps as I learn more about ancient maps I will dig it better? A coupld of the illustrations could use a little evil-up still but otherwise great work.
pindercarl - Great look. A bit short but has neat special effects with the post-it's and the scotch tape. The illustrations came out a bit cute.
I sound like I'm hard core on illustrations which I don't think I am but I too have to work at it myself to try and gain a level of malevolence in them. Anyway, excellent jobs all around and it's no wonder it's been such a tightly packed race. Congrats to whoever wins. These challenges are becoming a thing of beauty without there even being a winner because there are so many interesting things to look at and learn from.
PS. Please do not be disheartened about anything I said about your work, these thoughts are not the only ones I had but I figured I owed it to everyone I did not vote for to explain what little **** ant reasons I had to use in order to skip yours.
Last edited by Jaxilon; 02-05-2011 at 04:06 PM.
I don't tend to this but here is how I thought about the entries. I should preface by saying that I don't really care too much how entrants have followed the brief, the fact they've taken part and the internal 'umpf' the map gives me is how I go about voting.
Ascension: I just remain staggered at your ability to make the landscape look so big (something I've never managed to achieve). Ascension maps are now a CG staple since you wrote your tutorial so it may be that which has diluted the brand for me. Having said that, you keep pushing the envelope: the rift valleys in the oceans and the lighting were just quite brilliant. It's like you're Leonardo Da Vinci and everyone else is your pupil. You're always ahead pushing new boundaries in increasing levels of subtlety to make that Ascension style really sing.
Immolate: I don't know what happened, I've just looked again at your map to remind myself and I think I might have missed it when I voted. It's gorgeous. With apologies to moutarde, but if I'd paid more attention I might have taken yours instead for my second vote. I do chime with Jax that as the guild grows and there are more 'instant' resources available, one feels a bit chary about giving value to things that others have created, but for me, it's also how you put it all together. Anyone can grab a bunch of symbols and make a map, but all of your choices worked like good instruments in an orchestra, and the composition was spot on. Absolutely beautiful.
JDcT: Had promise, but incomplete, so we'll never know.
Jax: The colour choices were electric. That blue...wow! I loved your map in individual parts but as a whole it just didn't make it for me. I'm not sure why because every individual bit is beautiful. Maybe the border was too wide and there was so much in it it detracted from the map just a little too much? (I do think that borders win and lose comps and people should pay more attention to them - yours had so much good stuff in it, I think it might have gone too far)...but that blue, that blue!
Lonewanderer: Always one of the front runners for me, that perspective was just fantastic. I'm afraid that taking your map from daylight to nighttime ruined it for me. Sorry. I only found out after the comp closed or I would have mentioned it. I can appreciate why you did it with the whole 'points of light' thing.
Ravells: The idea was born when I did that little silhouette asylum pic for Jtougas. Looking back on it I think the concept was good but the execution was pretty poor. White matting around some of trees looked pretty horrid and I don't think it really held together too well, particularly as not much of it was hand drawn so the images were a bit pick 'n mix and not consistent. I'm surprised it received as many votes as it did, and I will try and finish it.
RjBeals: I loved this from the start. It had everything for me; it was original (in CG terms), touching, humorous, beautifully executed and told a really good story. I do think there's a predisposition for guildies to vote for fantasy maps and this might have suffered for that reason. VOTED.
Sapiento: Oh man, what skills you have. I always love perspective maps because I don't have the ability to make them, and the level of detail in yours was great.
moutarde: If Sap's map was beautifully detailed, yours was just insane. Stand out points for me: the forest texture in the top left inset. The zillion wiggly lines of the tunnels. The font choices. I'm afraid I didn't have the time to read all the text but it was enough. VOTED.
pindercarl: I loved the beautifully 'graphic' illustration quality of the Mars surface. Just my view but I think it would have worked much better if you'd labelled it to death rather than putting in the photos.
I hear what you are saying about my border Ravells. I was constantly de-tuning it because it was too stand out. You should see it if I up the saturation..whoa nelly. I kept telling my wife I had to be careful because I was worried the map was going to be the lesser stand out. In the end, if I had to compare the two parts I would say they are about even. Not exactly what I wanted but I couldn't get the map to pop any further. Thanks for the critique, maybe one day I'll get all the cylinders to fire in the right order. At least I can still do the light challenges. It's looking too bad for moutarde though
Guys I definitely hear you and very much respect your position on re-use. Even if I didn't have a policy of never voting for myself (as most of us do), I wouldn't have voted for my entry this time because the work was so derivative. It is an excellent-looking style... thanks to Ramah. I think I did a credible job of imitating that style but it is far simpler to imitate than create, so I agree that the accolades belong to those who really pushed their creativity and skill to create something original.
FYI, all of my golds came as the culmination of intense effort and enormous buckets of time spent. I am no Djekspek or Gamerprinter to let my artistic genius flow and naturally create a masterpiece or an Ascension, bubbling over with masterful technique and a natural talent for color. When I do something remarkable, it's because I used brute force to do it.
My Deviant Art Map Gallery