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Thread: *** May Super Challenge - Minimalist for Virtual Tabletop - WITH PRIZES!!!

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      Arcana is offline
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    Post *** May Super Challenge - Minimalist for Virtual Tabletop - WITH PRIZES!!!

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Cartographers of all ages, welcome to the first ever sponsored mapping challenge. The month of May brings us a specific challenge proposed and sponsored by RPGTonight. We will be handling a specific theme aimed towards the Virtual Tabletop (VT) environment.

    As the VT concept becomes more popular, there comes a time where minimalist approaches are a bit more necessary in order to conserve bandwidth in the case of slow connection players. With this in mind, the folks over at RPGTonight have proposed that we create a map with as much detail as you wish to cram in, yet keeping it under a certain file size, but over a certain dimension. Here's the details:

    Theme: Minimalist maps for online Virtual Tabletops. The challenge is to come up with an attractive online "battlemap" for online virtual tabletop style games.

    Rules:
    • The map must have a resolution of at least 1280 X 1024 pixels
    • The filesize must be no more than 75kb.
    • The map must be useful as a "battlemap" on which miniatures (thumbnail size tokens), can be moved around. A scale of around 5 - 10 pixels per foot is a good size.
    • The map must depict an area on land, which could include building interiors, town areas, dungeons, wilderness areas, etc. It doesn't have to be fantasy themed...modern, western, sci-fi, etc. are fine.


    Judging will be done by our usual online voting process. RPGTonight would like to offer first, second, and third place prizes. Cartographers' Guild will offer the usual first place prize of recognition via award and Challenge Winner title.

    Winners will be allowed to pick gaming related items from a long list of available prizes. First place prize winner chooses three items, the second place prize winner chooses two items, and the third place prize winner gets one. In the case of a tie at any level when polls close, a separate vote will take place in a separate thread lasting for 24 hours.

    Here's a link to the prize list

    Disclaimer/Release
    • RPGtonight will be allowed to use winning maps in its onsite collection for use by members in their games.
    • Cartographers' Guild is not responsible for any disputes or claims by contestants arising out of or in connection with either the selection of winning entries or with prizes.


    Remember, ask any questions you want here in this thread...PLEASE follow the thread naming conventions, and be sure to read the usual challenge rules thread.

    This is a first for the guild, and we're looking forward to a LOT of entries and participation.
    Last edited by Arcana; 05-04-2008 at 06:47 PM.
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Very cool challenge! And I just downloaded Maptool and all that too... what a coincidence ....

    so that's like... 128' x 102' to 256' x 204' .... right? does it have to have a grid?
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      Arcana is offline
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    I would say grid is optional. I've not used VT's yet...so keep in mind thats what its aimed at. Someone with a little more expertise can probably answer that better.
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Then we're both in the same boat ... I've never used one either tho hoping to in the near future
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    Post Most VTTs have placeable grids

    Most VTTs have their own placeable grids - size determined by user of application, including the option to place a square or hex grid. So mappers should not include a grid in their map submissions. Nor should they add scale, site numbers, labeling or any other notations.
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      RPMiller is offline
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    GP is spot on. Now I haven't used RPG Tonight's VT so I can't vouch for its capabilities, but I would recommend that you at least check it out since they are sponsoring this.

    I can speak for MapTool, Battlegrounds and OpenRPG though. They all have the ability to add grids, text, and objects that PCs are likely to move or destroy so keep that in mind as you create the map.

    GP, has posted some of his maps at the MapTools forums under User Creations so if you want to see what you are likely up against you might want to check those out.
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      Sigurd is offline
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    Post Speaking only for Fantasy Grounds

    Graphic grids actually interfere with the use of the map.

    A grid that is drawn by the application is an active thing. Place a token in the generated grid and the computer can determine its facing, opponents and help you with distance moved. If there is a second grid as part of the map it clutters the view and confuses people.

    For FG at least, dont put a grid on it, or release two versions.


    Sigurd

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      Redrobes is offline
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    You could get a lot in 75Kb if it were not in a raster image format. You could also do a lot better if you split a raster image into sections and you could do better with a file format that is not very common like jpeg2000. So I disagree that VT's need a minimalist map for low bandwidth its only true if you use a system like that proposed. What if you submitted 75K of source material which when unpacked generated a raster image - like html + images... Anyhoo, I digress.

    Its a generous offer by them and looking on past months they ought to get some great maps to use.

    My tip is for entrants to swat up on the image file formats and which ones compress well under different circumstances. For example if you have a tiled floor then Jpeg with tiles on 8 pixel boundaries would compress real well. Old school style areas filled in are better than line art like cross hatching etc.


    Below is this months Thumbnail page. All entrants get a position on the page but the updates to the images are done using a script and you need to put...

    ### Latest WIP ###

    on every post with a newer image. The last one (should and I know there some errors there...) should be the thumb.



    Code:
    ### New Challenge Entry:Ravells,1950
    ### New Challenge Entry:Gamerprinter,1954
    ### New Challenge Entry:Sigurd,1961
    ### New Challenge Entry:rlucci,1962
    ### New Challenge Entry:delgondahntelius,1963
    ### New Challenge Entry:Torq,1967
    ### New Challenge Entry:Malakor,1969
    ### New Challenge Entry:keithcurtis,1973
    ### New Challenge Entry:Midgardsormr,1974
    ### New Challenge Entry:meleeguy,1979
    ### New Challenge Entry:terrainmonkey,1982
    ### New Challenge Entry:NeonKnight,1985
    ### New Challenge Entry:GM's Apprentice,1995
    ### New Challenge Entry:Redrobes,1998
    ### New Challenge Entry:mathuwm,2004
    ### New Challenge Entry:Valarian,2005
    ### New Challenge Entry:SpamValiant,2006
    ### New Challenge Entry:rpgmapmaker,2011
    ### New Challenge Entry:Cisticola,2015
    ### New Challenge Entry:alucard339,2020
    ### New Challenge Entry:torstan,2034
    ### New Challenge Entry:RobA,2038
    ### New Challenge Entry:dorpond,2054
    ### New Challenge Entry:aegean,2094
    ### New Challenge Entry:Vry,2103

    May 08 Thumbnails
    Last edited by Redrobes; 05-27-2008 at 01:42 PM.

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    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Great advice from everyone ... this info all comes in handy .. and yes.. I immediately went over and signed up to check it out ... thought it would be prudent to do so
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  10. #10
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    Post Also avoid creating overhead objects

    Also avoid creating trees and other overhead objects. You see in a VTT app, the map we're creating is for the ground level. Once loaded the user then places PC/NPC/Monster tokens, specific objects. A layer above this is used to place trees and roofs, etc. Thus the tokens can be found between the overhead tree layer and the ground layer.

    If you place a tree in your map, then VTT users will find their PC tokens walking on top of the tree, since it is on the ground plane.

    Don't place trees, etc.
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