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Thread: May Entry: Bluffs Encounter

  1. #21
      trevor is offline
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    That's pretty cool Dorpond (kind of reminded me of a video game Speed Run as you zoomed past all the baddies).

    What would be cool is if the other entrants demonstrated their maps in their VT of choice. It's great to talk about creating maps for VTs, but it's another thing to actually see it in use. Lots of little things to think about, like the grid alignment that dorpond mentions.

    Something I thought was impressive was that the 75k map still had good quality even zoomed in. Very playable.

  2. #22
      RPMiller is offline
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    Looks good.

    I'm not sure I agree with the need to line everything up for a VT though. I posted a thread recently about grids if you want my opinion about that. I think the need for lining everything up is strictly a system thing and possibly a square grid issue as well. I won't go any further with that train of thought as I don't want to derail the thread, but you are welcome to check out my Questions of the Grid thread:
    Questions of the Grid
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  3. #23
      Redrobes is offline
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    Everyones lost me with the lining up bit. It doesn't have a grid on it so whats to line up ? This map should be one of those that show how to use a VT without a grid surely.

    Edit -- Just to add. I couldn't see the path up that you mentioned was on these rocks even when looking and knowing they should be there. The latest map shows them up much better now. I can see now how to get up onto the top. It also doubles up to show the scale better. Those bridges and tents could have been any size but the path should be at least enough to walk up so now I know that they are actually quite large.
    Last edited by Redrobes; 05-20-2008 at 04:04 PM.

  4. #24
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    If you look at the video he linked to, you'll see what the talk about lining up is referring to. I strongly agree with you though that this is a perfect map to go gridless on. Unfortunately people would have to then figure out how to use their system without a grid. That is those systems that rely on it so heavily. *cough*d20*cough*
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  5. #25
      trevor is offline
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    The key is that there are people who _do_ use grids, and if you are trying to make a map that has the broadest accessibility you need to keep them in mind too. For example, it's nice when there's not a wall that cuts a cell in half, or in this case, a bridge that has spots that force the token to float in mid-air.

    We've discussed that the 75k file size limit shows off the expertise of the map maker, it seems reasonable that an additional (and unofficial) criteria is that a master could lay out a fantastic looking map while still keeping it usable by the use-grid people.

  6. #26
      Full Bleed is offline
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    I like it.

    To chime in, I hope you produce a higher rez version that isn't restricted by the contest rules. "Playable" is one thing, but I'd enjoy it more if I was playing at 4 times that resolution.

    As for making maps to grids, I'm not a fan of that philosophy. Grids become an artificial constraint as is. Try making a really snakey, thin, cavern passage on a square grid and you'll notice real quick that it just doesn't work very well. Tokens end up cutting corners and standing in walls all the time. It's not pretty but people just have to suspend their disbelief a little more and it's workable. The solution to being "grid friendly" may in many cases fundamentally change the artistry of a map (you know, like when you walk into a dungeon and every room is a miraculously a multiple of 5' ) The point being that VTT's that require a grid are kind of missing out on one of the key benefits of using a VTT (i.e. not being constrained by a grid.) So the question becomes one of choosing to dumb down a map to a grid's constraints, or upping a game system's ability to play without one. (Point of note: Maptool does not require a grid.)

    As for the map itself, it's coming along nicely.

    A few things I think would make it look better... Unflatten the canyon floor to indicate some wind/water erosion and add some things to make the village area look a little more lived in (fire pits, water wells, animal pens, etc.) Maybe some kind of wooden fortification gate at the top of the path (so that Dorpond guy can't run right in! )

  7. #27
      meleeguy is offline
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    A most fine entry.

    As a friendly would-be competitor, I fear your 2nd version the most - something about texture harmony springs to mind.

  8. #28
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Very, very nice.
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  9. #29
      dorpond is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Full Bleed View Post
    I like it.

    To chime in, I hope you produce a higher rez version that isn't restricted by the contest rules. "Playable" is one thing, but I'd enjoy it more if I was playing at 4 times that resolution.

    A few things I think would make it look better... Unflatten the canyon floor to indicate some wind/water erosion and add some things to make the village area look a little more lived in (fire pits, water wells, animal pens, etc.) Maybe some kind of wooden fortification gate at the top of the path (so that Dorpond guy can't run right in! )
    Thanks Full Bleed!

    Regarding your request for high resolution. I actually made this map at 1280x1024 since that was what the rules were. That being said, the PSD is that size. Sorry bud... I will however provide a non-compressed version at the end of the day.

    Thanks for the advice. I did put camp fires and tried to clutter up the living areas. What ended up happening however was that the map became too busy and combat room started to fade. Then I thought about how I like to keep stampable objects off the map so that the map can be made for any gamer. For example, someone might want this to be more of a sci-fi 'another planet' map and in that case there may be space craft parts laying around these huts.

    In general, I tend to leave off the clutter on my maps and leave that up to the GM who will be using them in their VT.

    I guess what I need to ask myself is this: is this contest for the prettiest map or most usable by the masses? In general I am swaying more towards the latter since we already have a ton of pretty map makers out there (which by the way, tend to be useless to me most of the time because they have already have objects on them that don't fit my game).

    I will definately add more character to the canyon floor texture - great pointer.
    Last edited by dorpond; 05-21-2008 at 09:00 AM.

  10. #30
      dorpond is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by meleeguy View Post
    A most fine entry.

    As a friendly would-be competitor, I fear your 2nd version the most - something about texture harmony springs to mind.

    You know, I kind of liked that cartoony/gritty feel also. Sometimes I wonder if I do more bad than good by trying to make things better.

    What are the general thoughts so far from the rest of you? Which of the three are better and why? A part of me loves the feel of the dark and tall shadows. Almost rogue-like while the players duck in the shadows as they approach the pathway up. Man, I am soooooo torn...
    Last edited by dorpond; 05-21-2008 at 09:01 AM.

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