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Thread: Thinking Big about Guild maps

  1. #1
    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
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    Question Thinking Big about Guild maps

    I noticed a while back on a different (and not nearly as well supported) board that the members there were trying to put together a fantasy world to support gamers and enthusiasts, mapping everything from world map to the cellar below the quick eel tavern. At the time I thought it was a brilliant idea, although hopelessly ambitious, with the member numbers and (to be honest) skill levels exhibited by members on that site.

    I thought the Cartographer’s Guild would be the perfect group to attempt something like this. We have great mappers, good people and a committed group of community leaders. We could create a game world on various levels in maps. Starting at global/continental level, regional level, Local level (eg. Towns) and finally floorplan level. It could be a continuous project with a community leader in overall supervision and various community leaders each in charge of one of the levels of mapping to give guidelines at to what needs to be mapped and to make sure of continuity between maps.

    Maybe there should even be an entrance requirement eg. 20 posts before you can be involved (just to ensure that the people mapping are generally ones who stay). The project could be under the auspices of Arcana, and he should, in my view, have the final say as to how it is used.

    There are so many great maps on this site, I would love to see them coordinated into a single realised game world with its own back story, characteristics and cultural background.

    I think it’s a great idea, but I would love to know what other members think.

    Torq
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    I heartedly agree, that is a great idea and would love the opportunity to be involved in something so grandiose. I actually have some ideas on how to implement something like that... but before I actually go into them, I'm going to wait and see the feedback, if it looks like something that is going to happen then I'll devote some time to it ...

    Kudo's to you and here is some rep for that fantastic idea
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  3. #3

    Post Work with the CBG...

    The other Fantaseum sites, include: Campaign Builders' Guild.

    It might be worthwhile to find an existing campaign world from CBG or one of the CG members could go to CBG and start work on a new campaign world - use their help. Then create maps here to illustrate this world.

    We could then do what you suggest, Torq and work to completely map this new world. And gain participation with the CBG - more fuel for the newsletter.

    A cross-site collaborative effort seems a worthwhile activity. Plotstormers could start to create fiction for this same world.

    We could assign cartographers here to planetary map, regional maps, etc. We could make requests for which part of the world, each wishes to map, etc.

    CBG members could likewise be working on building a particular part of the world and request maps from us to describe these areas....

    Thought?
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  4. #4
    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
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    I think thats a great idea GP. It would allow us to concentrate on the mapping and greatly increase the collaberation between the three sites. I think though that the world idea should be fairly "mainstream" ie. standard fare pseudo-medieval fantasy world, in order to give it the broadest appeal. This would also give the most number of mappers on this site a chance to really contribute.

    Torq
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    Community Leader pyrandon's Avatar
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    First of all, Torq (and others), I like the way you think!!!

    This idea has been raised before among the community leaders--along with many, many other ideas (some of which were thought of as cheap sales items just to cover costs; we are a not for profit venture, but Arcana and others do have to eat costs for software, hosting, etc.) We did not pursue the idea at the time, mainly because we were all taxed for time. I also remember I liked the idea, although a general atlas or "Best of TCG 2008" (etc.) was my own vote (and I still like this idea, although it's different than what you are proposing, of course.

    I think this project is very ambitious, which scares me, because we're looking at a coordinated effort by many, many people over long periods of time. I'm not sure we could sustain it. I worry it's one of those projects that gets started, then dies. (Not to say we shouldn't try it anyway, but if we do we should build in failsafes.

    I can only speak for myself as a community leader that I would contribute but not run this. Long-term projects like this are not my forte. (I work in jerks and fevers, followed by cool spots and breaks). Does a CL really need to be in charge? Could a solid Guild member do it?

    There are plenty of other things to consider, I think, but I think the above issues are first in order of importance. What are your thoughts on all that?

    Again, I applaud all you guys for thinking of a fun way to promote the Guild & inter-Guild involvement!
    Don
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  6. #6

    Post Feedback...

    Although a project like this would require the long-term participants to keep the direction on track and moving forward, however, much of the development could be like that of GIMP - where designers come and go, so in the end there are 2000 mappers used in the life of the project.

    If the fear that a project that starts and dies at the guild seems disconcerting, I have no problems hosting the third party site to house the project with a direct link and forums thread from here. This way its a guild project but it's also not - so as not to have anything detrimental reprecussions to the Guild - if that's your fear, Pyrandon.

    I too need mapping breaks now and again, and I have lots "pots cooking on my stove" - I'm a busy guy, so sometimes I couldn't stay involved on a constant basis, but I'd certainly remain with it in the long run.

    Torq, if you want to be the Project Leader, you are certainly a candidate, there might not be a required need for Community Leader participation, beyond being another mapper.

    I think we need to get thoughts from a larger number of CG members who might be interested, before we do anything - but I'm open for participation.
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  7. #7
    Community Leader Torq's Avatar
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    Pyrandon, I have the same reservations about starting a project and it dying a quick or even slow death. That may happen. But this site is has the personnel most likely to make it succeed. I dont think anyone should feel obliged to commit to such a project. We are mostly amateurs who need to do other things to make a living, so I dont think anyone should feel under pressure to make any form of deadline.

    I for one would love to contribute. I'm not sure I'm cut out to lead the project (although I appreciate the vote of confidence GP). I believe the preson who leads this sort of project will have to be someone with a prettty good grasp of mapping on a global scale. To create a "macro" view if you like as a blue print from which to work down. I also dont really know much about web hosting or programming, which may be a necessity particularly if the project were to really get going.

    After my eralier post in response to GP, I thought of a potential problem with collaborating with the Fantaseum Alliance partners. Work sharing is fairly easy to do when you are hsndling the mapping, but not so when you are creating the backstory or campaign details. The other two sites would struggle to get a brief to us for a long time, because their processes are, by definition, much slower if major collaboration is sought between their members.

    Torq
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  8. #8
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    I have a vast homebrew world... for the last... 22 years its where I have spent a lot of blood, sweat and time. I've always encouraged my players to help in the creation of that world... any ideas they might have, etc... some have gone on to world changing events, others... not so vast, but none the less they have contributed something in so much as having a character in my world... It of course is an ever changing world which reacts to their and NPC's actions... I won't bore you with the details of that... but, with such a large world as I have, and with the history of it, the NPC's the Villians, the countries, regions continents, races, religions ... etc... it was quite overwhelming ... I am a chaotic person by nature.. with hardly any organization skills (this is why I married my wife ) and I would find that I would have maybe... three different maps for a certain region only because I lost the first two somewhere among the debris which couldn't be called a filing system in any universe and I would have to make it up from memory and fill in the blanks....

    So... I finally came up with a way to organize a large world... something I called the RDI (Regional Development Index) ... This catagorized everything mostly by (first Continent, Region and then Countries, cities, etc..) This proved to be quite useful... as I could file the stuff where I needed it.. and find it again when I needed it... it also helped me keep track of what I already had developed so that if a player wanted to make up a character from a certain region I could A: either give them the specifics so they could make a background or B: give them my generalized idea of what it consisted of and they could come up with details for that area (subject to my approval) and thus add to the ever increasing player and GM built world... I catagorize these by numbers... 1 being an area virtually a blank canvas and 4 being something that is in the realm of completed and very detailed already...

    While this is probably not completely what a project like this needs, It would help in establishing the world and its regions as well as giving everyone an idea of progress and what future expansion is needed...

    That is my idea on how one could at least organize the project as well as oversee it and run it...

    Torq has the right idea about CBG, it would be a long an arduous task in which we (the mappers) would be waiting on... I'm not totally against the idea however and maybe we should consider reversing that... making the maps... and sending it to them and allowing them to "fill" it with campaign goodies...

    Anyway... that's my couple coppers for now

    Del
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  9. #9
    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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    Thought id just chip in here. I wrote ViewingDale as the purpose built app which is going to bring a whole campaigns worth of maps together. It has been tested with 100,000 icons on the same page and it renders at about a frame a second with that much info. Theres details about that on its forum.

    I am writing my GeoTerSys to create vast terrain so that there is a base for the world which goes down to a level of detail which would allow you to put a house on it and it not look lost in a sea of blurryness.

    So hell yeah ! I am heading that way at full speed. GTS is being used for MeDem and for me that is a test bed for the fantasy realm that will be made beyond that point. I want a large 1000 mile+ terrain where every city and village has detail of its floor plans etc.

    I have wanted this since I started as a DM and have been making the tools to do this for the last 5 years. Yes its ambitious but I have no doubt any more that its within grasp - maybe 6 months away now. Were just starting to chug out MeDem terrain demo tiles within the last month.

    If you need a demo of ViewingDale then were nearly at the time of iCon. See my sig, sign up and have a play with the demo that will be online in a few weeks/days now. ViewingDale is a VTT but its also a multi user networked map sharing tool. Connected members can all modify, update and share the maps, hence - Share the Vision !

    What Del is describing with the Regional Development Index is a mapping hierarchy which is exactly the way the program stores the map database. I suspect that if Del were to put his collection into it he would be able to zoom from full continent to house floor and smaller in one smooth run.

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected delgondahntelius's Avatar
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    Aww... and here I thought I was being original or something.... I'll definitely be checking out Viewing dale... what a shameless plug, btw ( j/k ) Can't wait to see the demo!
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