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

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    Administrator Facebook Connected Robbie's Avatar
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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 Robbie; 05-04-2008 at 07:47 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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    Administrator Facebook Connected Robbie's Avatar
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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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    Community Leader RPMiller's Avatar
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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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    Software Dev/Rep Redrobes's Avatar
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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 02:42 PM.

  8. #8
    Guild Member rlucci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
    • 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.
    I've been having a hard time coming up with something for this month's challenge. It seems too wide open to me. The real challenge will be largely technical. So I decided to give myself an additional rule:

    • Create more than one versions of the same map - each version in a different genre (fantasy, modern, western, sci-fi, etc.).

    I don't know what I'm going to do yet, and I know I'm setting myself up for working outside my comfort zone, but that's the whole point, right? And, maybe RPGTonight will get a couple extra maps, which is also the point.

    -RLucci

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    Guild Member aeronox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcana View Post
    • The map must have a resolution of at least 1280 X 1024 pixels
    • The filesize must be no more than 75kb.
    I'm a web designer... and using JPG or PNG to save an image of that size, and stay beneath 75kb, is going to leave you with a VERY bad BAD quality image.

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    Administrator RobA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronox View Post
    I'm a web designer... and using JPG or PNG to save an image of that size, and stay beneath 75kb, is going to leave you with a VERY bad BAD quality image.
    Check out the entries so far. Many of them look (IMOO) pretty good and still fall under 75kB

    -Rob A>

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