An amazing number of entries! Well done all!
Cthulhu Cultist Starship Temple - Ravells
Druidic Shrine - GamerPrinter
Colour and Atmosphere - Sigurd
Bell Mines - rlucci
Mistfell Lighthouse - delgondahntelius
The North East Towers of Jocelyn Castle - Torq
The Chasm - Malakor
City Streets - keithcurtis
Hotel Eighth Floor - Midgardsormr
The Ambush Inn - meleeguy
No Frills Dungeon - terrainmonkey
The Old Cemetery - NeonKnight
Caverns Deep - GM's Apprentice
Fentor Cross Church - Redrobes
Cairn - mathuwm
Scout Ship De Gama - Valarian
"Knock, knock." "Who's lair?" - SpamValiant
Mud Golem Cave - rpgmapmaker
The City - Cisticola
Skryon Castle - alucard339
Shipwrecked - torstan
The Tower - RobA
Bluffs Encounter - dorpond
Magma Bridge - aegean
Lost Vaults of L. Morrow - Vry
Well then...Here goes...yet another recordbreaking challenge event!
Our first sponsored even, and our largest turnout ever!
This month the challenge was to create a map for a VTT yet keep the file size under 75kb, and everyone seems to have met that requirement and then some! We've had some fantastic entries this month, and apparently some people even learned a thing or two. I can't wait to see how the voting turns out for this one.
I'm going to do this one a little different. Thanks to RedRobes fantastic thumbnail grabber we're going to use that instead of our regular bulleted list of entries as its easier. We're currently working on getting that thumbnailer built into the site, but until then, here's the link.
List of Entries by Thumbnail
Remember the rules, and the guidelines:
- 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.
And happy voting!!!
Robbie Powell - Site Admin
Indeed. Since this challenge had a very specific technical aspect to it, I decided to vote based on compression ratio. So I voted for myself. (-;
Seriously, though, I calculated the compression ratios of every entry and here are the top five, in descending order:
Midgardsormr: 63.815 pixels / byte
Valarian: 47.523 px / byte
RobA: 26.697 px / byte
rlucci: 25.062 px / byte
matthuwm: 23.056 px / byte
These numbers are based on the "properties" window in Internet Explorer, in which the file size is slightly larger than that reported by the forum software.
I freely admit that I designed "to the judge" in this case. I knew from the outset how I would choose my vote, and I built my map to compress as small as possible and still be larger than most other offerings. All other offerings, as it turned out, although Valarian could easily have exceeded my resolution; he had more than enough file size left.
Had I judged on visual appeal and useability instead, I'd still be trying to figure out where to put my vote. Rlucci, Torq, Cisticola, Meleeguy, Torstan, and dorpond all turned in stellar entries.
Good job, everyone! And good luck in the polls!
C'mon thats crazy. Everyone was trying very hard to hit the 74.999Kb image size which would maximize the quality per pixel whilst still being under the limits. We could have all gone lower at the expense of quality. Apart from Valarian who used the PNG format everyone else (I believe) used JPG and had a variable compression ratio to adjust. A much better objective test would be to see how much difference the compressed maps were compared to uncompressed (or lossless) versions so as to determine how much compromise had to be introduced to make the byte ceiling. In which case only Valarian would get a 100% score anyway.
Valarian is in my vote running but if I ask which piece id hang on the wall I get a different answer. Also if I ask which one is most suitable for a VTT I get another and I am inspired by yet another and in terms of which map is farthest out of my ability to repro then I get another. I haven't made up my mind yet. Theres so many good ones and who ever wins surely deserves it this month.
Well done everyone. Drill down from the thumbs and don't just look at the small image. Some of the entries look better full size.
Well, I've never claimed I wasn't crazy...
No sane person would have calculated the compression ratio for every single entry! Yours is 17.759 pixels / byte, by the way.
I think the beauty of this challenge is the open-endedness of the requirements. Keep in mind that as long as you keep the given requirements in mind when casting your vote...your method of vote choice is specifically a matter of opinion. I REALLY appreciate the different views on criteria. And we had a minor debate in the CL forum about voting criteria...in the end it came down to leaving it up to you the voting public to decide your vote criteria beyond the given guidelines.
My personal take is of course getting the best looking map out of the 75k ceiling...but I am 100% on board with other takes on the 75k requirement.
Robbie Powell - Site Admin
That is one really though decision to take for a so small thing as a vote.
I was as most of U torn by the criteria to choose the vote. Mine fall down to playability (usable more than once), beauty and no vote for myself : so MY run down were: RobA, the new kid (Vry), Cisticola, GP, Dorpond and my friend Torq.
My finalist became Torq and Cisticola. My vote finally got lost in a fly of bats ().
I'm only happy that the final vote for the price is not my sole responsibility
Nice work to U all,
Let my fangs find your neck, during the night, so that I can drink your knowledge ...
So it could be use here : www.l-hazard.com
Althought the temptation is there ... I too have ruled out the "vote for myself" as an option.
On the criteria, I've cast my vote. I'd get something completey different if I was voting for the artistic merit rather than suitability for a VTT battlemap. Cisticola, Gamerprinter and Torstan all did beautiful pieces of work, but I felt there was a little too much cover for a battlemap. They'd still be useful in a VTT as atmospheric images, but (I feel) not as battlemaps.
Google Groups for FGII Games:
European FG2 RPG - Fridays & Sundays (8pm UK time)
Using Ultimate FGII and can accept unlicensed player connections on some of the games
I have used a VT (Maptool) for a couple years now, gaming once a week with it. I have found that the best maps are those that find a happy balance between quality and room to move.
Some map makers focus on the visual beauty but as a result, they have to have many pixels crammed into a single cell. As a result, they lose gaming real estate. Those maps to me are useless in a VT because most of the time, the players will try to move around and go out-of-bounds. Then what? Well in Maptool, I can easily hand draw or stamp more map around the edges but that sort of defeats the purpose of having a pre-made map in the first place.
So in general, I tend to go lower with the "pretty" so that I can have more room to move. Those in my eyes are the perfect VT maps - the maps where you can go a session or two without endless map switching.
So that is why I focused on making my map at 25 pixels per cell - room to move. I knew that it wouldn't be pretty but that was the chance I had to take. I know that whoever loads up my map in a VT will be able to get a lot of quality gaming from it - not just move 10 cells and "oops, we need to switch maps now."
So my hat goes off to the guys who made the roomier maps - those are the maps that will be used more often by the VT public, and well, this months map challenge is all about making maps for VT's.
Side note: We have a very talented bunch of cartographers here. you guys are all winners in my eyes.
My Finished Maps
Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.