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Thread: *** March 2010 Mapping Challenge - The Town of Iwaizumi

  1. #1
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Jul 2007

    Default *** March 2010 Mapping Challenge - The Town of Iwaizumi

    We're very pleased to announce that this month's mapping challenge is in collaboration with Open Design - an ENnie award winning design company headed up by Wolfgang Baur. The challenge is to map a location for the patronage project The Red Eye of Azathoth. For this challenge the patrons and designers of the project have provided an art brief for the map. You will be required to work to this art brief for your submission to count as a valid entry.

    You can find out more about the project here as well as through the KQ public reports and previews in these articles: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

    There are a number of prizes at stake:
    • The winner receives the much coveted golden compass award.
    • The winning map wil be published in the Red Eye of Azathoth.
    • The winner will receive a pdf copy of the Red Eye of Azathoth.
    • The winner will receive a year pdf subscription to Kobold Quarterly.

    The judging conditions for this month's contest are slightly more complex than normal. There will be a public vote to decide the winner, however the designers of the Red Eye of Azathoth reserve the right to pick a separate winner. It is highly likely that these will coincide but in the event that they do not then the prizes will be divided. The winner of the public vote will get a gold compass. The map picked by the Open Design team will win the Kobold Quarterly subscription, the copy of Red Eye of Azathoth and have their map published in the adventure with full credits.

    As with all challenges you must precede any map thumbnail with the tag:
    ### Latest WIP ###
    for the thumbnail scraper to pick it up.

    The challenge will close on the 27th of March. We're posting this nice and early to give everyone a good run at this.

    Without further ado, here is the art brief for this month's challenge:

    Map Brief, Town of Iwaizumi, 1287 C.E. (1287 A.D.)
    Red Eye of Azathoth, Chapter 2

    This chapter is set in Iwaizumi, a small town in the northeastern part of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. This part of the country is known as the “Tibet of Japan” (click for satellite image) – steep mountain valleys, rushing mountain streams, and winter snows make travel difficult.

    Iwaizumi is intended to be a remote location in which the investigators are stuck by the winter snows. An inset region map showing the mountain road and valleys would be a nice touch but is not required by any means.

    Iwaizumi is located at the junction of two rivers, one flowing east-west and one joining from the north. Two notable features outside Iwaizumi should be noted on the map, at least as directions:
    1. the water-rich limestone caves of Ryusendo, which are up the northern river about an hour's march for armoured men.
    2. Mount Sakainokami, southwest of town.

    About 250 people live in Iwaizumi. The exact locations of buildings within the town are not important. For the sake of the plot, there must be the following items labeled or on a legend:

    • a central square,
    • a shrine to the local deities,
    • a large fortified wooden house with guest quarters for the village governor, and
    • twenty or so peasant houses clustered around the central square and governor’s house, including rice, wheat, and vegetable farmers, a beekeeper, sheep herders, and so forth.
    • a mill,
    • a tannery,
    • a bridge over the east-west flowing main river, and
    • a ford across the north-south flowing tributary.

    The first attached image shows a recreated historic Japanese village as an example; it is intended to show the spacing between buildings, the locations of fields, etc.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The second shows typical pitched-roof houses/buildings.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For period or tone reference, the third image is a painting of samurai attacking a snowbound village.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The final map needs to be full letter page in size (8.5 inches by 11 inches) and 300dpi.

    Good luck to all contestants!
    Last edited by torstan; 03-02-2010 at 12:49 PM. Reason: Changed "pubic vote" to "public vote" ;)

  2. #2


    While as always, I don't really have time to do another challenge - a village map in Japan, just try and stop me!

    You say late 13th century, that's about 100 years after the comparative time period that Kaidan is set... let's see what I can come up with. Prizes look good too!

    Maybe Djekspek could try for a "five-sey"...

    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!

    Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) Google+ community

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Minor edit - this patronage project, unlike previous patronage projects, will be available for sale to the general public. So the winner will have their name in lights on a high profile publicly available adventure. Initial post updated to reflect this.

  4. #4
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Ascension's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    St. Charles, Missouri, United States


    For those of you concerned not so much with actual gis data but still want as much realism as can be had (me) here are some screenshots that I took. The first is the Google Maps (website is satellite view and the second is the actual Google Earth (program) view. This view shows many, but not all, of the current buildings of the town but both views have a giant cloud covering up a portion of the shot. The third is the closest you can get with Yahoo Maps. The fourth is the Google Maps street map and the fifth is the Google Maps terrain view. These images are for reference and really should not be used for contest entries because anyone with internet can get the same images. I'm going to make my own terrain based off of these. I had the NASA program once but I don't know where I put it, probably on my old computer, so I don't have a shot from that.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)

    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

  5. #5
    Community Leader Immolate's Avatar
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    May 2009
    Central Florida
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    looks like you're doing tonight what I did last night Ascension. I got practiced, if not good, at it while working on "Real Science".
    My Deviant Art Map Gallery

  6. #6
    Guild Novice
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    Feb 2010
    Santa Fe, NM, USA


    Hello, all.

    I'm the designer for this project - and thus the author of the brief above - and I wanted to poke my head in and say how much I've been enjoying the contest so far. Amazing stuff!

    Also, there have apparently been some questions about the need for snow in the map. For purposes of the plot there needs to be snow on the mountains - the passes must be closed, trapping the characters in the town, and there needs to be enough snow for avalanches and other fun. Nothing depends on the town being snowbound, so I tried to leave the presence or absence of snow within the town itself up to your artistic discretion. Sorry if the brief didn't make that clear enough.

    Keep up the great work!

    - Mike

  7. #7


    Welcome, Therabyd! We're glad you like the "show"!

    To the CL's:
    When will the thumbnails page for this month be posted?

    Gamer Printshop - We print RPG Maps for Game Masters!

    Kaidan setting of Japanese Horror (PFRPG) Google+ community

  8. #8

  9. #9
    Professional Artist Ashenvale's Avatar
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    Aug 2009

    Default Enter this Challenge!! We're All Counting on You!!

    If you enter any challenge this year, make it this one! Opportunity is knocking. Bring out your best! If we knock this project out of the park, we may kick open the floodgates to all kinds of publication opportunities! Opportunities so great you'll forgive me for mixing my metaphors!

    For the Open Design "Red Eye of Azathoth" project, I've discarded my cartographer hat and put on my adventure-writer chapeau. As you know if you followed the links above, the publisher Open Design is publishing a five-scenario Call of Cthulhu adventure arc, called "The Red Eye of Azathoth," which presents a battle against forces striving to destroy the world that begins in 887 A.D. and ends a thousand years later in 1887 A.D. The Town of Iwaizumi, the location for the March challenge, is the setting for the second adventure. I'm writing the final adventure, which takes place in the Wild West in 1887.

    Wolfgang Baur and Scott Gable, our fearless publisher leaders for this Open Design project, have suggested that they may turn to the Cartographers' Guild for maps for the third, fourth, and fifth adventures (the last being mine) if the results from this March challenge rock. They're looking for talent and skill (two attributes the Cartographers' Guild has in spades) in the hopes that they can turn to the Cartographers' Guild for a variety of maps for publication in the future. If we, as a Guild, want to forge a solid relationship with an established, award-winning publisher looking for someone to produce high quality maps on a variety of exciting projects -- projects that will be published -- this is our chance. Let's bring out our best! Let's leave Open Design's publishers wonder-struck, collapsed on the floor, overcome with awe.

    And be thinking about a small, isolated, high-desert town in the Arizona Territory in 1887. If the March Challenge enthralls the Open Design publishers, they will likely turn the Guild for the remaining three adventures (in Spain during the Inquisition, in Roanoke as the Lost Colony becomes lost, and finally in the Wild, Wild West). If they do, someone's going to have to create the map for the dust-swept town of Desperation, where the heroes, after a thousand years of conflict and defeat, wage their final, desperate battle to stop the insane Outer God Azathoth from descending to our world and twisting our reality into an eternal nightmare.

    Last edited by Ashenvale; 03-10-2010 at 11:28 PM.
    We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
    -George Bernard Shaw

  10. #10
    Community Leader Facebook Connected torstan's Avatar
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    Absolutely. Open Design is one of the best companies I've worked with and the products are top notch.

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