Symbol challenge?

Sorry if this is off topic but I am curious to know if there has ever been a symbol challenge in the community? I see that there are some VERY talented people that are a part of the community (sadly I'm not necessarily one of them) that produce some truly wonderful artwork. I would love to see a friendly "throw down" similar to the mapping challenge, that all of us could both participate in and benefit from. My thought was pick a theme, invite members to participate to produce a single mapping symbol. Perhaps in support of a current work in development. Honestly, the first thought I had was a "shipwreck" symbol to support the marine mapping work Loopysue is working on. I'm not suggesting any "prize" other than bragging rights and I don't want to muck up the works by having any of the development folks take time judge the outcome. As far as ground rules go, the only important one I would want to see is that the symbol is a rights unrestricted, free gift to the community. Any thoughts?



  • Why yes. We have done that. I submitted ponds, pool tables, slot machines, and drive-in movie theaters in them. This was under cc2pro.

  • edited April 20

    Ahh, but it has been a while since then. I wonder how folks would feel about giving new life to the idea?

  • I would like it divided into vector and non-vector sections.

  • Makes sense, thank you Quenten.

  • There have been symbols published for general use on the Forum here from time to time, including artwork that people are free to convert into symbols if they wish. Also, a few folks, including Loopysue, have contributed symbols for free use via the Community Atlas.

    The past community here produced a lot of vector symbols, as Jim mentioned, in - so far as I can tell, as this was a long time before my own involvement here - a similar way to what's being described now. While a lot of those were interesting, to me the main problem with the idea of producing just a single symbol (or maybe a few) per entrant is this isn't very useful for me as a mapper. What I'm looking for is a range of symbols in a similar style, because a one-off item, no matter how nice it looks, is something I'll probably never use, as it likely won't match sufficiently with whatever mapping style I'm using for a given project.

    Plus such assets are unlikely to become part of the "official" canon we can use for Community Atlas mapping (i.e. symbols which are stored in very specific places within the CC3+ program suite, so they won't be overwritten and lost in the next official updates and upgrades for the program). As a lot of my mapping in the last couple of years has been for the Atlas, this would greatly reduce my interest in such a project, unfortunately.

  • You make some excellent points Wyvern. The symbol(s) should be "pinned" to a specific style which is why I suggested something in support of an ongoing project. I also think we should consider both vector and non-vector art. I have selfish reasons for this since what little talent I do have, doesn't favor vector based art. As far as a range of symbols goes, I am not opposed to that in any way. I just don't want anyone to avoid entering the challenge because they feel the requirements are overwhelming.

  • Well, my drawing skills haven't improved. So likely I wont be doing this. If anything, my drawing skills have gotten worse.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator

    A symbol challenge could be a fun activity. I'll have to bow out myself though, while I can draw a decent CC3+ map from existing resources, creating my own symbols is far beyond me. I need those stronger in the art to do that for me.

  • Right there with ya, Monsen. I'm just not that kind of artist :)

  • Ahh, too bad. But I completely understand. I'm not much of an artist either but I try. Thanks for everyone's thoughts on the subject.

  • jslaytonjslayton Mapmaker Moderator, ProFantasy

    I'm a terrible artist, but I'm not going to let that stop me from challenges! Well, starting something, anyhow.

  • I would do a vector, but not any other type.

  • I love the idea of a symbol challenge and would probably participate since I've hit a burnout point on mapping. However, I'm not crazy about the idea of pinning it to a particular style. My art style is not the same as someone else's style and the idea of having to try to copy/plagiarize another person's style bother's me a little. Rather than pinning to style, pin it to a product, i.e CC, DD, CD, etc.

    Just my opinion, for what it's worth. 🙂

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator

    If anyone wants to arrange such a challenge, feel free to do so. While I don't have the skills required, I'd love to see a competition going on for those that have, and maybe there will be some nice results for everyone to use.

    But I think Shessar is right. If you force a specific style, you will be excluding lots of otherwise skilled people. While the symbols produced will be less usable overall because they don't have a single style, it wil allow everyone involved to do their best instead of being forced to try to emulate some one else's style.

    My suggestion would be to introduce a theme though, such as "dungeon treasure" or "modern supermarket" or "overland trees" to both give people ideas and constrain it somewhat without being to limiting.

    And I don't think splitting it into vector and raster symbols is a good idea. You're already cutting deep into the possible participants when you go from maps to symbols, so splitting even more isn't wise IMHO.

  • Well, that being the case let's do it then! Let's say vector, raster, etc. And let's start small with shipwreck symbol(s) in any style you care to submit. Also let's not limit it to fantasy. Historic, modern, science fiction, etc., are also on the table. Some proposed ground rules: The challenge starts on this coming Monday April 26th. All entries must be original work, (no copyrighted material), all symbols are freely available to all forum members for unlimited use, regardless of participation in the challenge, no limit to the number of submissions, the challenge will run for seven days with no submission accepted after May 3rd. Each participant gets one vote to select the winner but you cannot vote for your own entry, in the event of a tie, we will toss the deciding vote to a forum member that did not participate in the challenge. Submissions must be uploaded to this thread in JPG format for the vote BUT we should make them available in PNG format AFTER the competition is completed. Have I forgotten anything or is there anything anyone wants to add/modify/delete?

  • Should we set up a tag to put in the topic header, or post it to a particular area of the forum?

  • DoubleDouble, I think we could just submit to this thread and simply note at the beginning of the post "SYMBOL CHALLENGE SUBMISSION - ..."

  • One week? LOL. Sorry, I'm out then. It would take me longer than that just to create new textures that I'm happy with.

    Plus anything I currently create is non-commercial use only. If I give it away for free, then anything you use it in has to be free as well. Your unlimited use stipulation precludes my participation.

    Still, I may create a few symbols, just not enter them into the competition. I feel inspired for the first time in a while. 👩

  • Shessar, I should clarify I intended that the symbols should, of course be for non-commercial use only. Unlimited was a poor word choice on my part. As far as the one week limitation goes, I am certainly open to a longer challenge time. What does everyone else think?

  • One month, and I'll be in (though I will do vector). One week is just not enough time.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 26 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited April 22

    As long as we start soonish and have at least a month to do it in, I would be interested in taking part :)

    I was thinking of doing an extra bit of the Marine Dungeon style I'm currently working on, so my symbol would be completely free for all things except re-sale as a separate item - other than by Profantasy. It would be a freebie, and you would be able to use it in commercial maps, just like with any other PF symbols.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator
    edited April 22

    Knowing that people have different things going on in their lives, and while a week technically should be enough if one can dedicate all your time that week, most people won't be able to do that. My suggestion is just do a month, run the entire month of May for example. This means you can take a few days and think up a proper announcement post. Take the feedback gained here (perhaps more will come) and then write up a new topic, declaring the challenge and explain the rules (hint: try to be focued, but not overly strict. A common theme to give people ideas and compete in the same space is fine, but too strict rules scares people of (ref the usage discussion above)).

    I can then give that topic a temporary sticky status for the duration of the challenge.

  • Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. I am especially excited to see that so many folks are willing to participate. Monsen special thanks to you for your insights. One month it is for the time frame. May sounds good. If you don't mind Monsen, I would like to message you with a draft of the announcement for your thoughts before I post it and after I have given it some thought.

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 44 images Cartographer Administrator

    Yea, you can do that.

Sign In or Register to comment.