It has been quite a while since I put anything on this site. I haven’t been totally absent, but mostly I have. Through the interim I did do some elfgame stuff. For instance, I got an offer to do an entire book’s worth of cartography for the man-myth Robert J. Schwalb. I also played some shows with my band for which I drum. Anyways lets dive on into all this.
The last post here was about a map I did for Schwalb’s ‘Survival Of The Fittest‘ which was the first adventure released for his ever popular game Shadow Of The Demon Lord. Somewhere in between finishing that project for him, and starting the most recent project, I did a small map for a kickstarter exclusive adventure for him as well. A couple of days after that my dog died, and then rob approached me to do the ‘Tales Of The Demon Lord‘ maps. This product (yet unreleased, look for it this month) is an entire campaign set in the fucked up world of Roberty’s brain hole. He and I, plus anyone else I’ve doodled for, have an agreement that I suck, generally, at what would pass as commercial fantasyland cartography. My thing, which is a thing taught to me by Dyson Logos of Dyson Logos fame, is that I won’t really take a project I think I can’t do, wouldn’t work in my “style” or something I think sucks.
Rob asked me for a more sepia tone style, and waved a cool paycheck in front of my face, and he is a good friend of mine. So I said yes, and mentally pumped myself up. All “I GOT THIS SHIT” and “FUCK YEAH MAPS” about it.
A few weeks in, it was more like “FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUCK” and I was generally unhappy with the whole thing. So I quit. I told Rob I quit, tried to pass the work off to a human being better than I. But after meeting for a few beers and showing him what I had, he wouldn’t let me quit. I started over on a gripful of the maps, but with some direction and blessing from bossman. I missed a few more deadlines because of technical problems, or whatever, but the project was finished earlier this week and I got that pay check and still haven’t caught up on sleep.
The maps the maps… All in all I am really happy with the way fourteen (maybe thirteen) of the fifteen maps came out. There is one that I wish I would have had an entire month with which to fuck, but I didn’t. I had a lot of trouble getting started, working in a medium I had never used to make maps before. Every single one of these maps was done in mixed medium on actual parchment paper. For instance, the map on the left here (cell phone picture of my computer screen), is all water color, ink, color pencil and marker plus digital touch ups. The houses were done on a separate piece of paper and then I used gimp magic to affix them on to the thing as a whole. Really like this one, after I got it working.
To the right here (also a phone picture), is a map I used real fake blood to do. I really like this one a lot; I touched it up in gimp to really bring out the blood red bloodness of it all. There is an orgy room in this map!
I worry a lot about the final result of the project. I stand by the maps, however I worry the final art in the book and my maps may clash poorly. But we’ll see. Rob’s wife says their cool, and I haven’t shown my mother yet but I imagine she will also think they are cool.
This map on the left here, with the blood smear in the middle is one of my favorites from the project and I think I am going to do a few more maps in that style for fun. Dark brown paper, sepia and black ink, and some more real fake blood.
I really tried to put an art effort into these fuckers, and I hope that I accomplished that. We’ll see when the reviews hit and people are screaming nonsense about a dick fort. Eventually all of the maps, or rather, a select few of the maps will be in a portfolio somewhere on this website. I am really happy with nearly the entire project, save one map. Dickfort.
Some more preview images of finished maps can be found in this google plus thread.
Fuck. I forgot how much work words take. I promise it will not be long until the next post.