Map Submissions

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Introduction

So, you've decided that you want to make a map for one of our many areas, but where do you begin? In the attempts to provide a clear and concise set of maps to help adventurers traverse The World of Jord, it's important to understand and comply to a few basic standards so that everyone can quickly and easily use the information that is supplied by people just like you. Below are some simple guidelines to help you maximize the potential of your idea while keeping consistent with some easily recognizable standards. Please take some time to browse them before you begin creating your map. If you have any questions that aren't addressed in part or completely regarding the creation and submission of area maps, then please don't hesitate to direct your questions and concerns to The Immortal Staffor the The Caretaker of the Maps Archive.

Submission Avenues

Map Quests

On occasion, the need to update or create maps for existing or new areas comes about, and an immortal or two may provide a special occasion to submit a map for said area or areas. Quests allow players like yourself to provide a valuable service to the game we all love while receiving a reward for your time and efforts. This generally requires the player or players to perform a task or set of tasks in return for the right or ability to submit a map. This may take form in a variety of ways, and neither one is guaranteed at any one time. Also, please understand that merely entering the quest does not always entitle a player or character to provide maps - that is dependent upon the quest and the immortal(s) administering the quest. While we here at SlothMUD don't typically provide equipment as a reward for map submissions, we do provide alternatives that will help you in your adventures. Examples of such rewards may be but are not limited to:

  • Godlevel Sanctuary Potion(s)
  • Drachma Rewards
  • Character Attribute Reroll
  • Use of a Special Item (i.e. Holy Hand Grenade)
Player Submissions

Over time, The World of Jord changes and may or may not resemble the world that it once did. Sometimes areas get updated and may no longer contain complete or valid information. When this happens, adventurers are sure to spot the changes. Should you find this to be true, you can always contact The Immortal Staff regarding your interest to update a map or maps by simply contacting us directly by email or in the game. As The Immortal Staffwork hard to provide the best game experience they can for all of you, it might, in many cases, be more pertinent to contact them via email.

Requests For Updates

Occasionally, you may find that a map needs to be created or updated, but you don't want to be the one to do it for any number of reasons. That's fine. Simply feel free to contact us via email or in the game, and we will be sure to check it out. We certainly thank you for your requests.

Drachma Rewards Table

After much deliberation, trial, and error, the Immortal Staff has decided to standardize the drachma rewards for players seeking that kind of reward for map submissions. The table below will explain the general, baseline reward amounts for single map submissions (We will not consider multiple smaller maps to be one big map or vice versa). It is, however, important to note that a few factors may increase or decrease the rewards from the following table. The Immortal Staff reserves the right to increase or decrease the rewards based on any of the following reasons listed or not listed below:

  • The Submitter's Attitude
  • Added Care in Creating the Map(s).
  • The Size of the Update to the Map or Area.
  • The Number of Contributors.
  • The Degree to which Contribution was Made.
  • Player History with the Immortal Staff.
  • Quality of the Submission.
1 to 24 Rooms 10 Drachma
25 to 49 Rooms 15 Drachma
50 to 74 Rooms 20 Drachma
74 to 99 Rooms 25 Drachma
100 to 149 Rooms 35 Drachma
150 to 199 Rooms 45 Drachma
200 to 299 Rooms 60 Drachma
300+ Rooms 75+ Drachma (TBD)
The Update Agenda

We here at SlothMUD realize that some maps need to be updated. Some areas have yet to be mapped at all. Whatever the reason, we have identified several maps that need to be provided or updated to better represent the game and our revised level of standard. Please be mindful, however, that occasionally the decision to forgo a standard or guidelines may be made. But that does not mean we won't continue to require adherence to existing standards. The following maps currently are slated for updating or creation, and are in no particular order:

Guidelines

So, now you've contacted The Immortal Staff and you're ready to start creating your map. You think you've got a good handle on where everything is in your area, and what sort of things are contained therein. Well, before you start metaphorically putting the quill to the parchment, you are going to want to know ahead of time what is likely to be accepted and what is not. After all, you don't want to pour your soul into a map only to start over, right? Neither would we! So, please take some time to become familiar with the guidelines outlined below. A word of note, however: keep in mind that these are guidelines and not rules. What this means is that you should try your hardest to adhere to the guidelines, but occasionally the guidelines will be be averted in favor of something that may prove to be useful, aesthetically pleasing, or of greater functional value. Again, these are things that are up to the discretion of The Immortal Staff. Otherwise, enjoy.

Dimensions

An important aspect of making maps is the question, "How big do I want to make my map?" Well, it's important to have a map that is large enough to see without enlarging it, but we also don't want a map that becomes fuzzy or distorted when we do decide to enlarge it. Moreover, we don't want to have to spend too much time scrolling over to see a portion of the map that we may need. As a general guideline, it's probably best to try to aim for maps that are around the 1200-1300 pixel wide range. Unless the map demands it, it's probably best to aim for a vertical dimension of around 800-900 pixels. It's not necessary to aim for this if there's only ten rooms in the area you are mapping, and therefore you may wish to aim for something smaller. But if you have five hundred rooms in an area, we do ask that you respect the horizontal guideline. For vertical adjustments, please take the time to view the following section on Map Orientation.

Map Orientation

Don't you just hate it when you're exploring some place with your buddies, and the map on the website takes more time to manipulate than it would otherwise to just rush in unawares? Me too! After all, time is money and you've got gold to loot and enemy camps to pillage! But in all honesty, it's always nice to be prepared. One of the ways we can achieve this is by using proper orientation with our map making. Maps are only to be rectangular or square. Rectangles should be no more than 1200 to 1300 pixels wide (horizontal), but there are no current limits as to how long (vertical) a map can be. In other words, we would rather maps need to be scrolled up and down to see another portion rather than left and right (portrait style rather than landscape). We, The Immortal Staff, do however ask you that if someone has to scroll more than three pages to see all of your map, that you may wish to contact us about the issue or shrink some of your map's content when possible while remaining relatively consistent with the guidelines contained herein.

  1. Rectangular Orientation: When deciding to orient your map in a rectangular fashion, you may find yourself wondering like many people how you should organize your content. By content, we mean to say, at this point, your rooms, room connections, and sections of the map itself. Generally, the best way to organize your content with rectangular orientation is from side to side or top to bottom. On the whole, the map should be centered around the point in the middle that is equidistant from every other point on the map unless this proves to be impossible for some peculiar reason. While it is possible to orient your content from corner to corner, we ask that you reserve that for portrait style maps.
  2. Square Orientation: When attempting to make large maps, square orientation is the best way to approach map creation as it allows the sectioning of your map while staying consistent with the preferred scroll method, portrait style. Using this method, the organization of your content may be corner to corner, side to side, or top to bottom. As with rectangular formatting, the map should be centered around the midpoint, however the midpoint in this case refers to the midpoint of the page rather than the map itself. Again, content refers to rooms and room connections at this point.</BLOCKQUOTE>
    Spacing and Text
    Having determined which way you want your map to be oriented (rectangular versus square), you are now ready to start adding content to your map. The first thing to know is that content that is on the page (text, images, legends, etc) should be surrounded, proportionally, by a reasonable amount of space that has no content at all. In other words, there should be a well defined border around everything and the content should never approach or touch the edge of the map. This does not mean to say that you should draw a line around everything. In fact, we ask you that you refrain from such things for the most part. Simply leave some space between the features of your map and the edge of the image itself that most anyone could, theoretically, draw an invisible border around. This is done for purely aesthetic reasons as well as to eliminate any possibility of lost or otherwise indeterminate information.
    When using text to describe things like mobs, area features, and equipment you will want to use a font that is both easy to read and large enough for anyone to see well. A font that is too large takes up too much space and one that is small is hard to read. Also, overly stylistic fonts such as cursive fonts and fonts that that are too complex or otherwise "flowery" isn't a very good idea, either. As a result, the suggested font size is at least a 12pt font with a wide, well defined line. Headings and the like should be bold and slightly larger than that of any other general text.

    The content of your map may contain several different things - not merely the room layout and connection between them. One common thing for many mapmakers to note is whether or not a mob wanders or is stationary. Another popular idea is to make mention of an item or items that a particular mob loads. Not uncommon is a notation of some kind that marks a mob as an epic mob, a quest mob, or a shopkeeper of some kind. These are all good ideas as a map that is just rooms and connections is pretty dull on its own. It's definitely not our intention to produce nor provide drab, unflavored, and otherwise obtuse maps that are only a source of function. We also want our maps to be a source for insight and expression for our players. This means that if there's a particular trick or technique you use that you may wish to add that to your map. Perhaps there's a locked door or trap nearby, and you want whoever looks at your map to know about this. Maybe the terrain changes from one room to another or from one part of the map to another, and you may wish to mark that in some way on the map. Each of these examples is a good way to spice up your map, and provide some valuable information to future adventurers. Some common ways to note features like this are:

    • Wandering Mobs: Often noted by marking the mob's name between {}'s
    • Equipment: Often noted by adding a + before the item name which is often marked beside the mob's name.
    • Quest Mobs: Epic mobs are often noted by putting "EPIC" next to their name.
    • Recall Points: Usually noted off to the side in a list or by symbol.
    • Shopkeepers: Type of shop or keeper is often noted beside the mob's name.
    • Terrain: Generally, the color of the room marks the type of terrain. Red is for fire and blue is for water. See color usage guidelines below.

    As you may or may not be aware, there are several examples of maps out there that contain typographical errors. (While we plan on eventually eliminating those maps, for right now we are going to focus on correcting the maps that need the most attention.) We would like to take this time to remind you to check your spelling and observe proper use of capital letters. Under no circumstances are the area name or other area names to be misspelled. This is a reason for automatic rejection, and you will be asked to correct these mistakes before the map can be accepted. Secondly, a common mistake is spelling the word "gateable". Please spell it correctly if you plan on using that word in the text of your map. Make sure those unusual mob names match the spelling as the mob's name in the game exactly. Please refrain from using nicknames or pet names when referring to content as not everyone understands the personal and colloquial lingo of such things.


    The Compass Rose

    One particularly common aspect is the inclusion of the compass rose. The compass rose defines the directions on your map that correspond to the direction of travel while following the map during gameplay. To make things neat and easy, we have provided a few examples of good Compass Roses that you may use if you choose to do so. As a rule, please always have the north end of your compass rose pointing to the top of your map. This will help to avoid unnecessary mistakes and misreads by those who wish to use your map in the future. You may notice that this feature of so many maps sometimes appears as a textual representation. We will not at this time be accepting any maps that do not have compass roses that are not well depicted. In other words, if they are sloppy, too similar to any other parts of the map, lacking in aesthetic appeal, or otherwise out of place then they will not meet the requirement of a proper compass rose. Using a compass rose similar to the ones shown below is a way to guarantee acceptance of your map.

    http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_01.jpg http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_02_Color.jpg
    http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_03.jpg http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_04_Color.jpg
    http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_05.jpg http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_06_Color.jpg
    http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_07.jpg http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_08.jpg
    http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_09.jpg http://www.slothmud.org/wiki/images/generic/CompassRose_200_10.jpg
    Use of Color

    One good way to either make or break a map is by using colored text or symbols. There are thousands of shades of color that can be used to designate things like terrain and give flair to your map. Color is also a way to detract from the usefulness of the map while destroying any aesthetic value as well. Because of this simple fact, we ask that any color used in your map, whether in text, symbols, or images, be used sparingly. There are proper ways to use color, however. Also, there are colors that should be avoided at all costs. There are, however, a few simple guidelines to use when applying colorful features to your maps:

    1. Never, under any circumstances, use any shade of yellow for text.
    2. Always provide a high degree of contrast between your color and text.
    3. Avoid light and neutral colors such as gray, pink, baby blue, teal, and eggshell.
    4. Always choose the darker variants of colors over lighter shades.
    5. Always use black text.
    6. Always use white or transparent backgrounds.
    7. Always use black borders around your colors.
    8. Avoid using two or more colors that mix closely. Example: Dark purple and black.
    9. As a general rule, stick to basic colors: Red, Green, Blue.
    10. Try not to use more than two to three colors.
    Use of Images

    Images are a wonderful way to spice up your map and provide a great source of aesthetic expression. Usually, a single image is all that is needed to provide an added bump to your map and give it that special appearance. However, using too many images can make your map look gaudy and seem superfluous. Preferably, images should generally be black and white. Occasionally, if done well, an image can provide a little color to your map and give it that special quality. Avoid hand-drawn pictures and pictures that appear to be created by a child. Proper placing of images is also important. Images should be placed outside of the main viewing area off to the side or to fill space in a corner. Images, also, should not violate the outside border of the map if possible. Try not to use more than two small images, or no more than one large image. Images shouldn't be larger than about 250 pixels square on average. Occasionally larger ones may be used, but that will be left up to the discretion of the Immortal who reviews the map before acceptance.

    Legends and Tables

    Occasionally, maps include a large number of symbols and features requiring additional information to decipher them quickly and effectively. This can be done simply by providing a Legend or Table. Typically, Legends are used to easily and succinctly define the meaning between colors and symbols such as, perhaps, a circle with an "x" in it to mark the starting point of an area or map. Perhaps you've used the color Forest Green to mark rooms that a patrol walks through. Tables, on the other hand, should be used primarily with a collection of items that are numbered or perhaps an ordinal system of steps to complete a task or set of tasks. Tables should have titles and their elements should be properly aligned with one another. The elements of a table should also be in order and observe the guidelines for colors and text. Legends also must follow these guidelines, and both tables and legends should be off to the side or in a corner of the map. Each should follow the guidelines involving the borders of the map.

    Signatures

    Now that you have got everything in place, there's one final step to your map: sign it. We want to know who made this wonderful piece of art and function! But please don't put your real name on the map. Your player name will suffice. Simply put a note at the bottom or off in a corner, and please try not to use any strange or unsually hard to read fonts. Also, it is not necessary to give yourself an avatar or image representing yourself. That's fine for your fantasy football team, but let's try to keep the unnecessary elements to a minimum (zero).

    Additional Information

    First and foremost, we all thank you and look forward to your time and effort making maps. After all, map making is a great way for you to help us all out as we try to give you the best game experience possible. Secondly, if you have any questions or concerns regarding maps or map making, please don't hesitate to shoot us an email or talk to us when you are in the game. Once again, we'd like to take the time to explain the importance of creating appealing, functional maps for our areas while keeping in mind that maps should be accessible to the visually impaired. We hope that you take the time to consider them when making your map. But also keep in mind that we, The Immortal Staff, cannot address everyone all of the time nor do we expect you, the map makers, to do that either. After all, we are only human. Should you find a map in error, in need of updating, containing typographical errors, or in dire need of attention in some capacity, then let us know!

    Best Regards,
    Your Immortal Staff
    wiki@slothmud.org