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Subject: About my "Cartographer's Toolkit" rss

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Will Beckley
United States
Brooklyn
New York
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So after eagerly awaiting my own ability to secure a copy of this game, I finally got it. I was (and am) very excited about getting it to the table (and the 8-player session is on the books, almost fully-crewed). But once I had the game in my hands, I rushed to BGG to see all of the new fan content that was available. With certain games of an indescribable genre, I always look forward to fan-made content, and Captain Sonar was no exception. It was exciting to me that a new map was as easy as printing one out and laminating it. I couldn't wait to see what folks had come up with (especially new uses for the "Scenario" ability). And yet, I found... nothing.

...and of course I didn't. Making new maps for this game is not a trivial exercise. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was a large graphic design undertaking to even get to the point where you could *start* making a map. I wasn't satisfied with that state of affairs, and so I decided to make this, the "Cartographer's Toolkit." You can find it in the Files section.

Initially my plan was just to scan the boards and remove the mission-specific content. But that plan had a few problems, so instead, I set about to recreating the boards from the ground up.

My results, shown here, are a pretty great place to start, I think:





(please don't use these images; download from the files section for much more resolution and flexibility; these are for illustration purposes only)

I'm no graphic designer, so there are things I couldn't recreate; there are things I chose not to attempt to recreate; and there are things that I perhaps recreated poorly. I'm very open to feedback on this project, and I want to improve it for the community (because I want to see what the community can come up with when the hurdle for entry is lowered considerably). In general, my goal was to make something that looked close enough to the real thing to not frustrate you that it wasn't the real thing.

I designed at 600dpi, which is pretty big and overdoing it, but I wanted people (lacking design skills) to make maps too big, so that when reduced, they still look pretty good. I settled on 8"x10.5" so that the boards could be printed on American Letter Paper on most printers, even those without edge-to-edge printing ability. I think this format will also accommodate A4 printers, but I'd love feedback on that.

In terms of copying the design elements of the original, I feel that I did a pretty good job on the actual map portion of that. The player boards, on the other hand, are filled with numerous and sophisticated design elements. At a certain point, I decided to stop, but it is a deep well and I can draw water from deeper than I did, so if anyone is irritated by missing elements, let me know so I can fix things in future versions.

Moreover, I started with the Blue Map, and I only adapted it for the Gold Map. As a result, that version is slightly less polished. I decided it was well "good enough," but if anyone feels otherwise, I can dive back in and fix it.

Finally, I grabbed two random alpha maps and scanned them to work from, and only after finishing did I realize that the icons in the upper right hand corner weren't team (gold vs blue) icons, but crew icons, denoting radio operator or captain. So the Blue Map has the Radio icon and the Gold Map has the Captain's icon (well, a compromised, simpler version of it, anyway). I can produce the two missing versions, if they are missed.

So if your mind is teeming with ideas for this game, please check it out. Please share your creations. That's all I want. I'd appreciate it if anyone who uses these would credit me and link to the files, but I'm not uptight about it; I'd just like others to know where to go to create their own creations.

I look forward to what everyone comes up with.

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Sebastian Haronski
Germany
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Thank you very much for creating these. Since I failed to pick up the promo maps at Essen my first order of business will be to create them using your toolkit.

I have one request though, could you also create the turn-by-turn sides of the maps? The prints have to be laminated so it would be nice to have the backside available too.

Great Work!
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Brett Inman
United States
Tennessee
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Quote:
could you also create the turn-by-turn sides of the maps?


Here you go:


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