Map of the Fortnight: Main Discussion Thread

Hello @Kaiphranos I hope you are well!

I wanted to talk to you about a "problem" I've noticed with the card competitions (although I'm probably not the first one to make this observation). I notice that very often very high level cartographers take part in competitions. Although they have every right to do so, this often discourages novices or small players from participating because the chances of winning are slim compared to experienced players.
So I thought of a solution: Why not create two competitions? Both would have the same subject, but one would be "junior" for low level players and the other would be "senior" for high level players. In order to know in which category we should play we could create a system based on the victories. A player who has already won four or more MOTFs would be obliged to play in the senior category while a player who has had no or very few wins would be able to choose between the senior and junior categories. To prevent the same players from monopolizing the junior category, a victory system could be created whereby players who have won five or six victories in the junior category would be required to play in the senior category.
It should probably be forbidden for a player to participate in both competitions at the same time (even if the subject is the same).
I agree that it's a lot of work, but it would open up the competition a little bit more to those who want to get into it.
What do you think about it?
 
Hello @Kaiphranos I hope you are well!

I wanted to talk to you about a "problem" I've noticed with the card competitions (although I'm probably not the first one to make this observation). I notice that very often very high level cartographers take part in competitions. Although they have every right to do so, this often discourages novices or small players from participating because the chances of winning are slim compared to experienced players.
So I thought of a solution: Why not create two competitions? Both would have the same subject, but one would be "junior" for low level players and the other would be "senior" for high level players. In order to know in which category we should play we could create a system based on the victories. A player who has already won four or more MOTFs would be obliged to play in the senior category while a player who has had no or very few wins would be able to choose between the senior and junior categories. To prevent the same players from monopolizing the junior category, a victory system could be created whereby players who have won five or six victories in the junior category would be required to play in the senior category.
It should probably be forbidden for a player to participate in both competitions at the same time (even if the subject is the same).
I agree that it's a lot of work, but it would open up the competition a little bit more to those who want to get into it.
What do you think about it?
I believe something like this has been suggested before, yes. There are a couple of big reasons I am not in favor of it:

1. I don't think there are enough people interested to support two separate contests long-term. Especially if somehow divided by skill level, you may end up with rounds where there are few or no entries in one level or the other.

2. Running two contests and keeping track of who qualifies for which contest would definitely be more work - frankly, more than I am interested in doing at present.

If you would like to try something like this, you are always welcome to give it a shot and set it up yourself. There have been other map contests on AH.com in the past - I even ran one myself for a while.

I do understand that it can be disappointing on some level to enter these contests and not win. Back when I entered regularly, I certainly knew who the big names were at that time, and it felt good when I was finally able to come up with something on their level. But I got there by learning, experimenting, and by entering consistently - and over the years I have seen a lot of other people follow that route and become excellent mapmakers. I suppose you could formalize this system by breaking it down into different competitive levels, but I'd be concerned that both contestants and voters would lose interest in the lower level competitions after a while.
 
An A-Z of Ideology: Make a map demonstrating a nation that has gone through multiple radical ideologies in the span of a century (i.e. OTL Germany: Imperial Germany [Monarchy]--> Weimar Germany [Democracy] --> Nazi Germany [Nazism] --> GDR [Communism]).

I have a vague feeling something like this has been done/suggested before but I'm not sure. If it has please share the link! I'd love to look at the entries.
 
An A-Z of Ideology: Make a map demonstrating a nation that has gone through multiple radical ideologies in the span of a century (i.e. OTL Germany: Imperial Germany [Monarchy]--> Weimar Germany [Democracy] --> Nazi Germany [Nazism] --> GDR [Communism]).

I have a vague feeling something like this has been done/suggested before but I'm not sure. If it has please share the link! I'd love to look at the entries.
This could work as a MotM, two maps showing a country/region in the same TL but different times and radically different ideologies
 
I wanted to talk to you about a "problem" I've noticed with the card competitions
I do understand that it can be disappointing on some level to enter these contests and not win. Back when I entered regularly, I certainly knew who the big names were at that time, and it felt good when I was finally able to come up with something on their level. But I got there by learning, experimenting, and by entering consistently - and over the years I have seen a lot of other people follow that route and become excellent mapmakers.

Also, it's not always about the quality of the map. I've seen beautiful maps that don't win because it was the same map that the creator does over and over again and people get bored with it. I've seen beautiful maps not win because the premise for the map was just plain lazy.

And very often it's about the write up. You get a good, yet simple map, with an great premise and outstanding write-up, and you'll get votes.

I've won several of these MotF contests over the years. For one of them, the map was fairly simple and easy to understand, but the write up was a story about a late 1980s heavy metal band on tour with a map geek drummer and a leader singer with a love of rugby. The map itself was essentially a placemat from a diner that had the phrase "Try Our Muffins!" on it.

One of the others that won was a purposefully horrible map, and the write up was over-the-top sarcastic, poking fun at the way we all make maps. I still laugh at the line "It doesn't use any 'politically correct' color scheme. The colors are dark and full of angst. Like my soul."

Gosh, I once voted for someone else's map simply because it had a bright red blinking Paraguay on it. (The map didn't win, but I *loved* it.)

My advice: You never know what's going to win. You never know what's going to get votes. Don't try to copy what other people do. Use creativity, find what you like, and create your own style. If you find what works for you, and it's a map that tells a good story and it has a good write up, you'll definitely get votes.

.
 
Skeleton's in the Cabinet: Depict a nation which claims to be ruled by a deceased individual.
Do the Evolution: Show a country which has repeatedly succumbed to dictatorship.
One, two, Freddy's coming for you: Map out sightings of some unexplainable creature or phenomenon throughout a country.
 
First of all, a belated congratulations to @Jajax for winning MotF 223 with a standout map of the Africa Region of Brazil! There was some great competition that round, so well done to all who entered.

Second, the new threads are up!
MotF 224: Rock The Casbah - Voting Thread
MotF 225: Under The Whiplash - Entry Thread
I was thinking about it and I decided to make sure? Is "Under the Whiplash" essentially a post-revolutionary (revolution in the sense of sudden change, not necessarily violent) country? Or is there some nuance I'm missing?
 
I was thinking about it and I decided to make sure? Is "Under the Whiplash" essentially a post-revolutionary (revolution in the sense of sudden change, not necessarily violent) country? Or is there some nuance I'm missing?
Yep, pretty much! Revolution, coup, unexpected election result, anything along those lines is fine.
 

Stretch

Donor
I'm not sure if something like this has been done before:

Beyond the Shimmering Fog
Make a map based on falsely believed geographic knowledge (such as the Island of California or the Great Inland Lake of Australia). So basically the stuff that mapmakers put on their maps that was later found to be inaccurate and removed in future maps.
 
Bat Country Show a region where the scary wildlife is a big consideration for the locals
There is No Honor Here Depict a world where a large region is intentionally left undisturbed by local powers
Death of a City Make a map showing the decline/end of a once great city
 
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