The Great Daria Map Making Contest: Win Money and a Name!

The Great Daria Map Making Contest

Win $40 and the opportunity to name a character!

In anticipation of the Legacy Update to the Lost Heir Trilogy, I would like to invite you all to join a Map Making Contest.

The contest concludes on May 31, 2018, 6pm EST. The map should be emailed to with the subject: “Map Making Contest Entry”. Be sure to include the statement below and your name, so that I can congratulate the winner and include their name as a credit when I display the map. I will reply with confirmation that I received the file.

  • The map should not contain any materials which have a copyright.
  • Entries to include the statement “I grant Mike Walter the unlimited, non-exclusive rights to this image. I understand that I will not be compensated for my image.” This means that I may put the winning map into the Lost Heir games.
  • You may submit multiple entries.
  • You may use any software, as long the software doesn’t restrict the rights to the image.
  • The map should be a .PNG using a resolution of 1440x1200 that is still clearly legible without difficulty when reduced to 660x550.
  • The winner will be declared by Mike Walter and a $40 USD prize will be sent via Pay Pal to the winner. Additionally, the winner will be given the option to name a character who will make a very brief cameo appearance in Lost Heir 1 as part of the Legacy Update.
  • The character name must fit the theme of the story and be approved by Mike Walter.

My Terrible Map (I’ll bet you can do better!):

Details that must be included are as follows. Other rivers, exact placement of individual mountains, the exact curve of the coastlines and other such features are up for interpretation:

  • Tornassa is the biggest city. Several two- and three- story buildings. The main keep (small castle) and cathedral is here too.
  • Brightwater is the second biggest and has many beautiful arching bridges over the river.
  • Ludd is the third biggest, but it’s built on the plains. Mostly one- and two-story buildings. Famous for horses.
  • Vernex is the size of Ludd, but it’s mostly on an island, but partly on the shore. Many ferries and docks to cross back and forth.
  • The Academy of Wizards is on an island. It has some enormous towers and one central tower that is bigger than the rest.
  • There are many little villages/towns scattered across Daria, a few are named: Elmvale, Dobbton, Opal Cove, Clearwater (Mostly halflings live here.)
  • The people of Daria know the names ‘Burrk’ and ‘Duroth’ as the northern and southern mountain regions that are unreachable due to the impassable Blasted Lands (the orcs live along the fringes of these wild lands.)
  • The Falcon River flows between Dobbton and Opal Cove. (Many of the other rivers shown are suggestions and not fixed in the story.)
  • The orc and goblin tribes are scattered north of the Alderheart, between Tornassa and the Blasted Lands.

Some Ideas:

Good luck!


If you are seeking a map of this size, breadth, accuracy, and detail, I recommend that you commission one. That would, however, require paying the artist a fair price for their work. $40 is not enough for a map of this scale, even with the cameo.


Give this a go? It’s comprehensive, and pretty to boot.


I could commission it, but I thought that some aspiring artists or hobbiests might enjoy this. I don’t need a map, so I thought that fans may enjoy trying this as a contest.

Yes, there are several fantasy map softwares that could be used. It’s a great opportunity for those who enjoy these kinds of challenges or who want to try something artsy. :slight_smile:

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If you can commission it, then why not offer a prize that better matches the effort someone would put into the map? Just because someone is “aspiring” or a “hobbyist” does not mean they do not deserve to be paid fairly. This feels a lot like when artists are underpaid because the value of “exposure” is supposed to make up the rest.

If you want to work with a new artist, you could also ask people to send you examples of their work and then choose someone to be your mapmaker who you then pay (fairly) to design a map. That would also give you more opportunities for input throughout the process, ensuring the map meets your vision and needs.

On a side note…

  • How are you planning on using the map? Will it be in the game? Will you sell it on merchandise?

  • When do you gain rights over the image? Right now it sounds like you’ll be given rights to every entry you receive, whether the entry wins or not.

Finally, if you haven’t yet, you should check out the Cartographer’s Guild.


Thanks for mentioning the guild. It has links to many software programs that could be used.

If an entry is good enough, I’ll put it into the game. I need to mention “rights” because the game is being sold. I don’t do merchandise and I only need one map.

On a side note, I don’t need a map. The game is fine without it. This is just a fun and free contest for fans of the Lost Heir and map enthusiasts to have fun with. I’m offering a small prize for fun.

Some people do character designs, but I thought a map contest might be neat. :slight_smile:

The guild also has some great tutorials, examples, etc.

As for the rights, good to know! Could you update your original post with that clarification? Maybe also explain a bit what “unlimited, non-exclusive rights” are? And clarify when it takes effect?

And map contests are a lot of fun. Map contests with fair prizes that recognize the amount of time, effort, and artistry that goes into making the maps are even better.


I added this after the copyright blurb: “This means that I may put the winning map into the Lost Heir games.”

It’s too bad that legalities have to come into play. My intention with this contest is to allow my fans to have fun with Daria and win a nice little prize.

The money is coming out of my own pocket. It’s not an enormous sum because it’s a friendly contest. Some people might enjoy getting a small prize for playing around with a map.

If I get a good map, I’d like the opportunity to put it into my games. In order to put it into the games, I need to own the image.

Just a fun contest to anyone who may be interested. :slight_smile:


Hey @lucid, just in case this is any use to ya:

Also, this looked promising:


Very cool. I’ve done a little mapmaking for some D&D campaigns. They’ve come a long way since then. :slight_smile:


Hey dude, congrats on the contest and all, but I feel like you should know that $40 and the chance to get in a game sound like a far too small a prize for the map with the level of complexity you’re asking for D:

I have a friend who draws as a hobby and is taking commissions currently just to make some quick cash before a convention and $35 is her base price for a colored full body character, without a background. I’m not sure on how much time she works on these, but a colored full body character for me would take maybe 4 hours, depending on complexity? That would mean she’d be making under $9 per hour, far below minimum wage, and she’s already knowingly undercharging herself in order to get cash as quick as possible. For reference, minimum wage I think is about $12/hour here but most businesses I see currently hiring pay $15/hour. She’s also doing written commissions for a base price of $30, though I don’t remember her starting word count for those and her prices are also pretty average for hobby artists. I don’t believe I’ve seen any lower prices unless it’s very young and inexperienced artists new to the community, doodle commissions, or (rarely) deduced prices for friends

Since it’s for your game, I assume you want the map to look professional and that would generally take a lot longer than 4 hours to make. While not taking commissions currently, I’m an animation student and I always have teachers (who have worked in various fields) telling everyone to not undercharge for work and I’ve been in online artist communities (and there are far more hobbyists than professionals there) for a long time now and there have been more and more conversations about the cost of commission work and how little people have been generally charging for it already. Honestly I think $40 for a map would be seen more as a deterrent than a prize. I really hope I don’t sound like I’m trying to discourage you and I understand being strapped for cash, but if $40 is your absolute limit, then creating your own map through an online generator might just be your best option


The Cartographer’s Guild does a monthly contest and their prize is $20 and bragging rights.

I’m not buying a map for $40. I don’t need a map, since my stories are text based. But, I have a defined geography, so this makes a unique contest. There are fan art contests out there with no prize, after all.

If a fan wants to try some fun software and make a map, I’ll give them a small cash prize and a cameo. If the map is good, I may include it in the game along with credit to the artist.

This is a free contest and those who wish to design an image for money should not see this as a commission. If the prize money is too low for your skills, don’t enter. If someone wants to fool around and see what they can make, go for it.

No pressure. Just for fun. If you’re seeking a commission, this isn’t for you.


Just out of curiousity traditional art works too or only digital art would do?
Anyway I think these few days might not be enough if you want something really well done.
I’m thinking about giving this a try. I don’t care about the prize and I have quite a lot free time these days, but others are probably more busy than I am.


Yes, traditional is great too.

It’s the end of NEXT month, so like 35 days. :slight_smile:

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Uhh… I’ve misread the date. Sorry.
This is the second time today, I guess this definitely means I shouldn’t be on anymore today.

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Congratulations to Toni Maree Roxas on making such a beautiful map! It’s neat to see the game world drawn with such artistry.


That’s gorgeous! :star_struck:

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Thanks! It was great fun doing it.


Very lovely! Also, reading this thread was hilarious.

“Well for a commission that’s underpaying.”
“It’s not a commission.”
"Well yeah but still this is exploiting artists for -

I get where they were coming from but “the wrong time and place” is a phrase that comes to mind…

Anyway congratulations @Itsmetoni for making this gorgeous map!


Thanks for your support. I don’t want to return to that conversation again, but I will say that it caught me entirely off guard. I support our wonderful artists and my intentions were good. I wanted a contest similar to fan art, but with a twist. Mapmaking seemed like a cool idea.

I’m requesting that we don’t rehash the argument again. Instead, let’s give praise to the amazing work of our winner, @Itsmetoni

I love it. Looks so neat! And I love that nearly 10 years of writing and geographical creation has come together into a single image. :slight_smile: