Corey Macourek's page

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gbonehead wrote:
Paris Crenshaw wrote:
I finally got to open my copy of this, today. These are beautiful maps.
Yes, this set definitely makes me glad I decided to double up on the maps subscription, this one works extra well when you have two of them.

I was only given small details about the traps...just placement information, except for Trap Room 3. It is the one with the dragon heads. I was instructed to illustrate 6 bronze dragon heads pointing towards the center of the room. Now, I don't want to spoil anything (also, being that I do not know if this map pack will match up with a future campaign), but what could "shoot" out of those heads? Just saying is all. Enjoy.

I received my artist sample for this last week and I am amazed at how good this product looks. I am biased being the artist, however, the new coating to match the flip maps makes them sturdier and less likely to shift around the gaming table. The little details came through here and there. I especially like the runes on the floating platforms in the trap room.

@stroVal wrote:
Its a Trap!

Your players can't repel maps of this magnitude!

Sweet! I hope to be a part of this again this year!

Super! I always love it when the product images go online to see what the Paizo team decides to put for the cover image. I'm stoked that they once again chose one of my favorite components on this map: The Treasure Room. To share a little detail info, I was directed to make a statue in the corner look like the iconic statue from the First Edition AD&D cover with green gems in it's eye and the like. I'm pretty stoked how the 3D model came out for this. Yes, It IS a custom 3D model. I also like the custom runes used everywhere.

I am hoping to be a part of this again. And hopefully with a working projector to share my map-making secrets.

Can I spoil a little here? The flip side of this is NOT blank and does NOT use the same texture as the City Market.

thenorthman wrote:

Well the larger one looks like it could be used with the new City Streets Flip Mat on the blank side.



EDIT: Looks like actually they can be used with the existing lines of a few of the maps....

Yes, they can. The goal of this set was to purposely make them work with existing environments, but not be a re-hash of them. Because that would be lame.

Awesome! I'm stoked that the Curiosity Shop was used for the cover. That was one of my favorites of this set!

One of the goals of the blank side was to offer a unique base for the Shops Map Pack buildings to have other layouts, but retain a similar surrounding texture. Make sense?

Awesome. I would love to make some fantasy/tech maps to go along with that!

Yes, but I'm not allowed to tell you which ones.

This was a challenging set to complete. The big challenge was to work on the individual shops and then have them match perfectly with the larger flip mat. The biggest joy came from placing the little easter eggs everywhere. My favorite shop is the Curiosity Shop. The ambience is excellent, a little creepy with some wispy smoke curling through the shop from a skull-incense burner. Fun stuff. Can't wait to get my hands on both of these.

Vic is correct in stating that it IS darker than the previous Flip-mats for matching. This is due to a slight difference or evolution of my illustrating style and techniques. The paths and "most" of the tree-lines line up, not 100%, but we're all using our imaginations, right?

Yes. Fall is a good estimate. :)

yoda8myhead wrote:
How easily can these be placed side to side to make extended encounter spaces? Do they blend well enough that it won't be too obvious they aren't meant to connect?

Yes, in most cases. I illustrated the ground to be consistent throughout all of the tiles, but NOT tiling without some very slight subtle variation of tone.

This was one of my favorites to create, too. Enjoy!

Chef's Slaad wrote:
Lisa Stevens wrote:

The next one, pirate island, has art on both sides.



I must say that the Pirate Isle is one of my favorites. EVER!. There are new types of details and experiments that worked well with this flip-mat. I'll be shedding some light on the working files of this one during my PaizoCon seminar. I'm looking forward to it!

I signed a game store's entire inventory of Game Mastery maps a month or so ago. Yes, they did know I was doing it...not just signature sabotage. No problems here with some signatures. It's an honor.

I think I can answer this without giving away too much. Both sides will have content on them and they BOTH sides will match up with the similarly-styled flipmats for continuity.

It's nice to read reviews of the Game Mastery map products from yesteryear. This was one of the earliest I did for this line, but one of my favorites. The names of the gravestones are one of my favorite small details that went into these maps. This pack also started a style that I have progressed with each and every product in this line. Thanks for supporting them! :)

Wow, this thread went quite a ways. As the cartographer, I understand both sides of the discussion and concerns for this product. You can try to please everyone, but there are some whom this product might not be right for in their gaming environment. When I receive a creative brief or sit with the brand managers to discuss the next map product, we go into great detail about the execution of the product as a whole. Front, back, how the pieces fit together, or if these coincide with another map product. This product, from the beginning, was a concept. I'm not going to apologize for the final results. I think they turned out great, plus it was an opportunity to actually hand draw and ink most of the creature's silhouettes...which I think I'll bring to share at Paizo Con. As Erik Mona stated, the goal of this product line is to create compelling maps to engage the players. This product does that, just not in the conventional manner. Now, Hellscapes on the other, are you guys in for a treat!

Update: My seminar will be going through! I just finished Map Pack: Hellscapes (phew!) and I think I will be taking some of them apart to show how I did them...along with some of your favorites. So, c'mon, what do you want to see?

Wahoo! Thanks for posting a preview, Vic.

I hope you all can see that there ARE a few offices and private room on this map to have encounters in. Just wait until you see the Pirate Isle...ooooh, it's good. Plus it has playable areas on both sides.

Thanks for the followup on this set. This was indeed a tricky one. I did, for the sake of saying, illustrate a sample to what the innards would look like and it was distracting to the environment textures and didn't work right with the slightly modified shapes of the creatures. So, we bagged that idea. You know what guts look like, so this is a case where you can let your imagination step in. I did make the gelatinous cube NOT a silhouette for obvious I wanted to fully illustrate it with things floating inside. Fun stuff.

gbonehead wrote:
Vic Wertz wrote:
I've updated the product image to reflect the finished product.
So is the back side actually blank?

The flipside IS indeed blank, as requested...but it's a nice texture, though.

This is also a mystery to me, but I'm almost positive that this will NOT be a re-hash of the Woodlands.

Looks like I get to start this one next month...neat!

The water background is the same texture and tonal value of the Waterfront and Waterfront Tavern, so the boats will work nicely with them and on the flip-side. I'm excited to get my hands on this one next month.

You are very close. I just met with the team on this one yesterday. Think LOST.

I tried to install GIMP, but despite my high-end tech skils, could not get it to work properly. Besides, I've been using Photoshop for 18 years so it's like second nature for me to use.

And here is the first tutorial!

I can't speak as far as Dunjinni is concerned being that I primarily use Photoshop. The Mapping Adventures product line can be used with any pixel-based editing software or layout program as far as I know.

Just last week I created my first video Photoshop tutorial and will be posting it to my blog this weekend. This will be the first of many that I want to produce this year.

I'm also in the midst of planning my session content and want to make the presentation concise and make time for LOTS of questions.

I'm happy to be a part of this again!

Bravo. This will work just dandy. Incidentally, I've reduced the price of my Mapping Adventures: New Expeditions Starter texture pack to $5!

The direct link to the store is HERE. Work on the expansion packs begin next month.

Depending on schedule and family things, I think I'll show and share some times with all to prep for the long weekend.

The concept is clear, keyed items are included and a basic grid can be seen for scale. This map does lack readibility which is important, but makes up for that in descriptive details. I could work from this, but would prefer larger type and possibly sketched larger with 2x2 SQ=1 SQ for scale. The inclusion of image links is always useful, but would most likely be does at attachements rather than URLs, but no points off for that. A-

This is a case where too much color is confusing. The layout is clear and clean, but am left unclear if the structure was built with such sharp angles to match the environment. I have some concern as well for interior elevations or the thickness of the walls for the scale being 1 SQ=10ft. Most players do expect a 5ft/SQ scale, but if this building is as large as needed, then perhaps a little less symmetry could break the space better. Some notes on top of the layout might be a better direction to call out details rather than having to decipher the colored key, but not a bad starting place. B

This sketch is missing key details. The lack of grid is pretty obvious and makes little sense for laying out the structure to any sense of scale. The scale is referring to a dashed line and not a grid. The spiral staircases are not marked as going up or down. These are ALL important to even begin work on. I realize my job as a cartographer is to breath life into a map concept, but the building itself lacks any realistic layout. Online research to a what a winery might have included is crucial for this map and is necessary for any turnover. This could also be pushed further with notation of interior details; barrels, boxes, bedrooms, desk, or even any crumbled walls if this were to be a believable ruin. D.

After reading the adventure scenario, I have several questions about the terrain. What is the height of the bridge in relation to the river or ravine? Do the buildings sit on the ledge or do they have land surrounding them for ambush? Is the road leading to the bridge elevated or is this an open path with no features on either side of the road. I clearly see that the adventure is focussed on an ambush, but it is also important how the players reach this point visually. There is a grid and markers to indicate which building goes with it's accompanying encounter. However, this is where my confusion grows. I would like to see the inside concept for the buildings and some carryover comments to their embellishments. If there is a puzzle and artisanship mentioned the adventure, this concept would most likely be continued through the environment. The sketch is clear and could be made into a clear map with most of these questions answered. C+

Wow. A LOT of detail to digest. The key alone tell a story. I think this could be simplified with adventure setting text and texture on the map execution as opposed to a label for each ground feature. Certain items could have simple callout on the outside with a line pointing to them as opposed to having an item take up space on the key. The key is a nice block to put info, but should be used as an encyclopedia to the map. Basic map elements are pretty obviously spotted; water, fire, rocks, bones, treasure...but it's the gaming specific encounters that require a callout. I like the 3/4 view of the barrow as this adds to the setting the players are about to enter. The detail is nice, but a little daunting to digest for a sketch. i do agree about the odd curved wall door/entry execution into each room. If the walls are done that way to work with the environment, then that should be noted, otherwise a lot of play questions come up with field of view, is there a door there, squeezing, etc. This would be a good start to work from. A-

I just made a ziggurat temple so this is kind of neat, but a very large art order for sure.

If the exterior of a setting is REALLY necessary to get the point across that a description couldn't do, then that would be the place to include a possible 3/4 view, otherwise the 3 other views would not be included or even commissioned. I'm not thrown back by the lavender background, this is just a sketch. With 20 rooms of interest in the key, there should be content called out as well; flames, coffins, boxes, tables, bones, traps, etc., something else of interest. These details might be called out in the adventure text, but also need to be included in the map turnover. This is all good flavor to enhancing the game experience visually and set the mood with the players. This also might be the only place the players get an art asset to aid them in visualizing the setting and mood that the GM envisioned. I add a lot of details to my maps, but having a basic array of rectangles to work with will get exactly that in return; a basic map. The map turnover would probably benefit from more space devoted to the adventure path and building structure than the exterior. C.


To start, there is a good grid and flow to this map. The interior is VERY clearly keyed to give attention to a scenario in each room to allow the cartographer to add details, but keep the focus on the room's content. The outer parts are noted to help add a greater sense of environment and setting to the adventure. The extra noted details, like the "continuous flames" and "debris" are helpful to the cartographer and exhibits the GM's concept to make set the mood visually.

A worthy sketch to begin from. The color and tone assist in the setting and the subject matter of it being desert-like and sandy. I agree with Rob about the before and after setup being a need to get the point across to carry through the adventure visually. The height spec might be the limiting factor in producing this map from a top down, but would benefit from an isometric execution. The key is clear and the inclusion of a grid are very important to the GM's placement of creature and adventure components. B+

Thanks again for the followups. I would ideally like to have dual screens on my MaBook Pro to show my workspace and have that displayed via projector somehow. I'm open to having the presentation "screen-capped" and being mic'd appropriately. Depending on interest in seminars and open times, I would like to have 1 seminar Friday, 1 Saturday and have Sunday be a wildcard day for open topics while I have my booth setup. How does that sound?

Hehe. That grade F map sketch is pretty funny. And YES, I have received a number sketches like this. Not from Paizo, but someplace else. Nothing to scale, no squares to reference for placement of things, amorphous shapes that are meant to define a structure...or even an entire city. So, like Sean said, look what has been done and learn.

I just got this today. Wow. It turned out great!

M Human

I'm thinking you guys need some maps for your adventure and I've been wanting to work on some sci-fantasy lately. I recently did the Dawn of Defiance campaign and about 20 or so for the latest SW RPG books. Drop me a line.

This pack has a LOT of nice little details. The Ruined Temple has fallen statues and rubble and I enjoyed creating the spiked walls in the Villain Secret stuff.

I am hoping to be around in some capacity.

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