Thursday, October 9, 2008

"At the Mountains of Madness" Antarctic Map

When I first had the idea for the Miskatonic Antarctic Expedition patches I was worried that the things would never sell and I'd be out a couple of hundred bucks when all was said and done. Luckily, that project turned out to be a huge success. This is what I'd like to do as a follow up:

Here's a closeup of the area roughly marked in red. Considering this is an area of about 1.5" by 2.5" on the original the hand engraved details are simply amazing. Click through on the thumbnail to see the full version:

It's a 17.5" x 22.5" map of Antarctica based on the one done by John Bartholomew for the 1922 "Times Survey Atlas of the World". Original copies of the map can be found on Ebay for anywhere from $30-$60 depending on condition, which is how I obtained mine. There's even a reproduction available from Euriskodata, a great Ebay seller that offers incredible collections of public domain books on CD that would be of interest to "Call of Cthulhu" players. You can view his listing for the map here. It's priced at just $9.99, which is very reasonable, but it does have the drawback of being a direct scan with a very visible fold line running down the middle of the map. That said, it's still a great prop as-is for anyone running "Beyond the Mountains of Madness".

My version is based on the same source map, but with the resulting scan cleaned up and the fold line down the middle of the original removed. Over the next couple of days I'll be getting some figures on how much it's going to cost to do a limited run and deciding if it's economically justifiable. Again, I want to emphasize that my whole goal is to make affordable props for "Call of Cthulhu" gamers. To me that means $10 or less. At this point I know I can produce copies for $15 using an on-demand printer with a large-format plotter. Going through a traditional printer would bring the cost down under the $10 price point, but it's also going to require a pretty substantial initial investment that I have some doubts about earning back.

Since you're the target customer, what do you think? If I can offer the cleaned up map for around $7-$9 plus shipping would you be interested? Would you prefer it plain, as pictured above, or would you find one stamped "Property Miskatonic University Antarctic Expedition" more collectible? Please leave a comment or send me an email with your thoughts.

Update: From the feedback I've received so far it looks like there's some definite interest in a map, but not enough to justify an actual print run. From the email conversations I've had people would prefer a heavily themed ATMOM map (Misktonic ownership stamp, scribbled notes, actual plot of story locations) over a plain version, so I'll see about offering something along those lines sometime in the future.

Update: A PDF file of the map is now available at Scribd. Keep in mind that it's 89 megs in size, so it will likely take some time to download.

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