That is what she said…. Yeah, yeah, yeah, the child in me spoke up first.
I have been traveling down this road for a few years now and have enjoyed most of the times I have been on it. While I belong to many different Patreon map creators, they do not always quite fit on my screen. They are of course always a product I can only attempt to reach, but never quite get there. They are artists and much more polished, I am just a retired old cranky guy.
But this led me to trying to figure out what size fits on my screen the best. Using one of the many map drawing programs out there (Inkarnate) if anyone is curious, I created several test maps. Each one I could display and look over to see how well it would fit. Yes, I know, the screen is nearly 56” x 31” (142cm x 78cm), and to get a proper 1” square it would be abundantly clear what size I needed. But, but…. It was better to over and underestimate the sizes to make sure what looked the best.
So, here are the map sizes I tried and a copy of each one:
Yeah, that was tiny, but looked interesting. With a VTT this would work well if I only used electronic tokens. It provides a very large space to play on. Maybe the next time we do a mass battle.
A bit off but expected. I was able to squeeze in a few more squares, but would not work for minis, and just close enough to be annoying.
Just more of the same, but worse.
In trying the opposite was enlightening, but man, those squares were massive.
The exact size of the screen. Nearly exactly 1” squares. It still looked a little tighter than I would like. This is especially the case since I have a 1/16th” glass on top of the television and the refraction causes everyone to miss where the squares are. When it is this tight, some of the minis will easily appear to be a half square off from where they might be depending on the orientation of the viewer.
More of the same, and close.
This is the one that ended up being the most perfect for the screen. It gave a slightly larger square, everything git as it should, and the visual displacement was less bothersome.
What size if your map?
Why does this really matter? I like to take advantage of the maximum real estate that the television has and by ensuring that the map scaling and boundaries are properly set it allows for a much smoother use of the maps. Even the maps I get from other creators, I still test every one of them before putting any of them in front of the players. I will rotate them around until I am satisfied that they will work, and sometimes something might be just off, and I am not happy with it.
I like to make the playing experience for the players as good as possible, and while most would be just as happy with something poorly drawn on an old Chessex mat, it also makes me happier, and that is just as important.