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Sinnyo
05-13-2010, 03:47 PM
I hope I'm posting this to the right forum: the distinction between sci-fi and world mapping is as yet unclear to me, so I hope I'm on safe territory posting an alien world here! This one is tied to my Median project, as with my WiP Earth, here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?10329-quot-Median-quot-Earth).

Tel'lar is the homeworld and starting point for one of the game's alien races; also its most humanoid-looking. The Tellerians are intended to be a familiar but exotic race; tidy and enlightened, in a sort of elven/Vulcan niche. Its world will hopefully reflect this, expressing hints of the exotic without feeling too bizarre and hostile to anyone visiting it. The Tellerians are technologically enlightened, which I've decided should be an evolution direct from their environment. The need to develop advanced transportation, habitat technologies and so on comes as a result of living on sparse terrain, surrounded by hostile seas and plantlife.

There's also an aesthetic consideration: since I'm making a retrofuturistic game, the theme grants me license to make each world visually unique and colourful, and so Tel'lar appears purple and red near its equator. Until I conduct more research into other planets, I'm putting this down to vast iron deposits in the deserts (Martian?), and to two warring families of plantlife: photosynthesising green plants in the temperate zones, and something altogether more fungal in the tropics. The same colours taint its thick atmosphere: gaseous but not toxic, yet enough to force the Tellerians to build their spires high and develop sophisticated lighting given heavy diffusion of Tel'lar's daylight.

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EDIT: Hmm, somehow this appears a lot darker as an attachment than inside Photoshop. My apologies; methinks my gamma's gone wrong somewhere...

I made this map following Ascension's continental tutorials. Doubtless I need more practice at this, particularly in defining my polar ice caps and the balancing of oceans, but I am very pleased with the technique, derived as it is from mere cloud renders. Bravo and thank you, Ascension. :)

A note on my annotations: though there isn't a legend to match yet, the various coloured splodges and transportation links represent the various experience levels the player must attain in order to play there. The game takes them all over Tel'lar, but in a circular fashion when seen in this map form. They begin in one of its heaviest-populated regions, uncover relics and holy sites in the deserts, and battle rebels for control over some of the planet's farther-flung regions. The last few stages will take them off-world from back near where they started.

RobA
05-13-2010, 04:20 PM
I hope I'm posting this to the right forum: the distinction between sci-fi and world mapping is as yet unclear to me, so I hope I'm on safe territory posting an alien world here!

I hope we don't come across that strict ;)

They really are crossed categories, with the four main categories defining level of detail (battlemap, city, regional, world).

Then we have some forums for genre (sci-fi) and purpose (VTT, board games) to make these more visible.

The CL's have been discussing adding prefix categories or tag picks to threads to help with the organization, but this could get cumbersome. The best thing is to drop it where it fits best, and add lots of good tags to it can be found through searching!

-Rob A>

Sinnyo
05-13-2010, 04:51 PM
I hope we don't come across that strict ;)

Ah! Teehee, no, not at all. I'm just trying to be polite, but thanks! :)

Sinnyo
05-14-2010, 10:42 AM
Here's a 'stage 2', with something more of a legend. I'm not sure how much detail my map will contain, nor in which forms I will represent the various gameplay data, so there's a lot of room left there for expansion if needs be.

I drew two versions of this political map: one with the territories simply painted over, and this one, which uses the same image data but is rendered as inner glows in order to keep more of the landscape visible.

I'm really starting to enjoy this mapping lark again. :D

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arsheesh
05-16-2010, 02:02 AM
Hey that's looking slick! Nice work on this Shinyo.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Sinnyo
05-16-2010, 06:55 AM
Thank you very much, Arsheesh!

Steel General
05-16-2010, 07:54 AM
This is turning out quite nicely. The colors take a bit of getting used to, but once you get past that it's all good.

Keep up the good work. :)

Sinnyo
05-16-2010, 08:57 AM
This is turning out quite nicely. The colors take a bit of getting used to, but once you get past that it's all good.

Is there anything you might suggest to help relieve that, or something which struck you as particularly difficult? I'm trying to strike a single-glance "oh, this is clearly an alien world" without having to push through something more unsettling. I think I've been staring at it a little too long to really take the colours subjectively. :)

Aval Penworth
05-16-2010, 09:15 AM
In response to your latest post. IMHO the saturation and contrast levels are very "full on". You have 3 extremely bright bands across the map, which some will find jarring to the eye. At the moment they just look to me like the result of a computery effect, rather than an attempt at representing an otherworldly phenomenon. I realise that the white bands at top and bottom may be icy poles but the band lines still seem to me to intense and uniform.

mearrin69
05-16-2010, 09:38 AM
Nice map. I really dig the colors...never can seem to get myself to go for bolder coloring, even though I often want to. Have some rep. And. Welcome to the Guild!
M

Steel General
05-16-2010, 10:58 AM
I think it's really a matter of just getting used to the fact that it is indeed an alien world. I'm just used to the typical "big blue marble" scheme, so when something different pops up it s a bit "shocking" :)

Sinnyo
05-16-2010, 12:16 PM
Thank you, all! I'll see to shuffling those colours about - your critique's a big help. ^_^

Sinnyo
05-16-2010, 01:01 PM
I've extended the deserts in order to try and combat this quite obvious and narrow band of colour. I've also brightened and desaturated various parts, including a 'melting' of some of the icecap regions. I hope this improves things, even if it is subtle.


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Dean
05-16-2010, 01:38 PM
I really like this map, because it totally evokes a sense of being an alien world. So, you're on the right track!

Some constructive criticism: Personally, my eyes aren't accepting the visual cues that land is land and water is water. Since you have much of the land being black, it seems to be deeper (like on a height map). Likewise, except for the red stripe in the middle, the water stands out more, and appears higher. My brain keeps telling me that your seas are actually land, and your land is actually a hole into outer space (due to the colors you chose).

*shrug* But it's a cool style, and I'd hate for that to be lost, so dunno what I'd advise should be done about it.

rdanhenry
05-16-2010, 02:33 PM
I'm not having any problems with the colors. While the colors seem a bit odd, that's intended. I have no difficulty distinguishing which is land and which is sea, even without reading the labels. An equatorial desert belt indicates zero or near zero axial tilt, so seasons are likely non-existent or at least quite mild, unless the orbit is highly eccentric.

Sinnyo
05-17-2010, 05:20 AM
An equatorial desert belt indicates zero or near zero axial tilt, so seasons are likely non-existent or at least quite mild, unless the orbit is highly eccentric.

Aha, thank you! That's precisely the sort of geography I manage to glance over too often. Duly noted - that'll help with the galactic map I need to produce soon.

Thank you very much everyone! I'm saying that a lot, but this is the first proper map I've submitted to the guild, so I'm quite humbled by your feedback.

Dean
05-18-2010, 02:39 PM
OK, that was strange. I think I either have to re-calibrate my monitor, or my computer is not working properly. When I saw this map last night, everything was MUCH darker. Like, all the purple countries were pitch-black. Hence my negative comments about the color-scheme. But after checking it today, all the colors are so much brighter. It looks great!

Sorry! This piece-of-crap PC has been giving me headaches for a while now. Maybe time to switch back to my Mac....

Sinnyo
05-19-2010, 05:29 AM
OK, that was strange. I think I either have to re-calibrate my monitor, or my computer is not working properly. When I saw this map last night, everything was MUCH darker. Like, all the purple countries were pitch-black. Hence my negative comments about the color-scheme. But after checking it today, all the colors are so much brighter. It looks great!

Not to worry - like I mentioned earlier, Firefox has been bizarrely tainting this and other images for me, too. I can switch from the original file in Photoshop to here and see the purples turn completely dark. I wonder if that's the browser, my monitor being dodgy or something else...

Jaxilon
05-24-2010, 11:12 AM
Well, I like the colors. Yeah they are different but then that's the point isn't it? You don't really want it to look "normal".

One thing I noticed however was the white lettering on the pinkish background was a little hard to read. You might consider making those letters darker or maybe putting a shadow on them?

Either way have some rep and thanks for sharing. This adds another pressure point to my drive to get back to my own world map project.

Sinnyo
05-25-2010, 06:19 AM
Thank you, Jaxilon! I'll bear that in mind for the next revision - I've had to shelve the mapping projects for a week or so.