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darkfaterpg
06-01-2010, 10:13 AM
I'm attaching the most recent map here.

The idea for this map is an attempt at a "hexploring" game, focused mainly on the wilderness of a recently found new land. Comments and criticisms are welcome!

I've kept the first draft in order to allow everyone to see how the map has improved since I've begun to receive some help here. ;-)


Greetings,

I've toying with a map I'd like to see finished, but I'm still not too satisfied with it. It'll be a hex map meant for roleplaying use in the end, but I've tried to make it as pretty as possible so far.

Yet, I'm not sure where the rivers could be placed. I have a general idea, but I've never tried to think about it considering the 'real life geography'.

So, in fact, I'm not only asking for help regarding the rivers, but on the general aspect of the map. I'd consider sacrificing a bit of reality in order to have an interesting map to be explored, but I can not rely simply on the 'it's magic' answer for everything.

The map scale is roughly 1 hex = 1 day of travel on foot. This is purposely left a bit vague as I don't want to write a single line on stone yet.

By the way, I'd like to thank RobA for the field-like patterns I'm using (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?8882-Some-field-like-patterns) and also for the great tutorial about artistic regional maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?1142-Award-Winner-Using-GIMP-to-Create-an-Artistic-Regional-RPG-Map).

Gidde
06-01-2010, 10:28 AM
The easiest way to make rivers in the right place is to start at a mountain range and go toward the ocean, getting curvier as you leave the highlands. Then once you have that main "trunk" you can start making smaller and smaller branches that leave it and go toward other parts of the mountains. Just make sure all your branches are on the mountain side, as rivers join as they go toward the ocean. Do that until you have sufficient drainage for the snowmelt coming off all the mountains and you'll look natural.

darkfaterpg
06-01-2010, 01:07 PM
But where do the rivers start forming in that map? I don't have a clue about the areas that could contain enough water to start the flow of the river.

Rhotherian
06-01-2010, 01:15 PM
Where it rains and/or snows alot. Don't start too high up the mountains, as it'll be too cold for liquid water up there. Don't start where melt water will accumilate into streams either. Start your rivers where the streams will be large enough to be notable on a map. In other words, don't start your rivers where they start, start them where they'd be more than a trickle.

Redrobes
06-01-2010, 05:48 PM
Maybe this will help...

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place

darkfaterpg
06-01-2010, 05:51 PM
That helped a bit, as I've searched all the forums before asking my question. The problem is I don't see the exact places where the water should accumulate before forming rivers. I was thinking about installing Wilbur and trying to see if something good could come from that, but before doing that (after all, at work I can't install a single thing) I decided to ask for help.

Ascension
06-01-2010, 06:00 PM
The problem is the haphazard placement of the mountains. Yours seem to be like islands popping up here n there instead of being formed by geological process and tectonics...ie they are mountain chains not mountain archipelagos. Here's a quick sketch I did; black is where I would expect a mountain chain and supporting foothills and red is the rivers based on your current mountains (they are only half done but they give you an idea).

darkfaterpg
06-01-2010, 06:25 PM
The problem is the haphazard placement of the mountains. Yours seem to be like islands popping up here n there instead of being formed by geological process and tectonics...ie they are mountain chains not mountain archipelagos. Here's a quick sketch I did; black is where I would expect a mountain chain and supporting foothills and red is the rivers based on your current mountains (they are only half done but they give you an idea).

Thanks for the sketch--it was a great help, as now I see how the rivers should work.

Now, regarding my mountains, I do have a question: would such placement be unfeasible? I really want to have a nice diversity of terrains in my map (including desert, that's why I've enclosed it on a mountain/hill circle, as that was the only way I've found to really have it on the map). The large chain you've sketched seems natural (a lot more than my 'popped mountains'), but I don't see it as an evironmental challenge to be explored. The main utility of this map should be as a setting to wilderness exploration, and I'd be willing to sacrifice some (not all) of the real placement in order to see an interesting place to be explored.

Juggernaut1981
06-01-2010, 06:56 PM
Try this as a solution.
25365

Ascension
06-01-2010, 09:31 PM
Well, what's the scale? You mentioned hexes but there aren't any yet. If this is an island you could squeeze in some diversity...if it were a huge island like Madagascar but in a temperate climate. If this is a continent then everything is fair game...all diversity is possible. I'd cut the mountain chain in the middle then and scale back the ends. Gimme a scale and I'll resketch ya something.

darkfaterpg
06-01-2010, 10:11 PM
Sorry. There was a problem with the first attached file, but I've uploaded it again.

Each hex should be equal to 1 day of travel. This means it's 12-25 miles, depending on how you foresee the walking ability of someone (I'm tempted to say 12 miles, as it's harder to explore an area that large--crossing that distance is easy, exploring is time-consuming).

Ascension
06-02-2010, 12:08 AM
Ok, it's a big island. My thought is that there would be a mtn chain in the north and some mesa things in the south. Unless this is a southern hemisphere island then flip that. The reason for that is purely aesthetics...mtns are better in cold areas and mesas are better in hot places. Since this isn't a continent there probably won't be any cold places though...islands, even big ones, are pretty static and the temp won't vary all that much. So if this were in a temperate climate it would probably be grasslands and forests with some cold areas at very high elevations. Really high elevations would require quite an extensive set of mtns but you could probably get by on this point. Extensive mtns would also let you have a desert. You could probably get a swamp or two in as well. If this were in a subtropical climate it would mostly be desert and grassland and mesas. Tropical climate would have a lot of jungles and swamps and no desert.

Now someone else will have different ideas and since I'm not a climatologist these are open to debate but this is to the best of my knowledge. Here are two ideas.

darkfaterpg
06-03-2010, 02:38 PM
Following your suggestion, Ascension, here's the draft of the new map. Comments, as usual, are highly appreciated.

Notes:
Green - Forest
Dark Green - Jungle
Red - Swamp
White - Hills
Grey - Mountains
Dark Grey - Canyon
Beige - Desert
Brown - Mesa

I didn't decided the placement of fields/farms due to setting considerations--the island is fairly new and unexplored, so I may restrict the amount of settlements by now.

Ascension
06-03-2010, 04:09 PM
Looks a lot more natural to me, nice job. Now ya just gotta pretty it up :)

darkfaterpg
06-03-2010, 04:19 PM
Looks a lot more natural to me, nice job. Now ya just gotta pretty it up :)
Thanks a lot. Doing this is more fun than I've thought at first, yet I know I need to learn a lot. Your input has been truly helpful.

Let's see if I can come with something prettier soon. Right now I'm working on the settlements (8 castles, 1 ruined castle, 5 towns, 1 port city). A few lines here, a blur there, and the settlement is done.

My main worry is still the rivers. I just hope I'll draw them accordingly.

Steel General
06-03-2010, 04:57 PM
Thanks a lot. Doing this is more fun than I've thought at first, yet I know I need to learn a lot. Your input has been truly helpful.

Not just fun, but darn addicting :D

darkfaterpg
06-03-2010, 06:59 PM
Now I may say I'm almost satisfied with the map. Using Wilbur's rivers as the basis, I've drawn everything that needed to be there at first. This journey was really an exciting one.

Somehow I'm not too happy with the Mesas and the Canyon though. Someone has any ideas on how to improve them?

darkfaterpg
06-04-2010, 11:12 AM
Small tweak on the map, but I don't have any ideas on how to improve the canyon or the mesas.