View Full Version : Yet Unnamed Single Continent [First Map]

01-09-2011, 02:40 PM
Hi Everyone,

this is my first mapping in the Guild.
I run a home made role playing campaign and this map will be the map of the known world for my campaign setting.
It is sill work in progress and not the first concept I have tried :)
I used a lot of tutorials from various Guild members, but I modified them on so many ways, that I almost could say I have an own mapping style... or something very similar :)
If I finish this map I will summarize all tutorials and material that I used.
I use The GIMP and Wilbur for mapping, and some hand-drawing with a Wacom Bamboo Pen or Paper+Scanner, which I try to keep at an absolute minimum, till my hand-drawing skills are not quite good.

Every Comments are Welcome, I need still a lot to learn.

The Map see below or in my Gallery:


Thanks for reading!

01-09-2011, 07:40 PM
Have some rep for posting your first map, it's looking pretty good so far! I'll wait for critiquing until you've got a little more done :)

01-10-2011, 02:17 PM
Thanks a lot.
There is a lot of work to do on it.
The next step is some more impressive foliage, but I work on it mostly only at weekends, so a weekday update is very unlikely...

01-10-2011, 03:31 PM
Looks very good for a first map, narogi! As Gidde said it is difficult to give critique at this stage, but your on the way to a nice map. Personally I like a simple scale even at the first stages of a map to get a feeling for the dimensions. Also check out Old Guys' tutorial about creating realistic coastlines, it will help a lot.
Have some rep for your first map!

01-10-2011, 03:33 PM
Looks good to start I'll be watching eagerly :) oh and have some rep!!

01-11-2011, 04:30 PM
Thanks for everyone.
The Scale of the map is currently not fix, I still need to figure it out.
The Picture is 2500 x 2500 px, I thought so that 1 or 2 px = 1 km
The landmass is about 50,2% of the picture, so it is about 800 000 - 3 000 000 square km
I prefer smaller scale and more detailed maps, so probably I will choose the smaller version...
I don't really want to do a big map, where all I know is the name of the countries and the 5 biggest city on the continent.
But I also should keep in mind that the world is high magic and technology something between steam-punk and middle-ages so if it's very small the exploring aspect of the Campaign is not relevant.
So I still need to figure out very much details and there is a lot of mapping to do.
I plan the next update at weekend, probably Sunday...

01-16-2011, 04:30 PM
Hi again everyone.
I had not so much time this weekend for mapping, but I worked a bit on the project.
I redesigned my rivers, to feel a bit more realistic and I altered a bit the Texture of the landmass.
But I did not manage to make the forests.

I hope that I will have more time next week.

All comments are welcome.

Here is the current version.


I worked a bit on the texture of the land, and I think this should be the final version.


I was thinking a lot about whether or not I need some kind of delimiter that helps to see where the sea really ends and where the shore begins.
How do you think is the current texture and shading enough for that role? Or do I need to highlight the shoreline a bit more?

Anyway, at this point I want to say, that the sea/ocean around the continent is not really sea, it is an ocean of clouds instead.
Only the inner seas are really water. I only found it easier to make a conventional map at first and than modify the outer regions later.
It looks better, as if it would empty.

The concept behind my setting is geographically something similar to the swashbucklers of the seven skies or the very old "floating isles" world concept from many DnD books.
Its not very original alone, but I am going to fill in a lot of details that gives a bit original flavor to it, and of course it is a home made campaign, so the only goal to achieve is to entertain my party :)

As always, many thanks for reading:

01-25-2011, 03:40 AM
Floating islands go back a lot farther than D&D. Gulliver's Travels is the first I can think of off-hand, but it's probably a far older idea. Nothing wrong with using it again, but you're going to want to make it a lot clearer on your map.

01-26-2011, 04:01 PM
Hello Everybody again.

I have re-done my rivers, again... hopefully the very last time.
Thanks to RobA for the Tapering Rivers with Inkscape and Gimp tutorial :)
I modified a bit the land texture again...
I also added an early version of the cloudy background, to see where the waters end and where the Ocean of Clouds begins.

The basic concept is, that the continent is floating in the air but there are big areas of open water in the inner deeper regions.
On the edge of the world there are giant waterfalls.

I also added the first chunk of forest but I need to work on the other forest areas.
I am still unsure whether the current forest texture the final is.

As always thanks for reading and all criticism is welcome.


01-26-2011, 06:14 PM
Looks really good and a great concept :)

01-27-2011, 03:26 AM
Thank you jtougas.

01-27-2011, 05:18 PM
This is looking really good, narogi! My only real issue is that you seem to have some fairly large rivers flowing through the desert. Wouldn't that greenify at least the area close to the rivers? Like the Nile valley? Then again, I'm not a desert expert so I may be off base. Also ... would a floating continent cast a shadow on the clouds? Maybe a really blurred, really offset drop shadow might be appropriate.

01-28-2011, 05:47 AM
Yeah about the rivers in the desert I was thinking a lot too.
I will definitely add some green to it.
Especially, because the deserts on the continent are not really hot but dry instead.
I am planning some vegetation too around the desert rivers, but not so dense forests, as on the more wet western part of the continent.
I am still not sure about the cloudy thing...
My current concept is, that my world does not have a usual sky.
Instead there are clouds all around the continents below and above, and the light source is the cloud itself.
When its daylight the clouds are shiny and have a bit of glitter, or radiation.
Maybe it could have a color too which is correspondent to the actual part of the day, or to different parts of the world.
It has the side effect too, that there could be rain or real thunderstorms by daylight, because there isn't a light source that the clouds could "hide" from observers on the continent.
But that means too that the light comes from all directions, so there is no shadow at all in this world and the continent itself drops no shadow.
Of course it means too, that on this world there are no stars, or whatever to help the navigation between two floating continents or isles.
On that problem i still need to work...

As always, thanks for reading.

02-06-2011, 05:09 AM
Hello again,

it took a while, but now I have finished the landscape the forests included.
I also added some green grass and foliage in the desert around the rivers.
In the next step I will make a brief pause, because I need to think about the placing of all my settlements and major roads.
I will have seven major countries in this continent and I need finalize the country borders too.

So as always thanks for reading and check the latest version below :)


02-06-2011, 06:14 AM
This is quite cool, narogi. Sorry but I'm part Polish so I always think of pierogi :) Anyway, I like how you are doing the flood basins in the deserts, I like the forests, I like the mtns, I like the big delta-swamp thingy in the middle. Two things kinda buggin me - the mtns seem a lil blurry compared to the forests and I really feel off-kilter with that big lake in the middle and empty air surrounding the continent. But anyway, I still think it's pretty cool.

02-06-2011, 10:33 AM
Thanks for the kind words Ascension,
with the mountains I am still a bit unsure. I tried to make them a bit sharper, but it had a side effect with the coloring that I not really liked. Since then I had not the enthusiasm to re-do all my mountains again. But I will definitely think about it...
I thought a lot about the whole flying continent concept too. On a flying landmass, there is always the problem, that the water is gone someday, or you need a wet enough climate to support the rivers due the rainfall.
The other thing that I should consider is, that the inhabitants of my world have very strong connections to the classical elements from which the realm is made of.
That means, that I needed a relative big open water for my water-related race and it seemed a good idea, to put that big lake in a very big basin in the middle of the continent.
Currently I am thinking about the erosion and tectonics on a world like this..
Strong erosion simply means that the world is practically dying, and the flying continents mean the lack of tectonic moves and volcanic activity.
I need to work a lot on these details, I think...

02-06-2011, 12:22 PM
There's always the fall-back positions - "it's fantasy" or "the gods made it that way". Personally, I don't have any problems with floating things from a theoretical standpoint. I just keep wanting to see waterfalls falling of the edge...maybe enclose that part, shrug. I totally get the "I needed a big water area for a certain religion" thing. Maybe put a shadow underneath the land it will help. I may be the only one all weirded out so it's not a real big deal.