View Full Version : Guthult: God's Forest

05-26-2011, 06:07 PM
Since the mountains in my Challenge map turned out so well, I wanted to use that style in something else. This is part of a northern Europe-esque continent, roughly analogous to our 7th and 8th centuries; much of the land is or was forested, home to various tribes of Goth-like peoples, who are now forming into loose kingdoms and confederations. In the south are the decaying remnants of a Rome-like empire. Many of the place-names in the north are going to be pseudo-Gothic transliterations, thanks to this nifty English-Gothic dictionary I found: http://www.oe.eclipse.co.uk/nom/egdhome.html

Like most of my settings and maps, this is going to be human-centric. One thing that always irks me about most 'traditional fantasy' is the idea that more than one sentient race can prosper. To me, that just doesn't seem workable - one race is always going to have some built-in advantage, like faster breeding, better technology, etc, that will allow them to dominate. That's why I like stuff like George Martin's series; it seems more realistic. Having said that, this world does have some non-human races. There will be trolls, primitive and xenophobic, that live in the mountains, and are sort of like our world's Neaderthals. Then there are the Hweilafulk, a catch-all term for nature-oriented fey folk. These creatures are secretive, long-lived, and nature-oriented, and include sub-races like goblins, dryads, swamp hags, fairies, etc.

05-27-2011, 12:34 AM
Which one of these do you guys thinks looks better, dark or light? If I go with the dark, the text will have an outer glow to improve visibility.

(And thanks to http://wingsofahero.deviantart.com/ for the texture.)

I'm kinda leaning towards the darker one, myself.

05-27-2011, 02:44 AM
I vote dark. I really like how unfriendly it looks. For me it gives a sense that your land is really in the "dark ages". No pun intended.

Really nice job with the mountains btw. Also, you're rivers look creepy, like they're clawing at the land. It could be why I favor the darker colors. Keep it grim all the way through. Cool stuff.

05-27-2011, 03:12 AM
Definitely the lighter one if you are aiming for something that looks like a "real" map. Also, the even, perfectly aligned dark tone for the sea with the perfect light lines cut into it along the coast screams "done with a computer". Text that requires a halo to show up screams it on a megaphone while jumping up and down and carrying a huge sign. It's also just bad cartography to make it hard to read and then try to fix it with halos when you could just have made it easy to read to begin with.

I'd suggest changing that ocean tone so that it cuts off small headlands and islands, and misses bays, and change the lines along the coastline to black. Try to think in terms of the limitations of the medium you are trying to mimic.

05-27-2011, 04:11 AM
The dark one is different, you could go conceptual there but I'd use the lighter one myself...more options and room for maneuverability.

05-27-2011, 04:51 AM
I like your theories of one dominating race, probably cause I'm thinking in the same way :-). When it comes to the map I'd go with the lighter one, even though I think I like the feeling of the dark one more. But it is always easier to darken a map in the end then it is to give it more light.

Steel General
05-27-2011, 06:59 AM
I like them both, but think the lighter one would be better for an actual map.

05-27-2011, 11:48 AM
Like Clercon said, it's easier to darken something nicely than it is to lighten it nicely. Though it might be interesting to use the darker map and blend all your colors onto it with screen or dodge.

05-27-2011, 11:55 AM
very nice map ... I'm liking the light version best :)

05-27-2011, 11:24 PM
Well the lighter one was accomplished with just a layer filled with white and set to soft light on top of everything else, so I can always work on both at the same time and see how it goes...

@Hai-Etlik: Now I feel bad. :( (Just kidding. :D) I agree with most of what you're saying, but on the other hand, if I go with the dark version, it's not really meant to mimic any particular style. I just want it to look interesting. I had another color overlay around the coasts, similar to what I did with this month's Challenge map, but I wasn't liking how it turned out. Maybe I'll add it back in and experiment further.

A point in favor of the light version is that there's going to be forests on this map and probably quite a few labels, so yeah, the dark version might hurt that significantly, especially in making out detail. Well, I'll just go forward with both of 'em and post both at each stage and see what you guys think. It'll have to wait till next week though; I'm going out of town early early tomorrow AM for the holiday weekend.

06-03-2011, 12:52 AM
Well, Hai-Etlik shamed me into going with the lighter version, I think. :D

06-03-2011, 01:02 PM
Looking good Diamond!


06-03-2011, 10:58 PM
Thanks, dude!

Is the faux-Diablo font working for everyone? I wanted to try something different, and I really like how it's turning out.

06-04-2011, 01:20 PM
I've always considered it up there with Papyrus and Blackadder ITC (I think that's the one in CC3, not sure) in terms of overuse. But I think it fits here. I certainly couldn't recommend anything that would fit better.

06-04-2011, 01:45 PM
I actually don't think I've ever used it on a map before, so it's definitely not overused by me! :D

06-04-2011, 07:37 PM
Another update, with a bunch more names done, and the first bits of forest.

06-05-2011, 06:20 AM
As always, I like your overall map. You seem to have the same taste as i have when it comes to map-styles ^^
Not sure about the forest, though. Somehow those trees do not look very tree-y to me...it doesn't really fit with the map either, imho. But i DO love the mountains. Any chance you're weilling to share those brushes?

Aval Penworth
06-05-2011, 06:35 AM
Looks well integrated to me. Did you have fun wih it?

06-05-2011, 02:56 PM
@Eilathen: They're not brushes; they're all individually hand-drawn. (Well except for the ones on the Isle in the eastern sea and the peninsula right above it; I forgot to draw them in there, got lazy, and just copied and pasted them in from other locations.) I suppose I could make brushes out of them though, but I think they won't look as good unless you use a color overlay or a background color fill.

As for the forests, I'm kind of thinking the same thing. That's why I haven't done more forest yet; I wanted to leave it for a day or two and look at it with a more critical eye. And yeah, I think I'll be changing the style.

@Aval: I always have fun. That's why I've lived to the advanced age of 38. :D

06-05-2011, 04:11 PM
I lowered the opacity on the forests and that seemed to help - at least in my eyes. So, a bit more forest done, some swamps added in, and a border/compass.

06-05-2011, 07:22 PM
Maybe the trees are just too big. Maybe smaller trees will help instead of lowering opacity. You might have to thicken up the lines with a stroke (very small and maybe low opacity) just to give it a bump. I dunno.

06-06-2011, 05:45 AM
They do look better now, agreed. I still think that they do not look really like trees...but it is still obvious what they symbolize so i guess that is all that matters (and it's just my opinion anyway ;) ).
As for the mountains...i see, all handdrawn...wow. Very nice work...and i guess a lot of work :D If you're willing, i'd really like to have those mountains in a brush-version.

Looking forward to seeing this map develop further.
Oh and btw, is there more of this world mapped out (even if it's only in your head)? Or was this just a "ok, let's do a random map, for fun" ;) ?

06-06-2011, 10:54 PM
Well, when I've got a spare hour or two, I'll see about making some brushes out of 'em. Probably won't get to it for a while though.

I shall experiment further with the forests. :D

It's just a random map, but it's begun percolating some story ideas in my little noggin...

08-28-2011, 11:16 AM
Hey Diamond,

Wanted to bump this thread for two reasons:

1) Any chance you are still working on that map? I really dig it and would like to see it finished. On top of that, if your ideas have percolated, is there any chance you will build on that map and maybe map more of the world?

2) Any chance you'll have the time to do the brushes for the mountains?

Thanks in advance and I hope to see more of this world and your ideas on it.

P.S.: As to not necro another thread (if there even is one) - Any chance you'll expand on the Farasia map? I bugged you with some questions on dA already, so why not continue over here ;) :D

08-28-2011, 04:08 PM
1) This map is on a back burner; I got distracted by new shinies. :D I do want to finish it eventually. I don't know that I'll ever map more of this world, though.

2) I have a 4-day mini-vacation next weekend, and a two week vacation at the end of September/beginning of October, so yeah, I think I can manage to find the time real soon. ;)

3) Probably won't ever do anything more with Farasia in the foreseeable future.

08-28-2011, 05:34 PM
Please, please do, Diamond. It's an absolute stunner.

08-29-2011, 06:28 AM
1) This map is on a back burner; I got distracted by new shinies. :D I do want to finish it eventually. I don't know that I'll ever map more of this world, though.

New shinies? Well, i hope they find their way on here for our greedy eyes to see ;) Cool that you plan to finish it...would have been a shame if this one had fallen to the road-side.

2) I have a 4-day mini-vacation next weekend, and a two week vacation at the end of September/beginning of October, so yeah, I think I can manage to find the time real soon. ;)

Awesome! I really dig those mountains.

3) Probably won't ever do anything more with Farasia in the foreseeable future.

Too bad...i really like the map and would have liked to see more of the world (as with the Guthult map :D ) . Do you have a Farasia Thread on here? I'd like to know more about the world and what it is like, if you care to share (same goes for the Guthult world...if you have anything on it, that is. IIRC it was "only" a spontaneous play-thingy map ).