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laevex_esre
09-05-2011, 10:58 AM
OK. I'm creating a world called Kaliros and I want to be relatively accurate. It's not a magical world. It's for a sci-fi project.

Here's a blank version of the world on an Equirectangular map:
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I want to try and work out what parts of the planet would be deserts, rainforests, forests, ice etc. I have no knowledge of climate whatsoever, but I knocked this map up today to show the kind of thing I'm aiming for:
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That's probably way off but maybe it's a starting point?

To make things slightly easier Kaliros is the same size as Earth and similarly tilted. Its continents are obviously vastly different, but the land-sea ratio is about the same as Earth's too.

I've seen some of the stuff on here to do with wind direction and it just baffles me. If someone could help me that would be really appreciated.

feanaaro
09-05-2011, 01:42 PM
Isn't this done with Fractal Terrains? It seems so. If it is, the program calculates sort of a climate for you. Not especially accurate, but loosely plausibile if you don't need perfect precision. One thing you should probably check manually is rainfall, lowering it in rainshadowed and/or landlocked areas (of which, however, you do not seem to have many).

jbgibson
09-05-2011, 03:26 PM
For starters, what tools are you using? That looks a bit like an unedited Fractal Terrains world. While it has lots of delicious randomness going, and a pleasing set of coastlines, it only has one "degree" of fractal roughness. Unless you figure your world to have been hyper-active geologically, or recently wholly covered by ice, one wouldn't expect such roughness to be universal - there'd be some plains, some plateaus, basins, coastal lowlands. Once one generates a jaggy height field like this, it's good to go back and manually edit some. With Fractal Terrains, it's an iterative process of reducing the roughness over an area, shoving some land up, some land down, maybe whatever you call the 'extend coasts' that gets you some coastal plains. But even that latter tool tends to make a semi-uniform belt of plains around all landmasses. If you use that tool and then slightly raise the sea level you *do* get a reasonable continental shelf. Even there, though, one would expect broad areas of shallows in places and steep coasts straight to depths in other places.

Once you have some reasonable terrain, that starts to define at least possibilities for climate. I.e. you won't get a nice icky swamp, til you have some really flat areas that are poorly drained. No vast plains where the buffalo and nomads roam, til you HAVE some broad plains. Make sense?

As for the wind and weather-pattern bit -- you don't have to go whole-hog. I do (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?11964-Where-does-the-wind-blow&p=128814&viewfull=1#post128814), but that's because it's fun for me (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15173-How-To-Make-Wind-and-Influence-Climate&p=157994&viewfull=1#post157994). If all you want is something that looks plausible, and is more varied than north=ice & equator=jungle, you could go by the idealized flat continent (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15606-How-do-I-create-Biomes-for-my-World&p=162048&viewfull=1#post162048) that Waldronate posted a couple of times. Then modify that with your mountains in mind -- higher altitude acts like higher latitude. Then see if some general prevailing winds might give you a rain shadow -- the dryness downwind of a serious mountain range. That much you can figure without getting into seasonal highs and lows and which way things spiral - just figure some very basic bands like in

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First though, see if you can mod the terrain.

laevex_esre
09-06-2011, 06:46 PM
Thanks for such an in-depth reply. I am using Fractal Terrains. I edited a bit but not very much.

I've already done close-up map of one peninsula, here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=38269&d=1315156766) so I'll leave that alone, but I may as well fiddle around to try and get some good variation in the rest of the world.

jbgibson
09-06-2011, 11:49 PM
That peninsula is nicely done. Consider masking the road junctions at cities with the whole diameter of the various city symbols - I bet it improves the look.

I lived near Bracknell for a span of four months on TDY back in the 90's. I enjoyed the surroundings and the people - good memories.

altasilvapuer
09-07-2011, 08:38 AM
In my signature is my first attempt at the same sort of project you're now working with. With Geidor, I tried to actually go a little crazy whole-hog as a learning experience and planned out rough tectonics (and mountains as a result), surface ocean currents, prevailing winds, and the resulting climates. It's a bit of leg-work, but I found that doing it once helps you to simplify and speed the steps a little more in subsequent ones. I'm here only very infrequently, these days, and haven't even posted the other two maps I've worked on (one in the style of Geidor, and one in the style of Tilt's fantastic Saderan). I tried to go into some decent explanation, but mostly referenced the work of two others before me: Karro (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?2463-World-Map-WIP-in-GIMP) and Korba (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?4812-WIP-World-of-Calen-Ndor). Both of them explained their processes quite well as well.

If the three of them combined still leave you with questions, just let me know and I'd be glad to go a little more into depth on my own reasonings.

-asp

EDIT: I almost forgot! Geoff's Climate Cookbook and Worldbuilding guide are invaluable, but sadly down from the web. I think they're up on the WebArchive somewhere around here; let me look..
Okay, it seems the Cookbook is not on the Wayback Machine, but the Worldbuilding guide (http://web.archive.org/web/20050212143316/http://www.compulink.co.uk/~morven/worldkit/index.html) is. I, however, seem to have a copy of the htm for the Cookbook that I or someone else pulled before it vanished. If you want it, PM me and I'll try to get it to you somehow.

-asp

laevex_esre
09-07-2011, 08:56 AM
Haha. It's rare that visitors have good things to say about Bracknell, although the area is pretty nice.

That map actually wasn't finished. I needed to do the masking at some point. After trying to make the world more believable, I'm completely stumped. I think I'll just use that one as a prototype and start a new world. Right now I have this one, which I've made some changes to.

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How could it be improved?

I realise it's still too mountainous so I'd like to create some plains and plateaus. Some nice swamps and lake regions would be awesome too.

I saw this tutorial (http://www.worldofgotha.com/PF_TUTORIAL/israh_index.html), which looks great. But I don't want to create a recently-thawed post-ice age planet. How would I teach myself the skills used in that.

I'm happy to keep working on it to get a realistic world with a realistic climate before I go into regional mapping now.

EDIT: Thanks for all that info atlasilvapuer! It seems I need to start right at the bottom and work my way up. I have sketched out my tectonic plates. I'll superimpose them on the image above so people can see if I'm on the right track.

laevex_esre
09-07-2011, 11:18 AM
Starting from scratch. ASP, you have inspired me to do a thorough job on this. So I've created a dedicated development thread here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?15832-World-Creation-WIP-Etarek&p=164033#post164033).

gilgamec
09-07-2011, 09:54 PM
EDIT: I almost forgot! Geoff's Climate Cookbook and Worldbuilding guide are invaluable, but sadly down from the web. I think they're up on the WebArchive somewhere around here; let me look..
Okay, it seems the Cookbook is not on the Wayback Machine, but the Worldbuilding guide (http://web.archive.org/web/20050212143316/http://www.compulink.co.uk/%7Emorven/worldkit/index.html) is. I, however, seem to have a copy of the htm for the Cookbook that I or someone else pulled before it vanished. If you want it, PM me and I'll try to get it to you somehow.Just an FYI for posterity (or as long as links last on the Internet, anyway): Google reveals the Climate Cookbook and Worldbuilding Guide are still online at http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/.