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View Full Version : Near Final Sylvane Map: Feedback Wanted



jlficks
11-27-2011, 01:12 AM
I concede! I concede! Attached is the map of the continent of Sylvane where the stories of my upcoming book series takes place. I will admit this map is not as dazzling as many of the master maps I see show-boated on here, but the mere common rabble seems happy with it.

I'm submitting this map to the masters for feedback before it goes to press. Please feel free to pick on it. I'd like to use your observations to make adjustments now. I've attached a low rez preview image for those only interested in taking a glance at it. Unfortunately, this low resolution will grant you little more than a glance at the basic continent shape/map style because the map is HUGE! If you want a better look at it use my high rez map viewer on our website:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/map.html


If you're willing to dig deeper into the map, I'm also looking for feedback on names. I'm satisfied with 94% of our names, but I'd like to weed out weak or awkward names. Some of the places are quarky, so I may occasional respond with some lore. Also, feel free to let me know if you're heard a name before because I've already had to weed some names unintentionally taken by other fantasy series. Oh, Tolkien how dare you take my Daggerlad... I suppose it was yours first, since you lived generations before me, but still! And really, can anyone keep track of them all?

~J. L.
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jbgibson
11-27-2011, 10:40 PM
First - awesome map! Well worth the smidgen of rep I can dole out.

It's tough to reconcile hand-drawn features with extensive labeling... with a bit more modern map one can better reconcile the erasure of bits around the text with halo/ glow effects. Mimicking maps of hundreds of years ago, that doesn't look quite right. You have in some high-contrast feature areas a real fight between the labels and the feature linework - take the Tulestine Foothills. To my eye, you might as well lose the linework among the letters there - it's confusing. The super-high contrast mountain shading in the adjacent Dragontooth range is just as big a fight for one's attention. The Briggdorum Mountains label, same problem. I'm not sure how you'd reconcile that, just that it warrants some attention.

The amount of grunge across Arzool is a similar issue - not enough contrast to make out the labels. Combining alignment along a curve (Terramoth) with vertical displacement along a curve (the Emerald Hills) seems odd, unless the differing styles delineated different types of features or had some other reason to exist. With all that nice hand-crafted lettering, some of the crisp small text seems jarringly different. You could perhaps substitute a slightly less regular font for things like Doljinaar - "City of Kings" and The Trail Of Majesty. Those look downright Times-Roman typeset.

The mountains and hills are very good. The forests are OK, but come across a bit mechanical -- tough, I know, unless one wants to do a LOT of hand-drawing and hand-placing!

I like it a lot, as-is. If you succeed in tweaking it better, fantastic!

jlficks
11-28-2011, 01:43 PM
Thanks GB for that very helpful post. You seem to be spreading your knowledge to the other posts and you're willingness to help others is much appreciated. I'll start tinkering with the map and see where it goes from there. Other feedback always welcome.

bradlavario
11-28-2011, 03:55 PM
"Never give up!!! Never Surrender!!!" -Cmdr Peter Quincy Taggart, NSEA Protector.

I guess I am "the rabble" but I think it looks good.

Your post however... "show boating", "the rabble" seems kind of negative to your peers. Having lived a few years, I have learned there will always be those better than you, and those who can learn from you, and believe it or not, those who are very good, are not "show boating", they are concerned with the EXACT same things you are "Does this look right?", "Does this mountain make my butt look big?", etc.

Also, those with exceptional skills (especially on here) are the first ones to help, give away brushes, give away tiles, make tutorials, they are not "show boating". Mastery is the process of being willing to screw it up more times than anyone else, laugh about it, say "That don't look right!", and do it again. (and again, and again, and...)

The wonderful thing (I am finding) is, aside from the River Police (they are evil), most of this is subject to your own point of view, there is no right or wrong. (it is art after all)

I am "the rabble" and that's how I roll. :) (I might add this to my sig)

jlficks
11-28-2011, 06:14 PM
Brad,
Just for the record. I didn't mean to demean anyone with my word choice. I suppose I have been a hermit plucking away at my project so long I didn't really think about how my love affair for words might sound to others. I do apologize if I may have offended anyone. I am part of the common rabble as well and what I meant was non-Cartographer Guild folks. : ) You're right in all your points. I came here because of the jaw-droppingly good mappers on this site. I really appreciate good feedback, both on and off the project, so thank you for showing me how my words may have affected others. BTW you have a way with words. I enjoyed your post.

~J. L.

P. S. I keep forgetting to mention my website is still under construction, so if you do take a gander, forgive the roughness of the site. That's the perfectionist in me speaking again. : )

cereth
11-29-2011, 09:30 AM
Overall it's a great looking map. Some of the text is a little challenging to read, but it's not a deal breaker for me. The map is definitely successful in that it makes me want to know more about the locations represented on it. The website look interesting too, btw. Thanks for sharing!

Tadiera
11-29-2011, 03:12 PM
I am so very new, as I'm sure you can see reflected in my post count. I love maps and I've finally become brave enough to try to learn to make my own, which is why I'm here. :D

I love the map; it has a very nice hand-drawn look to it. My only concern, going to print, is how the contrast will be reflected. Especially into a book size. A lot of the very small markers might become illegible? But hey, I don't even know what scale your book is going to be, so who am I to say?

As for names, the only one that stands out to me is Mizzle Drizzle. My eyes keep going to it because it seems slightly discordant to the other names. Just something strange to it, I suppose? The rest have a very fantasy, eldritch feel to them. Mizzle Drizzle just (and mind, this is only from my point-of-view, so your mileage may vary) doesn't.

Overall, however, beautiful map and I hope I can make one similar with time! :)

Freodin
11-30-2011, 12:53 PM
Nice map in a nice style. There is just one major point that I do not like: the heavy dark grunge border.
For every feature in a map that meets my eye I ask: why is it there? In case of such a dark, dirty border, the answer could be: it is an old map. It has seen a lot of use by greasy hands, been kept in rough places, perhaps even survived a fire or two. But then why is the legend so bright and clear and unspoiled? Consistency is something I value very much.

Midgardsormr
11-30-2011, 05:11 PM
First of all, I applaud the high contrast! It's very striking.

I don't know what the final physical size of this map will be. If it's poster-sized, then what I am about to say may not be an issue. A lot of the labels are difficult to read due to the interference created by the high-contrast lines around them. This is particularly bad in the mountains, where I have to really work hard to read some of those names. I think it's a matter of similar frequencies in line density. By that, I mean that a label like "The Elderwood" isn't as difficult to read because the linework surrounding it is very high-frequency. If you look at "Briggdorum Mountains," though, it's difficult to make out because the frequency of the surrounding mountains lines is very similar to that of the text. The letters of both appear to be the same size, and I assume that the padding around them is identical. So what makes one legible and the other not must be the patterns across which they are placed.

Along those same lines, there is a contrast issue with some of the text on the forests. Take a look at the labels "Jui-Rae" and "Jui-Sae." One is easier to read than the other, merely because the density of the Jui-Sae forest itself is greater. In that case, it's not a huge deal, but it might be something to keep in mind for the future.

Well, I need to get back to work now, but it looks good! If I get the chance later on, I'll try to take a look at the full-resolution version.

jlficks
12-01-2011, 11:06 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Iím still working on the map, but hereís a more updated version.

Summary of changes:
1) Changed city/town name font to a more handwritten font
2) Increased font size
3) I fixed areas especially around hills and the dead forest where text got chopped into tiny pieces
4) Some renaming
5) I fixed some text along curves where letters werenít spaced right
6) Other minor fixes

Map is still not final. I am still tweaking.

Cereth hit the purpose of the map dead on. Itís supposed to make you explore and want to learn more about the world. As for the format, this grungy color map is featured on the website. The map viewer allows you to zoom in, pan, etc. so not all text needs to be read at a glance.

That said this is not the B&W version that will be printed in the novels. That map doesnít have the parchment texture or black border. Itís simpler, so maybe Freodin will forgive me for the dark border here. : )

A few words on responses:
1) Thank you! I appreciate all the feedback very much!
2) On mountains/text. I hear you on the difficulty to read. I donít have a solution.
3) Mizzle Drizzle is kind of a playful name from a playful people.
4) The clean cartouches verses black border. I hadnít thought about that.

See the high rez link for updates:
http://www.chroniclesofcovent.com/map.html

Hit the buttons to explore.

jlficks
12-04-2011, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the feedback everyone. I’m still working on the map, but here’s a more updated version.
Summary of changes:
1) Changed city/town name font to a more handwritten font
2) Increased font size
3) I fixed areas especially around hills and the dead forest where text got chopped into tiny pieces
4) Some renaming
5) I fixed some text along curves where letters weren’t spaced right
6) Other minor fixes

Map is still not final. I am still tweaking. Here’s a clearer Med. Rez updated version.
40366

jlficks
12-04-2011, 06:25 PM
A few words on responses:
1) Thank you! I appreciate all the feedback very much!
2) On mountains/text. I hear you on the difficulty to read. I don’t have a solution.
3) Mizzle Drizzle is kind of a playful name from a playful people.
4) The clean cartouches verses black border. I hadn’t thought about that.

Cereth hit the purpose of the map dead on. It’s supposed to make you explore and want to learn more about the world. As for the format, this grungy color map is featured on the website. The map viewer allows you to zoom in, pan, etc. so not all text needs to be read at a glance.

That said this is not the B&W version that will be printed in the novels. That map doesn’t have the parchment texture or black border. It’s simpler, so maybe Freodin will forgive me for the dark border on the website verision. : )

atpollard
12-04-2011, 07:05 PM
Would a lighter color for some labels (like Dragontooth Mountains) be more readable ... perhaps an outline font?

Bogie
12-05-2011, 01:36 AM
Really nice map. Very interesting. The only part I had to struggle to read is one of the largest names, the Dragontooth Mountains. I think it might be to large. I had less trouble reading it when the map was smaller.

rdanhenry
12-11-2011, 03:42 PM
From the edges, I'm assuming the map belongs to a coal miner?

rentauri
12-11-2011, 11:22 PM
Nice map. One thing I do like is the font you have selected for the map.

What is Deadwood that is in your legend? I'm guessing a dead or rotted forest but not sure.
Ysalmariya and Doljinaar both have a symbol of a square with a star inside of it but the Legend makes no visual of what it is. I would guess a Metropolis Capital since the Metropolis is a square shape and the star is the Capital.
On the Dead Cost is there a road between Temple Manar and Skultera? It looks like it but with the names and the symbol between them it is hard to tell.
Certain areas of the map feel heavily marked (The South East and West areas) making it hard for me to process exactly what I am looking at.

jlficks
12-17-2011, 09:04 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I've been a bit tied up on edits on the book. Deadwood are dead forests. Rentauri is right on Doljinaar's and Ysalmariya's symbols. I just thought it might sound a little weird labeled in the legend.

Yes there is a road between the Temple of Manar and Skultera. Looks like I accidently moved a few trees. I'll fix that. Thank you.

I could try to put some of the mountain names in outline format. We'll see if that works.

~J. L.