View Full Version : Unnamed large island [WIP] Critique welcome!

12-21-2011, 03:52 PM
I was thinking of drawing a few fantasy continents and this is what I
came up so far.

My aim was to make the map useable as a game resource later on, with
some thoughts on realism. Ofcourse, drawing totally realistic maps
wouldn't be fun, not to mention a lot of hard work. After carefull
consideration I have struck a balance I "feel" is right by including
things only directly related to the gameplay.

This is still a wip, so there is still a limited list of features on
this map. I have plans for different things and biomes on other
continents in this series, but let's not stray from the point ^_^

I have drawn rivers in 4 colors, with each color depicting the size of
the river. Depending on the season, rivers can be crossed by the player
party with more or less difficulty, i.e. (rivers should be largest in
spring due to snow melting and rainfall)
I have only drawn in rivers that should pose an obstacle/sailable on
the map, partially because a game that makes you roleplay crossing
every brook and stream wouldn't be fun, and partially because of the
small resolution. Drawing in more rivers than there is would prolly
clutter the map more than I "feel" is right.
There are also 2 small lakes, formed in mountain regions, where rivers
don't have an option of draining into the sea.

Hills and mountains:
Again, drawing these in scale and realistic is more than I could
handle, so I tried drawing shapes that are easily indentifiable to the
player, even if they don't necessearly look like realistic mountains. I
have taken care to draw some high passes and gorges(?) to allow the
player to move over the mountain ranges (well, except in winter when
they're prolly imapassable due to snow).
Shading was a game of patience, but I'm satisfied on the way I handled
it, even if there is a lot more room to improve. I stuck to broad
slopes, so not to make too many shading "splotches" to improve the
readability of the map. My opinion is that a more "noisier" map would
look less good and readable on this resolution.

I read somewhere that about 10% of today's landmasses is covered with
forests, but that percentage was about 50% before man started to make
such an impact on the nature around him. As this is a fantasy map,
roughly placed in the medieval period, I tried making more forests than
the beforementioned 10%. I imagine this island south of the equator, so
the forests are drawn with a higher treeline on north-facing slopes. If
you are wandering why isn't there more forests in that big fertile,
water-rich valley with that big river, you may assume that most of the
cities (these are still only in my head) are situated there, for the
same reasons, hence, the wood was cut down and used in all the ways
people usually do. Using the big river to transport logs downstream to
that long bay would prolly help out any empire that has designs on a
large fleet of sailships, built in a city situated in that bay.

I had the most trouble with this element of the map, without much vision, I drew a strip of coast reminiscent(sp) of the Norway coast with all those fjords, but I took the easier way out after a while and designed it without much vision after that. Dunno, any suggestions are welcome.

For now, I am not adding any civilization/s, but there definitly will be a roadmap, cities and places of interest placed on a seperate layer later on.

Please take note that other continents in this series would prolly include deserts, high plateaus with an abundance of lakes, perpetually snow covered high mountains, volcanoes and whatnot, so there is no need to squeeze it all in on this island. Please critique and share opinions on anything else you find easily addable to this island tho.

Thank you!

P.S. English is not my native language, so don't mind any typos and misspelling, please. Also, a mirror of the map just to be sure: http://i.imgur.com/8pRd4.png

12-21-2011, 09:58 PM
Looks great! Also, you're English is excellent, I know native speakers that don't write as well as you