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arakish
01-08-2012, 11:36 PM
Archipelago Nation

I have been gone from these boards for many months. Real life conspired to never give me time. Was lucky to steal enough time for the two forum boards where I am a moderator. I currently work for the State of New Mexico as a GIST. Thus, I have been making maps. Just that all of them are currently proprietary. And I cannot show them.

Anyway, a friend asked me to make a map for his upcoming D&D campaign. His statement: "I want a nation that is like the Hawai'in Islands, like an archipelago. I also want it like that Mandikar Bay map you made." The Mandikar Bay map he referred to was the Shaded Relief map I made.

For his map, I decided to use real world DEMs, since they are the easiest to make Shaded Relief maps from. I actually used the Hawai'in Islands. I also used the islands off California; San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Catalina, and San Clemente. The main difference I made is that I raised the sea level approximately 6 meters.

The only major problem is the islands have some rapid elevation rises, creating thin banding of the Colored Elevation layers.

Another major mistake I made, but did not know it until after, was that I did set the lower limit on the Flow Accumulation Spatial Analyst Tool low enough. Thus, I ended up with far too many rivers. Will have to rerun that.

Please post comments and criticisms here please. Attached is a small version of the normal sized map (1200 x 600). For the normal sized map, follow the below link. I was afraid the system here would not allow me to upload such a large file.

Archipelago Nation (http://www.conceptvisions.net84.net/IslandNation/IslandNation.html)

rmfr

41064

ravells
01-10-2012, 04:11 AM
I'm not a physical geographer or anything but is that how you intend to have the islands arranged ? The composition doesn't somehow chime with me, I guess it might be because you used the word archipelago and I associate that with island chains rather than clusters. I see what you mean about the rivers and the banding though! Not sure what you are using to make this but might it be possible to ditch the colour to contour scheme, keep the shading and paint the islands in photoshop on some other principle like land coverage or biomes (not sure if that's the right word)?

Lukc
01-10-2012, 05:47 AM
One problem to my mind is that the orogenetic (mountain-building) processes behind these islands seem to be different. Some of them seem to be volcanic islands (fink Hawaii), other seem to be upflited mountains like you get at tectonic plate boundaries (fink the Dalmatian islands in the Adriatic). If this mountain chain is out in the middle of nowhere, volcanism is probably your likeliest mechanism for generating them - although from the number of rivers, these might be pretty large islands and they *could* be a semi sunken continental outlier or something ... in which case you would get mountains that look more like ridges.

A lot of Mediterranean islands, for example, are the remains of mountains with the valleys between them flooded by rising sea levels. On the other hand, if you look at the Indonesian islands, those are a mix of upflift and volcanism at a plate boundary, while Hawaii and the Canary islands are hotspot volcanics.

Lukc
01-10-2012, 06:03 AM
Doublepost.

waldronate
01-10-2012, 10:49 AM
Two things to consider: most of the human-usable land is in those bottom 6 meters in a lot of the world and putting islands at different scales next to each other is a bit jarring because the hydrology isn't consistent.

arakish
01-10-2012, 12:10 PM
Thanks for all the critiques. I have not settled on any placement for the islands. I am also still debating on whether to go volcanic or tectonic piling type islands. And definitely the rivers need more work. A lot more work.

The major difference is that tectonic piled islands tend to be nothing more than one giant piece of rock and have very little arable land. However, some can have large amounts of arable land, but they tend to have little. Volcanic islands, although they can have some steep mountains, they do tend to level out as you approach the water and do have more arable land.

ravells,
I used ArcMap while at work over the weekend to create the colored elevation, hillshade, contours (not shown), and river flow layers. ArcMap is still too expensive for me to afford. I then brought all the layers home and did some doctoring with Photoshop.

Lukc,
You could be right on the rivers and *large* islands. I am not setting any scale. That will be up to my friend. I told him I would make a large map, but he would have to decide on the scale. Currently, I am making the map to print 20in x 10in if printed with a 300dpi.

waldronate,
Yeah, I know that. But I wanted to give the islands a slightly different look than the real world equivalents.

Furthermore, I am going to look into all the different HF editors I have while at home and see about generating islands not of the Earth. IIRC, doesn't Wilbur have some tesselation island making tutorial?

Again, thanks for all the critiques.

rmfr

arakish
01-16-2012, 12:13 AM
May have been a while since I posted here, but I am still working on the map. I discussed it with my friend, telling him all of your feedback. He decided not to go with the shaded relief. Especially after I discussed with him how difficult it can be to generate appropriate heightfields. Actually, how long it could take to fish for appropriate heightfields. He then decided to leave it to me.

I have decided to try my hand at a hand-drawn style of map. Once I had the lay of the map the way he wanted it, it ended up too large to post here (at I think it is). The map is 4000px by 6000px by 1,687,969 bytes. Here is the link: Ionen Dor (http://www.conceptvisions.net84.net/IslandNation/IslandNation.html).

My friend actually wants the map to be labeled in an alien language the characters will not know. In other words, I am going to have to make two maps, one with alien text, the other with English. Attached is an image with some fonts I have. This is not all the alien text fonts I have, only the ones I wanted. I wanted it to at least appear hand written, but yet alien. Too many other alien text fonts I have look too close like printed text.

My question: Which do y'all like the best?

Listing from top down, the fonts are:

Atlantean
AutoREALM Futhark
Bacata
Dark Arts
Galach
Guild
JSL Tencton
Leviathan
Minbari2
Runes The Elder Scroll
Wizard Speak
Wizard Speak Worn


Thanks, for the C&C.

rmfr

Elzevir
01-20-2012, 07:27 PM
Considering it is for an archipelago, i would choose a font like Dark Arts or Galach, that remind me more of polynesian glyphs, something very tribal.

Besides, nice start, but as previously said, the terrain elevation seems a bit random... Anyway, keep on your way.

Thesslian
01-21-2012, 10:37 AM
Well, each says something different about the island.

1. You are going to be probed by aliens.
2. Vikings are going to land and kill you all.
3. The natives are restless. Listen to the banging of drums and prepare to be eaten.
4. Makes me think of cuneiform.
5. Made by a half blind calligrapher.
6. Welcome to the Arabian Nights.
7. Seismograph trying to do Morse code. Ancient machines are going to kill you.
8. Hidden coven of witches are going to peel off your face.
9. Great Cthulhu will rise from the ocean. Kill yourself now.
10. The demons can't be too far away.
11. Makes me think of Angelic script. The apocalypse is coming.
12. Pretty much looks like 11.

Pick the feel you want for your setting and go with it. On another note, where did you get all the spiffy fonts?

Needamedic
01-22-2012, 12:51 PM
Well, each says something different about the island.

1. You are going to be probed by aliens.
2. Vikings are going to land and kill you all.
3. The natives are restless. Listen to the banging of drums and prepare to be eaten.
4. Makes me think of cuneiform.
5. Made by a half blind calligrapher.
6. Welcome to the Arabian Nights.
7. Seismograph trying to do Morse code. Ancient machines are going to kill you.
8. Hidden coven of witches are going to peel off your face.
9. Great Cthulhu will rise from the ocean. Kill yourself now.
10. The demons can't be too far away.
11. Makes me think of Angelic script. The apocalypse is coming.
12. Pretty much looks like 11.

Pick the feel you want for your setting and go with it. On another note, where did you get all the spiffy fonts?


LOL. No seriously LMFAO. I'll have to get back to you arakish. :)

arakish
01-23-2012, 12:26 AM
On another note, where did you get all the spiffy fonts?

Some, I have had so long I no longer remember. However, look at the links in this topic: Font Library: Fantasy Maps (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?743-Font-Library-Fantasy-Maps)

Last time I browsed through that topic, all the fonts I used are on one or another of the sites listed.

BTW: Liked the rest of your post. Definitely gives me something to think about.

rmfr

arakish
02-11-2012, 12:01 AM
Don't know if works until I complete post. Attached is latest additions I have just done.

Life is just too busy for me to work on the maps I truly love: Fantastical Maps. I wished I had the time to work on them. Just started back at UNM. Going for a masters in geography AND geology. Boss said it gives the impression of intention :?: and would get me a more permanent position PLUS a raise. I definitely like the raise part.

Anyway, I worked on giving the islands names. Will next work on getting the text layers converted over into English instead of Vinyarik.

Some history on the island nation.

It was originally a single huge island ruled by an evil empire from "across the waves." The original peoples prayed to the gods to send them a "Messenger From The Stars." The gods answered by sending this "Messenger From The Stars" in the form of a meteor. The meteor struck, shattering the original island into many islands. Where the "Messenger" came down is now the central island surrounded by the "ring" of islands.

Please note that the placement of the text for the islands' names is not definitive as seen. Much is not definitive except for the shorelines and island placement.

Also want an original scale, but have not decided on how to do it. Am thinking of actually "hand drawing" it, scan it in, then play around.

Ultimately, I am trying for an original map that has been drawn over by the new peoples ruling the archipelago.

Thanks for the critiques.

(Hope the map attaches and thumbnails.)

rmfr

Lukc
02-11-2012, 04:07 AM
Well, each says something different about the island.

1. You are going to be probed by aliens.
2. Vikings are going to land and kill you all.
3. The natives are restless. Listen to the banging of drums and prepare to be eaten.
4. Makes me think of cuneiform.
5. Made by a half blind calligrapher.
6. Welcome to the Arabian Nights.
7. Seismograph trying to do Morse code. Ancient machines are going to kill you.
8. Hidden coven of witches are going to peel off your face.
9. Great Cthulhu will rise from the ocean. Kill yourself now.
10. The demons can't be too far away.
11. Makes me think of Angelic script. The apocalypse is coming.
12. Pretty much looks like 11.

Pick the feel you want for your setting and go with it. On another note, where did you get all the spiffy fonts?

Hehehe ... just saw this now. :D

Lukc
02-11-2012, 04:13 AM
And following right along - the islands look good, but at a small resolution the texture image seems to dominate a bit. I found seeing the original outline *very* hard - and yes, that might be because of my colour-blindness, but still.

Also, I think the mountains seem a bit too sharp compared to the outlines of the islands, like the anti-aliasing is a bit off ... maybe you should apply a slight blur to them. Dunno ... unsharpening in photo shop is always so unsatisfactory to me.

arakish
02-12-2012, 01:40 PM
And following right along - the islands look good, but at a small resolution the texture image seems to dominate a bit. I found seeing the original outline *very* hard - and yes, that might be because of my colour-blindness, but still.

Also, I think the mountains seem a bit too sharp compared to the outlines of the islands, like the anti-aliasing is a bit off ... maybe you should apply a slight blur to them. Dunno ... unsharpening in photo shop is always so unsatisfactory to me.

You are right. I have not blurred the mountains yet. Thanks for reminder. And as said, I just wished I had more time to work on maps.

Also, still deciding on rivers. All attempts to now have been unsatisfactory. But I'll keep working on it when I have the time.

rmfr

arakish
02-21-2012, 02:49 PM
Here is the latest I have been able to get done after "stealing" about 4 hours. It took quite a while to get the alien text done, then copied the layer set and converted it into English text. The attached image below shows the English version.

I did get a few city markers placed and only got three cities named. Yes, I know the one city marker is floating in the ocean. It is there for later placement. Just didn't get a round to it.

My friend is not worried about how long it is taking me. He is still quite a ways from being ready for that chapter of his campaign. Thank goodness. Still wished I had the time to get it finished faster.

Thanks for any C&C.

rmfr