View Full Version : Another island: Swift Current

01-14-2012, 08:20 PM
I'm trying to build up an array of interesting, more or less self-contained island maps. I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on my latest: Swift Current. The idea this time is that for some reason, the island is bisected by a narrow channel through which the ocean waters go roaring through at great speed.

I tried to be a little more detailed than I was with Pot-Boiler Lagoon, but I still wanted it to feel like the map could stand on its own and not need a separate key.


Let me know what you think!

01-16-2012, 04:17 AM
Ok - it looks nice, the style is consistent and all - but one thing that strikes me right off is - I can't tell which way the water is flowing through the island. The river at bottom left suggests a W>E direction, the delta suggests E>W, as does the whirlpool.

01-16-2012, 08:53 AM
Super interesting map here, but the river in the southwest corner does bother me. First, as Lukc mentioned, it does seem to contradict the water flow. Second, that seems like an awful lot of water to be draining from an area that appears to be mostly grassland. And third, some of those tributaries feeding the river just don't make sense. Unless there's a line of hills right along the coastline then the river should actually empty into the sea rather than the channel in the middle of the island. In fact I would probably start the river in the mountains and have it run west or south rather than having it curve northeast.

Anyway, still a super cool idea for an island map. Looks like something I'd want to run in a seafaring campaign someday.

01-16-2012, 11:28 AM
Hm, yeah, I see what you mean. My idea was that the SW corner is a salt-water marsh caused by the East-to-West flow of ocean water -- the water rushes through the narrow channel and then overflows into the SW corner, creating a big marsh. The "river" and "tributaries" you see there are meant to be INFLOW, not outflow. Which I didn't really know how to indicate, given that it's kind of a ridiculous notion in the first place.

So that's not grassland, that's marsh. :/

01-16-2012, 12:16 PM
Ah ha! That makes much more sense then. It means you've got more of a divergent river situation, but it's a pretty odd circumstance anyway so I don't mind that so much in this case. My only suggestion then would be to make the marsh look more... marshy?

01-16-2012, 05:24 PM
Yeah, I'm with Scotland on this - I was proof positive it was a river. If it's a marsh, you could try making dashed lines indicating the river kind of flows in, maybe draw a few pools and add those typical marsh reed symbols.

01-16-2012, 07:58 PM
I like the concept, I think that the map just needs a couple of tweaks to show better the mechanics of what and how.

Perhaps more mountains to the south and north of the chute area? I like the idea of the overflow into the marsh, can picture a brackish marsh with crocodiles and the like feeding on the fish that get flushed through. Or the pod of dolphin that ride the passage for fun.

Generic maps like this are great.


01-17-2012, 01:44 PM
You could let a few channels of the river go all the way through the marsh and flow back into the ocean...

Also, that little point that pinches the river (north side, just below the stairs of the ziggurat) is messing with me. That just does not look right for some reason.

Very cool.

01-19-2012, 06:56 PM
Wow, thanks for all the feedback. I'll try to spend some time this weekend improving things.

01-22-2012, 11:23 PM
Huh. I appear to be unable to upload images. Is there a size restriction or something? Suddenly the uploader just never stops spinning. So we'll try this:


That's a revamped version of the map, with better (I think) marsh symbols, some hills around the Chute (good idea), and since I couldn't come up with any subtle way to indicate direction, a big honking arrow on one side. What do you think? Thanks so much for the help.

01-23-2012, 01:50 AM
The big honking arrow looks fine. The one thing I'd tweak is the tongue of land between the main current and the overflow; push it a bit to the south so it doesn't seem to be blocking the flow of the river - right now the swamp seems to take most of the water.

01-23-2012, 07:12 PM
I see what you mean. Do you think this looks better?

01-24-2012, 12:32 PM
Read the title and immediately though of the town by the same name in my Province of origin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift_Current

-Rob A>

01-24-2012, 12:34 PM
Heh. That took longer than I thought it would. I'm an Alberta boy, myself. Prairies represent!

01-24-2012, 12:50 PM
Love it - mind telling us why you are building up an island collection?

Also, what are the fonts called?

01-24-2012, 01:07 PM
The map labels are in Handwriting Dakota (included with Mac OS X), the title is Intimacy (available on dafont) and the body text is in Fanboy Hardcore by Blambot. Three fonts seems like a lot in one little image like this, but I think the very different uses make it all work.

And I'm making islands for DINO-PIRATES OF NINJA ISLAND (http://dino-pirates.com/dponiwiki/page/home/)

01-28-2012, 11:33 AM
The map you've done looks really original! The concept is so refreshing. The updates to the map show that you are willing to learn. The mouth of the swamp does look better, but it should still be taking in less water.

I checked out the Dino Pirate site, and it sounds fun. There are some great map ideas.

01-28-2012, 07:52 PM
Okay, I took a shot at narrowing that mouth. I tried a few texture treatments there to indicate shallow, slow-moving water, but nothing looked good so I'm leaving it as is. I also noticed the hills around the chute had their shadows reversed, so I redid them.


Done! Thanks everyone!

01-30-2012, 09:56 PM
That looks really great now. Can't wait to see more like this.