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View Full Version : World map of Cindaelus. Criticism wanted.



Sursion
04-01-2012, 07:25 PM
Hello all,

As the title says, I've created a new world map of a world I call Cindaelus. It's very basic (made in paint) due to my horrible artistry skills. However, now that I've got the basic outline of the land, I need to move on to the next step: making it as realistic as possible. Where would the deserts go? Which areas are temperate, which are rainforest? What are the plate tectonics like (I have a vague idea, but I'm interested to see if it's plausible)? Any advice you folks could give me would be very much appreciated. When I make things, they always have to be as realistic as possible. If something doesn't have a good explanation behind it, it will drive me mad forever.

Criticism on the map itself would be helpful aswell. Do the landmasses look proper? Are they too smooth? Not enough of this or that?

Thanks to all.

jfrazierjr
04-01-2012, 08:46 PM
Heh... well... my first critisism would be to save it as a png or jpeg file rather than bmp. Other than that, there is not enough to go on. As far a your specific questions, I would suggest doing doing some VERY general mountains. Simple upside down V's would work and a place holder for further comment. Also, if you want "real" realism, you would need to show some type of temperature zones. For example, deserts will almost always fall between 30 and -30 latitude. But why and where depends on a huge number of factors. Wind patters are a major cause (thus if you REALLY want to make it fairly real you need to set those up) as well as mountain locations (and if you REALLY want to make this fairly real, you need to deal with tectonic forces) AND mountain height.

Personally, i just make crap that I think looks cool and leave the realism out of it...

Oh, and on a side note, if you can, I would suggest making the initial size bigger to let people really zoom in... of course this depends on what your machine can handle and what style(and scale) of map you are going for in the end.

Sursion
04-01-2012, 09:16 PM
Sorry about that. I uploaded it as .bmp because JPEG kept making everything really blurry when zoomed in. I've uploaded a new JPEG one, and at full size too.

What more information do you need to determine the different climates and stuff? What do I need to know to develop wind patterns and such? Should I add mountains and lakes first, and then decide upon the different temperatures based on that?

http://imageshack.us/f/594/newmapm.jpg/

http://img594.imageshack.us/img594/9610/newmapm.jpg

jfrazierjr
04-02-2012, 12:31 AM
Well.. as I said, just throw up a few mountains here and there where you think they might naturally go. For wind patterns, well.. just look at earth and use that model. If you look carefully, you can find some good references other users have made in their works here. Or look around the web. Mainly, you just want a general idea. From my (limited) understanding, winds typically flow in a different direction based upon 4 latitudinal bands with each going the opposite direction from it's neighboring bands. Again, you could easily just put down stuff and let it ride at that and honestly that is what I would do. But if you want it more realistic, you just have to do your own research(again, cuase mainly I don't know or care about the specific details to be helpful). Once you know where the mountain are and which direction the wind blows you can then begin determining possible locations for deserts(either hot or cold) by cross referencing where the water is picked up and where it is deposited.

Now, once again, I will say that I (and most others) don't go into that level of detail and just make up what I think looks good.

Talon44
04-02-2012, 12:40 AM
Personally, i just make crap that I think looks cool and leave the realism out of it....

I agree with this. Devotion to realism, like anything, reaches a point of diminishing returns. I guess realistic looking rivers are the most important, as are general locations of forests and such in proximity to mountain ranges. Beyond that, I'm not sure how important scientifically plausible air or water currents are in a map or world that includes dragons, elves, demons, magic, unicorns, fire-breathing caterpillars, or all of the above. :)

The continent on your right almost looks a little like north america (with a flooded mexico) to me, so that might be generally helpful for you.

Joshua
04-02-2012, 02:11 AM
I agree with this. Devotion to realism, like anything, reaches a point of diminishing returns. I guess realistic looking rivers are the most important, as are general locations of forests and such in proximity to mountain ranges. Beyond that, I'm not sure how important scientifically plausible air or water currents are in a map or world that includes dragons, elves, demons, magic, unicorns, fire-breathing caterpillars, or all of the above. :)

How dare you doubt the existence of dragons! And my pet Smokey the fire-breathing caterpillar is now crying in the corner. Thanks. That'll be months of therapy for the little guy. :\

I do agree with the general sentiment though. ;)

ravells
04-02-2012, 11:51 AM
I do the same thing as JF, just make stuff up and try to make it look vaguely credible. There are many people who really enjoy the whole world building thing and someone has written a whole manual on fantasy world building (it's called something like 'the world builder's cook book, but it isn't that), hopefully someone with a better memory will pitch in!

It's not Geoff's Climate Cookbook (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html)but that's worth looking at too.

I found this list of worldbuilding resources (http://gauzstien.angelfire.com/links.html) which might be helpful.

Gidde
04-02-2012, 12:14 PM
I've also found A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture (an ebook available here (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=2019&it=1)) to be invaluable, if you have a few bucks to spend.

Sursion
04-02-2012, 10:20 PM
It's not Geoff's Climate Cookbook (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html)but that's worth looking at too.

That helped substantially! Thank you very much for posting that.

Here are is the final result of an entire days worth of working. With labels, tectonics, and just a blank view. Thoughts? Advice? Criticism? All welcome.

Blank: http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/6540/blankm.jpg
Labels: http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1663/labelsr.jpg
Plate Tectonics: http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4920/tectonics.jpg

ravells
04-03-2012, 10:59 AM
I've also found A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture (an ebook available here (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/product_info.php?products_id=2019&it=1)) to be invaluable, if you have a few bucks to spend.

THAT was the one I was thinking of! Thanks Gidde!

@Sursion, glad to see that the link was of use.

ravells
04-03-2012, 11:09 AM
I really love the colour scheme you have gone with. It reminds of me of 1950s school atlases.

The labelling I does not work for me as there is a bit of a style clash there. You're using a Gothic / Fractur type font which has suggestions of 15th Century, Heavy Metal and horror - so I guess unless the map is intended to have that flavour I would steer clear for that reason and for legibility (although sometimes you do have to trade off legibility against theme and feel). But then I realise that font choices are intensely personal and everyone (and their dog) has a view about fonts and almost everyone will tell you that there is a better font choice for your map than the one you have chosen (whatever that font may be).

I do suggest that you read the link in my signature about labelling maps before going too far on the labelling. It's a 'must read' in my opinion because it sets out those rules which have become so engrained in map making we instinctively know when a map is not following them although we may not know why. So if you want to break the rules and know which ones you are breaking and why, then knowing the rules in the first place is always a good place to start!

Sursion
04-03-2012, 05:04 PM
I actually have to agree with you on that. When I downloaded the font, I thought it looked cool. But when it was actually on the map, I thought the background was too.. colourful? For that type of writing. I'll download some more and see what I can come up with. Thanks for the feedback!

Edit: I have revised the fonts. Unfortunately, MS Paint isn't ideal for writing, so it's not perfect. But I think the new font has a more 'lighter' feel to it, which fits well with the artistic style of the map. Also, I made the labels much smaller. They no longer overlap anything important (mountains, borders, etc.). I've also added a silly compass in the lower right corner because I thought that area seemed to empty.

In terms of the map itself, I've added a few islands here and there to give it more depth. Mostly in tropical regions. I've also added a layer of ice over the north pole.

With labels: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/585/cindaelusmaplabels.jpg/
Plain: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/cindaelusmap.jpg/