View Full Version : Diversified fantasy map

07-17-2012, 09:51 AM
Hello from Germany,

I try to create a map for a special project (private project). I write a book which contains Sci-Fi and Fantasy elements. This is something I never saw anywhere. And I hate the fact that a lot of races are shown the same way, elves are always nice and beautiful and dwarfs are always living under earth and using hammers etc.

So I created some races and modified some existing races. Now I try to make a map which can combine all the different aspects of the species.

Vampires (Areas should look dark and mystical)
Humans (Living in deserts, forests and mountains)
Birdpeople(?) (Living in mountains)
Snakepeople(?) (Live in deserst or dark and wet forests)
Gods (Live in seperate areas ... far away from anything other, just waiting)
Fishpeople(?) (Live in sea and lakes ... but also at coast with humans, prefer sand)

Some of them use modern weapons (which they found in wracks of spaceships etc.).

In my actual map you can see different nations which are ruled more or less by special species. In my opinion the map looks too static and is missing a lot of details ... but I don't know how to make them or what kind of details I can add.

I thought about a swamp and myst near the Vampires. Deserts, lakes (for the Fishguys) and some vulcanic environment for the firegods etc.

Also I need a place for the snakepeople which use to live in wet and dark woods. In my map you can see how I tried to seperate the areas but it looks just too "artificial". >:)

What I would like to know is

What colours should I use for all these diversiefied areas?
What kind of details can I add to make the map more natural?
How can I make a transition to make the map looking more realistic?
What kind of map is better for this? (A view from top or a isometric view?)

You can also make sketches (raw) how you would imagine such a world.
I just read my post and think that my english is pretty *****d up. Soooorry.

07-17-2012, 11:32 AM
by different colours do you mean the actual map or maybe border/key colours?

i think stronger text (maybe larger too) would be helpful as its quite hard to see as it is.

realism is pretty subjective though i think adding different textures to moutnains, forests, seas etc might help (though you have a great base to start from).

for this scale id say top-down is better than isometric.

07-17-2012, 01:05 PM

with realistic I didn't mean the textures etc.. I meant the positions of hills and rivers (for example), because they seem placed randomly. I'm pretty sure that in nature there are no such combinations of forests, mountains and rivers.

But I think I found something usefull. A tutorial about placing rivers and mountains. I'm working on the map at the moment.

With the colours I mean everything. :D
The sea seems too bright and some mountains are in a pretty high contrast to the ground etc.. I guess there are millions of mistakes.

You are right about the text. Hard to see. But I don't know how to place them so that the cities etc. stay visible. I guess there is a tutorial for this, too. In my opinion the northern part is nice (except the woods) maybe I should make only desert in the north. And the south-west part seems legit, too.

What I hate is the complete eastern part. And there are still important locations missing. I think I messed the size up. I mean ... the sizes of the mountains and the distances between the objects seem too big.

The map will be top down ... what I meant for the perspective is this:
A: Variant 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WchHMK095Y4) (Everything is drawn from the top view)
B: Variant 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwZPf9-kj8E) (The hills etc. are drawn from the left but the map and the rivers from the top)


EDIT: Added the basic new modified map. What you think about that?
EDIT: Now I also added some colours. What do you think, should I add forests as extra objects or just darken the gras?
EDIT: Okay, now I added the symbols. I connected them with streets, too. But it looks pretty ****ty.

07-19-2012, 02:30 PM

I looked at my map and I hate it ... it looks like shiet. I saw a map created by "Schwarzkreuz" and it inspired me to change colours and the look of the mountains. I think for a story this style is much better.

So I have drawn some mountains and would like to know how you like it. Remember, this map is for a Sci-Fi & Fantasy world. Something in the middle age. Now it looks more dark and mysterious.

What I don't know how to do is the forest. "Schwarzkreuz" has some nice looking trees but I still didn't figure out how to do this.

I guess I will redesign some parts of the continents. The east and south is little too big. Maybe I should split them in to seperate islands and put more water (ocean) in between.

C u l8er. :)

07-22-2012, 10:51 AM
The mountains look rather nice. I would, however, suggest that you check out this thread, because your waterways are pretty crazy there: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?3822-How-to-get-your-rivers-in-the-right-place

07-24-2012, 02:15 PM

yep ... I changed the rivers. Some of them need to be so crazy because of the story. ;)
The mountains look strange ... kind of wrong placed.

I will work further on that map but yes you right I started the wrong way so now the stuff is little messed up. But next time I will do it right. :P

Man ... my hand is aching.

EDIT: Now I added some forests. Ps, what stands WIP for?

07-24-2012, 08:28 PM
WIP = Work In Progress.

This map is looking beautiful.

07-25-2012, 05:22 AM

man. I think its always this way if you look at other maps. In my opinion there are some details missing in the map. Caves, waterfalls, swamps, fields etc.

I just don't know how to add the symbols (cities etc.). Should I just add a point and name it or should I draw the city?

Some hills seem too symmetrical and the forests/mountains are in a strange scale ... the whole map looks pretty small. Maybe I should rescale the mountains?

I mean ... this map should represent five or more nations which borders are near the fat river ... but now it looks more like a map for three villages ...

I'll post a new version maybe today.

07-25-2012, 07:05 AM
Ad 1: Well, details ... depends. If they're too small or not there, you don't have to map them. If they're unimportant to what you're trying to convey, you don't have to map them. If they're small locations, just use an icon like a triangle, asterisk or something similar - like in tourist maps where points of interest are indicated.

Ad 2: Symbols - this depends on scale and flavour. There's nothing wrong with drawings, just as there is nothing wrong with using simple icons (circles, squares, triangles) or just plain old dots. If the scale is very large, using just dots will convey that and leave the map uncluttered. You can always draw little cities to give flavour to the map, though to my mind it may be unnecessary.

Ad 3: Symmetry. Well, again, a matter of choice. The mountains are just abstract representations that say "here be uplands" while forests abstractly state "here be dense vegetation". I don't think they need rescaling, it's an aesthetic choice how large you want to depict them! For a sense of scale, a scale bar, a border or a graticule/grid would be a simpler solution than redrawing the mountains.

Ad 4: I don't think it looks like a map for 3 villages, to me it looks like quite a few large islands surrounded by shallow seas and straits.

Ad 5: Ok! :)

07-25-2012, 09:16 AM
Yo hi,

I did what you said. Do you have an idea how I could draw swamps? I want a mystical swamp on one of the smaller island with the prison ... so it will look scary.

Now I have another problem. Should I draw streets or not? I did it before ... but there I had a lot more cities and finally it looked totaly crazy.

I saw that "Schwarzkreuz" just indicate some main roads ... he never connects all cities etc.

In this map I had first all border lines drawn but it made the map look wrong ... so now I decided to give little hints with just little borderlines.

I guess here is a tutorial for labeling cities etc., right?

I think I also need some structure for the papereffect ... some thick lines or something. :?:

07-25-2012, 01:45 PM

now I think I am pretty far in progress. Map looks ... okay ...

Got problems labeling the rivers because of their weird shape. Damn me! :) Some things are still missing ... I think. I have no crates etc. these would be awesome ... maybe. I tried to draw them (like in the tutorial) but messed up and deleted them all. They just looked like ... hm ... vaginas (my friend said).

I think some labels are hard to read maybe I'll give them a contour.

Now all I have to do is to expand the map until I have the whole world. My PC slows down as hell when I open that map ... so I guess I have to draw "earth-parts". Should I overlap the edges? Maybe a good idea. We'll see.

Ps, any other ideas for the map? Still missing swamp and so on. I wanted a cloud city but it looked pretty weird (draw a 50% opacity cloud and added a shadow FX). Someone know how to draw myst? This would look awesome in the swamp (the little island with the "verlassenes Haus").

And yes, the names are randomly translated words from German to Russian. Aw yeah. But some sounds pretty cool, I think.

Where have I to put the map if I'm finished?

07-26-2012, 08:23 AM

this is my first map EVA. :D

Funny ... it doesn't look like planned.

EDIT: This is not the finished map ... some changes were done. ;)

07-26-2012, 09:23 PM

The last Map version looks kind of weird to me.

You should try to make the country names less... grafitty like, spilled all over the place.

But I like the rendering of your landscape, its simple but realy nice to look at.

And I like your funny way of Writing

07-26-2012, 09:27 PM
Aur welche meienr Karten hattest du dich bezogen? Ich weiß nicht genau welche du meintes.

07-27-2012, 05:45 AM

right, the names are too big ... especially the countrynames. I write a story with this map where I also has drawn the tactical movements of the soldiers etc. there I just need to know as many places as possible ...

I will redesign the labeling. Sadly I have no more space on the map to add some fields of flowers etc. maybe it would look weird.

Ps, do you all have a bigger project where you are creating a whole world? Something really big with totally different areas mixed with middle age and fantasy etc.?

A huge worldmap which will be completely free for commercial or private use ... a map could be used for FanFiction or other stories based on the map and the species. I guess this would be AWESOME! 8)

The map I refer to is in the attachement.

EDIT: Ps, the style to mark the first letter or a complete part of sentence in the beginning is called Spitzmarken ... this we learned in a course. Hehehehe ... Reputation ahoi!

07-27-2012, 06:19 AM
Hi, this was my first Digital Map. Learned a Lot since than. I will redo the Map anyway in a New Version which inkludes streets and borders

07-27-2012, 06:58 AM

okidoki. I changed the labels. Better? ;)

Wanted to put some scrolls behind the labels (of nations). But my skills in drawing such stuff are pretty weak. Also wanted to drawn a Seadragon or something into the eastern sea. But a dragon is so klischee ... so tried to draw a huge bird ... but messed up too.

Finally without any special objects and graphics:

Welcome to Venera.