View Full Version : The lands of the ancient Manothian Empire

05-09-2008, 11:51 AM
This is map that I am working on. I am pretty pleased with its look so far. The map is a large area of a continent that I am working on. It is roughly 2,000 miles across, and about 1,200 north to south.

The Manothian Empire has long since collapsed, but much of its influence and culture still abound, particularly in Ral Torath, who view themselves as the rightful seat of the empire, and in truth exert a great deal of influence on the other kingdoms of the region.

Zantyl in the west is by far the largest kingdom, but much of the land is dominated by harsh desert environments.

I still have a long way to go on this map, but I wanted to get some opinions, and see if there are any huge problems that others see.

05-09-2008, 01:21 PM
The map looks sharp and colorful Landorl. I like what I see so far and I'm curious to see how this turns out.

I did have a few brickbats, but they are more matters of personal preference than anything "wrong" with the map itself.

First, is there some other type of font you could use? I'm not sure if its the font shape or the fact that the letters are white outlined in red, but something about the names on the map isn't doing it for me.

Second, is there some type of massaging you could do with the feature that depicts the Jungles of Akothi? I know whatever you're using is simply a deeper color that what you use to depict the forests (which look good), but it looks less like a feature and more like dark green smudges on the map.

Lastly, are the "broken" rivers that you have in the west and northwest of the map meant to signify dried riverbeds or rivers that only run during the rainy season? I'm not sure if you are trying to show semi-arid, arid, or desert terrains in those regions. The rivers are not a problem per se, but its that they're depicted on light green regions that is throwing it off for me. I'm not quite sure what I'm looking at.

Take my advice with a grain of salt Landorl, the map looks good as is--but with a bit of finishing it can be even better. When its finished, consider it yoinked :)

05-09-2008, 01:31 PM
I agree about the font. I am not happy at all with the kingdom fonts. I am not happy at all with it, so that will be replaced.

The dashed rivers are ones that run during the rainy seasons, which are fairly short, so they often are completely dry. There are a couple of rivers that continually flow due to springs, and around those areas, there is a little more greenery.

I will look at the jungles a little more. I used the same brush and paint style on the jungles and the other forests, it is just that the darker green shows up a little more crisper than does the lighter green.

05-09-2008, 01:45 PM
It's a good looking map. I LOVE the mountains. It's tough to have archaic font when you have a realistic map.

05-09-2008, 01:53 PM
Some of your rivers that run during the rainy season can be a bit long Landorl. You've got a spur of one that runs under the "Nam" in Nam Brakar that looks almost Nile length.

Strange as it sounds, you may want to delete the rivers northeast of Zantyl on the other side of the mountain range. Too large an area without rivers looks unnatural to be sure, but that area looks like it would be in the rain shadow (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rain_shadow) of the mountain range.

You might also want to think about coloration on the map. I like the palette you are using--its simple with few colors. However, the white smudges and the light green on the desert and arid portions in the west is not as distinctive as it could be. You might want to experiment with light tan or another technique. If you like what you've got, great, but I think some way of better defining what is lush and grassy from what is not would help (though I don't want your map to look like an escapee from a Light Brite factory).

As for the jungles, is there something that can blur the features and reduce the white patches between the coloration. Granted, a jungle is going to have plenty of clearings, but the Akothi jungles look really "patchy".

Despite my brickbats, you are off to a good start, keep it up.

05-09-2008, 01:59 PM
If you want to experiment with the jungle (assuming it is drawn on a separate layer), try using a texture filter followed by a bevel/emboss. Lovely map, though. It really does look big!

05-09-2008, 04:19 PM
Here's an update. I tried to make the drylands look a little more barren, and like most places, there are varying levels of desert. I also worked on the Jungle, and the labels (Still not happy with them). I will do some more over the weekend, but I won't have internet access for most of the weekend.

05-09-2008, 06:10 PM
That map looks much better. I like the font you are using for the Jungles of Akothi versus the archaic font. Also, its much easier to tell where the desert is now. It looks like you've filled in and muted the colors in the Jungles of Akothi--good work. I'm curious to see the rest of the map when done.

05-10-2008, 02:13 PM
As always, i really love your map. It's just a style I really dig...again. I really hope you will do a in-detail tutorial (you work with Photoshop, right?)...

Great work!

05-16-2008, 09:46 AM
I will post some instructions as soon as I get this finished. It's pretty basic stuff in Photoshop. The key is using lots of layers!

Now, I am also trying to work on the same map as a hand drawing map, but am having a hard time deciding on how to do the mountains. So, I am posting a portion of a map with three different styles of mountains.

Please, if you could comment on which you think looks better, it would be greatly appreciated! Also, any other comments are also helpful.

05-16-2008, 10:41 AM
definitely the bottom mountains ... I prefer those to the other two types of mountains.. :D

05-16-2008, 12:46 PM
After looking at a few other maps on the site, I think that I have settled on a style of mountains.

Here is a new map with some of those mountains applied, as well as some of the text that I want to use.

05-16-2008, 08:43 PM
I really like that style.. and the text is great, what font is that?

05-16-2008, 11:23 PM
The font is "Anarion". I can't remember where I downloaded it from, but it is a free font.

I have been plugging away on the map for a few hours, and I have all of the mountains in, and my jungles. Here is the latest version.

05-17-2008, 10:10 AM
That's coming on really nicely. This must have taken you ages.

05-17-2008, 11:08 AM
I generally dont like the look of hand drawed mountains when mixed with top down trees. Oddly enough, on a black a white style map, they seem to fit in quite a bit better in my mind for some reason. Very nice so far. While not strictly B/W, the colors are nicely muted. Hopefully, as you add the forest and grass colors (if you are), they will be downplayed also.

Oh, and I really like the few swatches of texture in the desert areas. When zoomed in, they remind me of an oil canvas texture. The light color bleeding around the texture is really kind of cool.


05-17-2008, 12:24 PM
My goal is to put a slight coloration to the woodland areas, and just a hint of color to the main landmass. Everything will be muted.

05-17-2008, 12:46 PM
I like the style, especially the jungles. Can't wait til it's finished.

05-20-2008, 04:56 AM
Looking very nice! Love the couple little volcanoes you've got in there. Sweet. :)

05-21-2008, 05:06 PM
Nearing completion now. I have some more tweaking to do, but I am pretty satisfied with this. I will probably put the next version in the Completed Thread.

05-22-2008, 04:02 PM
Your coast lines are awesome. The muted colours and scale are also two things I like a lot about your map.