View Full Version : WIP - Cascade

04-10-2013, 07:48 PM
I'm starting up a new game soon and I thought I'd take a stab at doing up a map for the world. Plus, being a newbie here, I figured it would behoove me to put something out there and actually try participating in the community. So, I bring you Cascade:

I'm still toying around with the details, like I'm still not sure if I'm completely comfortable with the land colors, and I need to work up a political map. As far as a working map for the game goes, I'm not sure if I need to change anything else.

04-13-2013, 08:48 PM
After looking at some of the other world maps on the forums here, I was inspired:


Lots of placeholder textures. I'm liking how the mountains are turning out. And there's an in-setting reason for that odd ring of islands/mountains.

I'd welcome any feedback!

04-14-2013, 06:10 PM
Welcome to the Guild!

Re: placeholder textures... I hope the general shaded roughness is in that category. The use of a photorealistic shaded texture next to the hand-drawn mountains is a clash; "is it hand drawn? Is it digital?"

The mountains are nicely done - are they your own?

Your coastlines are SO rough that they imply all your terrain is rough, or I suppose some could be drowned land as the sea level rises. Even at this scale, you'd figure some stretches of coastal plains might have smoother shores.

Is your grid supposed to be related to lat/Lon, or is it a simple locator grid? If the former, you're implying a rather awkward projection.

I really do like 'em both. Good work - what do you want to elaborate on next?

04-15-2013, 11:14 AM
Yeah, I'm still trying to reconcile the two different looks as they're not playing nicely with each other. I think toning down the land texture and doing some better blending between it and the landscape icons/symbols is going to be what I end up doing. We'll see what happens. I'm open to suggestions or recommendations though!

Those mountains are all my own! I'm really pleased with how they're turning out! Just a basic squiggly line in a vague mountain shape, a base mountain color, a highlight color, some detail lines then some blending around the base.

As far as the coastlines go...I suffer from a Slartibartfast complex, in that I love all those crinkly edges. ^_^ I could/should probably tone it down and make it more appropriate. But this map does suffer from being a drowned world. In setting, a series of ancient cataclysms left the world being slowly flooded (amongst other things), so I wanted to have a map that reflected those slowly rising waters.

The grid and compass rose were mostly me just playing around with the look and don't reflect anything with a great deal of thought or consideration behind their placement. So yeah, they're probably funky looking right now.

As for what's next, I want to finish up that landscape. It's hard to come up with interesting features that don't look like just randomly placed mountains or whatever. Beyond that, I'm debating as to whether I want to populate the map with cool location icons (towers, towns, caves or whatever) or just go with a dot/line for doing city/road placement. The former would probably fit the look of the map a lot better, but would be really time consuming. The latter would be easier, but wouldn't inspire the imagination as well. That's all off on the horizon as yet though.

07-04-2013, 10:22 AM
It's been a while. I haven't had much of a chance to work on this until just recently.

All in all, I'm liking how it's turning out. I've tried adding some icons to the map, but I think they're probably too small to be seen well at this scale. I need to add stuff like rivers and city locations still, but that'll come in time. The game that I made this for is underway, so I need to get something ready so my players can have some kind of reference. Hehe...


Klaus van der Kroft
07-04-2013, 11:14 AM
Very nice map. I really like those mountains and that huge wall westward from the Autumn Forest.

Keep up the good work!

- Max -
07-04-2013, 11:34 AM
The land shapes are great but the mix of pixellated lines/computer generated effects (expecially on forests) and hand drawn outlines (on mountains) doesn't make the thing imo. Also I feel the same with mixing coloring work and obvious textures.

07-04-2013, 12:42 PM
The whole thing has honestly been a hodgepodge of me trying different techniques in Photoshop in order to achieve the look I want, so the lack of unity between the different pieces isn't particularly surprising. Like, the pixellated edge on the land is more a consequence of me deciding to use a stroke to define it, rather than me hand drawing it. The lines on the wall, however, were all hand drawn and have a much softer and ultimately a more finished feel that's more in line with the rest of the map. I might try it with the land, but damn if that isn't a daunting task.

I'm not particularly aiming for an art piece. This is just a game map that I'm having fun with, so I'm ok with the computer generated look. I'm all ears for suggestions on the forests though. Likewise with the swampy-looking areas, as those really feel tacked-on to me, but I haven't been able to figure out a good way generating a decent look.