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Aristotle
06-20-2008, 04:58 PM
This was intended for the world/regional map forum.

I'm looking to get a reality check on the rough draft of my map. I tried to make sense of things, but don't have a deep understanding of geography (yet.)

Forgive the map. It's 30 minutes of scribbling on printer paper at work followed by a rushed scan through a crappy work printer. I do like the stippled jungles and shaded mountains though. Some version of those may make the final map.

The whole area is tropical. The stippled blobs are dense jungle. The "wood block" blobs are lakes. Most of the lakes are in the wetland/swamp region at the base of the mountains. A desert sits in the upper right corner, trapped between the shown mountain range and another on the other side, and the edge of a large savanna can be seen on the bottom right. I'm assuming the map is about a thousand miles across (800 from the delta to the right side). The large river, like Nile or Amazon big, flows east to west. The prevailing winds go west to east. It takes about 8 days by sail to get from the delta to the right side of the map. 10 days on the current to go the other way. I know nothing about boats, so I could be so far off on my times/scale.

The city the campaign is named after sits on the delta (swiped from RobA because it's a cool concept and I got nothin' better planned.) That could screw with my plans for underground catacombs and an eventual assault from the underdark...

I'm avoiding doing a "world map" as I want to work up regions as I get ideas. Fortune is a world center of trade, brdiging the gap between the often strange and isolated cultures of this (the largest) continent and the more familiar european continent that the founders of Fortune hail frome; as well as other continents and city-states around the world, and I'm going very much for that cobbled together roman empire feel within the city with strange new cultures constantly integrating.

Other villages and towns will be added in the next revision.

Comments and criticisms wanted. I'll take as much feedback and assistance as anyone cares to offer.

Sigurd
06-20-2008, 05:40 PM
It has a lot that I like about it. A good basis to be sure. I assume Fortune will go in the delta on the west side of the map?


My first comment would be that Deltas don't generally stick out like petals from the shore unless the water is very shallow or there has been some peculiar erosion. Deltas are the fertile depositories of silt carried down the length of a river. You may want to bring the west coast out a bit to make the delta more a gentle swell rather than an appendage.

The second comment is the river. It is possible that a river is that straight but usually they have more bends to them. Rivers are constantly undercutting their own paths and shifting as the soil is carried away. The path you describe would be possible through a large uniform body of sand or silt but it would be interrupted by rocks and land variation, perhaps even prevailing winds.


I like the map. If you're going to borrow ideas from someone here ROBA is a good choice :).

I'd love to see it with some colour because that would make it much more clear.


Sigurd

ravells
06-20-2008, 05:42 PM
I think it's ready for colouring...the only bit that stands out for me is the 'glove like' appearance of the river delta. If you're doing it by hand the mountains could be a little less uniform, I guess, but it looks pretty good to me.

Aristotle
06-20-2008, 05:56 PM
Agreed. The delta is a little more pronounced than it should be, especially at this scale. I'll research that. I'll look at twisting the river up a bit more in the next draft. I think my real problem there was just that it was my first line on the paper and I wasn't really loose yet.

Midgardsormr
06-20-2008, 07:21 PM
You might also want to think about what is going on geologically with the river running between two mountain ranges. Normally, I'd expect there to be higher land linking the two ranges, which would prevent the river from flowing through there.

That isn't to say that it can't happen, but it probably means that there is something unusual going on. Look up the recent thread about using tectonics to create a world map: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2238
It's got some solid info on how mountain ranges are formed.

RobA
06-20-2008, 07:38 PM
Moved.

Also, I've attached a snap from googlemaps showing the terrain around the Mackenzie River in Canada at about the same scale as your map:
4506

This should give you a good idea of the shape a river and delta can have at this scale. The Mackenzie's delta is HUGE...over 100 miles across. I'd suspect this is because tremendous volumes of water came from the melting glaciers, carrying an large amount of material to the ocean.

With respect to the location (between two mountain ranges) remember to think in terms of watersheds. I'll reference the Mackenzie river again:
(image from Wikipedia - I added the blue square which shows the location of the above map)
4507

You can see that every rain drop that lands in this zone in this zone eventually flow into the river. The boundaries of the watershed are ridge lines that have one watershed one one side, and a different one on the other.

As stated by others, the geography would need some explaining... but at this scale, it is not impossible, though the two ranges should probably be further apart.

-Rob A>

Ascension
06-21-2008, 12:31 AM
First, it's great to see (er read about) all of the detail you have thought of when thinking about how you want to make your map, certainly more detail than I normally think about. Second, the tributaries are all snakey so the main river being more straight was just probably something overlooked (I do it too). Third, I agree, push the mountains apart a bit more, or lower them as you near the river. All in all though, with a couple of minor tweaks, it's ready for color. Good job and keep it up.

My 2 cents (what's the exchange rate these days for cents to euros?)

NeonKnight
06-21-2008, 07:46 AM
Not much I can say beyound what has already been said. Nice map too.!

Aristotle
06-24-2008, 11:30 AM
Not much of an update, but...

<deletion: long winded paragraph where I propose increasing my map to 10k sq. miles.>
<addition: So I did a little more research and it appears I am using the term "square miles" all wrong. 800 miles from side to side isn't an 800 square mile map. It'd be... 640,000 square miles? So, a "bit" larger than my proposed increase to 10k. Excuse me while I go back to 5th grade and pay a little attention this time around.>

Also. I've been messing with some tutorials and am torn between the 'hand drawn' look and the more realistic look some of you have perfected. I've seen some amazing examples of both. I might have to save my coastlines and try my hand at each. I need coastlines first though, so I spent all night last evening playing with RobA's 'not so random coastlines' tutorial. I may have fallen into a (common?) trap of generating dozens of coastlines looking for the "right one."

I did find, given that the majority of my map is land, that working in reverse (black land and white water) tended to give me better lines. That might just be me though. I messed around with using different levels of blurring on my coastline and large lakes, and even rendering small selections with different sorts of clouds (i.e. normal clouds for the coast and difference clouds for the wetlands to create several smaller interconnected lakes). I also noticed that I could adjust Threshold on a selection, so I could break-up or solidify specific section of my map. I didn't get much further than that, but it was a fun night even if not very productive.

jfrazierjr
06-24-2008, 01:24 PM
Not much of an update, but...

<deletion: long winded paragraph where I propose increasing my map to 10k sq. miles.>
<addition: So I did a little more research and it appears I am using the term "square miles" all wrong. 800 miles from side to side isn't an 800 square mile map. It'd be... 640,000 square miles? So, a "bit" larger than my proposed increase to 10k. Excuse me while I go back to 5th grade and pay a little attention this time around.>

Heh.. reminds me of the that show here in the US "Are you smarter than a 5th grader?" Of course, I think they just find the smartest 5th graders they can rather than the "average" ones as many of them are way smarter than the tests scores indicate (at least in my area of the US)




Also. I've been messing with some tutorials and am torn between the 'hand drawn' look and the more realistic look some of you have perfected. I've seen some amazing examples of both. I might have to save my coastlines and try my hand at each.

Can you point to samples of the different ones you want to possibly emulate as I am not quite sure what you mean.




I did find, given that the majority of my map is land, that working in reverse (black land and white water) tended to give me better lines. That might just be me though. I messed around with using different levels of blurring on my coastline and large lakes, and even rendering small selections with different sorts of clouds (i.e. normal clouds for the coast and difference clouds for the wetlands to create several smaller interconnected lakes). I also noticed that I could adjust Threshold on a selection, so I could break-up or solidify specific section of my map. I didn't get much further than that, but it was a fun night even if not very productive.

Yep, threshold is a wonderful thing for creating layer masks! I have played a bit with it to try to get "spotty" forests, with some more nature (mostly smallish) clearings and I think it works very well.

Joe

Aristotle
06-24-2008, 02:15 PM
Can you point to samples of the different ones you want to possibly emulate as I am not quite sure what you mean.

Well, I consider everything either 'hand drawn' or 'realistic' so the field is wide open, and asking me to pick one of either from these forums is like asking me to eat just one chip.

Hand Drawn Look (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1658). Lots of other great maps, but these really caought my eye. Clercon's etrakien map is another great example.

I think Ascension's maps are great for realism. There was another world map I saw with a very realistic look with tips of continents going white towards the poles. I'm stuck for time right now, but I'll see if I can find it later.

jfrazierjr
06-24-2008, 03:39 PM
Well, I consider everything either 'hand drawn' or 'realistic' so the field is wide open, and asking me to pick one of either from these forums is like asking me to eat just one chip.

Hand Drawn Look (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=1658). Lots of other great maps, but these really caought my eye. Clercon's etrakien map is another great example.

I think Ascension's maps are great for realism. There was another world map I saw with a very realistic look with tips of continents going white towards the poles. I'm stuck for time right now, but I'll see if I can find it later.

Well, from what I have found, contrary to popular belief artistic maps tend to take a fraction of the time to produce a very nice map vs the hand drawn look (that is after you have the basic techniques down, which admittedly can take a lot of practice). For example, you could quickly draw some upside down "V"'s for mountains and it would look like a mountain. But to really sell if you have to spend lots of time with shading and stuff you generally can do much faster with the more "artistic" maps. That is one of the reasons I have mostly spend my time trying to "perfect" my techniques for the artistic style as from RobA's tutorial by taking the basics there and expanding upon them a bit to get something I like more. Also, since I tend to equate hand drawn more to me using my tablet, that style is a bit larger scope just doe to hand strain and such. Heck, I guess for all the time I have spent putzing around with the artistic style map, I could have just broken up the sessions and come up with a really nice hand drawn map... oh well... live and learn...

In any event, unless you are seriously pressed for time to get something done, I would probably start a bit on each approach and let your decision form organically as you create each style. Of course, if you are pressed for time, you just have to pick one and I can't help you there....heh...

Joe

Aristotle
06-24-2008, 11:41 PM
Not a final map in any way... just messing with layout with one promising set of shorelines.

Now to hit some other tutorials.

<edit: reduced image size. no need to post a monster file at this stage.>