View Full Version : May 2013 Entry: An Isolated Valley

05-08-2013, 02:51 AM
Good morning all! SO I don't come here often, but when I do, I'm always floored by the number of amazing artists who contribute! I've seen a few of these mapping challenges, and I thought it was high time that I try one out. So tonight around 7ish I sat down and started making my Hex map.

The map has one central starting location, a Dwarven mountain stronghold. I'm basing it off of another map I did a while back, here's a link to that one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/20473-mountain-valley-hagh-grindish.html#post198717). So far I've got the hexes done. Will be working on the map soon, will update when I have something more to show off!

Have a great evening err morning everyone!


05-08-2013, 03:43 AM
Oh fantastic, they look a bit like old chinese landscape paintings, and i like your idea of transit tiles between the locations.

05-08-2013, 06:19 AM
Indeed, the style looks very old-style-Chinese. Interesting idea.

05-08-2013, 06:37 AM
I would also love to see swamp, Savanna and Dessert in your style. Cant say when the last Time was i liked Elements before even seen a map. I would do more tiles of the same type so it doesnt become repetative.

05-09-2013, 05:20 PM
Ooh, very nice! Really looking forward to seeing how this all fits together.


05-09-2013, 06:54 PM
Thanks everyone!

I was thinking about adding more tiles (because I'm really digging this style!), but the area I'm doing doesn't necessarily have other environment elements. I think after the contest I might add some more of these to help in making more maps. Once that is done, I'll upload the originals for everyones use.

So for now, I've finished putting the environment templates together. I don't want to show it off just yet, but I'm now moving into the process of adding extra content around the map. Key locations, encounter tables, and other goodies. Here are a few screens I took:


05-09-2013, 08:03 PM
Its nice but i think more tiles of the same Terrain would Look better.

05-09-2013, 09:34 PM
Interesting concept. I see that the tiles of the same terrain type are more or less seamless. . Reminds me of old time Bookcase war games. Nice so far! Need to put the ( ### LATEST WIP ### ) so it will get picked up by the thumbnail scrubber .

05-10-2013, 09:23 AM
Yup, most def. diggin' the vibe offa this one. One thing that struck me looking at the Terrain and navigation key...no grass land/flat and open hexes?

05-10-2013, 06:00 PM
Ohh good observation! And I didn't realize about the tag, I'll be sure to add that too

So I went back in and added two more terrain variations. Grassland and Glacier. I did some refining of the tiles and took another screen. At some point I'll add some story background to this map, for now though, just a quick WIP post. Going to focus on the ruleset a bit, and add some elements around the map. I actually kind of want to run my kids through something like this. It would make for a neat board game.

I'm a big Settlers of Catan fan, endless hours of "wood" and "sheep" jokes. Anyhow, enjoy the day, thanks for coming up with these awesome contests

Thanks guys!

### LATEST WIP ###


05-11-2013, 01:18 PM
It does have a kind of Catan feel to it, maybe you could make your own boardgame variations with this?

05-13-2013, 08:09 PM
Okay, here's my latest WIP.

I'm really starting to tackle this as if it were a playable board game, based on the hexcrawl dynamic. Roll up characters at level 1 and let them go and explore, maybe using miniatures for the board...

I've started adding unique locations, and have planned out a bunch of them for the Hexcrawl. It includes 6 possible starting locations and home bases, 10 story based locations, 15 encounter based or boss locations, and 6 quest locations. The quest locations are meant to spawn a quest line for the group, taking them into an area not on the map, into a dungeon, or solving some kind of larger puzzle. I'm hoping to make them accessible for the group at character level 3+ with the harder ones only accessible after attaining specific items or finishing other quests first.

I've added roads and trails, which modify the movement rates, and have included regions, where NPC groups dwell in larger numbers. I'm thinking about including a way for the group to get friendly with each kingdom (including the undead group should they choose to go evil!:shock:).

I'm hoping to add some story flair to each of these locations when I have some time. For now though, still working on the outer map container. Will add the encounter tables soon. Also wasn't fond of the map name, so I might be altering that, the map is too busy now to be isolated!

### LATEST WIP ###


05-14-2013, 02:04 PM
I like the 'User Interface' feel of it. Looks amazing.

05-14-2013, 03:48 PM
Wow! I love the way you have presented the user interface, and there is so much good information here! this is really shaping up nicely.


05-14-2013, 09:38 PM
This is really fantastic.

05-15-2013, 12:10 AM
Thanks everyone! I'm having a bit of fun with this project :)

05-19-2013, 10:52 PM
Excellent work, great art.

05-21-2013, 12:40 AM
So I'm running out of the free time I've enjoyed in the last few weeks working on this project so I'm going to close this map up. I wanted to do some extra stuff to it, but I'm also pretty happy with where it is now.

Some features:

10 Hex Variations
156 Total Hexes
9 NPC Territories
10 Possible Starting Locations
11 Exploration Sites
15 Boss Encounter Sites
6 Quest Sites
Game Rules explanation

I really see this particular map as more of a RP/Board Game hybrid. To that end, I developed 2 playing decks that would go along with the game. Each complete with 52 cards. I've actually created the decks, but didn't want to upload them here, as they are PDF.

Circumstances Deck
These are meant to be random events. Some are combat, some are role play based, and some are environmental in nature. Circumstance types are: Calamity, Encounter, Luck, and a few wildcards: the Bane and Boon.

Quests Deck
These are specific quests that take the group all over the map. I've tied each quest to one of the 9 NPC Territories, so as you complete the quests, your reputation aligns more closely with that territory, gaining friendship with them when you are close enough on the Reputation scale. Quest types are: Courier (yellow), Protect (teal), Destroy (red), Escort (blue) and Explore (purple), with a few Epic Quest wildcards also thrown in. Here is a visualization of the quests locations:


So the final map is below, its been a fun challenge. I couldn't upload the full resolution version, but the attached version is about 67% size.

Thank you for the great site, great artists, and great people who hang out around here! This was fun! :)

### Latest WIP ###


05-21-2013, 05:28 PM
Just stunning! The rules, everything, could easily be made in a real boardgame! I hope you push this further into something really solid :)

05-21-2013, 05:55 PM
Simply amazing. Congratulations on a fantastic piece of work. Now all you need is the kickstarter.

05-22-2013, 12:16 AM
I really really like what you've done here! I gotta say that this is one hell of an entry.


05-22-2013, 01:16 AM
Wow thanks everyone! :D

Love making maps, love playing games. I will say this would have been SO much easier with a Wacom. I gave mine away to a friends son around a year ago and haven't replaced it yet. Not having one makes a huge difference in my workflow. All the little icons were quite sloppy.

Thanks again for the feedback guys!

05-25-2013, 04:21 PM
Beautiful work. Mine will look positively unfinished in comparison :D