View Full Version : Building from the bottom up (A World)

06-26-2013, 04:07 PM
Okay, so I know that I like to start map projects and then hate them in the middle of actually doing them. But here's another one and I'm hoping I can do this. I'm mostly posting this here because I would love feedback on it. I was really inspired by the World of Gotha (http://www.worldofgotha.com/wiki/index.php?title=Category:Maps) maps and the level of detail involved in them, especially their climate, rainfall and temperature maps, which I'm trying to use the climate cookbook in order to make my map.

So I first generated a map in Fractal terrains to my liking. I basically just changed the color scheme to a black and white alpha map, essentially. Then I drew the tectonic plates in locations that I thought appropriate, I also drew the directions in which they might go. Now there's just the matter of drawing out the boundaries on those plates and figuring out the mountains. Then I can work on pressure zones, which I may need help on. For now, here's my progress.


06-26-2013, 06:15 PM
wow nice looking start, has a mass of possibilities from where you put the fracture points, try putting where your going to have the most fun with them. Sticking them in the middle of no where means the chances of things happy are rare. Stick a city next to a volcano that's on a fault line that the inhabitants worship every time there's a quake. Have some human sacrifices. Its like a gift that just keeps giving :)

06-26-2013, 08:43 PM
I love it so far and I think your approach so far is really well considered. ! The continent shapes are fantastic! :) You have some massive lakes! Are they going to drain into the main oceans or be dead sea like things? Those Gotha maps are indeed pretty inspirational!

06-27-2013, 11:24 AM
Thank you guys! c: I rather like it a lot myself, and I really like the idea of just taking a basic map in fractal terrains that I like and just blanking it out and starting with the tectonic plates. As for the massive lakes, I think the big one in the dead center of the right continent will end up being a dead sea, a massive one at that. And it will be because of the result of a massive war (involving magic, woo!) that wiped out an entire civilization of people. And then the ones along the bottom plate/continent and the right continent will end up being like the Great African Rift. The others will end up being like smaller dead seas or they'll drain out into the ocean with rivers that I haven't quite established yet.

- Max -
06-27-2013, 11:36 AM
Interesting shapes. Do you already know which style you are going for on this map?

06-27-2013, 12:43 PM
I'm not actually quite sure what style I'm going to go for on this map. I think I might try for a satellite view style of map, and then do hand drawn for regionals and such. I'm rather fond of the way this (http://www.worldofgotha.com/atlas/index.html) looks.

06-27-2013, 08:02 PM
Okay, I got a sort of bump map going showing where I would like to have the mountains end up. I edited the landmasses a little because having such large bodies of water without outlets was kind of annoying me for some reason. I'm hoping these mountain placements look okay. The whiter they are, the higher the elevation.

I'll probably end up tweaking the elevations a tiny bit because the way this one was generated makes it look far too fractally.


06-27-2013, 08:03 PM
nice, how about some valleys, gorges in the oceans.

06-27-2013, 08:30 PM
Gonna do a few run throughs with Wilbur to see if I can get some decent river placements. Not sure how that's going to turn out, but we'll see! Added a few valleys and some trenches in the ocean. We'll see how this goes and then I'll try to run through the climate cookbook! c:

06-27-2013, 08:42 PM
Okay, not terribly thrilled the results. I might skip out on the rivers for the moment unless someone wants to try and run my .mdr through wilbur for me? Tried following the Fun with Wilbur tutorial and apparently my version of Wilbur is missing the Mathematical> Span filter.

06-27-2013, 10:07 PM
Okay, I've done a little work with the pressure zones here, but this is entirely unfamiliar to me. Any feedback on this would be greatly appreciated. Also same with the mountain placements and the elevations of such. I feel like either there's too much mountains or too little. :| It might be though that I haven't done any flow incises to the map at all yet.

Anyway, here are the January and July pressure zones respectively.


06-28-2013, 03:33 AM
aren't pressure zones more circular/spiral with colder being over water and ice and hotter on land and towards the equator. With more of a transitions at the edge of lands.

06-28-2013, 06:28 AM
apparently my version of Wilbur is missing the Mathematical> Span filter.

That would make it version 1.55 or earlier (older than May 2006). I would recommend downloading a newer version if possible, as there have been many changes over the last 7 years.

06-28-2013, 06:36 AM
Your mountains are likely too wide for their planet. Here on Earth, there are few mountain ranges that would occupy that much of the planet. I'd recommend reprojecting your map into an equal-area projection and then calculating a histogram for elevation to see how well your map does in terms of altitude distribution. Elevation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elevation) has a couple of example histograms for elevation here on Earth.

I was going to try to do the processing for you, but then I noticed the FT markings on the terrain (you did mention FT in the original post, but I guess I skipped over that part). I love my child, but those streaks are from where I dropped it on its head a couple of times before it was delivered. The reason that I mention FT is that you should be able to get a good equal-area projection directly in FT before exporting an image, which will make computing things like histograms a lot easier (Wilbur has a histogram tool, but using it on a projection that's not equal-area will give you severely distorted information).

06-28-2013, 12:27 PM
Ah, okay. Yeah I just updated it on the website because I was using the version that came with Fractal Terrains 3.

06-28-2013, 12:31 PM
That's what I was thinking with the mountains, so I'll take your advice and try messing with it that way. I may try re-evaluating the bump map in photoshop instead.

And that was quite possibly the best analogy for something I've ever heard.

06-30-2013, 10:54 PM
aren't pressure zones more circular/spiral with colder being over water and ice and hotter on land and towards the equator. With more of a transitions at the edge of lands.

I guess it mostly depends on what time of the year it is. I was going off of this (http://jc.tech-galaxy.com/bricka/climate_cookbook.html) and the pressures change mostly with how warm the land is. I might have to rethink the pressure areas though. Also sorry for the late response.