View Full Version : WIP - Continent of Vyros

07-21-2013, 03:31 AM

This is the continent of Vyros, the largest continent in its world. So far I have only finished the mountains and rivers, and wanted opinions on their placement before moving onto adding forests and settlements to the map.

- Max -
07-21-2013, 06:56 AM
Looks good so far and placements seems ok. There's s just 2 rivers that seems to take a long way to reach the sea (the two ones on the east)

07-21-2013, 08:13 AM
I like the look of it so far and think the compass is pretty neat. It may be intentional but maybe not so I'll say you have two dead sea situations where large bodies of water are not draining into the ocean.

07-21-2013, 01:58 PM
Viking took the words right out of my mouth; I noticed those two 'no outlet' seas also. I think the layout and color scheme on this look great.

07-21-2013, 04:39 PM

Alright, so I made the 2 seas have outlets. Although I fear Ive traded one mistake for another, as I'm sure many of you will notice the large branching river towards the mid-south. Is this even possible, for a marshland type situation? I know there are river deltas but this is much larger scale than that. I assume its not realistic and will probably end up changing it, unless it does make any sense. I also added some lakes, would like some feedback on those aswell.

07-22-2013, 08:26 PM
I'm really digging the color scheme and look for this map, I can't wait to see it as you progress. I suppose with the river branching south it depends on the elevation of the areas in question. I'm not a whole lot of help in that regard.

07-22-2013, 09:07 PM
Alex, that would be a pretty huge delta. I'm not sure the scale of your landmass there but it feels big and huge deltas like that don't have a lot of real world precedents. That said, check out the size of the Ganges river delta which is absolutely massive so yea I guess it's surprisingly plausible. lol It likely wouldn't happen if it were not a wide, llow lying and jungly or marshy area as you said. The new lakes are cool and you could add some outlets to them too :p (We are outlet obsessed here, or at least I am) The two lakes on that western peninsula drainage basin are very similar in size and shape. I'd try to make one differently shaped, sized and possibly placed so it feels less symmetrical. Maybe even give one a second river inlet.

07-23-2013, 01:23 AM
Thanks for pointing out the 2 similarly sized lakes, I will change that. With lakes, I made a few with no river inlets or outlets, I thought that was acceptable? I mean if theres no inlet nor outlet, just a stagnant water lake, or maybe I am wrong about that? And yeah, I think the delta is going to have to go. I want to make that entire area a swamp, though, I will probably just change it to one simple river leading from the sea to the ocean.

The continent size is (I think) Africa sized. About 14,000 km from western tip to eastern tip. I plan on having approximately 40 major cities on this continent, and probably around 80 smaller locations such as villages and forts. I am not sure how realistic that ratio is, however.

07-23-2013, 04:19 PM
It is totally possible yes. Check out Endoheic Basins (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorheic_basin) Usually a lake fills up till it eventually finds a way to the ocean. If the rate of evaporation matches its ability to fill up and it can't seep to the ocean underground the only way out will be evaporation. Because all water tends to carry traces of minerals of whatever it contacts (water is a natural solvent) these tend to build up which often results in saline water. It could also just be that the rivers that drain out are so small they are too insignificant to record on your map.
Like I said, while unlikely, a giant delta is plausible. :P Your map does then manage to convey the landmasses bigness if it is in fact intended to be that large :)

07-24-2013, 05:47 AM
Rivers are apparently one of the most difficult things to draw on a map. There's tons of things you can do wrong. A good overview of how rivers should behave (and how they absolutely shouldn't) can be found here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/tutorials-how/3822-how-get-your-rivers-right-place.html). Most of your rivers seem to behave pretty good by the way! The only (small) remark I can give is that they might be a bit too "regular" for my taste. Real world rivers can be pretty jagged: straight in flat areas, snaky in others, with sharp corners where a normal person would draw gentle curves. But overall I really like your rivers.

One exception: the river you drew to drain the inner sea. The delta you've drawn is absolutely massive, way too big to be physically possible. It's true, the Ganges delta is massive as well, but it feels as though this one's many times bigger yet, and with far less plausible surroundings. the Ganges delta is surrounded by humongous mountain ranges that all dump their waters (and sediment!!) into one tight spot - no wonder there's a delta. Yours seems to be on pretty flat terrain. It seems very implausible one inner sea can drain with such ferocity to create such a huge delta.

The correct type of river mouth depends on several parameters. Basically there's two types of river mouths: deltas, and estuaries. Deltas are formed by rivers with lots of sediment, which is deposited in a relatively calm sea. Estuaries form in strong tidal seas, where the riverbed is eroded not only by the river itself, but also by the sea. The wider and more funnel-shaped an estuary becomes, the stronger the tidal erosion.
I guess what I'm saying is: there might be a delta at the mouth of your river, but it should be far, far smaller than this one.

That is, if you choose to draw a river at all. Contrary to all I and the guys before me said, your inner sea doesn't necessarily have to have an outlet. Take the Caspian Sea for example: a huge body of water, by no means connected to the ocean. There's a lengthy but very interesting article (http://www.naturalhistorymag.com/features/112161/fate-of-the-caspian-sea) on the origin of the landlocked sea and the reason for its relatively low salinity - be sure to take a look! Maybe you can use that as an explanatory basis?

In short: whether or not you link the inner sea to the ocean depends on the geological history of the sea. Since you're the one making this map, it's all up to you to decide. If you choose to keep the river, however, make sure to strongly reduce the delta, or eliminate it altogether.

One last remark: I really like your landmasses and the placement of your mountains. You chose a very nice colour palette, though you might consider lightening it up a bit. At the moment it's a bit hard to distinguish the details, but maybe that's just me. All in all, my compliments, and keep up the good work!!

07-24-2013, 06:10 AM
One last thing: if you do choose to link the inner sea to the ocean, a better place would be the northeastern tip, where the placement of the northern edge of the sea close to the mountain range to the north seems to suggest a fault line, slowly ripping the continent apart. This hypothesis would be supported by the already submerged rift north of that mountain range: continental break-up usually happens over a hotspot, where a plume of magma pushes up the continental plate and fractures it in three directions. Usually only one or two directions end up being viable, the other dying out or only forming millions of years later.

A few examples in our world:

East African Rift (the original two arms created the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea, the third is now becoming active and already stretches all the way to Malawi and Mozambique. Eventually it will separate eastern Africa from the rest of the continent)
Sinai peninsula (all three arms are active - the northeastern arm is the reason for the low altitude of the Dead Sea Valley, which will eventually be submerged and connected to the Red Sea)
Rhine Graben (which threatened to break up Europe, but seems to be dormant now)

The hypothetical hotspot in your map would be located somewhere just off the coast, roughly in line with both the already submerged trench and the one still forming south of the mountain range.

(By the way, if you choose to go for that scenario, be aware that the northern edge of the inner sea will probably be a good deal deeper than the rest of it. This seems irrelevant, but it might influence erosion patterns etc. For example, there won't be any deltas on that coast, not even tiny ones)

07-24-2013, 09:33 AM

Thanks for all the information Caenwyr and Viking, Ive removed the huge delta and changed it to a single river instead. I decided to go with the south side of the sea rather than the north mainly because I wanted a natural nation border in that area. I think I am happy with all of the bodies of water, and moved onto forests and country borders. The north and western parts of the continent are covered in a massive pine forest, the south and eastern parts of the country covered in temperate oak forests, and the mid-northeastern part of the continent is a mixture of both forests. There are two swamps, one in the midsouthern part of the continent (south of the large sea) and on the eastern coast of the continent. Im curious if these are acceptable places for swamps, I really don't know how they are formed or where they are normally located, though I know Florida is a swamp on a peninsula, so I placed them near the oceans. Also, the land above the huge trench is snowy year-round while the land below the trench is temperate climate. (I do need to signify the snow, somehow).

- Max -
07-24-2013, 10:34 AM
The overall palette is nice though the map is way too dark atm. Also mountains brushes are a bit too repetitive imho.

07-24-2013, 12:48 PM
I didn't actually use any brushes here, although I understand how they work, I am working in Paint.NET. I know I should probably be using gimp, but its too late to convert this map to it now. But yeah, the mountains are all hand-drawn individually.

07-26-2013, 11:01 AM
I like how you made your landmasses and I also like the idea of closed seas.
For the snow try something like what Oraven Max did http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/23922-oraven-savage-lands-fantasy-map.html
Using a pale yellow white and change the color tone or opacity.

- Max -
07-26-2013, 11:15 AM
For the snow try something like what Oraven did http://www.cartographersguild.com/finished-maps/23922-oraven-savage-lands-fantasy-map.html

Hmm my name is - Max - not Oraven :D

07-26-2013, 11:52 AM
Oups ! I misread it

- Max -
07-26-2013, 12:28 PM
Haha no problem, was funny to noticed that :)

07-27-2013, 02:02 AM

Alright, some updates. I lightened up the color, started adding towns and roads, added a border, a scale, a faint grid in the background, shadow under the continent for it to *pop* and other random tweaks. Im curious to see what you guys think!

07-27-2013, 02:39 PM
I like the colours. I even like the darkness because it is still legible, but has a real sort of style to it for lack of a better word. You may have given the continents just lightly too much shadow for my tastes, they are in the border of floating off the oceans but not quite there, like they haven't made up their minds.

The scale you've given there seems to me to be truly immense, I don't know if this is intentional or not. Consider that driving Barcelona to Berlin is less than 2000 km. Or that LA to New York is less than 4500 km (driving) and you see what I mean. The span of land you have there is over 12000 km. Russia and Europe combined are smaller than that.

07-27-2013, 04:01 PM
It's dark but right now, it looks good.

It's like a supercontinent like pangea but smaller. Not impossible but I expect a landmass this big will have a major effect on climate.

- Max -
07-27-2013, 04:19 PM
Since you put forests on the map I don't really understand why they are in such a low opacity, that doesn't make that much sense.

07-27-2013, 05:06 PM
I have to agree with Falconius about the scale. At this distance forget about anything smaller than a city and maybe even roads. Nice colours for the different territories though. I also think the border is a nice edition! :)

07-27-2013, 05:38 PM
Thanks for the comments! It seems I didn't put much thought into the scale. The continent is going to be about 5,400 kilometers from east to west, so a bit larger than the size of the continental united states. So the 2,000 kilometers should say 800 kilometers.

As for the forests, I decreased the opacity so that the cities and roads were visible for the time being. I am either going to remove all trees touching a road or city for visibility sake, or redo the forests as big clumps rather than single trees.

07-30-2013, 05:22 AM
As for the forests, I decreased the opacity so that the cities and roads were visible for the time being. I am either going to remove all trees touching a road or city for visibility sake, or redo the forests as big clumps rather than single trees.
Personally I'd go for the clumpy thingy. There's nice tutorials here that can show you how to create those. Make sure to check out Max's Oraven maps as well, the forest there are amazing!

07-30-2013, 11:15 AM
Have you considered using tree thing? your brush is very similar with the program default one.

07-30-2013, 10:19 PM
Alright heres a version attempting to show the biomes in color. Not necessarily replacing the old map, but as an alternate version I guess.


07-30-2013, 10:39 PM
Oooo! Looks sharp!

07-30-2013, 11:36 PM
I really like the newest map, I think it kinda covers all the stuff you're going for, from what I can tell at least. Great!