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Klaus van der Kroft
08-10-2013, 08:31 PM
Well met!

For a while now I've been working on a roleplaying game called Steamclock ("Reloj de Vapor", really, since I have yet to translate it to English), set in an alternate 1883 where, among other things, time travel works.

Since the manual is reaching a more or less compete state soon, I decided it was time to start working on a world map. I had hand-drawn a lot of doodles and referential maps in my notes, but never took the time to bundle it all up in a single map.

So here's my first attempt at a ahistorical map of the world. I'm still experimenting with styles, but the general landmass is mostly finished. Political divisions is the next task at hand!

Any and all comments and criticisms are more than welcomed!

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Gumboot
08-11-2013, 12:45 AM
What's going on in the Southern Hemisphere?

- Max -
08-11-2013, 06:12 AM
Mu and Lemuria :) Great!

Lingon
08-11-2013, 09:49 AM
That's an interesting way to incorporate Mu and Lemuria, I've never seen them attached to Antarctica before. Great job so far! Looking forward to seeing where you go with this. Will Atlantis make an appearance perhaps?

Naeddyr
08-11-2013, 11:48 AM
Did you use under-water shelves? Continent of Zealandia would have fit right in. Otherwise, I love the work on the coastline, even the fjords in Mu.

Klaus van der Kroft
08-11-2013, 01:30 PM
Thanks guys! Much appreciated.


What's going on in the Southern Hemisphere?

Turns out that Le Plongeon/Churchward and Saint-Hilaire (first respective proponents of Mu and Lemuria) were correct in this particular world (though part of the existence of those continents is due to non-natural events related to the setting's overarching theme of time travel), and I thought it would be nice if they were actually part of an antartican supercontinent.

The final version is supposed to have only parts of this southern continent revealed (as not much of it has been explored), so as to give the notion that contemporaries still think the three territories to be different continents. In game terms, it also serves as pristine territory for adventures into the unknown.



Will Atlantis make an appearance perhaps?

Yes and no. Strictly speaking, Homer's Atlantis doesn't exist in the setting. But instead, some highly excentric explorer tried to go back in time, move an entire greek city with actual ancient greeks to the location, and ended up with a rather problematic accident in his hand - and a half-sunken greek city in the middle of the Atlantic.



Did you use under-water shelves? Continent of Zealandia would have fit right in.

My plan for some underwater features is to add some kind of faded sillouettes. Still trying to determine how, but it goes in that direction.

Gumboot
08-11-2013, 07:40 PM
Turns out that Le Plongeon/Churchward and Saint-Hilaire (first respective proponents of Mu and Lemuria) were correct in this particular world (though part of the existence of those continents is due to non-natural events related to the setting's overarching theme of time travel), and I thought it would be nice if they were actually part of an antartican supercontinent.

You know, I was familiar with the hypothetical Terra Australis of earlier centuries, but I'd never heard of these sunken continents proposed during the 19th Century (though of course, being a Kiwi, I am familiar with the real sunken continent of Zealandia). So it's a sort of parallel world where these continents existed, and didn't sink? Very cool! Does that mean explorers like Tasman and Cook never existed in your parallel universe? I will watch the progress of this map with avid fascination!

Viking
08-11-2013, 09:48 PM
It's hard not to like this :)

Klaus van der Kroft
12-04-2013, 10:37 AM
Hey guys!

After a few months away from this project I managed to assign a bit of time to make some progress.

Started doing trials with different styles for the geopolitical layer; also added some exploration routes (for now, only Cook's, which were a bit different due to the fact Terra Australis is present in this map) to see how they look.

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For the full-size version, click here (11mb): Link (http://s000.tinyupload.com/?file_id=01447533338266041772)

- Max -
12-04-2013, 10:57 AM
Looks nice Klaus :) A few comments though : the borders looks a bit pixellated and the diagonal labels should rather be better if curved.

Lingon
12-04-2013, 11:32 AM
Nice to see that you are working on this again! I really love the style, though maybe it's just me but I get more of a dieselpunk feeling from it than steam… Probably the horizontal lines in the oceans, they give an art deco look to the map. But please don't change them, it's awesome :D I agree with Max's points too.

Endyr
12-05-2013, 10:20 AM
wow that map is beautiful. How long did that take you? In love the colors

Falconius
12-05-2013, 10:25 AM
This map is awesome and it always makes me think of this song (http://youtu.be/QO4re2DhMv0), which is double awesome.

Klaus van der Kroft
12-05-2013, 02:11 PM
Looks nice Klaus :) A few comments though : the borders looks a bit pixellated and the diagonal labels should rather be better if curved.

Thanks!

About the borders, I'll give them a look to see how to fix it (you are refering to the red lines between the borders or to the coloured inner sides?). And I agree about the names; I was being a bit lazy and adding them on straight lines to see how the fonts looked, but I should get working on the curvilineous applications!



Nice to see that you are working on this again! I really love the style, though maybe it's just me but I get more of a dieselpunk feeling from it than steam… Probably the horizontal lines in the oceans, they give an art deco look to the map. But please don't change them, it's awesome :D I agree with Max's points too.

Hah, thanks! That actually might be correct; to be completely honest, I'm just throwing stuff at the walls here and seeing what sticks. Never had much of a good eye for stylistic design!


wow that map is beautiful. How long did that take you? In love the colors

Thank you very much. Time-wise, drawing the thing itself is rather quick (the coloured borders are all done through layer effects, so I just hard-paint the territory of a nation and apply the style, which saves a lot of work and makes changes very easy); it's the research and constant fixing of the territories that takes a lot of time. Since the map depicts an alternate version of the world in 1883 -a year that's not well documented cartographically, since it's sandwiched between other more important events, like the Treaty of Berlin of 1884-, getting the borders to be properly historical (and ahistorical, of course) is quite the challenge.


This map is awesome and it always makes me think of this song (http://youtu.be/QO4re2DhMv0), which is double awesome.

Hehe!

Klaus van der Kroft
02-11-2016, 08:02 PM
It's been almost two and half years! Goodness, time does fly! Started a new business, which has been eating away at my free time like langoliers on steroids.

Still, time for some necromancy!

I've gone back to this project and decided to start from scratch; the projection I used on the original one was bugging me (particularly with the southern hemisphere), so I've gone and drawn it again, using a french map from the early 1900's as guide. I also included some changes to the landmasses, now that I have a much better established background (there's still a bit missing in China, once I figure out how to represent flying landmasses).

Here's the progress so far for the new version. I'm still testing out the colours; figured I'd go with a paper tone for both land and sea.

Diamond
02-11-2016, 11:56 PM
Nice revision. This one's a keeper!

Klaus van der Kroft
02-13-2016, 12:04 AM
Thanks, Diamond!

Made some more progress today. Mostly focused on adding nations/colonies and names for both geographical and political features. Changed the orientation of some of the labbels, trying to better align them with the latitudes when room allows.

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caribbeancasa
02-13-2016, 09:36 AM
Hi Klaus,

Love the map and the creative landmasses in the Southern Hemisphere.

If I could give one very small suggestion it would be to alter the placement and angle of your continent descriptors so that they clash with the country borders as little as possible, reducing distraction.

For instance, 'Europa' could be changed from the 45 degree angle (roughly) that it currently inhabits to a more subtle 20 degree angle which would make the words a little easier to read since the back-half of Europa would be in Northern 'Austria-Hungry'.

For 'America Del Norte', you could reduce the font size slightly of the 'America Del' part so that it fits nicely within the blue backdrop of the 'Estados Unidos'. The 'Norte' could be moved down and slightly to the right so that falls completely within the white backdrop of 'Estados Confederados'.

This might help those two descriptors not get as lost or muddled.

In any case, it's a brilliant work and one that I will be watching.

P.S. any update on your steampunk roleplaying game?


Regards,
Scott

Ilanthar
02-13-2016, 11:54 AM
Really nice so far. This projection is a good choice, I think, and the coastlines are excellent.

Klaus van der Kroft
02-14-2016, 01:16 AM
Made some more progress tonight. Added frames to the hemispheres, as well as a circular scale; upon doing this, I noticed I had made some mistakes with the latitudes and longitudes (they were skewed in some areas), so I had to draw them all again. I might have to revisit the scales, though; some bits seem a bit raw/pixelated now that I look at them. Fixed some labbels as well. Not entirely sure about how the Artic Ocean labbel looks now; it's aligned with the latitude, but seems odd in that angle so close to the edge.

I might also need to go over the colours, to make the palette more consistent with the style and less flashy (right now I've been mostly just choosing colours at random to tell things appart).

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Hi Klaus,

Love the map and the creative landmasses in the Southern Hemisphere.

If I could give one very small suggestion it would be to alter the placement and angle of your continent descriptors so that they clash with the country borders as little as possible, reducing distraction.

For instance, 'Europa' could be changed from the 45 degree angle (roughly) that it currently inhabits to a more subtle 20 degree angle which would make the words a little easier to read since the back-half of Europa would be in Northern 'Austria-Hungry'.

For 'America Del Norte', you could reduce the font size slightly of the 'America Del' part so that it fits nicely within the blue backdrop of the 'Estados Unidos'. The 'Norte' could be moved down and slightly to the right so that falls completely within the white backdrop of 'Estados Confederados'.

This might help those two descriptors not get as lost or muddled.

In any case, it's a brilliant work and one that I will be watching.

P.S. any update on your steampunk roleplaying game?

Regards,
Scott

Thank you very much, Scott.

Yeah, I forgot to move the continental labbels around after I added the nations and their own labbels underneath. Europe was particularly hard to read.

As for the game, pretty advanced! I reckon about 80-90% of the manual is ready (300 pages mostly set in stone, and I'm guessing I can squeeze the rest of the stuff I'm working on in about 50 pages. Currently, I'm actually working on what to leave out to avoid the thing growing too large, since now comes the art and editing. I'm setting stuff aside for a "Book of Chronicles" that focuses on the deeper secrets of time travel, so I can cover that thing in proper detail).

The plan is to publish it on PDF via OneBookShelf (I've sold a manual I wrote for Pathfinder and it was a great experience), and then immediately get working on the English translation. I'm checking with some guys about the option of self-funding a small hardback printing in China to see how it goes, but getting it out in pdf and testing the waters is the current goal. God willing, 2016 is the year I finally get to publish it, considering progress during 2015 was huge (2014 saw almost none, in contrast).


Really nice so far. This projection is a good choice, I think, and the coastlines are excellent.

Thanks, man. I feel much more comfortable with this projection (even if it makes drawing borders harder!).

Diamond
02-14-2016, 04:00 PM
This is looking great - those frames really make the whole thing hang together nicely.

AzurePlanet
02-17-2016, 01:09 PM
Wonderful mixture of fantasy and reality! :)

Klaus van der Kroft
02-17-2016, 05:08 PM
Thank you, Diamond and AzurePlanet!

Made some more progress today. Finished with the geopolitics of Central America, the Caribbean, and Africa. Decided to change a bit how the native Sub-Saharan kingdoms are presented; the borders were too clear-cut, while in reality things weren't so precise back in the day. Fixed several labbels and made some minor border corrections.

I also added the Terra Incognita shroud. Do you guys think it clashes too much with the rest?

Colonies in Mu and the South Indies are the next step, and the Far East after that. Still trying to figure out what I'm going to decorate the outside of the map with (abbreviations for minuscule countries and legend will go at the bottom; maybe will add smaller projections showing the north and south poles between the hemispheres).

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Ilanthar
02-19-2016, 11:36 AM
I also added the Terra Incognita shroud. Do you guys think it clashes too much with the rest?
It's looking fine, imho. I would add a slight halo/glow around your continents label, especially Europe and North America. It's gonna be great when finished :).