View Full Version : September/October 2013 Challenge: isola di St. George

10-03-2013, 07:23 AM
Greetings to everyone...

Probably the serious members of this higly respectable company of cartographers are thinking something like "Who the ... is this guy?".
I registered my account maybe at the beginning of 2012, but for a lot of reasons i've never been active within the community, lurking from time to time only to look in open astonishment the maps you create.
Now, i would like to be a little more useful than a old man observing workers on a building site (i don't know if appens only in Italy, but if you start working there is EVER someone hanging around, usually spending his time staring at you and sometimes giving unsolicited advices... ), so i'll start giving a try to the lite contest.

Ok, so, straight to the map: is unfinished, clearly.
I'm creating it for a campaign i will master sometime in the future: is the isle of St. George, a fictional island somewhere in the Atlantic ocean, nominally a property of the "Western Free Commercial Company", but largely unknown, so the basically sketchy map they provide to new settlers.
The players will find this map from a rather unwilling donor (a bloodthirsty guy who in the process probably will be beaten to pulp... ), and hopefully they will set sail to the place just in time to discover... something :)

I am working on the run, alas, so whenever i can take a break from the real-life work i take my laptop (oh yes, and with a touchpad, not a mouse...) and start drawing: the outcome will not be so good, but hey, this is the best i can afford now :)

I've sketched the map in Autorealm (i like the way it works with fractals) and then imported the work as bmp in photoshop cs3, using it as guide for further elaboration; i have chosen to use some pre-made material (the trees and the mountains, if i'm not wrong, are the ones from Star Raven ) to speed up the process, even if i would prefer to keep everything homemade.

The overall look is this:

### Latest WIP ###


i don't like the rivers, because they look too "jagged", and i hope to refine them as the mountains ... actually i'm trying to put a little bit of colour on them and on the whole map but i am non so sure about how it looks.
Ah yes, the rivers need of course more texture, and the color is too bright.
I am adding just now trees, and in the future there will come the single town, the villages and some landmarks.

This is a map created by "the Company", and then owned by someone (you know, the former bloodthirsty guy, now a little bit dead...), so there will be a lot more annotations, and i want to "create" the right atmosphere by using two different wrinting styles, the first one for the original labels, partially erased and overwrited by another hand with more annotations, probably in a slightly different ink.
If you look in the lower part of the map,offcoast on the right you will see an example: someone thinks it will work?
Ah yes, i want to insert a wind rose, also.

10-03-2013, 08:04 AM
Nice work, EruSilme, and welcome to the Guild (belatedly)...

It was fairly smalll effort for you to make those mountains, but the fictional Company cartographer obviously spent a lot of effort drawing them. Given that amount of effort, I would not say your rivers are too detailed. Their width is exaggerated; a reasonable approach to depicting the wider vs. the narrower ones, so the exactness of their wiggles is not unreasonable. About how large is the island?

What real-world era, or equivalen era, is this set in?

Oh yes, I *AM* that guy watching the construction project. "Aren't you boys going to use some thicker mortar? You know that thin stuff isn't going to last long. And you put some bricks in backward on that last row there - I can tell from the pattern. " "The young today, they just take no care in their work. Why in my day ... "

10-03-2013, 08:12 AM
Overall I really like it.

I loved the little tear West of the island, and the second handwriting works for me.

I don't know if the rivers are too jagged, but they feel a little too wide to me.
I suspect that will end up a trial and error thing to get something that you like.

The blue feels too intense ... too heavy of an opacity, too light of a shade and too neon of a color.
Perhaps something a little darker, more of an organic shade of blue and more transparent (like a watercolor wash) would work better with the map style.

10-04-2013, 01:45 PM
Hey, I was so worried about the "jagged" look of the rivers, that I have not noticed that they were indeed too wide!
I partially corrected the issue, even if I do not want to reduce the size too much; I have been a bit busy with the colors, and have added a lake in a location where I felt "something" was missing .
Consider that there is a lot of work to do: place some settlements and landmarks, trace a cople of roads, color corrections ... and so on ..
Sure, also the writings: i have decided to use only italian language, because the infamous "company" who owns the island is somewhat based on Venice.

Ah, Yes, Jbgibson: is a fictional alternative history world, similar to XVI century (however the world is still work in progress: i am used to "create" a lot of details for my campaign on the way, because I like to try to understand what in the story is attracting the most interest from the players and then give it more details and development)

### Latest WIP ###


P.S. i don't know why but the preview is too small... i'm tired :/ i will publish tomorrow another version, sorry!

10-05-2013, 04:53 PM
Great start. Subtle but attractive. I lurked for almost two years before I posted anything map wise. Welcome to the guild !

10-08-2013, 03:35 AM
good morning to everybody (ok, it is morning here in "old Europe": good-whatever for the non-european ones).

Just an upgrade about the work in progress: i have worked on it last weekend, and i was eager to show you the "semi-final" version, but i have forgot to copy the files on my laptop, or even upgrade the cloud version, so now that i am traveling all around Italy there is no way for me to post anything until i go back to Sanremo (my home). It will be a race against time, because i remember the deadline is on 14 october, and i think i will be there around 12... well, will see!
I have made a fair amount of modifications, and i wanted you to take a look, but probably there will be just the time to submit the final version for judgment.

10-13-2013, 08:55 AM
ok, dealine is coming and games are over ...

in a great haste, i finished the work.
I do not like it so much: too... unfinished, not well blended. I think i should have made it better.
But hey, this is it :)

The story of the map, so far.

It has been drawed by a clerk from the "Libera compagnia commerciale d'occidente", and it depicts an island, San Giorgio, largely unexplored, but nominally owned by the Company itself.
The isle presents only two relevant settlements, "Citt di San Giorgio" and the fortified and unmapped little "Isola del cranio", along wiht a couple of tiny outposts.
The large part of the land is officially unexplored, as i said: but there is someone, UknownGuy_n1, who discovered something related to the native tribes, a secret that probably light up some shady project of the Company.
UnknownGuy_n1 disappeared, but his diary was found by BadGuy_n1, a pirate; using a map of San Giorgio borrowed somewhere in the venetian offices of the Company, BadGuy_n1 started putting notes on the parchment in red ink, copying a lot of citations by the diary, along as personal annotations and hints from other sources.
BadGuy_n1 will encounter a couple of times the ToughGuysPCs, until his premature death (notice the hole in the map, stained with blood!).
So this is how it comes that the PCs will find themselves staring at the map.

Tecniques used:

Realized entirely in Photoshop CS3, with a Wacom Bamboo tablet (initial sketch in Autorealm); some pre made visual elements borrowed from various internet sources.
The map is intended for screen visualization by the PCs, not for print.

### Latest WIP ###


10-13-2013, 02:10 PM
You're too hard on yourself; it looks fantastic. But just to let you know, check the main contest thread...