View Full Version : Shima - Commissioned Map

12-01-2013, 11:20 PM
Don't worry, I haven't abandoned the Panhartha map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/regional-world-mapping/24218-panhartha.html), but a guy in Canada and his friends saw that WIP and wanted me to do a map of their RP setting in that style. They've been kind enough to let me post the WIP here.

It's a far east setting, with some Persian, Mongol, and Afghan elements. I was provided with a very rough sketch along with some basic landform and country info, but I've been given a pretty free hand in the design department. After some back and forth this weekend, this is the basic layout we've come up with:

12-02-2013, 12:34 AM
An update with some mountains and the start of the river systems.

12-02-2013, 05:50 AM
As it seems reliefmaps became more popular again recently :D

12-02-2013, 06:17 AM
Wait....Diamond doing a commission?! I begged him for years and he was always very adamant. They must have something over you that you'd do a commission...right?! If you need help, post an ugly map and we will know :P ;)

On a more serious note: A good start! Although the mountains could still use some work to make them look more natural, imho. Looking forward to its development.

12-02-2013, 10:00 AM
Yes I was confused too, though you dont do commis. But cant wait to see this one finishing. (how many unfinished threads do you have? I just know it must be slightly more than mine :D )

12-02-2013, 03:17 PM
I don't usually do commissions, that's true. Something about this one just hit the right spots with me though; they want the works, map, heraldry, the whole bit.

@SK: I think there's about 500,000 unfinished Diamond threads floating around... :D

12-02-2013, 04:51 PM
Glad I only have 450.000, but seriously I enjoy every one of your maps.

12-02-2013, 11:54 PM
Thanks, man. That means a lot.

12-03-2013, 12:38 AM
Will the map have diverse climate or is it a more regional skale?

12-03-2013, 03:46 AM
It's a larger regional area; what's shown there is (I think) the size of roughly eastern China (?)

That inland area is going to be semi-desert dry steppe, while the coasts are temperate to tropical forest and rain-forest. There's actually a huge Indonesia-like archipelago farther south that the client went back and forth on including and ultimately decided not to since it doesn't yet factor in to their setting.

One of the challenges of this map is going to be showing overlapping political claims - the setting is predominantly human, but there are also Kenku city-states in the mountains, some of which owe fealty to the large human empire that is situated in the central area of the coast and on that large island, but many of which are independent. To top it off, they have their own alliance systems, which I have to work out a way to show.

12-03-2013, 03:58 AM
Interesting challenge of labeling and bordering.
Only critic is the strangely cut gulf in North West.

12-03-2013, 04:26 AM
I love the land shape you came up with for this one (as with all of your maps :P), it's familiarly Asian but at the same time something completely different…

12-03-2013, 07:45 AM
...but seriously I enjoy every one of your maps.


And to be honest, i'd rather see a thousand uncompleted map threads out of both of you than none at all! So keep doing what you are doing, Diamond and SK, i know i enjoy it every single time!

12-03-2013, 02:08 PM
Glad to hear that you've not abandoned Panhartha, and also glad to see a new map in this style.

it's familiarly Asian
That's funny, this cool shape is more making me think about the eastern australian coastline.

Oh, and by the way, from a collectioner of your maps, the unfinished ones have a "let you imagine the rest" flavour to me :D

12-04-2013, 01:11 AM
i'd rather see a thousand uncompleted map threads out of both of you than none at all!

You know you just gave me permission, right? :D

12-05-2013, 11:26 PM
This looks interesting Diamond. It looks fun too :) I look forward to watching this one develop!

12-06-2013, 12:53 AM
Thanks, V. More to come over the weekend.

12-06-2013, 07:54 PM
Good to see you working concentrated on this map.

12-08-2013, 12:09 AM
Update time. I wanted to do something completely different with the names of the nations, and this probably qualifies. The font is Flat Earth Scribe, which has a kind of pseudo-Asian vibe without being too derivative of real-world scripts. I tried things with three or four more obviously Asian-type fonts, but it just looked too cartoonish, so Flat Earth Scribe it is. There will be a couple of pieces of art, if I can find images like the client wants for free on the interwebs. He wants a Chinese-type dragon to be situated under or around the text for 'Great Dragon Ocean', and maybe a junk or other far east ship.

The client also just sent me about twelve pages of notes, and a MUCH more detailed 'rough sketch map', so lots and lots of names and locations to add in. (Thanks, Bruce. :D )

12-08-2013, 12:55 AM
It's a pretty good idea to add this new concept of names to the map, and I like it, although I think the size and color are a bit too overwhelming. Maybe lower the size, perhaps use another color in the upper-case letters?
As for the map, loving it so far!

12-08-2013, 02:03 AM
I agree that the color is a bit bright, but the client wanted a lot of color in the 'extra bits', since the landforms are pretty dull in coloration. This is just a first run, he may hate it.

12-08-2013, 05:08 AM
Brilliant color choices for the land and ocean, but yeah, the label capitals are probably a bit bright! I really like the sea labels though, they are pretty simple effect-wise I guess but with the relief land and grungy water, they become a nice calm counterweight.

12-08-2013, 09:24 AM
For me, the top down labels do not work. They are too dominant and the frame around them and the big red starting letter really detract from the map.

12-08-2013, 10:00 AM
I agree with the others about the too bright label capitals. That's flashing out because it contrasts with your very good choices for coloring the lands, seas and sea labels, which are darker.
That put aside, I find the fonts excellent and I really love what you do with those ideograms!

- Max -
12-08-2013, 01:41 PM
Yup probably a bit too bright to my tastes aswell.

01-19-2014, 03:51 PM
Well, it looks like this is shelved, at least for now. It's been more than a month since I've heard anything from my client.

On the positive side, now I can concentrate on Panhartha, Ormorica, and a new thing I just started called the Great Divide...

- Max -
01-19-2014, 04:41 PM
Sad to hear, hope you got at least some part of the payment.

01-20-2014, 04:11 AM
Always annoying when clients drop out without a word… But I very much look forward to the Great Divide! Epic name :D

01-20-2014, 12:22 PM
Too bad Diamond :(

But very much looking forward to all new developments for Panhartha. Also curious on any new maps from you...and Great Divide does sound promising :D

01-20-2014, 09:39 PM
That stinks! Happened to me more than once as well, and yeah, it sucks. Sorry bout that man.

01-21-2014, 12:40 AM
...And now you know the reason I usually don't do commissions. I did get a partial payment though, so it wasn't all for naught. And I may just finish it anyway for my own personal satisfaction at some point. Although if I do, I'm scrapping those mountains and going for icons instead.

01-25-2014, 07:04 PM
Saw this in the bookstore this morning: Stormdancer (The Lotus War Book One): Jay Kristoff: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Stormdancer-Lotus-War-Book-One/dp/B00C80XYFI)

Maybe a possible reason why this seems to have died is the name of the client's setting is the same as in this book? I know from experience it's disheartening to come up with what you thought was an original name only to find out you probably subconsciously lifted it from somewhere else...

01-25-2014, 11:26 PM
It's not only disheartening, it's nearly impossible to recover from, for many people.

Weird little semi-relevant story: I've always known I wanted to write. I used to write story after story and book after book - they were good too, except it was always a different lead character- but always with the same name. I'd been using that name for YEARS (since I was in first grade, actually) and I'd never known anyone by that name... I thought it was destiny :P So I kept using the name and kept writing (and finishing) better and better manuscripts.

It was my good luck charm.

When I was 14, we were going through a box of old papers, and I found a letter (sent to a long-ago former address) with my hero's name on it. I asked my mother, who said that it was a wrong-address sort of thing, and she'd forgotten to drop it back in the box.

I asked "yeah, but who IS he?" and she said she didn't know. Then she said "Isn't that funny... you asked about it a lot when you were little too!" ... The postmark was the year I finished kindergarten.

The name didn't just come to me. It wasn't destiny, or a good luck charm... it was some random scrap of memory I'd been clinging to, pointlessly.

I was devastated for months.

I had a hard time writing for a couple of years after that. Looking for inspiration, I finally went through everything I'd ever written, and noticed that *every* book was reminiscent of something I'd read at one point in time or another.

Again, months of devastation.

I haven't finished a single story since I found that letter. I *know* it's a mental block... I know *I* can fix it. I just can't do it. Even as a semi-sane (okay, not sane, but at least reasonable) person, I can't use that name. I can't *make* myself type it, even in this post! And the insane part of me still believes I've lost my good luck charm.

Not really. I haven't finished anything because I'm too easily distracted now, and too caught up in the details of it, and, well, a little bit lazy. But every time I give up on the process, or hit a patch of writer's block, I DO still think of that name. And you can't help but wonder.

So your guy... he gets this idea in his head. "Okay, we're on this world, named X. X is a world that has Y and Z." And everything he thinks of after that is based on X.

Now the X is a lie.

Well, not a lie, but not as original as he thought it was either. I can easily see how he'd start to wonder if *any* of his setting was original.

Or... maybe he had a buddy that said "Dude, you're paying someone for a map? I'll draw you a map for free!" :P

Neither of those things makes it okay for him to leave you hanging, after agreeing to hire you, but...

at least you got a partial payment :( ?

01-26-2014, 02:58 AM
Well, I haven't been quite that devastated when I've found myself (or had pointed out to me) using already-existant names (most recently Pentos and Vendhya - in the same freakin' map!), but yeah, it kind of breaks your spirit a little and leaves you wondering if anything you've done is really original even in some tiny way.

The worst is when you've got a substantial amount written that you know is worth saving, and stumble across a scenario like this, because then you realize you've got to go back through dozens upon dozens of pages and edit that damn name. Sigh.

01-26-2014, 09:24 AM
By Diamond
Well, I haven't been quite that devastated when I've found myself (or had pointed out to me) using already-existant names (most recently Pentos and Vendhya - in the same freakin' map!), but yeah, it kind of breaks your spirit a little and leaves you wondering if anything you've done is really original even in some tiny way.

Well, I think it's quite common actually. I encoutered the same "problems" (and sometimes not with names but with an idea or a concept) from time to time and come to think of two main reasons for that :
1) As you said previously : our brain is a true sponge and we accumulate things, ideas and names sometimes without recalling having already seen those.
2) And I believe that sometimes it just happen that two persons come to write or think of the same name(s)/concept(s). Maybe because of a similar course of thoughts or a close "cultural baggage/inspirational sources".

01-26-2014, 10:26 AM
Well and if you take the # of sounds it's possible for a human to make, and all their not-too-long-to-be-a-name combinations, and then you subtract everything that's already a word in every language, and then all the ones that have already been used as names of fantasy places/people, AND the ones that don't look/feel like a name, but more like you just hit your keyboard, and the ones...

Nevermind, my point is, there's actually relatively few ways left to combine the sounds we're capable of pronouncing, without using something that's been done before, or someone else coming up with your same name choice, eventually - either before or after you do.

And it is a crushing feeling - it makes you doubt yourself (though I may have been a bit dramatic in telling of my experience - a combination of the writer in me, and an attempt to remember the high-strung emotions of teenage-girl-Jalyha. :P )

But I really can't ever use that name again...

ANYway. I know it sounds weird but is there any way you could just drop the client a line? Just something like, "Hey, I understand if you don't want to finish this, but it'd be nice to know why."

He could have just temporarily forgotten the project, or lost his internet for a while (I do that all the time, then I come back and check my email and it's so full of spam, I just delete everything, and then people yell at me for not replying to theirs!)

Or something (the name thing or something else) might have happened and he's simply afraid to tell you he doesn't want it anymore. If you ask *what* instead of "Are you gonna do this?" he might be more comfortable replying (and if you get friendly about it you could turn it around).

Idk. I wish I could help D:

01-26-2014, 03:02 PM
I've sent two emails, neither of which I felt were antagonistic. Like I said, guess I'll just shelve this for now and perhaps re-visit it after a few months if I don't hear anything...