View Full Version : [WIP] - The World of Moonfall (Fantasy/Steampunk/Post-Apoc.)

12-08-2013, 01:47 PM
After doing some alternate history (for WW II) stuff this is more or less the first actual map that I'm truly doing myself.*


It's for a setting / story idea that's been floating around my mind for quite some time now. The gist is that Moonfall (which wasn't always its name) is a cold desert world around 1800 years after a global cataclysm that's now in the middle of its first phase of industrialization. Much of its civilization is located on the northern half of the globe, with geographic features, oceanic currents and weather patterns leaving much of the southern half an untouched and unexplored wasteland. People have good reasons to believe in magic and monsters: there are individuals who possess great powers, and parts of the local wildlife are semi-intelligent and extremely dangerous.

Scattered across the globe (and more so in the south) are ruins and artifacts of a mysterious forerunner civilization, commonly called the Small Folk, some of which stand tall even to this day.

Okay, enough backstory, and on to the map. The general plan is to create two versions: one very ornate edition (more colorful, with fancy edges etc.; basically what you'd give your lord and master) and a more subdued one (the mass-produced version, so to speak).

I've drawn the landmasses and used three layers to create different coastlines/depth lines. The outermost line has been worked over with the smudge tool to create a more organic look. The water in the southern ocean is brighter as the whole sea has a very low depth (hardly more then 300 meters at most) and a rather high salt content.

NEXT: Mountains and hills and rivers.

*There was sort of a template, but telling more would give the story twist away. :p

12-08-2013, 04:28 PM
Okay, after a marathon session placing hills and mountains and rivers (also: changing some of the coastline colorations and adding some grungy features to the oceans) because I apparently have nothing better to do with my Sunday evening: update.

Brushes for mountains etc. by StarRaven (http://starraven.deviantart.com/art/Sketchy-Cartography-Brushes-198264358).

Link (http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/342/b/d/moonfall_2_wip_huge_by_stratomunchkin-d6x8c07.jpg) to full-size WIP version.

12-09-2013, 07:38 AM
On we go.


I added an island to the central inland sea, then used various ink blot brushes to draw the polar ice caps. After that I used a simple solid brush and my Wacom Bamboo and drew the rest of the snow in by hand. I've put a parchment texture over it at 60% opacity and created a basement layer texture in the style of a red-ish desert. Depending on how the end result looks I might scrap that one and draw a background layer by hand.

Edit: I've added a preview image of the hand-made background layer. It's brighter since there's no parchment layer over it yet.


12-09-2013, 11:28 AM
Great mountains and coasts there, and pretty interesting land shape and colors… The craters don't match the iso mountains though, I think; they'll look better if you draw them more elliptical.

12-09-2013, 11:32 AM
Great mountains and coasts there, and pretty interesting land shape and colors… The craters don't match the iso mountains though, I think; they'll look better if you draw them more elliptical.
I see what you mean. I could try hand-drawn craters rather than "hinted at" craters using hill brushes in a second go at the piece. :)

12-09-2013, 02:10 PM
So, incorporated the changes for the crater shapes and added a few other distinct features, most of them hand-drawn. I'm not exactly Van Gogh and haven't drawn actual shapes in ages (and most certainly not with a tablet.^^) but they ought to do the job for now. Aside from that, I used map brushes to place some grassland and forest symbols.

Next I'll try some coloring for fertile marshes, steppes and tundra regions.

12-09-2013, 06:25 PM
Steppe, tundra, fertile marshlands. A scale. Icons for cities and towns placed.

Town & city icons.

The map so far. For a full-size version click here (http://fc07.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2013/343/1/7/moonfall_wip_3_full_by_stratomunchkin-d6xd9fd.jpg).

Next: roads and railroads. After that: labels. Yikes!

12-10-2013, 04:35 AM
The more I look at it the more I think the icons would work better with the planned "subdued" version of the map than with this one. What do you think?

12-10-2013, 05:52 AM
I like your map so far. It has great "martian colors" to me, and you did a good use of the StarRaven pack. Like the shape too.

As for the icons, maybe a light glow is the solution to your problem?

Will Phillips
12-10-2013, 08:40 PM
The concept is compelling and the map looks visually interesting. Two separate hemispherical oceans is an interesting concept. Looking forward to seeing where this goes.

05-15-2014, 07:14 PM
Interesting too see, where those colors evolved from.