View Full Version : My First Map - The Somewhatgeneric Region of Gustavia

01-26-2014, 12:20 PM

After making my introductory post, I thought it might be best to follow through with a map i'm working on now!

For anyone who might have read my introduction, this map is the continuation (and effectively the third iteration) of the region I happened to be RPing in with my buddies. This is effectively my first map!

(thanks for the attachment hint!)

Anyways, some of the illustrative elements were inspired by/learned from Torstan's tutorials, and others (representation of the water) I tested on my own.

Errors I've already spotted:
-The river is godawful I've been told (how to make better? Is a line of variable thickness better than a more colourful representation?)
-The text for some of the smaller cities is disproportionately large (my bad, forgot to change the font back!)
-and there is a line, a very annoying line on the left side of the incomplete forest

Stuff I'm working on:
-Icon's for the cities

And that's about it 'till I get some critiques (and I mean critiques, I've been posting semi-terrible artwork online for a while now so I'm quite accepting of tough love!) from you guys!

Thanks for taking the time (hopefully!) to look at this (and critique it if you choose)!


As I am under a couple of posts, unfortunately it takes a little while for a moderator (or whoever checks new posts!) to greenlight my posts, so as a response to Diamond will hopefully appear shortly I'll instead use this space to update my map:


So, while GIMP can be fiddly with actual line thickness, I implemented two gradients: one blue=>black gradient, and one empty=>blue gradient which I used only at the mountainous end of the river! I also went back and redid Astavia's title, although it caused me grief to no end until I found out I had my brush on grain extract D:

01-26-2014, 02:05 PM
Hey Scoopz, welcome to the Guild! First of all, have some rep for jumping right in with a map.

As for your questions:

1) You can post the picture as an attachment. If you 'go advanced' when making a post, you'll see 'Additional Options' below the main posting/text box. One of them is 'Attachments'. If you click 'Manage Attachments', it'll bring up a pop-up box where you can upload stuff as attachments. This has a couple benefits - not only does it avoid a huge picture right in the middle of your post, but the image is saved to the Guild server, so it's still viewable if Imageshack or whatever host site goes down.

2) That river is... yeah, pretty bad. :D Not hopeless though! You've already hit on what I think might be the best method for a map like this - lines of varying width.

3) I don't think the text size is an issue unless you plan on fleshing out the map a lot more. As it is now, the map is kind of empty, and the larger text helps offset that.

What you've got done on the forest looks good, but I'd experiment with a darker, less green color; the contrast between it and the parchment background is pretty high. The mountains look good; I like that method. Ditto on the seas/seacoast - that's cool.

One thing you might consider is curving the text for the 'Kingdom of Astavia'. All other regional names follow a curved path and to me it's a little jarring that that one doesn't as well. I like the choice of font though - legible, and pretty without being too cutesy.

Most importantly though, the map is intriguing. Already I want to know what's going on in the realm of the Vampire Lords. Based on 'The Frozen Forest', I'm guessing this is set in the northern latitudes, so maybe the Vampire Lords live in an arctic land of semi-permanent twilight?

Anyway, your map is perfectly serviceable as-is, but a few tweaks could really make it shine. Keep up the good work!

01-26-2014, 03:13 PM
Thanks Diamond,

I'm just figuring out the river thing now! As far as the text goes, I just meant that some of the titles for cities (not including the capitols which are purposefully larger for obvious reasons) are larger than others which would wrongly imply their greater status.

... I'll go back fix Astavia's title too!

Anyways, thanks for the praise/criticism I really appreciate it, as for your guess on the climate of the region, cold is right, although in my mind its a bit of a gradient: Astavia being equal to real world France or Spain and the Vampire Lords area being wintry. As far as any internal worldbuilding i've done, i've decided the actual stronghold of the vampires is a rather castlevania-esque fortress locating in the forest at the top of the map which I intended to be arctic in nature.

After I make some minor fixes, I think i'll call this one finished and maybe take a swing at a larger/zoomed-out regional/continental map (maybe in the same setting) or an isometric-y kind of town/castle

01-27-2014, 09:15 PM
May I ask who Gustav is/was? And why he was so important that the kingdom, three cities, and (I assume) some other minor things were named after him?

01-27-2014, 10:14 PM
Well Gustave (with an e, I don't know why that decision was made D:) was the first ruler of the Empire of Gustavia, he was styled Gustave I, his empire has had years of hardship and lost its southern territories becoming the Kingdom of Gustavia, ruled by the current Gustave XXXVIII (38th). He's essentially a parody of European kings whose male lineages would all hold the same name. The culture is also very Gustave-centred, the elite emulating the (ridiculous) style of the king. A small orange eponymously named the Gustave orange is also cultivated in the Kingdom's southern reaches, known for it's silvery moustache (the same that all the kings have had!) which is used to craft the silks for the most expensive slothing!

In short: he's a ridiculous character created by our usual GM, expanded by the players.

01-27-2014, 11:10 PM
Sounds kind of like a middle ages Admiral General Aladeen. :D