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madcowchef
02-12-2014, 12:35 AM
So I was cruising along on the map for my current RPG group and it was turning out just how I wanted for a change, right up until it came time to put down markers for towns. I usually do much simpler maps with little house icons but that's not in keeping with the style of this one. I tried several different things but feel like I've been staring at it too long as everything I've tried is beginning to look increasingly wrong. I marked out what I've tried so far, I like #6 the best but it is a bit hard to see, #3 seem the second least horrible. Are any of these appropriate or am I barking up the wrong tree? Suggestion greatly welcome.

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Jalyha
02-12-2014, 12:55 AM
what is it with trees today? Now you're barking up them? D:

Seriously, though... I think 4 looks like what you would see on a map on a wall in a military/government office, or in a boardroom or something.

6 is pretty.. the others I don't really like... but... couldn't you do like...

Know how those cities look on the maps that use the mosaic filter on gimp to randomize the buildings?

What if there was one of those "houses" but it was square, like a wall, with little dots in it to look like a mini-city? :o

(no idea how to draw that at the moment, or even if it would be a good idea, just thought it would look cool/different...)

or you could use like... little shields with the ruling families ...


Idk :/

I can't even label my own stuff yet :P

Pretty map, though!!

TheHoarseWhisperer
02-12-2014, 01:36 AM
I like the semi-transparent #1 for its subtlety. I would probably choose #6 or #3 for my second and third preferences. #2 and #4 are kinda ugly (no offence intended). #5 has some real promise, and could be great if you change it a little (I like it's slightly dusty appearance). Hope that helps.

THW

Diamond
02-12-2014, 02:29 AM
I think 3 is my favorite, followed by 5. 6 isn't bad at all, but as you said it's a bit hard to see. If there was a way to make it pop a little bit more without being too over the top, it may look the best of all of them.

On a separate note - that's a pretty fantastic map.

Lingon
02-12-2014, 05:17 AM
Excellent map! Amazing rivers especially, I love how squiggly they are and how they really look like they've carved deep valleys in the landscape. Very well done :)

As for the cities, I have to disagree with the rest and say number 4. It's a brilliant idea. I really like a well made satellite map, but I almost always feel the icons look out of place. Those pins are the first I've seen that really matches. The others are nice too, but number 4 is unique and totally perfect for this style, IMO.

That said, I don't think the frame and cartouche match the map equally well. Something simpler, cleaner and more modern would fit better. I know you want to tie it in with the setting by using that parchment piece and the cracked border, and I do like some good contrast and dissonance in pictures… but in my opinion it gets too strong here. It is possible to choose a modern graphical profile even if the setting is medieval-ish.

Bogie
02-12-2014, 09:40 AM
Great map!

madcowchef
02-12-2014, 04:39 PM
Excellent advice one and all, thanks so much. After looking over comments and seeing the elements that seemed favored, I came up with a new set. I intended them to look like fancy pins someone had stuck in the map, which I failed at, but I like them none the less (I'll try that idea again some later map, maybe work something up in a 3D rendering program so it looks right perspective wise.. I also changed the style of the cartouche, I think your point was excellent there Lingon. No just to add to many names routes etc.

New set
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madcowchef
02-12-2014, 05:40 PM
Hmm worked it up with these and it really didn't do anything for me. I think I'll try Jalyha's idea and try to draw some little towns on and let the labels do the heavy lifting for indicating the towns.

Jalyha
02-12-2014, 08:46 PM
Oh I liked the new set too, sorry it didn't work >.<

Diamond
02-13-2014, 01:40 AM
Y'know, I was thinking about #4 again, and I'm starting to agree with Lingon. What if you added a shadow to the pins to make them really look like physical objects stuck in the map?

madcowchef
02-13-2014, 02:59 AM
OK here's the next version, complete with cities. They are definitely not to scale but I think they give a general feel of the sort of habitation at the site. I looked at old maps for label placement ideas and went with the randomly-aligned-pointing-at-or-near-the-object style but fear it looks a bit messy. Didn't bother with anything smaller than a trade town, as there are any number of those for every town big enough to be worth naming. Further suggestions are very welcome.

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Jalyha
02-13-2014, 12:45 PM
I bet shadows WOULD fix the pins :o


I like the mini-cities too though x)

Whichever you stick with, I'd... suggest not getting so artsy with the labels. For the towns, I'd just write them straight across, just above the town. The labels this way are making my head sin in circles! :p

Pixie
02-13-2014, 01:33 PM
I like everything about it! that's my 2cents ;)

madcowchef
02-13-2014, 09:06 PM
The theoretically final version, unless I find any glaring errors or troubles. Being intended as a functional RPG map for a my current group its a bit messy with labels, but that's often true of functional rather than purely artistic ones as near as I can tell. The magic stuff on it plays an important role in the game but really adds to the clutter of the map. I made a compass that I hope fits the style of the map and added a fairly nebulous scale to the bottom.

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Falconius
02-13-2014, 09:19 PM
I love the ley lines I don't think they add too much clutter at all, they do something special for the map actually. As if they ad clarity to it some how.

I also particularly love the detail in the Sea of Teeth.

Jalyha
02-13-2014, 09:23 PM
Some of the names on the "magic stuff" has me curious... O_o

madcowchef
02-13-2014, 11:04 PM
I used cracking paint on lines on the side of the road to get the cracking ice sheet look. Not pictured is the penny stuck into it.

Ilanthar
02-16-2014, 10:52 AM
I like your map, it has good colors and ideas (very original way to do cities!). I would prefer more subtle ley lines, though.

SJS
02-16-2014, 11:46 AM
Some beautiful details on there. Rivers with small islands, the way you do towns, the Roos Vale, trails that follow the low regions through mountains... some serious attention to detail here!

madcowchef
03-07-2014, 07:26 PM
Been hanging onto the finish work for this one for a bit but I think I'm happy enough with the border elements now. Any major criticisms before I finalize it?

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Diamond
03-07-2014, 09:24 PM
Beautiful work, man. That's going into my inspiration folder.

Corbad
03-08-2014, 04:32 AM
Great looking map! The textures are impeccable. However, I can't help but notice that your legend mentions "Minor Leylines," "Leylines," and "Major Laylines." Is a Layline different from a Leyline? If it is, forgive my ignorance. If it isn't, perhaps it bears correcting before you consider the project finished.

madcowchef
03-08-2014, 11:55 AM
Nope the curse of my ability to spell things three different ways all in a single paragraph strikes again. Thanks for the spotting Corbad.