View Full Version : WIP Criticisms welcome!!

02-12-2014, 05:49 PM
Hey everyone.

So I'm making a D&D world from scratch, and I'm really in the very beginnings of mapping the world, just trying to get the basic geology down and correct before I flesh out cities/people etc. Below is the bare bones of a continent roughly the size of south america. As this is my first ever map, I expect I have already made some mistakes and don't even know it, so I am asking for some honest brutal criticism, I promise I won't take it badly!!

For reference, the dark green at the top is jungle, the light green is general grassland/hills etc, the muddy green at the bottom is swampland, the brown blip at the top is a salt lake and the grey patch is a highlands type area. Probably goes without saying the temperature is damn hot up north, and gets colder as you go south.
I have also put up the original sketch, it's not a great photo (I dont have a scanner), hence the horribly coloured version for clarity


02-12-2014, 06:26 PM
My main criticism is that it is basically a rectangle. If you were to triple the size of the canvas so it was surrounded by "ocean" it would look roughly rectangular and not very natural. (Westeros suffers from this too, but then it does fit on two pages of a regular softback book). It happens because I think many people have a subconscious need to "fill" the canvas/all the available space on the page.

I think it would benefit hugely from a more overall natural looking shape.

02-12-2014, 06:49 PM
I second Larb. The land features themselves also seem regular and disconnected. Mountains usually mark plate boundaries so run in rough lines more so than occurring in discreet sections. Depending on what program you are using there are a number of great tutorials here that will get you from a basic landforms like you have to something with plenty of natural irregularities (I spent some time stuck to these like a leech).

02-12-2014, 08:11 PM
Okay, I'm going to pick because you said here, and in your intro, that you wanted to be picked at... so...

Well, yes, the shape, but since you said this is a very rough draft I wasn't really looking at that (it can be fixed easily).

Your geology/climates don't seem to make much sense though.

If the top of your continent (the size of S. America, you said?) is right on the equator, you might find tropical/jungle type climates to the north and much colder, near artic temps to the south, but it would be a pretty gradual decline... not a problem if it's a small map, it would look like jungle/moderate/arctic, but on a continent that size the other biomes would cover more area, I think?

and if it's that big, then those lakes (if to scale) would be like mid-large seas, not lakes....

And the mountains are an issue. All the mountains :/

I also can't fathom how swamplands would form in that much colder southern clime... I'd expect to see them, instead, somewhere in the top half of your map, at least.

And in the warmer swamp/grasslands, suddenly there's a frozen island which doesn't make sense to me...

The islands (A) at the top don't look natural.... I'd expect them to extend out rather than cluster along shore like a reef... and probably nearer to a line of mountains, but maybe not

Uh... think that's enough of me talking for a start...

Also, since I have virtually no idea what I'm doing with my own consarned map, you should consult others before listening to anything I've said :P

02-15-2014, 09:12 AM
Ok thanks, awesome feedback, while I accept that as a newbie I'm not going to be able to create something 'perfect' I still want to push myself to do the absolute best I can!! To that end, heres the redraft:

61438 Bear in mind the islands to north are volcanic islands.
61440Heres the draft of the tectonic plates for reference

I also admit I suck on the pc, I'm using a mouse which doesn't help, I plan on painting the maps by hand once the plans are set, I promise to scan/take a photo of them to show you all once it's eventually complete.
As far as the biomes not being gradual enough, I do plan on drawing out each region separately and can give more detail there, so will flesh that out later, just want to know if you guys think that the basic formation makes sense?

02-15-2014, 11:04 AM
Ahhh the islands make more sense now. And mountains.

I do see how you changed the shape, very good, but still a little bit.. idk.. boxy. Much less so, though. Maybe I'll do a gimp-picture-in-paint-sketch to show what I mean... (I like those, the irony amuses me)

That plate in the middle seems really weird to me. :/ I've never seen a smooshed plate like that?

02-15-2014, 11:17 AM
That plate in the middle seems really weird to me. :/ I've never seen a smooshed plate like that?

Yeah I know what you mean about the smooshed plate! My thought process with that is that for plot purposes of the world, I need to have the mountains separating the circle bit in the middle from the other half. From my limited knowledge I thought a smooshed plate was possible (albeit unlikely). Also it's not very clear on the image, but the bottom-most plate boundary is meant to be going over the other one, to form a kind of slightly mountainous cliff face, if that makes sense?

02-15-2014, 01:41 PM
I'm really bad at explaining things >.<

Maybe a pictorial story? :D





And a hero comes along...


Of course, I haven't checked any of this for accuracy.. just playing with the voices in my head (and we're messy children, so...) but yeah...

(Yes, this is my mental process, for real :P )

Edit: idk why the links are weird...

02-15-2014, 01:56 PM
I like the outline much better now, the shape reminds me of a mystic symbol.

02-15-2014, 02:30 PM
OMG Jalyha you are my new god!!! I've been thinking of this for WEEKS and you've just blown me out of the water I love it you are a gentleman and a scholar sir!!
So many thanks you have no idea :D

Now for the rest of the world and um... well everything else lmao

02-15-2014, 02:39 PM
immagirl! :P

But yea.. i don't know which parts of that (crazy) story were useful, but you're welcome if it helped :)

02-15-2014, 02:54 PM
I didn't mean you were a guy, the gentleman and scholar thing is a quote :P But essentially I love the shape and the plates make much more sense :P

02-15-2014, 04:45 PM
I knew what you meant. I was being silly. :)

I'm glad it works for you!