View Full Version : MARCH / APRIL 2014 Lite Challenge: Cistern of the Drowned Maiden

03-21-2014, 09:32 PM
I decided on a nice cheery governmental building for a state theocracy centered around sacrificial victims. Lots still to do on it including all the water. The drop shadows are a place holder till I can make some better custom shadows.

### Latest WIP ###

03-21-2014, 09:36 PM
Looking good so far!

03-21-2014, 10:12 PM
Looking good! Thanks for jumping in!

03-22-2014, 06:21 PM
More details, all the fancy stuff in the water still to do as well as the shadows.

### Latest WIP ###

03-24-2014, 12:29 AM
Continued progress. I got the depth of my pools to show how I wanted, though perhaps I should have added some high contrast ripples on the top. Need to do the shadows of some fancy windows but I think I'm a good 85.3% done.

### Latest WIP ###

03-24-2014, 08:45 AM
That looks really cool! I do think that the water need some more work though, the ripples would help.

03-24-2014, 08:49 AM
Excellent work.

03-24-2014, 04:23 PM
Nice. What's the floor texture you're using there?

03-24-2014, 04:32 PM
So how does the tyrant get to his perch? For that matter what do the tyrant and observers overlook?

Just so you know I love the map enough that it's these sort of details that bother me.

03-24-2014, 05:35 PM
The bricks are on CGtextures (http://www.cgtextures.com/) under bricks/rounded.

I need all the oversight I can get, no need to apologize, keep it coming. In this case the stairs will be forthcoming, though the uppermost levels are reached by ladders that won't be shown (though in the case of the tyrants I suppose they could just magic their way about but that isn't their style). I've included a small isometric map of the whole structures so you can see where the levels are compared to each other, the observers ledge is over the hynostyle more so than the drowning pools. Also not shown, the tyrants catacombs under the floor, but those are just another strange rumor right? Also this (like all projects) is turning out much more detailed than I intended. Curse Boogie for putting up interesting challenges which only serve to fuel my obsessive fire.

### Latest WIP ###

03-24-2014, 06:18 PM
I am but the conduit for your greatness!

03-25-2014, 08:34 PM
Great stuff, keep at it.

03-27-2014, 01:05 AM
OK edited for semi literacy and a few small changes to the colors and border work.

### Latest WIP ###

03-27-2014, 06:54 AM

I really like this but I have just a few comments.
I. The left side of the stairs the shadow is so light I don't see the different steps.
III. The stairs could use a small shadow or outline
IV. I think the shadow on the stair doesn't follow the same direction as the shadows on the pillars.
V. The wall just above the V looks flat compared to the wall above the pool.
Should the eye of the dome have a number in it?
Maybe consider adding just a hint of blue to your water to make it pop out a bit from the stone.

I really like the way this looks and think it is a great job.

03-27-2014, 12:22 PM
I'm not sure of the forum policy on being spelling/grammar nazi, but, it's executioner, with the third letter an E, not an I.

EDIT-- I also think you want Dome of the Drowned, rather than Dome of the Drown. Drown is a verb, whereas drowned is the adjectival form (and thus, in the promiscuous English language, easily nouned).

03-27-2014, 01:34 PM
KenG- I love useful clear criticism thank you. Ooh good spotting on the stair shadow, I must have had my head on upside down again. I need to work on the floor edging versus full walls a bit, there is both there as well as directional light and multiple levels all of which requires some clarity on a top down map that I've not quite nailed down on this piece yet. The directional light is the reason for little or no shadowing on the left, only a bit of ambient shading. Anything with a full label on the map I'm not bothering to number. Alternately if I wanted I could have numbered everything and kept in more consistent but this was my layout plan, and as one of the only times I planned anything in advance I'm going to pretend that's important.

Acrsome- Thanks! I need all the grammatical help I can get so I welcome any free editing.

04-05-2014, 02:10 PM
I would like to criticise the use of American spelling. Favored, indeed. :D Since you say you welcome free editing, I'm gonna go to town on this - feel free to use or ignore!

The Cistern of the Drowned Maiden
The Cistern of the Drowned Maiden was commissioned in the year 59UE by the Tyrant Marlocka Red Eye. It was used for the state-mandated annual public drowning of five maidens, to ensure bounty from each of the five cardinal directions. Construction was finished three years later in time for the autumn ritual.

The sacrifices were successfully carried out here almost continually from 62UE to 257UE, save for the year 178UE. Widespread fighting that year led to the failure to perform the ritual, resulting in widespread crop failure. At the time, these failures were blamed on the inability of farmers to tend their fields while at war. This was followed by sporadic sacrifices between 258UE and 276UE, a period which ended with the fall of the Cursed Eye dynasty. Widespread famine and drought ensued after the fall.

The short-lived Starfall dynasty attempted to perform the ritual in 281UE to alleviate these conditions. The failure of the Starfalls' attempt is marked by the yearly "Red Day" at the cistern, where the waters fill with blood that has no apparent source.

Though the ritual has not since been attempted, the cistern is maintained, while surviving members of the Cursed Eye family are sought in an attempt to reclaim the Empire's fading glory.

Well of Whispers
The Well pre-dates the construction of the Cistern, and is said to have revealed secrets to the Cursed Eye dynasty, who could be observed waiting nearby during odd hours. Many believe that the souls of the drowned maidens gather here and give prophetic advice. Some claim to still hear voices while lingering near the well, though few claim to receive discernable advice.

Eye of the Dome
Once a repository for Cursed Eye artefacts, the eye is now empty - although various stories abound regarding both the form and fate of the original contents. The most common of these stories was that it contained the first Empress's magic eye, which the family was able to call back to them.

I think the only spelling correction was that it should be "led" instead of "lead", but I'm not 100% sure about that. I also added a subtitle to the main section since it bugged me that the other two sections had one.

Anyway, now that that's done, I'd just like to say that this is a gorgeous map so far. :)

("You do not have permission to perform this action. Please refresh the page and login before trying again." ... why does this keep happening to me?!)

04-08-2014, 06:12 PM
Here's the complete-save-for-all-the-new-corrections version. Lets see how many new errors I've added by trying to combine Raptori's editing clarity with some of my own "special word sauce". I've adjusted some levels and improved the shadows trying to incorporate some of the excellent advice I've been given. One thing I've learned as that for the challenges I should keep the scale more reasonable, at the standard upload compression some of my water fanciness goes away (the stones under the water actually have a ripple effect on them as well as some varied illumination, honest). This might also save me from waiting 8 minutes just for it to save (not refusing to collapse my layers ever would help too).

### Latest WIP ###

04-08-2014, 07:37 PM
It looks awesome MCC! I'm not even going to try and find any spelling mistakes because knowing me I would just make it worse...

04-09-2014, 08:17 AM
Looks awesome, and the text reads nicely for me now! Only one spelling mistake that I can see; the end of line three should be "utilized" rather than "utilize". I absolutely love the level of detail and realism in the map, the shadows in particular look great - though they're slightly iffy around the steps next to the I symbol to my eyes.

Edit: one other thing since I'm being really picky - I'd reduce the line spacing on the main title. At the moment, there's a larger gap between the two lines "The Cistern of the" and "Drowned Maiden" than there is between the second line and the start of the main text, which is the opposite of what it should be. :P

04-09-2014, 10:55 AM
Yeah that must be an awfully wobbly step to cast that shadow, not sure how I missed that. Thanks for the pickiness on the text, I have no education in text layout, that would definitely improve the appearance of that section. These challenges are a wonderful way to learn something, thanks all!

04-09-2014, 12:04 PM
No problem! You could also possibly justify the text instead of left align (which to my eye always looks better), since you're already hyphenating. WIt could be worth a try anyway :)

04-09-2014, 01:27 PM
Thanks for the excellent text advice, its a nice improvement to my eye, especially the title spacing.

### Latest WIP ###

04-09-2014, 02:25 PM
May I ask what software / methods you used to create this map? It looks simple yet beautiful.

I am kind of newer to cartography so I'm looking to obtain some ideas.