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Pank.HQ
08-20-2008, 02:09 AM
Hi everyone! Well, I've got a start to a map, at least.

I've read some tutorials (there are some fantastic tutorials here!) and looked around a bit, trying to emulate the style of one of the featured maps. This is what I've come up with so far - I'm drawing it in Photoshop and it's my first map ever without the use of CC2.

From my perspective, the rivers look a bit strange. I made them skinnier, but I still think they are too big. I've heard mountain ranges are supposed to "follow" coast lines, but I'm not really sure if I've done that correctly or completely missed the point. I also tried to capture the "aridness on one side, wetness on the other" thing with the mountains, and I guess the rivers help with that...

Anyway, I'd love to hear criticisms, and maybe if anyone has an idea of how to add trees or towns, that would be fantastic as well.

Pank.HQ
08-20-2008, 04:19 AM
Er, I was tinkering around and made some small changes on my own - for the better, I think. Didn't mean to double-post but I'm not sure if you can edit uploaded images. :?

The Cartographist
08-20-2008, 04:50 AM
Pank - It's really a very good first effort. I like the colors and the look of the mountains.

Don't worry about double-posting. You could quadruple-post and no one would care. You'll find that lot's of people do that as they continue to work on their WIPs.

As for the rivers. I think that it depends on what scale you are drawing your map at. What I mean is that if the map were thirty miles from the left hand side to the right, the rivers might be appropriately sized. If, however, your map is three hundred miles from the left hand side to the right, then they are DEFINITELY too wide. I would try to narrow them even further. BUT, you have to decide where you want your map to fall between artistic and realistic. A map that is more artistic might have extremely thick rivers, whereas a map that is more realistic would probably have much thinner rivers. ENTIRELY up to you.

Finally, trees and towns. Towns typically happen near water (ease of transportation) or at intersections of roads, or often both. Trees could get into a whole large discussion of climate, weather, etc, etc. I say, just put them where you want them for now.

torstan
08-20-2008, 05:02 AM
That's a very pretty map so far. Good work!

Pank.HQ
08-20-2008, 06:39 AM
Thanks for the kind words! :) Very encouraging.

I got lazy and my creative side took over, inventing names and all sorts of things when I should have been focusing on making trees and roads and... oh well. I've had my fun for now, I guess I should work on improving.

Note: I blurred my Nav lines, and wow! What a difference!

But I do have some questions before I go on:

a) I was thinking of how to improve the coast line. If you look to the left of the word 'Mothica,' you'll see a little rocky/cliff squiggle. Does this add anything? Anyone have an idea for a better technique for making the coast stand out? (I don't necessarily want cliffs the whole way, haha.)

I am nervous about drawing roads, hills, swamps, and farms. I've used the search feature and looked at others' maps, but I still don't really know where to start. When I tried drawing a road, it came out... pretty badly :|, lol.

Well, I can sit here and ask questions all day, really, so any pointers (and I know you have them!) are very welcome.

Tancread
08-20-2008, 07:39 AM
Between the Spider Sea and the Bay of the Reaper I am not sure I would want to be a surfer in the Kingdom of Mothica. Nice Map!

torstan
08-20-2008, 07:45 AM
I don't think you need to add any emphasis to your coastline. The colour change and nice heavy line make it stand out pretty well. If you still want to do something you can try one of the following:
1. Add an outer glow to the coastline using a drop-shadow from the land with the colour set to white and then set the drop-shadow layer to overlay or soft light.
2. add water ripples to the sea along the edge of the coastline. These can either be in black, or white set to soft light.
3. Add wood-cut like horizontal lines coming away from the coast-line. There's a really well known tutorial on the effect that I can't put my finger on right now.

Hope that helps.

Steel General
08-20-2008, 08:27 AM
Great start! Far better than any of my initial attmepts. Can't really give you any more ideas than others already have other than try things out, post them to see what others think, than give it another go or more simply... Trial & Error :)

someguy
08-20-2008, 09:28 AM
Some of the names seem out of place.

Sea of Spiders, I just doesn't sound right, after all what do spiders and the sea have in common.

Also, the bay of the Reaper. It sounds too ominous. The Bay of Cordell would be more likely, as they would have the advantage over who could enter and exit the bay.

And with the Provenšal names of Cordell, Crestvale, Wrynne, and Oaks, Mothica seems a bit foreign. Marinath is my suggestion, it has a somewhat ancient sound to it. Gives a feel that the name is older than the kingdom its self.

Beyond that its a very fine map.

Gamerprinter
08-20-2008, 11:43 AM
Some of the names seem out of place.

Sea of Spiders, I just doesn't sound right, after all what do spiders and the sea have in common.

Also, the bay of the Reaper. It sounds too ominous. The Bay of Cordell would be more likely, as they would have the advantage over who could enter and exit the bay.

And with the Provenšal names of Cordell, Crestvale, Wrynne, and Oaks, Mothica seems a bit foreign. Marinath is my suggestion, it has a somewhat ancient sound to it. Gives a feel that the name is older than the kingdom its self.

Beyond that its a very fine map.

If this is just a creative project and the names chosen were the whim of the moment, then certainly choosing different names can change the spirit of the map. However, more than likely, these names pertain to a particular RPG campaign setting and are required.

If the Sea of Spiders belongs to a gaming world, you can't really change it, or else the map reflects a completely different location.

More than likely, the map isn't stand alone, but part of a game - names cannot be changed in this regard.

For example: Sea of Spiders...

1. This is a fantasy world map, perhaps giant marine spiders live in that sea.

2. Perhaps the crabs here are long legged and resemble spiders, so locals call it Spider Sea.

3. Maybe 1000 years ago, the Crimson Spider Emperor was defeated in a great naval battle here and it was named such.

4. Perhaps Cordell wasn't founded until 200 years after the naming of Sea of Spider.

Point is, names of places are dependant on the original/creator. Who can really say, "Bay of Spiders" is wrong?

GP

Pank.HQ
08-20-2008, 05:29 PM
Good suggestions, Someguy. I'll do my best to justify myself:

You're right - the ocean and spiders have nothing in common. It's named "The Spider Sea" because its rivers branch out through the entire world like a spider's legs (This Kingdom is merely 1/4 or 1/6 of the world - the rest is mostly to the East). IMO, "Bay of the Reaper" is located at the Northern river delta, where it was traditionally less populated and home to pirates (pirate society embodies the "reap what you sow/take what you can" mentality. stories would have come up about all the death in those parts, but i can change it. It is a fantasy map, after all). The attached image kind of is a sketch of what I envision the whole world to be... I might not ever map it, though. Seems like a big undertaking.

You're right about Mothica sounding out of place. I just kind of threw it on there, and Minirath is a great suggeston. Thanks! ;)

And yes, GP, some of your comments are surprisingly accurate (Cordell was supposed to be the last place founded here (or, last place permanently conquered at least) and shouldn't have much of an effect on the names. But I don't have anybody to play with :( and have the freedom to toy around with the names as I wish.

Thanks all. I'll be back in a few days with an update because I've got some 12-hour shifts to take care of.

someguy
08-20-2008, 07:19 PM
But I don't have anybody to play with :( and have the freedom to toy around with the names as I wish.

Hay, if you wan't to take part in a BPEM game, I'd be glad to GM it.

Pank.HQ
08-24-2008, 03:27 PM
OK! I know I've been taking a while, but I've had to weave in my mapmaking between work shifts. So here's my update... I'm not sure where to go from here. I've drawn and coloured every hill, mountain, and tree individually... but I can make changes quickly.

Oh, and Someguy, thanks for the offer but my schedule doesn't really allow me to commit to Play-by-email games. I've tried in the past and have had to back out.

Steel General
08-24-2008, 03:56 PM
I think it's quite good, if I had to 'pick' on anything it's that the font face is...well kind of plain. But, that's more of a personal preference than anything. Certainly not worth changing anything over.

ravells
08-24-2008, 05:13 PM
I really love this map! It's simple and effective (I like the font). What I like most about it is that this style of mapping has almost been exclusively taken over by Campaign Cartographer, but with the exception of the town symbols, this map doesn't scream 'Here be Campaign Cartographer symbols'. What is interesting to me is that all your text is horizontal (none curved) and it still really works. I do think that you could shoot for some variation to the town symbols though, just enough so that they don't look like carbon copies of each other if you're going for that hand drawn effect.

For me the map is compact, pleasing and complete. I can't think of anything to add to the map which would improve it, or to take away from the map which would not destroy it. Great work! I could really see this published in a book.

Ascension
08-25-2008, 01:21 AM
Clean, concise, and overall, well done. I second Ravs and SGs compliments. Has a bit of an old school feel to it as well.

landorl
08-25-2008, 05:14 PM
This looks very good. I like the style, it has a very nice artistic look to it.

Pank.HQ
08-27-2008, 01:09 AM
Thanks for the comments everyone :). I'm glad to have such a warm welcome and great advice accompanying my first WIP on the site. I'm taking your last comments into consideration and making some small changes, but overall, I'm very happy with my first map and could never have dreamed of creating that without everyone on these boards to look up to :)

Thanks again for the feedback, and I'll hopefully be trying out some new styles soon.

loydb
08-27-2008, 08:12 AM
That's a beautiful map. I don't care for the font, but the map is great.

Although I think giant marine devil-spiders would be cooler... :)

Midgardsormr
08-27-2008, 10:43 PM
When I saw the earlier drafts of this map, I was concerned about the width of the rivers (as were you), but with the city symbols and labels, they appear to be just perfect. They're not realistic in scale, but neither is anything else, and I think that works. You've done a very good job, and it makes me want to jump into a game of 7th Sea.

I'm looking forward to seeing what else you come up with, and definitely take a look at the Collaborative World Building Project (CWBP)!