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Gamerprinter
09-02-2008, 03:05 AM
In the northeastern reaches of the continent of Cambre, lies the sovereign towns of the Archean League. A loose alliance of trading states that operate a cooperative navy to protect their waters from piracy and foreign incursions.

I'll learn more background, as I develope the map.

First WIP: I enlarged the tiny, low res original to 24" x 24", then printed it to my large format laser printer at full size. Then I loosely traced a deliberate coastline, and rivers, as well as placing forests.

I imported to Xara, traced the mainland and nearest islands, cutting out the river valley's and lakes with drawing tool from a light green square. I applied a transparency, a halo shadow for the blue along the coast and rivers. I gave the land a very slight rounded bevel to give some height.

I imported my trusty parchment from my Lhessadrak map, cropped a 24" x 24" area and placed behind the map drawing and beveled mainland.

After I do the green land thing to the remaining islands, I will create a hand-drawn texture for the forests and blend a darker green for color.

I plan to place small lines of text pointing out important sites and battlefields from local history on the map. So later versions will be without compression so as not to blur the text.

WIP so far...

GP

### Latest WIP ###

Gamerprinter
09-02-2008, 01:24 PM
Next map update.

I colored and beveled the forests, I opted not to create a heavy forest texture as I do not want to hide the text that will be placed atop these.

I created a higher elevation of land within each main island, mostly to frame around the lower salt marsh areas. I also colored the marsh areas a brighter light green. I placed some Superstition Mountain hills.

Almost complete with all the land masses.

WIP... next update!

### Latest WIP ###

delgondahntelius
09-02-2008, 01:32 PM
GP ...!!! You're wearing me out... :) you build maps so fast I'm beginning to wonder if maybe you aren't really human... hmmmm :?:

Its looking good!! I love the parchment for the base... loving the palette as well...

Gamerprinter
09-02-2008, 07:21 PM
Next update from the inhuman cartographer! :P

I'm trying to free up my month, at least from the challenge. I don't want to spend the time I did in last months challenge. My goal is to finish this up by tomorrow.

3rd map, I've added standard 32 point Rhumb lines for ocean going navigation, with a compass rose at the center, with north delineated at 330 degrees from the top of the map.

Next I will create the mountain range in the southwestern portion of the map. That and hopefully all the town symbols will be complete tonight. Then labeling, roads and a border, so tonight or tomorrow I should be complete with this map.

GP

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
09-02-2008, 08:58 PM
Looking Great GP, I like the muted green.

Gamerprinter
09-03-2008, 03:15 AM
OK, got side tracked on something else. Without much time, I hadn't yet created the mountains and towns like I promised. So I started to experiment with the labeling instead.

I did tweak some of the colors, some landform textures moved, before the last save. I put them back into place. I made the rhumb lines heavier. After printing a full scale color version, I thought the lines were kind of thin, now they are 2 point lines.

Thoughts on the site descriptions at the Battle of the Bay and Turtle Shoals. Will be creating similar text placements else where on the sea on at places on the land as well.

Next, update!

GP

### Latest WIP ###

ravells
09-03-2008, 07:09 AM
I really like the idea of putting a lot of the text labels on the same slant, it works really well.

Steel General
09-03-2008, 07:53 AM
Very nice GP!

Gamerprinter
09-03-2008, 06:36 PM
Almost done - finally completed the mountains, and I created the town symbols, added some more text labels. I also added a hand-drawn texture for the marsh areas.

All I have left is an ornate outer map border, and a legend with the main titling, cartographers notes, etc. I may even create torn/worn paper on the outer edge of the map.

Getting very close to completion! :)

GP

### Latest WIP ###

Gamerprinter
09-03-2008, 06:55 PM
I'm not too sure about the mountains, I may change it - what do you think?

Thoughts?

GP

Valarian
09-03-2008, 07:00 PM
I like the mountains as they are. It's a great map, and they fit well with the style.

ravells
09-03-2008, 07:24 PM
Mountains are yuck.

delgondahntelius
09-03-2008, 07:44 PM
They don't exactly 'wow' me.... maybe if they were a different tone or color....

Robbie
09-03-2008, 07:55 PM
Eh, the lines on the mountains are a little too sharp compared to the rest of the map...not really sure either.

Ascension
09-03-2008, 09:31 PM
I like those mountains, but you'd have to change the trees to match.

Gamerprinter
09-04-2008, 01:51 AM
I am completed with the September Challenge with this post!

I took everyone's suggestions into account, and fixed the mountains. I like these much better, more in line to the existing terrain and forests. I realized I drew shading on the mountains in pen in the previous version, whereas on everywhere else in the map, the pen is used for outline only. After that, I decided to create a top down view of the mountains, applied Xara bevels and 80% transparency on all objects so they were very subtle and allowed the background to show through.

Added final text blocks and labels, I created the Legend with main title, my byline and CC license too. I gave it a slight color change to the parchment and a halo shadow to enhance it. Threw in the flourishes to give the legend something more. The border uses tapering in and out outlines with a gritty texture, (looking very hand drawn...) and added the diamonds for scale references (about 12.5 miles apart.)

I'm very satisfied with the way it turned out. The challenge required individual style, and though I use many styles and many tools for my work. Using my own hand-drawings is about as unique and individual as I can get. 8)

That's it, I'm done!

GP

PS: Dang! It looks one of my river labels moved while changing the mountains, and the Storm Isle label didn't make it within the border, so I'll fix that too, I will re-upload the corrected version tomorrow... :(

### Latest WIP ###

Gamerprinter
09-04-2008, 03:14 AM
OK, now for certain - I'm complete!

I fixed the errors and added a few more labels.

GP

### Latest WIP ###

Torq
09-04-2008, 03:31 AM
I think this is a fantastic map. The labelling and graphics of the places of interest are my favourite parts. They a really evocative and give the map a huge amount of character.

Torq

ravells
09-04-2008, 06:11 AM
What Torq said. A great map.

Robbie
09-04-2008, 08:29 AM
This map definitely demonstrates why you have a grey username here hehehe.

Valarian
09-04-2008, 09:04 AM
I took everyone's suggestions into account, and fixed the mountains. I like these much better, more in line to the existing terrain and forests.
Only problem now is that the hills look odd. Before you had the mountains using the same style as the hills, and a textured forest. Now you've gone for the contoured mountains it sort of jars with the hill symbols. Oh well, it's still a great map.


This map definitely demonstrates why you have a grey username here hehehe.
You mean the colours mean something? And here was I thinking it was just to make the board look pretty.

Steel General
09-04-2008, 10:04 AM
It's great job GP (as usual). But I agree with Valarian, I think the hills need to be changed to match the same top-down perspective as everything else.

But it's your map and if you like them that way that's OK too. :)

Gamerprinter
09-04-2008, 10:34 AM
It's great job GP (as usual). But I agree with Valarian, I think the hills need to be changed to match the same top-down perspective as everything else.

But it's your map and if you like them that way that's OK too. :)

Yeah, as soon as I typed "I'm completely done!" - I really started to think about those hills. The hills worked before I placed the top down mountains. So I'll fix the hills to be small top-downs, and finish this map once and for all.

Thanks for the praise everyone - I've seen some old maps that inspired the text labeling at the points of interest.

GP

Steel General
09-04-2008, 11:40 AM
Thanks for the praise everyone - I've seen some old maps that inspired the text labeling at the points of interest.

That is defintely a nice twist/touch...whatever you want to call it.

Robbie
09-04-2008, 12:26 PM
You mean the colours mean something? And here was I thinking it was just to make the board look pretty.

Gold = Admin
Blue = Community Leader
Grey = Industry Professional

Gamerprinter
09-04-2008, 01:53 PM
OK, done, done and done - finally!

I replaced the hills with top downs that match the mountains. Added two more labels. I'm not gonna touch this again - done!

GP

### Latest WIP ###

jfrazierjr
09-04-2008, 02:36 PM
Gold = Admin
Blue = Community Leader
Grey = Industry Professional

Damn! The names are color! I never noticed that before. Hmm.. I wanna different color name... is there a reason for another category of color that I might fill? heh....8)

delgondahntelius
09-04-2008, 02:48 PM
Marvelous ... you are done right?? :D i mean ... it's only the 4th! .... you better make sure before you run out of time and the challenge is up :lol:

outstanding piece of art GP ... you allow something for us little folk to strive for... :D

jfrazierjr
09-04-2008, 03:11 PM
I have to say I rather liked the original mountains quite a bit. There may have been a few to many stroke lines on them, but I really liked the way they were laid out. For me, the only thing wrong with the mountains is what someone else pointed out, that they forests were overhead and that and the side view mountains did not work well together.

Valarian
09-04-2008, 04:07 PM
Damn! The names are color! I never noticed that before. Hmm.. I wanna different color name... is there a reason for another category of color that I might fill? heh....8)
What do I have to do to get Imperial Purple! Just the colour to befit my megalomanic tendencies. :D
... Valarian, Resident Megalomaniac


I have to say I rather liked the original mountains quite a bit. There may have been a few to many stroke lines on them, but I really liked the way they were laid out. For me, the only thing wrong with the mountains is what someone else pointed out, that they forests were overhead and that and the side view mountains did not work well together.
Me too ... but it's still a nice map and the hills do now go with everything else. ;)

Lord
09-04-2008, 10:35 PM
you know the hand drawn touches really make this map. The mix of digital and non-digital is a bit off putting, but I know its your style. I think you should give a shot at hand drawn textures and such for the trees etc, you never know what could happen, and you have the skills.

Gamerprinter
09-05-2008, 12:29 AM
you know the hand drawn touches really make this map. The mix of digital and non-digital is a bit off putting, but I know its your style. I think you should give a shot at hand drawn textures and such for the trees etc, you never know what could happen, and you have the skills.

Thank you, Lord. Truth tell, I've been creating RPG maps for over 20 years for my own games, and in the beginning they were strictly hand-drawn, not digital in anyway. I'd create mostly as drawing only, no color, rarely I'd add colored pencil to the work.

As an artist, I am lazy. I work hard to create the image of the final map in my mind to viewable format as fast as possible. The key here is "as fast as possible." I don't want to spend the time, perhaps that the art deserves. So, I don't care about the method, I care only for the result. So I work very fast, to get the result I require. I really don't want to spend the time to do it entirely by hand. Digital brings my work to light speed.

I may yet find the project that deserves doing it the old fashioned way, in the future.

Lord, you may have planted a seed... :)

GP

Lord
09-05-2008, 12:40 AM
Thank you, Lord. Truth tell, I've been creating RPG maps for over 20 years for my own games, and in the beginning they were strictly hand-drawn, not digital in anyway. I'd create mostly as drawing only, no color, rarely I'd add colored pencil to the work.

As an artist, I am lazy. I work hard to create the image of the final map in my mind to viewable format as fast as possible. The key here is "as fast as possible." I don't want to spend the time, perhaps that the art deserves. So, I don't care about the method, I care only for the result. So I work very fast, to get the result I require. I really don't want to spend the time to do it entirely by hand. Digital brings my work to light speed.

I may yet find the project that deserves doing it the old fashioned way, in the future.

Lord, you may have planted a seed... :)

GP

I think the challenge then, is how to achieve speed and the hand drawn method. I know a little front end work creating 'hand drawn' brushes for digital work can really move the pace along. No one really wants to craft every little tree, but I think hand drawn and digital can be more integrated than you have already...

Gamerprinter
09-05-2008, 01:03 AM
Well, I do have some hand-drawn trees here, perhaps a bit more detailed than I'd require for this Challenges regional scale. But that's certainly something I could do.

Actually, I have several commercial mapping projects to work on, and I'd hoped to get a more than decent entry this month, and still have loads of time to get working on maps my clients need.

Say in the next month or two, I'll get a more integrated digital/hand-drawn map for something to post somewhere here.

And here's a link to the "hand-drawn trees" I was speaking of...

http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2001

GP

Gamerprinter
09-06-2008, 01:55 AM
I know Del's going to jump on me, for updating my map, when I said I was through. However, the more I read Lord's posts the more I thought the forests in my final map did kind of jar with everything else.

I removed the bevel - in hindsight, I didn't think it truly belonged. I copied the color shape then filled with a hand-drawn texture of foilage, applied transparency. This gives the forests a distinct hand-drawn effect.

The forests on the islands of the previous map, had a serious bevel glitch, that I wanted to get rid of - that's what really started my thinking for this change.

I kept the color, though, because in truth I hate to paint. I need the control of vector - same in hand-drawn, I prefer pens to paint brushes. Besides the color with a plasma filter has a watercolor feel to it - which works fine for me.

What do think? Too subtle? You do have to view map up close to see the pen strokes in the forests.

I hope this is my last update (plus this "bumps" my thread for more looks!) :P

GP

PS: I just caught a problem with the bottom border, so I fixed it and uploaded again.

### Latest WIP ###

delgondahntelius
09-06-2008, 02:53 AM
AHA!! I knew it!! :)

The fix does look better... the forest in the middle near Faraday ... has a blocky look to it and very noticeable compared to the rest of your forests....

Gamerprinter
09-06-2008, 02:58 AM
Yeah, I sort of cheated there. I forgot to draw that portion of forest originally, so I drew the outline in Xara, instead. I really ought to just hand draw that tiny piece and upload again, corrected. So I will tomorrow.

Nice eye, Del. Then I'll call it an entry and post no more...

GP

delgondahntelius
09-06-2008, 03:02 AM
riiiiight... I'm sure that's the final ... final entry :D

bumping is good tho... I like to bump :D

Sagenlicht
09-06-2008, 08:04 AM
Its a real nice map GP, as allready mentioned before those lables making the map even more interesting. Great idea :)

Midgardsormr
09-06-2008, 01:57 PM
I'm glad you did bump it up. I hadn't taken a good enough look at this one the first time 'round. Fantastic job!

Gamerprinter
09-06-2008, 03:25 PM
Due to Del's sharp eyes, noticing the blocky woods by Faraday. I decided to recreate it by hand and re-upload it here.

Hopefully this is the last version, with maybe a bump or two before the month is over. I think I'm really done this time... :P

Good luck to everyone with entries this month!

GP

### Latest WIP ###

delgondahntelius
09-07-2008, 07:36 AM
Bump. Bump.

Looks great now! ... Seems you just reworked the whole little forest there... meshes with the rest of the map... Great job GP ....

No extra's this round?? I'm so used to extra goodies from your challenge entries that your entry almost seems naked without them :D

Gamerprinter
09-08-2008, 03:02 AM
No extra's this round?? I'm so used to extra goodies from your challenge entries that your entry almost seems naked without them :D

I gave this lots of thought. First I came with creating one or more town maps, when I started to calculate populations 3000 to 5000 people per town or 650 to 1150 buildings each. Too many to draw by hand, at least for this challenge. So I nixed the town map idea.

Instead, I decided I'm going to create an illustrated Gazeteer of the region, discussing history, founding of each town, its current leaders and political undercurrents, and possible threats from surrounding regions.

I plan to use parchment background and scripted style fonts, with some pencil illustrations accompanying each page.

Thoughts?

GP

delgondahntelius
09-08-2008, 03:20 AM
Yeah.. hand drawn cities that large would require some effort on someone that's human. But you're a machine, you could pump out three a day at least :D

The gazetteer idea is spot on though. Definitely unique in an entry as *extra credit* an infamous/famous section... Maybe a most wanted picture, give a little more information about points on the map... I like it.. Creative, Original and Inventive.

Oh... point out some adventure ideas too, but in *seeking work/seeking help* type ads, ya know.... just a thought :D

Steel General
09-08-2008, 01:58 PM
The Gazetteer sounds like a cool idea GP, look forward to seeing it. I'll probably write-up some little history for mine once I finish the map itself.

Gamerprinter
09-09-2008, 03:57 AM
As promised, bonus material for this month's challenge. I did it last month, and Del twisted my arm, so I'm doing it again.

Using the style I chose for the challenge map, especially the site descriptive text throughout, gave the map a kind of "lived in feel", moreso than other maps I've created - it has some spawned some creative notions...

This time a gazetteer of the Archean Trade League region. A description of region and the six towns of the League, the history of its founding, and a brief on the wilderness places surrounding the mercantile towns.

Since, Del thought I meant "gazette" like some kind of newspaper, I added that into the bonus material, the fourth and last page of this PDF file. It should be a fun read, and helps bring life to the map entry.

I created an 8" x 10" background using the same parchment as the map. Except for titles, the first 3 pages is the compendium, the last more a hand-out to players, if used for a gaming aid.

GP

Note: this for more gaming fun, and cannot be included as part of this month's challenge - bonus material is something I sometimes do, other challengers shouldn't feel they are required to post bonus material. Enjoy!

delgondahntelius
09-09-2008, 05:13 AM
Excellent work, this is a great little game piece... you've out done yourself this month.. or, was that last month? ... :D Kudo's ...and if I didn't have to spread some more rep around.. I'd have given you some just now.... !!

Torq
09-09-2008, 05:45 AM
Man, if they ever were able to produce a catalog entitled "the best work to come out of the cartographer's guild website" I would hazard a guess that the mapper with the highest percentage of it would be GP. Great stuff. The Gazeteer (and the Gazette) are excellent additions to an already good map. GP your output capacity and speed is also nothing short of miraculous.

Torq

Ascension
09-09-2008, 07:55 PM
Man, that Gazeteer kicks so much booty the rest of us won't be able to sit for a while. That part alone is worthy of it's own featurette. Excellent job my man.

dorpond
09-11-2008, 10:58 PM
Dude - tons of effort and talent in this map! I love the whole feel about it! I can't seem to find anything to suggest. Bravo!

Gamerprinter
09-13-2008, 02:37 AM
As if I didn't already create too much in extras for this entry so far. More bonus content coming soon! So I created a teaser for what's ahead...

A D&D 3.5 adventure module set in the region of the Archean trade league. Using Green Ronin/Adamant Entertainment: Corsairs: D20 ship rules (downloaded PDF from RPGNow for $1.) an adventure about a possessed ship.

I'm not going to give more of a spoiler than that.

Missing at the start of this adventure, I plan to include a tactical map of the Fisherman's Wharf in Baronton, Interior Map of the Merling's Rest Inn/Tavern, and deck plans for 17th century Bilander, coastal merchantman ship (the antagonist of the story.) I will have detailed areas of the Archean Straits mapped for pirate encounters and the portage area of Innsport.

There's going to be several assaults from pirates trying to chase, shoot at and board the vessel. There's also going to be a serious problem that the PCs will have to solve and enable - the destruction of their ship...

Attached is the cover, and first two pages of the adventure - just a teaser, so far! >:)

GP

Gamerprinter
09-16-2008, 04:59 AM
OK, my D&D 3.5 adventure module using Corsairs ship rules is ready.

Well, I wanted to create one more illustration of the Fisherman's Wharf - maybe hand-drawn, maybe 3D haven't decided that is supposed to go at the top of page five (you'll note the blank spot there.)

You like Pirate adventures? Then enjoy this one! I had fun creating it, as I had been inspired by my Challenge map.

Del, how's this for extra content? (7.0 MB, sorry about that!)

Please check it out, and tell me if its any good and worth adding a couple dollars to try to sell this thing? C&C welcome!

GP

Gamerprinter
09-23-2008, 02:26 AM
Last bump, before the end of the challenge, what 2 more days?

So any reviews on my adventure - or is it just that dry??

GP

mmmmmpig
09-25-2008, 03:55 AM
Great map, but you didn't need me to tell you that

Sagenlicht
09-25-2008, 07:29 PM
Hiya GP, sry I did download the adventure but didnt have time to read it yet. I will do it asap, if I wont make it in time to post here before its getting closed I will send you a pm.

delgondahntelius
09-26-2008, 12:06 AM
Ya.. sorry GP .. been away for about a week.. hadn't had a chance to view threads till today ... i'll DL and read and let you know :D