PDA

View Full Version : Continent of Urgaard



The-Somberlain
01-01-2009, 03:25 PM
Hello everyone!

I haven't posted for a long time, though I have been lurking in the forums a lot. During the holidays I got some spare time in my hands at last and inspiration took over. I began to develop a new map of an overlooked continent in my campaign setting.

It is a large continent, with mostly arid climate and desert terrain, except for some regions where there is a flow of major rivers, etc. I have tried to keep facts and geography in mind and I think it is a plausible continent.

I am developing the kingdoms and the races along with the map, so I will be adding labels, kingdom borders, major cities, etc. in a while.

Until I would really like to hear your opinion on the map, possible errors or improvements.

Hey, also HAPPY NEW YEAR guys! (almost forgot that...)

Some techical details:
I have made the outline and the height map (in PS) using various techniques from the forums. Then I used Wilbur to generate the terrain using custom colors. Then I imported back to PS where I painted vegetation areas and rivers. I haven't completely finished the terrains, maybe I will add some more.

Bohunk
01-01-2009, 03:39 PM
I like the colors and style. When mapping a cont I think you could use some more rivers and not all rivers start at lakes. The two rivers that flow east and west from two lakes in the middle of your map seem to be starting in a low level grassland instead from the heights.

Nicely done.

Let me be the first to rep ya.

eoinmorgan
01-01-2009, 03:43 PM
Yes i agree with Bohunk, some of the rivers could start from the northern mountains and then flow down into the lakes, and then out to sea.

other than that great job!

The-Somberlain
01-01-2009, 03:52 PM
I see your point guys. The problem is, I am not sure if it is correct to map rivers at all in this scale. It should be a very large river in order to show up in this scale.

The lakes I have on the map are supposed to be sinks for smaller rivers that flow from the mountains around the lakes, and then a larger river begins from there and ends in the sea.

Look at a google satellite map of Nile at a 200 mile scale. You can barely see the river, especially in the beginning.

Bohunk
01-01-2009, 04:11 PM
I see your point guys. The problem is, I am not sure if it is correct to map rivers at all in this scale. It should be a very large river in order to show up in this scale.

The lakes I have on the map are supposed to be sinks for smaller rivers that flow from the mountains around the lakes, and then a larger river begins from there and ends in the sea.

Look at a google satellite map of Nile at a 200 mile scale. You can barely see the river, especially in the beginning.

If you want to create a satellite map then I would agree with you, in fact no rivers are visible on a satellite map on a continental scale as you stated. But you will probably want to put regional or political borders on this map and that is usually done with rivers & mountains. Also rivers do not have to be large to be mapped on a continent of this scale, they could be famous rivers, or rivers that occupy important political borders, etc.

I guess it all depends on what you want to show on your map. Can't wait to see this map progress.

Steel General
01-01-2009, 04:46 PM
Nice job, looking forward to seeing more.

Gamerprinter
01-01-2009, 04:54 PM
Even with maps that I place a level of realism in the design like my Celanta map for example, I still consider maps as the symbolic representation of geography not an actual satelite image of the ground below.

I hear the argument "well to show the world in its entirety, a river would have to be 50 miles wide to be seen from space."

In the long history of cartography, to actually see the ground from space as it should really look, is only very recent in comparison. I mean Vasco De Gama didn't verify his cartographic sources with Google maps, did he?

So locating a river as a blue line on a map, is not intended to simulate the actual width of the river in relationship to the geography around it, rather its placement is to say, yes, there's a river here, and this blue line represents its location.

Unless the game is a sci-fi space game, I don't think the users of a map really care if the river is accurately portrayed so much as the knowledge that the river is there and may represent an obstacle to traveling to the other side. This is really what a map is for.

A map is not supposed to be a satelite picture of the ground.

GP

PS: if your goal is to create a realistic satelite image of the ground, then Great, but then that's not a map in my opinion - instead its just a photo from space...

The-Somberlain
01-01-2009, 05:11 PM
Even with maps that I place a level of realism in the design like my Celanta map for example, I still consider maps as the symbolic representation of geography not an actual satelite image of the ground below.

...

A map is not supposed to be a satelite picture of the ground.


Indeed, you are right.

What confuses me, is that I am still struggling to find a cartography style that balances well between reality and fantasy/game use. Perhaps I should think more of the game, than of the facts.

All in all, I just want my world to be as plausible and believable as possible and I want this to show in my maps.

Alright then, I will attack the map and see what I can do with rivers.

Gamerprinter
01-01-2009, 05:18 PM
As long as your land forms, rivers and such are geographically correct and not doing things like rivers forking downstream or deserts right up against jungles and other such unrealistic things, then your maps should be real enough for game use.

Come up with your own "realistic" style, just error on the side of symbolism than actual to still be a useable map.

GP

The-Somberlain
01-01-2009, 05:54 PM
Ok then, new version, new rivers (more of them...)

Slightly larger upload, for the river detail to show. I don't have much experience in rivers, so I expect the river police to point any errors or suggestions.

Gamerprinter
01-01-2009, 09:21 PM
Not bad, no geologic anamolies requiring a visit by the River Police. I think the rivers are a bit too smooth and straight, but not obtusely so. Rivers tend to be straighter at high elevation as gravity is pulling them downward rather than side to side. Once the river slows down and runs along fairly low grade or flatland then they should meander a bit.

Consider how nicely jagged your coastlines are. Consider giving the rivers a bit of this fractalized twists and turns toward the lowland/mouth end of the rivers - if you're looking for some river improvements.

Other than that, you have a realistic regional map that should be acceptable to your players as a viable campaign setting with realistic map - that is your goal right?

GP

The-Somberlain
01-02-2009, 06:40 PM
Well, yet another version. More rivers, different rivers...

I began naming regions and geographical features. Some of them are there as a reminder more or less. I am struggling to come up with kingdoms and realms and place them in the map. I have a pretty good general idea for the flavor and history of the continent, but I have a long way before me.

Anyway, here it is!

Also, thanks to Gamerprinter for his helpful advice.

jfrazierjr
01-02-2009, 08:49 PM
Very pretty, but unless you have some reasoning, the lakes need to drain to the sea. My suggestion would be to have the top two lakes joined to make one lake or stay two lakes with a small channel between and have it empty into the river system(perhaps with another lake where it joins) on the left. The small one a bit below those two on the map would most likely connect to the lakes above it, but you could also have a drain out to the river on the right side also given the scale....

Gandwarf
01-02-2009, 09:42 PM
They are probably Endorheic Lakes. Those do not drain out to the sea :D
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endorheic_lake

(Ok, so I nicked this bit of wisdom from this excellent thread: http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3822&page=2)

The-Somberlain
01-04-2009, 10:32 AM
Interesting piece of knowledge! Damn, it seems we should have a M.Sc. in Geography in order to make good maps! :P

I will have that endorheic lake for the lake in the northeast. And the channels connecting the lakes seem a nice idea. Thanks guys!

Hoel
01-04-2009, 10:48 AM
I like the font, what's it called?
With a little work the labels will look great. Flat black is a bit boring thou

Steel General
01-04-2009, 11:14 AM
I believe the font is Flat Earth Scribe, I used it on some of my past maps.

The-Somberlain
01-04-2009, 11:27 AM
Yes, that's the font! Steel General either you like this font a lot, or you have an elephant's memory!

Well, I have the bad habit of trying to use fonts that give something out about the flavour of the region I am mapping.

As for the style, I am working on it! ;)

Steel General
01-04-2009, 12:48 PM
I do like this font quite a bit I used it on my September Challenge Map (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showpost.php?p=31501&postcount=18).

I also try to use fonts that I think are fitting to the 'flavor' of the map, not always successfully though.

The-Somberlain
01-04-2009, 03:22 PM
OK guys! MASS update on this map...

First a map with the lake drainage "bug" fixed and some more (or different) labels.

Then a map with borders. I am working on kingdom names.

Finally an animation of historic maps, that show the various realms and kingdoms during the timeline of the continent. In short the red are the bad guys, the rest are the good guys! (I hope the animation works...)

As you can understand I develop this continent along with the map. I had many ideas for this region, but I never put them down in order. Once I decided to make the map, the region is slowing taking its form.

Ascension
01-04-2009, 06:03 PM
I like that gif. I'm gonna have to try that.

Hoel
01-05-2009, 08:29 AM
The gif was a cool feature. some day I'll make the effort of creating a campaign world and work out the history like that.

Steel General
01-05-2009, 09:01 AM
Love the animation - nice touch.

Vandy
01-05-2009, 12:24 PM
Hello, TS.

Just a quick comment to tell you that your map is very nicely done! I'm quite taken by it and by your design. The more I see this type of map, the more I know I will have to make one.

Thank you for sharing this beauty.

Regards,

Gary