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XiaoTie
01-07-2009, 11:44 AM
Hey guys, I was creating this map in the event I come to DM a game again (based on the One Piece world and feel) but I think it could use some tinkering but I dont know what exactly to do.

So, as mapmaking people and as (if you can put yourself on the shoes of ) some RPG player, what would you like to see on the map? How could I improve it?

Midgardsormr
01-07-2009, 11:59 AM
The size of the compass makes it a little overpowering at the moment. I'm not sure if that would change as more elements get added to the map.

I'd like to see some landmarks. Cities, obviously, but also some markers for shipwrecks and/or battles, ruins, suspected pirate coves and the like, where the PCs can go and poke around for treasure and adventure. Some cryptic notations might also be fun--some numbers or directions that mean nothing alone, but might be useful when the PCs get hold of some additional information later on.

Gandwarf
01-07-2009, 12:18 PM
I agree with Midgard.
Also, somehow the islands don't look natural to me. They look like they were carefully placed by someone... mainly because they tend to be the same size and are at the same distances from each other. Try to shuffle things a bit. Creation is chaos ;)

That's just some nitpicking, I like your style and the sea dragon!

XiaoTie
01-07-2009, 12:42 PM
Hum, will get to work on the landmarks and markers. About the islands, well, they were made using a tutorial (an awesome one I found here) that makes random stuff, granted I erased some of the stuff around it so I think thats why it feels they were carefully placed (which I totaly see now that you mentioned :D)

That sea dragon? Yeah, to find that font took me longer than to make the whole map (and that took quite some time), and I owe it all to the guys here that replied to my post. It isnt even a sea-dragon, I had to cut around it and edit some :D

Thanks a bunch for the help

Ascension
01-07-2009, 05:06 PM
For a sea-focused map, what I would call a mariner's map, I would expect to see wind and ocean currents, depth markers (also called soundings), latitude and longitude lines, reefs and shallows locations, plus notes in the margin for indigenous tribes, plants and animals, plus the above mentioned things like coves, shipwrecks, etc. and possibly some star notations for navigation if the culture is not of a sufficient technology level. Mapping out the geography is the easy part...it's all that detailing that is mind-numbing.

On the other hand, if I were a player, all I would want to know is where the caves and temples are (marked with a big X) so I can go and take their stuff :) Solid start, just keep at it...I hate detailing too.

Bedwyr
01-07-2009, 11:35 PM
You could get really OCD with the details. The maps from Bethsoft's Morrowind had nearly every cave, ruin, and structure in the game. You just had to look veeerrry closely to see that a black smudge was not just a smudge but a cave waiting to be explored. Tiny things like that nestled in hills are very fun.

XiaoTie
01-08-2009, 03:24 PM
Well, tried to follow the advices as much as my learning skills and plot reasons allowed me to so far. Here's the result; any further tips?

Ascension
01-08-2009, 06:44 PM
This is only a decorative addition but...to me, it seems to be screaming for a torn/burnt edges thingy.

Bedwyr
01-09-2009, 03:08 AM
Awesome work. Do a tutorial!

Steel General
01-09-2009, 07:37 AM
I'm with Ascension the edges of the map cry out to the heavens (yeah sounds corny I know - so sue me :P), for somekind of treatment to "rough them up a bit" - coming along nicely though.

jfrazierjr
01-09-2009, 10:20 AM
@Ascension
@SG

Agreed... mutilate the map a bit....

XiaoTie
01-09-2009, 04:31 PM
Bedwyr: I wish I came up with that style on my own, I found it here on the forums (over here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2557)), I couldn't even follow it entirely around the last parts, so I had to do some other stuff.

jfrazierjr, SG, Ascension: Hum, which tool should I use to do the mutilation?

jfrazierjr
01-09-2009, 05:15 PM
Bedwyr: I wish I came up with that style on my own, I found it here on the forums (over here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=2557)), I couldn't even follow it entirely around the last parts, so I had to do some other stuff.

jfrazierjr, SG, Ascension: Hum, which tool should I use to do the mutilation?

Are you using GIMP, Photoshop or something else? Check RobA's tutorial for doing weathered paper. End result, you would use a free from selection tool and then invert and cut away the "outside" edges to transparent.

XiaoTie
01-09-2009, 05:28 PM
I'm using photoshop.
Hum, that simple eh? I'll give it a try and will take a look at the tutorial, thanks :D

jfrazierjr
01-09-2009, 05:36 PM
I'm using photoshop.
Hum, that simple eh? I'll give it a try and will take a look at the tutorial, thanks :D

Well. since you are starting with an full image already made instead of making the cut parts at the start, you will have to do some reverse engineering. ie, you will probably have to duplicate much of the actions on all of the existing layers.

Sigurd
01-10-2009, 12:42 AM
My first impression of the map is that it is a zoom in of a larger map.

If you don't want to tear or burn the edges, you could put the map in a magnifying glass or callout.

Have you tried simplifying it? Take away the compass rose and put a spear through the skull and crossbones pointing north. Treat it like a tracing of a real map doctored with special info.


Sigurd

Ascension
01-10-2009, 12:46 AM
Print it, take it outside, rub it in the dirt for a while, light a corner on fire, hold the edges in some smoke (or do the old tea-soak thing) then scan it in. Or just create a new layer with a bunch of jaggies around the edges and play with the layer styles like outer glow using a black set to color burn.