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Molch
03-09-2009, 11:54 AM
Hello everyone,
this is the WIP thread for my first map.

The small village of Brysis is situated next to the (as of now unnamed) marshlands eight hours of travel north of the proud city of Greyfalls.
Life for the people that made their home here has never been easy for there are no trade routes or even anything resembling traffic through Brysis. On the upside this misfortune made the people of Brysis much more self-reliant. A few fields north of town are enough to get them through the winter which finds them in poorly built wooden homes barely warmed by burning peat found in the nearby marshes. Every surplus in production is immediately taken by the lord of the surrounding lands living in his nearby estate not caring about the welfare of the people living under his rule (in fact he uses the village only as a supply for servants and supplies).
When recent news reached the village that their lord sold his lands to move into the city the citizens of Brysis reacted with mixed feelings. While few could imagine their lord's successor to be worse their fear is persistent.

The village is well protected by the border fortresses that surround the region as a whole and bandits are rarely bold or desperate enough to attack this close to the city. So the people watch the lonely watchtower standing south of the village and its wooden defenses slowly rot away in the damp air.

---

Obviously this is a very early WIP (hinted at by the total lack of buildings and roads), but I like the terrain so far. Right now I am trying to figure out how to depict the swamp at the south side. As soon as I am happy with that I will start out with roads and buildings.

To Do:
- Compile a To Do list

Comments and critique are of course more than welcome. Make me better please :)

Thought
03-09-2009, 02:42 PM
A very nice starting map; I also really like the terrain. Presumably the water at the bottom of the map is the marsh?

Have you considered the affect of bog iron on the town? It sounds like they are too poor to import needed metals, so bog iron might be an important resource for them. Its a rare source, so metal would still be scarce, but it could be a sign of "prosperity" among the villagers.

Molch
03-09-2009, 02:54 PM
A very nice starting map;
Thank you!


I also really like the terrain. Presumably the water at the bottom of the map is the marsh?
Correct. I'm working on it right now and it's looking good so far.


Have you considered the affect of bog iron on the town? It sounds like they are too poor to import needed metals, so bog iron might be an important resource for them. Its a rare source, so metal would still be scarce, but it could be a sign of "prosperity" among the villagers.
Actually I have. Most tools will be made from bog iron making the search for it important enough to brave the danger posed by frequent peat fires silently smoldering under the surface. Soldiers are directly under the lord's command and get their weapons through different channels.
One of the more important buildings will be the blacksmith and his bloomery.
Also the town will sport an inn of sorts where the servants of the lord's visitors will usually live.
The lord's estate itself will not be on the map but will probably be featured on its own map.

Ascension
03-09-2009, 04:53 PM
This looks great. As a fan of dark maps I really like when the "feel" of an area can be represented...in this case a dark and spooky swamp. I need to know what sort of general scale yer lookin at here before I can help ya with yer list. If those are intended to be mountains instead of rocky outcrops, then I'd say scale is quite large so I'd say the fleshing out would consist of roads and cities with some sort of texture on the water maybe. If they are just sort of rock totems piled up by the people then you could go full on with houses, carts, canoes, etc. and some junk in the swamp like deadfalls, snags, moss, etc. and a few gators.

Molch
03-09-2009, 05:03 PM
Quick update just so people get an idea what I'm working towards.
Actually it isn't intended to be that dark. Someone else also told me that it is pretty dark. Maybe my display is too bright...

ToDo:
- Trees!
- the watchtower
- more houses
- farms
- special houses (Inn, stables, blacksmith, etc.)
- more work on the swamp
- more work on the houses (more colors, prettier roofs, etc.)

Again, comments and critique are more than welcome!

Ascension
03-09-2009, 05:15 PM
I have a bright monitor setup a well...it came that way right out of the box. You have at least one fan, though (me) cuz I can see it all just fine. I think the roofs could use a bit of grunge but I'm sure you'll get to that and the river blue should probably match the other blue.

Molch
03-09-2009, 05:25 PM
I think the roofs could use a bit of grunge
Err... I'm sorry but what do you mean by 'grunge'? English is not my native language and the meaning of that word seems to escape me right now.


the river blue should probably match the other blue.
Originally I wanted the river and the swamp to be different shades of blue but it does look weird, doesn't it? I'm going to introduce another color to the swamp so I can make it and the river have the same base color.

Ascension
03-09-2009, 05:30 PM
Grunge....um...dirt, rust, holes, burned...wear and tear. Currently all of the roofs have the same color so break that up somehow.

Molch
03-09-2009, 05:36 PM
Ah, I see. Will do.

Molch
03-09-2009, 07:16 PM
Grunge is done. I used chimneys to break the monotony and varied roof color a little bit.

Steel General
03-09-2009, 07:53 PM
Grunge is done. I used chimneys to break the monotony and varied roof color a little bit.

I think that helped a bunch - this is coming along nicely.

Thought
03-10-2009, 01:51 PM
This is coming along very nicely. I particularly like the addition of house gardens, a vital resource for poor villagers.

Personally, I sort of like the different water colors of the river and the swamp. The rivers are moving and fresh, hence a lovelier color, while the swamp is full of festering plant matter. Though you might want to extend the area where the two water's mix; it is easy to miss.

Speaking of which, adding tall grass to the swamp might be a worth while idea. After all, peat is mostly grasses.

Something you might want to consider in place of chimneys is just a simple hole in a roof. Chimneys seem fairly fancy to me, something I'm not sure they could afford (while a simple hole in a roof, though it lets in rain, costs nothing as well.

Also, perhaps the villagers might like to have a village green; a place where they can gather, talk, and bring their animals in safety.

Molch
03-10-2009, 05:10 PM
The rivers are moving and fresh, hence a lovelier color, while the swamp is full of festering plant matter.
That was my intention.


Though you might want to extend the area where the two water's mix; it is easy to miss.
Very true. I work too much zoomed in...


Speaking of which, adding tall grass to the swamp might be a worth while idea.
Definitely. It's already in the works along with some fallen trees and a small hut.


Something you might want to consider in place of chimneys is just a simple hole in a roof. Chimneys seem fairly fancy to me, something I'm not sure they could afford (while a simple hole in a roof, though it lets in rain, costs nothing as well.
Great idea, I will definitely try! Thanks.


Also, perhaps the villagers might like to have a village green; a place where they can gather, talk, and bring their animals in safety.
Again, great idea. At first I dismissed the idea of a "market" but it would definitely help to break up the cluster of houses.
Thanks for all your input!

Soixante
03-10-2009, 05:21 PM
This is looking just lovely. Great work!

jaspertjie
03-16-2009, 02:49 PM
Nice city... Wanna see more...

Molch
03-16-2009, 03:19 PM
Thanks, here's a little update.
I added a village green, some more houses (for example a shrine up in the hills), roads, bridges and finally some trees (more of those to come).

Thanks for all the comments!

Gandwarf
03-16-2009, 03:26 PM
Looking good Molch! I especially like the houses with their small yards and vegetable patches, really cool. The roads and bridges are also very good.

The only criticism I have is that the map is a bit too dark (that's just my opinion maybe).

jaspertjie
03-16-2009, 03:41 PM
Looking good Molch! I especially like the houses with their small yards and vegetable patches, really cool. The roads and bridges are also very good.

The only criticism I have is that the map is a bit too dark (that's just my opinion maybe).


No, not only yours actually. I find it a bit too dark too.

Ascension
03-16-2009, 04:50 PM
Just 2 things for me:
1. I think you could make your paths more like that one spot by the river that looks sort of like this l> ...that color works really well for a muddy path.
2. Those lil gardens are a cool idea but I think the bright colors of the veggies could be blurred a bit so that they don't stick out so much.

Overall, this is really nice.

Molch
03-16-2009, 05:36 PM
Thank you all!


The only criticism I have is that the map is a bit too dark (that's just my opinion maybe).
Duly noted. This seems to be an issue with my apparently too bright display.
I postponed the additional adjustment layer because my system memory is on the verge of giving me the finger but I'll see what I can do.

Regarding the road color: I will try a lighter brown. Let's see how it works out.
The same goes for the vegetables. Consider them blurred / darkened. Thanks!

Molch
03-16-2009, 08:22 PM
Okay, I'd say I am finished except some minor tweaks and whatever you guys come up with.

I changed the road color and it really does look better. I added some fields (should I blur them more?) and made the swamp a good deal darker. I'm thinking about adding some fog but considering the sunny disposition of the north part I'm unsure about that.

It's up to you now. Go nuts! :)

Ah, especially some feedback regarding the brightness would be appreciated. I turned it up compared to the last time but I have no way of saying when it's enough.

Ascension
03-16-2009, 08:34 PM
Looks fine to me, of course I'm biased tho. Fog is really hard to do and have it not mess up the image. Fields do need a slight blur. I'll be snaggin a copy for myself once you finish.

Molch
03-16-2009, 08:53 PM
Fields are blurred (any more and it looks like a mess) and slightly darkened.
and with that I'm off to bed.

Steel General
03-17-2009, 07:22 AM
For fog you might consider some of the tutorials on realistic clouds then you can always edit them to suite your needs.

Gandwarf
03-17-2009, 07:54 AM
Well, I like it. A lot! The fields look great. And I almost expect some cattle behind the fence in the village :) (you shouldn't add them though!)
Really nice job.

Molch
03-17-2009, 09:28 AM
For fog you might consider some of the tutorials on realistic clouds then you can always edit them to suite your needs.
I will check them out but decided against fog in this instance. But my next map will be a city with some very prominent waterfalls so fog will definitely come in handy there.

Thank you all for your comments and advice. I'm reading up on the rules of the "Finsished Maps" forum and will post the map there soon.

Thought
03-18-2009, 01:25 PM
Wow, what you have is terribly impressive. Very nice work. I still like the veggie patches, the lighter color of the road works wonderfully, the darkened swamp islands (or were they just not lightened?), and I especially like the lightness of the hills. It gives wonderful contrast for the darker lower lands.

joćo paulo
03-18-2009, 03:15 PM
I like your map completely, everything is very defined.
Great work!

Jykke
03-19-2009, 01:55 AM
Nice looking map. I especially like how you have used height map. I personally might have used less noise, but it doesn't actually bother at all. Good job :)

pasis
03-19-2009, 04:05 PM
The map is a bit too dark for my taste and I get a feeling that its night (but I don't see any light sources). But it's a small thing compared to the many great details this one has. I personally like the little details that make the map alive (like the small grass in the roads between the wheel tracks). You have earned some rep with this one.


Last learned: Adjustment layers have an effect on every layer beneath them not just the one they were created on top of.

If you right click the adjustment layer and select "create clipping mask" the adjustment affects only to the layer below and not to all layers anymore :)

Molch
03-19-2009, 05:44 PM
Thank you. I adressed the brightness issue above, but thanks for the feedback on it. I will adjust it for my final post in the Finished Maps section.
Great tip re: Adjustment layers! I am just a newbie after all :)

Phantos
03-25-2009, 03:52 AM
I love Brysis! In watching it evolve, it's almost seeing the slow build of a community up from nothing. I know you'll be finished sooner or later with the village / town, but I half expect to see it grow even farther into a sprawling city!