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Sybaronde
05-04-2009, 07:39 PM
Hey guys (first post)

I'm working on this piece, which is supposed to be a desert planet. It's supposed to be the setting of a short story I'm working on, and I felt that having a map of the planet kinda helps. >_> I'm currently focusing work on the 'upper left' corner of the planet, so the southern hemisphere is very lacking in anything.

http://www.hexellent.com/files/24/map2.jpg

The elevation colors show inclines in measures of 1000 meters, so the mountain ranges on this planet are very tall. >_> The Desolace is basically a large, shifting and expanding area where the desert is saturated with uranium-oxides (like Yellowcake). The place is inhospitable, but it is frequently mined by drone-operated rigs that traverse the radioactive desert.

Comments and/or criticism will be appreciated!

Gandwarf
05-05-2009, 02:45 AM
I like the style. It's simple (just a few colors an no elaborate symbols), yet very effective.

The only thing I might change is the map title. It doesn't really draw attention at the moment. Maybe add an effect to the text or increase the font size. Have some rep for posting your first map!

Sybaronde
05-05-2009, 10:04 AM
Hey. Thanks for the reply!

I do strive for simplicity in these kinds of maps, so hearing that it's effective is appreciated!

About the map title, I'll do a change on it. I had a feeling the text was too small.

bartmoss
05-05-2009, 11:51 AM
Definitely make the background white. Add labels to the "height" legend on the top-left.

The zones of control of the two faction seem a bit random, as you work on the map you should add features that make clear why a certain area is being held (tpowns, easiyl defended valleys, whatever), and maybe rework the zones a bit to have clearer "frontiers", "borders" or "frontlines" (as applicable to your world; you get the idea I am sure).

Steel General
05-05-2009, 12:21 PM
Interesting... looking forward to seeing some more of your work.

Sybaronde
05-05-2009, 04:22 PM
Definitely make the background white. Add labels to the "height" legend on the top-left.

The zones of control of the two faction seem a bit random, as you work on the map you should add features that make clear why a certain area is being held (tpowns, easiyl defended valleys, whatever), and maybe rework the zones a bit to have clearer "frontiers", "borders" or "frontlines" (as applicable to your world; you get the idea I am sure).

I was thinking of a slightly gray background, in fact. The height legend as it is now is just a palette. >_>

Good idea. I must admit, the faction zones are very random at the moment. The ideas I had about how the zone control will work is that the planet is essentially a massive theater, which mostly circumvents the civilian population (which is already pretty low). Most of the strategically important locations on this planet would be viable radar/radio station sites, oases, waterwells and hills with tactical overview of its visual vicinity.

I'll work more on that as soon as I finish up the topography.

Also, thanks Steel General. I hope to show more work, especially 'close in' maps of different locations on this planet.

Sybaronde
05-06-2009, 07:01 PM
"Progress" update:

http://www.hexellent.com/files/24/map3.jpg

I enlarged the map title (and now I noticed I also set down the opacity on it by mistake xD ), altered the background color and added heigh parameters on the palette. Note that I'm still only working on the north-west section of the map, so that I won't have to rework the entire globe should I alter my map-scheme. D:

Since Maratha Sahn is essentially contested by two nations, I decided against marking out and coloring large surfaces. A lot of Maratha Sahn's surface is uninhabited, so it's more meaningful to specify the population centers and strategic locations, rather then outlining massive areas of sand as 'theirs' and other tracts of sand as 'those other ones'. So the extent of a faction's presence in any area of the planet is best described by its locations, supply routes and perhaps even air-power radius.

I added some red shapes to sort of implicate a war theater of sorts, but I'm not really sure if it conveys anything meaningful. I might just move away from that scheme, since warfare doesn't work like world war 2 on Maratha Sahn. Legions of troops are constantly on the move, shuttled from battlefields by use of transport Airships. In that regard, I think it's better to perhaps describe deployment capability in some sort of projected area or something.

I'm slightly confused right now, but I guess I'll figure it out. >_> Any input is greatly appreciated though. :D

landorl
05-06-2009, 09:01 PM
I like the map, it is really taking shape now. Just make sure that you put a legend that states what the different colored locations and symbols represent.

I think it is ok to mark areas claimed by each empire. You could do it with an overlay that has a high opacity that marks each nation, and then have the highly conflicted ares in a different color. That is unless the whole planet is constantly changing hands.

bartmoss
05-07-2009, 01:00 AM
I think you're making good progress. I just wondered though: What ARE they fighting over, actually? Surely there must be something worthwhile on the planet, presumably natural resources? If so, adding locations of major deposits or mining towns etc may help a lot.

Sybaronde
05-07-2009, 04:25 AM
I like the map, it is really taking shape now. Just make sure that you put a legend that states what the different colored locations and symbols represent.


Thanks! :) I'll be sure to make a comprehensive legend overview. I kinda just, uh, chickened out from making it just before that update. Being all indecisive about the scheme and all.



I think it is ok to mark areas claimed by each empire. You could do it with an overlay that has a high opacity that marks each nation, and then have the highly conflicted ares in a different color. That is unless the whole planet is constantly changing hands.

That's the point. There's a lot of fighting, but not a lot of decisive victories. The battles aren't being fought over land, but over key points spread out over the planet's surface. The Alliance typically abandons and/or strips these key points of their relevant value before retreating to a secure base.


I think you're making good progress. I just wondered though: What ARE they fighting over, actually? Surely there must be something worthwhile on the planet, presumably natural resources? If so, adding locations of major deposits or mining towns etc may help a lot.

Thanks. :)

They're really fighting over the planet's abundant uranium-oxides, which is easily found in the Desolace (all the lime-green zones). The uranium-oxides there are so abundant that a man in a protection suit with a shovel could potentially gather enough matter for a nuclear bomb in less then a week.

But you have a point. For any considerable harvest operation, refineries, service bays and such are needed. I.e. large industrial centers. These are valuable for either faction in long term (the Alliance hopes to eventually be relieved by the war in space, and thus being able to employ Maratha Sahn to fuel their spaceships, nuclear weapons and reactors).

Also, water is of considerable value on this planet. And it's not easy to get hold of. D:

landorl
05-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Also, water is of considerable value on this planet. And it's not easy to get hold of. D:

I think you should denote where there are water resources or processing plants as these could be key battlefields.

Morgaine
05-07-2009, 12:21 PM
Hey there,

From a total newbie's perspective, it's an interesting map for me, since I'm used to darker areas normally being lower than lighter areas. What really works for me is the orange that you used, along with the green Desolace overlay - the shades make me think that the planet is probably really quite unpleasant, and that I wouldn't want to be stranded there.

I'm curious, what do the darker green bits represent?

Sybaronde
05-07-2009, 05:47 PM
I think you should denote where there are water resources or processing plants as these could be key battlefields.

Agreed. I'll make a special legend for Waterplants, I guess. Note that I already had a Waterplant placed on the map, under a Octagon symbol.


Hey there,

From a total newbie's perspective, it's an interesting map for me, since I'm used to darker areas normally being lower than lighter areas. What really works for me is the orange that you used, along with the green Desolace overlay - the shades make me think that the planet is probably really quite unpleasant, and that I wouldn't want to be stranded there.

I'm curious, what do the darker green bits represent?


The light to dark to represent low and high land respectively was sort of a cosmetic choice. Most mountains or rocky formations are usually in shades of dark brown, in contrast to the sand, so the topographic map kind of follows that.

And yeah, Maratha Sahn is... well, not a pleasant place to stay in. A large part of the planet's surface is outright lethal and cannot be visited for longer spans of time without proper protection and radiation shielding. Other then that, the planet's flora and fauna is minimal, along with a limited access to water. But, the implacable industry of the Octagon Empire demands the resources of this planet, so daring workers and grim soldiers shed their sweat and blood there - which will eventually be recycled.

The darker patches of green and blue are artifacts from my previous map-scheme. You should ignore them. :P

Thanks for pitching in! :)