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Eru
06-09-2007, 05:46 PM
Hi all, I just registered today and this is my first post. First thing I'd like to say is...MAN, some of you have got some serious SKILLS! I am truly green with envy and humbled by your talents.

This map was done in CC2. The first bit of background is that the island of Hydanham is in eye of a world-encompassing storm, the Maelstrom, that has been raging across the face of the world of Pelagos for some 1200 years. I'd love some insights from you on how to make the boundaries of the storm look...well...more like a storm. =)

The second bit of background is that I'm part of a team developing a website for world builders to share their creations in a standardized and easily navigable format. The site is specifically designed to promote collaborative efforts, where individual contributors can own various locales and sublocales within a single setting.

For example, one person could own a kingdom and others could own individual cities and towns within the kingdom, with each owner responsible for developing their own area and the overall owner coordinating their efforts and insuring everything "fits". Likewise, the owner of a given town could allow someone else to own a building, say a tavern, and that person would then make the building map, build the characters and so on.

In this way I hope that creative types will joing together to form guilds, each devoted to a single setting, and that the most popular settings will grow organically as GMs become interested in the setting and submit content for inclusion.

The tools also allow individual components of a campaign setting, such as locales, characters, items (and soon spells, deities, races, and so on) to be rated, reviewed, and accessed through a search engine. For example, you could use the tools to find a 12th-level Half-Elf Wizard or (soon) maps of buildings within a particular genre (e.g. fantasy), and matches will be ranked with those with the highest ratings at the top.

The site and its initial world, called Pelagos, are both in the early stages of development, but I'd appreciate any feedback on the site as well as the maps. So as to keep this forum focused on maps, feedback for the site can be sent to contact@eruvian.com. Any who would like to use the site to develop their own worlds or take part in developing Pelagos are welcome to do so, and maps of cities, towns, villages, buildings, and dungeons would be especially welcome!

Now, here's the page and map for Hydanham (http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=2). By default you'll only see the player map, as you have to register and sign up as a GM for the Pelagos setting in order to see the GM map and GM-only info. Clicking on the image of a map downloads its full file, if its been uploaded, in this case CC2 files. For those without CC2, a free printer and viewer is available from profantasy.com.

Thanks and I'll be posting a second map shortly!

pyrandon
06-10-2007, 02:56 AM
Hi, Eru, & welcome to the Guild.

Your map is just fine, although if you are seriously trying to create the storm of which it is within the eye, then I think you may have to work on not only the clouds but the overall "feel" of the map, for it is very bright & cheery as is, with pastel brights and simple symbols. While just fine in their own right, these do not give the impression of a world torn by storms. You may have to abandon Campaign Cartographer (2?) to edit-in these effects.

Also, there are very few rivers & only one forest; while you explain the latter in the text, it still seems a but unrealistic--although perhaps this map has a specific purpose for which these details are unnecessary?

Finally, a site partnered with the Cartographer's Guild, the Campaign Builder's Guild (http://www.thecbg.org/news.php), may be a good place to ask for help on your project, for the CBG often engages in similar activities.

Take care & look forward to seeing more!

Eru
06-10-2007, 05:16 AM
That's really good feedback - thanks! Frankly, until quite recently I've been spending more time coding the site than building the content within it. That is changing as more of the features get worked out, but the content and especially maps will likely continue to lack for a couple months.

Do you have a tool outside of CC2 that you love and would suggest? I guess for the editing of the existing map we're talking Photoshop or some other paint program. I'd rather not go that route, as once you go rastor there's no turning back, and the files get a bit more unwieldy and printing options aren't as simple as with CC. I may try adapting some of the CC symbols to create the "feel" as you say of the storm outside the island. However, because the island itself is and has been in the calm eye for the last 1200 years, I don't feel the need to make it look dark or torn up.

Regarding the rivers, the ones shown on the map are meant to be highly navigable and often define the political boundaries. Regarding the limited woodlands, that's purposeful and tied to the history and actually to the overarching plot underlying the campaign setting itself.

One thing I would like to do is "zoom in" to the map and add further detail section by section. These details might include communities smaller than a village (the smallest community that is visible on the current map), roadside inns, foot trails, small ruins, abandoned mines, and so forth. However, these details shouldn't be visible at the current scale of the map because they'd just clutter the whole thing.

To see where I'm going you can look at the Barony of Middleton (http://eruvian.com/locale.asp?localeID=20), currently a snapshot taken from the larger map. I'd like to remove or scale down the text, scale down some of the symbols (just the symbol for the village of Naryway is 7 miles across at the current scale), and add in more details such as those described above, but only visible at this level of scale.

Has anyone done this type of scaling of a single map before using CC2? Would you recommend trying to do this in the same map file by using layers that could be turned on or off based on the level of zoom or do you think I should just create a new file? If creating a new file, do you know if there's a way to copy and paste a section of the existing map to use as a starting point?

I'd love to hear thoughts and ideas from those with more experience and skill than I.... =)