View Full Version : July Entry: The Seven Dials

07-20-2007, 11:27 AM
I thought I wasn't going to have any time this month for the challenge, but a virus has bought me a day so I put this together today.

From a technical standpoint I wanted to put my budget vector drawing program, Serif Drawplus, through its paces and I was pleasantly surprised at the results. It's incredibly easy to use (I have illustrator but all the options scare the beejeebers out of me, so I hope to 'graduate' to it once I feel I am proficient with Drawplus). It could use some post work (the mountain textures in the north are really badly pixellated), but I thought I'd post it as is.

Mapwise, I went for something artsy and illustrative, but in retrospect I wish I'd chosen a smaller scale. My initial idea was to have a country in which all the main characters of popular fairy stories lived. So on the street corner you might see the little match girl and there would be a house with a big beanstalk growing out of it (owned by Jack's mother). In the end I found a fill texture I fell in love with (the land texture), but it required a much bigger scale, so I made up my own fairy tale to fit the texture around which everything else was built.

The story is 'The Seven Dials'. Kendra and her brother Tom live in Andor's reach. Tom is Kidnapped and Kendra sets out to find him. She follows his trail across the land (apologies for the lack of imagination for the naming of the regions) and along the way she learns various magic numbers but without knowing their purpose. When, after many adventures, she finds Tom at Eastwatch castle, he is imprisoned. The dungeon door requires the correct combination from seven dials which are set within it. These are the magic numbers that Kendra has learned which she uses to free Tom and escape.

07-20-2007, 11:40 AM
Nice map and and story! The story gives it a bit more punch in fact. ;)

I would rep you, but I have to rep some others before I can give you more.

07-20-2007, 01:59 PM
Bit more work to make the map look a little 'busier', added some roads and towns and brought up the land texture a little more.


07-21-2007, 07:35 AM
Ravells, I really like your map. How do you create the roads and things between the towns?


07-21-2007, 08:30 AM
Thanks Torq,

The roads were created using a vector path in grey with a dark grey outer glow set to mulitply.

I wanted to bevel the rivers just a little bit to give them an indented feel, but I can't get it to work. More practice required I guess.



07-21-2007, 08:47 AM
I wanted to bevel the rivers just a little bit to give them an indented feel, but I can't get it to work.

What software are you using? (maybe that should be a standard post option :) )

Try either an inner shadow or a "cutout" filter on the rivers (assuming they are drawn as a layer on top of the land and not erased out of the land to let a lower layer show through)

It is very nice now, just busy enough. My only nit-pick is the heavily pixelated pattern, noticeable in the NE area, around the "Hidden Pass"

-Rob >A

07-21-2007, 09:50 AM
Thanks. I'm using serif Drawplus, which sadly doesn't have a cut out filter (I don't know what a cut out filter is!). I tried an inner glow, but it just didn't look right. I've resized the mountain fill in the north it to get rid of the pixellations and brought down the town labels from black to a dark grey. It could probably use a frame of some sort too. I've pasted a copy of the 'land fill' jpeg I used in the resources section. Problem with using it is that you have no control over where the vegetation is, but I guess you could use a clone brush to cure that.


07-21-2007, 10:56 PM
Ravs, that is such a great map--and a quick job? Sheesh! The nerve of this guy! ;)

One suggestion: I am not fond of the left-hand borders, which fade to complete white; I would give them some sort of monor texture (verrrry faint) to give them depth.

Nice work!

07-22-2007, 01:35 PM
Thanks Don! I'm a lazy, impatient mapper so the more short cuts I can find the better!