View Full Version : Land of the Fallen

10-07-2009, 03:44 PM
Here is a work in progress on a map for a world I am creating. The world is based on an advanced human species that crashed onto this planet. Everything they did was based on nanotechnology to the point of almost magical properties. Before they crashed they hit their landing spot with a G.E.C.K. bomb : ) The planet was completely frozen in an ice age. This map is of the land that the G.E.C.K. created and maintains through nanotechnology. I am still working on it but tell me what you think. Be brutally honest if possible. ;)


Gregorus Prime
10-07-2009, 04:00 PM
Somebody call the River Police, we've got a situation 10-33 here.

Apart from the river violations the only suggestion I have is to put some drop shadows on those forests to make them stand out. A bit more bump-mapping in general would do some good as well.

As for your fluff: nanotechnology is not magic. It could make for more interesting plot possibilities if there was some sort of facility at the center that maintained the temperature and the food chain, especially if you're going with a medieval tech level and having the people who live there now be ignorant of how the science actually works (except for the people who run the facility, of course). That could open up the possibility of the nanotech having become obsolete but continuing to work, making the edges of the area dangerous (dangerous creatures mutated by malfunctioning nanotech, a thin film of gray goo on the ice that slowly eats away at anything it touches, etc.) But it's your campaign. Do with these suggestions as you will.

10-07-2009, 04:27 PM
Yes rivers are questionable. High science is nothing more then magic.

Here is some background fluff.

Fall of Man

Once we were as gods living amongst the stars. We were the children of the stars we were born, lived and died flowing through the ether harvesting the resources we needed from wherever we went. We held the power of the stars in our hands and we could not die by natural means. Our reach was vast and our rule was absolute. Then we fell.
They came from the black they struck without warning, they struck without mercy. We fell without a sound. We are those that survived the fall and fall deeply we have. We are no longer gods; we no longer travel the ether. We are bound to the soil we are bound to the planet we know call home. Its name was Iridium Secundus very few know that. We are born, we train, we love, we fight and we die on an alien world far from home.
Most of all we survive and hold on to what is ours. Few know how far we fell most believe the wonders of the world were created by a long lost race of great elders, few know we were those elders we are decedents of gods
Our forbearers were wise and powerful they did what they could to survive but their resources were limited and the threats were many. They created the Citadel from the remains of their ship they also created the outposts from its remains. They forged the beasts that we use today from those lesser forms that they once used as guardians and pets. They altered them to survive just as they altered themselves. Their wisdom while great was not always successful. They failed to befriend the Multitude
The Multitude was our greatest success and worse failure. Little did we know that our new home was already populated by a race of intelligent if primitive creatures. They had an interesting society with what looked like four separate species living with one another. In this we found out we were mistaken. They were actually one species with four extremely different physical makeup. We could have worked with them and developed our new land in harmony with them. However after the fall many with xenophobic zeal lead us to push the multitude out of our new lands and to begin a campaign of eradication.
Little did we know that while they were divided amongst bands they would bound together when threatened by an external treat. The ensuing carnage was horrendous. We lost one for every thousand killed yet it still was not enough. It was a vast waste of manpower and resources. They came from everywhere and we paid the price. We lost many civilians in the fight as the marines could not be everywhere while the multitudes were. Eventually the power that drove the marines began to fade and in one final push the bulk of the multitude horde was broken. They retreated and began to raid in small groups while we fought to survive with even fewer resources then we once had.

Steel General
10-08-2009, 07:48 AM
It's not bad so far, you seem to a lot of 'tiling' in your textures. You may want to try to up the scale or find larger textures to work with. The transitions between the terrain types are also a bit abrupt - if this is intentional then don't worry about it. Otherwise some blending/blurring should help with that.

*begin overly dramatic bad acting*
...and the rivers, good gracious where do I start? :D
*end overly dramatic bad acting*

Seriously though you do have some major issues there.

Gregorus Prime
10-08-2009, 08:25 PM
The quote you're looking for is "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." But you have to remember that magic, too, has rules.

All I'm saying is that I think the explanation of "it's nanotechnology, I don't have to explain it" is kind of boring. But you'll run across any complications that can come from this as you continue to flesh out your world. My only suggestion is that when you start placing buildings and such it might be a good idea to place some ancient ruins that fell off the shop or that were abandoned when they were no longer useful. If your players should find a "magical fire lance" (laser rifle) within them I think they'd enjoy it.

10-09-2009, 01:41 PM
Actually my whole concept is based around nano-tech being magic without saying so. The world will have a few city states fighting each other random tribes of "barbaric" people. The external threat of the indigineous people. A central shadow group actively repressing technology to prevent the return of the enemy from space. Flintlock weaponry everyone having some level of talent that was passed on at birth as the self replicating nano-bots break off. Hidden secrets of what really happened to them. Zombies that are run by corrupted nano bots. Self aware units that act as ghosts and spirits etc.. Random mutations within the population.

10-09-2009, 06:26 PM
So whats the real problem with the rivers is it the lake to lake issue ?

I know river to the west edge of the map but what are the other percieveed issues. Since the ice melts along the edge and pools in those regions and then flows down to the other lake. I obviously have to fix the terrain to show a more bowl effect but what else is of concern.

Steel General
10-09-2009, 06:39 PM
Rivers generally do not split as they flow toward the sea/ocean/etc. If they do its only for a short time then they merge back together or for delta's. Think of a river system as a tree - the smaller branches starting out a higher elevation, merging as they go to eventually form the 'trunk'

A lake can have multiple 'feeds' but it will only have one 'exit'.

Almost everyone makes the same general mistakes on their first map.

Gregorus Prime
10-09-2009, 09:01 PM
Well technically it is possible to have multiple drains for a lake but it's so rare and only happens in such bizarre circumstances that it's just a good general rule of thumb to stick with one.

Steel General
10-10-2009, 08:40 AM
Eventually one will become the dominant 'drain point' though...

10-10-2009, 11:08 AM
The thing is: because of recent changes in the layout of the terrain multiple drains could be possible. If a map was made at that time...
But I agree eventually there would be only one drain (this could take many years).

10-10-2009, 12:30 PM
The only way to have multiple drains, that I've seen, is in swamps. I was looking at the Everglades the other day in FlashEarth and there are a ton of anomalies there. But, then again, it's a swamp so that's to be expected.

10-10-2009, 03:35 PM
Lakes straddling the continental divide aren't particularly common, but they do exist. The most famous is Isa Lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isa_Lake), but Poudre Lake (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poudre_Lake) (right near where I live) will drain to both sides of the divide in a wet spring.

10-28-2009, 04:38 PM
Here is a revised version of my map that I hope explains what I was going for. I am still slowly working on this but tell me what you think.


10-28-2009, 09:23 PM
It still really strongly feels as if I'm looking out of a viewing port that has half frosted...

10-28-2009, 10:45 PM
I think your river forks are backwards. If the snow is melting and draining inwards (as I would expect with a crater) then the smaller rivers would not fork away from the middle but instead fork out from the middle (starting at the edges they flow inward and join the main river). The build up of CO2 and the subsequent heat would melt a lot of snow and that crater would fill up so I'd hate to live there on the ground. That would also give the snow less of a hard edge and more of a tundra effect as the snow gets slowly melted...sort of like snow --> tundra --> grass. I quickly went over your map to show what I mean in case my words are coming out wrong.

Steel General
10-29-2009, 07:06 AM
It still really strongly feels as if I'm looking out of a viewing port that has half frosted...

A little bit of drop shadowing and/or inner shadow will help to create the appearance of 'depth'.

10-29-2009, 02:55 PM
I like that idea Ascension and your drawing :) I am trying to give the impression of a shear face on the tundra region but I have a crappy monitor and what is dark as hell on this is non existant on a better one.

The planet is an ice ball and the only thing keeping this area habitable is nano-bots. Outside of the region shown it is sub freezing. Also this area is planned to be a couple hundred miles across.

I was planning on having the glacier walls a shear cliff of a couple hundred feet.

10-29-2009, 04:56 PM
If it were sheer (straight up and down) then no one could go near the edges for fracturing chunks falling off and killing folks. Something slamming into a solid body doesn't produce a sheer face anyway - craters are bowl-shaped. Period.

When I was in the process of constructing my workshop and grading the property the county officials required that I have a slope of less than 30 degrees because the land would erode and create big gullies that would force water run-off onto my neighbors. I also remember something from college geology class about sustainable slopes but I don't remember what that number was. An advanced civilization would know these sorts of things and therefore stick to it. Sure you can explain away unbelievable things with magic or nanobots but why bother? Just make it realistic to begin with and you don't have to think up excuses for bad physics (kind of harsh there, sorry). Put your nanobots to work harvesting hydrogen (or oxygen) from the ice instead of trying to maintain a sheer cliff face that will eventually fall anyway.

The idea of a sheer cliff face is cool and all but it's just not realistic or feasible. And since this culture has space ships the idea of having to climb the cliff face is irrelevant. If you absolutely have to have some sort of cliff for these people to climb around on then put one on the "living" land area as a result of the explosion that resulted in an earthquake.