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katoblepa
12-13-2009, 03:53 PM
This is my very first attempt worth showing (maybe), so all kind of suggestions are really welcome; just be kind since I'm a total newbie here :)

A little backstory:
this map shows a region of my actual steam-fantasy campaign. It is intended to focus only on the main characteristics, with distant zones left "blank" because they're mostly unknown.
The big city in the center, called Almira, is a huge metropolis which preserves all the knowledge and technology left after the fall of the ancient civilization. The zone lightly darker around it represents safe territories where convoys are guarded against robbers and wild beasts. Traveling outside this region is very risky and oftern lethal.

Making of:
my intent was to create something like the wonderful Bohunk's maps, but scaled down to regional size.
I've used markers taken from this forum and I'd like to thank the authors, whose names I can't remember right now (I'll give you full credits soon, but I'm sure you know who you are).
I didn't follow any tutorial in particular this time, but I used them for my previous (and awful) attempts.
Last thing: rivers, roads, coastal and zone borders are made simply by the "difference clouds technique".
And, before you ask, yes: there are no names yet :)


I'd like to receive advices mostly about the northern coast (should I remove it?), about plausibility, and HOW-TOs for creating a desert around the west city (maybe with land markers such as dunes?).
And of course all kind of comments and critiques I can't even imagine as a newbie :)
I'm definetely not an artist nor a cartographer!

That's it.
Sorry about bad english and mistakes. And thank you for reading.

There you go!

euio
12-13-2009, 05:02 PM
I like it!

I would suggest a bit of colour, and the city in the centre might be improved by making its icon look a bit more metropolis-y.

I think you should keep the northern coast, but it should be modified to make it more realistic-looking.

For deserts, I think colouration would be a good idea, but if you don't want that, it'll look just as good with dunes &c.

Midgardsormr
12-13-2009, 05:20 PM
The coastline could be a bit more wrinkly, but given the hand-drafted look of this map, the smoother coastline isn't bad--the cartographer probably doesn't have super-accurate measurements, and at this scale only a few inlets would probably be recorded. If you look at maps from the 17th and 18th centuries, you see smoother coasts like that one.

The darker-colored area in the middle almost looks like a stain on the parchment rather than a region. Maybe a pattern, or a border rather than a dark spot would be better.

For the desert, you could try dunes, but I think that might start to overwhelm the information. Instead, try a speckled pattern--just some dots scattered across the desert area and a label.

katoblepa
12-14-2009, 05:06 AM
First, thanks for your answers :)



I would suggest a bit of colour, and the city in the centre might be improved by making its icon look a bit more metropolis-y.


Yeah, the icons should be changed somehow. They are the best I've found so far that don't look too classic-fantasy style: I don't need castles, here.
Talking about the color, I like the feeling of a B&W map (actually I printed it B&W for my players). But maybe you're right, I should decide from total B&W or a fully colored one.



The darker-colored area in the middle almost looks like a stain on the parchment rather than a region. Maybe a pattern, or a border rather than a dark spot would be better.


Yeah, actually it comes from a coffee stain of my hand-drawn sketched map... ahah, joking :)
You're right. I think I'll go for a pattern, instead of a border. What about making it even darker?


And last, as you both said, I'll try some patterns for the desert, too.
As soon as possible, I'll post the updated version!

*edit*
Just another question: do you think that 800x1000px with 72ppi is fine for this map?

Redrobes
12-14-2009, 08:54 PM
Ciao and welcome !

I think the 800x1000 is a bit small. I think you will find it more of a problem than using a larger image and 'resampling' it smaller as you need it. Its very hard to make it bigger later.

katoblepa
12-15-2009, 11:55 AM
Which size would you use for a regional map, then? :)

I'm working on the map every now and then, when I have spare time.
I've fixed the sea, added a pattern which I find cool and tried to lay down some names.
Oh, and the darker region is not a stain anymore :)
Nothing about the desert and the icons, yet.

Here is version number 2, waiting for you comments:

Ascension
12-15-2009, 12:41 PM
I don't think that I'd change a thing, this is pretty nice as is.

Diamond
12-15-2009, 01:09 PM
I don't think that I'd change a thing, this is pretty nice as is.

I agree. Maybe just add some sort of speckled pattern to simulate sand around that area where you wanted to put a desert.

I love this kind of style and I think it looks fantastic. I especially like how you've changed the tree sizes a bit; that makes all the difference.

Gamerprinter
12-15-2009, 02:29 PM
*edit*
Just another question: do you think that 800x1000px with 72ppi is fine for this map?

It depends on your goal with this map, if its only being used online, the size is probably fine

Me, a small map is 1800 x 2400 pixels at 100 ppi, though more often I create maps that are 7200 x 10,800 at 300 ppi, but then most of my maps are intended to be printed at full scale.

To me 72 dpi is only good for draft mode. I never create any projects below 100 ppi and that's reserved for Virtual Terrain Apps, which isn't my usual intention. I prefer working at 300 ppi for everything.

GP

katoblepa
12-17-2009, 11:13 AM
@Ascension: yeah! If YOU think that it's done.. then it's done! :)



I love this kind of style and I think it looks fantastic. I especially like how you've changed the tree sizes a bit; that makes all the difference.


I love it too! :)
Thank you for your appreciation! The "tree size trick" came out only at halfway of my work: in fact, the northern forest is not as good as the southern one ;)

@Gamerprinter: thanks for you examples. next map will have the proper resolution :)


Talkin bout the map itself, I haven't done significant changes since last time, just added some "bruises" for the desert (bad effect, I should say.. I'm not happy with that), so I'm not going to attach it again.
On sunday I'll gather with my friends to play Solar System and I'll show them this brand new map.
I think that playing the game we're going to come up with new locations and features to add in the next version, so for now I'm in standby: no matter about the desert :)