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Majortopio
12-15-2009, 10:01 AM
After reading The Hobbit, and getting into conlanging, I've been feeling the desire to write a few short fantasy stories based in a setting of my own creation (one that I haven't made yet) - so I'm trying to make a world based on exactly what I want (which means that there will be a few geographic anomalies), and I'm pretty happy with the results so far.

There are two maps attached - the base one, and one showing the regions I've thought of for it so far. Regions will mostly denote what kind of species live there, where they are on the good/evil scale, etc. So far they're pretty straightforward: Far North being evil, West being good, East being exotic, kind of by themselves, South being merchants/mercenaries and Far South being naturally/magically dangerous (as in, old, old places with lots of magic). Middlepoint is going to be kind of in the gray area, where Dwarves dwell (I'm thinking that dwarves should be more mystical than usual in my world) and other mountain creatures. Northwest, well, I'm not quite sure. Something to do with Elves, I'm thinking. Rivers/forests (any other suggestions?) will separate most of the regions, which is why the ones not by mountains end so suddenly and in seemingly random places.

What I need, though, is a better way of showing grasslands/plains (in the West for example) and marshes (in the Far South) without ruining the crispness of the map. I've tried, as you can see, just to put simple symbols, but they look out of place in my opinion. Any suggestions?

I don't really care all too much about perfect geographic realism - I've taken into consideration a few things (like if you look, most mountains are along certain paths, the plates holding the landmass together etc etc), but I don't want to go too much into detail, as it will most likely ruin my image of it. I still haven't decided on what scale the map is on yet, either (as in 1pixel=1mile) but I want it to be big. Like, Asia & Europe-big. Any suggestions on what the perfect scale would be?

I'll probably work on rivers next, and then finish laying out all the forests, and work on the smaller details.

Tell me what you think :)

Diamond
12-15-2009, 12:57 PM
The shape of the landmass is very cool, and I like the way you've done your mountains.

For me, what looks out of place here is the colors used for your terrain symbols. The greens and especially the bright yellow/white used on those hills/sand dunes/etc contrast too much with the more subdued browns of the rest of the map. You could try doing those symbols in lighter shades of brown, and/or use thinner one- or two-pixel width lines to draw them, so they look crisper, as opposed to the fatter lines of the mountains.

That way they'll still stand out, but will look more in tune with the rest of the map.

xequar
12-15-2009, 04:49 PM
I like this style of map, and I think you're on the right track with your continent.

To me, the colors you're using to define your regions seem too vibrant given the style of map. I'm wondering if muting the colors a bit, and possibly confining the colors to the land portions, would be a bit more in keeping with the otherwise worn antique look.

Also, are your region names placeholders?

knowman
12-15-2009, 05:27 PM
Can I ask what program you made those maps in?

I think the colored map could be helpful as a secondary map, but the color scheme has a wide range. I wonder if at this level of the map (in terms of the size/scope) if you could just use the names of the regions (maybe bending the Northwest around a bit as it's one of the areas that doesn't have a central area that works with a straight line.)

Either that or use a more muted color scheme so there isn't such a contrast (although I suspect that was the point.)

Of course it does clearly delineate the different regions, so maybe we're off base.

Very nice maps in general though!

Majortopio
12-15-2009, 05:41 PM
The shape of the landmass is very cool, and I like the way you've done your mountains.

For me, what looks out of place here is the colors used for your terrain symbols. The greens and especially the bright yellow/white used on those hills/sand dunes/etc contrast too much with the more subdued browns of the rest of the map. You could try doing those symbols in lighter shades of brown, and/or use thinner one- or two-pixel width lines to draw them, so they look crisper, as opposed to the fatter lines of the mountains.

That way they'll still stand out, but will look more in tune with the rest of the map.

I took some of your advice and recolored the symbols - and granted, it does fit it more. I just think it's harder to distinguish the grasslands. I'm still lacking an efficient way of showing those - should I just remove the symbols and have just plain land signifying grasslands and plains, perhaps? Let the labels do the work, you know.


I like this style of map, and I think you're on the right track with your continent.

To me, the colors you're using to define your regions seem too vibrant given the style of map. I'm wondering if muting the colors a bit, and possibly confining the colors to the land portions, would be a bit more in keeping with the otherwise worn antique look.

Also, are your region names placeholders?

Yes, they are placeholders until I get an actual storyline developed, but I am inclined to keep the 'Far North' and 'Far South', I like the fantasy ring of those.


Can I ask what program you made those maps in?

I think the colored map could be helpful as a secondary map, but the color scheme has a wide range. I wonder if at this level of the map (in terms of the size/scope) if you could just use the names of the regions (maybe bending the Northwest around a bit as it's one of the areas that doesn't have a central area that works with a straight line.)

Either that or use a more muted color scheme so there isn't such a contrast (although I suspect that was the point.)

Of course it does clearly delineate the different regions, so maybe we're off base.

Very nice maps in general though!

Photoshop CS3 :)

The regional map I made is just for reference, and is not to be thought of as a serious attempt at a real map at all. I just made that so I could remember where to put certain landmarks etc. etc. I will most likely make a separate political map, though, when I'm done with this one.

Here is the updated map, now with rivers. I suck at making them though, and probably have dozens of violations. If you spot any, please point them out! Thanks :)

Juggernaut1981
12-15-2009, 08:16 PM
Even from a 15second quick-look... you need to read the link below. Seriously River-Violations ahoy. Have a good read and then go for your Rivers again.

The Worst River Violations Ever (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=7052)

And it will feel nicer than a list of River Violations across 20 posts from 7 people...

Diamond
12-16-2009, 12:36 AM
I took some of your advice and recolored the symbols - and granted, it does fit it more. I just think it's harder to distinguish the grasslands. I'm still lacking an efficient way of showing those - should I just remove the symbols and have just plain land signifying grasslands and plains, perhaps? Let the labels do the work, you know.
I think that looks awesome.

I do think there's such a thing as having too many symbols; maybe it would work just fine to have no symbols on the plains and as you say let the text do its job.


Here is the updated map, now with rivers. I suck at making them though, and probably have dozens of violations. If you spot any, please point them out! Thanks :)
Ouch. Yeah... mondo river violations. Many many. The one that really stands out is that lake in the south/southwest where a river goes in from the east and leaves in the west, but before it goes into the lake, it SPLITS INTO ANOTHER RIVER that loops around south of the lake and then rejoins the main river!! :shock:

Majortopio
12-16-2009, 11:28 AM
Haha yeah, I wanted some sort of isolated city there. Guess that's not happening :P

Okay, so I read that thread, and fixed my rivers from the information I managed to glean from it. I removed all of the splits that I found, made sure that only one river flows out from the lakes, and started them all in high places leading downwards. Please point out if I missed anything, or misunderstood everything :P

I also fixed up some of the symbols (the forests and foothills) to make them smaller, so they fit in more with the massive scale I was going for. Looks a lot cleaner to me, what do you all think? Does the continent look awesomely massive? (I was thinking that maybe 1cm = a few hundred KM, haven't quite decided yet. Still need suggestions there.)

Added a few forests and mountains as well, going more into details this time.

CC is still appreciated!

EDIT: Oops, uploaded version with labels, lol. Just ignore them, they're placeholders/english versions of the names I plan to have for the various areas.

knowman
12-16-2009, 11:35 AM
There is also a tutorial thread on river creation (which I looked up 'cause the thread posted above seemed to just be full of "OMG you river heretic!!!" comments) - http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=3822

rdanhenry
12-16-2009, 03:41 PM
The lake in the Elvish Triangle still has five outflows. Otherwise, it seems to be coming along quite nicely.

Majortopio
12-16-2009, 04:25 PM
The lake in the Elvish Triangle still has five outflows. Otherwise, it seems to be coming along quite nicely.

Oh yeah, don't know how I missed that. Thanks, will be fixed.

Majortopio
12-20-2009, 12:00 PM
Okay, a few more updates. Some more forests added, namely in the valley that leads to the Far North in the top of the map, and changed the tree-type to a more jungle-like tree in the jungle in the South. Fixed the five outflows from the Elvish Triangle as well. The map is nearing an end, I think.

The next update will most likely be a whole bunch of small tree clusters in the Northwest, would create some interesting scenarios I think. I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to add in the South.. hmm.

I also added a scale, I'm not quite sure about it though. I want the area depicted to be massive, but I'm a bit conflicted as to how massive. I want a trip from North to South to take the better part of a year (possibly more), so it might be somewhat accurate. I don't know.

CC is still appreciated :)

Ascension
12-20-2009, 12:09 PM
Forests look pretty good but you need some variation in your mountains.

Steel General
12-21-2009, 07:50 AM
Forests look pretty good but you need some variation in your mountains.

I'll second that...also there are one or two spots where your forests overlap your lakes.

Majortopio
12-21-2009, 01:09 PM
I'll second that...also there are one or two spots where your forests overlap your lakes.

Thanks for pointing that out, will be fixed in next update.

I'll try to make some variation in mountains - it's just hard when it's that simple of a drawing to make everything fit together.

Also, another note on the scale: The scale bar's km has been changed from 250km to (a much larger) 600km - and I think that's gonna stick. It very much has the right feel, and after a few calculations the time it takes walking/riding a horse between a few key points is exactly what I had imagined.