WIP - Archipelago
For quite a long time now I've had a campaign world thought up in my head, and even had a go at mapping something out a few years back. The basic concept is that after a cataclysm, the game world is something of a waterworld; giant helical seatrees, tall coral pillars, sprawling seaswamps, the occasional giant mangrove tree, rare volcanoes (the last testament to a foundation beneath the water), and the gravity defying floatstone islands. Everywhere else is the sea, having long since flooded over the landmasses of the world. If the peoples of this world regained civilization (as they do in the campaign), and gained a way to travel beyond the scrap of land, coral, or wood they cling to (which they do), they would eventually need maps.
Here is the beginning of my map, a small archipelago of some of the features I listed earlier. This is just a small section of a much larger sized map, but presented at 1:1 pixel ratio.
looking really good there, but I'm a bit disapointed that I can't zoom in to check out the details - but great idea and nice art ... have some rep for your first upload :)
Thanks! Actually, these images are just showing what tiny bit of progress I have, and this one, at 500 by 360 is just a small portion of what will be the final map, 6000 by 4800 pixels. So, in essence, this is as zoomed in as it's going to get. If it ever got printed, the full size map would be 20 inches by 16 inches, at 300 ppi. For reference, I'm drawing everything at 400% zoom with my beloved wacom tablet.
Originally Posted by tilt
This update shows the basic coloration I'm starting with (though suggestions are welcome... and I want to give it a faded watercolor kind of look if anyone has a good way to do that), as well as a mangrove forest. As for scale... Each of the sea trees (the spiral things) can hold perhaps 5,000 people comfortably, including all of the internal flora and fauna that lives there. The floatstone islands, which currently look more like floating potatoes in my self-critical opinion, are rather large chunks of solid rock, all formed from the peaks of mountains and large hills that were torn from the ground when much of their composition became floatstone. Thus... the mangrove trees are exceptionally giant, perhaps not as big as the night elf starter zone in WoW, but still rather big. The coral pillars (there's a group of five on the east side of the archipelago) are about the smallest of the features, but particularly old ones reach half as high as the taller seatrees, so they're quite usable spots. The seaswamps are beds of vegetation growing on other submarine vegetation. One would not want to try to walk on it.
very nice.. good colors - and I look forward to seing the whole map when you're ready :) ... although I do believe the guild limits on size are smaller than that.. 4600 or there about, but you can always post on Deviant Art if you got something bigger :)
Hmmm... I had to decrease the quality of the full size Jpeg map, but it seems to have uploaded. It's possible I may run into issues when more details gets added. More progress, and the full size map showing what little bit I'm currently working on. Also, I need to track down RobA's tut on parchment texturing in GIMP. He deserves some newbie rep for it.
I toned the colors back a bit in this version, and I think I like it more this way. Not quite so vibrant, but still very identifiable.
Attachment 25726Attachment 25728
Edit - I also realize that now is probably a good time to decide how I'm going to color the water. As it stands now, with the colors of the floatstone, coral, etc., it looks like all of this is coming out of a big desert, instead of a big ocean. Hmmm...
More work done... and as I look at it, I can't help but feel like it looks overly cartoonish. :? I may have to use a different mapping style, but I rather wanted a style of map that would actually be used by people of the campaign world. :|
The cartoony feeling may be a result of the size of your symbols; try reducing their size relative to the area you're mapping and see if that feels better.
Actually, after a little bit of number crunching and tinkering I've realized that the little spot I was working on is a little over two inches wide when printed out. :o Unless the map is drawn by tinkerbell with a tiny pen... this map is actually impossible in the game world. :|
Originally Posted by Gidde
I definitely think I'm going to restart... after reading up on some other tutorials. I'll still have to figure out on my own how to adapt a map for a near complete landless archipelago. And I may reduce the size of the overall map somewhat, 6000x4800 might be a touch too large.
Then again, if I can decide on a good look for the seatrees and the giant mangroves, I think I can make a big bunch of random brushes for GIMP to make placing things easier.
Too bad there's not an emoticon for going back to the drawing board... :)
No kidding, I'd certainly use that one often!
Well, I've gone back to the drawing board and have a general idea of this concept. Still not certain I like it, but I can't honestly think of any other way to show a map in this campaign world. The good news for this change is that I can accurately calculate distances traveled on this map, as it is a full overhead view. It also gives the sea-trees the proper form, the spiral shape in the previous concept didn't really do the things justice.
I've also decided that I need another type of "land-mass", so to speak. So, I've come up with Marishrooms, a type of huge mushroom that grows out of shallow but murky water.
I also learned and put to use the ability to make custom animated GIMP brushes. I really need, now to decide on the scale of the map, so I can have a good idea how big everything is. Time to pull out my trusty 3d modeling program...