Ereshka world map
(Two things: I think this is the right subforum for this, but if it's not, can someone please let me know? And for anyone who actually manages to wade through all this, thanks [especially if you comment :)]. I'm kind of long-winded, not to mention stumbling through this process in what's probably a particularly roundabout fashion.)
I posted a couple of days ago with a map for my husband's D&D campaign, and the fact that he proceeded to hand me a world sketch (read: notepad with two large blobs filled with smaller blobs :p) and ask for a world map. I figured I'd post my progress as I went through, since this is my third computer-based map, and fourth map ever (and it might be a smiiiiidge ambitious... if this works out right, I plan to go from world to continents to kingdoms to the campaign-relevant cities to the campaign-relevant buildings. Yes, I'm one of those sorts. :D), I thought I'd post the process in the hopes of getting feedback. I'm bound to go wrong quite a lot, knowing me. :D
I'm thinking the original kingdom map will turn out a little differently at the end of it, working my way down like this.
Any comments will be super appreciated-- I barely know what I'm doing. All I can say is I <3 all of the awesome tutorials on this forum :D.
So, to begin with, I have two sketches and some vague directions (followed by verbal directions later-- granted, most of the time his answer to any question was "I don't know, you figure it out." :p Which means I have to name everything too, blah.)
(the original sketches were on lined paper, but since I have no scanner and had to photograph them with my phone to get the pics, I colored over them in GIMP. Orange is his original layout, blue is my sketching more continent-like concepts onto it.)
World is slightly smaller than earth, one moon.
Upper polar ice cap: 3 port cities; no towns or villages; all are trade/supply cities; overland travel is hard but happens along coasts. (And later, verbally, that he wants a greenland type place; I'm thinking that if there's true ice poles at all, they aren't large)
southern polar ice cap: unexplored (apparently there's an Odd Place down there; sort of a combo bermuda triangle/shangrila down there.)
C5: wasteland. 1 large city in the north; ivory, bone, desert crops, spices; southern half of continent dragon graveyard. elves, gnomes, humans. (the wasteland aspect is due to an ancient war between the elves and the dragons, hence the graveyard.)
C4: Jungle; 4 large cities (ports); dense forest; mostly unexplored.
C3: varies. many settlements, largest cont. mostly human 80%, dwarf 15%, other 5% (one result of the continent-5 war is that the majority of the world population is human; either we breed faster or we just weren't involved, I dunno.)
C2: lush forest and plains; mostly human 95% other 5%.
C1: varies. mostly human 95%. starting cont.
So... I have to figure out how to get the climates right. He may not end up with exactly what he wanted, but then, them's the chances you take when handing off a project to a woman known to be incredibly obsessive, geeky, and detail-oriented. Muhahahahahahhackhackcough.
My first step is getting the continents laid out correctly. I'm using Google Earth to get everything lined up. When that pic is done I'll post it up.
Looking forward to seeing this develop; you're a glutton for punishment, tackling an entire world. Something I'm not courageous enough to attempt just yet...
I got the basic continents done (at least to the point where the poles stopped being really annoying in Google Earth; making a flat map work as a globe is harder than I thought!). Here they are.
The husband says our starting kingdom is about the size of France, so I got a map of said country and made a France-shaped blob on the map in the correct location. I figure that will help me work out the distances and the actual size of this world. The black lines are where I think the "pole" areas are going to be; we'll see how that goes once the climate is worked out.
This map was an interesting learning curve. It started on the laptop, in GIMP... and then the laptop decided to freak out and BSOD me several times, leading to backing up my files, doing a factory reset, and digging out my desktop for the meantime. My desktop didn't have GIMP, but did have Photoshop 6, so I figured, what the heck, let's haul that old thing out... let's just say I'm now very aware of how used I'd gotten to GIMP :D
I think I'll keep doing it on this comp, though I don't know if I'll download GIMP or keep with PS; the laptop, aside from the BSOD issue, has a broken screen at the moment. It's still usable, just... it's a little difficult to do graphics when there's runny lines on the screen. :(
Next, I guess I have to make my coastlines Not Suck... let's see if I can do this without running back to the tutorials :D
You seem to be doing just fine so far. As to the coastlines you only need to worry about those as you "zoom" in when doing smaller maps.
As a general observation (and one that could be attended to later I guess) I would add more islands - about half a dozen biggish ones around the size of your big purple one. I would also "Budget for" the idea of lots and lots of little ones as archiplelagos. At this scale they only need to be roughly attended to but later on, well, then it's detail time...
It terms of game play, islands are good for adding in the weirder aspects of the game tself, isolated areas for different stuff to have happened.
[This following point might be in the tutorials you've read! If so I apologise for repeating it.
When mapping for actual games you need to ask yourself what the maps you create are for. Are they handouts for the Players, and therefore very likely full of innacuracies - or are they reference maps for the GM, in which case, the opposite....? ]
just my h'penny worth!
Thanks! The coastlines were irritating me when I tried to add detail, so I guess you're right... I tried running them through the whole cloud-layer-for-noise process and ended up only giving it the slightest edit to rough the edges a little. Going through the whole process made them look blurry and weird.
Originally Posted by Ascension
Hmmm; you know, islands may be what's been bugging me about the map. I kept messing with the layout trying to get it to look right. I'll try your suggestion and see if that helps.
Originally Posted by Crayons
There's sort of three reasons for the maps at this point; one, for the GM to use and work from, and to work out the history of the world; two, a rough set of the kingdom, and probably of the Knowne World as far as that culture goes; three, I love worldbuilding and tend to go overboard on backstory, history, language, and apparently now maps. It's one of those things I can start doing around lunch and before I know it it's 2am, hehehe.
Updated continent map with added islands. Thanks, Crayon! That helped a lot :)
I tried drawing the islands at first, but nothing looked right. In the end, I used a cloud render layer and just messed with the threshold, and then erased what didn't fit or look good. I may drop a few of them as time goes on; there's one or two I'm not sure about.
I think it's a great idea to do the whole planet instead of one continent. An idea would be to make a globe out of the map. Anyway, good luck with the project. I think your husband is pretty lucky! :) All I had when I played D&D was a map in my mind.
It if helps your planning any, that arc of islands to the east of C3 looks like it might be the edge of a tectonic plate. There's likely to be a lot of seismic activity in those islands and along the southeastern edge of C3. There are probably some volcanoes in those areas, also. The ocean between C1 and C3 reminds me of the Atlantic between South America and Africa, where two plates are moving apart.
Thanks, I did take your suggestion when I was outlining my tectonic plates.
Originally Posted by Midgardsormr
Here's so far... final complete landmass, ocean, mountains and elevation (sort of). I'm trying to do a satellite-style map first, so I have something very detailed to reference when I'm working on single-continent/region maps.
I tried to make ocean trenches (following my seperating tectonic plates, like I made the mountains along the ones smooshing themselves together :D) but, it failed pretty drastically. It just looked like more underwater ridges/mountains. I tried searching for trenches or canyons tutorials, but no such luck. : / oh well. They're not terribly important, unless we're getting dumped in some underwater culture at some point. And I don't think there are any of those. >.>
So, now off to figure out how to match the climate/ecosystems he wants with what I managed to map. Should be interesting. :p