[WIP] Zanannia and environs
Here's what I would propose as Zanannia, per the Request for a political map of Zanannia. I'll show what I'm doing as I go - not terribly sophisticated, but hey, I like my results :-). I'll refer to the original poster as Zann, and the nation as Zanannia, to keep things straight in my small brain. A request - what's the full name of the nation, or the nation type, by which it could be formally labeled? Such as The Democratic Despotism of Zanannia - that sort of thing. This is a Fractal Terrains basemap, but I just used FT to gen the shape. Regenerate random world, regen, regen, regen - whoa, there's an island I can start with. Push, prod, poke, raise, smooth... ehhh, Okay. If the islands don't seem far enough away, just say so.
Yes, the OP asks for a political map. This is topo... it's how I think. This won't be a bunch of western-USA arbitrary straight lines - I'll use the topography to come up with something more organic for district borders. The rivers as shown are just the rough ones FT generated with no effort ... I count them as suggestions :-). They're on their own layer, so I'll mod, trace, and supplement them. The end result will be plainer political , with a matching topo if you want it, Zann. I'll probably snug the islands up next to the mainland, with a small inset showing their true relationship.
I greatly simplified the continental shelf that FT gave me. Since I'm not maintaining the Full Grand Fractalness of it all, I'm also modding the topography as I see fit.
When I use this style, I like a crisp coastline. There's an easy 'find all edges' in PhotoPlus, BUT recent versions do a "nice" aliased boundary. I don't think I want that, here -- so I usually drop back to an old version I keep just for the binary on-or-off edge detection. If I have all major lakes decided early, it's good to use this step to draw their coasts too. Then I did a little manual mountain tweaking, suggesting the incising of valleys from water flow. Then I connected the dots and wiggled some plausible rivers into place.
This is probably as much or more topo info than Zann wanted, so I'll quit fiddling with it and move on to politics and people.
This looks great so far! The islands are about as far out as I wanted them!
For more information on Zanannia, here's my factbook!
Also, I see the idea, you want to make a topographical map so that the political map looks better. Sure, you can go ahead and take the topo and finish it. That would be a lovely addition to my factbook!
Good. This is how I placed the district boundaries - ridgelines, rivers, common-terrain or presumably common climate.
And here's what I'll use for the political basemap. I tried it with fully-shaded districts, but this wound up looking better to me, with the 'inner glow' coloring.
That's fifteen districts -- the three southwest yellow-border bits are all one district, just discontinuous -- the nearby yellow islands too, for that matter.
Now I have a couple of decisions to make. A benefit of the .gif / pixel-crisp style is ai can use really tiny fonts and nevertheless have them legible. But having read the label placement treatise Ravells posted, I want to try following some of those rules. Think, think, think. Pixel fonts go all blurry when tilted or curved.... anti-aliased if you want it, blurred if you don't ;-). If I'm going to permit any antialiasing at all I might as well go .jpg or .png, because the in-between colors will eat .gif's 256 palette Really Quickly.
Maybe I'll try both ways, and others as well ;-). There's no decision like No Decision.
Oh, and thanks for the Factbook pointer. I don't mind conforming to preset worldbuilding ... that doesn't so much cramp my creativity, as spur it on. After all, rationalization can take more thinking than simply letting "reality" happen :-).
Well, there's one way to label districts. Do the curves look OK? Is there any commentary or criticism in general?
Next for some cities...
Don't know how much of this I'll add to on Monday -- it's snowing in North Alabama, which it almost NEVER does. It was actually thundersnow earlier! Fun stuff :-). Four to six inches is a mere snow shower in some places, but my kids will be nuts, come daylight.
Last edited by jbgibson; 01-10-2011 at 01:51 AM.
I would suggest trying to avoid having any letters that are turned more than 180 degrees. Vaca Ligeria for example - I feel like I have to turn my head to read it, because the Vaca is closer to upside down than right side up. Other than the few labels like that, I think you're looking pretty sweet!
Yeah, I agree, I had to turn my head to read some of them!
Also, to avoid confusion, could you merge the two smaller Tripecian regions into Niropa?
Other than this, it looks fantastic! I absolutely love it!
I also love all the names! They are awesome!