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Thread: The start of something big...

  1. #1
      Preypacer is offline
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    Default The start of something big...

    Hey all...

    Been a member here for some time, and have been looking over (read: drooling over) much of the work that's been posted here. Along the way I've tried to learn a thing or two as well .

    I've been working away at a map for a game world I'm working on and, well... I've finally reached the map, and the look that I want to proceed with. I have so many "newmap-##" files stored away it's ridiculous.

    The map I've gone with is what you see below, and the style I'm going for is the hand-drawn approach, with a hint of a style they use for the world map of Aden from Lineage 2, which you can see here.

    What I love about that map's style is how it's very hand-drawn, but with each point-of-interest specifically drawn out as a sort of "icon" on the map. I don't know, but to me while playing that game, I would look at the map and think "Hmm.. I wonder what that place is?" and then venture off to find out. L2 has a beautifully rendered world with some fantastic settings for those of you who may not have played it.

    Anyway! That's the look I'd like to go for overall... even with the very subdued hues sorta hinting at the type of environment in a given area.

    Here's my work in progress:


    What I'm stuck on now is basically filling it in. There are markers you can see, which are the locations of towns and villages, etc. For now, that's what I'll be working with 'til I can get around to sketching out the actual drawings for each. Much of what will be created is still sorta "vague" ideas in my head of the overall look/style/theme of the locations, so I don't really have anything concrete to build off of yet.

    Here's where I'm running into a road-bump, though..

    Scale... and all that stems from it.

    For example.. how large to represent mountains on the map? Things of that nature. I'm thinking the scale of the world will be where each square on the grid overlay is about 50 square miles. That's a lot of land, though, and I'm wondering if it might be overkill. While this is going to be a fantasy world and, so, not "bound" by the rules of ours necessarily, I'd still like to keep things reasonable. If I intend to have a small town the equivalent of 5 miles away from a city, I'd like the map to more or less accurately represent that.

    So... I guess at this point, I'm wondering if people here who have faced a similar quandry with their map projects could provide some tips? Any rules of thumb you can recommend? Tips, tricks and the like?

    I would be very appreciative of it.... Might even name a location on the map after you!

    Thanks for reading!

  2. #2
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Nice little landmass so far. I like the subdued colours and the overall feel of the piece.

    So who when you say that the squares are 50 mi.˛. Do you mean each square is seven points something miles by seven points something miles? Or do you mean that each square is 50 miles x 50 miles? (Actually 2500 mi.˛) Looking at the map I think you mean the latter, because that would make your landmass about 850 miles across. This would seem more appropriate.

    There would be huge amount of terrain variance in a 50 x 50 mile square. So anything you draw in their is only going to be a general feeling for what is in the space rather than getting to specific and detailed.

    for instance in the city I live there it is an urban sprawl about 70 miles x 50 miles. Within that area there are lakes, suburbs, towns, forests, a bay, mountains, farmland, hills, about 100 rivers and creeks and so on.
    Last edited by Aval Penworth; 02-15-2011 at 10:21 PM.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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      Preypacer is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aval Penworth View Post
    Nice little landmass so far. I like the subdued colours and the overall feel of the piece.

    So who when you say that the squares are 50 mi.˛. Do you mean each square is seven points something miles by seven points something miles? Or do you mean that each square is 50 miles x 50 miles? (Actually 2500 mi.˛) Looking at the map I think you mean the latter, because that would make your landmass about 850 miles across. This would seem more appropriate.

    There would be huge amount of terrain variance in a 50 x 50 mile square. So anything you draw in their is only going to be a general feeling for what is in the space rather than getting to specific and detailed.

    for instance in the city I live there it is an urban sprawl about 70 miles x 50 miles. Within that area there are lakes, suburbs, towns, forests, a bay, mountains, farmland, hills, about 100 rivers and creeks and so on.

    Hey there, and thanks for the response and comments!

    Yeah, I'm pretty happy with the overall subdued look of it as well. I went through a variety of different color schemes (mostly derived from various tutorials on this site), but at the end of the day, I don't know... I'm a sucker for anything "old", and love muted, aged colors. So that's what I ultimately went with. Once I have the hand-drawn icons in place, I will be leaving symbols to represent less important features, but in hues that better match the overall scheme.

    You're correct about the landmass, I'm thinking 50x50 miles per square. Also, your description of your local area there is a great "benchmark" for me to go by. In other words, you can fit a whole lot of land in a single square. Almost makes me wonder if it might even be feasible to go a bit smaller. Maybe as low as 25x25 might be sufficient for my needs. Will probably require some experimenting to see how things look as I start laying in more of the details.

    Will be cool to see things coming together. Of course, I'll be sharing the work as it does .

    Anyways... Thanks again!
    Last edited by Preypacer; 02-15-2011 at 10:40 PM.

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      Preypacer is offline
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    So, quick check-in. Unfortunately, no progress made, at all, on the map, despite several attempts.

    Not sure what it is. I know what look I want to go for, but when it comes to laying down details, they never come out the way I want them to. I end up deleting everything, leaving the same blank map I linked in my first post in this thread, close down the program and do something else. Not sure how I intend to finish a map at this rate... maybe inspiration will strike or something. Ugh.

    Anyone else run into this problem? Any suggestions on how to work around it? Kinda starting to get discouraging to be honest.

    Thanks...

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      Gidde is offline
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    I run into this often. I'll usually print or open my inspiration map in a separate window, and literally look at it the entire time I'm working. Still, sometimes it just does take inspiration to strike. If it's really making you frustrated, try working a project that doesn't matter to you (like a random island) using one of the tutorials you've never done before. I find that often gets me unstuck, because (a) I learn new tricks I can apply, or (b) not banging my head against the wall on the project I do care about gives my subconscious the breathing space it needs for that lightning flash of inspiration.

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      Ascension is offline
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    Nail - Head <--- Giddehammer Exactly what I do.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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      Preypacer is offline
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    Hey guys. Thanks

    Yeah, sometimes when you're so "inside" something, it's impossible to get the thought process going.

    Really, it could just be me being my own worst critic. For all I know, the mountain work I've done has been fine.. I think my problem is the ability to "see it all finished" in my own mind, and not each part in isolation (mountains, hills, trees... etc)..

    I am trying to find a boundary tutorial so I can get those laid out as that's going to be an important element of the map in gameplay terms (territorial control is involved). I know I've seen a couple boundary tutorials, though they may have been part of a larger tutorial. Can't seem to track them down now, though :-/. Go figure, eh?

    Anyway... thanks again

  8. #8
      Preypacer is offline
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    Well, I guess you could call this thread "The end of something big".

    I just can't get anything to click and I've run out of steam. Nothing I'm doing looks good to me, and though I've tried numerous times, starting over from scratch with mountain and hill layout, etc... it just ends up looking contrived and not at all "good". So time and again, I'm left with this great looking start to a map... that is ultimately going nowhere.

    So... I guess I just don't have the knack for creating map, unfortunately.

    It also puts me even more in awe of the work some of you do around here. I honestly don't know how you do it. How you take "nothing" and create these amazing, detailed and - where I have trouble - convincingly structured world maps out of it.

    Ah well.

    At least I tried. Maybe I'll give it another shot down the road or something.
    Last edited by Preypacer; 02-26-2011 at 10:53 AM.

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      Ascension is offline
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    I have the same feeling about my own work...it always looks so, I dunno, machined. Not organic, not realistic. But I always learn a little something new with every map so I guess someday, maybe, I won't feel the same way.
    If the radiance of a thousand suns was to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the Mighty One...I am become Death, the Shatterer of worlds.
    -J. Robert Oppenheimer (father of the atom bomb) alluding to The Bhagavad Gita (Chapter 11, Verse 32)


    My Maps ~ My Brushes ~ My Tutorials ~ My Challenge Maps

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      Diamond is offline
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    I think you guys are way too hard on yourselves. Plus, the only way to improve is to keep on keepin' on.

    Prey, you ought to just post some of your attempts so we can offer you suggestions. Sometimes someone will say some random thing on a map WIP I post that sparks an idea, and that's the impetus I need to keep going, to make it better, etc etc.
    "I like a look of agony, because I know it's true."

    -Emily Dickinson

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