Outremer - WIP
This is a work in progress of mine that will be the setting for my campaigns for some time, as there is a great deal of background and detail information that I have already created for it. I will be starting a campaign in this world in about 2 or 3 weeks actually.
I intend to make several variations of this map. Most likely it will end up with geographic, political, and some mixture of the two versions. That said, it is most certainly a WORK IN PROGRESS, and any constructive criticism would be welcomed. :-) For those who are curious, it is 4000x2200 pixels. It is intended to cover a continental landmass roughly equivalent to the distance from Portugal to the Ural Mountains from west to east, and from the lower tip of Scandinavia to North Africa from north to south.
Actually, I would like a few pointers on fixing up my oceans/lakes. I need to make them look more "alive".
I would also like to hear suggestions on fixing the snow-covered islands in the north. They need some detail attention because right now they just look like I got lazy and didn't want to texture them. Hahaha
Just about the only thing I won't consider if suggested is removing or adding countries. Those are pretty much set in stone. Tinkering with them now would mess up too much background information that I've already gotten attached to.
Here is what I have so far! :-) Both are works in progress.
The geographic map of Outremer.
The geopolitical map of Outremer.
Nice map! I like the shape of the continent and i also like the look of the mountains.
As i am no expert in digital map-making, i will leave the answers to your question to all the pros here. But if you're willing, I'd like to read some of the "great deal of background" you're talking about :D I am a hobby-world-builder myself and always like to see what other minds come up with.
Oh and have some rep. !
A couple critiques about water.
Art-wise, vary your water texture more. Frequently, water near the shore has a different color/texture than it does farther out to sea. This can be as simple as wave indicators near land, or you can use the coloring to indicate the depth of the water, showing continental shelves as a different color. As it is, I can't really tell if your lakes have the same texture as your oceans, since they are small and the water texture varies very slowly and randomly.
Geography-wise, it doesn't look like any of your lakes have an outlet to the ocean. The only rivers attached to them seem to be inlets. This is very rare, and indicates a salt lake when it happens in the real world. That might make sense for your central desert region, but the other lakes should probably have outlet rivers that lead to the ocean.
I'm not quite sure of the scale of your map. I'm assuming that the pictured area is roughly the size of North America. If so, those are very large lakes. The great lakes in the US formed due to specific geological processes after the last ice age. You might want to look at the geologic history of your landmass to justify these, if the scale is correct. Also, the lake in the upper right is very close to the ocean for it's size. Unless the land region separating them has some very unusual properties, I would expect the water to have broken through to the ocean and created a bay instead.
The land areas of your map look great. It shouldn't take that much effort to make the water areas match, and you'll end up with a fantastic map.
This is a fine start, one thing I did notice (and it may be due to where the light source emanates) is that the rivers appear to 'bulge' above the ground rather than be 'carved' into it.
@ Steel General - I took another look at it. At 50% zoom I agree, I hadn't noticed it before, but it seems there's an odd height phenomena going on with the rivers. At 50% they appear to bulge above the ground, but at 100% they look dug in. I felt that the rivers were too easily overlooked when I did them originally, so added a bevel to them to make them stand out more. Any ideas on an alternate way of making them stand out more that would get rid of the "bulging" effect at further out zoom levels?
Pythor - About the lakes. I fixed the one on the western tip of the continent as that was intended to have an outlet and I overlooked it. In the heavily lake-d area in the west, I had a hard time coming up with outlets and lake-to-lake tributaries that looked believable to me. I've given it a shot and am fairly pleased with the result. Comment please. :-) OH! And the proximity of that northernmost lake to the shore isn't a concern. That section of the northern coastline was intended to emulate the geographic features of Sweden. Large swaths of forested land surrounding uniquely large lakes close to the shore, all of it at the eastern base of a large mountain system. That it's so close to the shore is intentional. :-)
Also, I mentioned the scale in the original post. The size of the landmass is equivilant to Europe from portugal to the ural mountains, and from lower scandinavia to north africa. I've attached a map of Europe for an equivalent size reference.
@ Eliathen - Happily. And thanks for the rep! Check your pm box. I tried to send you a pm but I don't see it in my sent folder so I'm not sure if it went through.
Here is the fixed version of Outremer.
Fixed the lake in the northeast that lacked an outlet too.
The lake in the west that is enclosed by the mountain ring is deliberately not supposed to have an outlet, as it is more of a pool of water running down into the basin, than a flow, it has no major tributary.
The lake in the desert is also not intended to have an outlet.
All the lakes should be fixed now.
No problem, man! It's well deserved.
Originally Posted by gspRooster
I received it, thanks. Will reply to it in a moment ;)
Clear your already opened messages. ;-) I tried sending you a pm but it was too long and it made me break it down into parts. Sent you a part about magic, and one with the first three primary races of Outremer but your pm box is full. Empty it and I can send you some info on the other three primary races.
While I haven't done any actual mapping in quite awhile, the way I was doing rivers was to put them on a seperate layer under the land mass. Then select that layer and delete the selection from the appropriate layers above it.
Probably not the best way, but it does help to avoid the whole problem with bevels, etc.
To avoid the bevel look, don't use 'em. Sure, we know there is a groove cut into the land by the river but in reality that groove is so shallow so as to be nil (except in mountains or canyons). Instead, paint some darker greens around the river to represent the fertile river valley. Don't use outer glows, they look fake and go into the ocean which requires a bunch more steps to get rid of.
The mountains around the desert look like a fence keeping the sand in...thus kinda fake. Chop some out so it looks more natural and flowing. Otherwise, looks pretty good.