Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: Map for a Worldbuilding Project - Majy'sa

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    37

    Wip Map for a Worldbuilding Project - Majy'sa

    So I've had a worldbuilding project that I've been working on and off for about 6 years. I came across mapmaking maybe 2-3 years ago, and I've been damn near unsatisfied with every map I've ever tried to do for my world. Either I'm not happy with the scale of the map or everything's in the wrong place or I don't like the landmasses, etc. Finicky aside, I've tried to give it another go (I've already tried to do 5 maps for this world). I've been following Tear's tutorial on map making, however with the tutorial, I don't quite get the shape of the mountains that I want or the distinction of the forests quite like I want.

    This is also my first map post on this forum. I think that if I try to post my progress here I'll maybe get some feedback and eventually get to a map that I can be happy with.

    Things I know that I need/want in my map;
    • Archipelago for island cultures
    • Massive forest (and I mean massive)
    • Fairly large desert made up of mostly sand, and tapers off into aridness.
    • Jungle region
    • Plenty of mountains
    • Arctic forest/mountains region.
    • Floatnig mountains shrouded in a dense mist/fog.


    I'm debating whether or not to do this the hand drawn way or to do it like in Tear's tutorial. I may end up doing both, however I don't know which to start with. Then I'll work into the political map, and then regional and then probably some local city maps.

    Significantly scaled down size of the map. I believe the full res. is 3times larger.

    Map for a Worldbuilding Project - Majy'sa-landmasses2.png

  2. #2
      Sinphanius is offline
    Guild Novice Sinphanius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Hello Paramenides, nice name by the way, very 'Greek Philosopher'. I feel your pain, I've gone through Dozens of worlds trying to get one I like, and it is really hard to get Climates to Line up the way you want them.

    I do like the shape of the Continents, but I don't like the arrangement and their general size, namely how all four are pretty much the same size. For me, the biggest problem I have with a lot of maps is that everything seems to just 'blob', all of the landmasses wind up the same size, and thus the same happens for the oceans, and they pretty evenly cover the available space. Although this isn't impossible, and really when you take Antarctica Into account you could easily make a case for Earth being similarly 'balanced', having all of the continents be the same size just seems off to me. After all, although on Earth the Americas and Africa are roughly similar in size, Europe and Australia are much smaller, and Asia is Ginormous. I would suggest shrinking the North-Eastern Continent and vastly expanding the North-Western Continent, and consider adding a new smaller Continent somewhere, I would suggest somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere.

    I think you can get some better results by specifically mapping out the Tectonic Plates. Or rather, I would suggest starting with a bunch of random shapes and lines, and then calling those lines a map of the Plate Tectonics. This will help in placing mountains, and its just fun once you get started. You can literally just draw some random quasi-circular polygonal shapes and then start putting arrows on them (try to avoid making them all the same or roughly the same size). Because the science of what factors contribute most to a Plate's movement is still only tentatively understood at best, you don't really need to worry about someone saying something like 'X Plate would never move that direction.'

    Also, the best way to get long Arching Archipelagos and Island Chains is to find a Subduction Boundary between two Oceanic Crustal Plates. This is how the three major Archipelagos on Earth; Japan, the Philippines, and the Caribbean, all formed.

    There is another reason I would suggest shifting your landmasses towards one of the poles, namely, that will get you more Forests. Forests really tend to develop only fairly close to the Poles (obviously not too close). As you get further from the Poles climates shift into Tropical Shrublands and Grasslands. of course eventually it shifts back to Rainforest/Jungle, but those generally aren't what most people think of when they think of Forests, or at least those aren't the type of forests that come to my mind (I Group them more with Jungles). Of course you also need pretty close access to a Large Body of water, so the 'best' way to get a massive Forest would be to have a largely Horizontal Supercontinental area up near roughly 60 degrees latitude with a large Arctic Ocean to the North, you know, like Russia.

    Likewise, if you make this northern continent large enough you will get some very inland areas (likely further south near the tropics) which will naturally develop into deserts or semi-arid steppe areas. Lastly, your current setup should actually have some pretty decent sized Jungle Areas as you have some nicely sized landmasses near the Equator, which is where you tend to get Jungles.

    And I think I've talked(written?) enough. I don't have much to say about the 'Artistry' of maps, I'm more interested in the Geography portion, and tend to just make simple Topology Maps. Although I do make very elaborate Political Maps.

    But I think this map has potential, it just needs some shifting. Good Luck!

  3. #3
      Lalaithion is offline
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    120

    Default

    I really need to save this as like a word file, I keep having to go back through old posts to avoid typing it all again.

    First: what I am about to say is a generalization and there are exceptions. but generally...

    Generally, mountains affect climate. Clouds and rain are carried by winds that tend to blow in the same patterns. When clouds hit mountains, they dump their rain, causing lush forests. But on the other half of the ridge, there is no rain and a desert is created. a wonderful example of this is Northern California vs Nevada. As you go over those mountains you go from forests, strawberry farms, and wineries to slat flats and cacti.

    Certain general worldwide patters (caused by the earths rotation) are shown on this map:
    Attachment 42596
    Exceptions are common, for example this is how winds generally are:
    Attachment 42597

    These rainfall areas will affect multitudes of other things as well. Winds coming off deserts will be warm; one of the reasons for the warmth of europe is the wind from the sahara. If you compare southern France with Maine and you will see a vast difference in climates despite similar latitudes.

    Here, for reference, is a map of Europe's Topography:
    Attachment 42965
    And here, a map of the Rainfall, with a strong correlation between changes in altitude and a massive dumping of rain.
    Attachment 42967

    Once again, there are exceptions, but just think about this before placing major mountain ranges.

    Secondly, while what Sinphanius said about forests is true about Taigas and Boreal Forests, Temperate (or Broadleaf) forests can still exist in plenty on the continents that you have. Its just that in the modern age we have cut most of these forests down.

    Finally; USE AN EQUIRECTANGULAR PROJECTION. if you use one and decide later you want to re-project it there is a simple and easy to use piece of software that will do it for you. if you use something else, you will have to do it by hand. details on the equirectangular projection can be found at this link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equirectangular_projection
    But basically, the x-axis is Longitude and the y-axis is Latitude.
    This cavern is below all, and is the foe of all. It is hatred, without exception. This cavern knows no philosophers; its dagger has never cut a pen. Its blackness has no connection with the sublime blackness of the inkstand. Never have the fingers of night which contract beneath this stifling ceiling, turned the leaves of a book nor unfolded a newspaper.

  4. #4
      Soixante is offline
    Guild Journeyer Soixante's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    103

    Default

    Hi Paramenides.

    I couldn't resist tinkering with your map. I think the general continent outlines are very good, so good that I was inspired to suggest a possible biome distribution. If you're not super into deciding every aspect of ocean currents, prevailing winds, rainfall etc etc, I think something like this is realistic enough. I know a fair bit about how tectonics, climate, etc, works. Unlike some people though, I tend to wing it, with the main goal being a world that seems plausible. And I feel that this one is. I did try to include all the features you wanted, except an additional archipelago. Several good places to put a couple of those, though. Please note that this is just a suggestion and a nudge forward, as I think you're off to a good start with these continents. Change it or throw it away as you like.

    Map for a Worldbuilding Project - Majy'sa-landmasses2.jpg

  5. #5
      Scipio is offline
    Guild Apprentice Scipio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Soixante View Post
    Hi Paramenides.

    I couldn't resist tinkering with your map. I think the general continent outlines are very good, so good that I was inspired to suggest a possible biome distribution. If you're not super into deciding every aspect of ocean currents, prevailing winds, rainfall etc etc, I think something like this is realistic enough. I know a fair bit about how tectonics, climate, etc, works. Unlike some people though, I tend to wing it, with the main goal being a world that seems plausible. And I feel that this one is. I did try to include all the features you wanted, except an additional archipelago. Several good places to put a couple of those, though. Please note that this is just a suggestion and a nudge forward, as I think you're off to a good start with these continents. Change it or throw it away as you like.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	landmasses2.jpg 
Views:	656 
Size:	163.4 KB 
ID:	43180
    Wow, impressive! Although I would believe I try to reflect a realistic global climate as such, I don't foresee ending up with something as convincing as that in my projects...

  6. #6
      Lalaithion is offline
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    120

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Scipio View Post
    Wow, impressive! Although I would believe I try to reflect a realistic global climate as such, I don't foresee ending up with something as convincing as that in my projects...
    The key is geography; understand how continents are formed, how seasons work, patterns of rain and wind, of currents and rivers. And the more you try, the better you get. I want to see what you come up with.
    This cavern is below all, and is the foe of all. It is hatred, without exception. This cavern knows no philosophers; its dagger has never cut a pen. Its blackness has no connection with the sublime blackness of the inkstand. Never have the fingers of night which contract beneath this stifling ceiling, turned the leaves of a book nor unfolded a newspaper.

  7. #7
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Thank you guys. This will help me get a better idea of what to do with this map. I'm not quite well versed in geography tbh, heh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Soixante View Post
    Hi Paramenides.

    I couldn't resist tinkering with your map. I think the general continent outlines are very good, so good that I was inspired to suggest a possible biome distribution. If you're not super into deciding every aspect of ocean currents, prevailing winds, rainfall etc etc, I think something like this is realistic enough. I know a fair bit about how tectonics, climate, etc, works. Unlike some people though, I tend to wing it, with the main goal being a world that seems plausible. And I feel that this one is. I did try to include all the features you wanted, except an additional archipelago. Several good places to put a couple of those, though. Please note that this is just a suggestion and a nudge forward, as I think you're off to a good start with these continents. Change it or throw it away as you like.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	landmasses2.jpg 
Views:	656 
Size:	163.4 KB 
ID:	43180
    I honestly did not think about blocking in the biomes like that. This helps a lot with visualizing where I would like things to be. I will definitely probably tinker with them, but it helps me quite a bit, thank you very much.

  8. #8
    Guild Apprentice
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    37

    Default

    All of this information helps out quite a lot actually. I may or may not fiddle with the landmasses, as I did like the shapes they were in. I actually had not thought about blocking in the biomes like that, it really helps to visualize the climates that I would like on my world. I honestly am not very well versed in geography, and I really should look into that some more if I want to make a realistic world.

    Thank you guys. I'll post with further progress on my map.

  9. #9
      Scipio is offline
    Guild Apprentice Scipio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lalaithion View Post
    The key is geography; understand how continents are formed, how seasons work, patterns of rain and wind, of currents and rivers. And the more you try, the better you get. I want to see what you come up with.
    Right... I've taken a couple of courses in geography, so I understand the basic idea of plate tectonics (but have no idea how to create realistic plates or continents), know how atmospheric wind circulation works, et cetera, but sometimes it seems like you have to just kinda go with instinct in certain decisions. Such as which side (E/W) of a continent is dry and which is wet. I guess that would have something to do with currents though. I don't mean to jack the thread, so back on topic.

    @OP Yeah, it seems like there are two camps in terms of realism. There are the simulationists, who want as realistic a world as possible and therefore build top-down, and the others usually more into the narrative of high fantasy, who are more willing to use magic liberally and build bottom up. Although I for one like to work toward the former, I don't think either is necessarily better, so don't feel like you have to do one method.

  10. #10
      Lalaithion is offline
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    120

    Default

    As far as plate tectonics are concerned, I have found that pretty much any mountains, cliffs, and topography can be explained some way or another; however, climates are very hard to explain without magic. That is why I find that I place coastlines, mountains, and a couple places I know I want (such as a city in a forest here, a desert there). Then I can place winds and rivers to help make it seem both realistic and look like how I want it. My tip for you would be to place mountains, and then look at my giant post about climate and winds for reference on how to place climates.

    If you get stuck placing mountains, I often print out a copy and pencil them in so I can get a feel for what I want before I go back to the computer.
    This cavern is below all, and is the foe of all. It is hatred, without exception. This cavern knows no philosophers; its dagger has never cut a pen. Its blackness has no connection with the sublime blackness of the inkstand. Never have the fingers of night which contract beneath this stifling ceiling, turned the leaves of a book nor unfolded a newspaper.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •