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Thread: WIP -First regional map

  1. #1
      arxhon is offline
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    Wip WIP -First regional map

    It's been a while since i've been around these parts, and I've got the RPG bug right now, so I'm working on a new regional map for D&D Next, using Photoshop.

    The idea is that the area is a mixture of free cities and small kingdoms all struggling to recover from a Black Plague type event in the last 40-50 years. Culturally, I'm kind of loosely basing it off Germany and the various areas to the south east towards Czechoslovakia and Hungary (i.e. multiple human cultures) if you squint a bit, and i'll be borrowing names from those areas to help ground it with a semi-realistic feel.

    It's a large map, (11"x17" at 300 ppi, 5+ MB in .jpg for the map itself) so i've externally linked it from imgur (imgur: the simple image sharer). The .psd also set up in a "non-destructive" manner, so things can be added or deleted as necessary. The scale of the map is currently 20 miles to 100 pixels, or 60 miles to the physical inch. I'm unsure of i should make the scale a little smaller, say 50 miles to the inch (since that would be pretty convenient), but I'll figure that out over the next couple of days. It covers about 6 times the area of Germany at the moment, and I figure that will be more than enough space.

    The intention is to eventually have it printed on something durable, hence the large file size.

    The current stage is coast lines (all hand drawn) in, and main rivers sketched in as well. The red squares are place holders for the major human cities untill i add the proper elements, and i've noted population areas for various non-human races. I've also sketched out major general terrain areas like large mountains and threw down some hilly regions for the time being. The open areas to the right and bottom are going to be filled in with various information related to the map (icons, etc).

    What I'm looking for help or advice with:

    How's my coast/islands looking in general?

    How are my main rivers? I see a couple spots in the bottom of the map where they could be cleaned up, but it would be great if the River Police could hit me up with the River Police Truncheon (TM) before i went too crazy.

    The impression i want to give is a hand painted artistic map, with a bit of an iso feel. I intend to do a lot of hand drawn elements for cities, hills, mountains and the like. I'm finding that the coastal outlines don't really give me that iso feeling yet, and I need to redraw the rivers anyway, so if you have any tips on how to proceed from this point to help achieve an iso feeling before i get too deeply stuck in, that would be great. Or is this something that will eventually float itself into the map as i fill it out with more elements?
    Last edited by arxhon; 05-28-2013 at 11:52 PM.

  2. #2
      Gallien is offline
    Guild Apprentice Gallien's Avatar
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    In general I like the coast and the rivers. The islands look natural (to me). I think thats a good start for a map
    I can't associate the land with the distance of 1000 miles. It looks like something smaller.
    That may be the effect of the giant (more than 1 inch = 50 miles high) symbols of the mountains in the north of your map. If you are going to make the mountains that high, you should change the scale. Or you can make them a bit smaller.
    On the other hand I'm not sure what style of the map you are going to achieve. So may be my comment (about the scale) is just a result of a misunderstanding.

  3. #3
      arxhon is offline
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    Thanks for the comments! Very much appreciated.

    I messed up talking about the physical size of the map; it's actually 11"x 17" plus the border on the side and bottom madke it 1"x 18" (I blame lack of coffee, and edited my original post... i didn't even notice until now). In actual mileage at 60 miles per inch, the map would cover 660 miles left/ right and 1,020 top to bottom. At 50 per inch, it's 550 by 850 miles.

    Yep, the mountains are just a scribbled in place holder for the time being to mark the general location of the range itself, they're not intended to be a "these are the actual mountains" type of thing. They're going to be a lot smaller once i draw some i'm happy with.
    Last edited by arxhon; 05-28-2013 at 11:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
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    Do you have any images of teh sketches to share?

    {The Mapforge}


    Cartography Portfolio


  5. #5
      arxhon is offline
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    Working on some mountains right now. Been a while since i picked up a pencil . I'll update with a new map in a few days, and if you like the mountains, i'll toss up a .abr

  6. #6
      arxhon is offline
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    Just updating. WIP -First regional map-city-states-2.jpg

    Added mountains, towns, cities, labels, hill tribe locations, dwarf citadels, elf cities.

    To add: Hills, swamps, notable landmarks, a unique mountain, roads, forests

    The full image is 3600x5400 at 300 dpi, and scale (which i see i forgot) is 50 miles to the inch.

    Looking for comments, feedback, whatever.

  7. #7
      arsheesh is online now
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    Hi arxhon, not a bad start but for this style of map I'd say the background geography colors are way too bright. I'd try lowering the opacity of this layer(s) by at least 75% or so.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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