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Thread: WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns

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    Guild Apprentice eternalsage's Avatar
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    Wip WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns

    Okay. Been doing some maps for settings for years (like 10 or more) but never really sought to perfect the craft. Some scribbles on a page or a quickly drawn up GIMP image was all I ever went for. Recently, I decided that this just won't do. Why have crappy maps when I can put in some hours and actually get something that is worth showing off to people/publishing? So here we go.

    This image is just a quick Inkscape doodle with some fractalized paths to get the gist of my layout. This world is meant to be extremely earth-like in its climate, and does obey the laws of science (physics, geology, biology, etc), so I tried to make shapes that could vaguely fit together Pangaea-like. I also tried to maintain the rather important frozen over polar cap, because as I understand it, Antarctica is very pivotal in the maintenance of our climate. I think the land mass is just a little less than that of earth (maybe 80% water or so) so I may need to add another continent or change up one for size.

    Anyway, here it is, please give feedback (and I prefer honest, even harsh critique, as its much easier to learn from that than from trying to discern the issue from a left handed compliment).

    Again, right now I'm trying to nail down the geology of the map (plate tectonics and all that) so that is the primary concern. The other big concern would be am I close to 70% water? Lastly, would the climate be similar (ocean currents and all that jazz).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-map.png  

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      Jalyha is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by eternalsage View Post
    I think the land mass is just a little less than that of earth (maybe 80% water or so) so I may need to add another continent or change up one for size.
    Well... actually if the land mass was LESS than earth, the water would be MORE than earth. 71% of the earth's surface is salt water oceans, then you have lakes, seas frozen water in the polar ice caps, rivers, etc... that leaves you right about 80% water. So if your planet was MORE water than earth, it would have to be over 80%. If you want 80% OCEANS, then this is right.

    here it is, please give feedback (and I prefer honest, even harsh critique, as its much easier to learn from that than from trying to discern the issue from a left handed compliment).

    Again, right now I'm trying to nail down the geology of the map (plate tectonics and all that) so that is the primary concern. The other big concern would be am I close to 70% water?

    So I just very quickly squished your continents together and slapped on some color to make it easier to see. I got this:

    WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-world.png

    To me, if that is the entire map it appears to be about 60% water (maybe closer to 2/3 of the planet) ... nowhere near 80%.


    would the climate be similar (ocean currents and all that jazz).
    That depends on several things. Climate is affected by the gasses in the air, distance between the planet and the sun, activity WITHIN the planet, etc. Currents will be affected by the same things... and by tectonic activity and by the distance/size of the moons.

    Tons of things can affect climate so I couldn't tell from this :s

    As for tectonics... I don't know much in that area, sorry


    Best luck!
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    Guild Apprentice eternalsage's Avatar
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    Ok. First of all, that pangea mash up of continents is awesome. I didn't realize I had got them so close to fitting together (I know there was some wrangling and editing, but it looks pretty much original).

    Second, the thing about climate was simply about how continents affect currents, which therefore affect climate. I read about it in some magazine but I was uncertain of details. Hell I could be completely wrong on that count.

    Thanks for the feedback! I'll shrink the landmasses a bit and see what comes of it.

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      Veldehar is offline
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    Simple enough to take a look at currents here on Earth and get an idea of how things work, then go ahead and plot those out on your map. Northern flows go clockwise, southern counter. Water from the equator heading south is warm and therefore warms the atmosphere and that brings moisture to eastern coasts, while western coasts are cool water. Then you figure out your air currents, the ITCZ and its meanderings... get the gist down and you can figure out a realistic enough climate fairly easily.

    You could be a climatologist and the best you can really do is make it plausible so far as we understand now... its a complex system that we really don't have a complete grasp on in the world we live in, let alone one we construct, so make the generalities plausible and go from there, LOL.
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    Guild Apprentice eternalsage's Avatar
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    Default Re: WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns

    Ohh. Cool idea. I'll smash both these ideas together when I get home from work and repost. Thanks again!

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      Pixie is offline
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    Hi

    Your map looks fine and realistic at first sight. There is one issue concerning tectonics that I need to note though, and I would try to fix it if I were you:
    Towards the west of the map you have a huge arc-chain of islands, big ones. An arc like that happens as a result of oceanic crust being subducted under another plate and by the size of the islands, that has been going on for a while... However, at the same time, there is a clear West-East oceanic ridge spreading the northern continent from the southern ones. They are sufficiently away to say this has been happening for some time as well.
    My point is that you have created an impossible area. You cannot have subduction and crust-formation in the same point, there is no way a ridge suddenly ends in a subduction zone (I just double checked this on an Earth's map and can't see it anywhere)

    On a more positive note, I quickly drafted a map of oceanic currents for you. This is draft though because there is one very important information needed to make it more accurate - the limits of the continental shelves.
    WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-map_currents.png

    Here's my rules of thumb for creating currents (assuming Earth-like conditions):
    - at the equator, hot currents develop in from East to West, they will flow poleward as soon as they find a significant continental mass (even if underwater, some continental shelves are submerged).
    - this poleward movement of hot water remains "glued" to eastern coasts until they are more or less around 45º-60º - they will be turning Eastward by then.
    - Once they become eastbound they start cooling down into cold currents, they will move towards the equator once they meet another continent.
    - Even for smaller gulfs, the basic rule is that hot currents will also go polebound in the eastern coasts.
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    Guild Apprentice eternalsage's Avatar
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    Ok, first off, thanks so far to everyone. So much help already. This is exactly what I was hoping for when I tackled this project. So two maps following, one is with currents added, to make sure that I'm on the right boat. Pixie, I didn't copy your map so much as I tried to recreate it using the techniques you said. I glanced at your example map and the two looked similar, but hey, just wanted some more feedback. I also moved the island chain. I totally understand what you are saying, but I kinda like the islands (not that they have to stay, I'm just partial, for some reason). They may still not work, but hey, here's to trying, right? Also, if you or Veldehar have any ideas where I might find out more information about air currents, as I am completely uncertain about them, whereas I had at least a basic concept of how ocean currents work.

    WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-currents.png

    The second map is my own version of the pangea concept, firstly to see exactly how it goes together (because I may need to adjust some continent sizes/shapes) and also because I have a sneaking suspicion that it will be important in the next step, which is that I want to get a broad idea of the plate tectonics at work here, so I can know if I have a "ring of fire" situation, and other such important bits. So thank you Jalyha for the idea. If anyone knows a good way to get started on that, I don't even know what to look for, except the continent in the center of the "C" like formation is like the African Rift Valley (that was the intention anyway) just much further along its course.

    WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-pangea.png

    And I can post my Inkscape SVG work files, if anyone wants them. I dunno if thats like a faux pas or anything around here, but if it would make things easier I can.

    EDIT: Oh, and I also thought it would be a good idea to think out land bridges and that kind of stuff, even though that is more into the history "moving populations around" stage in some ways. I think that might fall into the suggestion of figuring out continental shelves, but again, I am a noob at that stuff. Just enough geological knowledge to hurt myself.
    Last edited by eternalsage; 01-21-2014 at 11:18 PM.
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      Pixie is offline
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    Looks good. Looks pretty good.
    There's one more rule I forgot to write.
    - above 60º, the currents will also have the tendency to turn Westward

    Still, I think tectonics before climate is a better route to follow. With a tectonic model you can determine where you have continental shelves (which will add detail to your currents pattern) and you will have tall mountain ranges (which will add detail to your winds pattern).

    Anyway, as for wind / weather. Have you read this?
    The Climate Cookbook

    It's an awesome DIY guide, a must-read I got pointed to from this forum.

    And also, have a hard look at pics like this:
    http://quakeinfo.ucsd.edu/~gabi/sio1...prev-winds.gif
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    Guild Apprentice eternalsage's Avatar
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    First, that is an amazing resource, the whole website is full of awesomeness. I got an attempt at the plate tectonics, but I'm pretty sure I'm way off. I quit messing with it when I got discouraged. Maybe I'm closer than I think, but right now it feels like a jumbled mess. Here is what I've gotten.

    WIP - Unnamed fantasy world with realistic concerns-plates.png

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      Jalyha is offline
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    Um... I know absolutely nothing about tectonics, but... I thought each plate moves in one direction?

    It looks like your plate in the middle (the one that's all water) is moving every direction at once?

    Or I just don't get it. I'm not real bright

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