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Thread: WIP - The Floating World

  1. #1
      Sinan is offline
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    Wip WIP - The Floating World

    Hi All,

    I have been working on my first map and would be grateful for some feedback. It is for a high fantasy world - a floating continent about the size of Europe surrounded by empty void, with the sun rising through the middle of the world and magically replenished oceans cascading off the edge. Various historical empires have been magically imported to this world alongside the usual elves, dwarves and orcs, with the Romans the dominant force (explaining the cod latin names). So far I've been testing various techniques with GIMP and have produced a sample for a small corner of the world:

    WIP - The Floating World-elysium.jpeg

    The idea is to do the entire map to this sort of level of detail. It is meant to be a big (poster sized) map cluttered with lots of details in the style of medieval maps, although I can see I'll need to make the text a lot bigger for continents and oceans to make them stand out. I'd be grateful of any comments, suggestions and advice before I start work on the rest of the map.

    Thanks

    WIP - The Floating World-world-overview.jpeg
    Diamond, Jalyha, Ilanthar and 3 others like this.

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      Zach is offline
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    This... is an amazing idea. At that scale and with those images, you're on a roll.
    I have a few questions/suggestions.

    Where on the continent does the sun rise through the middle of the world? I don't see anywhere that seems to look like that. For that matter, where does it set?
    How do seasons work? Why is that little bit up top white? This isn't a spherical world, so it has no axis to make seasons...is there a canonical explanation for this?
    Lastly, how did you do the coastlines? Just wondering.

    Z

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      Diamond is offline
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    Indeed, a very cool idea. In addition to Zach's questions, I have one of my own: what other real-world cultures are you going to import? It'd be kind of cool to see Japanese shogunates alongside Roman city-states...
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      Ilanthar is offline
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    I like the idea and the map looks promising (though I'm not fan of the cloth texture you used). The shape of the continent is quite good!

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      Caenwyr is offline
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    Great, no... Amazing idea, Sinan! I'm seriously looking forward to the continuation of this project.

    One remark though: those waterfalls seem pretty massive. In a world that answers to at least a few laws of nature, you'll have to make up an explanation for the replenishment of all that water (influx must equal efflux, if not you'd be faced with dropping/rising water levels, and you don't want that, do you).

    As a matter of fact, the width of the waterfalls kinda defines the amount of magic you'll need to explain this away. I can imagine that for a relatively small amount of overflow, the replenishment could be done in the pleasantly unnoticable form of rain and river outflux (the rivers being fed by both rain and magical springs, for example). Massive amounts of water cascading off your floating world would mean a massive influx of water as well, and this would be pretty hard to explain with "normal" phenomena. You'd need huge rainstorms (somewhere on the ocean, preferably), huge upwellings of water in the ocean (resulting in massive maelstroms), etc etc etc.

    Another remark about the sun + snow mystery. Like Zach, I too wonder where the sun sets (it rises in the center of the world, you say, but where exactly?). You could use this to create colder regions as well. Say the sun rises and sets at the same central (as yet unknown) location. Places closer to this location would be hotter, places closer to the edge would be colder. Extremities like this northern spike (if North is actually something that has any meaning in a non-rotating world) would indeed be colder in that case.



    All in all, a lot of explaining for you to do... But that's the fun part, isn't it?
    Come pay me a visit on my blog!

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      Nathan is offline
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    I agree. This idea is brilliant !

    I think the empty void is not "scary" enough in this kaki colour with its texture.
    But I'm looking forward to see the whole world/continent/floating land !

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      foremost is offline
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    Wow, this deserves some rep! Excellent first post
    and, as others are saying, a wonderful idea. I wish
    I had thought of that (then again, I don't have the
    skill to accomplish it).

    Slightly confused about where there's to be water and
    not. The places where the ocean cascades off the edge,
    would these be places where a Roman could go too?
    (That's another good map idea).

    Simply put, this is the most creative map I have seen
    in a long - no, actually, it's the most creative ever.
    The best maps are the ones we like the most after looking at the longest.

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      Bogie is offline
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    Excellent work for 1st map or 100th map! I like the cloth texture. Looking forward to seeing more.

  9. #9
      Sinan is offline
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    Thanks for all the comments. I'm glad you like it and I'll keep working on it.

    The idea with the climate is that the sun (which is relatively tiny) rises in the gap in the east, climbs over the equator and sets in the gap in the west. The sun rises higher in the summer with longer days, and is lower with shorter days in the winter, giving the world recognisable seasons (and allowing crops to grow normally). The part of the world along the equator is hotter, and I think the climate here should be more even throughout the year - the sun rises higher above the equator during the summer so is a bit less intense, but the days are longer. The land furthest from the equator is coldest, and has more extreme seasons. Most of the civilizations (including the Romans) will be in the northern half of the world, with the equatorial desert creating a barrier that makes the smaller southern regions more mysterious. I'll need to make this a lot clearer on the main map, although I'm not quite sure how to represent this yet.

    I'm not quite sure how the weather would work in this setup. I presume the "sun" will heat the surrounding atmosphere and create an updraft which will draw in air from across the world, so the winds will be blowing towards the sun during the day, picking up water as it flows over the ocean and dumping it on the land.

    The water is magically generated in a maelstrom in the very centre of the world and then flows out from there to fill the oceans. There must be some very strong currents through the straits leading to the seas and eventually over the waterfalls, and I might add in some extra sources of water - I like the idea of a few magic springs on land somewhere as well. I'm not sure if the seas are salt or fresh water - if they are salt water the salts must be generated along with the water, but that's a minor details.

    As well as the Romans, most of the cultures are going to be from Europe and the Near East - Persians, Greeks, Arabs, with the most advanced states from the crusader kingdoms. I think gunpowder will have been introduced, but only on a very limited scale. There will be more outlying civilizations from more distant times and places in more remote spots so they can retain their unique culture while still having some contact with the other civilizations. I was thinking of putting a Japanese shogunate on one of the far eastern islands (a land of the rising sun)

    WIP - The Floating World-world-overview-2.jpeg

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      Zach is offline
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    Ah, I see. That makes a lot more sense now. Except it also raises some more solar questions.
    If the sun is lower in the winter, wouldn't it also be closer to the land, giving it more light and radiant heat, making winter actually hotter than summer?
    What mechanism makes the sun go higher/lower in accordance with the seasons? ("Magic" is acceptable, I guess.)
    What happens to the sun at night? So if I were standing on the eastern edge of that little gray island in the far West, and the sun sank below the level of the land, what do I see? Is it still bright for most of the night because the sun circles back around under the continent where I can see it? Or does it abruptly go out and utterly vanish until the dawn?
    Lastly, most of the land is within a few miles of an ongoing nuclear fusion reaction, so are there any problems with radiation?

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