Hi, I've been lurking every now and then on this forum, and finally decided to come on and share something I made; this is my first (semi) serious attempt at map-making and would enjoy some feedback from people with more (or less) experience than myself. It isn't finished yet, and I'm pretty open to changing things (within my ability to do so).
The following maps show the Empire of Dai-Teikokushin; a nation loosely based on feudal Japan (though the various names are designed to sound Japanese, they're mostly pure fantasy with some actual words but no doubt poor grammar thrown in).
The main island chain:
The political divisions (and also the names of the major islands):
The cultural borders:
Wow, that's pretty impressive for a first map! I like that you distinguish between political and cultural borders.
At first glance (on my smartphone right before sleeping and being very tired;)) your maps look solid. Good choice of colours, nice mountains... I'd like to see a merged version of geography and political/cultural maps, since geography is a big influence on those.
Also, of course, officially welcome on the forums! Plus have some rep for jumping in with a map!
Weird land forms, but they do work with the map, specially on the political and cultural ones.
I like your take on sea coloring - it's pretty vibrant/eletric and works well with the solid color of the political entities. Not so well on a "sort of satellite view" like your geographical map.
Awesome start! welcome ;)
Hey, not bad for a first shot. And welcome.
Thanks for the comments guys. I made a slight update with some additional details on the forests and mountains:
I'll have to work on that.
Originally Posted by Llannagh
Not sure if I can agree on them not working on the geographical map; I originally had a much lighter outer sea and that worked fairly well, but I feel like the contrast works better on this version. I'm open to suggestions however.
Originally Posted by Pixie
Added a political and cultural map with geographical features, a bit half-assed:
That's really beautiful work, and very impressive cultural 'feel'. The only nitpick I have is that in a couple of places your rivers are doing impossible things, like flowing from ocean to ocean or splitting apart instead of joining.
I agree with Diamond about the rivers. The other nitpicks I have are that some of your political borders are very straight-edged, which is normal in a modern setting, but less likely in a feudal Japanese one. Also, some of your cultural depictions, while not necessarily implausible, might raise eyebrows. For example, the enclave of Makanatari on the island of Zaisuke seems odd, unless you have an in-world explanation. There are a few other minor nitpicks I could mention, but I won't right now.
[EDIT: sorry, I had to nitpick. Couldn't help myself. First, it is unfortunate the way some of your rivers look when they reach a sea or lake (the river above Chotei shows it most prominently); second, in the cultural map, the lake on Chuukonoke looks like some of the mountains are on it; third (and this is a really minor nitpick, but you wanted feedback, right?) the cultural map also shows some minor yellow bits on Chuukonoke, which I assume aren't deliberate. Those issues are really minor, and you can probably ignore them if you want, and the map will still look fine.]
That said, I really like the style here, especially the sea, and the names feel authentic. Your decisions regarding political and cultural regions seem pretty good overall. I'd love to know more about the archipelago. Some people here have made maps using Japanese/samurai insignia, which would look good here, or just some text describing the peoples/places/cultures.
Welcome to the guild, and have some rep for your first (serious) map.
I love the colors and textures here! This is really cool looking. (though watch out for the river police) I'm curious which names have actual Japanese roots. I picked out a few real words in name parts and there are a few that sound more like elongated person names rather than place names.
Good job for a (semi) serious map (I really like your work about cultures). It's a success and no more an attempt. The only thing that really bothers me is about rivers. I'll add to what Diamond said that your rivers seems to cut in the mountains rather than flowing over it.