07-12-2014, 01:53 PM
Take your time, groovey, and just don't delete you work. You may be a little lost as to what is next, but that's just creativity exhaustion, possibly.
Here's a a very enjoyable read I just finished. The guy who wrote it must be a genius and neither you or I will ever be able to do this as well, but I think it'll help motivating. (If you want motivation, that is )
07-13-2014, 10:03 AM
Thanks guys, I'm sorry about the other post, I didn't mean to be such a baby. I'm a very moody person, one moment I'm in ecstatic and the next one I've a raining cloud over my head, and this affects a lot my hobbies and in turn my hobbies influence my mood.
Anyway, what stresses me the most is the fact that it's a map for a novel, and thus the novel is waiting to be written, and I can't get to it without knowing how the land on plate 1/Swëfendlëa is divided politically, culturally and in Administration, and for doing those divisions I need natural landmarks, like mountains and rivers, mostly, and for that I need to get the terrain done, that's why the idea of spending the next months trying to figure out currents, winds and climate (climate would be my most urging one to figure out) makes me wanna cry.
I promised myself I'd focus on the map for a few months, get the info needed for the novel, then start writing it. Since there's a major civil war with lots of implications, one of them regional/cultural, I need to see how the Empire is divided in the map, and again, for that I need terrain. So it's a fish that bites its tail, the more time I spend on the map the more I delay writing, because I'm a control freak and first I need to have the map info. But then there's also music and conlangs crying for my attention as hobbies, so that's even more time I don't give to either the map or the novel... Damn I hope I find a job soon.
Pixie, I knew that's guys work, amazing work (even if he uses Comic Sans font), he makes it seems to easy to figure out. Yesterday I though about what you explained to me about lakes in your own thread, but I didn't spot any of those possibilities in mine, so I've to stick to smaller regional lakes right?
If only to keep the thread on topic and not turn it into my personal blog, how are the continental shelves? You can be honest, I won't break down if I got it wrong I promise.
And any of you guys are welcome to try me as an Historian, but as I've mentioned before, each Historian specializes in their own little thing. In college, at least in Spain, I got basic general info on all ages, without too much detail for different regions, then we got more specialized in Spanish History in all ages, and then in my university we specialized a little in our own region's history. I'm also more specialized in what here we call Contemporary History (from the French Revolution to now-a-days), and inside that, I'm more specialized in Spanish local administration and local measures of public health and beneficence/charity to avoid epidemic outbreaks and lower or eradicate infectious diseases (thanks to this I'm also familiar with the British experience on this area). Might seem we didn't learn much in university, but really, in History perhaps more than some other degrees giving its vastness, you have to do most of the learning by reading and reading for the rest of your life, depending on what your interests are, and so I'm also quite familiar with British history, which is one of the big influences in my world-building, right along with G.R.R. Martin and perhaps after them, the Roman and Persian empires when it comes to Administration.
Of course, for my own world-building purposes I've read a bit about the origin of civilizations, different systems of power and administration and such, but the best I could do for you in that area is to pass you the links or resources I have about it so you can get what you need from them, if I'm not able to directly answer your questions with a certain authority. So do ask what you need, I'll try to be as helpful as can be.
Would you guys say tectonics were easier to do than currents and winds? More difficult? About the same? Even if you haven't finished them, is the process lighter or just as hard to get right?
Last edited by groovey; 07-15-2014 at 06:12 AM.
07-13-2014, 11:13 AM
No worries groovey! I imagine that what you want to achieve is not easy. And thanks a lot for wanting to help out with those history aspects of worldbuilding. I'll try to get my thoughts together and message you my questions in a few days.
Now on to your map. Guess what? I couldn't find any inconsistencies! And that doesn't really surprise me. I compared your tectonic fault lines with your shelf boundaries. I can't detect any problem. Your shelf boundaries nicely follow the subduction zone boundaries.
I really like the way you have created ocean basins, like the ones in Arlia, Swëfendlëa and Arin Ascantä. Something I didn't think of. I'm tempted to see if I can use that idea on my map (if I still can) .
The only thing I could say is that your shelves closely follow your coasts, while mine meander more freely, sometimes far from the coast. But I think that is a matter of choice rather than being correct or not.
Let's see what our fellow guild members have to say about it.
As for the level of difficulty of the different stages (my personal opinion, of course):
- Tectonics: medium difficulty (I had to learn quite a bit)
- Ocean currents: not too difficult (if you follow the rules)
- Winds: not too difficult (but I didn't go into much detail)
- Height: not too difficult (I enjoyed it, but I haven't had any feedback yet, so I hope I don't have to start all over again )
- Rain patterns: comparable to tectonics, I'm afraid (on the basis of what I have tried offline)
- Climate: haven't started it yet
Curious to know if other opinions vary...
Cheers - Akubra
07-13-2014, 07:01 PM
Yeah, continental shelves are as good as any, it's a lot a matter of personal choice. As long as they don't cross subduction boundaries, you can do whatever you like. Not following too closely the coastlines adds some flavor, but in no way makes it any more plausible.
I mostly agree with Akubra also on his take on the difficulty of each task. Tectonics, I think, it's the biggest nut cracker. Specially, because of its puzzle nature, whenever you fix something something else needs fixing.
Currents is very easy but winds have some science behind it. Heightmaps are not difficult as they don't need to be detailed when you are just looking for an overall look of the world.
I didn't find rain patters that difficult. Just like ocean currents, it's a matter of sticking to the rules.
Then it will come temperature, then climates...
07-14-2014, 12:34 AM
Groovey, when you get to feeling frustrated about not knowing enough to 'type finished copy without a draft', mapp-ishly speaking, maybe you can be consoled by the huge benefit you four(?) current tectonic mappers have been for the Guild, while working out your projects. The thinking-out-loud you have all done has taught a bunch of us what we need to either do tectonic detailing, or else take a guess at being somewhat plausible. Thank you (all) ! 2000, 2500, 3000, and 4000 thread views are a LOT of interested readers.
As for studying English structure - good luck! :-) Some languages borrow words. English follows other languages into dark alleys, knocks them over the head, and goes through their pockets for linguistic change. Which I suppose would make it an ideal model for a conlang, so one can break rules and smoosh together dissimilar bits without anyone calling "foul!" Your level of expression proves you have a great grasp of English from a practical stance, so don't let formal grammar drag you into a too-lengthy rabbit trail.
If the long road to get to writing is driving you nuts, go ahead and do some vignettes that could fit anywhere. If you don't publish them, they will still be raw material, and you can tweak this family name and that river reference later, to notch them into a smooth fit in your finished terrain. No matter what your societies, there'll always be the rebellious third son, or the crooked horse trader, or the ingenious apprentice miller who dreams of being a blacksmith-artificer and keeps breaking his uncle's waterwheel with 'innovations'. I know (for me at least) a huge amount of inspiration comes from the setting, but there's much to be said for Just Going Ahead And Writing.
Climate, wind, and currents can all be tackled plausibly from a set of rules of thumb. Basically, who's to argue, when professional meteorologists with decades of experience can't always figure out our own planet? :-) There's enough room for tweaking, that if prevailing winds wind up forcing some climate zone you don't like, you can shove this wintertime persistent high a bit >thataway< and voila - now that area gets enough rain to be steppes/ grassland instead of desert. Which in turn fits that people group of mounted nomads you had in the back of your mind....
Again thank you - you only THOUGHT you were figuring this stuff out for yourself alone :-).
Thanks for the link, Pixie - one could get lost in those tilted Earths for a LONG excursion!
07-14-2014, 05:39 AM
Gee guys, you all gave me a bit to think about. You seem to agree that currents would be the "easier" to get done next, so I might try to do that and depending how good I am at it, then think about trying to do the rest or forget about it. I will do the height-map though, because I love them in general, and the info would be very useful for me to visualized certain settings, but also for placing rivers, right?
You are right the shelves follow the coastline too closely, I might play a bit more with that at some point, though to do the currents I'd need to have the final shelves, shouldn't I?
@jbgibson, thank you, you bring out so many true points. I tend to forget the threads are open to everybody, thankfully, so everyone, those simply curious and those in need of this type of information for their own works, can have access to it or at least can check other members' projects as a reference. I do that a lot in fact. It's one of the greatest aspects of this wonderful community, how much info and knowledge it contains and shares with everyone.
07-14-2014, 01:16 PM
One sensible order is to figure generalized wind patterns first - they can be based on nothing more than axial tilt and land placement. One figures a N. hemisphere summer then a N. hemisphere winter set, then overlaying the two, what places plausibly would have prevailing winds from a similar direction most of the year. That air movement will by surface drag either create or strongly influence surface ocean currents. I'll note here that oceans have multiple layers of currents, and nobody, but nobody wants to model the lower ones too. Well, that statement could sound like "I dare you" to SOMEbody, just not to me :-). Your continental shelves could influence currents, or not -- surface currents honestly might only reach a hundred or two hundred meters down. Contrary airflow based on season could weaken a tendency of an ocean current to slosh >that< direction, or in certain interactions of land shape vs. seasonal air shifts, could even reverse a current regularly. And all the talk of seasonal generalities of airflow don't take into account that weather is a whole 'nother set of variables laid on top of the seasonal stuff. Don't let that added complexity bother you - call it freedom, not restriction.... you need such-and-such mounted party to get hit with a storm just >there< in their trek, there's plenty of ways to make that happen :-). The climate generalities might dictate whether it's a hurricane, a predictable monsoon, a tornado, or a dust storm, true...
All that fun stuff can give the people living atop this landscape better ways to travel or could block reaching what might otherwise be nearby lands. And THAT is where stories start to grow themselves.
You already have maybe the youngest/ highest mountain ranges figured based on tectonics, and those will be the biggest barriers or funnels for moisture movement. So you *could* even go on and figure gross rainfall patterns at that point, or you could sometime before then figure where you want older mountains - fossils of previous tectonic action. Other than the drier belts/ wetter belts that you can draw *now* based on just Hadley Celleffects, a huge driver for your climate zones is going to be "lots of water gets carried thisaway, hence this is the area for forests and fertile plains," and that sort of thing.
A fun thing to consider is that all the rule-of-thumb climate stuff is "before human effects". Whatever dry tendencies existed in the middle of Africa, desertification there has been accelerated by overgrazing and woodcutting. The eastern USA on a simple climate model might show a likelihood of great swaths of forests... which is about how it was before settlers cut down nine of every ten trees. (98 of every hundred?)
Currents in ocean and atmosphere will shove around a lot of heat, and provide oceanic moisture somewhere interesting to go. Examples are the warm Gulf Stream in the Atlantic keeping icebergs *somewhat* at bay, and providing coastal northwest Europe with a bit warmer climate than latitude might suggest. And whatever weird thing goes on in alternate years with El Nino and La Nina Pacific currents -- from weather all the way down to good years/ lousy years for certain fishing grounds, as the same part of an ocean gets washed by nutrient-rich water, or by more sterile water.
Boil that down to : I'd suggest generalized winds, then general currents, then climate zones. Stick extra/older mountains and hills in, wherever in that process you like. Think *slightly* from your tectonics where a widespread uplift or subsidence might be happening - that'll give you some nice drowned coast and high plateau stuff. Those could be extras - ignore if you like since you already have plenty of complexity going on.
And when the complexity that you're indulging in overwhelms you, go out and play a game of handball, or bike thirty km, or whatever you use for alternate activity. Tell yourself "this'll go better with more oxygen in my brain - yeah, that's the ticket!" :-)
07-15-2014, 05:36 AM
@jbgibson, wow, now that is a lot to take in. I'm to re-read the rich-in-info post slowly a few times to process the info, but yes, last night I watched a few educative videos about currents and it helped to understand the basics of them and how indeed I need to think about the winds first to do the surface currents. The deep ocean currents are a bit different and I'd love to try them out too if I could, but yes, first the winds, so I'll start doing some reading on that and check Pixie's tutorial and Geoff's Cookbook.
07-15-2014, 05:46 AM
Heya Goovey. I look forward to seeing your work on climate, and a height map. I suggest doing a height map first even if it's like Akubra's and only functional, this will then allow you to get your winds and rainfall. If you need help on the climate part you can definitely ask me, I can tell you what not to do.
07-15-2014, 06:06 AM
Hello ascanius! Good thinking, I'll work on an only functional height-map before anything else, since I was looking forward to it the most anyway. Though now that I think about it, I need to polish the shelves a bit more, then I'll do heigh-map, then winds, then current, then climate... if I don't get lost and crazy in the process, but that's the road map.
Just got a doubt about the currents and those sea basins I did on my map when doing the shelves, without realizing what possible consequences they would have... Superficial currents (the ones determined by the winds) can circulate into those basins can't they? In Earth they get into the Gulf of Mexico, so they should get into my basins right? I didn't create myself extra-complications making those basins, did I?
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