I think you're right about the blobs (im kinda thinking now they look like blood, eugh). If I may explain, my intention was to try and give a sense of scale and shape to the cities. I was afraid icons wouldn't quite convey the physicality i'm looking for. My grind comes from trying to convey the size, shape, and layout of a town or city simply and quickly. I may have to put more effort into that.
I really like your Dutchy of Normark map, Diamond. It makes me think that roads might be the key to deciding the design of and conveying a sense of my towns. Anybody know of any tips or tricks I should be aware of before I start my probably very time-consuming roadmapping of a continent?
I think it all really depends on scale. In my Northmark map, looking at it again, I feel like the scale is off. Looking at the size of the buildings and the width of the towns (the majority of which are supposed to be quite small), I think I goofed. I should've made the scale 1 inch = 1/2 mile or something, or greatly reduced the number of buildings in each community.
So for your country maps, my thought was that the scale is still too large to show even a generalized shape layout of the cities, etc. unless either A) the countries are tiny, or B) the cities are freakin' HUGE.
I've decided maybe icons arent so bad. Here are three maps: Oryktogi (patroned by Apollo), Tambria (Athena), and Makitan (Aphrodite). There are roads varying in width and traffic. Each country has one capitol. Makitan's pyrgas (fort/market), Tambria's fatelos (fort/church), and Oryktogi's toigas (fort/sport arena) are all represented by a single "fort" symbol, so one has to look at the names to determine the type of fort. Once I've developed all the types of forts, I want to go back and mix them up a bit, and maybe add other landmarks and installations. For now, do you guys think the roads and icons read easily? Do the names sound like real towns or like someone dropped a scrabble board? Is it okay to have so many different compasses, and do they work for you?
Thanks for all the feedback so far! I can't believe how far y'all have gotten me!
I'll tell you what, your terrain looks fan-freakin-tastic, especially in the Oryktogi map. What is that in the top, a dried-up lake? Looks damn good.
Naming is always difficult (I think for everybody), but these seem to mesh okay. And I'm digging the different compasses, especially the medusa one in Tambria.
Really, the only nitpicks I have are small:
1) The city/fort/etc icons in Makitan and Tambria might look better in a different color besides that of the border; they're a little difficult to pick out as is. The Oryktogi map works much better IMO.
2) The areas where your borders follow coastlines look funky. Instead of having a 'hard border' following the coast, maybe leave it off altogether there, or put in a more translucent border that roughly follows the coast a couple dozen pixels out in the sea.
3) Your coastlines could do with some more definition. The areas where the borders follow the coast look too harsh, and the other coastlines blend too well with the sea. maybe put in a slight blue outer glow? Or maybe reduce the intensity of the 'waves' in the seas to draw attention back to the land where it belongs.
Really impressed of your maps, compasses, everything. Have some rep!
The only thing is the trees dropshadow in the Makitan-map, it's too distanced so they look double. Just close them up a bit :)
I love the style of these maps. All in all a most excellent job. I'd agree with Diamond about your coastlines but other than that I love these maps!! :)
A new country done!
After a long school-laden hiatus, I've finally gotten back to my maps! Updates to the previous country maps show some polishing changes, but I'm most excited about the new map! Beozall, the desert nation, is supposed to have some middle-eastern/mediterranean influences in it's names. Several roads lead over its border mountain ranges. How do these borders look to y'all? Is it realistic to expect them to stop at the mountains so abruptly? Is there any other polish I could put on to all these maps? Loving all the feedback!
The only thing that I can say, opinion-wise, is that the blue water is too vivid - kind of clashes with the terrain colors in my opinion. So maybe put a layer of gray over that then reduce opacity a bit to mute it some. As to the borders, well, there's so many ways of doing them that I really don't have any strong opinions either way...so these are as good as anything else. :)
I agree with Ascension on the water being a bit overwhelming.