I hope I'm posting this to the right forum: the distinction between sci-fi and world mapping is as yet unclear to me, so I hope I'm on safe territory posting an alien world here! This one is tied to my Median project, as with my WiP Earth, here.
Tel'lar is the homeworld and starting point for one of the game's alien races; also its most humanoid-looking. The Tellerians are intended to be a familiar but exotic race; tidy and enlightened, in a sort of elven/Vulcan niche. Its world will hopefully reflect this, expressing hints of the exotic without feeling too bizarre and hostile to anyone visiting it. The Tellerians are technologically enlightened, which I've decided should be an evolution direct from their environment. The need to develop advanced transportation, habitat technologies and so on comes as a result of living on sparse terrain, surrounded by hostile seas and plantlife.
There's also an aesthetic consideration: since I'm making a retrofuturistic game, the theme grants me license to make each world visually unique and colourful, and so Tel'lar appears purple and red near its equator. Until I conduct more research into other planets, I'm putting this down to vast iron deposits in the deserts (Martian?), and to two warring families of plantlife: photosynthesising green plants in the temperate zones, and something altogether more fungal in the tropics. The same colours taint its thick atmosphere: gaseous but not toxic, yet enough to force the Tellerians to build their spires high and develop sophisticated lighting given heavy diffusion of Tel'lar's daylight.
EDIT: Hmm, somehow this appears a lot darker as an attachment than inside Photoshop. My apologies; methinks my gamma's gone wrong somewhere...
I made this map following Ascension's continental tutorials. Doubtless I need more practice at this, particularly in defining my polar ice caps and the balancing of oceans, but I am very pleased with the technique, derived as it is from mere cloud renders. Bravo and thank you, Ascension.
A note on my annotations: though there isn't a legend to match yet, the various coloured splodges and transportation links represent the various experience levels the player must attain in order to play there. The game takes them all over Tel'lar, but in a circular fashion when seen in this map form. They begin in one of its heaviest-populated regions, uncover relics and holy sites in the deserts, and battle rebels for control over some of the planet's farther-flung regions. The last few stages will take them off-world from back near where they started.