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Thread: May 2011 Challenge Entry - Basse-Georges

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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Default May 2011 Challenge Entry - Basse-Georges

    "Map a nation"... hmmm. I have a whole bucket of those around here somewhere.

    Meet Basse-Georges, a constituent republic of Haromszek, on the world of Scandia. It's like this - once upon a time, around a decade ago I learned of the geofiction game(s) of ImagiNations. Free-form nationbuilding with international interaction on a discussion board - at that time I think a Yahoo Group. The world was pretty full; dozens of active nations, only one likely piece of territory for me to play, and that was one somebody had started and abandoned. I took it as a challenge to see if I could do my own thing yet remain backwards-compatible with what the false-start guy had built. Which wasn't much, but a few web pages and a handful of interactions on the world scene. I took the name he'd used, Haromszek, even though I prefer not to make fictional places using real-place names. There's a real Haromszek. Oh, well.

    I started to gen up a country, when I realized to my horror the sheer size of the area. I had no desire for something grandiose, but rather than a chunk of dirt the size of, say, some middling European nation, this was as much territory as the whole blooming European Union ! Oof. Well, maybe I could instead devise a federation of sorts, a bunch of *related* nations? Ooh-kaaaaay, so I wound up with a fractious pack of twenty-five mostly sovereign nations, which are in some ways treated as a single entity (so the other players, I mean Scandian nations would have one point of contact) yet in other ways which do their own thing (like some are members of the Scandian United Nations, and some aren't). The result has been an insane amount of creative opportunity... I was determined that these not be peas in a pod. Some of those twenty-five I have already mapped. I've done some maps of the overall thing. I've even detailed Basse-Georges, just no maps other than a bare locator:
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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    OK, from the various Haromszeki maps at different scales I have the various Republics' borders to start with, and some features. Enlarged to make a decent base looks like so:

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    For good measure, I've got various historic maps. What is "now" the Haromszeki Confederation (date of "today" is 1549... and did I mention Scandia runs on a fast clock?) has changed drastically over the years. Think German principalities, Italian states, or the like. I have a vague plan to put a "Basse-Georges historical progression" series of inset maps off to one side. With some existing base-map layers thrown together, two points in time are 1378

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    And about 1426

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    I use those as source material for larger-scale maps, so they're pretty unpolished. Hmmmm. Ugly unpolished, actually. So for a initial Basse-Georges layout I get this:

    ### Latest WIP ###
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    Yeah, that's pixelly. It's the way I roll. If it's on purpose it's a feature not a flaw, right? The rectangle is a probable neatline ... working beyond that gives me flexibility later.

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    Guild Master Facebook Connected jtougas's Avatar
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    Very very cool. I love maps with history. This will be fun to watch.
    I am the breath of Dragons...The Song of Mountains...The Stories of Rivers....The Heart of Cities.... I am A Cartographer....

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    Guild Journeyer Tigon's Avatar
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    Looks very promising... love the rivers, veerrrry squiggly. Interesting loss of lands along the border to the south-west — driven back from the river some time in the past eh?
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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    This was feeling like a political map, not topo, so here's some subdivisions. The northern three large divisions are duchies, and the smaller constituent units are counties. The brown, southernmost group is administered as if it were a duchy, though historically it has been unassociated counties. Those designations are historical - the only nobility around aren't rulers, just high society wealthy remnants of a former order. Basse-Georges "now" is a modern parliamentary republic.

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    Thanks - yes, I like there to be reasons for borders, people groups and such, even if they're synthetic reasons :-). Driven away from the river - that southern coastal Haromszeki border on the 1426 Hz map? Yep - ebb and flow. Not germane to the Basse-Georges map, though there lies a favorite detail - exclaves. Continuous political units are oversold - there's SO much more fun when you have to cross intervening "other" to get to the next county over.

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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    A bit further. I'm dissatisfied with the city font... works well at half this size... I may need to redo all in the same as the nation labels.

    ### Latest WIP ###
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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Hmmm - yes, that's a better font. Leaving the pixel font realm though means ditching the nice tight .gif size... all that anti-aliasing immediately boosts me over 256 colors. Oh, well :-).

    ### Latest WIP ###
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    You're probably saying to yourself "Self, why does he show so much ocean and that other-nation island? It isn't a regional map, just a national one, right?" Well, the blankness of the ocean does make a nice expanse of space for title, key, scale and the like. But the other reason is the huge focus Basse Georges has on the ocean - 'tis a *very* maritime nation. See for instance what they do with icebergs ...

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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Added Duchy names, tweaked the rest of the text, faded some lines that cross under text. If I don't have time to do historical insets this evening, that'll do. Unless anybody sees something I missed?

    ### Latest WIP ###
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    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    While I'm providing a cartographic picture of Basse-Georges, I'll note there's already extant a partial business picture: one major airline headquartered in Tistonaj, the capital.

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