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Thread: Border city of Alnamestan (Cricism wanted!)

  1. #1

    Map Border city of Alnamestan (Criticism wanted!)

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    The full (latest version) map is here. It was done in GIMP with a few brushes from deviant art.

    I made this for a RPG game I am planning to run. The world is kinda early renaissance crossed with Byzantine Empire. The city itself is the northern most outpost of the empire. It is considered unlucky to live north of the river hence why there is nearly nothing there.

    Anyhow, I am looking for criticism on the map.

    What is wrong with it?

    How can I improve it?

    What is missing?

    Thanks.

    PS: See improved map(s) later in the post. The link always points to the latest version.
    Last edited by kierun; 07-23-2011 at 10:31 AM. Reason: Added comment

  2. #2

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    I like this map, but looking closely at it, there is a growing list of things that bother me.

    The first thing that draws the eyes is the labels. I think they are to bright.
    There is no P in the grid system.
    Some of the towers are not centered on the wall, particularly in the bottom right corner.
    Given the nice compass and the symbol above the town name, I think the map could use a matching border.
    I think that the the river lines are too thick. Thinner lines and maybe some shading of the river might be nice.
    The contour lines have no scale.
    Some of the diagonal lines are jagged, so it could have used a greater resolution.
    Being the northern most point of the empire, I would think there should be a northern wall.
    It gives me an impression that it was inked yesterday on old paper. If you could somehow fade the city so it looks worn.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    I like this map, but looking closely at it, there is a growing list of things that bother me.
    Thank you and your comments are much appreciated.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    The first thing that draws the eyes is the labels. I think they are to bright.
    Agreed. I am just not sure how to make them visible enough without having them bright red...

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    There is no P in the grid system.
    Argh! Damned dyslexia. I was thinking of removing the grid anyway since it kind of clashes with the old feel of the map.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    Some of the towers are not centered on the wall, particularly in the bottom right corner.
    Yes, that is by design. Not all towers are in perfect alignment with the wall. See a map of York city wall as an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    Given the nice compass and the symbol above the town name, I think the map could use a matching border.
    I thought about it but it looked rather too much when I tried. I could see if I could make the border thinner I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    I think that the the river lines are too thick. Thinner lines and maybe some shading of the river might be nice.
    I made the river line thicker as otherwise there was not enough contrast. Maybe I did make them too thick ;>

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    The contour lines have no scale.
    Fair.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    Some of the diagonal lines are jagged, so it could have used a greater resolution.
    Yes, that's terrible. A quick Gaussian blur should do the trick there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    Being the northern most point of the empire, I would think there should be a northern wall.
    Do you mean on the northern part? If so, the bridge does have a gate and once closed, that would stop passage. The river is sufficiently big that crossing it would take effort without the bridge. Not impossible just hard -- especially under fire from the keep. Mostly, relationships are good between neighbours so not that much money is devoted to defences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Urist View Post
    It gives me an impression that it was inked yesterday on old paper. If you could somehow fade the city so it looks worn.
    Very fair comment. Any suggestions how?

    Thank you for your time.

  4. #4
    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
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    The problem is when I first saw the red labels.. I thought they were buildings and it was strange for me.

    Ways I think you could improve:
    Maybe using the displacment filter for a slightly older look?
    Turning down the fill on the hard lines or something similair?
    Replacing that damned red text that I can't read. Maybe black and if you have to a outer glow of white? (Or you could list the places on the side with just black or something and have numbers to signify the area's it is in. And, have the numbers in the area's if that makes sense.)
    Maybe a slightly more indication of pathways?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    The problem is when I first saw the red labels.. I thought they were buildings and it was strange for me.
    No one (not even me!) seem to like the red text... ;>

    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    Ways I think you could improve:
    Maybe using the displacment filter for a slightly older look?
    Turning down the fill on the hard lines or something similair?
    I shall have a look at gimp tutorials to see if anyone has done something similar. I am sure that a good combinations of filters should do the trick. Which ones thought remains to be seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    Replacing that damned red text that I can't read. Maybe black and if you have to a outer glow of white? (Or you could list the places on the side with just black or something and have numbers to signify the area's it is in. And, have the numbers in the area's if that makes sense.)
    Maybe... Something to think about.

    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    Maybe a slightly more indication of pathways?
    Now, that is an idea. Differentiating boulevards, streets, and sneak-a-ways by colour could be effective indeed. Thanks for that.

    Overall, thank you for your comments. Just what I was looking for.

  6. #6

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thanks to the previous comments, here is the new version. There is no boarder because it did look naff. Plus in the world magic is done via circles and never straight lines... Thus, it would only make sense to have a round border and that just looks rubbish.

    More criticism is welcome!

  7. #7
    Guild Artisan eViLe_eAgLe's Avatar
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    I like it. Repped. One thing though maybe a higher Res?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by eViLe_eAgLe View Post
    I like it. Repped. One thing though maybe a higher Res?
    Thanks!

    What do you mean by a higher resolution? Currently, it is a 1834x1316 image -- not the uploaded here of course, but the one here.

    Oh somewhere on that image there should be a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License logo...

  9. #9
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kierun View Post
    Thanks!

    What do you mean by a higher resolution? Currently, it is a 1834x1316 image -- not the uploaded here of course, but the one here.

    Oh somewhere on that image there should be a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License logo...
    Is there a reason you don't want to attach the full size one here? I would think that would fit here as a png, and if not.. at least as a jpeg for sure...
    My Finished Maps
    Works in Progress(or abandoned tests)
    My Tutorials:
    Explanation of Layer Masks in GIMP
    How to create ISO Mountains in GIMP/PS using the Smudge tool
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    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Is there a reason you don't want to attach the full size one here? I would think that would fit here as a png, and if not.. at least as a jpeg for sure...
    Yes, kind of. I am making modifications to the images all the time. Thus having stale images here polute the site with less than perfect images ;>

    For sure, I could re-upload it everytime I change it but I am lazy -- if there was a script (bash? Python? Ruby?) I could use to do it, then no problems.

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