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Thread: Hello, a hardcore gamer with a few questions. (World Building within Design)

  1. #1

    Default Hello, a hardcore gamer with a few questions. (World Building within Design)

    Hello everyone, I am a lone wolf, indie 2D game developer, as well as a long time PnP gamer, miniature gamer, just about any type of game! I guess people call us Nerds? hehe. I am currently in need of creating a world map, in addition to a world. I love creating my own Lore, and possibly a PnP game in addition to a 2D RPG featuring this same world map. I had a few questions...

    1) What is the typical cost to hire some of the more talented people here, to create a world map? I absolutely love some of the aritsts, such as Tear's Westeros map. I'd be very interested in hiring a professional to create something brilliant, or if anyone is interested in the game, make it a contest in the future.

    2) I am quite busy making the actual lore, design, and game, so I really don't have too much time, but I do have enough to spend a small bit on creating a world map. I saw Campaign Cartographer 3, and was interested in this if I could pick it up quickly and build a small world map in only a few hours (max). I'm more interested in getting a prototype up than a polished, high quality map like from the professionals here. My question though, is can CC3 create professional looking maps such as Tear's Westeros map? Or are these primarily done through photoshop or hand-drawn? If it is possible (I have seen some great CC3 maps on their website) does it require extensive hours invested in the program to learn and then create? It might not be worth it to do it myself, however fun and enjoyable it would be.

    3) When building a world, I don't want to do anything stupid. Although realism isn't the most important thing to me in making games, a sensible semi-realistic world actually is. I do not want to make common mistakes people make in creating worlds, such as making a world where deserts, mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers are all non-sensical. Are there any resources, websites, or quick information about basic geography in terms of land creation? Although I am not uneducated in the matter, I figured I'd ask around here for help in creating a world. I'm sure people with more experience in creating maps will more than likely know much more than I do about how land forms.
    By this I mean things such as "Are deserts only formed behind mountains?", "Should I consider the world's wind direction?", or "How are forests formed? Are they random? Anywhere is realistic? Or do mountains and wind behavior mold their formation?" I am mainly asking for tiny snippets of "Most common errors in realistic map creation" or RESOURCES/Websites I could visit to read up on the matter.

    The world is quite a challenge actually, because it is a desecrated world which has been terraformed through man-made & magical means.

    4) What is a smart way to design a world, in a small way (filled with a small area, large enough to fit 4 factions), but to leave the majority of the world open to further building and expansions (of story and content)? Although I want to include tons of ocean outside of the continent(s), and plenty of ocean/sea within the game world, I do not really care for four separate islands. I'm actually trying to figure out a way to build a single continent which can support 4 small realms (3-4 cities per realm area, close to one another for local trade, and 1-2 of these cities close to the other 3 realms), but also provide plenty of water AND land for each of the four factions to explore both inwards (towards the center of a world map, where all 4 collide) and outward (towards what is an infinite amount of open, unexplored area of both land and water).

    Basically, any ideas of how to create a world that looks natural but is similar to the square required for "four corners" while keeping enough water to have all sorts of boats, medieval naval battles, and ocean exploration?

    I never realized making a world map would be so difficulty, but then again I never considered how important it is to keep a world sensical in both gameplay/lore AND realistic looking geography.
    I gave up on figuring out how to allow a game where 4 factions are constantly fighting in 1v1v1v1 conflicts, while allowing them to form throughout the world or within their own regions, with territory control (similar to a world-based strategy game). No matter how I cut it, it was always a 1v1 or 1v1v1 (pincered between two waring factions) and the only circumstance I could imagine with a 1v1v1v1 battle is 4 realms fighting for the same CENTRAL city/small area. Once this battle is over and a winner is declared, there is no more 1v1v1v1

    Below, is the back-story for the game, if any are interested. It's a small summary, but even so quite lengthy.

    The back-story (short summary) is that all civilizations, ranging from powerful kingdoms to enslaved races were all driven into hiding due to an overwhelming darkness (creatures) which came from another dimension to feed on the world and its inhabitants. Most of the population didn't survive, despite their protective magic or stone fortresses. A thousand years later, the darkness simply vanished, and the world became quiet. No one knows exactly when the dark creatures disappeared, but civilizations began emerging from their underground cities and mountainous castles.
    The setting is high fantasy, and although there are minor factions emerging across the world, there are four primary realms of power (the player chooses one). Minor factions are not important currently (no design yet) but are composed of the same races as those which make up the primary realms. (40+ total).

    The civilizations were not just slaughtered, but the world itself was consumed. These horrors devoured plant-life and some of the largest even devoured mountains. Entire seas were drank empty or polluted by these beasts. Upon emergence from their safe homes, generations of even the oldest races know little but stories of the "old world". Most inhabitants are still too afraid to emerge from what they know as home, so only the brave few have explored outwards to this new world, and in doing so invoke magic to regrow forests, old tricks and knowledge to heal the soil, and old fashion hard work to bring their environment to life again.

    The Realm of Man, composed of Humans, Dwarves, Centaur, Giants, and other hardy creatures. Once rulers of all the world, they now are humbled to equality with the rest of the world's power. Their geography contains more mountains than elsewhere, and most did not live underground but in fortresses high in the mountains. Grassy fields, open plains, and a sea or ocean coast for the Merfolk (as well as some geography for the frogloks) contain their area.

    The Realm of Ancients, composed of Elves, Pixies, Treants, and other forest creatures. These civilizations are among the oldest in the world, empowered with the highest forms of magic. To protect themselves from the darkness, they used powerful Ward magic. Their geography consists of deep forests, glorious waterfalls, and magical lakes.

    The Realm of Dragons, composed of Goblins, Orcs, Trolls, Lizardmen, and other enslaved races, once ruled by the dragons. During the reign of Man and the Ancients, the dragons were hunted to near extinction for their wealth, slain for the fame, and enslaved for their power. Without the dragon's leadership, these barbaric civilizations were quickly overthrown by the other Realms and have so been enslaved since history was first written. Without the proper environment, a dragon egg is like a fossilized rock, and these treasures have been kept buried for thousands of years. The Realm of Dragons were the first to prophesy the end of days, and rebelled against their slave masters, burrowing themselves deep underground, towards the center of the earth. While most were dug out by the darkness, those which survived have resurfaced free of oppression and slavery ready to begin anew, with the Dragon eggs now ready to hatch. Their geography is friendly towards heated environments such as deserts, lava-like areas, and caves/caverns (often full of crystals, or a part of a volcano).

    The Realm of Unrest, were civilizations which survived the darkness, but were heavily tainted by it. Skeletons, Zombies, Vampires, and other tormented creatures. Unlike the Men's lofty fortresses, the Dragon's deep caves, or the Ancient's Wards, these civilizations somehow survived within the world, but not without being driven into madness. Many were mercilessly slaughtered by the darkness, only to be resurrected by them to suffer an eternity undead. Others were civilizations which feared the horrors enough to commit mass suicide with the hope of their necromancer's power to resurrect them when the darkness had ended. Their geography consists of something similar to a mix of the desolation and restoration. Their warped minds restore the land to become something reflecting their own nature; vile, twisted, and dead. Yet within this death are bits and pieces of what could be considered life.

  2. #2
    Community Leader Guild Sponsor
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    tilt's Avatar
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    May 2010
    Trelleborg, Sweden
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    welcome to the guild ... lots of nerds here

    1) The cost varies with the artist and the job. Basicly you have 3 factors - complexity of the map, popularity of the artist and commercial/non-commercial - all these go together to get the price. We have a forum for Map-requests - if you read the sticky there and post your request, you can see who is interested/have the time and talk with them concerning prices

    2) The best maps on here are handdrawn - you can do stuff when hand drawing that any amount of templates/icons can't. However, you can get far with CC3 - NeonKnight is our resident expert, and if you put CC3 in a thread there is a good chance he'll stop by. AND - its always worth doing it yourself

    3) there are several threads in here talking about how climate affect your world, also some discussions about plate tectonics and you HAVE to read the one about how rivers behave - or you'll have the river police on your hands. ... (basicly, they don't split and don't go across a continent).

    4) a million solutions to this... sorry (and fortunatly)

    check out our tutorials and try your hand at mapping by posting a Work In Progress thread for help and critique as you work
    regs tilt
    :: My art on Deviant Art :: My work Catapult ::
    :: Finished Maps :: WIP Breakwater - Gungnerhafn -Battle City :: Competion maps - A Ghastly Rest ::
    :: FREE Tiles - Compasses :: Other Taking a commision - Copyright & Creative Commons ::
    Works under CC licence unless mentioned otherwise

  3. #3
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    Welcome Aboard!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  4. #4


    Thank you!

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