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Thread: Folia Inferior [WIP]

  1. #1

    Default Folia Inferior [WIP]

    Here is a regional map for the Province of Folia Inferior of the (Roman-esque) Daciman Imperium. The Imperium only recently conquered the Province, defeating the barbarous Elvish hordes that have long harassed the Empire's northern border. To ensure loyalty and security, the Magnus Magus (Arch-Wizard of the Imperium) unleashed a fireball from the heavens, the flames from which destroyed the great forest and cleared much of the land for habitation by the citizens of the Empire. Many villages have recently sprung up, a few of which have become full fledged towns, including Caeruleis, who's nearby mines bring wealth to Dacima and Tignavem, home to the retired legionaries of the XXI Legion.

    Now that you have a taste for the setting, let me say that this is the first of many such maps for this world. However, I'm starting small and building the setting one province at a time. This map is a rough draft - its definitely not perfect and I hope, with your help, I can refine the map and thus make the yet-to-be-made maps of this Imperium even better!

    Any and all suggestions are welcome.
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    Last edited by elemental_elf; 10-24-2011 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
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    Hi, e_e. It's pretty effective just like it is. Mild improvements..... I'd wonder if the rivers might be more clear if you backed their sources off a few more pixels from the hills? The river network is pretty plausible, but after staring at it a while I figured out what bugs me - the "every hill begets a river" vibe makes it look almost like the only place rivers run is the flatlands. In the west you have more watercourses among hills, but I wonder if in the east you could improve the impression by implying some valleys as well as hilly areas. Or maybe not forcing every single stream to come from a hill - it'd be OK if some arose in such mildly raised terrain that it didn't justify hill symbols.

    If your Imperial Cartographic Standards call for focus on each Province exclusively, fine, but ignoring the lands to the east so thoroughly keeps making me want to see the Scriba River as a coastline instead of a watercourse. Just one or two tributaries coming in from the east, or a road crossing it, or a town to the east would mitigate that optical illusion.

    Have you tried it without the drop shadow on the labels? It does kind of make them stand out - I assume your goal - but it simultaneously lowers their contrast, which makes them slightly harder to read. <stares at it a bit more> AHA. That's what seems odd - those nice shaded hills have a light source opposite that of the drop shadows. If the drop shadows are even necessary, maybe they'd work better illuminated from the NE than from the NW?

    Anyway - nice work; I like what you have going.

  3. #3
    Guild Adept Freodin's Avatar
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    It's not only the floating text... it's the icons also. The shadow is on the wrong side. This should definitly be fixed. I know that this would take quite some time... but perhaps you should (re)draw all of the icons. As they are now, they seem to be a little to uniform in contrast to the nice handdrawn hills.

    Perhaps you should try a version without the floating of the labels. Rather add a little (white) shadow to make the text stand out in the darker parts of the map.

    That said: I really like the clear and simple colour schema.

  4. #4

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    Perhaps the un-highlighted areas could be overlaid with a pattern of diagonal stripes, rather than being simply grayed. That would lessen the impression of the map's eastern fringes being a sea.

    The issue with direction of shadows could be helped by horizontally flipping either the hill symbols or the town/building symbols.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Hi, e_e. It's pretty effective just like it is. Mild improvements..... I'd wonder if the rivers might be more clear if you backed their sources off a few more pixels from the hills? The river network is pretty plausible, but after staring at it a while I figured out what bugs me - the "every hill begets a river" vibe makes it look almost like the only place rivers run is the flatlands. In the west you have more watercourses among hills, but I wonder if in the east you could improve the impression by implying some valleys as well as hilly areas. Or maybe not forcing every single stream to come from a hill - it'd be OK if some arose in such mildly raised terrain that it didn't justify hill symbols.
    I do agree that every hill begets a river is a bad thing but I'm not sure just having a river randomly start in the middle of what looks like lowlands is such a good idea either. The East is also a bit barren compared to the west... So the obvious solution is to add some more hills to imply more valleys and make the world feel more realistic.

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    If your Imperial Cartographic Standards call for focus on each Province exclusively, fine, but ignoring the lands to the east so thoroughly keeps making me want to see the Scriba River as a coastline instead of a watercourse. Just one or two tributaries coming in from the east, or a road crossing it, or a town to the east would mitigate that optical illusion.
    The lack of labels and rivers out side of the province was purely a design decision based on the fact that I have no fluff ready to go fr those areas. However, you are right that the lack of anything makes the entire map look wonky. So I'll add a few tributaries and labels to make the map look better

    Quote Originally Posted by jbgibson View Post
    Have you tried it without the drop shadow on the labels? It does kind of make them stand out - I assume your goal - but it simultaneously lowers their contrast, which makes them slightly harder to read. <stares at it a bit more> AHA. That's what seems odd - those nice shaded hills have a light source opposite that of the drop shadows. If the drop shadows are even necessary, maybe they'd work better illuminated from the NE than from the NW?

    Anyway - nice work; I like what you have going.
    The original reason I added the drop shadows was to increase viability of the labels but that was back when I first started crafting the map and there was far less on it. I messed around with it and I agree, the Drop Shadows make the labels fairly hard to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    It's not only the floating text... it's the icons also. The shadow is on the wrong side.
    o_O Oops! That will be corrected ASAP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    I know that this would take quite some time... but perhaps you should (re)draw all of the icons. As they are now, they seem to be a little to uniform in contrast to the nice handdrawn hills.
    All of the icons are hand drawn. I wanted to make uniform looking icons because I intend to, one day, put all the provincial maps together into one big map of the Empire. However, I do agree that next to the hills, the icons do look a bit copy/pasted. I'll have to experiment with different designs and see what I can come up with (no promises though, I'm a terrible artist!).

    Quote Originally Posted by Freodin View Post
    Perhaps you should try a version without the floating of the labels. Rather add a little (white) shadow to make the text stand out in the darker parts of the map.
    Tried this idea out and I think it makes the labels very legible, thanks for the tip!

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post
    Perhaps the un-highlighted areas could be overlaid with a pattern of diagonal stripes, rather than being simply grayed. That would lessen the impression of the map's eastern fringes being a sea.
    Not a bad idea

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghostman View Post
    The issue with direction of shadows could be helped by horizontally flipping either the hill symbols or the town/building symbols.
    The buildings proved to be far less of a hassle


    ~~~~~

    Ok here is an updated version of the map that incorporates many of your guy's excellent suggestions!
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  6. #6

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    Updated the map again, added some hills in the eastern half of the province.
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  7. #7
    Guild Adept Freodin's Avatar
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    Now that is close to perfection in my view! I just love that understated style, especially your forrests. They seem to have only the slightest of textures... what did you do to them?

    The only point of objection are still the icons... copied and pasted, as you said.

    Here is what I would do... I am as artistically inept as you can get: trace and colour each of the icons by hand. That would keep the uniform look, while adding individuality to them. Your map only contains two dozen of icons, so it would not be so much work.

  8. #8
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    One thing occurs to me ... the hill icons and the town icons are so different. One is precise, pixel-artsy, the other looks hand sketched. Would it be a good idea to make them fit each other stylistically? Just thinking out loud here ...

  9. #9
    Guild Artisan Eilathen's Avatar
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    I really like the flavour! Have some rep. . Now, i really would like to see the world-map
    I'm trapped in Darkness,
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