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Thread: The Seven Posts of the Creation of Sargos

  1. #1

    Wip The Seven Posts of the Creation of Sargos

    Previously, on The Seven Posts of the Creation of Sargos

    Today, on The Seven Posts of the Creation of Sargos:
    Day One : "The Shapes of Things"

    Hello All, Name's Sinphanius. Building a Planet I am, and thought I would share my journey with the people here, something tells me they might find it interesting. Not quite sure what, just a hunch, probably wrong...

    So, I have decided to structure this thread around 7 Major posts, the 'Days of Creation' of the Planet Sargos. I am mapping out the entire Earth-Like but slightly warmer and drier planet Sargos during this time, some of it is done, but a lot is still left to be done. I am currently revisiting the terrain of the planet. I already have most of it mapped out, and was mapping climates out, but I decided to change some things and so I'm back to Terrain.

    To start with, I am using the following pieces of software, for the following Evil Porpoises;

    Fractal Terrains Pro 3 + Wilbur: Most of the Terrain and Climate Mapping was done in FTPro3. Wilbur is being used for erosion mapping maybe.
    Photoshop CS5: Conceptual Mapping.
    Paint.Net: Image Reduction, Cropping, and Selection.
    Illustrator CS5: Later Mapping steps, specifically maps dealing with populations, like Species Proliferation and Culture.
    Google Earth: Going to be using it possibly maybe.

    Speaking of Which; some Background. This isn't just an idle Mapping exercise, there is a purpose for this. Specifically, me and a friend of mine are setting up an online Forum based Nation Centric RPG, where players will take control of political factions and try to chart out the History of the Planet. We decided to start off at the Bronze Age and work our way up to whenever we get bored, but then decided that using Earth would be boring, so we decided, why not build our own custom planet, complete with alien species and the like.

    Also lets throw in functional magic so we can develop the species into a Spacefaring Magitek Galactic Empire, why not?

    How hard could it be?

    Well, Sargos is the planet that game will be set on, and our alien Species, the Trical, are our species of Rubber Forehead Aliens. They are meant to be a relatable near-human substitute, and although they do have some VERY big differences between them and humans, at least two of which may radically alter their social structure compared to humanity, these differences are primarily cosmetic.

    But that is another story and shall be told another time (SEE: Day 7).

    So, this first post is a general overview, and my first steps towards the creation of this planet. Specifically, this post will consist of the initial genesis, just a random FTPro 3 map, and then me applying Plate Tectonics to it.

    So first things first, this is the original randomly generated map;

    Fractal Function: Wilbur Ridged Multifractal
    Highest Peak: +30000 feet
    Lowest Depth: -30000 feet
    Circumference: 25118 miles
    World Seed: 1578186171
    Roughness: 0.75
    Percentage Sea: 70
    Land Size : 2.65
    Continental Shelves at -999.999 feet
    Now, I plan for the planet to have vastly less water coverage, probably around 45-50% as opposed to the more Earth-Like 70%. After all, this planet has a bit warmer of a sun and their core/mantle is also slightly warmer due to... factors... as will be reflected when I start charting out Temperatures. However, I put the water coverage high for a reason. Specifically, FTPro 3 has a problem with putting Mountains in the right spot for a Continent. It tends to put them in the middle, whereas they generally go to one side in reality due to the way Plate Tectonics work. Most of the tutorials I have seen suggest that you flatten the existing mountains and then rebuild them on one of the sides of the continent, I decided to do THE EXACT OPPOSITE!***

    By putting the water coverage so high, I can now build the continents wherever I want but still have randomly generated Mountain Ranges. This means I can keep the fancy mountains while building the continents however I want. Giving me the best of both worlds, one I built from scratch and one that was randomly generamated. This is very useful as I already had the general layout planned out before I saw this arrangement.

    I'm going for a planet that is just barely coming out of a Super-Continental Phase. The Supercontinent has already split half way, with a large Ocean openning between two large Landmasses, however these landmasses are actually still connected, with that connection currently diverging, creating a nice long rift valley that just happens to widen into a proper ocean after a while.

    Beyond that, this planet's tectonics are a bit more active than Earth's. For instance, where Earth has 7 Primary and 8 Secondary Plates, this planet has 11 Primary Planets and a further 14 Secondary ones, and don't get me started on the Tertiary Adjun- I mean Plates. I didn't map out the Tertiary Plates, just take my word for it, there's a lot of them. (I'll map them out later so I can have a good idea where Earthquakes and Volcanos are)

    So without further ado, here is a map of the Primary and Secondary Tectonic Plates:

    The Dashed Lines are points where the Plate is splitting. Remember, Ending Supercontinental Phase. I think I have a pretty good variation in the size of the Plates. With the Arctic Plate being the largest, although it is splitting, so it won't have that honor for long*.

    On its own, not very interesting, so lets combine it with some Directional Vectors** and other motion Indicators!

    Far more fun, look at all of the pretty colors!
    Speaking of Colors:
    Green Arrows = Movement Direction of the Plates (Despite/As Previously/Postly Stated/Footnoted, not actualy Vectors)
    Purple/Pink = Divergent Boundaries
    Red = Areas of Uplift
    Blue/Teal = Subduction Boundaries

    First off, I mapped a rough circuit of Divergent Faults. If you look at a map of Earth, the Divergent Boundaries do make a rough but incomplete circuit around the planet, essentially lapping Antarctica with a fault splitting off to go up and be the Mid-Atlantic Trench. This planet has a bit more Divergent Boundaries because of all of the splitting going on in the former Supercontinent, which has started up while the Divergence from the previous Ocean is still going on, at least a little bit. It is slowing, but hasn't quite stopped yet.

    From there, I mapped out the Movement Vectors, occasionally changing the location of the Divergence Boundaries as I update the core Movement Vectors. And lastly, I mapped out the Subduction Zones, with an eye towards creating interesting geologic features. For instance, the Tectonic Plate that's surrounded by Mountains (around 60-West and 30-North) is actually sinking into the Mantle while Torque is tearing the northern portion of the Plate away from the Southern Portion, conversely, the plate directly to the east is just sinking outright.

    And now for some bonus Maps, the Tectonic Situation around the North and South Poles. I have no idea why, but FT3 does Not like my translucent .png files, and adds random splotches of color where they have no business being.

    North Pole;

    South Pole;

    There is a reason for the Scrunchiness of the South Pole and the Radiatingness of the North Pole. Remember that Functional Magic I talked about? Well it includes a Leyline/Nexus Network, which in many ways mirrors the Electromagnetic Field of the Planet. This, combined with the Cosmic Manaian Weave creates a psuedo-physical force at the poles, pulling the Mantle 'Up' in the North and 'Down' In the South.

    And no, that totally isn't a retoractive justification for the way the Polar Plates just hapenned to turn out, why would you suggest such a silly thing.

    Okay so maybe it was, but I'll admit the focus of the Tectonics was simply because I was trying to create a situation where the amount of uplift was roughly equal to the amount of subsidence, and I think I succeeded. I also succeeded in creating a planet with roughly 2.44 ****e Tonnes of Mountain Ranges. Like seriously. Mountains, lots of em. Everywhere.

    And now that that is not the case anymore, never mind.

    Speaking of which;

    Next Time, on The Seven Posts of the Creation of Sargos:
    Day Two : "Misty Mountain Hop"

    *In Geologic Terms.
    **Not actually, technically, in the strictest sense, Vectors.
    ***Doctor this is Madness, We're Pulling your Funding!****
    ****Cookie for anyone who knows who I'm quoting and from where.

    As you can see, I tend to write a lot, expect these posts to get veeerrrrrrry long.
    Last edited by Sinphanius; 02-22-2012 at 01:47 AM.

  2. #2
    Guild Expert jbgibson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Alabama, USA


    Oy, vey. OK, you get the award for most comprehensive, ambitious opening post, with added points for geogeek enchanting entertainment. Thank you, and have a smidgen of rep to start your collection! I wish I had been as patient as you in setting up the last world I built from scratch - took way too much retconning later, to even semi-justify what had just grown, like topsy.

    I'm fairly sure you've already done one, based on your demonstrated CDO* -- if so, can you show us a north polar view of your tectonics? Id like to see what's going on around that supercontinent, as "around' instead of this rectangular projection's "along".

    If you're shooting for scads** of mountains, FT is taking you to a happy place. My main quibble with that excellent tool is its lack of variation in fractal degree. You can make plains or ranges, but not both, 'till you buckle down and edit. Lazy slob that I am, I wistfully long for autoeroded roughlands into nice sedimentary flatlands.

    I approve of your contrarian approach to getting different mountain placement in FT. But couldn't one also gen a planet at Huge Amount of Land proportion, then jack up the water level til much of that land is flooded, leaving some former continental-spine ranges nicely edge-ified? The benefit there is the sophmoric glee one can derive from flooding a world, second only to giving one a good Annihilatory Meteoric Bombardment, also an FT amusement. Not that I, personally, have evah indulged in such shenaniganns, noooo.

    By "drier" I assume you mean the dirt happens to be drier, because the water sure looks as wet or wetter than ours.

    I look forward to the next installment with eagerness - perhaps not as much as that with which I anticipate the next episode of Freefall or Girl Genius, but I wager once your seven episodes stretch into seven hundred, you'll be there.

    Again, thank you, from the first of your Sargos fan club,
    likewise yclept "the verbose", for due cause.
    " 'TL:DR ?!' Vhat iss dis 'TL:DR'? Der iss NO 'TL'. Hmmph. "

    * for those not in the know, CDO is obsession to the point of alphabetizing the acronym.
    ** ooooh, cool obscure reference! I love how you coupled the predicted upcoming size of the Brazilian economy with the way THat plate right there is shaped like Brazil, just a little. I'll take a macadamia-chocolate-chip, please.

  3. #3


    Hi Jbgibson!

    It would figure, mere days after posting this thread my workload triples. Well, that's passed, game is in Gold Master, so back to this!

    And don't worry, I expect my number of posts in this thread to swell far beyond a mere seven, but notice how I said this thread would be organized around Seven Major Posts. See, Loopholes! Ah, how I loves-em.

    Of course even that will be difficult because there's totally no way I would ever be willing to consider retconning my own words by, say, editing already existing posts, and this totally hasn't already hapenned. That would be ++Un-Good, and that would just be silly.

    Speaking of which, why are you asking for a shot of the North Pole's Tectonics? I mean that's Clearly already in post one. Pay attention man .

    So, an update. I've raised a massive Supercontinent, with tons of Mountains around it, with a large Taklamakan Style Desert in its heartland (Though I think the southern border of said desert is going to gradually shift into a Tropical Shrubland, and then eventually into a nice Jungle. I haven't fired off the Incise Flow command even once yet, so the Mountains are pretty Blobby, but don't worry, I have vays of makingk zem look vetter.*

    Once I start Incising the planet the Mountains will get pounded down so there's more flatland, that said I am also planning on having a lot of Highland Flatlands, and a bunch of nice Steppe things for 'Horse' Lord style Civilizations to develop in. I will also be sculpting the Oceanic Crustal Plates with subduction Trenches and Mid-Oceanic Ridges and stuff. It should look pretty cool once I'm done, but that will be probably the last bit of terrain I actually work on.

    Oh, one other point, This is a Fictional Planet, any Similarity to Any Planets Intact or Death-Starred is purely coincidental and unintentional and does not in any way stem from my liking the Geography of Europe (Particularly the lands of the old Habsburg Monarchy and The Balkans), India, the Crimea, or other areas of Earth, and I certainly don't have an unhealthy obsession with the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles.

    I am already starting to plan out some of the Climates and Biomes, but only [tentatively]. The Planet is probably going to wind up far wetter than I originally planned. Speaking of which, my original goal was a fairly dry planet, meaning just less water overall, both in Oceanic Coverage of the planet and in ambient Water that would factor into the Water Cycle, and thus Precipitation, thus leading to a largely desert world with a preference for 'dry' climates like Tropical Shrublands and Steppes. Right now it looks like there will be primarily dry grasslands, with a bunch of large stretches of Desert or Near Deseret Biomes, with a few areas of extremely wet Rainforest and Jungle.

    And I generated the ranges the way I did because I felt having to raise the sea level would add an unnecessary step (I cycled through roughly 30-40 randomly seeded worlds before settling on this one, and that's just this iteration of this project.)** And if I want to have fun with Orbital Bombardment, I'll load up me som Sword of the Stars (1st one, sadly...)

    *At the time of Posting I have actually already fired off several Incise Flows, Fill Basins, Global Smooths, and other such things. I will continue to fire them off as I change things. Also, I will be making some more areas of gradual altitude change. I plan for there to be quite a few nice highland flatlands in the Northern Supercontinental Area, as well as in the South Western Continent. Just haven't actually made them. Feel free to suggest other areas you think Highlands would work well in.

    **There's a reason all of the images start with X-18.

  4. #4
    Community Leader Lukc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Lausanne, CH


    The mountains already look pretty good, but why are all these terrain generators based on craters?!?

  5. #5
    Professional Artist Facebook Connected Schwarzkreuz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011


    Oh bloody hell, this freaks me out. I barely understand the most of the first post, but i am also impressed by your perfectionism. I play with ink, you indeed with geography. I wish i could get into this stuff, looks very interesting.

  6. #6


    Hi Lukc and Schwarzkreuz!
    Most of the Creater looking things on this planet are actually the mostly degraded rims of the Calderas of Supervolcanoes, of which I have identified 4, one of which is absurdly massive, like, the size of Texas Massive. Which, once the game starts, will give me a nice 'Kill all of Civilization' button.
    And I'm not actually an expert in this, I've actually never formally studied any Geography or Geology, or even Weather Systems. I did study Engineering Briefly, but only briefly. Everything I know I taught myself using Wikipedia, Google, and a hand-me-down Textbook from a friend from High-School.


    Hokay, so, Dis is da Sargos. Damn, that is a Fine Sargos, Roooouuuuuuunnd.... Okay whatever.

    So, first off, MOAR ISLANDS! Three big ones have been added to make things more interesting and to provide a bit more of a Rain Shield for that Equatorial bit of Supercontinent. This also let me pound down the Mountains that used to be there because I didn't like them, they too completely enclosed the central supercontinent. They still exist, because that Subduction Boundary still exists, but its just less so, in reality, their main purpose now is to provide a sort of Balkan-Esque long area of Mountainous territory.

    I expect there is going to be a fairly massive equatorial band of Rainforests, with Deserts further north, and then cooling off into a more Tundra-Style Desert. There will be isolated areas of Temperate Grassland and Forests in the North, while most of the very South will be Temperate Forests/Grasslands because it is more coastal and thus has more regular access to Precipitation.

    Oh, here's an updated Tectonics map, because I rearranged some of the plates.

    So, on to details. I am still sculpting the Ocean Floor a little bit, but most of the actual land is pretty much done at this point. I want to finish the Seafloor before I start taking this baby through Wilbur a bit because after returning to FT3 It won't let me do any Prescale Editing, not sure why. I think the planet has a nice mixture of Highland and Lowland, hills and Mountains, with plenty of wide open plains. I am probably going to add a bit more Hills since they should get pounded down by Wilbur's Erosion Features.

    There are a couple of Back-Arc Basins, although most of the major ones are still above sea-level (one is a Compound Back-Arc Basin). Interestingly, they are all in the Northern Hemisphere, which may actually become the Southern Hemisphere, I'm not sure, I'm considering it. This isn't actually too surprising since over two thirds of all of the Land Mass is in the northern hemisphere, but hey.

    Also, fun fact; It appears that FT3 calculates its Incise Flows using the Arbitrarily defined 0 Sea Level, even if you have manually lowered the Sea Level it still evaluates as if it were at the 0 point, however if you actually add, say, 10000 feet to the Altitude you can get the Eroision Channels to dip into the Ocean when you lower it again, allowing Norway style Fjords. I did this in a couple of places, and so far I like the outcome.

    Last but not Least, a special bonus, Drainage Basins!

    The big grey Basin at the top is an Endorheic Basin. I am going to be re-evaluating this map over the coming days and probably adding more Endorheic Basins, but this is what I have now. I will be waiting until I've finished eroding the landscape to see what happens.

    This will be very important once I start mapping out Rivers, because I will NOT be using FT3's River Tool for anything more than getting a general idea, because it likes to make very long perfectly straight sections of the river that I wouold just need to redraw manually anyways.

    Finally, If anyone's interested, I do need names for the Continents, Oceans, and other Landmarks, if anyone is interested, feel free to make suggestions.

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