So, after much helpful and appreciated constructive criticism over in here, I took what advice I could for the moment: as some of it is going to require a bit of trial and error to perfect, .
Taking what was said into account, I'd like to show you what I have come up with since.
The favourite seemed to have been on what I called my "meh" style, which I'll now call my current style, lol
Attached is an image of what I have come up with thus far.
Both filenames are self explanatory; Regional_Unnamed is the Regional view of the map (just zoomed in to it's "Actual Pixels") and WorldMap_Unnamed is the worldmap view (zoomed to "Fit On Screen")
I'm working on it slowly, deleting and redoing different portions all the time. This is going to take some time so I figured I'd start this WIP post so I can build it and show you and you can comment and critique and I can adjust, delete and change where necessary.
What I've done:
- Increased the overall scale of the original maps; the map is 2500w x 3000h at Grayscale 8bpc and 300dpi,
- Scaled down the size of the mountains substantially (almost 50%); I felt that the mountains were too "big", too prominent,
- Scaled down the trees to match the new mountain size; else the trees would be huge if one were to view this map at ground level,
- I prefer "clumps" of trees as opposed to trees spread out over an area; the style I've chosen here is simply hundreds of individual tree brushes (yes, I put each tree down myself, lol .. with a mouse *hide*, lol) - hopefully giving the impression of dense forest (did it work?); much of the region is on the rain-side of the mountains, so it's very fertile and very foresty,
- Decided to forgoe the "authentic" look when it came to names; now I'm just focusing on making a nice looking map for my novel(s),
- Included, what I think is, a very nice coastal border style as in Uresia by Temphis on deviantArt,
- Chose a font that is both legible and matches the style of the map (imo),
- Tried a different Layer Style for the coastline as well.
I intend to make my geographical features as accurate as I can, to bring about a sense of realism to the map; I don't approve of fantasy maps that have deserts and lush fertile farmland separated by a small wall, or salt plains suddenly turning into overgrown jungle. With this map, I'm hoping to get the right sense climate and such throughout - you can see which are colder zones and which are hotter, etc - those geographically inclined will be able to see how certain areas were formed, how x-Mountain Range came to be where it is, etc.
With regards to the positioning of the mountains: They are there because the southern continent collided with the northern; this caused plate tectonics of the northern continent to move, creating many high mountains and deep valleys. The mountain range will stretch all the way across the bottom area of the map, tapering upwards before fading down into highlands and rolling hills (that's the idea anyway).
The portion that I've drawn at the moment is called Freepass and is reference to a time in my worlds history (involves Freepass Castle and Behl Tower); there will be other sections of the mountains with different names, all in reference to certain events in my people's history, but collectively they will have a title; (something like The Spine of the World, The Great Spread of Giant Ugly Rocks Which We Can't Bloody Get Passed Q.Q, or something).
As usual, criticism is always welcome; but, be gentle, still a beginner at this xD
Edit: History Lesson (for the lore inclined)
History of "Unnamed Continent":
High Tower and the Vortex:
Long ago, the Mages of High Tower sought to cross the gulf of space between worlds by creating a portal, a gate; the Crossing Gate. They were mistaken.
They erred in their spells and in their hubris and folly the Mages destroyed not only themselves but what was once a bustling and heavily populated city.
With High Tower along Gillfin Lakes' southern bank and Lakeside along the lakes' northern; both felt the blast as the Vortex tore into the fabric of reality, utterly engulfing Lakeside and rendering High Tower a ruin in a matter of moments. What few magi remained managed to seal the Vortex behind powerful magical seals. And, banned though magic may be, in darkness and in silence the Silent Magi* remain; studying the Vortex and seeking a way to close it, forever.
* History of the Silent Magi:
The Silent Magi are a clandestine brotherhood of magi who have taken a vow of silence; so as never to repeat the Words of Chaos** again. In silence, under the disguise of a monkhood, the magi work to seal the Vortex for the seals guarding it will not hold forever.
** Words of Chaos - magic
Chaos magic is a branch of magic that focuses on destructive power; the term Words of Chaos is no mere phrase, Chaos magic is extremely powerful and highly volatile, as such a mage is required to cast and control it use his/her voice. Chaos magic is formed through incantation, rhythmic chanting or powerful Words. The Mages of High Tower that caused the calamity - now known as the Vortex Magi - used Words of Chaos to tear a hole in the fabric of reality in an attempt to bridge the gap between worlds. They failed. The surviving members of the once powerful Mage Guild, publicly disbanded and, under cover of darkness, reformed under a new name - The Silent Magi. As part of their sacrifice, the Silent Magi took a vow of silence - a vow that cannot be broken - so as to never utter the Words of Chaos again.