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Thread: World map of Cindaelus. Criticism wanted.

  1. #1

    Wip World map of Cindaelus. Criticism wanted.

    Hello all,

    As the title says, I've created a new world map of a world I call Cindaelus. It's very basic (made in paint) due to my horrible artistry skills. However, now that I've got the basic outline of the land, I need to move on to the next step: making it as realistic as possible. Where would the deserts go? Which areas are temperate, which are rainforest? What are the plate tectonics like (I have a vague idea, but I'm interested to see if it's plausible)? Any advice you folks could give me would be very much appreciated. When I make things, they always have to be as realistic as possible. If something doesn't have a good explanation behind it, it will drive me mad forever.

    Criticism on the map itself would be helpful aswell. Do the landmasses look proper? Are they too smooth? Not enough of this or that?

    Thanks to all.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Heh... well... my first critisism would be to save it as a png or jpeg file rather than bmp. Other than that, there is not enough to go on. As far a your specific questions, I would suggest doing doing some VERY general mountains. Simple upside down V's would work and a place holder for further comment. Also, if you want "real" realism, you would need to show some type of temperature zones. For example, deserts will almost always fall between 30 and -30 latitude. But why and where depends on a huge number of factors. Wind patters are a major cause (thus if you REALLY want to make it fairly real you need to set those up) as well as mountain locations (and if you REALLY want to make this fairly real, you need to deal with tectonic forces) AND mountain height.

    Personally, i just make crap that I think looks cool and leave the realism out of it...

    Oh, and on a side note, if you can, I would suggest making the initial size bigger to let people really zoom in... of course this depends on what your machine can handle and what style(and scale) of map you are going for in the end.
    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.

  3. #3

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    Sorry about that. I uploaded it as .bmp because JPEG kept making everything really blurry when zoomed in. I've uploaded a new JPEG one, and at full size too.

    What more information do you need to determine the different climates and stuff? What do I need to know to develop wind patterns and such? Should I add mountains and lakes first, and then decide upon the different temperatures based on that?

    http://imageshack.us/f/594/newmapm.jpg/


  4. #4
    Community Leader jfrazierjr's Avatar
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    Well.. as I said, just throw up a few mountains here and there where you think they might naturally go. For wind patterns, well.. just look at earth and use that model. If you look carefully, you can find some good references other users have made in their works here. Or look around the web. Mainly, you just want a general idea. From my (limited) understanding, winds typically flow in a different direction based upon 4 latitudinal bands with each going the opposite direction from it's neighboring bands. Again, you could easily just put down stuff and let it ride at that and honestly that is what I would do. But if you want it more realistic, you just have to do your own research(again, cuase mainly I don't know or care about the specific details to be helpful). Once you know where the mountain are and which direction the wind blows you can then begin determining possible locations for deserts(either hot or cold) by cross referencing where the water is picked up and where it is deposited.

    Now, once again, I will say that I (and most others) don't go into that level of detail and just make up what I think looks good.
    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
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfrazierjr View Post
    Personally, i just make crap that I think looks cool and leave the realism out of it....
    I agree with this. Devotion to realism, like anything, reaches a point of diminishing returns. I guess realistic looking rivers are the most important, as are general locations of forests and such in proximity to mountain ranges. Beyond that, I'm not sure how important scientifically plausible air or water currents are in a map or world that includes dragons, elves, demons, magic, unicorns, fire-breathing caterpillars, or all of the above.

    The continent on your right almost looks a little like north america (with a flooded mexico) to me, so that might be generally helpful for you.

  6. #6
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected Joshua's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talon44 View Post
    I agree with this. Devotion to realism, like anything, reaches a point of diminishing returns. I guess realistic looking rivers are the most important, as are general locations of forests and such in proximity to mountain ranges. Beyond that, I'm not sure how important scientifically plausible air or water currents are in a map or world that includes dragons, elves, demons, magic, unicorns, fire-breathing caterpillars, or all of the above.
    How dare you doubt the existence of dragons! And my pet Smokey the fire-breathing caterpillar is now crying in the corner. Thanks. That'll be months of therapy for the little guy. :\

    I do agree with the general sentiment though.

  7. #7
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    I do the same thing as JF, just make stuff up and try to make it look vaguely credible. There are many people who really enjoy the whole world building thing and someone has written a whole manual on fantasy world building (it's called something like 'the world builder's cook book, but it isn't that), hopefully someone with a better memory will pitch in!

    It's not Geoff's Climate Cookbook but that's worth looking at too.

    I found this list of worldbuilding resources which might be helpful.

  8. #8
    Community Leader Gidde's Avatar
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    I've also found A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture (an ebook available here) to be invaluable, if you have a few bucks to spend.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravells View Post
    It's not Geoff's Climate Cookbook but that's worth looking at too.
    That helped substantially! Thank you very much for posting that.

    Here are is the final result of an entire days worth of working. With labels, tectonics, and just a blank view. Thoughts? Advice? Criticism? All welcome.

    Blank: http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/6540/blankm.jpg
    Labels: http://img14.imageshack.us/img14/1663/labelsr.jpg
    Plate Tectonics: http://img15.imageshack.us/img15/4920/tectonics.jpg

  10. #10
    Community Leader Gracious Donor ravells's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gidde View Post
    I've also found A Magical Society: Ecology and Culture (an ebook available here) to be invaluable, if you have a few bucks to spend.
    THAT was the one I was thinking of! Thanks Gidde!

    @Sursion, glad to see that the link was of use.

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