Map (Click to enlarge)
Created in: TerraNoise/Inkscape/Gimp
Known only as “Torq’s Practice Map,” this represents the culmination of a style we were fortunate enough to see evolve right here at the Guild! It is also an excellent example of the quality of map that can be created using free software. The heightfield was made using Terranoise, the labeling with Inkscape, with assembly and colouring in the Gimp.
I have been a member of this site for almost a year now. When I joined I was keen on mapping for rpgs and knew a little Gimp (Thats not a sentence I could ever imagine myself saying). In my time here I have really attempted to absorb all the amazing advice and emulated some of the highly artistic techniques that I've seen. The trouble with that approach is that you never really finish a map because you are constantly changing your techniques every time you see a new style or a fresh look that takes your breath away. So I did a lot of half completed maps without really producing a finished product.
With the advent of the collaborative world building project, which seems to have gotten off to a good start, I realized I would be mapping a portion of our collaborative world from start to finish. I felt a need to make sure I had a skill set and a style down that could take such a map from start to finish. Thats why I started this map and thats the explanation for the imaginative name.
The map is done using a height field generated using Terranoise, but the lion's share of the work is done using the Gimp. Inkscape also got some use for the river paths and all the labels.
As it went along it became a labour of love, because I wanted the busy high levels of detail, both in terrain features and also in labels, that I had seen on this site from some great mappers. The story behind the map actually developed as the map took shape. The process really fed itself and context began to emerge based on the map itself. I now have a fairly good idea why Vreykus persisted with a war against Oessina which it knew it could never win. Some would see this as the tail wagging the dog, but for me it represented a growing realization that it may be possible to map now and tell the story later. I realized that neither is more important than the other and they are inter-dependent. Much of that idea is what characterizes the great group of mappers with completely different styles and views on mapping, who, rather against the odds, have begun putting together a collaborative fantasy world. For me this map reflects the fun of the that process.
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