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Thread: Kingdom of Meryath hex map (World of Calidar)

  1. #1
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    Map Kingdom of Meryath hex map (World of Calidar)

    I'm finally at a stage where I can share some of the maps I've been working on for Bruce Heard's World of Calidar. Unfortunately I can't share the whole finished map, but I can show you a good chunk of it, along with some other pertinent extracts.

    All maps here are copyright © Bruce A. Heard 2014.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The full map at about a fifth of its full resolution.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Close-up of the central part of the map.

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    Title scroll and scale, with heraldry by Bruce Heard.

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    Compass.

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    Legend showing the new hex art.

    This is a dream project for me, working with a writer and designer who I have been a big fan of for more than twenty years. The maps themselves have taken some interesting turns over the past year, resulting in a number of different styles to cover all the bases of world, continental, national, provincial, and local maps.

    Meryath is in many ways the home kingdom for the Calidar setting, and Bruce chose to portray it in the hex format. This is a natural choice for both him and me: Bruce was in charge of development on TSR's Mystara/Known World setting, and he oversaw the production of all of its many hex maps, with a design hand in most of them. And I got my legs in fantasy cartography as a member of the online Mystara community recreating all of those hex maps in digital format.

    So it would be fair to say that we are both veterans of the hex map format.

    Development began with Bruce's design created in Hexographer using the default icon set. I recreated the map in Adobe Illustrator, with all new hex art. Bruce designed new settlement icons, while I created all of the terrain icons.

    Underlying the map's terrain is a height model developed in Photoshop and Wilbur, which you can see in the continental and provincial map styles.

    One more innovation of this map is that it uses an equal area projection to ensure that the area of each hex is as accurate as possible. I chose area as the feature to preserve because Bruce does demographic calculations based on the hex map. We made a deliberate decision early on not to make Calidar's hex maps a continuously interlocking canvas, as they often are in other settings. This is because such set ups inevitably introduce a great deal of distortion; in the case of Mystara, all of the hex maps were done using a de facto equirectangular projection, and it's possible to create the whole world in a single gigantic hex map. But hexes are uniquely unsuited for this type of map, because by their nature they imply accurate shape, area, and direction.

    All of Calidar's maps are carefully georegistered, and we brought this to the hex format, too.

    The finished map is a 28" x 22" 300 DPI Illustrator file, with raster layers for the coastlines, and everything else in vector format. I'm very excited to see how the finished poster map turns out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Thorf; 10-11-2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: Added the full map.

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    I added a low resolution version of the full map. Thanks to Bruce Heard for allowing me to post it.

  3. #3
    Guild Member Gracious Donor Sharpes's Avatar
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    Very interesting. What's the reasoning behind the greyed out buildings behind the city/town icons?

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    The grey parts of the settlement icons are to add a little depth to the otherwise flat symbols. It's a little experiment to try and make our symbols different from what has come before. We tried them out in a number of different variants, and this is what we ended up going with.

    I'm still on the fence with these —*I think that they're nice when viewed up close, but perhaps a little too detailed when looking at the map as a whole. I'm not sure that what they add is better than the clarity that comes with pure black symbols. I'd love to hear your opinions on this.

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