Not quite sure what to say, but anyway....
As an eager roleplayer (I mostly DM), I have made quite a few hand drawn maps of various places my players have explored over the years (our campaign started back in 1998....). I decided to make a mostly homebrew world - and one fateful day 11 years ago, I made a rough sketch of the known world on a piece of A4 grid paper. Deciding to make a fairly manageable world, I set the scale to 1 grid=10 kilometres.
Then, during a session some time after, I glued some 3-4 sheets together and drew a quick map of the starting area and surroundings. And to my horror, I later realized that I had messed up the scaling. My world map was no longer 10 km pr. grid, but 50!
Fast forward to last week. For about 5 years or so now (ever since they stumbled upon an atlas) , I have been promising my players to hand them a decent map of the whole world. But all I had was piles and piles of sheets and not enough motivation to try to piece it all into something coherent (I actually started to draw a large world map some time ago, but after getting half way there, I lost motivation and it collected dust and wrinkles ever since). But now I could feel it in my bones - this time I was going to finish the task.
So I scanned everything I had, pieced the bits together in photoshop and used my old A4 scetch as a guideline for the areas I hadn't even drawn by hand yet. But a bunch of grid paper mish mash wasn't what I was aiming for, so then it was time to find out what you can do with photoshop anyhow....
......it's been days of gritting teeth now, a true uphill journey. But finding this site helped lots both in ways of inspiration (inspiration also means using colours others have used on their maps - I'm nearly colour blind myself and decided it was time to "borrow" some colours after my partner asked me "why are your mountains green?") and help. By looking at some of the stuff people here have made, I both discovered what I would like to accomplish and what I simply can't seem to be able to grasp at all - yes, they're usually the same...oh, and I need to get myself a tablet. I spent approximately 8 hours or so drawing the outline of the world with my mouse.....argh.
But, I've come to the point where I feel I can let my players look at the map and also come here and ask for some critique and advice. So, here goes (links to the maps will be at the bottom of this post):
Forests. I just can't seem to be able to find/make a pattern/texture/whatever for my forest. It also needs to suit the "theme" of the map. Anyone got any pointers?
Tablet. I know. I need a tablet. Then I can slowly replace the grid paper sketches....
Mountains. I tried to make "3D" mountains and failed horribly. I'll stick to the ones I have until I learn how to make terrain textures in photoshop. I promise you, I've read the tutorials, and I've tried and tried, but it all turned out horrible. Let's pretend I want to make a 3D-ish version of the map. Doable in photoshop? How?
That's more or less it, I reckon. I feel I have come as far as my "abilites" and my mouse will take me. To improve the map, I need a tablet and some skills. Anyway, please look at it and give me some feedback. Don't be afraid to let me know what's horrible and what might be good work, too. I thrive on both.
Here are the links:
Northern part, 2.4 MB
Southern part, 2.6 MB
The whole world in one map, 4.6 MB