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Thread: Designing a map for a fantsy kingdom, have a look!

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  1. #1

    Wip Designing a map for a fantsy kingdom, have a look!

    For the last little while now, I've been working on a map for a friend of mine who is writing a novel. Figured it'd be a decent piece to stick in my folio, and I've always wanted to make something similar to his since I was a kid.
    I've little idea on how to actually go about making maps, but after browsing through a few on here (and being thoroughly impressed), I decided that it'd be worth a go putting mine up to get some critique from people who know wha they're doing.
    The kingdom itself is currently nameless, so I'll be sure to include that in once I actually know what it is.

    Here are a few shots of what I've made so far;



    This one was made after my friend described roughly how she wanted the countryside to be. Details were vague at this stage and we still hadn't come up with definite names for the towns.




    By this stage, we'd come up with a more refined version, changed a couple names, some more details and some locations had been formed.




    This is what I've done tonight. It's still not finished, I still have to add a few more landmarks in, and I want to redraw the mountain ranges as they no longer match the rest of the detailings on the map.
    Parts of it may also be hard to read at this resolution because it's made primarily to be printed at A4 size.
    Depending on what happens, I'll probably make a version that's more web resolution friendly later on.


    • Samphire
    is a fancy pants coastal city and is also the capital of Annai.
    .......... - Upper Class citizens with good and bad motives reside here.
    • Averil is a key point for trade between the two provinces - it's also a historical battleground for a war fought between Ashrah and Annai.
    .......... - It has no official leaders, but is governed by a mercenary group that commands trade in the area.
    • Bryn is a small town that would probably cease to exist if it weren't near a trade route.
    • Othoran is basically the city for the criminal underworld.
    .......... - Prostitution, gambling, illegal trading and other sly activities happen here. People go here to disappear.
    .......... - Due to being on both sides of the river, it makes the rivers mouth a controlled and dangerous place to be going in/out of unless you've got the right amount of cash.
    • Ilidás is an inland city and the capital of Ashrah.
    .......... - Relatively safe/well natured environment due to steady military presence.
    .......... - Because it's inland, it's home to many different races that have traveled across the landscape and is quite cultural.
    • Damaris
    is a military based (possibly private) city, akin to the Vatican. As far as I know, it helps monitor trade between the southern towns/cities and Samphire.
    • Dale is a river based trading town that makes a living via the Averil trading route. It's home to the mercenary organisation that police North and South averil.


    So far, I've spent a few hours working on it in total (roughly 6 I think), plus a couple more spent on creating the paper that I've superimposed the map design onto.

    Once the names/locations are more finalised, instead of using a font, I'll probably write the names onto paper, scan them in and superimpose them onto the map.

    I also have to redraw the mountains, as they no longer suit the rest of the maps style. I'll draw them with a finer point and add some basic shading etc. to them.
    Hopefully then it'll start to look really legit.
    I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far, although I'd love to hear what you guys think. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Guild Journeyer Blaidd Drwg's Avatar
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    Really nice work.
    Is there anywhere that I can get those fonts?

    I actually rather like the mountains the way they are. Simple. It kind of looks like a map that one adventurer drew for another in a tavern while enjoying good beer. Making it more realistic might actually spoil that look a bit (though I'd love to see in anyway. Maybe I'm wrong ).
    Have you considered a wet circle in a corner where someone put his dirty mug on it?

    As for the resolution: upload your images as attachments (see below the message window when you post something) rather than using the image tags. You get a thumbnail that way and the images open in a different window when you click on them.

    EDIT: hmm, I suppose a semi-intoxicated dwarf drawing a fellow adventurer a map, wouldn't have bothered with the colours. Yeah, I'm interested in seeing those mountains
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    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    I like the style of this map, have some rep. Like Blaid Drwg I kinda like the mountains, but you can always experiment and post it up here for us to comment on

    A lot of people writing fantasy novels it seems
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

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    It looks good, I think, it really does, but I do have one point of significant criticism, and it regards the font and the mountains in particular. Currently, the style of the two just don't gel together, to me. The mountains are thick, blunt lines, which is fine and doesn't look to bad, but the font is a very light, fine script. From a "hand-drawn/written" perspective, the two certainly weren't done with the same pen, and don't look they were drawn/written by the same hand. The coasts vary from the script as well, somewhat, still being a thicker line.

    So, if you want it to look like one person drew the map and another labeled it, then maybe this is fine. But if you want it to look like a cohesive whole, then you'll probably need to change up either the mountains or the font, or both.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post

    A lot of people writing fantasy novels it seems
    Yeah... and sadly to suggest that 1 in 20 of us (yeah, I'm writing one, too) might actually get published (through a traditional, paying publisher, at least) is probabl optimistic. Of course each of us thinks ours is good enought to be that 1 in 20 that maybe does get published, but we generally lack a bit of perspective. But getting there (i.e. there = a finished novel) is half the fun, anyway! Getting paid is just gravy, right?
    I think, therefore I am a nerd.
    Cogito, ergo sum nerdem.

    Check out my blog: "The Undiscovered Author"
    It's the story of a writer... follow me in my simple quest to get published, and share your own writing stories, adventures and writerly tips.

    Pimping my worldmap here. Still WIP... long way to go, but I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far...

  5. #5
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    First off... Welcome Aboard!

    Secondly since you included a map in your very first have some 'rep' *bonk*

    I'm quickly becoming a much bigger fan of hand-drawn maps. Your's is quite nice so far. Love the table background. While the mountains don't appeal to me personally, they do fit in quite nicely.

    Map on!
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

    Unless otherwise stated by me in the post, all work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.



  6. #6
    NymTevlyn
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    I actually don't like the font choices. Placenames on maps should be readable, even the artistic ones.

  7. #7
    NymTevlyn
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    Just self publish it via Lulu. =)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NymTevlyn View Post
    Just self publish it via Lulu. =)
    Sure, if you aren't so concerned about whether people read it. As I said, writing it is half the fun; having people read it (and like it) is the other half! The traditional publication format is the best way for that to happen, but I think generally that doesn't happen unless you're actually a hair better than everything else.

    Anyway, that's aside, and a worry for another day. Now back to your regularly scheduled cartographic programming.
    I think, therefore I am a nerd.
    Cogito, ergo sum nerdem.

    Check out my blog: "The Undiscovered Author"
    It's the story of a writer... follow me in my simple quest to get published, and share your own writing stories, adventures and writerly tips.

    Pimping my worldmap here. Still WIP... long way to go, but I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far...

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    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karro View Post
    Sure, if you aren't so concerned about whether people read it. As I said, writing it is half the fun; having people read it (and like it) is the other half! The traditional publication format is the best way for that to happen, but I think generally that doesn't happen unless you're actually a hair better than everything else.

    Anyway, that's aside, and a worry for another day. Now back to your regularly scheduled cartographic programming.
    Writing is all the fun I think. It's almost impossible to earn any money. As a beginning novelist you shouldn't expect to receive more than a dollar for every book sold. You would need to sell many books to make a living out of it.

    One of these days I am going to send my stuff to some publishers however. One of these days
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandwarf View Post
    Writing is all the fun I think. It's almost impossible to earn any money. As a beginning novelist you shouldn't expect to receive more than a dollar for every book sold. You would need to sell many books to make a living out of it.

    One of these days I am going to send my stuff to some publishers however. One of these days
    Since I was a wee lad, I've always gotten a certain thrill when someone read what I wrote and liked it. As I said, getting paid would be gravy, but I'd love for more people to read what I wrote and like it... One of these days I'll have finished some of my stuff, then I'll bea able to decide whether it's good enough to think about what to do with it. My wife is having doubts that I'll finish, and I keep saying "Once I finish my map, then I'll be in the right frame of mind to start writing!"
    I think, therefore I am a nerd.
    Cogito, ergo sum nerdem.

    Check out my blog: "The Undiscovered Author"
    It's the story of a writer... follow me in my simple quest to get published, and share your own writing stories, adventures and writerly tips.

    Pimping my worldmap here. Still WIP... long way to go, but I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far...

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