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Thread: Icebound Peaks - Please Critique

  1. #1

    Map Icebound Peaks - Please Critique

    Hey all, this is my first map that I am posting here, and it is one of the first maps I created using CC3. I created it for my D&D 3.5 campaign which I ran late last year, set in a world of my own creation which I also began developing last year. This map represents the region where my party adventured, but unfortunately I am not as well versed in learning and using CC3 yet as I am Fractal Terrains Pro.

    This is the first version of this map. I am very unhappy with how the mountains look to just be sitting there without being blended into the map and I am still trying to figure out how to correct this. This map is of a winter region if you hadn't already guessed it, with the region being part of a continent located in the northern hemisphere of my world, with much of the continent at its north pole.

    If there's any advice and/or criticism you can give me please just heap it on, I need all the help I can get. I know as it stands right now it looks pretty crappy but I am working on improving its look and mechanical soundness.
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Gandwarf's Avatar
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    Good to see you posted your first map.

    My first question looking at your map: why do the mountains seem to float above the land? You have a shadow effect going on that creates that impression. It kinda messes up the whole map for me. There's soom good stuff in there, but I can't see past the mountains and weird shadow at the moment

    Some tips:
    - Try to use some sheet effects, they are very powerful. Your text is now blending into the terrain, with a nice glow effect you could counter that. Some of the symbols, like the towns, could also use an effect to make them pop out more.
    - Try to keep the same color for lakes and rivers. Also, a lake should not have multiple exits.

    If you haven't watched the CC3 video tutorials yet, you really should. They are great. They can be found in the tutorials section on the Profantasy website.

    Don't be discouraged by my comment. Just keep getting at it until you get something you are satisfied with. It took me a long time to learn CC3 as well.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

    Gandwarf has fallen into shadow...

  3. #3
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    I concur with all of Gandwarf's advice.

    Additionally, I would suggest to refrain from using too many symbols (something I tend to do myself).

    When I start a map, I am drawn to cover vast areas with repetitive symbols. More often than not, the maps tend to improve visually after I remove many of them.

    In your map, you may consider using fewer montain symbols.

    Besides, montains tend to come in ranges. You may obtain a more organic result if you limit your montainous areas (is that English?) to a range with a width of 1 or 2 symbols complemented with hills on one or both sides. Another option is to have a plateau surrounded by two ranges. Alternatively, you can use a bitmap fill over the montain area and use just a few symbols to make it clear to the reader that the bitmap fill represents montains.

    As Gandwarf said, the video tutorials are very helpful. Moreover the CC3 manual includes a step-by-step tutorial using the drawing style that you chose for this map.

    Keep sharing your successive trials !

  4. #4

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    I agree with the symbol comment. You might also want to modify the "drop shadow effect". Good luck with the map!

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