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Thread: Newbie, Need input and advice

  1. #1

    Post Britannia from Ultima - HF and geological reimagining project

    Hey all,
    This is my second post. I am a true cartographer enthusiast and a really big fan of RPG's - Ultima in particular.

    I am interested in starting a majorly huge undertaking to reimagine Britannia. I want to consider:
    Size and scaling of the continent
    Political and demographic issues
    Economy and trade routes
    Geology and land formation

    I intend on using this project as a means of teaching myself Photoshop, Terragen, L3dt, and others, and I suspect it will take a LOT of time. I would appreciate help and input, especially from other Ultima fans.
    As a finished product I intend on producing:
    A highly detailed heightmap (in 24kx24k pixels)
    Nice renders and flybyes
    A pretty photoshop map
    A hand painted historical looking map done on true parchment (goat skin)

    I have a question and a few pictures I would like some critique on.
    First, the question. I want to make a thread where I can track my progress, but I am not really sure where the best place to start it is. Any advice?

    Also, my progress.
    The files:
    1. - a mockup of a heightmap that I created by piecing together DEM's of malaysia and indonesia to create a HF of britannia (original is 8192x8192)
    2/3 - Map A/Map B - these are concepts I made of shorelines. There are aspects of each that I like (I highlighted them) but ultimately I am not qualified to identify which appear to be geologically correct. Map A, to me, seems to have more character, and Map B seems to me to be more geologically correct, but I am not sure. pI ultimately intend to perhaps merge these. Any advice on what to change in either? The size I am shooting for is about 500 Miles for the continent. Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by swotavator; 11-18-2009 at 11:43 PM. Reason: title of thread was bad

  2. #2
    Community Leader NeonKnight's Avatar
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    Looks good, and interested to see where this goes.
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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  3. #3


    Which map (A/B) do you like better?

  4. #4


    Here is a third option, some portions merged. I like it, but it looks a little frankenstein. Too much going on perhaps? I want to make sure there are noticeable trends like shoreline erosion from currents, etc. SOme of that might be lost here
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #5

  6. #6


    I don't get it....isn't there an official version of a reasonably accurate map? It looks like all the maps in reference versions are I guess the question is which one you want to emulate...or am I missing something?

    Played Ultima in the '80s but have forgotten most of it now. Maybe we should ask Lord British....that was his name right?

  7. #7


    Hi. Good point. My main reasoning is this:
    Britannia is the main setting for ultimas 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and online. In each of these games, the lay of the land is extremely different. The one thing they all have in common is that they are all scaled down neatly to crpg size. By this I mean around 2 to 4 miles in diameter, 8 to 10 towns and around 250 inhabitants. I also seriously doubt the game designers were referring to real maps when they made their first version back in 1984.

    People often take a vast fictional land and scale it down for game purposes, cutting detail left and right. Take middle earth for example.
    My goal is to do this in reverse by taking a game setting and scaling it up to reality level, adding details on the way. So in short, what I am trying to do isn't recreate existing maps, but rather reimagine Britannia by projecting existing information onto realistic forms of land, climate, politics and trade. One example: the game is set in a proto medieval setting driven by agriculture. For some reason there are no lords and manors, though so I will add these. The project will not accomplish my goals, however if I do things like make shoreline spits drift into the curent instead of with it, or if I unwittingly make river violations or apply erosion that isn't appropriate for the climate, etc.

    So that is why I want to get communit input on which parts of my land forms adhere to the right set of rules. And I appreciate everyones help.

  8. #8


    your Z? que?

  9. #9
    Administrator Redrobes's Avatar
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    Its spam and will be delt with in two microseconds....

  10. #10
    Guild Expert Hai-Etlik's Avatar
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    My first learning project was also Britannia, though my goal would be better described as a synthesis of the game maps than a re-imagining.

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