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Thread: First map, help wanted

  1. #1

    Help First map, help wanted

    I am making an Alternate Earth map. The main difference in this world is that empires still grow and shrink in all areas of the world.

    Before I get into the fluff for this map I want to say that I am not good at art and that this is my first try at something like this. I am using Gimp 2.6 and a map I found on Google. This is just for fun and I am in no way trying to steal from anyone. If you have pointers on how to make this better or anything you think I should change on the map please feel free. Also you may disregard the fluff section below as it is both not written terribly well and not too impotent for the type of help I think I need the most.

    Thank you.

    Europe is in decline and most of the colonial powers have lost everything, while some managed to hold onto a few areas for now. I am imagining that world history was not to different until about 1945. Pre-WW2 differences are, the Americans have a political system in which electors that control states elect an emperor for life from themselves, Mexico grabs all the nations until panama (which is a US possession), Brazil takes Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and the São Tomé islands, the Chinese imperial family maintains power despite Japanese occupation and reforges China after the war and the Ottoman empire falls apart after WW1 and becomes the New Safavid empire, the Lebanese empire and the Moorish Sultanates. (sorry about the run on)
    After the WW2 the US takes and keeps Japan, southern Korea, Germany, Austria, Sicily and Cuba. It keeps the Philippians and Panama. All of these are counted as second class citizens. Also all of the Islands on the west coast of the US and Canada are part of the US. China takes all its lands back adds Mongolia, northern Korea, Tibet and, to help the Vietnamese get rid of the French, Vietnam. Ethiopia grabbed some of its neighbors and Rwanda. Central Africa became an unstable democratic kingdom. The Moors consolidated into Africa but Egypt left for the stability of England. Australia took New Zealand and Papua New Guinea. India never lost Pakistan and also gained some other neighbors. The Thai took much of south east Asia. The Safavids took part of the Arabian peninsula in a surprise border war with the Lebanese.
    In this world communism never took off as it took until after the war for Russia to fall and then was quickly invaded by the rest of Europe and made into a democracy. The rest of the world is similar to today minus the effects of communism on the world.

    Thank you for any help and feel free to say anything. This is a work in progress so I am looking for constructive criticism.
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  2. #2
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
    Ft. Wayne, IN


    It looks pretty good so far, the back story has some interesting twists. A couple of things that "caught my eye";

    1) For me the colors are a little bright/over-saturated
    2) The font doesn't seem to fit, you might consider something more formal or less hand-written looking - Perpetua Titling (I think) is one I often use
    3) Maybe some kind of border around the edge
    4) Perhaps do something with the white background - maybe a light, low-opacity greyish-blue so that it's not so stark.
    My Finished Maps | My Challenge Maps | Ghoraja Juun, my largely stagnated campaign setting.

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  3. #3
    Guild Novice
    Join Date
    Jan 2010


    I like the story, though Germany is controlled by the American Empire.
    I have to agree with Steel General in all points.

    - Colors: Maybe you can use some patterns
    - Background: I sometimes watch a TV show called "Uncovered Maps". Here is the link. They are explaining geoplitical problems using nice maps. Maybe you can get some ideas.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the next step.
    Last edited by LutwikWienholdt; 03-01-2010 at 05:07 AM.

  4. #4


    good start. I have to agree with everyone else that the colors are a bit bright for me. I would mute them a bit. Don't worry about it being your first major map. the ppl on the forum will help you out. no sweat.

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  5. #5


    Sorry about taking so long, life got in the way. Here it is with just the colors worked on. I want to get that right before I move on, so anything about color would be great. I think my next step is eliminating borders that don't exist any more(i.e. South and North Korea) and then the oceans and seas. After that the font and then the border.

    I am starting to like the map. Also sorry if I made your country a colony or not exist any more.

    I am working on more back story, so if anyone has some tips that would be nice.

    LutwikWienholdt, thanks for the link. Do they have those vids in English? I can't find any.

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    Last edited by Arcaneheriophant; 03-03-2010 at 06:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Guild Artisan rdanhenry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009


    Why does the Empire of Ethiopia have an isolated bit of territory inside the Central African Democratic Kingdom? My only issue with the original colors was that Holland was too close to the British color, and this fixes that nicely.

  7. #7


    I will try lighten up Holland more and I lightened up India to keep it a different color from Australia. India might be too light, though.
    About the Ethiopia thing, I just wanted to put something in to keep it a bit wired. It's kind of like Andorra, just an historical abnormality. I am thinking that when Central Africa was unifying in the 50's Ethiopia was land grabbing too and the only land that they where able to keep through negotiation with the C.A.
    Just my idea for it.

  8. #8


    This is an update with the colors in final and the borders modified. I changed the Sultanates to make it seem more like a confederacy of warlord controlled territories.

    As always any comments or criticisms are welcome.
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  9. #9


    It is done. I couldn't find a boarder for the map but it looks much better.
    Thanks everyone.
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