Elmwood would be a more likely name in English, but Elmswood is certainly possible and actually gives it a bit more character. New Elmswood is unlikely to be hyphenated, however.
Most of my criticisms would be explaining why I wouldn't let a program design my town, so I'll skip that. Good for you to remember to add a graveyard, though. The obelisk would intrigue me if I were planning a visit.
It isn't too dark if you want a dark look. Overall, I like it. Artistic, while still abstract enough that it is clearly a map and not trying to be an aerial photograph. You could maybe do a little something to give the city wall some texture, though. It rather looks like concrete or even plastic.
A few clearly defined public buildings would help. There are a couple of larger buildings, but they don't otherwise seem special. I would expect a church or temple of some kind, probably a town hall. With the farming in Elmswood, I'd also expect a couple of barns. A couple of other buildings could be differentiated as basic industry: a smithy, a cobbler's shop, or the like.
Thank you for all the hints and advice. I tried to follow them and "played" a bit with photoshop. The positive effect is (of the last months) that I have learned so much about that program, I never thought about.
There are still some points to improve. Here are the latest results...
I like the last one (with the really visible grass texture) a lot!
Though I wonder, wouldn't the village make more use of the river?
How about a mill? or some kind of docks for river traffic?
Could use a ruined church near the top / next to river too =P
Ok, that one I just added because I'd love to use the map for my D&D campaign =)
I do hope thats allright though? (the church part was somewhat of a joke, though it might look interesting considering the inconsistant wall and such)
Sorry for replying so late Imahilus,
but I was (and am) being busy in playing Fallout 3. Of course you can use this map in your campaign. I can even send you the psd file if you like it for modifiing.
Here is the final result. Not much added, just a few houses near the river and a heraldic figure. I read a lot about heraldry in the last week and it was very interesting.
I like the feel of it. It's a little dark and a little "fuzzy" but I don't think that really hinders its useability - for gaming anyway. I'll suggest that the fonts are really bright and crisp next to the style of the map. You might want to tweak something to bring them more in line (or might not ).
I just want to add that something about the map makes the place feel a bit sinister. When my eyes fell on the graveyard I started thinking...[/edit]
Very nice - you should post to the finished maps topic now. I think this is very rep worthy.