Fantasy Mapmaking

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Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby captainwalrus on Sun Feb 21, 2010 6:58 pm

So, you have an idea for some fantasy realm and you want to make a map of it, but you aren't sure how. Here is something that is pretty easy that I have found to be good. It uses GIMP, but only the most basic of tools, so I am sure you can figure out how to use it in any program that s better than just MSpaint.

Before we even start we are going to talk a bit about how to use geography to make interesting gameplay. A map made up of entirely land isn't going to be very fun. Shape is one of the main things that can change gameplay, and you most often use water to get shape. You want to have a good amount of water in order to make some places harder to attack and other easier. Using peninsulas and bays along with flat coastline is what makes interesting maps. You don't want too much of the map to be water or else you will get very few territories (you could try to make the water into territories, but that doesn't always work.)

Here is the image I am going to start with:
Image

Here we go!
show: Basic Land


show: Land Color


show: Texture




show: Mountains and River


To add territories, use the brush tool, one pixel circle. Go to brush dynamics (below your layers) and set the spacing to 200. Then in a new layer draw your borders. Then set the opacity of the layer with borders down to like 70%
Image

Finally, for bonuses, just use the airbrush tool. A nine pixel fuzzy circle should work. Go along the inside of the region you want to be a bonus (in a new layer). Then, in a new layer from that, probably below the one you have the territory borders in, trace the territory borders along the outside of the bonus regions with a very small fuzzy circle brush at about 30% opacity.
Image

Congrats, you now have a nice looking map, ready for use!

Note: Parts of this tutorial have been borrowed from this: http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials_map04.htm
Last edited by captainwalrus on Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:16 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Tutorial- work in progress

Postby natty dread on Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:45 pm

Nice. :)

Btw your mapmaking method is so totally different from mine... but it's always fun to see alternative ways of achieving the same goal. (although a big part of the differences could be that we use different software...)
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Re: Tutorial.

Postby captainwalrus on Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:57 pm

I can't finish it now, no time or energy. It is almost done, just the mountain needs work.
Please comment if you think something needs more explanation.
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Re: Tutorial.

Postby RjBeals on Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:04 pm

nice effort and tutorial captain w.

as natty said, very different from my workflow. Interesting how you create your land hue variations.
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Re: Tutorial.

Postby natty dread on Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:21 pm

Actually, now that I look at it, I do notice some similarities with my method.

I also create a similar layer as your black&white layer, but mine has all bonus areas in different colours. This way I can select any bonus area using this layer, or I can select all of the land area by selecting the water and then inverting the selection.

Then I create another layer which has the "real" bonus area colours. Then another layer, on which I put outlines. Then another (or maybe several) for bevels, another for territory borders, etc. Then a texture layer, then a background sea layer, and the texture for that...
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby mibi on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:00 pm

yeah thats a solid tutorial and creative use of blue.. i will have to try that.
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby natty dread on Mon Feb 22, 2010 7:31 pm

ps. I noticed you took away an island midway through :lol:
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby captainwalrus on Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:37 pm

natty_dread wrote:ps. I noticed you took away an island midway through :lol:

It was way too yellow.
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby HollyElizabeth on Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:28 pm

CaptainWalrus... how amusing. You've clearly copied this from tutorials made by a professional - see this link: http://www.jezelf.co.uk/ Click on the 'Tutorials' tab (it's a Flash-based site) and open any of the images there. Nice copy.
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby natty dread on Thu Mar 11, 2010 6:36 pm

HollyElizabeth wrote:CaptainWalrus... how amusing. You've clearly copied this from tutorials made by a professional - see this link: http://www.jezelf.co.uk/ Click on the 'Tutorials' tab (it's a Flash-based site) and open any of the images there. Nice copy.


Who exactly are you to throw such accusations? Where are the tutorials you made?

Even if the tutorial was copied it doesn't make it any less valuable. IMO it contains good advice for beginner mapmakers, and if some methods are similar to some other tutorial on some other site I don't think anyone is going to care. The quality of work speaks for itself.
Last edited by natty dread on Thu Mar 11, 2010 8:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby captainwalrus on Thu Mar 11, 2010 7:08 pm

HollyElizabeth wrote:CaptainWalrus... how amusing. You've clearly copied this from tutorials made by a professional - see this link: http://www.jezelf.co.uk/ Click on the 'Tutorials' tab (it's a Flash-based site) and open any of the images there. Nice copy.

Yup, I put it in GIMP and added some more elements though. His seemed incomplete for CC, so I made something that applies more, using his method. The idea is from there, but I did much more than just copy it. I was going to put the link (I saw it at the cartographersguild.com) but then I could not find it again.

edit:
In fact, I found that because it was posted here a while ago:
wcaclimbing wrote:Found a wonderful tutorial in there. Great for me, cause I like making realistic terrain: http://www.jezelf.co.uk/tutorials_map04.htm

there are lots of good tutorials in there.
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Re: Fantasy Mapmaking

Postby RjBeals on Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:12 am

Well it's not a blatant copy, but you probably should have mentioned the source, and possibly linked to it.
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