18 January 2016

Pelasgos and Azazem - Atlas Elyden

Here’s some WIPs on the next batch of maps. Since I have the topography for all of the Inner sea ‘done’ (I use the word done loosely as I’m already seeing parts I’m not happy with on the Korachan map – I need more levels of topography, so I’m thinking of 15 total, so I need to make a swatch/palette for the extra levels, but more on that some other time) I can now concentrate on the maps themselves – transplanting details and features from my old Inner Sea Map over to the newer and far more precise atlas maps.

the Inner Sea

So Far I’ve been working on Korachan’s coastal neighbours to the west and east – Azazem and Pelasgos, respectively – as parts of them were already done when I was working on Korachan (though that doesn’t mean I skipped half the work – as I each map is a different scale, I have to re-label them, so that text and icon sizes remain a constant size across maps regardless of scale).

Pelasgos is farther along and is almost done. You might notice a new ‘road’ design which represents umbra pipelines. Umbra in Elyden is a magical substance that takes the place of petroleum and oil in the real world. Most technarcane engines run on processed umbra and it’s a vital resource. I just need to do a bit more tinkering, add a few more labels (like rivers, lakes and geographical features, mostly), before I can call it done.


Azazem is a bit more raw, and so far I’ve just managed to transplant the old labels from the Inner Sea map to it and found encyclopaedia entries for the region and am in the process of fitting them into the new geography I came up with. I love this part as I get to rediscover old features and details I came up with years ago that I had forgotten about, so it’s a bit like a historian/archaeologist, piecing history together, expanding upon it and placing it in the world. Azazem is also the first of this new batch of maps to be displayed in landscape mode, due to its orientation.

Azazem - WIP

I mentioned the topography above, and it’s something I’m not 100% happy with. On face value there’s nothing wrong with it, though it seems a bit off – particularly the mountainous levels. They seem a bit bare, so I want to revisit the individual levels to make them more intricate and ‘realistic’, if that makes any sense. At this point it’s just polish though and I can live without it for now, though I do want to go back and revisit the levels in the future, maybe once I have some more regions finished, particularly around the Inner Sea.

Speaking of the future, I’m looking forward to moveing away from the Inner Sea, and somewhere a bit more virginal. I’m thinking of the continent of Bror, in the southeastern hemisphere. It’s an interesting shape and the only true island-continent in Elyden, so it’s something different to the Inner Sea. Either that of the Surrach, which I’ve touched upon before, though not explored in much detail so far. 

BROR - in the S-E of the map

So many choices!

09 January 2016

Korachan Atlas map 'finished'!

The first map in my Atlas Elyden series is finished! Now to start work on the next...

Korachan - Atlas Elyden 'finished'

I spent far longer on the topography than I was hoping to but, I can justify it by saying I was working on a large area that sees the basis for around 6-8 maps largely done, so that will save me a lot of time in the future.

I updated the colour scheme, and went for a simpler scheme for the water (no wave lines any more), though there’s no topography for the water (yet… not sure if I want to do that for now, but its easily something that can be done at a later time). I still need to add some spot-heights (and depths) but they’re not essential to the map and can wait for later. I also had to go over the roads and paths to make them fit in with the elevation better (no roads in steep inclines, for instance).

I removed the greyed out ‘focus’ area in favour of a washed out near-greyscale background for areas outside the borders of the focus nation (in this case all lands not part of the nation of Korachan).  

Overall, I’m quite pleased with the end result and am already on the Pelasgos map, which shouldn’t take too long now that I have the base ready. If I can keep up the pace I might try make some encyclopaedia entries for the regions I’ve finished. 


01 January 2016

the Path Travelled - part 4

part 4 is now available on my Patreon, here. I've added a link in each part linking back to the previous part so readers can start at the beginning. Please check it out at let me know - so far it's a travelogue, though a story is about to unfold.

Remember, if you want to you can support my patreon for excusive goodies for as little as $2 a month,


More Topography

I've continued working on the topographical map over the past few days and, with the help of some comments from fellow cartographers (thanks to AzurePlanet over at the Cartographer's Guild) I've revised the levels of the topography, making the map overall shallower and more realistic.

Inner Sea topography - take 2

I still feel as though there's room for more work - polishing off certain parts of the sections as well as altering the edges to make them more realistic. In general I wasn't to continue making the maps shallower until I only need to add 1 or 2 more level of steepness (level 6 / 7) as I don't want this region to be too high in a global sense. The highest peak in the world is something around 10,000 meters (as a contrast Everest is 8,848 meters), I'd like 10,000 meters to be the 12th height level on the maps.

Speaking about height maps I'm still working on the scale for them but will likely settle on something similar to this (though it's far from final):

12  - 10,000 meters
11  - 8,000 meters
10  - 6,000 meters
9    - 4,000 meters
8    - 3,000 meters
7    - 2,000 meters
6    - 1,500 meters
5    - 1,000 meters
4    - 750 meters
3    - 500 meters
2    - 250 meters
1    - 100 meters

I'm now looking to a final map that's hopefully a stylistic cross between this and this (colour of the former and the clarity of the latter), and though my hopes of finishing the map in December have been thwarted I hope to not take too long on it. though I am keeping in mind that the topography above will be useful for quite a few maps, which will save time there (hopefully!) As I work on the topography I notice that some roads and other routes currently pass through very rough and steep terrain - those will need to be revised.

As I said at the onset - this was a 'proof of concept' map showing me what can and cant be done and I've learnt a lot about the order in which things need to be done, so work on the 2nd map (Pelasgos - half of which is already done thanks to the orientation of the Korachan map) will hopefully be completed a lot quicker. I'm tentatively hoping for at least an average of 1 map per month...

We'll see :)

#topography #elyden #fantasycartography