[Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

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[Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Vectomon on Mon May 24, 2010 2:36 pm

Well, Basil asked for some tips a while ago on antoher topic, so i thought "Hey! Loon! I have some random tips, so why not compile them on a pseudo-tutorial?" So, here you go. This isn't a VX tutorial per se (God I love this expression), but a general world mapping tutorial.

Some people, instead of making a world map from the start, make random lines and fill them, so let's start from there. Let's call it our "Base".



Well, It's a good base. It has:
*Both north and south poles, though not evident
*Various continents
And that's the start for a good world map.

Before I start rambling and throwing in images, let's make a list (I love lists) of what we'll do in this tutorial:
*Adjust the continents so they match a "post-pangea" notion
*Place islands to make it more realistic
*Paint some shallow water
*Lay down the climate
*Forests and mountains

So, now that we have our base, let's begin!

Ajusting the continets to a "post-pangea" notion.
Well, I don't know if there really is a an expression such as "post-pangea notion", so I'll explain what I meant.
We all know the Earth's continents once formed a big one called Pangea. But due the constant actibity of the mantle and the tectonic plates' movement, it broke down and eventually formed the five continets we live in: America, Africa, Eurasia, Australia and Antarctica (Some people divide Earth in 4, 5, 6 or 7 continents). If we look at the continents, we can see they are like puzzle pieces that can be assebles in what looked like Pangea.



So we should adapt our base so the continents could be arranged to form a "Pangea".



You may also notice a made the coastlines jaggier. You see, continents drifting away is a very turbulent process filled of volcanic activity, earthquakes and whatnot. A smooth, curved coastline would be very, very unlikely.
Now that we made our continents match, lets move on to...

Islands!
Islands are fun. They're also good for world maps. They make it look more realistic and contribute to the "Pangea effect" discussed earlier. But where to place them? Well, it depends. If we're talking about islands that complement the continent, then you should place them at the continental shelf. You know, next to the continental closet and above the continental bed? Just kidding. The continental shelf is the shallow water surrounding a continent. I've marked these areas with red:


(We'll talk about continental shelfs again later in the shallow water part)

Well, islands can look really weird in some places, so stick to the ones that look nice.



See that some islands follow a path between two continents? I'll explain why on the shallow water part. Now, remove the red.



That's it for islands! Now, let's dive into...

Shallow water!
If you survived that bad pun, you might remember that long ago (about 8 lines) I said I'd explain why some islands followed a path between two continents. Well, that because originally there was a landmass connecting these two continents that was broken due to the tectonic plates moving. However, the seafloor would still reveal such connection, so we use shallow water tiles around these islands to emphatize this connection. We'll add shallow water around the continents too, showing the continental shelf.



See that there are some stray shallow water too? Those are submerged mountains. Some islands are submerged mountains too Very Happy
Now, it's our last real step. Let's talk about...

Climate!
Some people make continents consiting solely of ice and other are a really big desert. Well, that's wrong. When your continents are big, they'll include have than just on climate (Or all of them if it's a supercontinent).
The general cliamte rule is that the further away from the equator, the colder. But that doesn't mean that everything in that line should be a desert. There's a whole plethora of factors that determine a continent's cliamte, but let's stick with this simple rule for now.



Whoa, suddenly there are a lot of islands on the poles! Those are large icebergs and various other ice stuff.
Well, that's it. Right? WRRRRROOOOOOONNNNGGGGGGG! There's still...

Forests and mountains!
The last step! This one is easy. Forests should be added between the cold and the hot zones. Mountains can follow a path, showing there has been some serious earth shakin' there.



You're done! You now have a decent world map for your characters to explore. If this tutorial helped you, than pelase click the thank button (If already implemented) or raise my reputation! Because I'm that much of an attention whore.

Please report any grammar or spelling mistakes!


Last edited by Vectomon on Mon May 24, 2010 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Vectomon on Mon May 24, 2010 4:26 pm

Also, 101th post! Yay!

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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Dezz123 on Mon May 24, 2010 4:29 pm

This is quite good, but it could be better. Towns. xD.
Also, you don't always need continents.
To make things simple, I'll post a screenshot of my world map tomorrow.
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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Vectomon on Mon May 24, 2010 4:34 pm

Well, I was going for realistic world maps. I should clarify it on the title Very Happy About the towns, well, I suck at placing them. But I guess they'd be concentrated on the temperate zone where the temperatures aren't intense. They'd also be concentrated in the coast.

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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Dezz123 on Mon May 24, 2010 4:48 pm

Not necesserably...
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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by BasilMeer on Mon May 24, 2010 7:11 pm

Thanks guys,I know what continental shelf and the other sea beds are Razz.And thanks for calling me a Loon.Anyways,the last time I tried to make a world map,it ended in the pics I posted at Maps gone bad.Thanks again,I'll follow your tips.
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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by omegas7 on Mon May 24, 2010 9:03 pm

This is very good, I'll make sure to use this if I ever decide to make a world map for my game (I keep using continuous maps Wink)

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Re: [Mapping] Realistic World Maps.

Post by Vectomon on Tue May 25, 2010 9:55 am

I just re-read it and OH GOOOD THE SPELLING MISTAKES! THE GROTESQUE GRAMMAR! IT BUUUUURRRNNNSSS

And thanks guys Very Happy

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