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Some recent gaming maps

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#16
MapMedia

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Right. Its real top rate quality stuff.

#17
natcase

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Wonder if you've chanced across Diana Wynne Jones Tough Guide to Fantasyland? It's a lot of fun.

I love your drawings, but the naming conventions on generic fantasy things always make chuckle... it's like naming suburbs here in the midwest (Pick any two: Deer Oak Park Spring Heights Hills Shore Lake...).

Grey Stone Manor
Wolfsbane Hills
Stormcloudapproachingfromthenorth Mountains

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#18
A. Fenix

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Beautiful work! I'm curious what your work flow is like, considering you are making maps of fictitious locations. I assume you work off a sketch from the writer/game developer? Also, what is the timeline for completing one of these beautiful illustrations?

you rock!
Analisa Fenix
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#19
Schley

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Beautiful work! I'm curious what your work flow is like, considering you are making maps of fictitious locations. I assume you work off a sketch from the writer/game developer? Also, what is the timeline for completing one of these beautiful illustrations?

you rock!


Thanks for the compliments! :D

The turnaround time generally ranges from one to three or four days, depending on the complexity of the map. Of course it also depends on the number of changes requested by the editors. Since the maps relate directly to the text they accompany they are often affected by changes that the authors or editors make to the story. This means that geography often has to be changed mid-stream as a result of editorial decisions. That's just the nature of the beast though.

As for my work flow, I typically get book assignments for one to fifty or so maps with sketches due a month out (2 weeks for magazine articles) and finals due in two months (1 month for magazines). Typically I'll turn over my inks for sketch approval and then once I've received any changes or notes I'll work up the final color versions. I often get rough layout sketches from the authors as well as the working text of the story but sometimes I just get a general description in the art order of what elements need to be shown.
Mike Schley
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#20
Schley

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the naming conventions on generic fantasy things always make chuckle... it's like naming suburbs here in the midwest (Pick any two: Deer Oak Park Spring Heights Hills Shore Lake...).


LOL! I totally agree!
In both cases I think it has to do with having to come up with names on the fly when there isn't much history to color the area being titled or the namer want's to break from the existing history of an area. Think of how much lore surrounds the names of old European cities versus all the new upstarts here in the U.S. We don't have many Paris' or Romulus' to name our cities after so they tend to default to generic geographic descriptions; many of which don't have anything to do with the place being named. From the fictional perspective, maps are often produced without any historical details to draw from; thus you get a lot of bland naming conventions. (Tolkien obviously broke this mold)

Mike
Mike Schley
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#21
DaveB

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Wonder if you've chanced across Diana Wynne Jones Tough Guide to Fantasyland? It's a lot of fun.

I love your drawings, but the naming conventions on generic fantasy things always make chuckle... it's like naming suburbs here in the midwest (Pick any two: Deer Oak Park Spring Heights Hills Shore Lake...).

Grey Stone Manor
Wolfsbane Hills
Stormcloudapproachingfromthenorth Mountains


I have that book. :)
Yeah, fantasy authors/game writers should do some study of topnyms and other naming and linguistic subjects. I think that's one of the things that makes Tolkein's world more believable than some.
Dave Barnes
Esri
Product Engineer
Map Geek

#22
Matthew Hampton

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Great stuff Mike!

My imagination comes alive when I look at your cartographic designs. I think hand-drawn cartographic illustrations are going to become even more sought after as we become a more geographically literate society and have thousands of digital maps vying for our attention span.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#23
Gregg

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I thought I'd post some non-technical maps and see what the verdict is. Essentially I am a commercial illustrator who has the good fortune to work on a steady stream of fantasy genre fictional maps. 100% of the work is done in Photoshop.

Let me know what you think. :)
Mike


Great work, Mike. These are very smart maps, clear to read and understand - they're also pleasing to look at - everything a great map should be, nicely done!

Question for you, if you don't mind: from your reply to someone else here, you indicated that your process is typically to sketch/ink up a draft version for approval, and at that point you'll then create the final map in Photoshop. Do you scan your sketch/ink and then use that scan as the basis for the final work you do in Photoshop? Also, is it safe to presume that a graphic tablet as a key part of your creation process? Do you create most of your map icons (aka castle icon), or did you find a good icon library to use?

I'm also doing some mapping using Photoshop/Illustrator for my own personal edification, but since I was a kid always doodled maps on paper in pencil. I've fortunately kept most of those maps and now want to bring them alive, so I'm planning to do high res scans and then update them using Photoshop. I'm definitely not a pro, but would love to learn and tips and hints you might be willing to share.

Thanks!
Gregg
San Francisco




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