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World Building Blog

GENERAL UPDATE

Well, it’s one of those times. “Those times” being when “I’ve been struggling with getting any art, design, ‘or anything, really’ done because I’m a total perfectionist and it’s so much easier to just spend forever researching +/- 37 different things simultaneously” (ranging, of course, from how pteradons fly to the best way to scientifically (and most painfully) determine exactly where in a particular binary star system the life zone – a.k.a habitable zone or Goldilocks zone – would fall).


WORLDS OF SAND

3D landscape header

Fortunately, I’ve been insanely fortunate enough to be selected as a finalist-interviewee – a writing position – for an indie game company currently working on their first big project, which happens to be based on some of my favorite themes/genres, movies, game-types, etc. The company is Starboard Games L.L.C. (links tp FB page) and the game is called INT (short for Interstellar). While this blog has been primarily about art, design, and more “visual-creative” projects, I’ve been world building – and creating languages – for years now (almost a decade, and that’s not counting the totally-uneducated attempts I made back in middle school).

In the interest of not only continuing to explore those areas of interest but also to get all the research I’ve done and ideas I’ve been exploring out there to share and discuss with other people, I’ve decided that now is a great time to start a blog specifically for world-building and all that goes into that (or can, at least)! Taking the first step applying for this writing job has been a great push forward towards the blog, but whatever happens with the job itself – all power to them, the idea sounds great – I’m looking forward to writing again. Well, writing in a “public forum” and getting feedback and having discussions, anyway. All the writing I’ve been doing recently has been kept … under wraps, so to speak.

Perhaps I’ve reached a kind of “critical mass” in terms of the amount of information I’ve amassed. Now it’s time to actually make use of it all, even if I end up just sharing it and helping others use it for their own epic ends.

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Map Commissions

I recently checked back in with the commissioner of the Harmak map (Rossik, on the Cartographer’s Guild forums), and he was kind enough to like it a lot. Although I’m not sure it’s “perfect”, he likes it and that’s what matters most. He was even kind enough to ask for my website so he could share it with others, so thank you very much! It’s been a pleasure working with you.

I also checked in with the commissioner of the map of Nogarung, and updated it. Here’s the latest version:

Now, last week I found another request on the Cartographer’s Guild forums, for a “detailed world map for a high fantasy novel“. I e-mailed the commissioner, gorilla0132, and he kindly send over an example map of the style he was looking for, which was quite helpful along with the map he drew of the world himself. It took me awhile to figure out the waves around the edges of the continent, and this map is by no means finished. I thought it would be best to check in with the commissioner before continuing. Here is the first draft of the map (Eos):

For those of you who are wondering, yes – I am taking commissions. For maps, character sketches, SketchUp models, etc. I am a little busy what with finals at my university, but I welcome any and all commissions (to be accepted at my discretion), and would be happy to work with you on any project.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Graven Map

New  Map

New map of Graven, section

Well, I’m redoing the whole map. Again. I’m not even going to bother trying to count how many iterations I’ve gone through. This time, though, I’m moving out of Photoshop and into Illustrator, and working with building lots instead of individual buildings (1st large map), or streets (2nd large map). I’ve also increased the size of the map (sort of). I wanted the city to be about the size of Tokyo; I discovered my map was a fraction of that size, so I had to scale it up. To work on it in Illustrator (or in PS without the software crashing or taking 5 minutes to draw a single line), I have to work on it at 1/4 the final size – at 1px = 1 m (or 1000 px = 1 km), that means my final size will be 47,000 pixels across (2209km²). Or approximately 13′ x 13′. Okay, that’s a lot bigger than I thought it’d be.

I’m building the map in Illustrator for a few reasons, however, all of which depend on the infinite scalability of a vector image. The biggest reason is that I want to print this map as big as I can possibly get it (which isn’t going to be much bigger than 3′ x 3.5-4′ or so, probably; and sadly). I’m also planning on creating a sort of “atlas book”, similar to the excellent and inspiring “Tokyo: Bilingual Atlas” (there’s also one for all of Japan; the link is to the revised edition on Amazon, although I’m currently borrowing the older edition from the library).

Now that I’ve figured Illustrator out enough to work quickly – a lot quicker than in Photoshop! – I just need to double check that I’ve scaled things down properly to 1/4 scale. I have a sneaking suspicion I didn’t … But we’ll see, and this will go a lot faster now. Hopefully I’ll have a preliminary map done by the end of the week, if not sooner. Then I can get started on labels and marking key locations, among other things. Who know, maybe I’ll even have my constructed language pretty well completed (which I’m in the process of revising, as per the previous post). That would allow me to label in my own language, or at least use characters as map symbols.

 
 

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