Saturday, January 15, 2011

Confession: I Suck at Maps

This may be a product of the fact that I am not all that good at drawing them and that they don't (save for those block city maps or Mappa Harnica which I like) really inspire me.

Until quite recently (the 3x area, seriously) in fact stuff was designed and enjoyed haphazardly. I just kind of said, well OK this is here and that is there and that was that.

And you know what, it worked. My players didn't care, I didn't care and all was good.

However of late I have had some calls for a decent world map for Midrea. I was pretty stumped as to what the world should look like and I vacillated between something island-ish like Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea and something more Earth like.

After a fairly long thought about it I decided on the following

Midrea has only two large continents, The Mainland where most of the adventures take place and another land mass analogous to North and South America.

The rest of the nations are chains of islands and smaller Australia sized continents.

This seems to fit the way the game is actually played, allows me to isolate nations a bit to prevent unwanted cultural bleed and actually permits me to emphasize seafaring without overemphasizing seafaring.

Now thats left is for me to find a solution to generate real looking fractal maps then put the nations in place.

Any clues for solutions that are Linux based or at least compatible with WINE or web based and generate maps that I can add to my product legally would be appreciated.

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