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Adjutant
 
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Joined: 24 Aug 2013, 9:33 am

Post 15 Jan 2015, 7:40 am

Hey all -

I was wondering if anyone on here has experience with mapmaking and is willing to lend a hand to a project I've had stalled for a few months. I'm making a map based on the world of Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series. I have a base map created, and some potential SC locations, but I need some help dividing up the map and creating a final map to playtest. Anyone up or the challenge?
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Post 15 Jan 2015, 12:57 pm

my home computer is fairly well kaput so I can not do too much mapwork but I can help where requested and possibly even fire up one of my old and slow machines if need be.
Send me a link or the file
explorediplomacy (at) gmail (dot) com

no idea what this stormlight stuff is, I doubt that would matter too much?
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Post 15 Jan 2015, 1:01 pm

so I went and looked up the map and bingo, it's the one I have helped (ever so slightly) with! Have you done any updates since we last talked many months ago? I remember it being in the early stages and I had a few ideas then you seemed to agree with. That's as far as we got, I assume you made at least some progress since then, more borders we can play with and tweak? (there was a LOT of open land at that time if I recall)

I found a nice map to base some basics on:
http://images.wikia.com/stormlightarchi ... harMap.jpg
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Adjutant
 
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Post 15 Jan 2015, 1:57 pm

Tom -

Sent you an email with some details.



All -

The big thing that I could use some assistance with is the adjacencies of territories. I realize that's the single hardest part of mapmaking, and I'm not afraid to let it be known that I'm direction-less about it right now.
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Post 16 Jan 2015, 9:43 am

some basics for all...

Develop an idea/theme , check!
Develop a basic map idea, check!
Decide on how many powers will play and their general starting areas, check!

Unfortunately that's the easy part, but you are on your way.
Now it's time to decide how many starting centers you want/need and their placement may be critical to your theme (for example, if this were WWII you may decide Berlin is a must and you have to place it in a very particular location). This part is also fairly easy
what neutral centers are wanted/needed and where they must be placed is pretty much in this stage of development as well.

But NOW comes the hard part
Time to map things out and determine adjacencies and start developing balance and playability.
What I would normally do is throw in some real basic generic spaces while keeping in mind to maximize conflict and develop as many strategic spaces as possible. Try to max out the number of centers that can be taken in equal moves by multiple powers. Pretty much throw them in and then step back and look at the mess you created. Add a line here, move a line there, erase a line over there, and so on. Step back again and admire your mess and do it all again redrawing the map over and over. When you think it makes some sense, try to put yourself in each players shoes and where you would likely go or never go or possibly go (you get the idea?) try to "play" each power in your mind the first few moves are critical. If your equidistant centers are laid out well, the later stages will usually play along, it's these first turns that are crucial to the rest of the game!

When that's done, run it by someone you trust
But never listen TOO much to others, do take what they say to heart, but you know more and they may not "get it" yes they may and often do point out some things you did not see, but they WILL point to things you know are right, do not attempt to listen to every single thing said, everyone will have a different idea and keeping everyone happy simply will not happen so listen but stick to your guns when you differ.
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Post 22 Jul 2015, 2:24 pm

Another piece of advice: for your first draft, print out a basic, "blank" map (with coastal borders), maybe with those SCs you're sure of on there, and big enough to put some physical units on. Then, draw borders in pencil, so you can erase and redraw. Leave it on your coffee table if you can and revisit it often.

I found for my my first draft this let me get started more easily than going digital right away.
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Post 06 Aug 2015, 5:59 am

what is this thing you call a pencil?
Honestly, I think that way could certainly work and whatever way works best for you is the answer. HOWEVER, I would strongly suggest you at least attempt to avoid that step and work completely digitally. Draw your map on the screen, erase and add lines saving in multiple versions. If you can get used to this, it will save an extra BIG step down the road and by having different versions saved, you can quite easily go back and alter some previous ideas far faster than the paper copy. The most paper and pencil I have ever used was jotting down some very early, very basic ideas.

But again, if that is the way you prefer, then good for you. There is no "right" or "wrong" ways to do this, whatever works for you is the answer.