Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This Is Fun For Me

I'm afraid that most of my fascination these last two weeks has been the mapping of India.  I must admit, I am amazed that I am that far in this project.  I started just to the left of the middle of the map above, with a region called Voronezh, a county during the time of the Renaissance.  Steadily and slowly I added one region at a time, moving in a general outwardly spiralling circle for a number of years before deciding just to work on whatever seemed best.  As a favor to a friend, after I complete India it's my plan to finish the remainder of the Mediterranean Basin.  I'm researching the cities and towns of France now so I'll be able to start that late in 2011/early 2012.  The research is the time-heavy part, to be honest.  I've got the actual mapmaking down to a science, so I can set down 10 to 50 hexes a day without much trouble.  Admittedly, France is a great deal more dense than India, so the individual hexes will go slowly, but once the actual ground is researched completely, it will just go tickety-boo.

I wanted to add the above map as a rejoiner to the one added last week.  It includes a lot of parts that were on this map, but it has been somewhat updated and at any rate it looks good to group parts together.  It helps with the general perspective.

The gentle reader may not be aware that all of the above map is listed in detail on the Same Universe Wiki, on this page.  The map compilation above, and the one posted last week, were formed entirely from the maps on the wiki, copying them one by one and shrinking them consistently before overlapping them together.  None of this is from my private files, so anyone could do what I've done above for their own benefit.  The pleasant thing about the maps I've done is that they are all the same size, in the precise same scale.  Here and there I've found there's a slight error where the maps overlap ... wrong color used on one map or the other, and in one case the actual wrong hex designated on one of the two maps.  If you look carefully you can find the discontinuity in the South Sahara on the Arabian map.  Eventually I'll get around to fixing this sort of thing, and reposting those maps on the Wiki.

This map above lines up with the other map as well, as below.  I've had to shrink both maps down to get them into blogger, but you can see if you save it and blow it up that the map hexes fit seamlessly (or as near as is reasonable).

This should look really great when I get India done.  I have so far mapped the Punjab & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Nepal, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.  For those who might know the region, I'm presently working on Maharashtra, which is central India west of Mumbai (Bombay).  I am having a great time, as India is one of those places you never can get a great map for, and the landscape is therefore unfamiliar to me.  Thus, I am learning immense things about where the rivers flow, how this shapes the history of the country, where the natural chokepoints are for trade and military ventures ... all that sort of really cool stuff.

I did slap around some people (they know who they are) about my maps.  I think the most important thing in the game about having a map, whether you invent your own world or not, is the sense for the BIG PICTURE you get.  It's all very well to know the road between the town and the dungeon and the other temple, but if you want your world to flesh out and come alive, the great scheme of human movement cannot really be understood without a top down view of considerable proportions.  Measure the maps above, and ask yourself if we really understand how large this world is, or how varied is its possibility for adventure, or how immeasurably the facets of the world jostle one another for power.


  1. This post was from 14 months ago; if you haven't seen it yet, it's relevant to this article:

    You can pull a LOT out of a good map.

  2. Alexis, it's an incredible piece of work and you should be proud of it. I'm not sure how you respond to honest praise, but you deserve it.


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