Blogpost

Podcast fame

A short while a go I was interviewed by the guys making the podcast Roll For Initiative . So if you’re interested in hearing me and the great hosts talk about maps Greyhawk you can download the episode here: Volume 3 Special Insert 2 – The Maps of Greyhawk

Roll For Initiative is podcast specializing in 1st Edition D&D and old style gaming that comes out weekly. Thank you guys for doing a great podcast and covering Greyhawk, fantasy map making and me in your podcast.

 

Mess in the west, a screenshot of what I’m up to

Screenshot of terrain in the making

Screenshot of terrain in the making

Here is a screenshot of what I’m working on at the moment, Valley of the Mage, Barrier Peaks, Ull and the northern part of the Sheldomar Valley. It is a very rough preview Bryce render.

This is stage one of the actual mapping, trying to find where to put features like mountains and lowlands. When I have found where to place things I’m trying to find what texture to use on it. Then comes the tedious job of working out all the details and making all the pieces to fit by making the edges blend. It is often a trial and error trying to find what combination of fractals to use to create what I’m after. How much erosion or sharpness to apply and then get the height right to match the surrounding terrain.
When I got an area right it is time to zoom in and render, which means let Bryce create detailed jpg’s of that area a piece at a time. So far I have rendered 1,265 of these images each 2400 x 1450 pixels. Then I stitch them together with the previous ones in my large Photoshop file of the whole terrain.

The next step is to touch up and add some more details and variation using Photoshop. Then the terrain is ready for symbols and heraldry in CorelDraw. Often there are errors or things I missed that make me go back and redo parts all over again. That takes a lot of extra effort so extensive research are important, but its impossible for me to get everything right so I often have to go back and forth at least five to six times and on some areas over fifteen times before everything is right.

Index page

I’ve added an index page that lists all the tags alphabetically. So now you can use the list to find maps covering a special area or topic. Everything on this site including the maps are tagged with keywords that are used for the index, and they also appear in the tag cloud on the right hand side of most pages.

My site is slowly but steadily growing in functionality to become what I’m always wanted, the best place to come for Greyhawk maps. In the future my ambition is to also include a lot of generic maps as well.

How I make my maps, a short tutorial

I often get the question how I make my maps, and what software I’m using. To try and answer that I made a short tutorial explaining how I use Bryce to create and render the terrain. Its a 6 page PDF file with screenshots and text to explain how I make the terrain.

You can download the PDF here: Bryce tutorial1

Bandit Kingdom updates.

Done some over due updates in and around Bandit Kingdoms. Added heraldry and a few towns and villages that I missed the other times I worked on the area. Some of the maps have 18 and 19 versions by now and I guess that both shows how much I can miss and have to redo later, and that is due to the richness of detail in this part of the Greyhawk campaign world.
It has been a popular part to adventure in since Gary took his party on a stretch of sessions in Stoink that according to legend was a lot of fun. I can understand why, its a very interesting area where all sorts of folk meet and mingle. Its probably one of the few places that trade and contact occurs between the empire of Iuz and the good lands that opposes him. Any way I’ve updated areas: 34, 35, 47 and 48. You can find them under Greyhawk maps – area maps.

New Logo..

I’ve worked on a new logo for my fantasy maps, and this is version 2:

Work..work…and in the end some results…..

The website isn’t looking that great yet but at least its up and running. I’ve started classifying and tagging all my maps, that way you will be able to find all my maps that covers a certain area or are of a certain type. The types are so far Area, Realm, Local and Battle maps.

Area maps
Area maps are the numbered areas I’ve divided the Flanaess into, most to make my mapping effort more manageable. They will be replaced, once I’m done mapping the whole of the Greyhawk campaign world, with a big map and divided into the realms of the Flanaess. When I started this project in the mid 90’s it was with the intention of printing it on paper. Thankfully modern technology have made digital publishing online an easier and cheaper alternative, and I will be making several different versions of my Flanaess map. More detail on that in a couple of months when I know exactly how big the map will be.

Realm maps
Each Realm meaning each country or sovereign area will get a detailed map with a legend and information on it. So if you have a campaign centered on a specific part of Greyhawk this map will be a great campaign map. I’ve only made a few maps to test a few different styles for presentation. I’m not going to make any more until I’m done with the main work of mapping the whole campaign world.

Local maps
This category include maps of cities, villages and other areas up to a few miles. So far I’ve only made a series of style and workflow tests to try and find out what I  want to include, and how to present it. There will be a lot more on local maps from me next year.

Battle maps
Here In this category are all the maps you use for your miniatures, and most of them will have the squares and all. How often haven’t you wished you had a perfect castle, Orc’s lair, Evil Temple or just that roadside inn that gets ambushed as the characters are spending the night. Modern virtual battlefields will make this type of maps be much more useful and a GM with lots of them can combine them for fresh new takes on almost everything. I have only done a few of these maps for my on campaign to test, same goes with this type a lot more will be presented next year.

There are lots of maps covering adventuring areas, some of them very inspiring and others look make my GPS display look cool. Making maps for RPG’s are especially difficult since they have to be both informative and inspirational, one often exclude the other. But I have some new ideas on how to succeed with both

Tags
The maps will be tags so you can find all my maps that covers a for example the Bandit Kingdoms, or Irongate. Hopefully you will be able to find what you’re looking for easier even as the number of maps will increase a whole lot when I make different versions of the same map for various needs.

Unfortunately this have taken a few days of my time away from making maps. I will have to take a few more days in the future to work on the looks of ghmaps.net as well. Hopefully the end results are worth it, to have a more modern website with way more features that requires less maintenance. My old had a lot of small goblins or something that always caused errors.

There will be new maps and a Road Map for 2013 coming soon.

Thank you all for your interest and support!

My new website

Welcome to the new website!

I have moved ghmaps.net to use a new web hosting software. My old website was in need of a major overhaul, so I decided to spend the effort to migrate to a new site. I’m sorry for the unfinished look and lack of features at the moment. My passion is in making maps and not websites so it will be a bit provisional for a couple of months while I’m finishing my Flanaess map.

If this is the first time you visit this site this is what this site is about:

The most ambitious attempt to map the world of Greyhawk ever undertaken. Enter and you will find a repository of Flanaess maps unequaled anywhere in the known planes of existence. Fantasy maps done to give you inspiration and information to run better Greyhawk campaigns.

Big words I know but take a look at my maps and I hope you agree with me. Thank you for your interest in my work.

Anna