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

Area map 48, version 16

Sq48v16PDF version: Sq48v16

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.

Area map 47, version 19

Sq47v19PDF version: Sq47v19

Area map 34, version 2

Sq34v2PDF version: Sq34v2

Area map 35, version 9

Sq35v9PDF version: Sq35v9

Area map 29, version 5

Sq29v5

PDF version:Sq29v5