11 Comments

  1. Eric Anondson
    2 January 2016 @ 2:21 am

    Will you find a way to bring the older posts over to the new blog?

    Reply

    • Thorfinn Tait
      2 January 2016 @ 2:53 am

      Hi Eric! Great to see you here. 🙂

      I am planning to do so, yes. I’m not in any hurry to shut down the old blog, so I’ll likely just reblog each article in turn during quiet spots.

    • Eric Anondson
      2 January 2016 @ 3:06 am

      Nice. No hurry. Something about the comment system on the old blog was preventing me logging in to comment.

      My ebb and flow interest in my favorite settings is on the rise again. I’ll be around lurking a bit.

      Nice to see you hitting the same “gotchas” I did trying to reconcile different scale Mystara maps. I was going strong trying to create an epic single map, 8-mile hex, of the entire Known World and Great Waste using Hexographer. The file got so large it failed to open after a point. 🙁 So much lost time killed my enthusiasm so I ended up deleting the now-dead-file.

    • Thorfinn Tait
      2 January 2016 @ 3:17 am

      I totally sympathise with you there. This is a well-worn road I’m travelling, in the footsteps of so many illustrious cartographers before me. Their work is great to have as a reference, and where there are notes it’s always clear that we’re tackling the same issues.

      This is the umpteenth time for me to try and get through these issues, and I’ve always gotten dragged down in the past and ended up drifting away.

      The only thing that makes this time different is my resolve, which comes from realising that I’m rapidly approaching the 11th anniversary of the start of my Mystara mapping project. Enough is enough! 11 years is too long, and there’s so much I could do if I could just get past these issues. Just look at what Anna Meyer has done for Greyhawk! None of that is possible until we have a coherent body of maps.

    • Eric Anondson
      2 January 2016 @ 5:19 am

      I know Anna’s stuff well. I’d helped her with some research years ago. I’ve made many of my own Greyhawk maps I posted on deviantart as AdmundfortGeographer. I put my Greyhawk mapping oh hiatus as I saw Anna’s work take off and my available hours dry up. The mapping style I was using was absurdly time consuming too.

      But I have opinions and experience and passion and love talking about all this stuff!

    • Thorfinn Tait
      3 January 2016 @ 12:44 pm

      Eric, I just checked out your DeviantArt page. Wow! The Greyhawk maps are beautiful. What were you doing them in? Were you creating height maps?

      Your alternate Mystara stuff is fascinating, too. I just spent a while poring over your maps, guessing which country was which, and thinking about how that would change things. What fun!

    • Eric Anondson
      4 January 2016 @ 2:14 am

      I made those Greyhawk maps using Photoshop. No height maps. Just tons of layers, and lots of brushing. LOTS. I wanted a map that had the artistic beauty of faux-satellite imagery, but not have the uncanny valley of hyper-realistism when zoomed in to localities. My working files had 9x–16x more resolution than those uploaded images.

      The re-arranged Known World was an itch I had to scratch. When I got to the Savage Coast, I was going to squeeze the Atruagin Clans in places along the escarpment or the Yalu Bay side of the Arm of the Immortals. Since Hexographer couldn’t handle my files that ballooned, I might try to find a good vector drawing app and try your methods. Maybe… 🙂

    • Thorfinn Tait
      4 January 2016 @ 2:21 am

      The secret to working with huge maps is definitely Photoshop! I had basically the same problems you had in Hexographer with my maps, except in Adobe Illustrator. They get to a certain size and it just becomes too time-consuming to go any further, because even scrolling around the map takes so long.

      I only just discovered the workaround recently, which is placing the files in Photoshop. It reads the vectors once, then renders it as a raster, so you can easily splice together massive maps without worrying about the size too much. Even better, you can keep the vector files linked, so they automatically update if you change the base file.

      Without this functionality, I had been stalling on making trail maps for years and years.

      I love the way you rearranged all the nations, keeping the spirit of things intact, while shifting all the details around. Really excellent work.

    • Eric Anondson
      4 January 2016 @ 9:19 am

      As soon as I get myself an updated license of Creative Suite I’ll get to tinkering with doing what you’re describing.

      I enjoyed staring and dwelling and rotating and sliding and flipping, and justifying every change. It gave me some chances at enlarging places that were bugging, like the domains of orcs goblins and the rest. In many ways the different regional themes stayed cohesive or got stronger somehow.

      Maybe there is a strong argument to keep Heldann far away from Thyatis, but I thought something worked well by positioning it between the Northern Reaches and Thyatis.

      Squeezing Rockhome right next to Glantry helped, to me, strengthen their antipathy to each other. Putting Ethengar on Glantry’s west side kept them in the region and still relevant to Glantry. As well it put them in a more pleasing place for the historic migrations.

      I could talk about it forever!

  2. Erik
    2 January 2016 @ 5:18 am

    Thank for your work. I’m looking forward to receive my Calidar copy later in this year and in the while I will be joying al the Mystara news. I will go on with my little project too. I am cleaning (photoshop) and printing my own BECMI modules. By now I have done like 10 or 12 and I have a lot of work to do! Happy 2016 there in Japan, from Mexico!

    Reply

    • Thorfinn Tait
      3 January 2016 @ 12:47 pm

      Erik, that sounds like a great project! I was thinking about doing something similar with the Gazetteers for a while — you may have seen my remake of GAZ13, using the text files TSR released many years ago — but I shelved it since I can’t share the results anyway.

      So many projects, only so much time.

      Glad you’re enjoying Calidar, by the way! There should be lots of fun stuff for it this year.

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