Making Sylnae, Part II: The Mountains and Forests

And here we continue with part two of the series, documenting the creating of the world I plan on using to run some games.

Part 2: The Mountains and Forests

Having done many maps in my life, I knew the scariest (e.g. hardest) part was coming up, the forests. If you look at the old maps the forest was fairly simple, but in practice this is difficult to reproduce. So I skipped it, and went straight onto the mountains. 🙂

FRexample-mountainsThe mountains proved to be a little trickier than I thought they would be initially, since there were four colors at play, instead of the two main ones I though there were. See the example from the source map to the left. I realized this after I made my first attempt, so I had to go back and redo it again. It was worth it though, I think it turned out decent and is quick enough that it can be reproduced quickly and in large numbers across the map. Considering the amount of land that will be covered by mountain ranges, this was an important factor. Below is my working model to use as a template for all the mountains on the world map.

map style3

After I completed the basic mountains, I realized that they used two different mountains on their map: one basic one, and one for the tallest mountains. They used a  slightly modified one for the tallest mountains that has a scattering of snow on the peaks. Not a drastic change, but one that you notice after looking at the map for a while. So I took care of that as well, no doubt delaying the inevitable forest attempt.

map style5


So now we come to the forest. I had put it off long enough and I knew that if I could not pull off the forest, the project would be dead in the water. Having to literally paint it by hand would take a long time, though it could be done, and I am just too impatient for that sort of thing. I want an easy way to reproduce it, that holds true to the style, and does not take a week to produce. The example to the right has a few hills buried in the forest (along the south and eastern edges)

I played a bit, made more than a few attempts, struggling to get that interior shading to a point that matched the old style but was not a complete pain in the ass to do. It took a few tries before I had an epiphany on how to easily do this but when it did, it was easy as hell. See my template below. I now realize I need to add some of the little random dots here and there to make it nearly identical to the original forest.

map style4

Next week we tackle Cliffs, Swamps, and Deserts!


2 thoughts on “Making Sylnae, Part II: The Mountains and Forests

  1. Cool, some of it I just realized I used my own lingo to describe steps. So one could probably not reproduce it exactly, for example: “3- top, random dots, tweak, 4- mask with top.” Not that helpful to anyone but me that knows that means:
    3 – take the top layer and change it to the stroke to dots, tweak it until you are happy.
    4 – create a mask using the original shape (should be the 4th copy handy) and use it as a mask on the 3rd (dots) layer.

    But hey, this was more an effort to create an easy way I could remember how I did the map and I ended up thinking it might be neat for others to see how I did it.

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