Going old school

2014-08-25 - 1

Lately I’ve started to make old school maps while not being around a computer. Most of the commissions I make I draw in Photoshop or CC3 from Profantasy, you can actually say that my computer is my main tool while making maps.

But before computers you had to do all your maps on paper, that’s how I started out. On Google+ I follow a lot of mappers like Matt Jackson, Simon Forest or Monkeyblood design that makes those lovely handmade old school maps. Inspired by those maps I decided that I had to give it a try myself.

So I acquired a good moleskin notebook, some pens in different sizes and started out. In the beginning it felt quite awkward not being able to hit ctrl+Z as soon as something went wrong, which I did in my mind all the time, but after a while I got used to cover up mistakes so that they looked intentional.

And I must say that I really enjoy making those maps. Nowadays I bring my notebook wherever I go, because you never know when you will have some spare time when you can draw some maps instead of constantly checking Facebook on your mobile.

Some maps are never done

Etrakien 3 sketch

If you have followed my blog for a while you probably know that I’m on and off is working on my own fantasy setting, the Etrakien world. The world is mainly concentrating on the area around Ankh-Bathor, the world’s largest city and market place, dividing the world between east and west.

Earlier I’ve made two versions of the map for this world, but some maps just don’t seem to have a last version, so I’m now restarting the map for a third time. Why you might wonder, well the reason is actually quite simple.

Since the world is developing all the time with twists and turns the map in the end didn’t really work out with the plot. The biggest reason for this is that it felt like everything was too far away from each other, I wanted the world to be more concentrated to one are. This would open up some new possibilities in my world building, and making a new map is never something bad, that is always good.

As you can see in the sketch of the world above I’ve kept quite a lot from the older maps, actually most of the coast lines are from the earlier ones, they have only been moved around quite a lot. I also decided to have less countries then before, mainly because this will make it easier to keep track of the politics of the world. Instead I’m adding some free city states that are under their own rule, but will be in coalition with one or more countries.

I’m in no hurry to finish this map, and it is something I’m working on between commissions and some other stuff, so there might be some time between updates. But it will be a fun project to work on.