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A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 13:14:15


Incaman
Level 56
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Hello everyone :)

This is not a detailed guide but a more conceptual one. It explains the thoughts and steps i use in making a map. This guide follows the process of creating "the Fall of Jerusalem". I'm using illustrator for vectoring so i wont provide any shortcuts and detailed explanations, but all vector programs have more or less the same tools so all u have to do is use the help menu and some videos and you should be fine.

First Step

Here I would like to stress the importance of good research and planning. There are extensive amount of maps on the web about any subject you require, so take your time and explore. If you have some printed maps it would also be very usefull.

For this map i started my search on maps of the crusades and after some disappointing hits i finally came across the very good maps of Ian Mladjov from the University of Michigan. I also found some other good maps with important crusader forts in each of the kingdoms. The main thing to look for are maps with towns and provinces (if your lucky) as they are very useful for naming and planning your territory composition.
Here are some examples of the maps used:

http://sitemaker.umich.edu/mladjov/files/outremerreference1143.jpg

http://medievalcoins.ancients.info/maps/Crusader_Levant_map.JPG

One more thing to start considering is the look of your map, try to see how the maps of the period looked, what names we're they using and so on. There's a lot free vector elements you could use to add some character to your map and make it more visually appealing :) Think about coat of arms or flags for your megabonuses, read some history about the map or period your trying to recreate. How they depicted the ships, fortresses or airports. Trust me you can find some interesting information and also educate yourself a bit (which is always a good thing :) I wouldn't like to provide links for the vectors here, but u can always search for "free vector download". Just be VERY careful what and from where you download, and keep in mind we're limited to 2MB per map.

After arming your self with all the resources u need it's time to go to the next step :)
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 13:56:04


Incaman
Level 56
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Step Two

Now that you have extensive knowledge (ok, you don't need extensive knowledge but it's always usefull :) try to print your maps if u have the option and use some manual planning of the territory order. If not then use some visual planning instead. This is very important and will be explained next.

First you have to select the size of your map and keep in mind that you have to fit at least 3 digits in your territory. This is the way i resolved this:

I made a print screen of a warlight map and then measured the pixels for 100 armies in Photoshop. Then i just make a rectangle with the same dimensions in illustrator and i used this as a reference. I know many of you don't have this option so i will be happy to help you. The dimensions are Width 28 pixels Height 11 pixels (i'm not sure if this will work for everyone but it works for me so please leave a comment if it does or does not) or just send me an e-mail on stojanovskiigj@gmail.com and i'll be happy to send you an .svg of it so you can use it. Remeber always work in pixels and RGB ( i would rather not get into the difference between RBG and CMYK but if you insist i can explaing :)) when you do stuff for the web. Please be patient as i don't check e-mails regularly or i can be a bit busy but you will get it :)). Let's continue.

What i like to do is first draw out the outline border of the map, this is relevant because you want to get nice and close borders between bonuses. Use the maps you selected in a different layer and start drawing in another that will be placed on top. I'm not sure id inkscape offers layers but the point is to starts drawing the outline of the entire map. We will make the separate bonuses and territories later so we can change and modify at will.

This guide will continue as soon as i figure out how to post screenshots as they are vital in explaining my point :))
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 14:18:54


Incaman
Level 56
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OK thanks to [WM] Mushishi we continue..

A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 14:45:37


Incaman
Level 56
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Now i was taking about drawing the outline of your map



There are two ways you can draw your map.

One

Using curves, which is better in terms of using less points so it takes less space {remeber we have 2MB per map). But i have found that when converting it to .svg some of the finer lines are not translated well and you can have inconsistencies and gaps in your borders. Curves in image



Two

Using corners, which result in more points, more straight corners but translate better (not to say the same).



When not using curves it important to upload the map and see how it looks so it doesn't look too blocky ( i kinda miss judged this in Rise of Rome ). In the end it all depends on what look do you prefer.

Now that we finished drawing the outline we can go to the next step
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 14:49:54


Incaman
Level 56
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i guess i have to lower the image size, forgive me i have to try until i get the hang of it. Will be better :)

A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 15:38:13


Incaman
Level 56
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Just before we go to the next step there is one important this i have to mention. When drawing the outline you have to make sure it is a closed line. This means the following



Step Three

This is where the planning comes to work. We make lines for the individual bonuses, just a simple line to cut trough the outline. Make sure it exits the outline. Draw it in a separate layer.



Be careful these are the larger bonuses that will consist of 2,3,4 or more territories. We will make thoose later
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 16:49:03


Incaman
Level 56
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Now we just simply cut the outline with the lines already made. In illustrator we make the following: Select the first line



go to OBJECTS then PATH and DIVIDE OBJECTS BELOW (for other vectoring programs you have to checks how divide object is done i'm sure you can find tutorials for this). This is done because now we get a nicely cut bonus.



Do this with all the bonus line you made (again this is where planning you're bonuses and lines comes to light) After we do this with all the bonuses, comes the most important part.

Select them all and then offset for -0.5 pixels.

For illustrator go OBJECT then PATH and OFFSET PATH. In the offset menu type -0.5 px and hit OK.



After the work is done you get new lines that are offset for 0.5 px (obviously :)) make sure you don't deselect and hit ctrl+x to cut, delete the old lines and hit strl+f paste on spot. This is where we get nice clean separation between the bonuses without any gaps or jagged lines.





We go to the next step :)
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 18:02:07


Incaman
Level 56
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Step Four

"THE TERRITORIES" :)

We draw this in a similar, but more demanding, way as the bonuses. There are two important things to remember here.

One when you draw the lines for the territories make sure you use as long lines as possible. Second make sure the lines end on a point (this is more important for corners then for curves). Let me illustrate this.









I hope this is clear if you are having any problems feel free to ask for help.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 18:16:06


Incaman
Level 56
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After all the lines are finished we simply do divide objects below as before.





The territories in the second image are moved for illustration :))
And the bonus lines are still clear, close and next to each other and the territories are separate but with overlapping lines.

A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 18:29:06


Incaman
Level 56
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Step Four

This step is about making the bonus rectangles, naming territories and so on. i will not explain this as it is quite well explained in the help section. Only one mention for illustrator users (and only for illustrator users:

When naming territories DON'T use "Territory_1" as illustrator translates this as differently then inkscape, use this "Territory 1" so replace the "_" with a space and illustrator will write it in his code as "Territory_1" and you are good :))
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/1/2013 18:48:19


Incaman
Level 56
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Step Five

The best one :) you're free now to start adding some elements to your map and making in look nice. For example

the map



and with some updates



Now don't get me wrong i'm not trying to say that that's how your map should look it's just an example of the changes you can make with adding extra elements, i'm quite sure that you will make it look better.

I hope i didn't miss out on anything but if you have any question that i can answer or problems i can help with please write in the comments.

See you
play fair and have fun :))
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 02:10:54


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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How did you do those updates at the end??
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 02:14:43


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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And are you using Adobe Illistrator????
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 07:55:38


Incaman
Level 56
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Motocross5800

They are just separate vector drawings you could use (as i mentioned theres plenty free on the web) or you can make your own.



And yes I am using Adobe Illustrator
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 14:33:02


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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Don't you have to pay $600 for Adobe Illustrator???
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 14:33:42


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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I am using Incscape.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 14:42:09


RA 
Level 58
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There is no need to pay for any Adobe products. You can download it for free with keys from the torrent sites like www.thepiratebay.sx and etc.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 14:53:14


RA 
Level 58
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Many svg files can be found here: http://openclipart.org
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 15:34:30


Incaman
Level 56
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Motocross

yes u do, but i'm using it for work so...
Anyway like i mentioned earlier, most vector programs have the same tools so that won't be a problem.

Mσvσ

Yes you can (not that i would like to promote piracy) but i believe inkscape is easier to learn for beginners.
I love K-PX by the way :) top-notch work :)
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/2/2013 16:25:56


RA 
Level 58
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Thanks Incaman! It was made on a half-broken laptop (which im still using) without a mouse, and with inkscape :/

Thats a nice guide by the way, theres lot of stuff that i didnt knew.
Good luck with "the Fall of Jerusalem" ;)
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 5/4/2013 00:55:46


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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I still don't get it
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 8/31/2013 15:53:33


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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hey, how do you make the borders so they don't overlap other than moving 1 node at a time? I am using Inkscape.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 8/31/2013 16:02:32


Techpriest
Level 33
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I'm not sure if this guy bother to actually read. I've tried his method on Inkspace and it works successfully.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 8/31/2013 16:33:18


Incaman
Level 56
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Thanks Techpriest :). It works on all vector programs this is not a step by step guide it is just a process by which u can get clean separation. I don't know if i wasn't clear enough in explaining it or people are just to lazy to read :). But making a map is not a fast and easy thing, it takes time, planning and lots of work.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/1/2013 01:13:26


Techpriest
Level 33
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I'll give you an easy step for Inkspace!

1. New Document in Inkspace!



2. Draw big polygons of your map you're drawing!



3. Draw a line to separate the polygon into territories!



4. Click the line and the polygon and press Ctrl+/ or Path>Difference



5. Finished work.



6a. That ugly overlap though.



6b. Border overlap each other? Go to File>Inkspace Preferences



6c. Now go to Steps and click on Inset/Offsets and set the value to 0.5!



7. Click on all of the territories and Ctrl+Shift+9!



8. Border now overlap less and attempts to touch other.





9. Now you have perfect touching border but be careful to not use that magic Ctrl+Shift+9 too much. Otherwise, the territories are going to look overdosed.

10. Glory to Warlight!
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/1/2013 02:43:54


Motocross5800 
Level 50
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Thanks!! I am going to see if it works soon and i will let you know!
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/4/2013 14:28:52

CROivan
Level 46
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Edited 9/9/2013 07:31:17
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/4/2013 23:02:07


Techpriest
Level 33
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Bad. Please use imgur.com to upload.
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/5/2013 14:22:03

CROivan
Level 46
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This is what happens:

red red red red red red red red red red red
red
red
red
red
blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue
red red red red red red red red red red red
blue
blue
blue
blue
blue
blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue blue

(one border goes over another)
A Guide to a Map Making Process: 9/5/2013 14:31:08


Incaman
Level 56
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try -0.5 maybe
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