For a while now I have been searching through various different kinds of programs to try and create a map for the world in my story. I have never been all that concerned with quality when it came to many things in the world of graphic design, despite the fact that such was the basis of a couple of courses I took in college. When it comes to online games at least, I don’t care about the quality of graphics, because I’d rather be able to play, and have fun, than worry about the realistic look of things, because the closer and closer things get to looking real, the harder and harder it is for my computer to handle it. When it came to making this map, much was the same in my view of things. I didn’t care how good it looked, so long as I could clearly and cleanly show where the places in my story are on a map. Tolkein put a very simple looking group of maps in his books, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, and The Lord of the Rings, and that was all I was really looking to accomplish.
I, however, suck at drawing, and attempting to make such a map by hand, or in programs that require full control of the drawing tools like MS Paint, did not turn out well in the end.
Most recently, I’ve been looking at a couple programs that have a lot of cool features. First of them was Campaign Cartographer 3. This program does not have a trial version of such, and so I could not get a hands-on feel for how things worked, and merely watched all the tutorials I could on the program. However, I found a similar program, Fractal Mapper v.8, and it does have a demo version. I tried it out, and I think I did horribly.
Right away, I noticed I did not have enough space to map out the whole continent and what was in it. First of all, beyond the Garnet Mountains is the land of the Elves, and it is an expansive region all its own. Second, because of the lack of space, I scrunched up what is in between the two major mountain chains on this continent, thus leaving little space unused. This unused space actually needs to be filled, but there is simply not enough unused space to map out what was left out. In the long run, this map simply shows the major areas of the Kingdom of Haven, and its two bordering mountain chains, and that is all. Due to the sheer size of this continent, I may have to divide the continent into three files, to show the entirety of the continent. That won’t be such an easy task though since I’m not exactly sure how much more space I need to map out all the left out areas.
In time I shall attempt to do this with the trial version of Fractal Mapper, and if it doesn’t work, I will continue the search for another program. I hope it works however, I seek to one day have this novel published, and I hope to do as much of the work on my own as I can, to wittle down the costs of getting it put together.