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The Map Making Process

Posted February 19th, 2014 at 02:54 PM by kolakoski
Updated February 20th, 2014 at 01:35 PM by kolakoski
Well met!

I posted this in
Free Building Ideas & Discussion, and am reposting it here, to prompt a discussion about the process of map making, beyond the BoV.

A few of us, like my friend, chas (He Who Owns All), have such massive collections of terrain that they can color coordinate their maps and sub in whatever kinds of terrain they want on the fly. While my collection is reasonably large, it is far more finite. When free building, this affects every stage of the process.

I love gates.

Gates look cool - for the most part. This is the original gate from
Baldur's Hourglass.

The idea was to create a gate with no place for a unit to perch. But the longer I looked at it, the more I thought (as I alluded to in
Baldur's Hourglass) it looked wrong to have Shadow and Outcrops on top of the gates. But, by the time I decided to rebuild it to resemble this one, from Isle of the Dragon!.

I discovered that I had used all my caps for Road, which, I believe, was the reason for using the Bridge pieces in the first place, that I was unwilling to remove. I toyed with the idea of removing the Shadow, leaving the Outcrops without their Shadow bases. This still didn't look right, so I relented in my non-perch position.

The Perch.

As a result, I had some extra Shadow, which I placed as shown.

Before additional Shadow . . .

and after.

Note that the gates were constructed near the end of the free building process. The only terrain I had left to support them was Snow.

When I constructed the gates, Water was displaced. The Grass you can see below,

which was a bit out of place, was covered with the displaced Water.

The Road stair descending to the left pillar supporting the gate allows a 2-space character to move directly onto the Treasure Glyph, which is one of the reasons I didn't want to remove any Road pieces to use as caps. There would also be the problem of a lack of appropriate terrain to replace them.

Originally, the Hourglass was on a Sand 7-hexer.

When the scenario back story for
Baldur's Tomb! made this area a Tomb, it was fortunate that I had another Asphalt 7-hexer to replace it with, for a more homogeneous look.

I would have placed Ice over it, as in the version of
Baldur's Hourglass that existed prior to the Hourglass being purchased,

but I didn't have enough additional Ice or Asphalt to do the job properly. For
Baldur's Tomb!, I placed the Ice under the Treasure Glyphs, to represent their being on display.

In a number of my maps,

a side view will reveal places where a lack of appropriate terrain at certain points in the process created less than optimum aesthetic results. I'm inclined to try to mitigate these problems, with a bit of pre-building of various areas and/or formations, but, once well into the building (and rebuilding) process, I still tend to have to scramble to find and fit in appropriate terrain.

When a free built map is done, or nearly done, there are always good and not so good things that "just happen." I try to help the good things along, and fix the less than good things. As I have gained experience at this, I find that the percentage of good things "just happening" rises, while that of not so good things drops. But only rarely does a map "build itself," as this relatively straightforward Castle did.

I think the reason may have been that what I wanted to happen in the scenario was so clear in my mind before I began. If I had created the back story for Baldur's Tomb! first, I'm sure that the map would have looked very different. The lesson here is that the clearer the vision for the map, in terms of what it is to accomplish, going in, the better the final product will be.

And don't forget . . .

When I fight in Delta+, it just feels right!

Total Comments 3


elvenwizard9's Avatar
... If only I had the pleasure of 'Scaping with you, sir.
Posted February 20th, 2014 at 09:35 PM by elvenwizard9 elvenwizard9 is offline
kolakoski's Avatar

Anyone Can!

Well met!

Hey Wiz! We're playing on March 14 here in NYC. You're welcome to join us.

Posted February 21st, 2014 at 12:18 PM by kolakoski kolakoski is offline
Updated February 21st, 2014 at 02:35 PM by kolakoski
elvenwizard9's Avatar
Living a few thousand miles from NYC, I'm still only wishing. Oh well.
Posted February 21st, 2014 at 06:23 PM by elvenwizard9 elvenwizard9 is offline
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