This article was originally written for Fictorians.com and was pitched at people building their own worlds for novel writing, but the general process should be useful for a broad variety of world builders.
The last map from the Lands of Ice and Fire is the map of Journeys – all the paths taken by the characters in the novels of A Song of Ice and Fire (up to the end of Dances with Dragons). This map contains spoilers, so don’t look too carefully if you’ve not read to the end of A Dance With Dragons.
I’ve been asked a lot about how to depict different scales recently. The question is – how do you tell the viewer of one map that they’re looking at a zoomed in region of a small area, and on another map convince the viewer that they’re looking at a large area, zoomed out. The easiest cue for the viewer is mountain ranges. These are the feature that’s different enough at different scales that they can act as a defacto scale-bar.
Today, the Dothraki Sea – home to the horse lords who destroy everything in their path. These tribes define a large part of the early books, offering a glimpse into a totally different culture from Westeros. Daenerys is brutally inducted into their ranks to help buy and army, and transforms to become a Khaleesi in her own right. Continue reading →
Last year I was commissioned by Random House to create 12 24″ by 36″ maps of the world of A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin. It was a dream commission for me. I originally read the books in college and, like so many others, was absorbed by the rich world. The lack of good maps bothered me, but I assumed that some day they would be created. I never expected I’d be the one to do it.
In 2011 I was commissioned to create a map of the world of Ilkor for the browser game Ilkor: Dark Rising. The brief was to use a style inspired by the classic Middle Earth maps. Recently GAD Games have released a few of the detail views that I did for them so I get to show them off! I’ll have to wait a little for the full world map to be released, but for now, here’s the detail views: Continue reading →
Grasslands are tricky to map. They’re large empty open expanses. But if you just flood fill an area with light green it’ll stand out like a sore thumb against your beautifully rendered mountains and lovingly painted rivers and forests. The colour is tough too – you want it to be a light green without being fluorescent.