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Forest Trail project

Hi Everyone :)

I've just started working on a new style called Forest Trail, which is due out in November as an issue in the Cartographer's Annual. I thought you might like to see the strange little world I work with when I'm just starting to work out the colour scheme and the textures. A mixture of serious business with the texture swatches, and play time doodles with borrowed symbols from other styles I've made.

It's loosely related to Creepy Crypts, but with a brighter more cheerful colour scheme, and should include ruin bits, and of course lots of tree parts.

QuentenJimPFarsightX3Fersusroflo1Jeff BTheschabiEdECalibreEukalyptusNowand 1 other.


  • Oh! that sounds lovely! Forest maps are my favourite! really looking forward to it :)

    Will there be entrances into caves in the forest? like on this cliff symbol you have included in the picture above?

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thanks Fersus :)

    I think I can do that without too much trouble.

    The basic idea is a forest trail with a secondary focus on ruins.

  • 11 days later
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I think I've got the dirt textures and some of the trees sorted out now. There's a lot more stuff in the pipeline, but I'm on my way to bed right now, so this is a shot of my screen as I close everything down.

    QuentenJimPJeff BShessarRicko Hasche
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited August 4

    I think I've also cracked the grass situation, using terrain patches (a blobby patch of grass texture created as a symbol for each of the 10 grass textures). The full grass textures are also available, but I like the more natural looking terrain patches better, so this map only has grass as symbols.

    I've made a new problem for myself, though. I now need to make a few subtle pebble cluster and dead leaf patches for the dirt because it looks too plain.

    QuentenWyvernJimPWeathermanSwedenRicko Hasche
  • Sue, this is great. One minor critique - I think the puddles look a bit too crisp around the edges.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thanks Quenten :)

    The water... rivers, waterfalls, and all those kinds of things, will be worked on in part 2 ;)

    I just put those there to play with the effects a bit while I was thinking about everything else.

  • jslaytonjslayton Mapmaker Moderator, ProFantasy

    Nicely done! The noisy grass helps to keep the too-smooth edges of terrain types at bay without having to go for a significant fade on the fill texture.

    Dropping those detail patches might be a use for SYMFILL. It can be set to run within some distance of the edge of an item, so drawing a polygon and then doing SYMFILL with an appropriate symbol set might be a way to plop those things down without too much pain. It can be rigged onto a drawing tool like FOREST.

    For best results, someone would need to teach SYMFILL about scribbling outside the lines. Teaching it about using the distance from edge as part of the "% Chance to Place" would probably also make things a lot simpler from a use standpoint, but would be one more set of controls on an overly-complicated dialog.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thanks Joe :)

    I'll have a think about it, since those aren't placed quite as randomly as they might appear. I placed them paler ones towards the edge of the path and in groups of 3.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I've done a couple of dirt patches. Not sure if these look all right, though.

  • jslaytonjslayton Mapmaker Moderator, ProFantasy

    The individual specks look a trifle large, but seem harmonious overall. Now make some nice round varicolor pebbles in singles and clusters with the label "mushrooms". That way we can do a ring of them using ESC!

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I'm not entirely happy with the dirt patches and may modify them to be less like large grit, but they are already little more than dots in the original graphic. Maybe I will dot a larger patch and then reduce it in size...

    Mushrooms are a great idea. This time I think more realistic ones. The Creepy Crypt ones were really huge!

  • Looks pretty good so far - and I love creating forested dungeon maps. 🙂

    Hope that this style will include lots of different plants (trees, upright and fallen, underbrush, moss...).

    If Jungle, Bamboo etc are not in the base style, they might be a good idea for later bonus content.

    Agree about the too large grit on the dirt patches. And yes, mushrooms, please!

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited August 5

    Thanks EukalyptusNow :)

    The general idea is that the first issue will have mainly woodland stuff with a secondary focus on ruins and a handful of outcrops.

    There will be a second issue which is planned to have all kinds of watery stuff in it - rivers and waterfalls

    I have changed my mind about the gravelly patches, and gone for simple dirt terrain patches at 50% opacity so you can blend things in a more natural way. The pebble effect would have made it difficult to see other small symbols that would probably be more important than how gravely the path is.

    Those are Creepy Crypt mushrooms. I'll be doing new smaller patches for Forest Trail more suitable for creating your own fairy rings...

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 35 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    @jslayton - one fairy ring kit (separate toadstool groups) :)

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