Ardenvale WIP



  • Thank you Shessar! That's high praise coming from you :) Although I think my barn behind my farmhouse is too small... what do you think, could it be a little bigger? Its the 'red' building behind the u-shaped building on the far right.
  • Dkarr, I actually had the horses bigger, then sized them down... I may have sized them down too small... I'm thinking of sizing them back up just a bit. While they are 'stunted' a bit, they still need to be big enough to ride!
  • what about my roads? are they too big? too small? They are supposed to be a tight-packed gravel.... which is why they are a different color than the soil. Is that a bit too much? I wanted them to be distinguishable from the natural soil of the area...
  • Oh! One last question... mentions were made in the earlier version about my bitmap fills... Did I do better with those this time?
  • edited April 2016
    This is coming along nicely.

    I really like the fish - they are huge!

    Those villagers must be eating really good - LoL!

    The bitmap fills are fine.

    Based off of the size of the buildings, your horses look properly scaled.

    Great job LadieStorm!

  • GatharGathar Traveler
    Hello LadieStorm,

    I really like your marketplace and your river. Maybe it could be a little bit more transparent, to allow a better sight on those huge fishes?

    However, I still believe some of your scales are off, even if you are getting close. More especially, the two small houses near to the right with an orange roof are very small. You may want to have small houses, but in that case, the roof should be very simple, not with the details that those symbols have. I also believe you have too much variety in the roof materials, and in the house shapes. Usually, all roofs are made of the same material, the one that is available near to the village. Some special buildings (temple, inn...) may use different materials, and those usually have more fancy shapes and stand out. Here, for a very small village, you have 4 different roof types, my feeling is that this is too much, unless there is some explanation for it.
  • Gathar,

    I'm glad you noticed! Yes, looking at those two buildings, they are too small, I will go back in and resize them. Luckily, that won't be too difficult to do.

    As for the different roofs. The tan buildings and the darker Brown buildings are actually made from the same basic material...wood. I used the Vintyri Collection for my older buildings - the farm, the inn, the general store and the houses that have been here a while. The tan buildings are simply newer arrivals. The wood shingles there just haven't aged yet, so they aren't as weathered.

    The other material used here, is clay, for the blacksmith, the tavern, the farm's barn, and some of the other houses. Those last two houses on the far left, could 'arguably' be newer as well, but the simple truth is I was looking for different house shapes, without considering roof styles, so I'm glad you caught that... I will take a second look at them.
  • Oh, and Charles... Those fish bite back! Not so easy to catch... ;)
  • Really nice LadieStorm! I am really impressed with your river, its lovely. Although, i must agree with Gathar, i feel the scale is off. Something about the size of the fish (being so close to the size of some buildings) and the vegetation along the stream is distracting me as being too large. Otherwise, i think its by far, the best village you've done :)
  • VintyriVintyri Newcomer
    edited April 2016
    Posted By: loreleii think its by far, the best village you've done :)
    Agreed. Nice work.
    Although, i must agree with Gathar, i feel the scale is off. Something about the size of the fish (being so close to the size of some buildings) and the vegetation along the stream is distracting me as being too large.
    Also agreed. Unless the adventure has a new kind of creature known as freshwater monster sharks. The rocks along the river are so big that they're boulders. That doesn't fit with the surrounding terrain. And many of them are larger than the woodshed. The bridge also has a scale problem. I would reduce the symbol to about 50% of its current size and then place the symbol double, connecting it and making one bridge out of the two symbols.
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    This is a really good start.

    One thing you could do is overlay a grid with a known size for something. As an example the grid might fit one small sized building (a cabin). From that starting point as you place items on the map you get to compare them to a known size (the cabin). If the item is supposed to be larger then it takes more space than on grid unit. I believe the scale might seem off because the centerpiece of the map, the river, has things that seem at first glance to be oversized (the fish, the rocky edge, the span). If those things are supposed to be at that size then compare them to the buildings. Is a fish supposed to be as large as a building? If it is supposed to be then there is nothing wrong with the scale. If the building should be larger then scale those. You could also bring the grassy edge on the river closer to the edge to hide the individual boulders but keep their edge. That would give the riverside the appearance of rocky "cliff" without the jarring view of individual boulders.
  • You know, Dkarr, that's something I can work on. For everyone that's seeing this map... The fish ARE supposed to be unnaturally large...that's planned. But you are all also correct that my scaling still needs work.

    Here are my two issues... Making sure my river is 'big' enough to be a river and not just a stream, and making sure my 'monster' fish are large enough to look unnaturally large but not over powering. At the same time, I need to make sure I have enough room for all the buildings I need to include.

    Perhaps where I have actually erred... Is in the size of my river. But the easiest way to fix that, is just to scale everything else up. Hmmmm, okay... I will do it is to work on this tonight and tomorrow, and hopefully have a new posting on Tuesday.
  • Okay, hopefully third time is a charm! I have reworked this map, again, the past couple of days...and I've tried to pay particular attention to my scaling. Now, before anyone brings it up, because I know it's going to be a bone of contention... yes, I know my fish are still huge, compared to everything else. This is a CAMPAIGN PLOT POINT. They are supposed to be huge.

    Also remember, that even though I have 3 different roof styles... the 'tan' buildings represent newly built buildings. It just seems to me that a new building, with new wood shingles, simply would not be as dark and weathered as buildings built 5, 10, or 20 years earlier.

    Oh, I also noticed that my bridge has a couple of minute spaces between them, and if you zoom in close, you may notice that it's not COMPLETELY straight. This is due to shaky hands. I got it as close as I could without putting stuff on top of each other, but I physically can't do any better than I have, so it's not going to be perfect.

    I'm still working on the market place... I've changed it up a bit. I went back and took a look at an 'old' d&d based computer game we own, and saw the rounded vendor tents, so I decided to add those to my market. I'm not done with it yet.

    Oh, and yes, I have used some different terrain fills. The opposite side of the road is woods line. I haven't put the trees in yet.

    So here is what I have now... and if it still isn't right, then I will file everything away for next time...I've spent too much time on this particular map already....

    photo Ardenvale003_zpskxu6rcjt.png

    I haven't added any of the vegetation yet, and i have to add the animals and stuff. But I think this one looks the best so far.
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    It's looking good. The only thing that I noticed was the length of the shadows for the wells, the "cart" and the corral fence seem to be as long as the buildings. You might want to shorten them to signify that these are not as tall.

    Well done.
  • hmmmmmmmmmmm.... that actually shouldn't be too hard to fix... right now they are all on my structures sheet... perhaps if I move them all to a 'structures short'? I should probably do that for my pigpen as well. Okay, good tip Dkarr :)
  • VintyriVintyri Newcomer
    Looking good. The fish are no problem at all if that's what your story line has in the water. Re: The market place. If this is a short, once a year market, all is well. If it's a market place where the tents are up every day or almost every day, the ground should look different. Some options: Interlace patches of mud with worn grass, use a gravel base, etc.
  • DogtagDogtag Moderator, Betatester Traveler
    Very nice! I'm looking forward to seeing it with some vegetation.

  • lol... I'm doing things a little differently this time around. The last few times I drew this map... I had to keep switching between sheets as I completed an area... and things ended up on the wrong sheets, and got confusing when I started working with effects and stuff.

    This time I am trying to work sheet by sheet, instead of area by area. I'm hoping that will cut down on my sheet issues. I'm also using JimP's idea, and each time I go to a new sheet, I'm making a new save point, so that I don't have to start from scratch if things go wonky. I just have to go back to an earlier save point.

    A few extra steps to save a LOT of work, although I can now almost make Shessar's streams in my sleep! lol
  • Okay, let's see if these shadows work better.

    photo Ardenvale003_zps1ybulmp7.png
  • I also finished my market place, except for the animals...
  • DkarrDkarr Traveler
    Looking really good. Well done.
  • VintyriVintyri Newcomer
    Strictly a personal opinion, of course, but I've seen few village segment maps on Show and Tell here that look as realistic as yours. For a newbie, it's definitely a masterpiece.
  • Thanks, everyone! I guess third time IS the charm...
  • GatharGathar Traveler
    I really think that this version is a great improvement over the previous one. Good work, and congratulation for your tenacity :)
    I'm eager to see the fully finished map.
  • You will see it tomorrow... I finished today, for good or ill, and will be posting tomorrow :)
  • Nestled against the River Arden, cut into the edge of the Wilderune Forest, lies the sleepy little village of Ardenvale. A fairly friendly village, the inhabitants of Ardenvale are always ready to welcome the weary traveler. The Traveller's Friend is a cozy little roadside inn, where one can rest a weary horse, or tired feet. The Horn and Stars Tavern is open to anyone that wishes to wet their whistle on decent ale and a good meal. The Smithy can repair most any weapons and armor.

    Yet, the taint and contamination of wild magic can be felt, subtly, even here in this sleepy little village. Fish in the River Arden are growing to gargantuan sizes, and are developing teeth sharp enough to cut through net, and flesh. Livestock sometimes breed offspring of unusual hues - blue, green, and purple fur or feathers decorate various homes and businesses. Wild mushrooms, flowers and trees have sprung up in the last 50 years with magical attributes, no matter what was planted. The people of Ardenvale remain friendly, but an underlying tension is evident to all but the most obtuse visitor.

    So welcome to Ardenvale! Come and sit a spell, but don't let your guard down... adventure may be just around the corner!

    Ardenvale.5 photo Ardenvale005_zpscfrqxxml.png
  • hmmmmm... I need to find a new place to host my images. I was hoping that you could click on it to see it's actual size, and zoom in... but apparently photobucket doesn't allow that. I will see if I can upload it directly from my computer, but I think it's too big.
  • Oh this is great!!! I love it! The ONLY thing i would suggest is to add a sheet to make a "worn" path throughout the market, as the grass wouldn't be so lush where there was a lot of foot travel, as well as in the corrals. Otherwise, REALLY great work on this village. Its a perfect homebase map!
  • that's one of the tweakings I was considering... I decided that this map was 'busy' enough at it is! lol My players aren't used to having maps at all, so the fact that they can actually SEE where they are, is going to amaze them. They aren't going to care that the grass is still lush and full at the But it's something to file away for next time :)

    I have to admit... I was mostly concerned with my shadows, but they seem to be okay...
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