World map creation, design and biomes

World Map Creation - Land Design

Our story develops in a parallel world that is very similar to Earth in size, weather conditions, and evolution.

To make it look and feel as realistic as possible, we took some time to research about Earth's conditions, to then replicate them in the terms of our own world.


✏️ PHASE 1 - Design

As a first step, we designed the shape of the main continent with three things in mind:

  1. The land size should be small enough to allow travel from corner to corner in a reasonable amount of time.
  2. The shape should represent the political tensions of the story.
  3. The terrain should be realistic and accommodate all the required biomes for the story.

We began by drawing an ink blob, and we stretched it and shaped it in accordance with the political frame of the story, while seeking to build a pleasant design.

World map design, designing the continent shape for Cpside, by Heledahn

Once the landmass was settled, we arranged the country borders and names.

World map design, country names and locations for Cpside, by Heledahn

And then, we decided the locations of the relevant places for the story.

World Map design, tows, cities, forts, mountains and rivers for Cpside, by Heledahn


🌐PHASE 2 - Biomes

The next step is to make sure the biomes and the distances of the land are realistic. Even if the story is a fantasy and there is magic, we believe there should always be real-world physics as a base.

For this step we created a Mercator map with a 1000 km grid, and we chose the position of the land based on the biomes we required for the story.

The land size plays an important part, since there is a lot of travelling in the story, and the traveling time from one country to another must be as realistic and as fast as possible.

To make the country borders believable, we defined mountains and rivers in strategic points, both to accommodate the story, but also to facilitate the biome division. 

To design the mountain and river position, we first though of the tectonic plate distribution of the planet, as well as the land movements (always keeping in mind the political tensions)

World map design, Tectonic Plates for Cpside, by Heledahn

Our story combines arid areas, temperate zones, and artic blocks, so we had to be thorough to adjust the masses well. To further perfect the land mass, we drew a consistent heat map, similar to the one of Earth.

World map design, heat map for Cpside, by Heledahn

We also took into account the water currents.

👉 There is a supernatural phenomenon that occurs in the ocean at the Northern coast of Cpside, in which the sea water falls through a porthole and reappears at the Southern coast.

The mixture of hot water from the Northern coast with the frigid waters from the Southern pole generate a massive, everlasting storm the locals call "The Perpetual", which is an important factor for the story's development and the biome definition.

World map design water currents for Cpside, by Heledahn

Being mindful of the wind currents is also important for biome distribution, but also for writing good sea travel scenes. Some parts of the land were distributed in a way that land near the horse latitudes, for added effects and story development opportunities.

World map design wind currents for Cpside, by Heledahn

Knowing the wind and the mountain distribution is essential to further develop the land. Taking these factors into account, we know which parts will be lush and which parts will be dry.

World map design biomes for Cpside, by Heledahn

At this point, we have a solid, believable map that we can use. Just by adding a bit of relief and detailing, we made a cool map for our product Leather Map in The Wall.


Medieval leather map on the wall 3D model

We could leave it here, but we want to develop the world even further by constructing a whole planet, as well as detailed renderings of Cpside's land to make good-looking maps and other promotional stuff.

But all that will be for another post.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned 📺

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