Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

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Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

Post by Amerifunk » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:02 am

Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

Have you ever been making a World Map and asked for advice from your fellow colleagues only to get the daft retort, "J00 CA'NT TRO0LY REPRISNT DA WURLD ON A 20X30 GR1D LOL!!11!111!!" Well, let me tell you something: they're idiots. If only they could pry themselves away from churning out generic versus maps, they could discover that with a little patience and skill, the world can most definetly be represented with great accuracy on a mear 20x30 grid. Case in point:

Death in Europe (Europe)

Chasing Pompey (Greece)

The Kings' Crusade (Asia Minor)

How can the world be replicated with such dashing accuracy, you ask? It's qutie simple really: map gridding. Accept no substitution. Eyeballin' It (a method of World Mapping in which the creator simply looks at a map and does his best to replicate it onto the Design Screen) is a fast way to get the job done, but the map you end up with will often look skewed and distorted. If you'd like to learn to make fantastic World Maps like I do, then follow this guide and you'll have it down in no time!

Step 1: Find a map
Unquestionably the easiest step to complete (although occasionally horribly frustrating if you can't find the map). What is it that you want to make a map of? I use Google Image Search, but any sort of map will do. The map I'll be doing is this one of Denmark, arguably one of the most difficult countries to accurately reproduce.

Step 2: Set up your Grid
There are many ways that you can make a grid: graph paper, a ruler, Microsoft Excell, but I find that Microsoft PowerPoint works best. All you need to do is draw up a 20x30 grid like such:


Now we're ready to begin.

Step 3: Putting the map on the Grid
Sometimes you'll find that the map you've chosen is too big to fit on the grid, or sometimes even too small; this is an easy fix, assuming you know the basics of PowerPoint.


Here we see that the map is too small and also has those annoying little white borders around it. Simply crop these off then drag the bottom-right corner of the map to the very bottom of the grid, going down and to the right (as apposed to just right or just down). Now you may find that you have some extra spaces, and depending on how many, it can be a good or bad thing. For example I had one blank column (vertical) after I sized up the map to the grid. One blank row/column isn't really a big deal and you can generally go ahead and stretch the map over it; if you've got two, three, or more blank rows/columns . . . you'd best find a larger map (or refrain from stretching the map any further).


Step 4: Making the Map
This is where it gets a bit difficult. You may look at your map and find that there are some squares where there is 50% land or less; what to do? Generally, if a square has less than 50% land, you'll most likely end up putting a shoal there, but sometimes you'll have to decide what will keep the Map looking true to the original (much easier than it sounds). Now how do we go about marking our map? What I just use are little colored squares and I mark the places (mostly coastlines) where the land meets the water, like such:


This is what I call straight-up griddin' it, meaning that you've finished marking your map, but that there is still work to go. For you see, while map-gridding may seem perfect, it can still produce minor flaws on maps which make them look ugly and will most likely detract from the score of the map.

Step 5: Bringing the map into the Editor
Very simple step here, for shame if you cannot complete this menial task. After I put it on the editor, it looked a little something like this:


As you can see, it's still a bit rough around the edges (tip of Sweden, I'm talking about you!), but to be honest it turned out much better than I had expected it would. Here's where an eye for geography becomes of the utmost importance: now you need to take your new map and compare it side-by-side with the old one; doesn't it make you shudder? It just needs a little fixing up:


Look how much some minor tweaks and shoals can do! Mind you, the map still is not 100% perfect, but it's damn close enough. Now all we need to do is add Terrain Variety, production facilities, pre-deployed units, and anything else you'd like to put on the map. Having some sort of objective can aid you greatly in determining the number of players and whether or not you're going to put any PD's on the map. One of the easiest parts of finishing the map should be putting the terrain on it: because you're replecating the world, the terrain is already done for you! If the particular map you chose to use lacks any terrain features (it's not a physical map), simply go onto Google or some other search engine with an image search and type in Physical Map ****, where the asterisks are whatever country/continent you've chosen to make.

Here is the near-done map of Denmark (which I'll probably finish eventually):


Step 6: 40x60 and Beyond!
Soon, the restrictions of a 20x30 Grid may bore you and you'll long to make bigger and better maps. Good luck to you, fine sir!


Now that you've learned this great new skill, go out there and start mapping! I certainly hope that this guide will help you in your undieing quest to make top-notch World Maps for Advance Wars!


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Post by DTaeKim » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:53 am

What can change the nature of a man?

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Post by Linkman » Tue Jan 29, 2008 7:47 am

Yeah, that's mighty cool. I'm not into map making, but it's wicked alright.

EDIT: Send this to and we'll get it in the map section of the main site.
"everytime I try to draw xen I end up drawing a kangaroo smoking a cigar while chainsawing a tree" - Deoxy
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Post by Shift Breaker » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:25 am

DTaeKim wrote:Wow.
Says it all. Time to take advantage of AW:DC's additional Map Space, it seems.
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Post by Pellucid » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:39 am

Very nice. I had been using the eyeball method, but I may try this.

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Re: Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

Post by MacDammit Man » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:13 am

D*mn thats cool

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Re: Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

Post by nevergiveup93 » Thu Aug 14, 2008 11:48 am

My goodness..... I bow down to you.
Giving up doesn't pay the bills.

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Re: Amerifunk's Guide to Top-Notch World Mapping

Post by Sven » Wed Aug 20, 2008 1:59 pm

pity no one plays them

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