Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

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Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 12:28 pm

Hey there!

I recently wondered about whats in the east of Wesnoth and the Farnorth and after exchanging a few words with zookeeper, I now open this thread to discuss what the great continent could look like apart from the known parts.
It' is also an attempt to give UMC creators the chance to take part of the further delevopment of the great continent, means, if anyone does have a need for a particular swamp, forest, mountain or something similar, they can post it here and it might be added.

So, here is the lastest version of the great continent by zookeeper:
Great Continent
yellow - plains/wastelands of any kind
blue - swamps
black - mountains
grey - hills
green - forests
great_continent_latest.png


and a very quick sketched idea of zookeeper for the whole great continent:
Greater Great Continent
great_continent_complete_idea.png


What do you think about the general shape of the continent? What features should be added and where? What do we know about geography from the known UMC content?
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Sudipta » June 27th, 2017, 12:46 pm

Whatever happened to this beauty ?
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Sudipta wrote:Whatever happened to this beauty ?


I know that one, and wanted to use it but there are some disagreements with the new style bigmaps, so I guess it needs to be redesigned. But for sure we take use of the old map.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Sudipta » June 27th, 2017, 12:55 pm

Well this one's pretty well made but if someone manages to come up with one that's even better, than i see no reason to object. I always thought the great continent could use a little expansion. Its strange how in thousands of years of wesnothian rule no one bothered to head south or east. All they do is fight for the Northern lands of the Orcs and sometimes play hard to get with Elensefar :roll:

So is this gonna roll in a new wave of races and campaigns and are we just speculating ?
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 1:03 pm

Well this one's pretty well made but if someone manages to come up with one that's even better, than i see no reason to object. I always thought the great continent could use a little expansion. Its strange how in thousands of years of wesnothian rule no one bothered to head south or east. All they do is fight for the Northern lands of the Orcs and sometimes play hard to get with Elensefar


I'd say this is to provide more (canonical) space for new races and campaigns. If something good comes out of this, there is a good chance for it to be added to the official bigmaps, I guess.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby skeptical_troll » June 27th, 2017, 2:12 pm

It's cool that the geography is being expanded, it is always a great way of inspiring world-building and new stories. Also, the old version of the big map posted by sudipta looked a bit too square-ish, but it could still be reguarded as one of those inaccurate/simplified ancient maps sketch by the first explorers. :)
I'm not an expert of UMCs geography, so I can't help you with that, but here are some thoughts:

-it would be good to have a reference for the scale, like the equator, the polar circle etc. to understand how big the continent is.

-I don't like the overall shape very much, it looks too polygonal and artificially arranged to fit in the picture box (also, it vaguely reminds me of the green island's shape). My suggestion would be to expand the map but not to show the whole continent, and leave near the borders some natural barriers (a desert, a mountain range etc), or something that indicates that there is something more beyond. It's always good to leave some space for questions and imagination.

- I understand that the coastline is just sketched at the moment, but this applies also to the old part: the fractal dimension of the coastline should preferably vary from point to point, now it is pretty smooth everywhere, with a higher (but more or less constant) level of detail in the old part. Maybe there are algorithms that could do this automatically? Having areas which look like Norway or Croatia and others like west Mexico would make it more realistic, and it would give the impression of a bigger continent, I think.

-nitpick: mountains could be more clearly arranged in long belts rather than compact shapes, as they are in nature. That would give a better feeling of long distances, I reckon.

I like the huge inner lake! It's unusual but I see a lot of potential for campaigns.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Kwandulin » June 27th, 2017, 2:20 pm

Maybe there's finally a chance to fix the Northlands? A desert that lays right next to a forest and a swamp sounds pretty ridiculous. Not keeping in mind that there's supposed to be snow in the Northlands.

The easiest way to fix that would be to change the desert of death to wastelands (Re, Rd, Rb) or to tundra-like wastelands?


Other than that, I am against expanding the Great Continent. Why not let UMC guys delve into the unknown parts of the Great Continent? If there are tasty ideas, the bigmaps could be adapted to match those. There is no sense in expanding the Great Continent when there is no content that fills it. It would just limit the possibilities for future contributions.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby zookeeper » June 27th, 2017, 2:40 pm

Kwandulin wrote:Other than that, I am against expanding the Great Continent. Why not let UMC guys delve into the unknown parts of the Great Continent? If there are tasty ideas, the bigmaps could be adapted to match those. There is no sense in expanding the Great Continent when there is no content that fills it. It would just limit the possibilities for future contributions.

Well, that was the intended point, although I suppose it didn't come across very clearly; to get a good idea of what the geographical needs of (currently existing) UMC actually are. I can't make maps of for example the eastern lands unless I know what to put there, and I won't know what to put there unless I know whether there are lots of existing content that have specific needs.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 2:57 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:it would be good to have a reference for the scale, like the equator, the polar circle etc. to understand how big the continent is.

As I learned just a few moments ago, the red and yellow bars on the map borders can be used as reference for scale.
skeptical_troll wrote:I don't like the overall shape very much, it looks ...

Im just waiting for zookeeper to come up with a better sketch for the overall shape. It might be a good idea to expand it a little, but not set the overall shape of the whole continent, though.
that would give a little space for new content, but would not limit creators too much (to address what Kwandulin mentioned in the second part of his post)
skeptical_troll wrote:I like the huge inner lake! It's unusual but I see a lot of potential for campaigns.

I little like the Mediterranean (sea? not sure. Just know the german name for it...).
Kwandulin wrote:Maybe there's finally a chance to fix the Northlands? A desert that lays right next to a forest and a swamp sounds pretty ridiculous. Not keeping in mind that there's supposed to be snow in the Northlands.

That does seem kind of odd, indeed, but I am pretty sure there was some UMC or even mainline content which needed it to be there. Otherwise I don't see the point to keep it that way either.
Kwandulin wrote:Other than that, I am against expanding the Great Continent. Why not let UMC guys delve into the unknown parts of the Great Continent? If there are tasty ideas, the bigmaps could be adapted to match those. There is no sense in expanding the Great Continent when there is no content that fills it. It would just limit the possibilities for future contributions.

This is also expanding the great continent based on what umc has already delivered and is yet not drawn onto the maps. Personally, I'd simply like to have a map I can work with and at the same time can be asured that the geographical conditions I am using for my UMC are canonically given and doesnt interfere with other existing content, be it mainline or UMC.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby zookeeper » June 27th, 2017, 3:13 pm

skeptical_troll wrote:- I understand that the coastline is just sketched at the moment, but this applies also to the old part: the fractal dimension of the coastline should preferably vary from point to point, now it is pretty smooth everywhere, with a higher (but more or less constant) level of detail in the old part. Maybe there are algorithms that could do this automatically? Having areas which look like Norway or Croatia and others like west Mexico would make it more realistic, and it would give the impression of a bigger continent, I think.

It's hardly even a sketch, really, I just drew a blob mostly to indicate the ballpark scale I'd imagine for the continent. Everyone's welcome to post more interestingly shaped suggestions at this point.

skeptical_troll wrote:-I don't like the overall shape very much, it looks too polygonal and artificially arranged to fit in the picture box (also, it vaguely reminds me of the green island's shape). My suggestion would be to expand the map but not to show the whole continent, and leave near the borders some natural barriers (a desert, a mountain range etc), or something that indicates that there is something more beyond. It's always good to leave some space for questions and imagination.

There could be some natural borders, but framing the known world with natural barriers even on one side easily leads to the problem of those barriers needing to be really massive. For example, the Heart Mountains are already suppose to be a huge, almost impenetrable mountain range. The southern Sandy Wastes are supposed to be a gigantic almost impenetrable desert. If you took that sketch of mine, turned the southeastern ocean into land and put a mountain range or desert there to indicate that "there's stuff beyond here that we just haven't seen yet", it'd need to be ridiculously big in size and would pretty much dwarf all the known barriers. Like a form of geographical creeping biggerism, if you will.

There could certainly be for example land bridges leading to lands unknown, I don't think the whole continent and all surrounding other lands need to be specifically mapped out. I mainly just want to avoid the biggerism problems. Even in my sketch, the size of the continent is already really big. The known lands are about a third of the land area, and whole campaigns take place in areas that comprise <1% of it. There's ample space for almost anything.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 3:44 pm

So, what about just a small expansion to the east like this:
Spoiler:

Enough room for some new settlements and enough room for imagination further in the east. Yet I only added some mountains in the southeast and two additional forests for no particular reason whatsoever.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby skeptical_troll » June 27th, 2017, 4:19 pm

This could be a good compromise between giving references for consistency between UMCs and leaving room for new places. However, if as Zookeeper says you want to avoid 'biggerism', you may need to reconsider the inner lake (although, as I said, I liked it): it's as big as the sandy wastes, and, different from the Mediterranean, it is not an independent basin. It is connected to the ocean by the great river and hence needs to be at a high altitude so it would be a hyper-giant mountain lake. It would also make sense to have some hills/mountains north of it, to explain why its waters don't flow to the closest coast but to the west, and it would probably need some tributaries. Alternatively, separate it from the great river and make it a closed basin like the Caspian Sea (or connect it to the northern ocean). Also the mountain range you drew is bigger than the heart mountains, but maybe they could be just low hills, so the Heart Mountains will still be the highest and most impassable.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 5:08 pm

Actually, what zookeeper provided might already be enough. Just adding a few more features so the bigmaps can be drawn.
For example, I added the mountains/hills skeptical_troll mentioned in the north. All changes I made are within the magenta box.
great_continent_latest_bitron.png
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Kwandulin » June 27th, 2017, 7:01 pm

zookeeper wrote:
Kwandulin wrote:Other than that, I am against expanding the Great Continent. Why not let UMC guys delve into the unknown parts of the Great Continent? If there are tasty ideas, the bigmaps could be adapted to match those. There is no sense in expanding the Great Continent when there is no content that fills it. It would just limit the possibilities for future contributions.

Well, that was the intended point, although I suppose it didn't come across very clearly; to get a good idea of what the geographical needs of (currently existing) UMC actually are. I can't make maps of for example the eastern lands unless I know what to put there, and I won't know what to put there unless I know whether there are lots of existing content that have specific needs.

Ah, then it's a good idea to extend the map, when the content's already there.

My Nightfall UMC (currently taken off the servers) takes place at Lintanir and the further east, so I am also very interested in a possible bigmap that is marked by Bitron's pink square.
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Re: Let's (try to) expand the great continent!

Postby Bitron » June 27th, 2017, 7:17 pm

Do you have any specific features to add then, Kwandulin?
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