What is Harmonia and how is it being built?
Harmonia is the world being built to use as an example project for my blog and it’s the central world in a future graphic novel project.
World Building Approach:
My approach for building this world is Macroscopic, as the world hook is one of unstable /formless which falls under climate or land form. Some work was done prior to the start of the blog and that will be incorporated as required.
The core concept for the world is one based on a yin-yang shape
The planets natural shape is that of being in harmony and balance, but it’s unstable in the fact that it can be affected by universal forces.
I started with the island in the center of the ocean as that will be the first location in the graphic novel and the ‘smallest’ to develop.
Think of this island as roughly the size of Australia. I’ll go more into the process as I cover blog related topics.
As you can see from some of the images above, my first decision was shape. Seeing how most blank map forms were based on an earth-like spherical shape I went with that. I also knew I wanted the world to represent the yin-yang symbol from a distance in space. This was based on my graphic novel concept but also with possible rpg campaigns.
I originally went with a 6:1 hex scale to make everything scale easier as I created my own form to use per hex. Now that I’m using the guidebook I may transfer things over to those forms for consistency.
So I have my world shape what about size? My first thought was earth like but with the size at 5,000 mile diameter but that ran into scaling issue with hex mapping.
If you look at the two large hexes based on 6:1 ratio the large hex is 7,776 miles and each sub hex 1,296 miles. This gave my world a diameter of 7,776 miles and a circumference of 24, 416 miles. Larger then earth but scales nicely. Converting the size to the table in the guidebook makes it an 8,000 mile diameter, 25,120 mile circumference. Using their blank forms world hex size is 500 miles and region hex size is 100 (5:1 ratio)
I’m in the process of converting my world graphics over to new maps.
Now what about hydrography? Well that was set by the world shapes at 50%. the shapes also place the continent and major island and major inland sea. However getting a 2d shape to conform to a sphere was a bit more work, I suppose a flat plane would have made that simple. But as you can see it worked out to my satisfaction for now. Converting it to a polyhedral map or a polar display map may have additional concerns.
Some examples of trying to work out the layout of the world shapes.
As for the plates and tectonics, I knew my island had a large mountain range running through it. So there has to be plates there creating those Mountains. This may be easier to generate once I convert my world map to the polyhedral layout, but for now I know there are two plates converging at my island creating the mountain range.
World Climate Bands:
I’ve recenter the map to have the island centered since hat the location I’m developing first. As you can see I’ve added in the normal climate bands for my world.
As you can see I used the equator as a dividing line, northern hemisphere moving clockwise and southern hemisphere counter-clockwise.
This was the first layout of my Island Continent, with the large hex in the middle being the continent size. Although it was a good first attempt it was too one sided for me.
I made a small change to mountainous region, trying to make it more centered on the island. A good improvement but still not quite there.
Added in some additional terrain for a better overview. I decide to refine the basic terrain from here. If I was using the clock method for placement it looks to be about 10 o’clock. Also notice the addition of plains along the coast.
So I started with the same basic layout and made several different layers with a scatter brush in Sketchbook Pro. Trying to add in more randomness.
Refining the Terrain
As you can see her after the initial layout I then went in and slowly made additional changes to the terrain. I printed it out in color and then used a white charcoal pencil to make the ‘shallows’ around the island. Then taking additional ink pens I added in more shadows and outlined the island. Finally for the snow line I took a white correction pen and started dabbing in the snow. Once completed I scanned it back in to the computer for cleanup.
And this is the final regional layout of the island continent.
Conversion to Polyhedral World Map
Island converted to the regional hex map and colored in with color pencils
And the polyhedral world map with the color island regional overlaid in.