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Hello, though I'm known as Gamerprinter on a dozen or so forums, my name is Michael Tumey. I am a graphic designer that runs his own shop, but on the side I am a professional fantasy cartographer and light duty illustrator.
I will be posting maps in reverse order, that is the most recent up front, then older going back until I've posted most of the work, then I'll start adding new stuff as I create them and post to the end of this thread.
Many of these were previously commissioned works, some of it contest entries, some personal experiments, and several for a publication I will soon release for the Pathfinder RPG, called Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting.
My work varies from strictly digital creations to hand-drawn work that is scanned and color/enhanced in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0.
First map posted below, my most recent work for Kaidan. The river island castle town of Tsue-jo...
Link to larger file: Tsue-jo Castle Town map
This next map is an encounter scale map of a Kaidanese shrine. This like the previous map is hand-drawn and digitally enhanced in Xara Xtreme Pro.
Agoyal Shrine map...
Link to larger file: Agoya Shrine map
The map below continues with my hand-drawn style, but this time I utilized map objects I created back in January to depict Japanese Ukiyo-e styled art for mountains, etc.
Yonshu Island is one of three large islands among dozens of smaller ones that comprise the Kaidan island chain. Yonshu is the location for the first three adventures for my upcoming, mini-campaign arc, called The Gift, set in Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting.
Link to larger file: Yonshu Island, Kaidan
Here's a map I did in September 08, as a monthly challenge at the Cartographers Guild, the site I spend most of my time.
This is called the Archaen Trade League, and its the first map I used my hand-drawn and digitally enhanced style.
Archaen Trade League map
Here's a recent one of the hand-drawn digital-enhanced style. This was my last contest entry, which I won at the Cartographers' Guild (the previous map above was a winner as well.)
I call this the Assassin's Lair or the Cerene Map.
Most of these maps were created in less than 10 hours, some a few more, but I work very fast.
Link to larger file: Cerene Map
Unfortunately, I don't have a thumbnail of this map uploaded online. It was a winning contest entry at Iron Crown Enterprises first map contest in January 09. I call this Sargoseum, the temple of the Sea God - a kind of Greek Agora styled temple done completely in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 with 3D objects placed within. In the Cartography Chamber in the upper right, you'll notice I placed a couple maps of mine as art in the chamber, including my Archaen Trade League map above.
I know there are many here, who do not care for digital only work - oh well, I like it just the same. I am always experimenting with different styles of maps.
Again, sorry, its just a link, but the map is huge! Enjoy!
Last edited by Gamerprinter; September 1st, 2009 at 02:20 PM.
Hey Micheal, welcome to ca.org. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but i know what i like, and i like the assassins lair map the most ;-)
Can you explain a bit as to how these maps are used? I mean are these the actual images used during gameplay? or are these like background images to the interface?
Post more too ;-)
Thank you for responding. In RPG Gaming, there's two formats the final art will be used. For the "Pen and Paper" variety of games that use lead miniature painted figures as game pieces, especially for the encounter scale maps, like the Assassin's Lair, the maps are printed. These are used right on the playing surface, game pieces placed directly on the map - so I usually laminate these for more durability.
I run Gamer Printshop a POD and custom digital print studio, the art I create for maps are printed onto an Inkjet printer in sizes from standard letter size up to 42" x 72" or longer, most fall into the 18 x 24 up to 36 x 48 print dimensions.
There's a whole other market though called VTT (Virtual Table Top) meaing playing the same type of game but online using among a small group. The maps are shared between the game referee and multiple players. The application simulates the miniature figures with moveable tokens placed on the map. So for this maps are kept digital only, usually in JPG, BMP or PNG formats and never printed.
The maps I create are for Dungeons and Dragons, Star Wars, and that type of game, not for MMORG (all those advertised systems like World of Warcraft)
The market is much smaller, but a dedicated geek market that voraciously needs maps for their games.
So in most cases the maps are actually used in game. For the regional maps (continents, cities, etc.) those are used for reference, not actually in game. Sometimes they are mounted to the walls of a game room as art. In most cases these maps are used directly in game.
PS: I'll need to resize lots of these other maps of mine to post them here - give me a day or two, I'll squeeze in a dozen or more!
Last edited by Gamerprinter; September 2nd, 2009 at 01:45 PM.
Here's my latest map, just finished this, this morning. This is my more digital style map. Software used: Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 was used to create the landforms, the depth effect, and the brown lichen-like coral. The map was also composited in Xara. PD Particles was used to generate the seaweed/kelp and some of the sea grasses. Zbrush 1.13 was used to create much of the live coral and anemone like objects. Finally I 3D modeled the gate, most of the structures, some of the coral and some of the plants.
This is supposed to be the site of the Ryu, or Sea Dragon King (god) of Kaidan, the gate is the entrance to the seamount lair of the Sea Dragon.
Link to larger file:
Ryukyo - the Sea Dragon City map
A couple of points I haven't mentioned. Obviously, I create fantasy maps for RPG games. What you don't know is that I'm soon to become an RPG publisher with my own setting and adventure modules for both an introductory and planned long running campaign.
Although I do some illustration myself, I am not a complete one man band. I am doing a collaborative publication with Dementia 5 Publishing House. I've created the setting, the story outline for the initial three adventure modules, some illustration, working as the primary game developer and the cartographer. However, I have two writers, one from Dementia 5, the other a freelance writer from Perth, Australia (I'm from the US.)
I have also been commissioning art from three artists: Simon Turnbull, Jan Pospisil and Mark Hyzer, the latter is one is quite well known having painted illustrations for Magic the Gathering CCG.
So I'm not just an artist, I am also art director, publisher and an employer of artists.
My first product, adventure one, The Gift, for my Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting is scheduled for publication, Monday, September 14, 2009 - just around the corner. Several of my maps will be in each adventure.
Nice work Michael!
Good variety of map content and I love all the little embellishments.
Keep up the good work and I'll keep an eye out for new posts.
Mike Schley Illustration and Design
Thanks, Mike - hey, I don't see you at the Guild much these days, we miss you!
OK, haven't posted in a couple weeks, but I've been working on a publication with writing, editing, art direction and map making for that, which will be published before I post anything major from it.
Here's a map, just to get my mind off all the oriental flavored work I've been doing, something on the side just for fun.
I call this the Celtic Slavers map. In a region primarily inhabited by Celtic peoples, the city of Ambrathas on the northwest coast is ruled by a council of sorcerers who have become slave masters, conquering neighbors and converting their population to indentured field workers. Lately however, the slave population is aging and not reproducing fast enough, so more slaves are needed.
An explorer from Ambrathas, named Bran the Bold has discovered new Celtic peoples far to the east across the great mountain ranges and this map was created to aid slave traders in finding the source and bringing back slaves from there (Dernallion.)
This map is completely hand-drawn, though the text labels and the Celtic knotwork border are digital fonts. The entire map was composited in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 - my software app of choice!
Here's a link to a larger version of the map...
Celtic Slaver's Map
Last edited by Gamerprinter; October 13th, 2009 at 10:33 PM.
For the December Mapping Challenge at the Cartographers' Guild, the theme was "create an Orcish Christmas Map" - so I went overboard and first created a 14 stanza poem (tongue and cheek), then created 14 illustrations to accompany it in the style of a children's book with one stanza and illustration per page.
I prefaced the poem/story with the following map, that describes the raiding trek of the orcs from their wasteland in the northwest corner moving in a clockwise path to each "nation" on the map. The map has a kind of "cartoony, yet realistic" look about it that matches the illustrations and content.
Note the site location icons are huge and not to scale, as this is more to show what's at a given location, not so much as to proper scale - it was a fun design.
Here's the map:
Here's a link to a larger version of this map!
Enjoy and Happy Holidays!
The last map created depicted the region discussed in a "tongue in cheek" holiday poem for Orcs, I did for the Cartographers' Guild challenge entry. Certainly not as good as my mapping skills, he's a small illustration sample as a fake cover design for the poem and map, as if it were a publication. This one has a distinct comic-book style, emulating Frazetta or Valejo in style if not quality!
The following map is a work in progress, however, I probably won't post the final map until after publication. This is for a rogue's resource book that will be collaboratively published with John Four of Roleplayingtips Newsletter and Yax of GameMastery/4e blog. I am creating three roguish maps, including the Assassin's Lair above. This map is the Thieves Guild map, I call the Under Street Guild map.
Three unconnected cellars, a sewer main and sewer access tunnel define the area, that the under street guild fits between. There are several secret entrances, including the one at the drainage pipe closest to the access tunnel to the sewer main in the southeast corner of the map.
I plan to create the structures overhead, as well as a roof plan. So rogues no where to escape in case of raid by the authorities.
This map was entirely hand-drawn then given 3D bevels and shadows to enhance the effect. This map is currently unfurnished, but will be completely furnished in the next day or so - ready for publication.
Hopefully the publication will be ready by the end of January 2010.
The previously posted map was an empty version, of what I have now, however, what's posted below is the map of the ground level (topside) directly above the Thieves Guild map. Only the lower half of the buildings on the top of the map southward to the bottom of the map represent the guild area below.
The northwest building is the Cat o' Nine Tails Tavern. In the hallway under the back stairs (which is exposed through the transparency applied on the stairs), there is a trapdoor leading down into the northwest chamber of the guild area map. The tavern's cellar is showed, separated from the stair down at center top of previous map. A crate and barrel is shown in this map. The barrel has a door that opens into the stairs down to the guild area in this alley.
The southwest tiny building in this map is a bootmakers shop, notice the trapdoor beside the bed in the back. This leads to the guildmasters office below.
Both the topside and the guild area map will be part of a set of maps, which include my Assassin's Lair previously posted in this thread and a new (yet to be started...) map of a Beggar's Guild, to complete the set, ready for written content and eventual publication, as a Rogues Resource of sorts for D&D 4e.
Last edited by Gamerprinter; January 4th, 2010 at 07:25 PM.
Here's a commissioned regional map intended for publication with Dog House Rulez, Sidewinder - Recoiled, an Old West D20 RPG game. This is Zion Canyon, Utah, as the region where the adventure is located.
Link to larger file: Zion Canyon Regional Map
Well, here's the most time consuming map I've ever created. Its completely hand-drawn, then scanned and given colors, bevels and shadows in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 - its 300 ppi at letter size scale, as per contest rules.
Check out the bone yard and the altar in the Skull Chapel - some very detailed work and what took all the time for me in their creation.
Link to larger version:
Necromancer's Crypt map
Village map for a small RPG print publication, released in March. (1 of 2)
How to make a simple village map into something complicated. The two insets show the major encounter area of the map, a medium view of the "downtown" area where all events occur and a zoomed out view of the entire village. They got 3 maps for the price of 1.
This is more first attempt at an isometric map, that is an obliquely viewed map, without perspective, though it has a perspective appearance.
This is for a contest at the Cartographers' Guild, sponsored by Open Design Project - the winning map will be published in an upcoming Roleplaying Game RPG publication, so it may become All Rights Reserved, however, I'm only posting a thumbnail of it.
Iwaizumi, Japan is a real place in the far north western part of Honshu. This map depicts it at the winter of 1287 AD, but its really just a guess on what it might have looked like then. The rivers have changed a little, based on silt build up, but pretty much as described in the village and regional map.
As always, completely hand-drawn with colors, bevels and shadows applied in Xara Xtreme Pro 4.0 - enjoy!
I needed an illustration of a Mujina - a Japanese Badger Shape-changer for my upcoming RPG adventure module set in Kaidan, my alternative Japan setting. I didn't want to pay for it, so I did it myself. Enjoy!
Well, I thought the Mujina turned out so well, I decided to try my hand at his wife a Kitsune Miko. A kitsune is a fox woman shape-changer capable of both good and evil deeds among humans - the evil kitsune have a vampiric quality where they are able to drain the Ki energy within living beings. This kitsune is a miko, or a Shrine Maiden, she serves as the religious leader for the village of Kitsumura.
This is a village map, in very much the same style as my Iwaizumi map, I even used the buildings of my previous map, just to save time in creating this - Kitsumura (which means Fox Village in Japanese) is home to hengeyokai hiding from the Kaidan Empire in the wilderness forests.
The two characters above both lead and provide spiritual protections in this village. I wanted to experiment with cascades and waterfalls. Plus this map will be featured in my upcoming second adventure for Kaidan: a Japanese Ghost Story setting.
Link to larger file (too big as an attachment): Kitsumura, Yonshu Island, Empire of Kaidan (Fox Village)
Soho Gallery of Digital Art, NYC will be showcasing maps from the Cartographers' Guild from July 16 - 29th which will feature 3 of my maps. Also a second show at the same gallery during the first two weeks of September will feature one of my maps - so I have two art shows in NYC this summer featuring my work - pretty cool!
Latest map, for my own publication next year, an Iron Age Celtic setting called, the World of Keld. This map is my Ireland analog map, the Isle of Hybreni.
So for this month's monthly "contest" at the Cartographers' Guild is to create a nexus of power, as something at the conjunction of ley lines, any genre.
I used the previous map as an inset, and an information panel with a quick sketch of a druid, alongside an isometric view map of a Menhir stone circle.
EDIT: here's a link to the final version. I made a couple tweaks and changes to the text legend area. I added an animal form in the empty spot at top center of main detail map/illustration - and I placed a tiny procession of druids, bards, dancers, a child with a sacraficial lamb, an ox, cart and driver. However, if they look like scribbles, 5 foot tall was 1/4 inch, so scribbles was the best I could do! The final version is only 100 ppi, but 2390 x 3350 more or less in pixel size, JPG...
Last edited by Gamerprinter; July 14th, 2010 at 01:21 AM.
I've been busy doing game development, as I have two publications coming up early next year. However, looking at this month's mapping challenge at the Cartographers' Guild, I've decided that I have some time so I created an illustrative map for this entry.
Marlbrook Castle - enjoy!
Link to larger file...
Sorry, I haven't reported in sooner, been overly busy getting my publication project ready for release this month. Though I have created a few more maps for it, as well as a logo design. So here's my latest update!
Last edited by Gamerprinter; February 2nd, 2011 at 03:05 AM.
I was working on the mechanical game design of my yojimbo (samurai) class for my Kaidan setting, and got bored. I would eventually need an illustration of the yojimbo, so I created one.