Honours Blog #10 – The Map I had in 2014 vs The Map I have now

As mentioned before, I initially attempted to create an EU4 Fantasy Total Conversion mod back in 2014, shortly before I university and for the early parts of 1st year.

Back in 2014 I had an entirely different map, but from then and now you’ll be able to see that I carried a few choice pieces from over the years:

The map in 2014 was created through random generation in Photoshop via a tutorial like this.

However I ended up starting again (honestly I don’t remember why, maybe because the geology was off or I needed to make it more manually?) and ended up with a new map shortly after in 2015. As such the 2017 had had much more polish to it and much more stuff besides the files needed for EU4 (such as locations of cities, etc)

(Top) Map in 2014, (Bottom) Map in 2017 – Click to Zoom!

Points of Interest

I’ll be referring to each point of interest annotated on the map from left to right:

  • Artificial Circle
    • -In 2014 this was a small circle at the center of the Western Continent
    • -In 2017 I made this the defining piece of the continent, it kind of acts like a the Caribbean but even more encompassing of the region. I also made it look a bit more natural but keen-eye’d players should be able to notice that something’s off with the place: it’s not natural at all.


  • Large Inland Sea / Cool Narrow Sea

    • -In 2014 I had this huge vertical inland sea west of the Dameshead, I thought this was really cool as it allowed from a different way to look at the Mediterranean gameplay you see in EU4. This idea also had a very interesting narrow sea to the south of the Dameshead, which would mean ships would have to navigate a densely populated sea region to go to the Eastern Continent
    • -In 2017 both of these is no more, instead I have a more traditional Mediterranean region and your typical West African coast to navigate around. Honestly this is the only thing I would change with the map, I felt that the vertical inland sea would have brought a lot more new things to the plate but any attempts to add it didn’t really work out. Instead I have a Cool Lakes region which is a reimagining of “What if the Canadian Great Lakes were more populated and connected to the sea?”


  • Dameshead
    • -In 2014 the Dameshead was a coincidence and decided to roll with it as it seemed like a cool geographical phenomenon. Plus it adds a kind of central sea-hub region for the game, worldbuilding-wise the Dameshead becomes a very important trade center and pretty much the center of civilization for much of history. It pretty much also inspired one of the main gods of the setting: The Dame.
    • -In 2017 I kept the Dameshead as a defining piece of the land but rotated it west. Within my story the elves came from the western continent so I thought it’d be symbolic that the main feature of their new land is a head looking west to their home.


  • Transylvania
    • -In 2014 I created a place that would serve as an isolated realm, surrounded by mountains and inhopsitable swamps. I was quite into Gothic Horror and I played a lot of the Ravenloft setting in Neverwinter Nights back then
    • -In 2017 it’s still there but I moved it to a move centralized location, as Eastern Europe was in the past, and a gateway between east and west. The marsh swampland now encompasses most of the region and serves as a brutal and deadly battleground


  • Dwarven Mountains
    • -You cant have a fantasy setting without dwarves right?! In 2014 I created a large mountainous region up north where you could have gameplay of mountain interiors and dwarven holds – this was really cool and different but my only issue was that it was relatively isolated and players wouldn’t interact with anyone at all
    • -In 2017 I opted out of the large internal mountain region and just created a huge continent-spanning mountain range (The Serpentspine Mountains), I felt that I could still do the internal mountain hold provinces but on a smaller scale – but at least in this version dwarven players get a lot of exposure to other nations


  • Egypt/Mesopotamia
    • In 2014 I just combined them both into one region, but it due to the split nature of the southern continents it the area overall felt really small and isolated – in both old and new maps this region will be inhabited by the sun elves after their arrival from the west.
    • In 2017 I split the region into two instead, with a larger desert area connecting the both of them – this opened up a lot more opportunities for their histories to intertwine without being the same – also I wanted an Egypt analogue to coexist with their sun elven neighbours in the present day


  • Equator
    • -In 2014 I wasn’t really thinking of the map as one piece but solely focuses on the central continent (named Cannor) so its much lower
    • -In 2017 its much higher now and about the middle of the map, so it allows for more variety in environments


  • Province Map
    • -As you can see in 2014 I had done the province map for the main region of Cannor, including the Dwarven Holds in the north
    • -In 2017, since i’ve only started recently for this honours project, I’ve only done Western Cannor but its much denser than the one before – i’ve also added some sea provinces to surround the provinces i’ve made


So what does the map look like in Photoshop?

My Photoshop File

I’ve extended my layers file to illustrate how much there is in the Photoshop File, as you can see I have every single map file needed in there and I just export them as different Index’d .bmps – also note other miscellaneous layers more related to worldbuilding such as Places – Cannor (which contain the names on the picture above) and History (which contains general political maps through various periods of time)

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