Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Moving Beyond the Skies

+Bruce Heard is hard at work on the latest +World of Calidar book: CC1 Beyond the Skies.  He has been posting previews of it on his blog for a while now, including most recently excerpts from the main part of the book: the god entries.  As you may have guessed from the previews, the main text is well underway, and Bruce is also creating symbols for each god, as well as some pretty amazing plans for major temples.

At the same time, I have begun work on two other aspects of the project: layout and mapping.

The layout is likely going to be very much in line with CAL1 In Stranger Skies, although we're also trying out some new features.  One of the big questions is whether to keep CAL1's three columns or switch to a two column layout.

Cartography-wise, CC1 is a very different beast from CAL1.  The maps this time will be much more thematic.  In addition to Bruce's temple plans, I am working to create some fixed styles for presenting demographic information — which in CC1's case mostly means geographical distribution of faiths.  Bruce has already posted maps for each Calderan nation on his blog.  Here's a sneak peek at a work-in-progress version of Bruce's Elven Faiths map:

Prevailing Elven Faiths in Alfdaín, Great Caldera, Calidar

This was a test-of-concept for the area colour-coding, using more subtle borders.  I have wanted to try out this technique for many years, but never had a reason to use it until now.  It's actually quite a simple matter of blending options in Photoshop, using an inner glow or a gradient stroke.  The tricky part is going to be in the colours, and making them fit nicely into the rest of the map.  I'm considering embedding some sort of other information into the colours, rather than just having them arbitrary.  And I'm also hoping to define a visual style for this type of demographic map that will allow you to see easily at a glance what type of information it's conveying.

More on all of this in the coming months.  I'll be back with more news as work progresses.  In the meantime, check out Bruce's previews over on his blog.

Here's a handy overview of the extensive material you can get a sneak peek at:

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