Songs of Conquest – How to Make Your Own Maps

Useful Tips on Creating Your Own Maps

In general, if you are experiencing difficulties, it just means that you have not yet explored the palette of all possible objects and tools. Once you figure out what you have available then everything becomes much easier.

To do this, I would suggest generating an empty map and try creating different dioramas, practicing using different tools and exploring their possibilities.

These screenshots show my examples:

  • Interchange test.
  • Road camp.
  • Rana’s cave.
  • When creating a map, the very first thing I would do at the very beginning, while the map is still empty, would be to raise the entire map to height level 2 so that you can easily add lowlands later.
  • After that, it would be nice to define the general geography and height map using the Terrain Type and Terrain Height tools.

It is definitely better to use the mirror tool in the beginning, it will greatly simplify the task and keep a clean balance for all players (later you will slightly change it in some places and then it will not be too mirrored).

  • Leave more free space, because in the end you will still fill it, but its reserve will give you room for creativity and “maneuver”.
  • After that I would use the trick and invent the mirrored areas.

For example, if I draw non-traveling heights and mountains on two sides with the Mirror tool, I would then turn one of them into something else, such as a lake with several islands with scenery.

  • Now, having a ready geographical area, you can give life to some of its sections by laying roads and placing settlements.

Just try to imagine where the inhabitants would establish settlements (near lakes and rivers?) and lay roads (on the plains?), or maybe Loth will get a settlement on a high mountain plateau for excavation.

And later you will still dilute it with mountain passes, hard-to-travel swamps, etc.

  • After that, you can divide the territories of each player into regions and start filling them in equal proportions.

(I also try to avoid placing nearby objects on the same horizontal/vertical line, and not placing duplicate decorations, although in certain areas I use this rule in reverse)

Note: Personally, I always set some main rules around which everything else happens. As a result, with a certain set of rules, some areas will be filled “automatically”, simply because of the rules you defined.

For example, in this screenshot, the diorama includes the following rules:

  • “A couple of Army Debris next to each mine”
  • “Every intersection or turn in the road gets Dry Terrain”
  • “Highlands also get Dry/Arid Terrain”

And voila, this section is already becoming more diverse just because you followed a couple of rules.

Try to play around making smaller dioramas. This will help you master the palette more, and it will definitely spur on your creativity!

Creativity comes and goes, and sometimes you might open the editor and stare at it for 10 minutes and can’t put anything down. I find that forcing myself doesn’t really bring the best results.

I try to make some rough points of interest, such as settlements and resource gatherers, then I work from one point of interest to another, adding general terrain and minor power-ups along the way. Once I have a rough layout, I go over it again and add a lot more details.

Go back to previously made areas with fresh eyes; you might find things you want to change. Don’t be afraid of making changes!

Try to work with elevation when you can. Even a small increase/decrease of 1 can change how things look. Perhaps you want to raise/lower some trees, ruins, or mountains.

Mix theme palettes! Small changes in the terrain type can add a lot of ‘life’ to the general area. Adding some trees from another theme might work in some cases.

I included four images from my current map I am making, where I mix the themes, or/and elevation.

  • Image 1: I play alot with elevation, and use Loth, Arleon and some Rana Arid trees.
  • Image 2: Gradually add more and more Baryan terrain tiles and trees as I get closer to the river(where the theme changes).
  • Image 3: I added some Arleon terrain near the water & farmland.
  • Image 4: Added some elevation and changes the theme to Arleon.

I hope this may be of use!

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13372 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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