• The 'Comrade' title is now available in a fetching communist red for purchase by all of you capitalists who survived the Sietch gulag during the people's revolution. And in the spirit of all communists everywhere, it was broken until the capitalist pig dogs fixed it. ;)

The Portfolio of Foreign Worlds Cartography - Maps for Writers & Gamers

Introduction

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
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Aug 11, 2019
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Hello and welcome to my little showcase in this corner of The Sietch. I'm a map maker by trade, having spent the past years working with indie game studios, Kickstarter projects, writers &, RPG-afficionados from around the world to bring their worlds to life. If you like you can check my references and former satisfied clients here.

You can find my full portfolio by following the link above, or by clicking on the links in my signature, too.

In the post below, you will find a few examples of my craft, and I will add new works to this thread when they are finished.

What do I need from you?
Should you be interested in my services, I humbly request that you contact me either via my website's contact form or by directly messaging me at mail@foreignworlds.net . But before you do so, please consider the following questions:
  • Size. How large is the map you want? What are its dimensions (cm/inches/pixels) and desired resolution?
  • Color or B&W?
  • Details. What's the level of individual detail you are looking for? This point includes such things like illustrated crests, flags, highly elaborate locations, ornate map borders, etc. As an example, think of the way you'd like to depict a town on your map: you can do it as simple as a dot. But you can also draw, color and fully shade a miniature town.
  • Style. What kind of style would the you like? I can be flexible, although it’s advisable that it remains at a style that I’m familiar with.
  • Urgency. How urgently is the map needed?
  • Sketch. Providing me with a sketch, no matter how simple, really helps me a lot.
  • License. What kind of rights do you need? Private use, use on a single book, lifetime global use rights, etc. ...
What will you get?
Timely communication, unbroken deadlines, and quality maps made to your specifications.

When will you get them?
Going from experience, a very useful estimate for the time needed to complete a map is between 8 to 12 hours for a piece in black & white. For colored maps the time needed can be everything from 20-25 hours and above. For my largest project to date I had to spend in excess of 50 hours on the job, drawing, coloring and revising.
This is not my main job, so please take into consideration that I can only work on your project for a few hours at a time in my spare time, be it in the evenings or during the weekends, if my schedule permits as much.
Now, what does this mean for you, effectively? For a black and white map, expect it to take about a week, revisions on your part included. For a colored piece, calculate with three weeks. I can probably finish it sooner if I drop everything else and sleep four hours a night (which I'm willing to do), but that would cost you more.

What will it cost you?
That depends on your individual project. A letter-sized black & white map will naturally be cheaper than a poster-sized map in full color. But as a general guideline, you can take the following as an estimate, stemming from the average time spent on the job as outlined in the paragraph above.

Please note: the actual price is negotiable and depends on the questions I posed under the "What do I need from you?" paragraph. The price for maps does not scale exponentially, and your commission might be a good deal cheaper than you at first may fear!
Don't be shy: gather your facts and approach me for a price quote!
  • black & white map, print ready @300 dpi, up to and including A4/letter size: €180 and above
  • colored map, print ready @300 dpi, up to and including A4/letter size: €360 and above
For more specifics and/or commission inquiries feel free contact me either via my website's contact form or by directly messaging me at mail@foreignworlds.net
 
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World Map: Imperium - A World of Lost Memories

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
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2,732
A cyberpunk and post-apocalypse inspired piece done for Massaad Design, a French indie developer.

This was something rather different from what I usually work on, but at the same time it was a great piece to try new methods on. The final layout will be different as the studio has their own layout artist.

 
WIP: Current Lite Mapping Challenge Nov 19-Jan 20, Cartographers Guild

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
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As a blast from the past I've decided to enter this contest with a remake and reimagination of one of my earliest works (which nowadays looks cringeworthy to me): The Hive.

“Thief! Thief!”
Andra didn’t even flinch when the wave of anger and sheer indignation carried by the mer-chant’s voice rolled over the passers-by behind her. It was accompanied by the commotion the large man’s efforts caused as he tried to force a path through the meandering streams of customers, merchants and travelers filling the streets of the Dunesailors' precinct.

Lithe, quick, and streetwise beyond her age, her face hid behind a shawl, Andra moved between the crowd like a dancer in a ballroom. Here, a shrivelled Shiver hissed at her, it's black claws and teeth filed down, the sunlight playing with its ochre, pale green and steel grey scales and lizard eyes as it lumbered past, it's back laden with crates and wicker baskets. There, she darted below the towering bulk of a red horker, the great animal and its handler not even noticing her as its great head with dark tusks and long trunk swayed back and forth, its long ears flapping to push the swams or flies away that had started following it the moment it and its caravan had entered the great city. The young woman darted into backstreets, scaled a wall only to smoothly slide down its other side, where she found herself on the main thoroughfare of Newtown, the outer city.

Confident that she had shaken off her pursuer, she pocketed her loot and put the knife she had used to cut it loose back with the others. It'd been a good day so far, and it was time to give The Peddler his share. Everyone did. Not doing so was... unwise. You didn't ply the trade in the Hive without it being sanctioned by him. Those who did always vanished from the city. One way or the other.

Swimming with the masses, the current of people, animals and carts pulled her across the boulevard towards the entrance to the inner city. A giant gate house flanked by towers built from the hardest mountain rock rose above her, yet compared to the walls rising behind it the structure looked tiny. The Hive's broken shell rose many a hundred meters into the clear blue desert sky. Entering the twilight of the gates she felt the cool draw of the shade even with all the bustle around her. Tall gates stood open, old wood a foot thick banded in iron, ten meters high, and wide enough to let fifty men walk through them abreast. Still, if the stories Andra had heard were true, they were toys compared to the gates the ancients had built when they first raised the city.

On the other side she went with the flow for a few streets, soaking in the impressions around her. Tall towers of glass and a smooth rock that almost looked like grey marble rose between scores of flat-topped houses and mansions that merged one with the other, lavishly decorated with alabaster pillars and ornaments, the green of plants from overflowing gardens wafting in the breeze. In the midday sun the broken carapace threw jagged shadows across the meandering streets below. Hundreds of meters above, houses and gangways clung to the inside of the shell like honeycombs, giving the city its name. Reaching them often took the better part of a day, even with the stairwells and elevators people had erected over the centuries, and was an adventure of its own…


Original back in 2014:


Current WIP:
 
Battletech - Somerset Star System

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
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This was done for Lordsfire's massive ongoing Battletech quest "Heir of the Bruce" at SB.com and was commissioned by Walkir. I just love Battletech (can't stand the Clans, though), so working on this so soon after the map I did for the Deep Periphery Quest was a blast!

 
Battletech - Sekhmet heavy tank

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Reaction score
2,732
Sekhmet Mk. I, a fusion-powered 65 tons heavy tank, drawn for @LordSunhawk 's #Battletech quest. I hope to write an omake about this entering a contest for heavy tanks once that stage in development has been reached. Until then it's pure fan art. It's been the first time that I've drawn a (ground) vehicle, and surprisingly it turned out way better than I imagined!

 
Commission - The Solitary Isles

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
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Man, this brings back memories. One of the first people ever to ask me for a map now more than half a decade ago contacted me again and asked for a more detailed illustration of his world. Going back to revisiting some of the old styles I used and mixing them with newer icons and techniques was great fun. Without further ado: The Solitary Isles!

 
Featured on Youtube

Culsu

Agent of the Central Plasma
Founder
Joined
Aug 11, 2019
Reaction score
2,732
My Sword Coast fan map was featured by the very insightful channel WolfheartFPS (which is about RPGs, despite the FPS in the name) going over the confirmed and suspected locations of Larian Studios' Baldurs' Gate 3.

Check out the channel, it's a well-presented treasure trove of information!
 
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