Trade Routes

A trade route is simply a passage traversed by merchants and caravans from settlement to settlement for economic purposes. A trade route can pass over land or sea and link multiple locations over great distances. While many goods can flow along each route, some can become famous for certain materials eg the Silk Road and... Continue Reading →

Drawing Realistic Coastlines

Credited to u/darkblade273. The most common map guides I've found glance over coastlines as just "use a fractal generator" or "just make it really jagged and never use straight/curved lines", which are only really suitable for some regions of the world. Coastlines are affected by elevation, underlying tectonic plates, and climate, which are never really... Continue Reading →

Culture Maps

Today I'm going to be talking about a technique you can use to inject your world with conflicts, situations and drama, by drawing a new overlay for your map. This technique is inspired by the Paradox Games such as Crusader Kings 2 and Europa Universalis 4. (I imagine many worldbuilders have already played these games,... Continue Reading →

Placement of Settlements

So you've got your map, your environment. Now its time to place those villages and breathe some life into your world. Settlements can include anything from hamlets all the way up to massive cities, and there's usually a couple of factors in common. They can be temporary or permanent and the temporary ones can eventually... Continue Reading →

Resource Maps and Trade Goods

Knowing what resources your countries have access to can have vast implications for the way they develop, in culture, prosperity, trade routes, even targets for war as countries fight over important trade routes. Locations in the real world such as the Silk Road and Constantinople were fought over for the control of trade. This post... Continue Reading →

Using Tectonic Plates to Draw Terrain

If you wanted to build your world right from the very start, from the earliest point and evolve it forward in a realistic manner, it is good to start with tectonic plates. These will help shape your continents and geographical features. It can also be fun to start building your world without knowing exactly what... Continue Reading →

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