Thursday, March 31, 2011

Geography of Titan (Part 2)

[Part 1 is here]

Steve Luxton has now emailed me a revised map of the Fighting Fantasy world of Titan for discussion and review. I've attached it to this post below as Figure 1.

Figure 1. Revised global map of Titan by Steve Luxton.

As you can see, Titan finally has an equator and a scale! I have a few minor issues/notes with it, which you can see in Figure 2 below as possible corrections.

Figure 2. Things to check: Blood Island, the Arrowhead Archipelago,
 and Tura, southernmost Island of the Dawn.

Issues to be addressed on the revised map:
  • We really need to sort out correct shapes for the three continents, starting with either Allansia or Khul. Allansia needs to be somewhat broader for instance, to allow for the rolling expanse of the Flatlands.
  • I'm not sure what the tiny island is, far to the west of Allansia. If it is Blood Island from Trial of Champions then it needs to be much closer to the Allansian mainland.
  • Some of the topmost islands that form the 'point' of the Arrowhead Archipelago appear to have been cropped off.
  • We're missing Tura, the entire southern-most Island of the Dawn. Tura can be seen here. Incidentally, do we have any idea what the climate of Tura may be like? Warren mentioned Hokkaido as a point of comparison, which seems as good an idea as any.
What thoughts do other people have about this revised map?

In addition, I did a rough mock-up of a climate map for Steve's revised version. This is Figure 3 - as per before, blue = polar regions, green = temperate regions, and orange = subtropical and tropical regions.

Figure 3. A revised idea of Titan's climate. Better, perhaps?

Again, it's not an exact map, but what do people think of this new climate interpretation of Titan?

You know the drill. Hit us with your ideas, thoughts and opinions. What works and what doesn't. After we've nailed this one down, we could probably then start looking at the individual continents themselves.

13 comments:

  1. Would be good to include a link to Part 1 so new readers aren't lost

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent! Nice to have a scale and an equator. There are some issues with the new sketch map though:

    1) Khul and some of the southern islands have shuffled north somewhat relative to everything else. This means that it is quite a bit nearer the Isles of Refuge and the equator than I feel it should be; considering that southern Allansia is definitely tropical, it seems wrong that it is relatively far from the equator, whereas the warm temperate Arion is now relatively close to it. The shuffling northwards also means that the relative positions of Khul and the Arrowhead Islands are somewhat different.

    2) I'm not sure what kind of projection is intended, but shouldn't the length of the equator be twice the distance from north pole to south pole, assuming that the planet is roughly a globe? Getting rid of the top and bottom rows of squares would even things up a little. Also, if the map was to be converted to a globe, would the northern lands be reduced in size, or would the seas between them be reduced instead?

    3) I still think that the Isles of the Dawn could be further north than either map indicates they are, but maybe that's just me.

    On Andy's climate maps, I can't help thinking that the tropical zone extends too far south to the east and west of Khul (presumably to make the Isles of the Dawn tropical, although might they not be warm temperate?). Also, in Khul itself, I'm not sure that Kazan should be tropical, although eastern Zamarra is desert, probably because it is closer to the Scythera region. And if Gundobad is to be in northern Khul, the tropical zone should probably be reduced even further in that part of the continent.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm loving these posts on maps Andy, though I don't dare venture an opinion myself. It's a tough job to get all of the info in all of the Fighting Fantasy material to consistently link together.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks for putting this up, Andy. It's looking good. In my e-mail to Andy I said there were problems with this draft map and that I wanted to find out what they were. I'm starting to think of it looking like a sea chart for a board game...

    Andy:
    1. The continents should be larger I think, and their relative positions altered a litle to get the right proportions with the oceans.

    2. The tiny island to the west of Allansia is the site of Atlantis City, measured from the Atlantis before its destruction map.

    3. Arrowhead Islands and Tura missing. Temporary loss of control with the virtual eraser, sorry.

    Climate Issues:
    This map gives an equatorial circumference of 6000 miles, so the molten core of Titan will be close to the surface and keeping global temperature warm. Have to make up something about the polar regions.

    Surface temperatures can be explained by prevailing wind direction, land temperature, and sub-surface volcanic activity. Ocean temps by hydrothermal vents and cold seeps.

    The Wastes of Chaos might be explained by the residue effects of an ancient battleground.

    Warren:
    1. The continents, Should they be repositioned? Should they be larger? Should we alter their proportions?

    2. Map projections. Your earlier comments on this subject got me thinking and reading up. This is a little bit like a transverse Mercator cylindrical projection, but because it has a square grid, it's more like a Plate Carree projection. We need a square grid to plot the continental maps.

    The proportion of the map is wrong because otherwise it has to be a double-square format which looked terrible. No real solution to that yet. I think this is the problem we have to solve first.

    4. Isles of the Dawn. Yes, you're right.

    5. Gundobad? Is that N.West Khul, or N.East Khul? I've seen suggestions for both.

    Slloyd:
    But we want your opinion. Getting the material to consistently link together is probably impossible. Some things contradict, and some are obviously wrong. The original map was deliberately vague so game books writers could invent their own locations. Now it's getting an update.

    Cheers, Steve

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well, there were meant to be issues...

    As Andy says, the proportions, sizes, and positions of the continents need to be adjusted. That's the first thing we need to decide on. Warren's ideas about Khul and Allansia's distance from the equator sound about right, so maybe we start there. Moving the Isles of the Dawn further north also works.

    The tiny island to the west of Allansia is the site of Atlantis City taken from the Before Its Destruction map.

    Arrowhead and Tura. Temporary loss of control with the virtual eraser, sorry. Will fix for next time.

    Climate. Titan is shown as a small planet with an equatorial circumference of 6000 miles. It would probably be warmer generally than earth and have less extremes of climate. The Wastes of Chaos and other "localised micro-climates" could be explained as geological/magical anomalies.

    The reason the draft map looks strange is that a strip has been removed from the equator, the continents have been moved slightly, and some of the islands have been moved quite a lot.

    The result is called a Plate Carree projection and works on a square grid, which is the main thing. Yes, the proportion should be 2:1 but that looked terrible.

    Another reason is that I'm starting to think that the world map needs to look like a sea captain's chart - or a periplus - rather than a map from a typical atlas. It's about travelling between places. It could be laid out like a board game in the old Waddington's style.

    Cheers, Steve

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Steve: The tiny island to the west of Allansia is the site of Atlantis City taken from the Before Its Destruction map.

    Warren: Ah! Excellent. It should indeed be marked.

    @Steve: Climate. Titan is shown as a small planet with an equatorial circumference of 6000 miles. It would probably be warmer generally than earth and have less extremes of climate.

    Warren: Good point. Certainly some of the hotspots on Khul are chaos induced, as the centre of the continent used to be rolling grassland (according to 'Titan'). We are also told that the Caarth have been working magic expanding deserts.

    @Steve: The result is called a Plate Carree projection and works on a square grid, which is the main thing. Yes, the proportion should be 2:1 but that looked terrible.

    Warren: Fair enough. It's certainly not easy to fit it all to a globe.

    @Steve: Another reason is that I'm starting to think that the world map needs to look like a sea captain's chart - or a periplus - rather than a map from a typical atlas. It's about travelling between places. It could be laid out like a board game in the old Waddington's style.

    Warren: I think this is a great idea. There is no reason, after all, why medieval maps (as we would expect to have of Titan) should be accurate or like what we get in atlases. It's also a nice way to add a bit of extra artistry to the maps (although a good map is a work of art in itself as Steve's work has amply demonstrated).

    ReplyDelete
  7. More strange goings on in the blogspot comments world! This post now tells us there are 7 comments, but only 6 are listed, and (a very interesting) one from Steve has just appeared near the top of the list...

    Just to address a few points in that post:

    1) The idea of the surface being warmer because the molten core is nearer it is interesting, but doesn't really solve the climatic oddities (nor, as Steve points out, the polar regions).

    2) In terms of the projection, is there any way of essentially taking each of the continents, changing their shape as little as possible and placing them on a globe in positions consistent with what we know about their climates and relative positions? Then reprojecting on a 2d map? I.e. making the seas the bit which we warp and change as much as possible.

    3) Not sure I've seen a suggestion that Gundobad should be in northwest Khul. Obviously I've argued it should be in northeast Khul. NW Khul doesn't work since we know that Gundobad lies in the centre of Pasha Wulfolaic's vast empire, and NW Khul has been part of the 'Council of Seven', ruled over by the Shakista dynasty, an area which has been politically stable for centuries.

    ReplyDelete
  8. The phantom post is probably me getting used to all this webstuff. It's usually a repeat of the post that arrives anyway.

    Climate:
    While a warmer Titan doesn't solve the climatic anomalies it does reduce the extremes of climate, which might kick start an idea...

    I've got another map which I'll e-mail to Andy. It's a more detailed climate map taking into account info on surface temperatures, prevailing winds, ocean surface currents, and thermohaline circulation, mostly from the BBC book The Blue Planet.

    The map also happens to look similar in many ways to Andy's new climate map, so I think we might be getting somewhere.

    Continents:
    If we decide on the sizes and relative positions it doesn't really matter what kind of projection we use. If we can get this map layout looking right (which I think we're close to doing) we won't need to use projections at all, just a square grid.

    I did project onto a globe but it didn't solve the problem. It did make me think that the basic problem is to do with (a) the continents aren't quite big enough, and (b) the distances between the continents doesn't look right. At present the distances between Allansia and the Old World are similar, regardless of direction of travel. This doesn't feel right.

    I think we need to keep the continents the same shapes, but maybe enlarge them by 4 or 5%. Expanding Allansia westward and the Old World eastward (and both northward) a few hundred miles each might work.

    Location of Gundobad.
    I'm happy to put Gundobad in NE Khul. Dave Andrews' map looks right, particularly around the coast line.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Help!
    Graham at Arion Games needs a good quality scan of the original Titan map for the re-issue, which I don't have. And he needs it this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'd do you one but my copy of Titan is in rather bad condition after years of use, with pencil marks and rubbings-out all over the map. Might Simon Osborne not have a decent scan from when he put together his atlas?

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've mailed Steve a link to the scan of Titan I have, though it needs a couple of digital adjustments by someone more adept than I am. (Will this post? I haven't been able to post a comment on this blog so far...)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've got Simon's link (thanks for that!) and passed it on to Graham at Arion.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks again for all the comments people -entertaining and interesting reading as always! Some specifics as follows:

    Gabriel: Thanks for reminding me about linkage! I'll start adding links to these to make them more sequential and better connected.

    Steve and Warren: I'm happy with all the climate suggestions. Steve's emailed me an amazing new climate map which I'll post up shortly. It really is incredible!

    cheers

    Andy

    ReplyDelete