Writing Tip: Creating Unique World Maps

So you have this story idea, right? And it’s really interesting, and you want to pursue it, but you’re having trouble visualizing the country/world/terrain that your character is traversing. 

Worldbuilding is an essential part of writing, and many authors spend time worldbuilding until their last rounds of edits — there’s always something to fix before publication day. Research can only get you so far, though, especially if you’re writing a fantasy. 

I’ve seen people who throw dice on a table and use the patterns they create, I’ve seen people draw freehand, I’ve seen people use real-world country lines for inspiration… but I recently came across an online tool just for visualizing fictional lands. 

The best part? The MIT license the code is under allows commercial use, meaning it’s free to use for your own projects. Even the ones that get published. 

(Note: the photos in this post are screenshots, not actual functioning application. Click the photo above to be redirected to the application itself.)

This isn’t even the coolest part, though! You can click ‘random’ (in the top right) as many times as your heart desires, so you’ll be able to click through until you see something that speaks to you. Then, you can view that land-mass through different lenses. 

Sure, you can look at the 2D sketch and see a topographical map, or you could look at an even cooler, rotating 3D version:

This application was originally created to create maps for video games, and was created for Red Blob Games by Amit Patel (@RedBlobGames). However, the post where the application can be found specifies that the map generator is free for all to use, and isn’t currently being used by Red Blob Games: “This is a map generator I wrote in 2010 for a game; I’m not working on it anymore, but all the code is available so that you can download and modify it for your own needs.”

Happy worldbuilding!

 


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