What's going on with me and Elyden
It’s been a while since my last post, so I thought it was about time I add something to keep you all updated with what’s going on with me and Elyden.
I ended 2019 working on the 2nd draft of Twilight of the Gods. I’ve got about 80,000-words down, covering the first act and the beginning of the second act. I was writing steadily whilst participating in NaNoWriMo, and then slowed down throughout December, stopping completely at around the new-year. This was partially a combination of me running out of steam, going on holiday and the festive periods playing havoc with my writing schedule,and running out of finished maps for posting.
It turns out the biggest deterrent to my writing is what is effectively the steady production-line of maps that I need produce for the Patreon - precisely one every 4-weeks. On top of that is the worldbuilding and writing that goes hand-in-hand with each map, and that leaves me little time for writing. I plan on making a better schedule that affords me some time to get at least a few thousand words in a week. It’s not much, but so long as I’m writing something, I know I can carry on. So hopefully I’ll have more writing content for the next update.
In terms of atlas maps, I’ve been working steadily. Admittedly, the latest maps are quite boring to look at. I’ve found that my most popular map posts on social media tend to be the ones with interesting coastlines. The ones that are primarily land maps are less interesting to look at and understandably get less reactions.
I was most pleased with the map of the Korachani Colonies, which was a tricky one to get done as it was effectively multiple small maps on the same page, each of which was to scale with the others. I got bogged down writing labels on the map of the Growing Mountains of Mulciber (to be published in a few weeks), which took far more time that I had originally set about for it.
The next few maps will remain in the generic area I’ve been working on recently - between the Umbra Sokar and the Growing Mountains. The main reason I’m sticking around here for now is because I need to topographical information for another map I’ve been working on, on-and-off, between the last half-a-dozen maps I’ve published.
This is a difficult map, as it depicts most Elyden in an Orthographic projection, which I’ve not done any topography for before. So I’ve had to reproject the maps I’ve done so far from Equidistant Conic to Orthographic and trace over the results to make them presentable again. This has not only taken a lot of time to do in terms of work hours, but also took a lot of time as I need to finish to topography on regions that will be depicted in the map before I can even change projections to rework them. I’ve added a teaser of the map here, but It will still be quite a few months before the finished version sees the light of day.
In addition to this I also want to start work on the poster map of the Inner Sea, which focuses on the first 30-or so maps I made as a whole uninterrupted map, with labels of major cities and features depicted on it. I was working on this almost 2 years ago, but stopped after I flattened the map by mistake, ruining months of work! In hindsight, I realize was working ahead of myself on the poster map, as there were areas depicted in it that I had not yet detailed in individual atlas maps. Now that I’m done with a100% of the land area depicted in the poster map, I can comfortably continue (restart) work on it. This will likely be done in fits and starts between other maps, as otherwise there will be a big gap between publishing the last map and this one.
I’m also trying to take on a few commissions, which I have not done in a very long time. This should not impact my patron updates, since I usually have a couple of completed maps, ready for updates, in case I fall behind. I’m working on one at the moment and am discussing another possible commission I can start when I’m done with this one. With the client’s permission I hope to post this as a patron update map too.
Work on the globe has stalled once again, as I struggle to come up with a reliable way of gluing the paper gores onto a plaster-coated plastic globe without overlapping or coming short or ruining the paper. This is truing out to be much harder than I had been hoping.
I’ve had some success with coming up with ways to print the maps, and after spending more money than I care to mention on different papers, I have some A3 maps on thick paper (240 gsm) that I am relatively pleased with. Some of these will be going out to new Demiurge patrons as part of their tier rewards, though I plan on experimenting a bit more, to make these available for purchase on the site, with different discounts available to patrons on different tiers.
I’m still commissioning art for the Demiurges, hoping to get all 22 of them done… sometime! I was hoping to get 2 done per month, but the writing that goes alongside each Demiurge update takes a while to get done, so it’ll be roughly 1 update every 4-months so far, so if everything goes ahead without issues, I hope to have all of them done sometime next year.
I’m also still looking for artists to commission for art in general but this has 2 problems - I can’t afford much art and I have pretty specific tastes, which means I find myself reluctant to commission artists with cheaper rates, which is leaving me with little art I can show off. I am trying to compromise, by asking to license already complete art, which does have the benefit of my knowing exactly what I’m getting, though licensed art is also not exactly cheap, so it seems as though my search for great art showing landscapes and characters of Elyden continues, for now!