Saturday, March 22, 2014

Isometric maps - So pretty, So annoying

So I've been trying to draw cool maps again.  Trying is the operative word.  Let's just say these are for something I want to look cool, so I figured I'd draw the coolest maps I could think of.  Now I really love an isometric map, so I figured that's the way to go, but isometric maps are a problem.  Sure a well drawn isometric map can look amazing, but they are ultimately very simple.  That is to say, one can draw an isometric map of a single flattish level or maybe some levels separated by a some very long stairways.  Maps with huge vertical also spaces work pretty good, but there are several problem, and the question becomes: is dealing with the limited amount of topographical information and complete lack of verticality worth it?  Personally I don't find isometric maps especially useful, obvious isometric maps have a place, for example when drawing small tunnel networks with a limited number of levels.  Now an isometric map looks pretty cool, but I find it next to impossible to maintain any kind of naturalistic map design while trying to fit a lower or higher level into the areas with minimal overlap.  In their defense isometric maps really do have more space for neat little bits of art (no only because things look better for 3/4 view) because they offer a lot more space if the incredibly annoying grid lines don't make it impossible to draw stuff out.

That said, isometric maps look pretty cool - so here's my solution.

edifice 1 - full map

It's a little small, but that's the format and it's all part of my plan is to use it in something with limited space.

Yeah it's an isometric exterior for looks with an interior of map for sense.  Sure it won't work too well on a map of a subterranean environment, but those are easier to use actual isometric maps for.   Here's a few more exteriors for the same project.  I'm starting to enjoy this thing - a means of filing several maps with a few tables.

Edifices 1 and 2
Edifices 3 -5


  1. Of course you are doing circles which are the hardest. I had to pull my isometric circle template to do those.

    1. That's all freehand, i find the circles easy enough (admittedly they are far from correct) - the issue for me is not giving everything 40' 50' ceilings. Yes one can explode a map but that's basically just drawing an exterior and including flat maps of each floor as done in the first map. I figured why deal with all the isometric paper guidelines?

  2. I think those look pretty good.