Took me about an hour (yes, I am a beginner) using The Gimp and Inkscape.
Your ship – one of the many luxurious spaceliners operated by Pan Colonial – emerges from hyperspace a million kilometers from Oceania. From this distance, it has about one and a half times the apparent size of Luna as seen from the surface of Terra. The planet looks like a white and blue marble against the black velvet backdrop of space; even with the aid of the ship’s powerful telescopes you can’t make out any actual surface features – just water and clouds.
By now, the Ship’s Captain has completed all checks required after the re-emergence into Einsteinian space. He announces the arrival and gives information on the last leg of the journey: At a leisurely 1g of acceleration, travel time to the planet will be just over five and a half hours. Even assuming you have a bad spot in the queues for disembarkation you’ll be on the planet in time for dinner. Before and after the meal, the purser uses the ship’s PA system to tell the passengers information about Oceania.
You spend the next hours packing your belongings before having one last meal aboard ship. Finally, you wait in your cabin for the orbital insertion – a routine maneuver, but still one of the few moments in space travel where a grave mistake could spell potential doom. Of course the moment passes without you really noticing: The ship enters its parking orbit and the purser announces the wait times for the shuttles. Ninety minutes later, you are in a small spaceship no larger than an ancient aircraft, and no more comfortable, and the blue sphere is approaching quickly. Within minutes it fills your entire field of view, and your only reference points against the endless ocean are the clouds above it. You spot the first islands only a minute or so before touching down at the planet’s only spaceport. The shuttle’s deceleration presses you against your seat for an awful moment that seems to last forever. But then it’s over – the shuttle has touched down. As the sun shines through the window and warms you, you realize that your vacation has finally begun.
Welcome to the Paradise Planet!
I wanted to add more fluff to this map, but I decided to call it “done”. No need to sit on another map for several months. If I want to make it prettier I can always do that anyway. As for the map itself, adding any more information to it would be too much. If I want to work this out in greater detail, I will have to start creating regional maps.
I’ve also posted it to the Cartographer’s Guild.
I’ve already got an update to post for the Oceania map. I changed a few things, but mostly added a backdrop for some flavor.
The map is fairly close to what I had imagined. I still need to add some fluff around the edges, but over all this one is almost ready.
Last night I worked on a new map. This time, it’s an ocean world for the Voyagers setting, called Oceania (for now).
When Oceania was discovered, the near complete lack of dry land meant that the world was skipped and not colonized. A businessman purchased the entire system and developed Oceania into a high class tourist world.
As always, I have a thread on the cartographers’ guild up to track progress.