BottledViolence wrote:What effect would it have on the game?
In a RPG, not much, to tell the truth.
But given there are a few reasons to create worlds other then RPGs I thought I'd talk about the map. A map made without forethought is one of those things bother me when I bump into it.
I'm not saying everyone should be an expert cartographer, but I think people should be aware of all aspects of the craft they are engaging in. I would say that making maps without knowing about the existence of map projection is like writing a story without knowing about story beats. You might get it right by accident, but if you don't then people will notice.
For example the map I started this thread with was done as photo realistic as the possible by the creator. He/She even went as far making textures for the map out of satellite images (Or got them somewhere), but had no idea that what projection he/she was making it in and therefore was doing one of the following, without knowing.
- He/She was making a Mercator maps without realising how much it altered the shape of the northern and southern parts. Therefore not knowing the real size and shape of his/her own creation.
- He/she was making a real size/shape map without realising that the area covered can't physically fit on a globe and the world can't be on a round planet, or the whole of the planet. So the author does not know the shape of his/her world.
To me both of these are fundamental problems for a world creator.
Now having said all of that what is to be done.Vinnie_Vidivici soulution is exellent
. I prefere this projection myself, but it's just a slightly different way to show the same thing.Here is a whole list
of projections on wikipediaAnother solution is to draw maps as tech level appropriate
Here for example is a map of Iceland from 1595More old maps of Iceland
If we compare that to recent satellite image of Iceland
One can see that medieval maps tend to exaggerate peninsulas and fjords, because that's what the sailors can see from the sea. Inland areas tend to get compacted and hard to reach areas even more so. So if I was to make a map for my fantasy knight novel I would try to make my map look a bit like that Icelandic map.
Actually I would probably try to have it look like this world map from the 1300s, just clean it up and make it more readable. But one can see how the maker exaggerates the ares he/she is familiar with (Italy and surrounding areas) and just sort of wings the rest.The third solution
and by far the most easy to achieve is to make sure your map doesn't represent an area bigger then the lower 48 stats of the US. Once you are down to an area of that size or smaller, then projection errors stop mattering. And if your game or novel cowers an area bigger then that then a series of maps might be in order.