Ah, one of the more enjoyable things and yet, is still just a small aspect of creating a fantasy world. I love world building, mainly because I love creating stories of countries, finding the rules of a world, and even seeing how everything interacts together. My efforts on the world building program (WME) have been related to that, mainly to make it easier to create a fantasy world and to show the relationships between the aspects of the world.
The basic program is pretty simple. This is Fedora, the world of Muddy Reflections and soon to be Wind, Bear, and Moon. It will also be the location of The Pirate's Engineer and Moonstalker's Freedom, another set of novels on my list of things to write but nowhere near actually writing. But, I plan long before I actually write, can't help it.
The first image is the basic elevation of the world. Brighter grays are higher, darker colors are deeper. In most cases, everything beyond 50% gray is water. I decided to go with a single large continent for most of the world, mainly because I happen to enjoy them and also because the water on the other side is going to be the Mist Islands, basically the no-man's ocean.
These two are the basic terrain. I wrote the WME to handle multiple levels of zoom, pretty much in line with Google maps API which goes from 0 (what you see on the left), so 2 (the right), clear down to 17 which would let me do a street-level map of a world. I'll be clear right now, I have no intent on doing a street level map at this point, but the program can handle it and I set it up so I could do the street level of say Sougan (Muddy Reflections) and let the computer fake the rest of the world until I get to it.
This is the part I couldn't figure out how to do. I used Gimp in this case to basically show you what I want the program to do but at the moment, I don't quite have it. In my program, it shows up as mountains of lego bricks instead. Basically, it takes the two sets of images above and creates a psuedo-3d map with shadows and the a nice appearance.
And, of course, I will eventually be able to adds a really nice and fancy vector map of the world. To create this, I used Inkscape from my terrain map, but you can see how it has a fair amount potential.
I love creating things. Tonight, I'm working setting up the countries and reconstructing my lost notes from MR, WBM, and also the other short stories I've written in this world.