Turtles All The Way Down (April 1st, 2010)

Here's my annual April 1st map. I got the idea to make a map of the world a long time ago, but never got very far because making the continents recognizable is tough. A few years ago I tried making them out of boxes, but it looked horrendous and the frame rate was just as bad. So, I put this map idea on my list and forgot about it until I'd figured out Wings3d a bit better.

Once I began building it in Wings3d, I realized tanks wouldn't be able to move to other continents very well due to the distance. I thought about teleporters or jump pads, but those can be finicky in the heat of battle. So I then I based the map off the game Risk and pushed the continents closer together. I thought about adding a stack of cards and dice for cover, but decided to go with a more realistic look.

Tanks can easily jump from South America to Africa, and they comfortably fit on Corsica. There's a bit of a bottleneck on Iceland though, but it's consistent with Risk. There's also a teleporter from Alaska to the Kamchatka peninsula. My Risk board didn't have New Zealand, so I didn't add it either. I was almost certain I'd hear about it, and 45 minutes after hosting it I got this report: "missing New Zealand! :(" :P

Map Overview

Basically I started with a 20x20 grid in Wings3d. Then I used the snap image feature to put a texture of a map onto the top of the grid. Then I simply built up the coast line by cutting and connecting lines. It's incredibly tedious, and I probably spent a week and a half just making the coastline. It would have been a lot easier if I could have just moved existing points, but then the texture would stretch. So yea, I can see why this idea hasn't been done before.

Wings3d Version

Once the coasts were done, I deleted all the other points so I was left with solid faces for the continents. Then I moved them up a bit to make beaches. Everything was a bit open, so I added some mountain ranges. So far I have the Rockies, Alps, Caucasus, Urals, and Himalayas. I should probably add the Andes and try and find some mountains in Africa, but I was a bit burnt out by the time I finished this map.

To add a bit of cover, I tried to add a landmark or two for each continent. I tried to make these models stylized representations with a low face count. Below are pictures:

Great Pyramids
Great Pyramids, Egypt

Great Wall
Great Wall of China

Stepped Pyramid
Stepped Pyramid, South America

Ayers Rock
Ayers Rock, Australia

Straw Huts
Straw Huts, Africa

St. Basil's Cathedral      Taj Mahal
St. Basil's Cathedral, Russia      The Taj Mahal, India

Chinese Pagoda
A Pagoda, China

Williamsburg Capital
Colonial Williamsburg Capital, United States