Le gasp, I wasn't expecting any messages considering my lack of (visible) activity. That's quite awesome of you.
I've just been busy. Junior year of high school, and all that comes with it, y'know? I've been creeping the map thread, but haven't had time to consistently give ratings. Besides, my mapping has been awfully rusty lately, imo. I think I'll need some more practice before allowing myself to make decent ratings. :c
I do, however, have one more little tip to add. It might be because I'm a geography freak, but I consider it extremely important to visualize what you're trying to map out first as if it's IRL (or say, even, in the anime). Just imagine where you'd have a creek, which way it would flow, where it would cascade down a cliff.. imagine what shape the mountains take, how dense the vegetation is, what kind of vegetation there is. This will help you with any style of map you decide to create. Really, the worst maps are generally only like that because they are visualized by the artist as simply just maps in a game, rather than real places portrayed through a game.
I think you may be the twin brother that I never had.
Ahah, thanks for the compliment. I've actually been lurking around on the emulation forums for months (I joined in April). I've read most of the mapping tuts, been keeping up with the map rating thread, and have been following several of my personal favorite hacks for a while. It took me a while to put together my tilesets (I don't have as much free time as some people, and almost all of my tiles were handpicked, colored, and edited), but now I can finally put them to good use. :P