Ever since I played Myst when I was young I’ve really enjoyed volcanic islands. I had an idea for one a while back, and during my drawing kick a few years ago I made a concept sketch of one I really liked.
I was never very good at drawing things without actually being able to see them, so the sketch wasn’t really quite what I’d imagined and the idea continued to fester. Later, while working on an idea for a reverse-geocaching device, I was trying to find the point of land that was the furthest possible distance from me. Turns out one of the island that was closest to being on the opposite side of the Earth from me (and one of only three antipodes for the U.S.) was Ile Saint Paul, and it just happened to look similar to my sketch.
A couple years later the guys over at Unity3D made part of their game development application freely available to the public (thanks guys!). Included in this development environment were lots of really cool tools for designing level maps and modeling terrain. I spent the next few days compulsively modelling the island that had been rolling around in my head for so long.
But the best part was that once the map was created, Unity, being a game engine, happily let me run around on a beautifully rendered version of my brand new island.