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Keedo
11-08-2007, 12:04 AM
OK, I am reinventing my old D&D campaign world, starting with the main city the campaign revolved around. I will be using some of the same elements, such as the deities, but I am not actually revisiting or extending the old campaign, just rebuilding the world. Currently I am using Inkscape, though I hope to get Illustrator eventually. This city is called New Haven (read my "Unofficial Map Challenge" thread in "Map Requests" for a brief history of the city) and is a great walled city built and controlled by humans, but home to humanoids of all kinds from the garden-variety demi-humans (such as dwarves and elves) to the exotic (such as faeries, ogres, and centaurs).

Here's a brief history of this "new" world...
In ancient times, the gods walked the mortal world. Mortals lived sheltered lives - protected and controlled by the gods. For ages, they worshiped the gods with awe, respect, and fear. Eventually, their understanding of the world around them grew to such a degree that their power rivaled that of the gods themselves. Though they never attained true immortality, they learned to rebuild their bodies after death. Many rebelled against the gods. Naturally the gods were angry and waged war against the mortals. The mortals learned to kill the gods, which shocked the gods. Out of fear, the gods released all of their power against the mortal world and it would have been destroyed if not for the birth of a new god. This new god, named Torsalis, was said not to have been born of mortals or other gods, but from the universe itself. His power was so great that not even the combined might of an entire pantheon of gods could match his. Torsalis sympathized with mortals and was apalled by the actions of the gods, so Torsalis banished all gods from the mortal world. As a result, gods could no longer directly affect the mortal world. However, some of their power could still leak into the world if the faith of their followers was strong enough. The mortal world had been devastated, though, and most of the knowledge of the ancients had been lost. Many ages passed. Civilization began to recover. Now, the ancients are little more than legend and mortals are emerging into a new Dark Age.

So here is the start of my city map of New Haven. I haven't done much yet. This is just a basic coastline and the river. It is three layers. The coastline itself, a "deep water" layer, and a "shallow water" layer (a simple gradient) for the river and what will eventually be the two harbors. I plan to make it more detailed of course, with a more pleasing water texture and more natural coastline, but wanted to get something posted so I could get some comments. I am attaching both the current WIP and the original simple layout I made for comparison.

ravells
11-08-2007, 08:50 AM
Great Start!

Can I suggest that you also download 'Gimp' (which is also free and a raster image editor like photoshop). The Gimp will do many of the things that Inkscape cannot (texture creation, overlay blends etc). Also, What you might want to do then is to look at RobA's tutorial on making not so random coastlines in gimp (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=875) (linked). This will allow to make a coastline which looks authentic but which will still follow the general direction that you want it to.

You can then load the resulting image into inkscape and run a 'convert to vector' on it (don't know what it's called in inkscape). This will give you a more 'real' looking coastline with lots of wiggly bits, small islands etc. Of course you can do this by hand in inkscape (much easier if you have a tablet and pen) but if you do not have a tablet and pen, then I suggest Rob's method since trying to draw a good coastline with a mouse is pretty time consuming!

Ravs.

RobA
11-08-2007, 01:27 PM
There is also a fractalize option in Inkscape that will subdevide and jitter the nodes to make a line look more natural. It will not, hower, create any islands :)

-Rob A>

Keedo
11-08-2007, 07:38 PM
I have already tweaked the coast a little bit, making it less smooth, and I will most likely continue to tweak it as I add more to the map. The city will take up most of the land as well as the coastline when it is finished. I figure the location for the city would have been chosen carefully. Since fishing and trade were major aspects of the city when it was founded, the people would most likely have chosen a coastal area with few navigational hazards such as jagged coastlines and small islands. Small islands would most likely mean shallower water, increasing the chances of large trading vessels running aground on sand bars and coral reefs. I will be posting an updated version of the map later tonight.

Keedo
11-09-2007, 12:50 AM
OK, here's a slight update to my map. I added the 4 islands to the mouth of the river, tweaked the coastline a little, made a basic city wall, the two harbors, and added a little lake where the river enters the city. Now that I look at it, the wall looks sorta like a short fat bird. Hmmm.

Keedo
11-10-2007, 06:13 PM
Here is another small update to my map. I extended the walls to cover more of the map. It didn't feel large enough. It still feels a bit smaller than I want, but as I add details, I'm sure that will change. I also added a bunch of guard towers to the walls and added gates where I intend the roads to be. In addition, I added the stone and wooden bridges to the islands, and tweaked the coastline a little more.

Keedo
11-11-2007, 01:37 AM
Here's a slightly larger update to my map. This one is noticeably different. I was basically happy with the coastline and city wall, so I started playing with the water and land textures a bit. The water texture I made with GIMP using RobA's tutorials as a guide. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it is definitely better than the basic blues I had before. For the land, I simply made a copy of the coastline, moved all of the copy's nodes inward, changed the colors, and then blurred both coastlines to create a beach effect. Obviously, I have not done this to the islands yet, though I did blur their shores a bit. Let me know what you think.

RobA
11-11-2007, 02:14 PM
Have you seen this thread on a canal city I started using Inkscape (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=826)?

I can zip up what I have and attach it if you want to see how I approached things...

-Rob A>

Keedo
11-11-2007, 09:56 PM
Thanks. I checked out the thread, and it's given me some ideas (especially for how I'll handle the harbors). You don't have to zip it up though. I prefer the trial and error approach. :) Though I definitely appreciate advice and suggestions. Your tutorials have helped me out immensely.

Here's my latest update. I added another layer of color to the coastline so that the shores of the river wouldn't look so "beachy". Also did some work on the terrain colors of the islands. I am not putting too much detail to the terrain just yet since the buildings will cover most of it up eventually. Also added roads to the islands and added a little forest made of Dridon's trees to the uppermost island. I'll probably tweak the forest some once I start adding buildings. In addition, I made the stone bridges and their guard towers larger so they'd be more noticeable.

Midgardsormr
11-11-2007, 10:21 PM
The interior glow on the land looks quite nice. You may want to consider doing something similar in the sea to indicate shallower water, keeping in mind that those are deep-water harbours, of course.

I'm liking the seawalls, too; very nice touch. I am thinking there ought to be a lighthouse in or near this city.

pyrandon
11-12-2007, 06:18 PM
Keedo, this is coming along wonderfully. I suggest you tone down (i.e., desaturate) all your colors a bit. I think the longer you keep them "neon" like this, the less you will be impressed with your wonderful efforts so far.

Keep it going! Keep posting!

Keedo
11-12-2007, 09:31 PM
Yeah, it is a little bright. I am noticing especially that the stone bridges still don't stand out enough either because the terrain is too bright or the bridges themselves are too bright, or both. Eventually, I'll mess around with adding some texture to the walls and maybe a slight texture and/or shadow to the bridges to help them stand out. As for the terrain within the city, most of it will be swallowed up by the buildings. In its finished state, there will be very little noticeable terrain within the city walls except on the islands. It is meant to be a densely populated city with narrow streets and alleyways, especially in the southern section which will mostly be tightly packed apartment-style buildings and the kind of buildings (not sure the technical term) where they are built on top of other buildings sometimes to where there are maze-like pathways under and between them, but no real roads. There will also be some "suburb" villages outside the walls near the city gates. Well I think I'm starting to ramble. lol I'll probably post another update later tonight. I just got home from work. :(

Keedo
11-13-2007, 03:16 AM
OK, here is my update for today. No major changes this time. Added some color layers to the western island to indicate where the hills on it will be. Also made the major roads for the southern and eastern sections. Put in two black shapes in the southern section to indicate a pair of chasms that were not filled in by the river after the earthquake (see my "Unofficial Map Challenge" thread in the Mapmaking Requests forum for details on that). I may combine them into one chasm later, and will of course add detail to them at some point so they are not just black shapes. I figure there were undoubtedly many smaller chasms created by the earthquake that were filled in with dirt during the reconstruction, but these two large ones were too deep and wide to be filled in, and they will also be connected to a ruined section of the sewer tunnels and my labyrinth of caverns (though those will not of course show up on this map).

Keedo
11-18-2007, 05:00 AM
I have not had the opportunity to do much work on my map the past few days, but here is my latest update. Again, no major changes. Added a few roads, and started adding buildings (mostly around the small lake and on the northernmost island). I notice that some of the smaller hut-like buildings on the northernmost island ended up looking like trees at this resolution. I'll have to fix that later. All of the buildings were cut and pasted from a collection of premade buildings. Very basically designed, but since they are so small on the map, I did not need them to be too highly detailed. Some of the more unique buildings such as the temples, I will probably custom design myself.

Keedo
11-19-2007, 01:16 PM
OK, here is my update for today. The changes are more noticeable this time. I have added more buildings, but most noticeable are the docks. I put in a bunch of different sized boats (actually the same boat resized to make small, medium, and large versions) to help show scale. Looking at the large boats in relation to the harbor, I have noticed that I will probably have to increase the size of the royal harbor to accomodate the naval fleet. As it is now, I can only comfortably fit 4 of the large ships, and no naval fleet worth anything will have only 4 ships...:). You will also notice that I added in the arena. I will no doubt end up moving it around, and maybe resizing it as I fill that area with buildings and streets.

RobA
11-19-2007, 01:28 PM
Keedo -

With that level of detail, I don't know if the textured roofs are coming across as good, or bad. They might be clearer as just solid blocks of colour as the dithering makes them look blotchy to me.

-Rob A>

Keedo
11-19-2007, 03:28 PM
I'm not surprised you said that. I don't think the buildings I used were meant to be reduced in size so much, but I like them for my generic buildings. Even before I posted the pic, I was worried about how they would look once exported. I had toyed with the idea of just increasing the page size and scaling everything proportionately. Of course that makes the file size much larger as well. :) So anyway, here is a much larger version of it. I actually tried making an even larger version, but that made Inkscape freeze up. But that's probably because my computer sucks, not Inkscape. :) So anyway...again, here's the larger map.