View Full Version : Durndl

12-04-2010, 02:22 PM
So I decided that I wanted to try making a city map for the first time. Rather than start from scratch, I decided to work with one of the cities I'd named in the map I finished earlier this fall. I found pyrandon's tutorial and used that as a guide. I'd started my second draft on where roads would go when I realized that I'd completely forgotten to consider the scale. I'd cut the relevant section of map from the largest version of my other map and had blown it up a couple times, traced the coastline and made a new map from it. So there was a scale already attached. I just forgot about it. Anyway, here is what I had before I realized I needed to start over.

Anyway, a list of things I have messed up:

1. Roads that were way too wide.
2. A city that was about 500 miles wide.
3. Trying to make a city that's about 20x20 miles, when that is not realistic for the time.
4. Spending hours trying to massage a scale into something manageable before I realized #3.

12-05-2010, 12:45 AM
What era is your setting?

12-05-2010, 01:33 AM
Late medieval/early Renaissance-ish. Trade in the region (portions of four continents centered around a sea) is flourishing and there are a few major city-states that have grown thanks to increased trade. Innovations/inventions/etc are on the rise, leading to increasingly larger urban populations, with all the troubles that brings. The region is optimistic overall.

I have updated the regional map and have marked where the cities will go so that I can finally start on the city. On this map 9.7 pixels is 1 mile. The largest of the three purple dots is Durndl. I looked up some information on Italian city-states, as well Medieval Demographics Made Easy, to get an idea of how large the city would actually be.

It isn't a perfect regional map, but that wasn't the point. From what I figure Durndl is about 2 square miles and has a population of about 80k.

(I've opened a new document now 3520x3520 so that each px is 3ft. Now back to the tutorial I was attempting to use in the first place.)

12-05-2010, 11:44 PM
All right. I've made the backdrop for the city and I've sketched out the streets. I figured the main cart roads would be about 15 feet across, while the secondary streets would be half that. Smaller streets are not shown. The cart roads connect to the city gates and divide some of the wards. All of the first ten wards were divided by a cart road. Later on each ward is bordered on one side by one. Some of the secondary roads were done by the city's government; others were commissioned by the wards.

(For example, unless I change my mind, Ward 17 is actually a thriving merchant area, rather than a space for the poor. Many of the poor live in the older wards and where there are fewer larger roads (but numerous smaller ones).)

Since this is just a sketch, I can change the road sizes if I miscalculated. When I did them I did not have access to the net so I couldn't check average road width or cart sizes.

The image with the black background is to make everything easier to see. The numbers and red outlines refer to the wards. The wards are numbered in order of creation (with some fumbling among the first ten).


Right now I'm wondering if it wouldn't be easier to cut out each ward and work on them one at a time, then piece them back together. (Each ward has its own police station and representative. Some representatives are chosen by lots to work on the governing body. Others are temporarily appointed to the Petitioner's court or else something I'm not sure of yet. Guilds have their own representatives. This system is based on/stolen from Renaissance Florence pre-Medici).

Steel General
12-06-2010, 07:50 PM
Looks like quite the undertaking, looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

12-06-2010, 10:49 PM
Looking great !! ill be watching this one..

12-07-2010, 04:05 AM
Thanks. :) I admit, going back over those roads at the moment is a little daunting. So I've been working on other parts, such as making a better map of the wards to possibly use as an eventual overlay. The majority of my time, however, has been in working on some of the stuff behind the map.

Using Medieval Demographics Made Easy, the 1427 Florence Catasto, the Cartographical demographics tutorial for the GDP sections, and a few other sites, I made a set of worksheets for Durndl to calculate, well, a lot. I also have it fully linked between pages so that I don't have to copy-paste and can use it for my next city-state project. 31263

It isn't finished yet, as I'd like to add better demographics information and pages for taxes and the military. I don't know what else would be useful and/or interesting.

12-07-2010, 09:29 AM
This is looking fantastic, can't wait to see this develop. I love the amount of thought you're putting into the social aspects of the city.

12-09-2010, 02:25 AM
All right. I've completed the large cart roads for the entire city and the secondary roads for the old city. The dotted line around the edges of 9/10/etc is the old city wall. Parts of it are still standing. Other portions were torn down for roads, buildings, etc. Some parts of the wall are used as a fourth wall for buildings. One of the old gates is now a popular inn. Ward 5 has three important areas in it. The circle in the middle of it is where the castle stands. The castle is now used as the seat of government. All of the representatives have an office there. The upper left side of five is where the guilds keep their main offices (though many may have have additional offices elsewhere in the city). The area to the right is the main branch of the police and the petitioners' court, which serves as both a judicial court and forum for hearing citizens' complaints and ideas. The head judge brings the petitions that the judges have decided are worth the city's attention to the city council.

Unlike the outer wards, the inner wards work together in a more coherent city system. The outer wards are usually more like cities in miniature. (Note: The wards were first decided by the City Warden/Police Chief. The ward divided the city into wards in order to make the city police more efficient.)


As for my excel workbook, I used the price given for a price of goods in 1480 Florence (http://www3.telus.net/Quattrocento_Florence/economy.html) to figure out how much my currency is worth. I don't how I came to the calculation, but I decided that three loaves of bread would equal the rough third of a pound of wheat used daily. Then, assuming the bread would consume the same percentage of the total cost in my currency as it did in Florentine Lire, I figured the cost of the bundle, a living wage, and some more. From that I was also able to convert between USD and my currency. Pointless and very roughly calculated, but still nice to know.

Anyway, my next task there is to figure out a tax system. I know I want the city to set a flat task for each ward based on its population. I also want the guilds to be responsible for an additional tax. They would be opposed to the tax on one hand, but would accept it also as a way to justify their presence on the council. There might also be a deal about importing fees. The individual wards would be allowed to charge an additional tax on top of what is required of them by the city. This money would be used to pay for ward needs/etc. Maybe.

12-11-2010, 01:47 AM
This is the final placement of the main streets throughout Durndl. There are smaller streets, but they aren't shown at the moment as they'd only be about 1 to 1.67 pixels wide. Scale is going to be an ongoing problem, I think. As much as I'd like to fill the blocks with buildings, that doesn't seem like it is feasible (scale is 3 feet per pixel with dimensions 3520x3520). So I thought about treating this like a political map, at least at this scale, and just marking points of interest. I'm still wavering on that though.

Does anyone know any useful maps or tuts I could look over and steal ideas from?


I also made sure to convert my streets to a mask that I then applied down. So now I can select one block at a time. I also used this to redo my ward colors by selecting all the blocks within each ward.

My next tasks are creating the outer wall and docks and pinpointing landmarks, markets, inn/etc.

12-14-2010, 06:14 AM
The depth of my dissatisfaction is great.


I made the buildings in Inkscape (which I downloaded mostly for this map, though I've already found more uses for it). I don't want to do every block one at a time. It'd be *easier* to do bit by bit in inkscape, but my computer doesn't like doing that very much.

So now I'm wondering maybe mapping out which areas are primarily residential/etc and coloring them differently. Then marking important locations, landmarks, etc.

I don't know what to do.

In other news, I've figured out the basic guild system in Durndl. The guilds cover professions and if you practice that profession, you join that guild. Within each guild are Houses that compete with one another. When a House gets interesting info from another city, they tell their members first, then release it to the guild. The guilds didn't always work this way, but as their importance in Durndl grew, they expanded and changed. I have the guild list and they're ranking within the city (the highest ranked guilds are those that helped overthrow Elosian control of the city. That is how the Theater/Arts Guild became so important in Durndl). The guilds are active in the government, maintain dock space (the docks extend beyond the walls of the city. The outer docks are guarded by those who rent them), provide education (nearly all schooling in Durndl goes through the guilds; students don't have to participate in the guild, but that is one way to pay off school fees), and intercede if a guild member gets in trouble over seas. Guilds may also set a min/max on price/quality, but other than protecting against extremes, they usually leave that to the Houses to bicker out.


ETA: Is by hand really my best option? I started with some buildings over in in the Warren using Inkscape's path editing tool to make the buildings fit the shape of their blocks.

(The thin line going down one side is part of a grid I'm using to help me keep track of where I am.)

Surely, there is a more efficient way to do this.

01-05-2011, 06:08 AM
So, I took a break from this for a little while. When I came back, I had the streets layer I used here that I'm not entirely sure how I made (though I think it involves some bitmap tracing in Inkscape, either that or messing up a tutorial). Anyway, I decided to work with that.

Also rather than trying to mark all the houses and such in the city, I'm only marking off major landmarks and such. It isn't the map I wanted, but I think I need a better scale to use the help I got toward my original goal.

Currently on this map:
Red Landmarks: The gates, a famous inn, a library, the seat of government, the courthouse, a library, a theater, and possibly a museum.
Yellow splotch: The main guild headquarters. (Larger buildings and such are nearer to gates and markets, but these are considered the main branches/etc)
Green patches: Parks (there are more green spaces. These are the largest and those known for their use in worship)
Red patches: The major markets. (The large square is the most famous, the one to its right is less prestigious and primarily imports, the one near the theater (bracket shaped building with green within and to the right) is mostly fine crafts and art, etc)
Blue Spots: Police stations (every ward has at least one)
Other red thing: The docks


What other landmarks should I add? Do I need more parks, you think?

01-05-2011, 04:24 PM
I like your varied widths on the streets - reminds me of a really big village with dirt roads and how people always cut the corners thus rounding things off. With paved streets things stay sharp and rigid. Where the streets are wider this would suggest that there's some important building there that gets a lot of traffic.

01-05-2011, 06:44 PM
I really like the feel of this map which looks like it's been drawn with runny ink on canvas. It has real character. Keep going, Lisze!

01-05-2011, 10:58 PM
More parks? Not necessarily. Why do your residents stay within the city wall? If they have to, and the city is prosperous and growing, there would be serious pressure on any open space. If your folks' technology is permitting taller buildings, then a lot of the growth could be upwards. On the other hand, if the prosperity is expressed in *some* of the locals getting filthy rich, then they might clear out a little breathing room around their homes, whether for safety, or for show & status, hence more parkland. If there's enough prosperity for some leisure, at least among some of the populace, maybe they need some athletic fields. Or if the Duke's retainers are required to maintain a bow and keep their archery skills up to date, maybe there need to be open-air firing ranges.

Reason I asked about era up front, was your misstart of a initial map looked like a more modern layout - a city center off to the side of a 'bypass'. Medieval patterns would more likely have main arteries going to and from the important city, with only minor routes going past instead. You have dodged that whole issue by focusing tightly within the walls, so that's a moot point. Still, your in-wall planning will benefit from what you're thinking about the surrounding spaces. For instance if there's thousands of acres of royal parklands just outside the gates, available to citizens, you could trim internal green space to the bone.

The latest version looks good. I sympathize with a wish for more detail. Other than insanity and hand cramps, putting in ten thousand buildings might not get you much, though. If you want to show the flavor of your city up close, maybe you could do an inset of the couple of blocks right around some really important feature -- leave it to the viewer's imagination to populate the other 500 city blocks with similar buildings. Make him work a bit :-).