View Full Version : Emperian City - Commission

01-08-2011, 05:00 PM
This is the wip thread for Tower of Nitar.
As I post this I am actually pretty close to wrapping the project up.
I had no intention of being this far along... I should still be in the sketching phase, but like a book that's too good to put down this project wouldn't let me do anything else til it was done.
Not saying that the end result is that good, it's just I couldn't stop working on it.

The post will be broken down into 4 phases:
1. the sketch idea phase
2. revised sketches early work
3. maps almost complete
4. maps with layout and nearly finished work.

So Phase one. The initial concepts I had were not very close to what the client wanted, not to say that what I ended up running with is the right choice either. Once I got some new info from the client I revised my thoughts and tackled the initial sketches in Cararra, a 3d app. The complexity of the piece was a bit daunting. To make sense of it I needed to see something I could work from. Now the maps are very abstract ideas that make sense of the mess that is this structure. To really map something like this would take months. It's basically the idea of the Chinese apartments (Kowloon) gone rampant, layers and layers of buildings built on top of each other and the ruins of an old city. I decided that despite that various layers involved I would just do the 5 tiers (8 slices) that were required.

01-08-2011, 05:05 PM
Phase 2:
In phase 2 I was working from the 3D render. Though maybe more complex than what I wanted I at least had an idea of what this thing was.
Using the 3d program I made slices of the model at various levels, then drew on top of them very roughly. Normally I think I would have used Illustrator to make very clean levels, but since the client wanted a sketch look I did most of the work by hand.
I did use Illustrator to set up the undercity. The Undercity was built before all of the new construction on top. I wanted a different look for it. So while everything above ground is square and haphazardly place things below ground, though in ruins is all built around a central core and radiates from it.

01-08-2011, 05:09 PM
Phase 3.
After much scanning and drawing, and then inking on top of old drawings, I finally had something to layout.
I will admit that the maps by themselves had me thinking I had chosen poorly, by themselves they are dull and do not work as real maps.
You couldn't navigate anywhere using them and the scale was so great that there was no way to add details.

By adding a nice background, and some repeating elements and allowing the background to bleed through really helped to make these maps look right.

01-08-2011, 05:16 PM
Phase 4.
I was actually starting to like where these were ending up. Now with callouts (which scaled badly so ignore that large fat letters) and colored sections. I developed the 3d view and a side view with all the slices on one page.
Things were starting to really come together and most of the work now was just in layout and adding the names.

The client has been great through all of this, and I'm glad that I have worked with him before and that I think he trusted my ability. We negotiated a new price after I realized that this project was a bit more than what was originally asked for. Which could be argued that I made it more complex than it needed to be, but again the client was great to allow me to develop my interpretation of his descriptions.

So these are almost finished, I want to add some flavor text in some of the blank areas. And then just a bit of cleaning up, and some refinement to the ISO view.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks to Brad (Church) of http://www.lvl99games.com/ for the commission, and for letting me post the WIP here.

01-08-2011, 05:50 PM
Thats so awesome :D Great work dude!!

01-08-2011, 05:52 PM
Utterly stunning work. Really beautiful. And thanks for posting the progression too.

01-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Utterly superb!!!

01-08-2011, 11:14 PM
Repped! Repped! REPPED! Sir that is truly awesome! I envy your skill!


01-09-2011, 12:47 AM
This looks incredibly awesome.

It's also way cool of you to show your process for all of us to learn from. Thanks!

01-09-2011, 02:04 AM
WHOA! Those are simply incredible. What a huge undertaking. I think they got the right guy for the job. I bet they are stoked. These are really gorgeous and I'm sure will help to promote their game. Well done, bravo!

01-09-2011, 08:03 AM
This is a masterpiece, DN. Your magnum opus.

01-09-2011, 09:45 AM
Great work, the progression from start to finish is a bonus for all who look.

01-10-2011, 07:49 AM
Thanks guys. Thanks for helping me feel good about the work.
I'll post the finals in a couple days.

01-10-2011, 07:53 AM
I can't wait - and I'm sure I'm not the only one! :)