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Schattenherz
08-16-2011, 06:05 AM
I just started the third attempt to draw one of the most important cities of my rpg background world.
First one: about 2005; second: 2010; sketch: yesterday ;)

37840 37839 37838

While considering your hints on my last city map, Demera, I realized some problems of the older maps of Merridia.

The river:
It was far too thin as it's one of the longest rivers of the continent. I now compared it to the Elbe river in germany (about 2km wide at the river mouth). As I did not want to change the design of the city too much (the writers are used to it by now), I had to think of a way to keep the small "old" river while showing the "new" broad one. So here's my idea: The small river course once was much broader (also about 2km) and covered the space where the southern part of the city later was built. Two hamlets were built north of the river on slightly higher ground.
Eventually the river changed it's course to the north; the old course silted up and could no longer be used for fishing/merchant ships. The new river course is very shallow and has constantly changing river banks, so it was not suitable for shipping, too. The inhabitants of the villages began to build a canal where the old river course once was, drained the land where the southern part of Merridia now is and ended up with a navigable, strait canal which also is one of the reasons why Merridia is now a capital.
What I'm wondering about: Would builders be able to build a bridge across a river of 2km? I thought they'd maybe use some of the sand banks, but nevertheless it's quite a distance...

Size:
The city is supposed to be inhabited by about 20.000 people, but I'm really not able to estimate if what I have drawn is big enough. I started to make the city flow over it's borders.

Houses & streets:
Houses too random, some of the streets too broad. I'll change that.

Anything else? I appreciate any comments :)

Moe
08-16-2011, 06:37 AM
First of all: I like the 2005 version, I love the 2010 version and I will keep an eye on the 2011 version ;)

To your question if the city is big enough:
EDIT: Calculation wrong - see next posts

Quoted the
Magical Guide to Medieval Societies (http://paizo.com/store/games/roleplayingGames/m/aMagicalSociety/v5748btpy82rc)

Medieval towns and cities are small, usually less than
a mile in diameter, and rarely grow larger than a few
thousand souls. Most urban environments average a
population density of 20-60 people per acre. Larger
cities, royal cities, or cities on major trade routes have
higher growth potential because of the amount of
money flowing through the city. Population density in
these cities is as high as 200 people per acre.

You want to have 20,000 people so you had ~19 / acre.
When my quick calculations are precise enough (lots of rounding) there is some space for more inhabitants, or you could adjust the scale.

It depends much on the type of city. As said before I will link to the guide (http://paizo.com/store/games/roleplayingGames/m/aMagicalSociety/v5748btpy82rc).

Have to go now and will update soon,
hope this will help you a bit ;)

I'd love to know more about the background story (is it in German?)

Kindly,
>Moe

EDIT: Links inserted

ravells
08-16-2011, 06:52 AM
Looking good! I really like the second one. When converting population to city size I work on the principle of having on average about 10 people to a building (in medieval times it was probably more but the data I've come across says that it is unreliable, I'm working on the principle that people living in the middle of the cities live in blocks), so a population of 20,000 people = about 2,000 buildings. From the sources I've read city populations in Medieval European cities have a density of about 100 - 300 people an acre. 1 Acre = 0.0040469 Square Kilometre. So, working on these (wildly assumptive) figures the size of a city of 20,0000 people would be between 0.8 square km to 0.2 square km.

Working on 0.8 square km city size, I fire up RPG City creator (a very clever bit of free software - do a site search here and you will find it). I make a city of 2,000 buildings covering an area of 1 km. The resulting generated city gives me a vague idea of what I need as a reference.

:: edit :: Ninja'd by Moe!

Moe
08-16-2011, 08:10 AM
:: edit :: Ninja'd by Moe!
I feel sorry, Ravells ;)

@Schattenherz
I added the links to my initial post - you could check page 23 to get a compact version of different types of cities, their number of inhabitants and the density of structures per acre.

>Moe

Schattenherz
08-16-2011, 09:52 AM
Considering ravell's advice I may be on the right way (I estimated something around 1800 buildings inside the city walls).

@Moe
Unfortunately there's not much to read about Merridia until now. If you're interested still: Merridia (http://www.schattenherz.net/drachenblut/wiki/wissen/nordreiche/geographie/merridia) or, partly this thread: Weltgeschehen - Nordreiche (http://www.schattenherz.net/drachenblut/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=200) (yes, it's german).
19 inhabitants/acre are too few. I'll have a try at a hopefully more exact calculation using your numbers:
The space used by buildings (without castle, temple and harbour) is 110,000px at a scale of 1px = 1m (-> the original picture, I let Photoshop count them), so 110,000m² or 27.2 acre. Right? I'm really no genius when it comes to mathematics...
So there would be 5440 inhabitants (assuming 200/acre)... I'm confused :/

Both calculations hint at an incorrect scale, am I right? Using an scale of 1px = 2m would double the number of inhabitants, I suppose?
Sorry for my dumbness concerning numbers :D

edit: Thanks for the link, Moe, seems useful & I'll download it!

Moe
08-16-2011, 10:43 AM
my previous post was a horrible failure! :|
I forgot to hit the little sign in the histogramm to do a precise counting of the pixels...
forgive me!

forget the calculations and follow this one, correct me if needed...


According to your scale in the sample: 2000m are ~500px, therefore 1m is equal to 0.25px
I increased the file size by factor 4 so 1m is equal to 1px
your city (including all streets, walls and buildings, without the river) covers ~2,845,000 px
2,845,000m² = ~700 acres
20,000 people / 700 = ~29 people / 1 acre



If you'd exclude the temples, streets and other areas from the calculation - the density would be lower of course.
The question now is, what kind of city is Merridia (According to the categories in the guide)?

>Moe

EDIT:

So there would be 5440 inhabitants (assuming 200/acre)... I'm confused :/
So Merridia should be a metropolis? With 700 acres and 200 persons / acre you would reach a total population of 140,000.
And don't forget to hit the little sign in the upper right corner of the histogram in photoshop - or you wind up with those curious values as I did before ;)

Schattenherz
08-16-2011, 12:13 PM
Hehe... hitting that sign makes a huge difference :D Thank you so much, also for your detailed explanation of calculating it! I think I got it now ;) A pity I can't award reputation yet.

I excluded castle, temple and river while counting only buildings within the city walls and ended up with 302 acres -> 66 people / 1 acre. Metropolis would'nt be the right word for Merridia, but it still would be a large town/small city according to the guide. Not really what I imagined ;)
I'm thinking about simply increasing the number of inhabitants.

Some research results (Wikipedia hooray!):
Cologne (1500): 40.000 - biggest city in germany
London (1500): 125.000
Hamburg (~1500): 20.000
Lübeck (1502): 25.444
Nürnberg (1485): 36.000

As with about 42.000 inhabitants Merridia would be a "large city" following the guide, that's my choice ;) The wards outside the city wall will be built quite loosely.

I will go on with drawing the buildings :)

Moe
08-16-2011, 12:30 PM
Hehe... hitting that sign makes a huge difference :D Thank you so much, also for your detailed explanation of calculating it! I think I got it now ;)
No problem ;)

If you take some 'real world' examples I could add, that the density of buildings in the middle ages was not that high - even in cities. There were fields, vineyards and gardens all over the place. It took until the 19th century to cover this space within the city walls. Cologne had a density of ~100 people per ha (40.47/acre) around the year 1500 (didn't do research on that - I am pretty sure that I remember it correctly, but be aware ;) ).

>Moe

ravells
08-16-2011, 12:58 PM
I found a great document on the MIT website (attached). If you scroll down to the end there is a list of data of city sizes and populations in the ancient and medieval periods.

Link to Site (http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/11311)

Schattenherz
08-16-2011, 01:18 PM
Very interesting, thank you! So maybe it would be a good idea to make the city grow over it's borders to achieve a bit more realistic density while keeping a total of about 40,000 inhabitants... or less.
Though I imagined no fields, but gardens and backyards are planned for the Merridians. Perhaps I'll gift them with some other green spaces, too ;)

ravells
08-16-2011, 01:25 PM
In the end, it's fantasy, and cities in reality are usually a lot more boring than fantasy cities! As long as the city looks like it's believable that's all that usually matters.

Schattenherz
08-16-2011, 03:37 PM
You're right, but I always try to keep it as realistic as possible for me, because fantasy elements come in by itself due to lack of knowledge and thought ;)
The one thing I learned today: It's good to have a scale from the very beginning, it makes many things easier *g*

Drew nearly all of the houses and will keep Photoshop closed for today ;)

37846

Schattenherz
08-17-2011, 04:03 PM
My results for today.

37862 37863

arsheesh
08-17-2011, 04:36 PM
Looking fantastic so far Shattenherz! I'll definitely be keeping my eyes on this one.

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

ravells
08-17-2011, 04:43 PM
Gorgeous! Can't wait to see more! Really nice proportions of streets to buildings and great colours.

arsheesh
08-17-2011, 04:48 PM
I found a great document on the MIT website (attached). If you scroll down to the end there is a list of data of city sizes and populations in the ancient and medieval periods.

Link to Site (http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/11311)

Hah! I was just reading through that about a month or so ago when I was preparing to begin work on my own city (a project which has since been set on the back burner). Great discussion on population and demographics btw; I've been using the Magical Society Guide Mo linked to as well. Just in case anyone is interested, there is a pretty good online city generator based upon this guide which you can fin here (http://citygen.crystalballsoft.com/).

Cheers,
-Arsheesh

Moe
08-17-2011, 05:46 PM
Brilliant Schattenherz,
this will be a great, great city map!

One question; Do you know how many buildings you have there?


Just in case anyone is interested, there is a pretty good online city generator based upon this guide which you can fin here (http://citygen.crystalballsoft.com/).
Thanks a lot for sharing - of course somebody is interested ;)

>Moe

Steel General
08-18-2011, 09:00 AM
Looking really nice so far.

Schattenherz
08-19-2011, 04:36 PM
Thanks for your comments :)

Went on with the fields (quite tedious...), some details (mills, circus, lake and little stream) and made an attempt to add details to the water... not really satisfied with it :/

37904

Clercon
08-19-2011, 05:21 PM
Looks really nice. I really like the colour palette. I know how you feel when it comes to fields :-)

Yandor
08-19-2011, 05:37 PM
What part of the fields are tedious? I had a thought (if it has to do with the trees lining the fields) make the fields, get a selection of them, expand the selection by x amount (depends on what you want), then save the selection as a work path, use your brush you made for the trees, but put a small scatter on it, then stroke the path on your tree layer, and go back and erase bits you don't want or need... I'm not sure of your process with the fields themselves but that may help you out, if not something that might be usable somewhere else!

Oh and it looks great, almost makes me want to do my city in the same style...

Schattenherz
08-20-2011, 05:19 AM
Sorry Moe, I forgot to answer your question yesterday:
No, I don't know exactly how many buildings I have. But I came to the conclusion that it won't be too far from the 20,000 to 45,000 inhabitants which were my goal ;) After a rough estimation I'd say i drew about 6000 buildings.

Thank you, Yandor, but I don't think that would help - great idea, though, maybe I can use it nex time! I first draw the trees (just a stroke, as I use scattering etc.) and then fill the gaps with varying colors. It's just so boring doing it over and over again :D

Yandor
08-20-2011, 06:54 AM
Can you make a pattern filled with the various colors, and use the stroke + the pattern? I'm all for the lazy mans way (maybe thats why I'm struggling... to get things right...) but in this way you got the scattered color, and the stroke. If needs be fill the layer with the pattern, and then use a layer mask to bring in your trees with the stroke... just fruit for thought =D

Moe
08-20-2011, 08:29 AM
Looks really good so far, Schattenherz!
Keep it going ;)

>Moe

Schattenherz
08-21-2011, 03:48 AM
I think that would be the solution if I had a far bigger area to fill (and I'll keep that it in mind!), but I want to place the fields individually in relation to buildings, roads and other things. So I suppose I have to stick with the tedious work, but I promise not to complain again :D I'm nearly finished anyway.

Schattenherz
08-22-2011, 06:09 PM
Just a quick snapshot: Brought some life to Merridias streets (and meadows...) ;)
37979

Schattenherz
08-24-2011, 03:25 PM
I don't think this map will ever be finished, but I decided to end working on it in the near future ;) Here's my nearly final result.
Anything I missed, things to fix, ideas to make something look better? I would be grateful for any suggestions :)

38030 38031

feanaaro
08-24-2011, 04:26 PM
Your work looks wonderful. I have just a little doubt about the proportion of buildings. Either the biggest one are truly enormous or many of the houses in the "lower" city are the size of a small room. For example the big greish building in the north (in the "castle") is 132 pixel wide (in the close-up view), while the small houses may be less than 10*5 pixels, and there are many of them. So if 1px 1 m, the houses may be very small, but if 1 px = 2m or more, the major building are very big, perhaps too much for a city of 40k inhabitants. On the same score, some parts of the walls appear very thick, but this could be intentional.

mearrin69
08-24-2011, 04:30 PM
You really must finish it. Incredible work.
M

Schattenherz
08-24-2011, 05:06 PM
Thanks for your comment :)
Mh... maybe I could go back and make some of the buildings bigger... I really have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to some size issues.
The scale of the close-up view is indeed 1px = 1m. You're absolutely right then, some of the buildings are very small, even smaller than 10*5m. I'm thinking about whether this is really not plausible. Even 5*5m are a not overly small room in which I could imagine a hearth, maybe a table and some places to sleep; if the building has more than one floor it would be as big as my flat ;) So enough to live in for a family. Especially as buildings of that size are mainly in the poorer quarters of the city.
The buildings which are smaller than that could be sheds, kitchens outside of the main building orbuilding extensions of some sort.
Does that sound convincing? ;) Nevertheless I'll check the sizes and may make some of the buildings in the northern part of Merridia bigger... that's no great deal.
I'll also do some research on city walls :D

Thank you, too, mearrin69 :)

feanaaro
08-24-2011, 05:38 PM
Thanks for your comment :)
Mh... maybe I could go back and make some of the buildings bigger... I really have to admit that I haven't paid much attention to some size issues.
The scale of the close-up view is indeed 1px = 1m. You're absolutely right then, some of the buildings are very small, even smaller than 10*5m. I'm thinking about whether this is really not plausible. Even 5*5m are a not overly small room in which I could imagine a hearth, maybe a table and some places to sleep; if the building has more than one floor it would be as big as my flat ;) So enough to live in for a family. Especially as buildings of that size are mainly in the poorer quarters of the city.
The buildings which are smaller than that could be sheds, kitchens outside of the main building orbuilding extensions of some sort.
Does that sound convincing? ;) Nevertheless I'll check the sizes and may make some of the buildings in the northern part of Merridia bigger... that's no great deal.
I'll also do some research on city walls :D

Thank you, too, mearrin69 :)

I am not an expert in buildings of ancient ages, but it seems unlikely that a multi-story building could have a footprint of only 5*5. Remember also that those are the external dimensions, you should also consider the thickness of walls (so 5*5 would maybe be 4*4 in the interior). Moreover, even if in a medieval-early modern city the poor could be tightly crammed, it still appears unlikely to me that within a densely populated city they would live mainly in detached houses. And, it comes to my mind now, if they are so poor and short of real estate, why do they keep all that courtyards and gardens in between their houses?
Of course this are just very minor things, the map is still fantastic.

ravells
08-24-2011, 06:31 PM
Schatten may not be so far off (and may have made the sizes of the small houses too generous) 10m square is 3.1m on each side....I'm about to post this paper I found on slums in Bangladesh (http://www.cpc.unc.edu/measure/publications/tr-06-35/at_download/document) (present day - worth reading if you want to know how a large proportion of the world around us live), but bearing in mind they have no modern amenities, it's possible within the extents of fantasy to think that the house sizes would not have changed too much over the ages:

Slum dwellers lived in very small, mostly single room homes (Table 3.16). The mean size of a house/room in the six cities was 102.8 sq. ft., the median being 100 sq. ft. (9.55 m2 and 9.29 m2 respectively). In many of slums (46%), the average room size varied between 76 and 100 sq. ft. Slum dwellers in Dhaka usually lived in smaller homes/rooms compared with other cities. In one fifth of Dhaka's slums (20%), room size was below 76 sq. ft. (7.06m2), while in three-fifths of clusters (61%) size varied between 76 and 100 sq. ft. Only 2.2% of slums in Dhaka had an average room size above 125 sq. ft., compared with 34 percent in Chittagong, 25.6 percent in Khulna, 33 percent in Rajshahi, 15 percent in Sylhet and 43.9 percent in Barisal.

Yandor
08-24-2011, 09:25 PM
and this is why making city maps is a pain... When does the realistic approach hit into symbolic. I say that because with the city map I got, the docks are HUGE, in comparison to the actual city, so in that instance they become more of a 75% symbol and 25% realistic, and the rest of the city is the reverse of that... (just saying, not 100% true but still the concept...) I think in general this map has a great balance of realistic qualities and floats on a few symbolic things, where as many other city maps I've seen have a realistic idea or view but much of the elements are symbolic... hopefully something of that made sense :P

But regardless amazing map, still wish I could pull off some of the effects you've got here. As for the walls being thick, its just the distortion of the brush when you run it on a diagonal, a 4px brush becomes a 6 or 7px brush... kind of annoying but that is the cause...

ravells
08-25-2011, 04:48 AM
Lol, which is why I tend to largely ignore the size data when I'm mapping and try to get something which 'looks' about right.

Schattenherz
08-25-2011, 05:44 AM
@feanaaro: I just did a bit of research and found a house with a 26m² footprint and two stories (http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Datei:Mosbach_kickelhain.jpg&filetimestamp=20060105132719). Of course that's the exception rather than the rule nowadays (it's the smallest, free standing tenanted half-timbered house in germany), but I believe there could have been more of them once, especially houses standing side to side with other buildings. Some of the buildings I saw in Bremen (older and even newer ones built in the 20th century) are only slightly broader, though most of them are narrow and strung-out.
So my conclusion is to I'll fill in most of the gaps between the buildings in the poor areas of the city (but not the backyards) and will be careful to avoid anything below 3*3px. Thank you for commenting and making me think about that!
Thank you, ravells, for sharing your sound background knowledge again!

They keep the gardens because they can grow vegetables there, maybe a fruit tree or keep a pig or goat there. I think that was not unusual in medieval cities, though the backyards I drew may be already quite small for such purposes.

@Yandor:
Your evaluation is one I can happily live with ;) Making a 99% realistic city map would be more of a fulltime job, I suppose... I spent very much time on this result already *g*
Mh... it shouldn't be too complicated to make the walls equally thick everywhere, I'll give it a try.

jbgibson
08-25-2011, 03:43 PM
This is crazy-beautiful, Schattenherz. Ravells is right - "plausible" beats "exact" any ol' day of the week. That, you have achieved amazingly. I'll note that "beauty" would cover a multitude of sins as well - IF this had any sins ;-).

You're probably right to wonder about the longevity of that long a bridge, across a shifty river. But if it's important to the City Fathers, they'll just maintain it no matter what, with floods occasionally wrecking it <shrug> it's providing jobs for the inhabitants, yes? A ferry is a sensible alternative or addition - I assume that's what the lesser crossing is?

I've looked a several almost photographic city maps lately, and I've been struck by the tradeoff between map and photo. T'were it a real photo, at any one time there'd no doubt be some houses or whole blocks burned down, other places where renovation or repurposing was going on. A few fields would lie fallow, ships would be unloading turnips and lumber, and most of the buildings' chimneys would be smoking. It's medieval, so no photos are being taken from balloon or the back of Rocs, so this can be an idealized depiction. Yay for idealism! Again like Ravels said - exactly realistic might be boring. There'd no doubt be heaps more industry; more stables and slaughterhouses, waterworks and supply yards. What you have is beautiful though - if it suits you don't change a thing!

I had to look really hard to find the least suggestion for improvement. The lack of a riverside shadow out into the river mid-city seems to say there's not much of a 'seawall' there - the waterfront pavement must be less than a meter or so above the water level. But the shadows of the bridges don't indicate they arch upward at all, making passage beneath difficult. Tweaking the bridge shadows might be easiest, but if you also or instead "raised" the banks with a bit of shadow, you could protect all those inhabitants from the odd flood or storm surge :-).

Oh, and we non-German-speakers needn't be stopped by the language of those mentions of Merridia. Google Translate (http://translate.google.com/) does a rough but useable job on both those links - enough to give a very good picture behind the scenes.

I like the older maps too - the 2010 version is about as good as I would aspire to create :-). Only after much, much practice!

tilt
08-25-2011, 03:55 PM
looks fantastic - makes me want to go back to Breakwater again - especially since I'm going for the same style with that, only I'm still on placing buildings *sigh* ... great work on this, concider yourself rep-slapped and enjoy your second pip :)

Schattenherz
08-25-2011, 05:19 PM
Done, jbgibson :) The river/canal has a shadow within the city, and some of the fields lie fallow. I'm really too lazy for ships getting unloaded, damaged buildings and so on ;) Though I have to admit that it would be great.
Concerning the bridge: Yeah, there's a ferry a bit downstream. I have to admit that I never thought about floods destroying the bridge... but I think magic has to be involved anyways, as the it spans about 2km.
As it's probably really an important status symbol (after all the king resides in Merridia), they'll take a quite high price for crossing the bridge, so there's enough money for maintaining it. That's why the ferry still exists...
Thank you for your kind words, I feel very flattered :blush: :-)

Placing the buildings was the least time-consuming thing in this map... that's why they look a bit weird in some places and all have the same color :P I'd like to have a look at your map, is there any WIP-thread at the guild?
Thanks for the rep, I love that second pip. Makes me want more :D

So... I'll upload my final version with labels and all in a minute. I had one before reading jbgibsons suggestions, but they seemed too important to ignore ;)

tilt
08-25-2011, 05:36 PM
I handdrew the map first, then decided to prettify it... I am of course aware that there is a lot of work after placing the buildings - however, thats the fun part ;) ... there is a link in my sig - but you'll get it here as well :) http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?9606

Schattenherz
08-27-2011, 07:55 PM
Sorry, I didn't look close enough *g* I'll have a look at Breakwater!