View Full Version : Keel: The City-Ship

11-23-2011, 06:39 PM
My goodness - the biggest mapping project I think I've undertaken yet and I totally forgot to post it up here! I have a work-in-progress post on my artblog (http://raygun-gothic.tumblr.com/post/7841427249/carrying-on-the-theme-of-mapping-ships-and-craft) from way back, but nothing else until the present stage.

I've been working on this since mid-July, dipping in and out of the file in Illustrator while I worked on more pressing design matters. It's part of a game project I've mentioned before, which is still on uncertain ground when it comes to actual release dates. Its name is "DarkConduit", and while it is a strategy game set in space, this map has absolutely no relevance to the actual game. That's pretty much why I drew it.


The city-ship of Keel is a ruined hull-turned-habitat, which landed and was re-purposed early into the Andran (human) occupation of their current homeworld, Terra Prime. This planet is, in fact, marked on my map of the "DarkConduit" galaxy (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14603-The-quot-DarkConduit-quot-Galaxy). I remembered to post that one, at least! 'Course, it seems I failed to keep it up to date.. *ahem*.

I haven't gotten much further than the lineart at this stage, though I drew up a quick and comparatively crude guide in order to illustrate the various districts. I'm otherwise terrible at remembering the particulars on projects which take this long:


So, recalling as much of the logic as I can: I envisaged Keel as being the docklands city of Terra Prime. It's located in the chief administrative state, and although it is not the capital, the ship was crash-landed next to a fortuitous desert plateau. Large craft land there, safely distant from the capital at Kildare; any cargo and passengers are shuttled to Keel; the 'contents' are sorted and usually move along to their final destination on the planet. This whole process has meant the city specialises in passing trade. Merchants form the majority of its static population, though there are some who've taken non-commercial residence too, in either its exclusive bow district (mostly administrators and 'customs staff'), mid-range Heart habitats or the estate.

Visitors are treated to a variety of entertainments and shopping experiences as they wait to move on from Keel. I haven't given a great deal of thought as to the nature of these, but films and shows, arcade amusements and a virtual reality-enabled stadium seemed like sensible choices. Short-stay hotels are also interspersed within these districts and the Heart, separate from the gated communities in the bow and stern.

At this stage I'm still not sure if I want to detail the actual transport options, connecting Keel with the rest of the cities players will never visit (ah, the joys of lore). It would make more sense to have a station of some sort at or very near the city, but I'm not yet sure if that would be sub-orbital shuttlecraft, trains, other ground vehicles or something entirely other.

For now, it looks like my .PSD is lingering at the labelling stage. I've left space for.. some sort of cutaways, like on my galactic map from earlier, but I cannot remember what on earth is supposed to go in there! So um, until I do remember, here's a more user-friendly preview:


Evidently I need to post here far more often, or at least keep notes on whatever it is I'm working on while I do them. >.< Does anything leap out to you as grossly absent? I'd like to keep this map as usable as my galactic one (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?14603-The-quot-DarkConduit-quot-Galaxy) if possible, to form up a bit of a series.

11-23-2011, 07:01 PM
I'd love it if you did post here more often, this is beautiful stuff (and a really cool concept too)! Presumably more levels of the ship to come?

11-24-2011, 06:32 AM
Presumably more levels of the ship to come?

Eeek! Heehee, maybe, but filling that hull took months. That does offer me a neat solution for 'where to put the transit stations', though! I did also make the 'mistake' of adding escalators and lifts on this map. ;)

Thanks, Ravells. I think you just got me moving forward again.

11-24-2011, 12:56 PM
I like it! Repped.