View Full Version : Zierra - Science Fantasy

05-29-2008, 09:33 AM
Today I started mapping a city.

Pen & paper, upon a digital coast outline. When I started, I had no river - when I make a major revision (to fix up that traingular grid in the north, and make more dead-end), I will change the course of the river (and find out more about proper docks).

I have yet to do a 'temple' district, which will be more spread out, more gardens, cemetary, etc; and also a military district, with army facilities, aeroplane runways, etc; and the 'old' city will expand across the river, and a bt more upriver. I will also shift the water-barrier (name?) further outwards.

Then I have to figure out how to fit a railway system in...

It is a metropolis that has begun industrialisation, so there will be lots of outskirts that are being developed - like in the east of the Sister.

FYI, that dotted wedge of land near the north of the old city, it's an independantly "governed" ghetto state. "Governed" in the sense that a bunch of crime lords own it.

WARNING: DO NET LET PENS ROLL OFF TABLES. T_T the felt tip snapped off my finest (0.1) pen. *cries*

EDIT: Always check which windows you're closing in Photoshop. I just lost my digital outline base. *cries more* Ah well, I'll just have to edit what I've scanned in.

05-29-2008, 09:36 AM
Beautiful! Too little science fiction and science fantasy on this site! Can't wait to see more of this!

05-29-2008, 09:37 AM
I think its great Aeronox. Fantastic detailing and very nice style. Lets see more.


05-29-2008, 10:13 AM
Thanks :D

Inspiration initially came from China Mieville's novels; however, his map (http://www.curufea.com/games/crobuzon/crobuzon.gif) is bland, both aesthetically and geographically. The culture within makes up for it - but as a map enthusiast, I can do better.

Some aspects of the culture will draw on ancient Greek, particularly religion. I will incorporate more amphitheatres into the city (there is one near the port). The city itself is a few thousand years old, although the oldest remaining structures are around 1000 years; majority of the 'old city' is ~500 years; the Sister city began development around 100 years ago and has rapidly expanded.

I wonder what style I should use, to suggest emerging technology, yet retain a hint of fantasy...

This is industrial era, guns are mainstream, and iron warships are common. Scientific advances are being made frequently. 'Magic' here is dismissed as illusions for entertainment only.

I will be making this city as interesting as possible - I don't want to write 'journey' fantasy (again, inspired by Mieville) - I want to have a complex city that is full of mysteries.

05-29-2008, 11:00 AM
That's very interesting. I know the editor of Tor books in the UK, who publish China Mieville. I had a moan to him about the state of maps in SF and F novels; particularly those drawn by the author. He said that in many cases (I don't know if Perdido St Station was one of them) the publisher had a professional draw the map in prefrence to the map produced by the author. Once you've finished this one, I'll email it to the editor if you like!

Good luck with the project aero - Cities have so much in them so to do a good one with lots of detail must take ages.

05-29-2008, 07:50 PM
The finished map of Perdido looks like it's done by someone with graphic knowhow, but not with flair for maps. That's the aesthetic part.

The design of the city is quite boring, monotonous; it's just a blob of roads and rails. That's the author's fault.

We could have a little subforum to discuss existing maps...

05-30-2008, 04:50 AM
Well.....make a better one and I'll send it to the editor. Who knows what might happen?

05-30-2008, 11:04 AM
What language are those characters from? looks almost like a dialect of Thai or Korean, Unless they are a Self-Made ConLang.

05-30-2008, 09:02 PM
It is my own script. At the moment it is an alphabet, with letters like d/t and s/z differentiated only by a box-marker, so there are not many characters. I intend to change it into a syllabary.

It is inpired by Korean and Chinese Seal Script. These characters are derived from even more complex glyphs (of my own).

I don't have a matching language, yet... some of the stuff I've written on that map is actually quite funny :P I commented on the lighthouse way down south, saying it looks like a dead parrot chick. Lol.

05-31-2008, 05:27 AM
I've been playing with a 3D Terrain program... Terragen 2.

My computer can't handle it all, but it's possible to make some really awesome stuff with it.

It just crashed, and I hadn't saved in a little while. So here's one of the renders I made of my city:

(EDIT: updated pic)

(EDIT2:) This exercise has let me visualise the landscape and, especially, the path of the river.