View Full Version : Shikodu/Zigoto Map

04-12-2013, 11:50 PM
The map is coming along nicely. I think it will be a very good piece when it is done. I'm confident in the project, especially the map part of it. I will have to develop the story and add detail where needed when I am close enough to completing the map to know what is where. Right now I only know where major structures will be. The Upper Left is going to be an arcane university, whose curriculum will be based on my grinoire I wrote for real life use. The whole city will be centered around an the mythilogical, so it's like Hogwarts set into a college town like setting. It's kind of like UC Davis in California. I'm still not sure if I can include this town in someone elses fantasy world, or if it will have to stand alone. The history I thus wrote is good enough for it's own campaign settings if I produce enough detail and make some sort of game machanics.

This is the whole map as it stands now. I'm guessing 30-40% of the map is filled with houses. I'm still working on floorplans to the businesses, factories, schools and so on.
This is the downtown square, which has a park which I plan to design further to have benches and a band stand.
Here's a neighborhood park with a public temple. The town will have a lot of structures dedicated to magic and rituals.

04-15-2013, 11:18 PM
The technique surely is interesting. However, the city layout seems very very very square to me, too much even for a planned city.

04-15-2013, 11:31 PM
I don't mean to infer that this map depicts an oriental city (though the names Shikodu / Zigoto have a distinct Japanese flavor to them), but larger cities in feudal Japan, Korea, China, and SE Asia feature very square or rectangular city layouts with grids of canals and streets defining the geometry, unlike any city in the west (Rome included). While towns and villages tend to follow the geography of the terrain, urban planning in the orient defies the geology with determined geometry. It depends in what part of the world and when, as to how the city layout reflects reality or not.

04-16-2013, 01:51 AM
The map is for a culture I designed which has Japanese flavors to it. The style I intended for the city itself is based on 1880's company towns in the United States. The society that lives in my city is a custom made one with a mixture of cultural influences. I have made part of the language using a system that combines lettlers, but it's too complex to describe easily. Many of the words sound Japanese when I started putting root words together and began to make the language for the society my maps are for.

04-16-2013, 04:08 AM
Interesting! I was in Kuau'i, Hawaii almost 10 years ago and among the local residents, they speak 'pigeon English', which is a conglomeration of English, Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Thai, Philipine, Portugeuse (maybe more) - you can't learn the language unless you're born there, as they won't teach it to outsiders (almost like a secret cant). It came about because of (similar to your game setup) plantation towns, each with a unique population of immigrant laborers and their own language/culture. As the union movement in the 19th century came about, revolts among the 'walled' plantation towns broke out and the separate immigrant populations mingled, united against the oppressive plantation owners. 'Pigeon English' came about due to these revolts.

I created the original hand-drawn map for the city of Kasai, capital of Minkai, in Jade Regent #6: The Empty Throne for their crossing the north pole to Japan adventure path, as a commission for Paizo Publishing. The map includes a grid of canals, like a major oriental city would. F. Wesley Schneider (managing editor of Paizo at the time, now he's more) seemed shocked to see the square grid on the early version of the city design. I sent him photos of 19th century Kyoto, links to pre-20th century maps of Japanese cities (some 15th century maps), and reliable sites justifying my intended direction. In order to please his more 'less structured design' wants, I made the roads paralleling the canals long straight ones, but the interior streets wound around terrain features - and create more interesting urban landscape. I capitulated.

I used to just make maps for my own games, but I run a graphics shop and after printing a large format campaign map, I realized that might work as a business and built a website to do that (back in 2007, about the same time I joined the CG). After having participated in many monthly challenges and winning a few, I got more interested in creating maps than printing them. Through the CG I hooked with some small publishers including Dog House Rulez and designed some 3.5 maps, and have since been commissioned for many maps, including the Paizo job.

Because I'm half Japanese, I've always been interested in Japanese history, culture, folkore and ghost story tradition. So I've since published 13 publications through Rite Publishing for PFRPG, a setting of Japanese horror called Kaidan. Although it is a fictitious setting, not Japan, it is an archipelago of islands built along the lines of imperial/shogunate Japan in the 13th to 15th century - pre-Sengoku period, with a heavy emphasis on yokai as horror aspects, plenty of yurei ghosts and oni demons. It's influenced by Ravenloft, but features a very twisted and demented form of reincarnation that sets it apart from other D&Desque settings - very esoteric in some ways. It's based on the Buddhist Wheel of Life construct (where unenlightened souls reincarnate; now considered 'states of mind') crossed with the Japanese social caste system, using a karma score that determines what caste you were born in, and which you'll be in the next life.

I just released a mapped encounter site with haunts, a ghost (in multi CR versions), and a curse for a typical Japanese bath house (and inn). It's in the News forum, but for those interested, here's a link to DrivethruRPG to all Kaidan products (http://rpg.drivethrustuff.com/index.php?cPath=4448_6626) so far (shameless plug - sorry!). My Haiku of Horror product is in the Top 100 products right now! (Snoopy happy dance of joy!) :P


04-18-2013, 05:16 PM
I've got enough of the residential area to figure out more about Shikodu's neighborhoods. There's five main neighborhoods in the city's core. I do plan to add subdivisions outside my map and some of the farms around the city. I think this map has potential to become a really great city. I've taken new pics of the map's progress. I'm getting close to having to work on the buildings with a single location. I've about finished the cookie cutter structures like row houses and such.
Here's a map that shows the neighborhood boundaries.
This is a couple of close ups of University Hill. The large open space that I set aside for the school is becoming clear. The neighborhood is home to a lot of professors and students. The second map shows detail of the around the schools shopping area.
The last two are of the downtown area called Zigoto Square and Zigoto Subdivision, which has the city's industrial areas.

04-23-2013, 08:23 PM
I'm getting to the slow part of the map making. I'm starting to work on the buildings that appear only once in my city. This is going to be a slow project. I'm going to have a good shot taken of the map in a week or so.

04-28-2013, 09:29 PM
I borrowed a friend's camera to get a really good photo of the map. It's coming along. I've only got 20 middle class homes to draw and I'm working on the upper middle class and starting to work on the floor plans for the commercial areas. I, done a rough estimate of the population. I might top off at 15,000 to 18,000 on the map I have now. I do plan to map the suburbs that extend beyond the current project.

*WARNING* large image about 14 mega pixels.


05-14-2013, 05:38 PM
Work on the map is going to have to wait until I move from my current location. I'm putting this project on hold until I can get out of Public housing. Rent hikes at my building will cost me the internet in the next few months. I'm not going to be updating this project anymore because I can't work on it in the current state of my living conditions.

06-06-2013, 06:14 PM
I haven't been feeling all the well since the mold problems, I haven't been drawing on the paper map. I have been working on the computerized floor plans. I have done a lot on the Sacred School, which is the second major employer for my city. I'm going to start working on the main industry, which is iron refining and other related metal crafts. I'll share the floor plans for the Sacred Schools main quad buildings. I still haven't gotten inspired by my muses to the do the cafeteria. I'm happy with how the school is turning out.

06-20-2013, 02:46 PM
I just took a really good picture of my map with my friend's camera. This will probably be the last picture for a long time. I thought the school and a mansion was enough to make a noticable difference, but those were just a drop in the bucket. I might just finish making all the pieces and get the housing I have done drawn on the map. I think the mansions, commercial and industrial is going to take the longest, so it will be last. This is just the core of the city. I think I should find out how big the finish product is going to be. I did a small farming town and the green really made it look awesome, so I think it would work in this case to continue the map until I have a ring of farms around the city and have the city framed by these green patches of farm land.

06-25-2013, 06:35 PM
Iím just going to pencil in all the map pages. I knew my project was going to be huge, but this is insane. Iím starting to work my way around the core map and getting in the streets and building lots. I think I will have it finished within a week and I will start to ink in building footprints. I just want to have all the pieces cut out and started. Shikodu is bigger than I thought. Here are some photos of the map with me next to it to show how big it really is. Iím 5 foot 6 inches tall. The map is 75 inches long.
Here's a close up of the new pages I added over the last two days. They will be pencil until I get all the pages cut and fitted to the map. I think I will have 18 inches more length and another row of pages along the back to cover the hills that will be added when the infrastructure is done.

09-30-2013, 01:11 AM
I decided to abandon this project. I realize the detail I want on this map is something I will never achieve unless I just start making random shapes rather than floor plans for each building. I might restart this map on a new scale and just do floor plans for key locations like schools and notable houses, the stuff that might be needed to make a campaign on the map. This is ridiculous, I should have known by the silence that this was an impossible project. Anyway, I will start a new map hopefully in November at a new scale and a whole new idea on how to present it. I think I will do a book format for this project showing different social classes homes and a few sample work places.

10-02-2013, 04:06 PM
It's understandable, but disappointing. The reason being that it's always inspiring to see someone take on an unholy amount of work and just slog away at it. It's also good to step back for some projects for a while too though, so I'll just say that I hope you eventually come back to this at some point.