View Full Version : [WIP] Newtown

07-30-2013, 06:47 AM
Starting on a city, it's a planned city, completely rebuilt after the original city was destroyed.
So, hopefully it looks like it's being designed by someone who's not a complete moron. Granted,
it's just in the very, very rudimentary stages now.

I've been looking at old maps of Paris, as well as Boston, and it should probably go without
saying Max as well. I'm really fond of that style, of antique style, with a bit of a modern flare
as well.


Just the basics, here. Trying to get a good layout on paper before I start working in gimp.
Hopefully I can "put it all together" or at least a good bit of it, that I've been working on
from the tutorials.

Granted tips and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Especially when it comes to buildings,
parks, etc.

08-08-2013, 11:48 PM
So taking my learning from the Simpsons..

Phase 1: Idea
Phase 2: ???
Phase 3: Profit

Except not trying to profit, just make a nice city map, for a relatively minor(ish) city for my rpg group. I'm finding I'm doing a bit more fumbling around in phase 2, try this.. hummm didn't quite work; try that.. betterish? hmm. Yeah. It also seems I'm going a bit backwards from some of the other WIP's I see here, where they get great lines, then go back to fill in color.


Basic plan is to get the basic lay out of the land, city walls, city, and water - which I've done.
Lay out all the roads, and use those to remove area from the city.
Eventually pretty everything up - but putting boarders, cross hatches, highlights - etc on selected areas.

At this rate, it will be a month before I get there! :(

08-09-2013, 06:49 PM
If you want tips about the layout of this town, it might help if you provide some more information. Some things to consider:
You say it's a planned city,
- planned how long ago?
- by whom?
- for whom?
- for what purpose? (eg as a national capital, to give land to retired soldiers, simply as an opportunity to replace a city that is no longer there)
- what is the technological age of this city? (i.e. medieval, Renaissance, Classical etc.)
- what is its geographic area (grassland, forest, hills, desert etc.)
- is there anything in the culture that might inform the town design (eg if a god/prince/mayor really loves triangles and spirals)?
- how many people do you expect will live here?
- is there a main industry housed here (ie. how will the inhabitants earn a living)?

You needn't answer all of these questions (or any of them) but the more detail you give, the easier it will be to make suggestions.

08-09-2013, 10:30 PM
Paris is a bit too organic to look at for a planned city.

Just some random thoughts from my own perspective. Feel free to dismiss of course!

Not sure what level of planned you are looking for but the outer walls don't look "planned". They look as though they were built around an old intact city that had been there for a while.

If the city had been destroyed and I had to replan it, I'd probably pick somewhere further upriver with a bend in it. Unless maybe there is a large historic stone bridge there that is still intact. And perhaps a fortress on one of those river isles. At which point I'm drawing a straight line across the river as my first point of reference using that bridge as the centrepoint. And laying out a grid after that. So my city is going to be sort of square or rectangular straddling the river, with stone taken from the ruins of the old city, and the bridge will tbe the focal point of it all.

Then something organic would grow up around that. City walls would eventually expand around these organic growths but that is later.

So it depends how much time has passed.

08-09-2013, 11:33 PM
- planned how long ago? - About 200 yrs ago. After the original was destroyed. He tried to design it with enough room inside, that it would grow within the walls for a long time.
- by whom? - By the King at the time. Who was a master of everything. Think Hadrian combined with Sejong.
- for whom? - The people there. His own amusement, and a bit to show off.
- for what purpose? Both to replace the city originally there which was razed, but also to be the center piece defense for the eastern side of the island kingdom.
- what is the technological age of this city? medieval/fantasy
- what is its geographic area grasslands, riverfront - ocean is fairly close.
- is there anything in the culture that might inform the town design Not really.
- how many people do you expect will live here? Quite a few, though I haven't put exact numbers on it.
- is there a main industry housed here Combination of fishing, farming, and trade (main road runs through town to get to other large cities as well as the river)


08-09-2013, 11:41 PM
Planned in the sense that it was originally destroyed, then rebuilt - so planned streets/layout; but built over the ruins of the original city. I mainly latched on to Paris, as I really liked the older maps of it, when it was walled - and it fit with what I was looking to do with this city almost exactly (which was very convenient, since I was drawing the layout for the city before looking at Paris). Unfortunately, for the person redesigning/building the city, moving it didn't seem as practical because it's near the mouth of the river. So rebuilding there would help defend the internal towns, since the raiders (similar to vikings) wouldn't be able to use the river to get deeper inland.

08-10-2013, 12:01 AM
Your layout is actually quite good. It looks planned, but in a medieval way rather than the post-industrial cities most of us are familiar with. Three things to point out though: first, you only seem to have two gates (I'm assuming the road in the northeast leads out of the city). Ordinarily, you'd expect many more roads, especially along the edges of the river.

Second, which direction does the river flow? If it flows E-W no problems, but if it is W-E you've got a few difficulties: docks would normally be located downstream, closer to the sea. Even more of an issue, in your city it looks like you're going to be putting bridges between the docks and the coast, which would make it very difficult for ships. None of that matters, of course, if they are only trading upriver, but I would presume a large city in this position would have an extensive maritime trade.

And third, are you going to add suburbs? Historically, all cities would have had some suburbs. They'll follow the lines of roads and rivers. Farmers bringing their goods to market will generally prefer to sell their produce without paying the fee to enter the town, and so small-scale markets will form at gates.

Also you might want to take a look at maps of London, because they looked into planning the town after the Great Fire of 1666, and it shares some similarities to what you have described for your city.

Anyway, looking good so far.

08-10-2013, 12:18 AM
The river does flow W -> E. The docks were put in up river to give them more protection from raiders. Most of the "ships" are more along the lines of rowing vessels than tall ships, and thus would be able to fit under them if needed. At this time in the world, cross sea voyages are non-existant. Everyone pretty much stays within site of shore.

There will be a few more roads, the main road to the SW I already have the base for, there's one main gate on the NW side. Smaller ones that will have roads coming from them on the NE and SE sides.

There won't be much in the way of Suburbs; as the planning for the city left quite a bit of space to be filled in as the city grew; but there will be some that will dot the roadway from town. However, what you mentioned about the smaller markets outside the gates I hadn't really thought about; so I'll have to take that into account now.

I'll have to take a look at some of the older maps of London and see what I can learn from them.

08-11-2013, 01:26 AM
You could look at Versailles for inspiration; it was a village until the King decided he wanted to move his court there, and the Royal Architect designed the layout of a new city so that it would work aesthetically with the design of the new palace and government buildings being constructed.

08-14-2013, 08:34 AM
Still plugging away. Need to add some more trees along some of the roads, names the key structures and roads, a bit more work on the border. Titles and all that.


08-14-2013, 07:51 PM
That's a nice looking map. The only thing that looks wrong to me are the roads out of town. You would normally see them heading off in different directions, like the spokes of a spider web. You've got it so there are actually only two roads to this city, the N one and the SW one, and that's very unrealistic. Remember, suppose you are travelling from some northern town to this city. You'll want to arrive as soon as possible. You reach that cluster of houses at the intersection, and then you have to make a long detour left or right to get to the gates. Wouldn't it be easier if the road just went straight on, and crossed the wall in the middle of the NNE section? And what if your arriving from the SE? Hope this criticism is constructive and not too harsh, but I think you have too few roads into the city, and the ones you have are unnecessarily indirect.

By the way, the issue I raised before, about the docks being less likely to be upriver of your bridges: this is a world where boats can fit under the bridges is fair enough; that's your call. The same thing applies with the boats as the roads, though. Ships/boats will want the shortest possible journey, and they are being forced to travel that little bit further. As for keeping the docks safe: just one tower along the river there would probably be able to keep them safe. With the setup you've given them, the docks would be virtually impregnable, even if you removed the castle entirely.

Those things aside, this is a nice looking map and a well-designed town.

08-15-2013, 12:45 AM
Yeah, there were actually a couple of small towns to the east that act as docks, but don't quite fit in the main city view. Hopefully it'll be a little clearer in this one. I forgot to add the road to one of them (doh!) until I read your comments, and went back and had a look again. The roads, I could probably have more - though there are 4 gates to the city and with the land shaped the way it is (hard to tell when just zoomed in on the city), which is why I had the roads splitting up and going the way they did. Maybe it makes a little more sense now? (Or maybe not) So hopefully the dock location's aren't as bad (though very, very protected) and the roads make a little more sense.

Hopefully this looks fairly decent for my RPG group. Only 730px wide, so I may end up going back and enlarging the text some. I like that width because it seems to work best for the obsidian portal wiki pages.


And larger, not scaled to 730 version:

08-15-2013, 10:29 AM
I'm a tool. Someday I'll learn "ATD". Got to work, looked at the map again and noticed I had issues with numbers 7-12... due to size. Hopefully this one's a little better.
Any last minute critiques? Does the green work on the boarder? Maybe the city sections a thicker red boarder or some stripes?

(Newtown, though I want it to look nice is mainly practice for the capital - Albium. Slowly working my way through the world - Political Continental Map Reliquum, Kingdom
of Leogria, now City map.. Eventually I'll have a good bit of source material for my campaign's players)


08-18-2013, 03:13 AM
Actually, given that the city is meant to serve as a key defensive point and the previous city was razed, curving roads around might be the best choice. It is inconvenient to travelers, but that include invaders. Given the choice between a long way round on the roads or heading across country, they would be slowed down, giving defenders more time to react and to launch missiles/spells at incoming foes. This may be especially useful if the enemy is employing large equipment, such as siege towers. You wouldn't do it for most cities, but if you expect fairly frequent and serious attacks, send the farmers, merchants, and pilgrims round the long way.

08-19-2013, 05:14 PM
Looking great so far MeFanch, really dig the muted colors.


08-25-2013, 12:59 AM
Great start. My advice is, make the building shapes believable.

08-25-2013, 06:19 AM

I'm not sure I understand what you mean by more believable shapes, as I'm trying to go more for a representative map of blocks (though larger blocks, not even showing alleys); as the map size is going to be relatively small (730px wide). I hope that makes some sense, I feel there are probably better words to use - but being a base novice, I'm unfamiliar with them.

I was hoping for something along the lines of this Boston map, but with some style changes (color, etc): http://images.statemaster.com/images/motw/historical/boston_1842.jpg

08-25-2013, 10:17 AM
Some city maps have houses, and groups of houses, that are all strange irregular shapes. It is much easier to build a rectangle than a star. I am not saying that buildings never have irregular shapes, but the majority of small to medium size buildings are basic shapes. At least, that is my 2 cents.

08-25-2013, 10:30 AM
I don't see any weird looking buildings on this map and the layout of the blocks look fine. What are you talking about?

08-25-2013, 06:51 PM
I think I understand what you're saying. - While it may not apply to this map due to scale, in general make sure that the buildings fit logical structure types if your map shows them. Mostly rectangular (though not all identical), and maybe a few "odd" shapes for spice for specific buildings which would probably be owned by wealthy, and thus able to afford the time and monetary commitment to do so.

08-25-2013, 07:06 PM
Actually, I have to disagree about the buildings. It is a common feature of fantasy city maps to show those odd little shapes, and, if those cities are inspired by medieval Europe, they are completely wrong. Buildings didn't tend to sit in their own distinct pockets, but were joined up; they'd usually share at least one wall with their neighbours. This is something of a pet peeve of mine, so I'm probably quite fanatical about correct urban form.

Anyway, I like the layout of this map. I can't honestly say I'm convinced yet about some features, but I've already mentioned them in earlier posts. Nice job.

08-25-2013, 09:52 PM
What buildings are you guys talking about in this map? Really all I see are completely normal looking rectangular buildings. The most odd shaped one there is the cathedral which is still totally rectangular in makeup. Where are the odd shapes? What am I missing? Surely the red shading is not representative of buildings. The scale makes that unlikely as does the inclusion of blue shaded actual buildings that are clearly labeled. It seems perfectly obvious to me that the red represents areas which buildings occupy. Am I wrong?

08-25-2013, 10:56 PM
No, you're right Falconius. I was grumbling about a tendency in other fantasy city maps.

08-26-2013, 12:50 AM
Hoarsewisperer is correct. Odd shaped buildings occur, but are not the norm. In a crowded city, the buildings are built together in rows leaving little unused space. Isolated buildings are usually found in towns, and less developed small cities.

Falconius, I was not commenting on the buildings that were already on this very nice map, but making a suggestion that if he was going to fill the city blocks with buildings that they should look like buildings and not a bunch of irregular, illogical shapes. Since it appears he does not plan on adding a lot of buildings to his map, my suggestion was irrelevant, and the map is just fine the way it is.

08-26-2013, 11:13 AM
Man I was so confused, thanks for clearing that up.:)