View Full Version : Gelikall - The Unfinished

11-07-2013, 05:04 PM
This is a WIP city. Its been puttering along at about a few dozen blocks per week for...well, quite a few weeks. :oops: Oddly, it is one of a rare few of my cities without a world. The block sizes and street widths mean that this is probably not a modern city (from a tech standpoint), and its overall size is only achieved since it is an amalgam (agglomerate?) of six originally separate settlements. This little diagram shows what I was thinking at the beginning (Each circle could be a town/city by itself and the double circles are the six original settlements).


Below is what I have for Riverrun, Fentil, Portsend, Temple, with bits of Junction and a sampling of Dunfort across the river. The blank area in the middle is University. It is not much to look at yet but I am working my way down through Junction and will probably complete that half of the city before turning north. The University and Temple areas also will each have a 'campus' map. Hopefully making myself accountable to you guys will help keep me on task. I know I've bitten off more than I can chew, but that is balanced by me not knowing when to give up. I am hoping to get at least through the bottom half by the end of November, but we will see.

I have no clue how this could be/should be/would be presented yet (although it is unlikely I will get more detailed than a block plan) but I am open to ideas.

Also, any suggestions/encouragements/ridicules are always welcome.


11-08-2013, 12:01 AM
It i very hard to comment on the city at this stage, because there isn't any info yet, but it has a mosaic look to it. It's kinda pretty and a bit mesmerising, actually. Maybe that could give you ideas for final presentation.

Keen to see how it progresses.

PS: I think the word you're after is 'conurbation'.


11-08-2013, 09:31 AM
I agree that mosaic effect really is nice, it'll be interesting to see if it comes out with the same impression in final. It's probably due to the negative space though so it'll be tough to keep. The evoloution of area diagram is a neat idea, it would work well with with Ravi Shankar's tutorial on cities and his suggestion of a scatter diagram.

11-09-2013, 01:54 PM
Well, I have to admit that the mosaic effect is an unintentional (if welcome) side effect of trying to make my progress (or lack-thereof) legible. I will certainly keep it in mind when (if ever) I get to the Presentation stage. I've included another image below with the linework, so you can see how things look when I am putting the city together (pretty much a line soup :P). I also zoomed out a bit to show how the original diagram translates to the actual layout.

Thanks for pointing me to Ravi's tutorial, Falconius. I think I do something similar to his Splatter Diagram idea mentally, but it would probably be good to get that information down on paper. Also, he brings up a good point later when mentioning that the level of detail to be shown at the end should be considered at the beginning. That is something I did not do with this map, so hopefully I can still make it work.

PS - Thanks for the word, THW! I figured there was probably a better option out there.


11-17-2013, 11:35 PM
Just a quick update to show that there is still not much to show. I am continuing to work my way south.

12-02-2013, 03:31 AM
Another quick update, still nothing too exciting to look at. I missed my end-of-November deadline for the Southern half of the city, but things are still moving faster than before.

When (If!) I finish with the blocks I thought it might be interesting to show political influence of the ruling families, maybe something similar to a vote map for an election. See a quick and dirty proof-of-concept below (and please forgive the confetti-like colors!).

01-01-2014, 10:39 PM
I was able to make a little progress over the holidays and I feel like there is finally enough city to really get a feel for what is going on. Steadmount is the only real city section left of the Southern half. Now the question is: What do I do with all these block!?


01-01-2014, 11:39 PM
You could try to add some tectures, like rooftop maybe ? and maybe more randomness

- Max -
01-03-2014, 04:39 PM
Yes, for now the position of the buildings is way too regulat to look natural. More smalll gaps and randomness, more diversity with alleys, backyards, places, some empty spaces would help to make it looks like a living city imho.

01-03-2014, 11:00 PM
Azelor and Max are right about the regularity of the housing blocks, but I don't think randomness is the answer. In a real city, property boundaries often start big and get subdivided as owners realise they can rent out parts of their block. My suggestion therefore is to start grouping together some of those blocks you have. Another way of thinking about it would be to simply paint black over many--but not all--of the alleys, so that you start to have larger and irregularly shaped blocks (it would also give you the diversity of alleys that Max suggests). The addition of backyards and empty spaces is also a good idea.

01-04-2014, 08:16 PM
Are they actual blocks or is each black block an individual building which is how it looks to me? For me it looks unnatural because in a city that dense you're going to get lots of building butted up against each other - they wouldn't all have alleys in between.

01-06-2014, 06:26 PM
What is the large blank spot in the middle of the map? Also, is the city surrounded by walls? If so, you might want to add some suburbs outside of them.

01-08-2014, 03:07 AM
Sorry its taken me a bit to get back to the thread. Thanks everyone for the input, it is greatly appreciated. I think some good questions are also being asked, and perhaps I should have given more explanation at the beginning. Small blocks are what is shown (the smallest square blocks being roughly 100 ft x 100 ft, so you guys have some sense of scale), not building footprints, so this place is pretty expansive for the street and block sizes I have chosen.

The idea I had when drawing this was to take a block/street system similar to what I used for Kessila (in the Nov/Dec Lite Challenge) and expand that urban layout beyond its comfortable limits, mostly to see what could happen. That first attempt was actually quite boring, being a set of nice orthogonal grids covering the whole area. I tried a few more times, incorporating other urban constructs into the mix to add some visual interest. What I am posting is about the fourth attempt, and although I might describe it as that original archaic greek/roman squished into a medievaly-monumental design, it probably does not reflect any real/historical urban fabric at this time.

Moving from this stage to an actual city, I think everyone's comments are relevant and correct. Open space is certainly needed in many areas, and the archaic blocks need to go (or be greatly reduced). Shedding the alleys would still not even push the block sizes into modern day block size dimensions. I agree with THW that providing for those issues should emphasize the existing 'randomness'. In addition, the existing street widths are too small for some areas, but removing the smaller alleys should allow some breathing room for expanding those that remain. At that point I am guessing I will have an almost medievally messy looking city.

What is the large blank spot in the middle of the map? Also, is the city surrounded by walls? If so, you might want to add some suburbs outside of them.

The large blank area will eventually be a university (I think I have a diagram in my first post, although it may be difficult to visualize how that translates to what I have done), there will eventually be a campus map. There is also a blank spot where the Temple area will be (which may be a complex of temples in the end). A good suggestion on the suburbs, there is actually one area outside the city walls, Estun, which has not been drawn.

I probably won't have time to work on this much in January, but I think I will end up with a fork in the process, moving the section I have already drawn into the 'presentation' phase, and keeping a temporarily dormant copy for the later addition of more blocks (the block-making is relaxing, if time consuming). Some may recall that there is a whole Northern half to this place, and I think it may be more important to get practice in the 'presentation' phase right now than to draw more squares.

06-18-2014, 01:45 AM
I have managed to squeeze out a little bit of time in the last few months to look at this map again, but only really enough to remove a majority of the alleys. The block count has gone from 6000+ blocks to somewhere around 1500 shown here. The blank area will now be the 'upper class' area of the city as well as temple district, and is still being reworked a little bit. The river has been widened some, and Dunfort has become an island. I am toying with idea of a long bridge over the river, but it may instead end up being just the ruins of one, or the city may move to the ocean's edge. The city walls are still being reworked.


As a small bonus, I found an iteration of the university area that I don't really remember ever doing:?:, so I am showing that here. It will probably change as I develop the 'upper class' area.

05-20-2015, 02:10 AM
I managed to squeeze out a few more hours on this, this is my second attempt at the 'upper class' district, I am not sure I like it, but I think it will do for now. It has gotten to the point where I had to start adding color to remember what areas I had designated as what. This map has a rather long to do list to complete before I can start working on the style and layout:
-finish temples
-redo old 'university' area to become a bureaucratic administration area
-redo perimeter walls
-design fort on south side
-rework river (again!)
-redo dock area
-then finally move back to 'upper class' area and try again


One of the reasons work stopped on this map was because I had to make a decision! Darn you decisions!
I started laying out the temples for the temple district, there are three. The whole temple complex is less a set of worshipping temples and more an education center for teaching and researching this religion's version of magic.

The first temple, in the lower left below, is the 'Water' temple, and predates most of the rest of the city. I wanted it to feel old so I took inspiration from an ancient (mycenaen?) palace on Crete (knossos?...man it has been a while since I worked on this). I will probably do at least another iteration of it eventually.
The second temple (top center) is the 'Air' temple, and is an evolution of the philosophies of the Water worshippers. This building was purpose built by the religion to turn the complex into a learning center, so it has a bunch of classrooms. The scale on this is deceptive, as the walls on both the drawn temples are pretty thick. This is where I had to make my decision of what to do with the big circle space, and could not decide...
The third temple (upper right) is for the flame sect, and they are the ones involved in the cutting edge magic research for the religion. That building is not drawn yet, but each wing (or boot, :p) will have a unique tower on top for each of the top 8 researchers to squirrel away their research. I've already completed a few studies though, one was even completed enough that I put it in the Finished Maps section:

The bar-shaped buildings in the bottom right are the dormitories, very similar in scale to the first few 3d studies I did in the 3d studies thread (http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=26160). All the buildings in black I don't have plans for yet, but I plan on having plans for them soon!