View Full Version : Araktha - City in the woods. WIP needs critique.

11-30-2008, 02:14 PM
This area is actually from the larger regional map from previous posts.

It is called Araktha and is home to various woodland species of intelligent humaniods. Some Humans, Bugbears, Trogs, Ogres, and a few others.

Araktha is a refugee camp of sorts. After the Anointed pretty much killed and drove everyone off, Araktha was setup on a whim and has been sprung up from just about out of nowhere in a very short time in the deep woods of Trefso-Peed.

There are around 500 - 1000 residents at any given time crammed together in the few houses inside and outside of the town.

Without further a due.

11-30-2008, 02:33 PM
Looks pretty good but there are 2 things, I think, that could take it further. The black/white rocky bits need some gray and some shadows as they really stand out and the rivers need river banks...something sandy or muddy. It's a nice map, don't get me wrong, since I will be snaggin it for my collection :) BTW it's ado not a due. ;)

11-30-2008, 03:11 PM
a due / ado - damn spell checker LOL thanks for the heads up.

Yeah I want to add some color to the rocks still and I totally agree on the shadows.

I want to add a riverbank too, it will probably be a darker mud to go with the rich soil of the forest and some labels still.

Your snaggin it? Cool i think! LOL

What do you think of the large manorhouse?


11-30-2008, 03:48 PM
I like it!
At first I thought the map was too pixelated (?), but I am enjoying it now. The bridge is well done.

The only thing that is still bugging me is the fact that all the houses (or tents?) have the same roof. For a refugee camp I would expect different structures. Some tents (different colors?) some shacks and houses made of wood. This almost looks like an army camp.

So who lives in the manor house?

11-30-2008, 04:18 PM
Actually, given medieval style living, 500-1000 really isn't all that cramped for the number of buildings you have there, unless they're really small.

Personally, if these are people who have just run from a war, one of the first things I would have expected to be done is a simple palisade around the island, then the first 'houses' build up against it, and a far, far denser housing on the island itself.

I like the buildings, how did you draw them? Generator, or did you do each one manually?

11-30-2008, 04:20 PM
The buildings are not 'defined' enough. The rocks is so crisp, and this jars with the buildings which are not.

otherwise very nice

11-30-2008, 04:38 PM
AWESOME POINT about the houses/tents (maybe they should be tents, it would give more opportunity to add more colors) having the same rooftop.. they totally need to have different colors to make it look more shoddy built on the fly sort of place..

I know you said your enjoying it now... But what was pixelated about it?

The manorhouse used to be a royal families (The Enorian family) summer cottage, but after the Anointed killed off almost all royalty and those with privledge, it has been turned into a makeshift barracks where an Ogre Cheiftain named Shamshurc Strousmon maintains the security and training of those that are able to fight. You can generally hear him yelling and screaming a some poor Militiaman due some lack of an ability the ogre thinks he or she should have. They erected a simple wall to either funnel enemies around or through the middle of the now Fort Enorian. (im thinking about adding 2 walls that go to the banks of the river for totally force everyone to go through the manor grounds)

11-30-2008, 04:55 PM
The buildings were done with RobAs building brush.

There are 130 houses and the manorhouse. You think 500 - 1000 is a low amount? Maybe your right....

NeonKnight - you think I should blur up the rocks or or crisp up the buildings?

Thanks for your comments so far peeps!


11-30-2008, 06:10 PM
There are 130 houses and the manorhouse. You think 500 - 1000 is a low amount? Maybe your right....

It's your map of course and you set the rules.
But from a medieval point of view 130 houses is a lot. Families used to be very large with several generations living together. Also, refugees tend to live packed together and then 500-1000 people living in 130 houses doesn't sound like much.

But as I said, you set the rules. Maybe some of the races don't want to shack together and people will have lost their family.

As for it being "pixelated"... it's not really the right word I think. At first I thought it had a low resolution, but after about 30 seconds I really started to like it. The map could be more "crisp" so to speak, but this is a style on its own.

Anyway, I would love to see more of your stuff, especially cities. I am a sucker for cities! Your map already inspired me to do some more maps myself.

11-30-2008, 06:18 PM
NeonKnight - you think I should blur up the rocks or or crisp up the buildings?

Thanks for your comments so far peeps!


Either/or. If the buildings will be less defined then the same goes for the rest of the map. If on the other hand the terrain is going to be crisp, then so does the Features.

11-30-2008, 08:36 PM
Gandwarf - Thank you for the kind and informative comments.. I have thought long and hard on the population of the area and decided to stick with the numbers I have, I know the buildings seem very well placed and all, but I decided to do that based on the Ogre Cheiftan in charge of things. Everyone had to band togather during this current war thats going on, but you put it correctly when you say that some guys dont live well with others..

I have decided to clean up the buildings due to the middle to upper clarity of the rest.. at least it is clear to me..

I am also trying to find a way to color the buildings and make them look more or less hodgpodge..

Update soon!

12-02-2008, 02:37 AM
Ok here is that update i promised Tell me what you think! Still trying to get a decent muddy shoreline..

I also added some colors to the buildings.. really makes them stand out and hopefully makes them look more hodge-podge kinda slapped together with whatever was available!

I smoothed the shoreline and am currently trying to get a muddy one together.. Im not happy with anything Ive made so far when it comes to that, so instead of keeping you waiting lol.. Ill send you the progress now.


12-02-2008, 04:58 AM
I like the fact the buildings have different colored roofs. This is definitely an improvement. Although I would expect the roofs to have some more natural looking colors, like greys, browns and greens. Materials the residents would have found nearby.

Some of the roofs look purple, what did they use to build that?

12-02-2008, 05:35 AM
True.. very true.. I guess I was imagining various tapestries..

Still working..

Thank you Gandwarf


Steel General
12-02-2008, 06:24 AM
I agree with Gandwarf, looks like you used some kind of rainbow coloring on the roof's of the buildings. Other than that (and it's not a huge deal), this is shaping up nicely.

12-02-2008, 07:21 AM
Brighter colors, like purple, can be used on tents of course. But the shape of the structures on your map suggest buildings, rather than tents.

12-02-2008, 03:08 PM
Ive got you guys..

I have currently revamped the buildings and am almost done with the shoreline. after that im golden for the labels and will call this one done.

Thanks for all your help.

Oh if you happen to read this.. what you you think of the roads specifically. I was going for a dirt trail of sorts.


12-03-2008, 07:36 AM

I found some things as a finished this that added the last touches to make it a forest..

Before I had a white foam along the river that was throwing everything off. And making it hard for me to believe it was a forest.

I switched the white river foam for some greener moss algae colors and that really brought out my muddy riverbanks and made it more of a forest slow moving river.

I swithced my house colors for a pallet of browns and that turned out nicely.

I also changed my grass texture for a darker one and cleaned up my roads.

If anything, I may yet change my roads for a more grey-scale version to give the look of gravel.

But otherwise im calling this one done for now.

I still have 8 or 9 city maps to make to finish my regional map. I know I could spend a few more weeks if I wanted to on this one and in the end it will come to deciding on some other colors.

I made the lettering like I did because the whole synapse of the story is its wartime, so I wanted something burning-ish.

Otherwise.... what do you think?


12-03-2008, 11:14 AM
It has turned out quite well. Well Done

12-03-2008, 05:55 PM
The brown huts look much better and the river banks look good as well. Two things that I might do (though you, certainly, don't have to) would be to add some sort of outer glow to the roads...light tan for a dusty look or medium brown for a muddy and sunken look; and the green trees are a bit bright (IMO) so I'd mute them a bit by adding a bit of brown/tan to the green for deciduous trees or black/blue for conifers. Like I said, just two things I would do, you certainly have your own style and the map looks great anyway. :)

12-04-2008, 02:05 PM
Very nice.

I agree with Ascension about the edges of the roads. I'd also suggest blurring the gradient before using it as a bump map for your roofs. The linear artefacts of the gradient stick out a bit and it jars.

Other than those small points I think this is a great map. The use of textures, especially for the rocks and water, is outstanding. Good work.

12-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Thanks guys I really really appreciate you! I couldnt of done it without finding this wonderful forum!


02-23-2011, 05:23 PM
Purpleheart. Very dense, purplish wood. If in abundance, would be an excellent roofing material in a medieval era city.

Yeah, I know, digging up old posts.....