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industrygothica
01-17-2009, 12:13 PM
Since 12rounds has made several characters for the region, and the background has started to take off, I figured it was time to get a map out for Port Magalie in the Witchlight Strand.

This is still very much a WIP. Things still on the list:

* Add more buildings inside and outside the walls to make placement a bit more random.
* Create the docks and docks district.
* Detail the walls (the white lines and blue dots are only placeholders).
* Add a scale bar (Port Magalie is about 2 miles at its longest point).
* Add labels
* Fix whatever you guys tell me needs fixing. ;)

I don't think I'm a great mapper, but I've definitely got more of a handle on it now than when I first got here. And man, this stuff is addicting!

C&C encouraged, as always.


-IG

Midgardsormr
01-17-2009, 12:40 PM
Very nice so far! You may want some additional towers or turrets along the long walls. Are those cliffs overlooking the beach and bridges across the water?

industrygothica
01-17-2009, 12:53 PM
Very nice so far! You may want some additional towers or turrets along the long walls. Are those cliffs overlooking the beach and bridges across the water?

They are indeed cliffs overlooking the beach. They are not necessarily bridges, though. I had considered making the walls cross the water somehow, though I don't know how feasible that would be. I just want the city to be able to control the flow of traffic through the river at that particular point. Any suggestions?


-IG

Hoel
01-17-2009, 01:13 PM
Looks nice.
Walls over rivers are tricky, they would more likely be a tower bridge. The purpose is to control the traffic on the river for tax collecting and defense.
You should wall up the SE edge of the keep, the walls are not just there do stop an assault, they are there to protect the buildings from artillery. As it is, if the enemy takes the SE bank they could fire straight into the keep. Not good.
Also, there are very long stretches without towers. I don't know how well defended this city is supposed to be, but i would put some hanging towers on there and have sizable bastions on all corners.
Cheers

Steel General
01-17-2009, 01:23 PM
I love the colors on this IG, the greens are very rich and deep. Looking forward to seeing more.

Midgardsormr
01-17-2009, 01:25 PM
Catapults.

I looked around for a bit to see if there were any historical examples of river-spanning fortifications of that sort, but I didn't find anything useful. Mostly references to a certain hard disk manufacturer or a hotel in Washington, D.C.

I suspect that sinking footings for a sturdy wall into the river bed would be a tricky engineering task, not to mention you'd have to have a gate mechanism to let legitimate traffic through. I think the most effective way to deny access to the river mouth would be artillery. Perhaps someone with more expertise in this area knows something more.

There is one possibility from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels--a particular city's harbors are defended by chains that normally lie on the river bottom. If the city is threatened, they are winched up to just above the water-line. That seems a pretty flimsy defense to me, though. Any enemy who knows it's there would simply attack it with a heavy ramming ship and likely rip the chain right out of its mechanism.

Gandwarf
01-17-2009, 01:25 PM
Looking good so far! Definitely put some more buildings inside the walls though.
Are people going to be allowed to cross the river? It looks like you are doing walls instead of bridges, so I was wondering.

Gandwarf
01-17-2009, 01:28 PM
There is one possibility from Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels--a particular city's harbors are defended by chains that normally lie on the river bottom. If the city is threatened, they are winched up to just above the water-line. That seems a pretty flimsy defense to me, though. Any enemy who knows it's there would simply attack it with a heavy ramming ship and likely rip the chain right out of its mechanism.

Chains have been used a lot here in Europe, mainly to block traffic on the rivers (mostly to collect toll). This is a nice read:

http://www.ricksteves.com/tvr/pledge/castles/chap_rhine.htm

It gives some information on Rhine castles, mostly built by robber barons :D
They had the castle on one of the banks and a tower on the other bank. A chain was between them and could be raised.
Also see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robber_baron

It seems the robber barons were put out of business when their castles were destroyed one after the other ;)

Steel General
01-17-2009, 01:29 PM
They were also used in the ASoIaF series by Martin... a very riveting part of the story.

thebax2k
01-17-2009, 01:43 PM
Very nice Industrygothica, there can never be enough city maps ;) I like the look of the houses and the overall look of the map. However, there are a few comments I would send your way:

First, I'm assuming Port Magalie is located on either side of a river gorge (which explains the lower area). If so, why is the upper and lower river area fortified with walls around or across them? While many Renaissance and Medieval cities would have fortifications guarding the entrances to bays and rivers, they would deny access to said body of water by stringing across a chain. Any raider or ship that wanted to enter would have to cut the chain, bringing it into range of catapults, trebuchets, and in an rpg setting, magic users.

Second, where's the bridge? A city that is a large as Port Magalie should have some type of bridge linking both halves. If the city has been there for awhile (several centuries), than it is likely to be a stone bridge, otherwise it will likely be wood. You may also want to experiment with putting structures on both sides of the bridge, as space in medieval cities was at such a premium that people built wherever they could (see the picture of old London Bridge at http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/25/18825-004-C01AA454.jpg).

Third, why do you have two cities instead of one? What do I mean by that? The two halves of Port Magalie are constructed as if they are two separate cities. There are no roads that lead from one side to the other and the houses are away from the sides of the gorge. While no one is going to be crazy enough to construct a house on a cliff, you need to think of a city growing out like rings on a tree. Take a look at this map of Paris (http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b77106992 --its a bit anachronistic as its from 1705). Notice how the city seems to grow out from the center island, which it did. I would cluster the buildings closely together nearest the river (and especially on whichever side the city started) and space them out as you get away from the urban core (like you've done on the north side).

Fourth, where are the markets? You have a large circular open area on the southeast side, but I do not see a gate in the wall to get to it from the outside. Markets are going to be along or just off major thoroughfares in your city as transportation to and from them was key--situate them accordingly. Also, if you have a port city, as this one seems to be, there should be at least one market near the docks, to handle all the fish and seafood coming in.

Lastly, if this is a large city (with a population in the tens of thousands), then the docks district is likely to be large. Make sure that you have plenty of warehouses, salting mills, and shipyards near the water.

As with all maps, you can take realism to far, but I do think that adding in some of the items mentioned above will make for a better map that is a bit more realistic to the eye. Regardless, great work Industrygothica and keep at it.

[Edit] Wow, in the time it took me to write this, quite a few folks chimed in, just ignore any redundant comments on my part.

Ascension
01-17-2009, 02:58 PM
Your walls/bridges across the river could look like arched Roman-style aqueducts but instead of transporting water, they'd let people across. Then you could drop pitch or rocks on top of any intruding boats. Narrow-spaced archways could then only allow smaller boats and pretty much deny anything other than canoes or fishing boats. Of course this could only really be depicted in ISO or profile views but you could do up a shadow that shows the arching. Catapult stations are a good idea too, especially on the high cliffs, as are the chains. Oh and by the way, this looks outstanding so far and as SG said, the colors are very sweet.

industrygothica
01-17-2009, 04:06 PM
Your walls/bridges across the river could look like arched Roman-style aqueducts but instead of transporting water, they'd let people across. Then you could drop pitch or rocks on top of any intruding boats. Narrow-spaced archways could then only allow smaller boats and pretty much deny anything other than canoes or fishing boats. Of course this could only really be depicted in ISO or profile views but you could do up a shadow that shows the arching. Catapult stations are a good idea too, especially on the high cliffs, as are the chains. Oh and by the way, this looks outstanding so far and as SG said, the colors are very sweet.

This is more of what I had in mind; you've found the words for it where they escaped me--thanks for that. I don't know that I can put the chains in the map, but I can sure add it to the description in the wiki.

To be honest, I'm not especially familiar with the way medieval cities operated; would I want to stop shipping from passing through here completely by making narrow-spaced archways that would only allow smaller boats?

Gandwarf
01-17-2009, 05:19 PM
To be honest, I'm not especially familiar with the way medieval cities operated; would I want to stop shipping from passing through here completely by making narrow-spaced archways that would only allow smaller boats?

Well, that depends. Can boats travel up a river or something or is this just a bay? From the few things I have read about this port I know it is located in hostile territory. So it needs strong fortifications. But trade is also the lifeblood of the city, especially trade by water. So I think they wouldn't really want to limit the size of (trading) vessels.

Anyway, I think with chains in the water, catapults, trebuchets and ballistas on the walls and cliffs and those arches from where defenders can throw down rocks, pitch and other kinds of nasty stuff, you really wouldn't want to sail your boats too near the city. I am thinking the city has its own navy and might even have some fireships (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fire_ship). Sail them into the enemy fleet that is packed in that gorge and things will get really nasty :D

You can't really map the chains, but if you are going to label the city, maybe you can label some of the (chain) towers?

Midgardsormr
01-17-2009, 06:23 PM
To be honest, I'm not especially familiar with the way medieval cities operated; would I want to stop shipping from passing through here completely by making narrow-spaced archways that would only allow smaller boats?

It depends on what's up-river. If the cities further inland are in competition, then forcing oceangoing vessels to offload here and reload their goods onto river ships means the city rulers can get a bigger cut of the profits--they get to tax two boats instead of just one, can force more of the goods into their own economy, etc. On the other hand, that'll make the city a bigger target. Everyone will want to control it, so they'll have to put a significant part of that extra money toward defense.

Also, if it becomes too much a problem to bring goods through this river, it's a good bet that they'll go somewhere else. Like water, trade follows the path of least resistance, and sometimes building a new coastal city at the head of a land route is easier and cheaper than dealing with a draconian local government.

Ascension
01-17-2009, 10:48 PM
Go with wide arches then, there would be a port authority/customs house here anyways and that navy too.

industrygothica
01-21-2009, 04:17 PM
I had a few minutes since I'm off work today. I think this one is just about ready to add to the wiki.

Midgardsormr
01-21-2009, 04:53 PM
Seriously gorgeous, ig! I especially like the way you incorporated the scale bar into the title, though I'm not sure of its general effectiveness. It took me a few moments to interpret what you were doing. It may be, though, that I was really slow on the uptake.

Whether it's effective or not, though, I like it.

Steel General
01-21-2009, 05:41 PM
Nice work IG! Will be a great addition to the WIKI.

Gandwarf
01-21-2009, 05:51 PM
Very sweet looking map, industrygothica! Repped of course...
I love the coloring and the way the walls and docks turned out.

The only nitpicks I have:

- There is still a lot of unused space within the city walls. But it doesn't really bother me.
- How are the people getting down from the cliffs?

Ascension
01-21-2009, 06:39 PM
An excellent blend of the aesthetics of art and the function of cartography. Well done and much praise (wish I could achieve something like this).

industrygothica
01-21-2009, 10:40 PM
Wow.. thanks for the comments!

I asked myself the same question about how the inhabitants get down from the cliffs, and finally decided that at this scale it wasn't worth stressing about. I'm sure that's nothing more a cheap way out of the problem, but it's effective nonetheless. ;)

The scale bar in the title was a spur of the moment thing. I suppose it really wasn't intended to be functional, I just liked the way it looked. Though it may be a bit thick now that I look at it again.

Thanks again!


-IG

Hoel
01-22-2009, 06:56 AM
Good job! I like the colors.
I have to second gadwarf thou, and i still think you need a wall on the SE side of the castle along the cliff.

industrygothica
01-24-2009, 01:58 AM
Added the wall and made a few other very minor adjustments. I want to say it's done, but you know how that goes...


-IG

Hoel
01-24-2009, 08:07 AM
It's never done. But it looks very good

Steel General
01-24-2009, 09:14 AM
Looks fantastic, great job IG!

Torq
01-28-2009, 03:30 AM
I agree. Great job IG. Once again though I think the docks colour could do with a little desaturation. Fantastic layout and artistic coolness.

Torq

industrygothica
01-28-2009, 09:27 PM
I agree. Great job IG. Once again though I think the docks colour could do with a little desaturation. Fantastic layout and artistic coolness.

Torq

Thank you.