View Full Version : Paizo City Map Attempt

01-30-2009, 02:49 AM
OK, taking in all the feedback and posted responses to map submissions in the Paizo Open Call thread... http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=4092

I thought I'd still try and create a city map, an attempt anyway. I don't want to hand-draw the monster, and since we now know that Paizo doesn't want anything too realistic, yet they want to see viable rooflines. I chose to try a new method.

First I opened Nendo my easy 3D modeler and created a bunch of building shapes, mostly concerned with rooflines. Then I did a top view orthographic camera screen capture to produce my overhead map objects.

Below is a side view of the created 3D objects, then the top view, I used to create my objects with. The third image are the objects given some color and several steps to get individual buildings to play with.

As a small tut: first I imported the screen capture into Xara Xtreme. Then I rotated it to be more in line x and y for drawing rectangles and such. Then I began to create rectangles, circles, octogons to cover all the buildings in the screen capture. On the more complex buildings are more than one shape stacked.

Then a series of Combine Operations to get to where I needed to go next.

For complex structures consisting of more than one piece. I selected all pieces and performed an Arrange>Combine>Add Shapes to make the complex shape a single shape.

Once all the individual buildings were made into basic shapes, I selected all the objects (not the screen capture) and did a Arrange>Combine>Add Shapes to make all objects into a single shape (just temporary though.)

Then I selected the objects and the screen capture and did an Arrange>Combines>Intersect Shapes, which cut away all parts of the Screen capture that were not part of the selected building objects. Finally I performed an Arrange>Break Apart to separate the buildings into individual objects.

Now I went to the color bar at the bottom of the Xara screen, selected an individual object and applied a color fill, which still maintained the lineart rooflines. I moved the buildings a bit to show that they are individual objects now.

I plan to create about 50 more general building shapes. Then perhaps 20 specific buildings for bridges, temples, gatehouses, towers, palaces and such. The general buildings will be used over and over, though I may apply different colors to them so that seem not simple copies of other buildings. I will resize a few.

Once complete, I will create a separate street plan with defined roads, streets, and alleys as per Paizo's desire, and begin to populate the defined "city block" locations with the building objects.

I'm not saying this is my preferred city asthetic, but I'm trying to cater the art to what Paizo seems to want, at least from my point of view.

Of course I will create unique walls, gates, ports/piers, and higher ground areas before the work is done. I also plan to create a few statues, collonades, park areas, moats and perhaps some canals.

Anyway, just to experiment with a different style and create a city map, even if Paizo rules it out for different reasons (:?:) I'll give it a whirl.


Steel General
01-30-2009, 07:06 AM
Interesting GP, yet one more for me to keep an eye (or two) on.

01-30-2009, 08:24 AM
Interesting ideas there. This is certainly one to keep an eye on. I'm also mulling how to fit that (idealised) set of criteria they are after.

01-30-2009, 03:26 PM
OK, I created a few more building roofline plans. After I did the screen capture, I rotated the objects 90 degrees, and screen captured again - to get the shadows doing different things. I might try a 45 degree and 135 degree angle shots as well for more shadow variations. I'll have to do the same to the first set of buildings.

I might create one or two more sets and consider it enough to at least start city planning.

I'll try to have coherent traffic flow with my street plan, must include alleys. I want some canals on the lower level of the city along a bay or wide river area. I plan to include at least one higher main city level then a fortress on still higher ground with roads accessing, etc.

Oh, I decided to cut all the pretty colors down to 5 earth tones in the pallatte from the first set. Grey, Tan, Brown, Green, Rust, I'll stay away from yellow, teal and such.

Anyway, progress so far.


01-30-2009, 03:36 PM
Good Luck!!

01-31-2009, 03:19 PM
OK, instead of a full city design, I decided to create a town map instead. And to add flavor to compell me to want to do this - since a "turn-over" mapper job just doesn't sound too exciting to me. I decided to create something I could use in my own game, once Paizo tells me its too realistic or whatever...

I'd say I'm about half way through, just to populate a few more buildings. For those that say the buildings are too neatly spaced apart. I consider this something like an 8th century town, and it might be more compact in a couple hundred years.

Craefort, the town map (still in WIP form for another day or so)... Enjoy!

01-31-2009, 04:37 PM
That looks really cool; colors are great, it's clean and clear, and it has a "fun" vibe. Excellent job.

02-01-2009, 05:39 AM
Done with the map. Yeah, its only a town, rather than the city Paizo wanted, but then it was completed in 4.5 hours, so that should mean something to them. Although there is some "realism" in the mountain form and the river texture, its still simple enough to work as a "turn over", rather than a completed map.

I feel the traffic flow works. This location is the site of a Ranger's Lodge in a particularly hostile region of the wilderness. Local communities have sought refuge by this stronghold of fighting men and sworn allegiance to the Ranger Lord. It is a relatively young town, have formed during the Ogre Swarm some 20 years ago. The Druid's Circle is the oldest structure on the site and for its protection, the Ranger's Lodge was built a century ago.

Since I needed inspiration to compell me to create the town, (I guess I find city/town design too tedious for my results oriented nature) I borrowed the names and background for my Barbarian campaign and maps elsewhere...

Besides having a town around Craefort makes this a more playable setting for my own campaign - and idea generating as well! :idea:

Craefort - Borderlands Town... enjoy!


PS: just got back from gaming and knocked this map out in the wee hours - now I'll send a link to Paizo...

Steel General
02-01-2009, 10:20 AM
Nice work GP! Hope you get a favorable response from them...or at least a response.

02-01-2009, 04:22 PM
I like how you did your rivers, especially the banks. Mountain towns are always the best!

02-01-2009, 05:02 PM
Nice map - you've got some weird shadows on those trees though. I can see the thrown shadow to the south but the northern edge of the trees is still the darkest part.

Hope the submission goes well!

02-01-2009, 07:32 PM
@Torstan - yeah, I've got the shadow on top of the tree, rather than under the tree, somehow the shadow which is a transparent black is graying out and lightening the tree its sitting on. I ought to move it below the tree.

OK, now for a quickee dungeon map - 2 hours it took. Rather than a true dungeon, I opted for the ruins of a dwarven mine complex deep in the Underdark. I'm sending this to Paizo as well. Now about a wilderness map...



02-01-2009, 07:49 PM
Purely by coincidence, I know, but as soon as I posted my completed Craefort town map, Redrobes just updated his city tile script and overrid my post as the most recent. So as soon as I posted the last map - I checked the index page, and Redrobes did it again!!!

So, I'm bumping this - I'm looking for more critiques.

Redrobes, you've been lying in wait, haven't you! Arrr! :P


02-02-2009, 12:09 AM
I wanted to knock all the Paizo maps today, so I didn't have to worry about it, and of course - I made it too realistic. What am I thinking! :P

I just can't get into the mood to make a less realistic map. So I'm going to send a link to both this (not what they want) and the Lands of the Crae - my hand-drawn style regional map, that I created earlier this month. (More like what they're hoping for, I guess.)

Anyway, the too realistic map of the Bogwood Swamp at the feet of the Uplands of Keethe. I was in the mood of creating the kind of rivers I see around my home - nice and pretty brown. :P

Bogwood (Kingdom of Flies) - enjoy!