View Full Version : Trying out a hand drawn town style

04-15-2009, 09:04 AM
I've been fiddling with town and city map styles for a while and I'm still trying to find a style that I like and that doesn't take forever to do. This is what I have so far:


Any thoughts or crits?

04-15-2009, 09:19 AM
Looks good. Only critique I have is my usual critique. The buildings are too spaced, and not clustered like they should be.

04-15-2009, 09:22 AM
You'd suggest that the walls should butt onto each other?

04-15-2009, 09:27 AM
You'd suggest that the walls should butt onto each other?

Possibly... If people are building a town instead of just a community growing up randomly, then unless building materials are very plentiful, they are going to use as little resources as possible since it speeds up construction. So yea, after the first guy builds his building, the next guy will just start building off of that since there is already a wall on one side. Of course, it does not have to be all of the buildings, but if you look at pictures of the American old west, you will see that there is a main road with multiple attached buildings on each side of the road. Those things that have a need to be separate buildings are, but most of the stuff is just patched together beside an existing building.

04-15-2009, 09:55 AM
Yes. Google Maps are great as they have that keen Satelite View.

Look in Europe at old sections of Cities, and you will see the city streets are tightly packed buildings.

Also check out these pictures:


Columbia: http://www.everyculture.com/images/ctc_01_img0249.jpg




Prague: http://www.f1point4.com/f1point4/images/prague_street2.jpg

In addition to what Jfrazierjr was saying, as a city grows from a village, not only is is easier (and cheaper) to build only three walls instead of four, especally in a walled city, you only have so much room to build. Further if one was building outside the city walls, you would likely be buidling as close as possible to the city walls.

Another reason, buildings were built as what I am coming to term SUPERbuildings, is due to the nature of families. When a son married another man's daughter, they would need somewhere to live. Likely the easiest way to accomplish this increase in familial size was not to take away valuable crop land, but rather to just build an addition to the house (that three wall instead of four thing again), and maybe eventually if needed, just wall up the old doorway to close it off into a seperate structure/room.

04-15-2009, 09:57 AM
Yep, I had wondered about that. Ah well, back to the drawing board. The challenge now of course is to get attached building segments that look good and don't take forever (the holy grail of town and city mapping!)

04-15-2009, 10:08 AM
Well, it may not be perfect, but here is the thread of my City Map, Deeston:


Steel General
04-15-2009, 10:43 AM
What I usually do (and I know Ascension does something similar) is draw a large shape then use a small eraser to add alleys, etc.

Also if the roof is on a seperate layer you can use a similar idea and somewhat get the look of buildings all clustered together but with individual roofs (rooves? - stupid english language ;))

04-15-2009, 10:57 AM
@Neon: Thanks for reminding me of that thread - it's a really useful read.

I'll see if I can get an updated edit up soon.

04-15-2009, 11:19 AM
My 2 cents:

Small communities, especially farming communities, will probably not have many houses sharing walls. But I think it's likely that houses in these kinds of communities will have their own yards, barns, vegetable patches, etc.

Large communities, especially walled cities, will probable have a lot of houses sharing walls. This is cheaper and there is limited space within the walls (or limited space near premium locations, like the market, church, etc).

I do like the handdrawn style by the way Torstan.

04-15-2009, 11:28 AM

It's certainly true that there are certain buildings that almost always have clear space around them. Churches are the obvious case. Markets are anothe good example. Then municipal buildings come in. Other than that I am certainly struggling to think of any reason for there to be clear space between buildings. I guess the issue of keeping everyone inside the city walls forces buildings to crowd up too.

Good thing I asked here before embarking upon a large settlement!

04-15-2009, 12:34 PM
Certain factions might have the clout to sort of 'own' land too - greens, gardens, stables & space for security might exist for the very powerful. The balancing factors would be of course that most often no one but the city rulership had real control of the land and every cottage or family probably paid taxes.

If you were a knight with a manor in the city you might have grazing rights or clout enough to stop hangers on from building off your home. Your use of the land might deter builders.

If you had no prestige its unlikely you'd get much support because the new building probably meant more taxes in one manner or other. Green space would be at the whims of the city and likely trampled and plundered unless you had a wall around it or something.


I like your hand drawn look. How hand drawn is it?

04-15-2009, 01:05 PM
I'll quickly echo the other comments about urban planning/spacing.

Otherwise, the style is great! My one nitpick is that the building shadows look less "hand drawn" than the rest of it. But that's not really a criticism, just an observation.

04-15-2009, 02:00 PM

It's all hand drawn, though the building outlines are all from the same 9 outlines just rotated and flipped - but they were hand drawn initially. No filters used other than to create the underlying background texture.

Good ideas guys. I'll factor them into version 2.

04-15-2009, 04:48 PM
My thought is that a town would have spaced buildings where a city would have the common wall thing. I think people pay far too much attention to that and think that every settlement has to have joined condominium type housing. Personally, I hate the common wall...reminds me of having to listen to my neighbor's tv when I lived in an apartment, or listen to people argue in the hotel room next to mine. By the way, I like your town style.

11-14-2012, 04:51 AM
The drawing style is wonderful.