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Mixpengo
04-26-2009, 04:49 PM
Hello everyone,

I am lurking this community for a few weeks now and inspired by Gandwarf's work I bought CC3 with CD3 extension. I am a software developer and not an artist, but this piece of software I bought is sure doing miracles, allowing me to get a decent result without a lot of effort.

I am trying to map a few of the cities for a web-based game I am working for. The current map shown below should represent the first city, where the players start. I envisioned first a city and quite some suburbs around it, but I am afraid that the final result will be a bit far of that. Nevertheless, the experience gained during this process is valuable and I would like to add to that the experience of the members of this forum willing to express their opinions about my city, how to proceed further, what is missing, what is wrong and so on.

Thanks a lot!

Gandwarf
04-26-2009, 04:58 PM
I am lurking this community for a few weeks now and inspired by Gandwarf's work I bought CC3 with CD3 extension.

Muhahaha, another spider in my web.


The current map shown below should represent the first city, where the player start.


Looking good so far. The layout of the city feels natural to me. Some other highlights: the castle, the little sandbanks in the river and the bridge (is that a symbol?).

Most of the houses look like they were made of wood, is that the effect you were going for?

Oh, watch out you don't make houses too pointy, like you did in the southeastern part of the city. That looks a bit unnatural as it wouldn't really be that practical.

Nomadic
04-26-2009, 07:57 PM
Very good map, other than what Gandwarf said it looks like a great start.



Muhahaha, another spider in my web.


You are about to get another here soon once I finish the current map commission I am working on. I think I am going to bite the bullet myself and get it.

Gandwarf
04-26-2009, 08:05 PM
You are about to get another here soon once I finish the current map commission I am working on. I think I am going to bite the bullet myself and get it.

Good, good, I am collecting sou... eh friends. Yes, I am collecting friends.

Ascension
04-26-2009, 08:11 PM
Looks like a nice little town next to a keep. Put some huts on the outside of the walls (these are the peasants) and some fields for them to farm then call it done. Don't over complicate a town unless it is meant to be a city, then make the roads inside the walls into paved streets and give the houses inside the walls some color while saving the brown for outside the walls. Nice job so far.

Mixpengo
04-27-2009, 04:33 AM
Thank you all for your kind words and advices!


..and the bridge (is that a symbol?).

No, it is drawn using line and added some effects, like in your tutorials.


Most of the houses look like they were made of wood, is that the effect you were going for?

Yes, having the houses made of wood for the part of the city closer to the forests works fine, I guess. I am wondering now though where did the stone come for the walls, as the walls are covering quite some distance. Maybe this resource is not that easy to find and is more expensive, which can justify why it is used only for the walls / towers. Or should I try to keep using stone/rock to a minimum and use wood for the walls too?


Oh, watch out you don't make houses too pointy, like you did in the southeastern part of the city. That looks a bit unnatural as it wouldn't really be that practical.

You are right, I see now that a lot of intersections have very pointy houses, I will change that.


Put some huts on the outside of the walls (these are the peasants) and some fields for them to farm then call it done.

You mean outside of the town, right? I should probably use for this the north +/ west area.


Don't over complicate a town unless it is meant to be a city, then make the roads inside the walls into paved streets and give the houses inside the walls some color while saving the brown for outside the walls.

I have no idea what should be between the walls of the castle and the walls of the city in the north. I'm thinking maybe some small barracks and other buildings intended for serving the castle owners - I don't see people living in that part of the city.

Also, do I need a gate in the north?

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 05:20 AM
Or should I try to keep using stone/rock to a minimum and use wood for the walls too?

It depends on the threat to the town and the wealth. If the town is under considerable threat and there is enough wealth, stone could be imported. There is a river, so the stone could be transported over water (the Egyptians used boats to transport stone to their building sites as well).



Also, do I need a gate in the north?

You have no road leading to the north, so I would say no. A gate would be an extra weak spot in the defence, so if it wasn't needed, it wouldn't be added.

If there are other towns and holdings to the north and this town trades with it, traffic would flow north and a gate might spring into existance.

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 05:24 AM
Oh, one last thing. Looking at your map again I would expect the castle to be built near the bridge. It would want to control the traffic I think. But it's your town of course, so maybe there's a good reason for it to be where it is now.

Mixpengo
04-27-2009, 05:57 AM
You have no road leading to the north, so I would say no. A gate would be an extra weak spot in the defence, so if it wasn't needed, it wouldn't be added.

Well, no road exists yet mainly because it is a work in progress and I started from the bottom. However, weak spot in the defense is something to consider.


Oh, one last thing. Looking at your map again I would expect the castle to be built near the bridge. It would want to control the traffic I think. But it's your town of course, so maybe there's a good reason for it to be where it is now.

Well, I just thought the first line of defense and control for the bridge would be the walls and towers near the river. I was planning to add some smaller buildings there too, to help with that task.

I wanted the castle in a retreat place, in a more luxurious area, away from the markets and traffic from the bridge. I have no idea if that is how a small town would work.

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 06:10 AM
Well, I just thought the first line of defense and control for the bridge would be the walls and towers near the river. I was planning to add some smaller buildings there too, to help with that task.

I wanted the castle in a retreat place, in a more luxurious area, away from the markets and traffic from the bridge. I have no idea if that is how a small town would work.

As I said, it's your town, so the layout should be as you want.

Towns do not suddenly spring into existance however. I could imagine the castle was there first, near the bridge (or maybe there wasn't even a bridge back then and there was just a ferry or a place to cross where the water was shallow). Then a town grew around it and the castle expanded a bit. By then the castle would not be moved again, so it would remain near the river.

Or maybe your castle is built on top of a small hill, so it overlooks the river and surrounding lands. That would explain why it is located where it is now.

Again, it's your town... I am just brainstorming a bit :)

Mixpengo
04-27-2009, 06:11 AM
Below, something related to the scale of the map. Anyone's help, CD3 user or not, is greatly appreciated.

I have a problem with the sizes, I guess I am too strict when it comes to using this software. I started with a 700 x 500 meters document, which basically means that 10px = 10 meters. I thought starting with the size of the river as 25 meters wide and the size of a regular house as 10x7 meters (I was thinking like 5 people / house holding).

In the light of these, the castle's court width would be 165 meters, and the size of the actual castle (more like a villa now) would be 62x42 meters (I am talking about the maximum size of the building footprint).

Measuring now the distance from the west gate to the river would get me to 216 meters. If I would have around the same distance of the main road covered on the other side of the river, that would get me to a town that is 500 meters long. The distance from the south wall to the north wall is 360 meters (equivalent of pixels).

Thinking back now, wouldn't this town be way too small? Can someone give me some reference sizes based on which I could work until I get a sense of scale?

Mixpengo
04-27-2009, 06:14 AM
Or maybe your castle is build on top of a small hill, so it overlooks the river and surrounding lands. That would explain why it is located where it is now.

I was thinking at what you said and I got to the same conclusion - an elevation in the land is the only good reason for which it would be there, a small hill or something.

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 06:21 AM
Thinking back now, wouldn't this town be way too small? Can someone give me some reference sizes based on which I could work until I get a sense of scale?

Can't help you with this unfortunately. Size doesn't bother me :D
I am creating fantasy cities, not realistic blueprints. So I never calculate distances for example.

Katto
04-27-2009, 05:13 PM
Hello everybody,

I didn't want to open a new thread, because the title is just what I have done after reading Gandwarf's great tutorials.

I created a small wealthy trading fantasy town called "Greifenbrück"(Griffinbridge). The town was founded due to a crossroad of two trade routes and increased in population fast. The founder, Jeromir Greif, started with a place called "Griffin's Inn" which was pulled down 47 years ago to make place for an urgently needed market hall. The inn was rebuild east of its original place, just south of the temple and is still the first place if you visit Griffinbridge...

There are many stories I can tell about this town, because it took me about a week to create it (roundabout one hour a day).

Next I will create the interiors of the important places so I can use all in coming RPG sessions.

Please comment this map so I can improve in further ones.

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 05:23 PM
I didn't want to open a new thread, because the title is just what I have done after reading Gandwarf's great tutorials.

I would advise you to start your own thread Katto, there's nothing against that. Actually, I think it would be preferred, because with two different cities in one thread the comments might get a bit confusing!

Anyway, great story and the map is looking good so far. More comments once you start your own thread :)

Mixpengo
04-27-2009, 08:06 PM
.. continued..

I think I totally screwed up the northern part, with all those buildings squeezed together and look alike, but I lost my patience and just wanted to see how the town would look with all streets filled in.

Gandwarf
04-27-2009, 08:37 PM
.. continued..

I think I totally screwed up the northern part, with all those buildings squeezed together and look alike, but I lost my patience and just wanted to see how the town would look with all streets filled in.

Haha, I know the feeling. Sometimes I just want to rush things to see the end result. Especially in the maps that take 20+ hours this can be a bit... troublesome :)

Anyway, I don't think you screwed up, it's looking pretty nice! The buildings would be mostly squeezed together as building space is at a premium within the city walls. The city also isn't large enough to house really big estates I think (with their own, walled gardens and stuff).

Can you save a larger version of the map, by the way?

Katto
04-28-2009, 02:31 AM
@Gandwarf: I followed your advice and opened a new thread, thanks.

I like your Town, Mixpengo, escpecially the keep within.

Mixpengo
04-28-2009, 04:40 AM
I like your Town, Mixpengo, escpecially the keep within.

Katto, I like your town better - it has a beautiful layout and nice story to support it. I will comment more in your thread, see you there.

Mixpengo
04-28-2009, 04:45 AM
Especially in the maps that take 20+ hours this can be a bit... troublesome :)

What's taking you 20+ hours it will take me at least 40+, so I don't even want to think that far :)


The buildings would be mostly squeezed together as building space is at a premium within the city walls. The city also isn't large enough to house really big estates I think (with their own, walled gardens and stuff).

I think they are too squeezed in even so. I tried to stick to some scale and replicate some real world sizes, but it did not work right. I see on your maps that you create a block of houses from 4-5 houses at most, while mine contain 20 or so.


Can you save a larger version of the map, by the way?

Yes, I will save a larger one. In my game maps are shown in a 700x500 px area, so I wanted to see how it would look at that size. It seems this town is too big for that resolution though.

Mixpengo
04-28-2009, 06:31 AM
..larger version below..

Gandwarf
04-28-2009, 08:24 AM
Ah yes, much better. Now I can see some details.
You put flags on some of the towers?

Some suggestions:
- You might want to extend the dirt square to the castle building. As people are walking in and out the grass would turn into dirt.
- Also you might want to place another building nearby to act as the stables.
- Finally you could consider giving the roof of the castle a little color, making it stand out more.

Mixpengo
04-28-2009, 09:02 AM
Ah yes, much better. Now I can see some details.
You put flags on some of the towers?

Yes, I wanted flags at the gates of the city. I guess I cannot change their color, the symbols only come in blue.


-Finally you could consider giving the roof of the castle a little color, making it stand out more.

Can I do that now, or should have I done it prior to creating the building? I'll look through the properties sheet, maybe I will find something there.

Gandwarf
04-28-2009, 09:32 AM
Can I do that now, or should have I done it prior to creating the building? I'll look through the properties sheet, maybe I will find something there.

One way to do this is put the building in its own sheet.

- Create a new sheet, for example: "Castle"
- Right-click on the "Sheets and effects" button and click on "Move to sheet"
- Select the castle buildings and right-click
- Pick "Do it".
- Move the buildings to the "Castle" sheet.
- Now add all the normal building effects to the "Castle" sheet.
- Add a adjust hue/saturation effect. You can use this effect to give the building a blue color for example.
- Having the castle on a seperate sheet gives other bonuses as well. You can adjust the shadows for example, so that the castle casts a longer shadows than the other buildings.

Mixpengo
04-28-2009, 09:38 AM
Thank you Gandwarf, very good idea and explanation. I am a bit frustrated with CD3, it lacks a preview for applying effects (a fast preview, on a small part of the drawing), and that makes using and combining the effects difficult.

Sheets are powerful and I try to use them a lot. However, I did not manage to see the power of Layers in CD3. Do you use them at all?

Gandwarf
04-28-2009, 10:19 AM
Thank you Gandwarf, very good idea and explanation. I am a bit frustrated with CD3, it lacks a preview for applying effects (a fast preview, on a small part of the drawing), and that makes using and combining the effects difficult.

Yes, it's frustrating. If I know I am going to experiment with effects a lot, I start an empty map. Load times are generally fast. When I have found the effects I like, I implement them in my maps. Experimenting with effects on larger maps is not a good idea, as applying the effects takes more and more time.



Sheets are powerful and I try to use them a lot. However, I did not manage to see the power of Layers in CD3. Do you use them at all?

No, I have to admit I have no idea why I would want to use layers. I understand what they do in theory, but that's about it. I am not sure if I am missing out on something. It's also a bit weird that sheets are actually called layers in most other programs :D