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geoff_nunn
07-31-2009, 07:01 PM
Okay, so I'm working on my second city map and attempting to use a similar technique to the last city I built. Right now, I've got a rough rendering of the land surrounding the city and have decided to switch to cleaning up and modifying the urban layout generated by the RPG city generator.

I was not as pleased with the city generator's results (I think because I am working with a larger city this time.) While the city looks full, the city center is full of very small buildings that don't appear to be packed densely enough for an urban center. I spent almost an entire evening tweaking the settings on the generator but did not have much luck.

Right now, I'm in the process of copying and pasting select bits of existing buildings into other parts of the city to fill them out. Is there an easier way to do this?

Anyway, this is what I have so far...

Gandwarf
07-31-2009, 07:12 PM
Yep, you definitely need to dense things up :)
Some people have tried to find easier ways to create realistic looking cities without a lot of work... I think Ravells is onto something at the moment with his "Lazy Man's Style":
http://www.cartographersguild.com/showthread.php?t=5713

Anyway, your map certainly isn't looking too shabby at the moment!

Nomadic
08-01-2009, 03:49 AM
There are most certainly faster ways (see gandwarfls post for example), but the best ways in my opinion still involve the manual placement of houses and other objects. That's just the way it is unfortunately. City maps can take me upwards of a week to create (compared to 2-10 hours for a regional map). I will say though that when you are done you will feel alot of pride in what you have accomplished.

CartoGeo
08-01-2009, 07:43 PM
I think the map generated by the City Generator can still be useful, its given you 'nodes', lots of them for creating a more believable city structure... all you have to do is a night or 2 of "connecting the squares" and making them more dense and larger 'implied' city blocks, etc...

geoff_nunn
08-03-2009, 03:35 PM
Yeah, right now, I'm debating between hand-drawing/copy-pasting more densely populated city blocks or fiddling with one of the lazy-man techniques Gandwarf linked to above.

I wonder if I can use the Roads layer in my Gimp file to select individual city blocks (well, I know I can select them... I wonder if it would be helpful), thus setting up some bounding edges for my work and just draw or filter one block at a time... depending on what works.

I tend to be a bit ADD when mapping or working on any creative project, for that matter, and have spent the past several days distracted by a structure-mapping diversion that I hope to post soon... if I don't get distracted back the other direction before its done.

geoff_nunn
08-11-2009, 04:16 AM
Okay, I finally got around to working on this thing some more. I reinstalled GIMP with the Python extension and downloaded the lazy man's city generator script. This is what I have so far after running the generator to create my city core and then adjusting the coloring to tone down the buildings' saturation.

I haven't decided if I like it. I feel like it is a bit too messy... but then medieval cities were really freakin' messy! I think the biggest issue I have is that the city generator does not produce landmark looking buildings. I may need to go back in and attempt to add some places of interest and obvious city planning elements by hand.

Coyotemax
08-11-2009, 08:20 AM
I like the golf courses to the left of the city center :P

Seriously, that's what I thought the one looked like at first. I say keep it :)

geoff_nunn
08-11-2009, 02:17 PM
Yeah, I haven't even touched the greenspaces yet, so the golf courses were all generated by the RPG city generator that I used to set up the original layout. I'll probably have to hand draw the little sand traps and flags. :P

Gandwarf
08-11-2009, 02:40 PM
Hmm... I have to say I am not a big fan of this city style. The city blocks look too much like mosaics to me unfortunately :(

geoff_nunn
08-11-2009, 03:46 PM
Gandwarf: Yeah, I think that is part of my issue as well.

I am tempted to actually scrap this particular style of map in favor of something that appears more hand drawn. I am thinking about changing to an ink on parchment look, doing away with individual building drawings all together and instead perhaps color-coding or grayscale coding the city blocks based on their district affiliations, and only drawing in the significant landmarks like the castle, guard barracks, temples and markets. After all, the purpose of maps is not necessarily to look realistic, but rather to help people figure out where the heck they are going!

Coyotemax
08-11-2009, 04:10 PM
I think it comes down to the intent of the map. Some maps are very accurate, as the people using those want to have the detail (and it's makes it easy to visualize a chase through the streets sometimes, heh).

But a map that intended to show off the highlights of the city would be very much like what you're describing. Just take a look at maps that get printed out for tourists sometime :)

Ascension
08-11-2009, 04:39 PM
I like it for two reasons: it looks like a crocodile back an the colors are interesting. What I would suggest to fix that mosaic look is to really work on the negative space. Instead of just carving out lines, put some rectangles in there to give the squares something more of a housey shape by defining yards and open spaces. Of course this will result in free-standing houses instead of common-wall houses, but c'est la vie. If you decide to go this route I would suggest removing the bevel before erasing things and then reapply the bevel when done.

Steel General
08-11-2009, 05:36 PM
The city blocks look too much like mosaics to me unfortunately :(

I feel that way as well, the concept is good, just needs a bit of refining I think.