View Full Version : City

10-04-2009, 05:04 PM
Hello Cartographers,

here is my attempt to follow Pyrandon's "Medieval Town Map", which I like very much. The map was created in Photoshop, the city with the RPG City Generator and the labeling was done with Illustrator. I spend much time to create "Elmswood" and stared a lot of time at it, but I think something is wrong or missing. Could you please help me?
In the future I think I will add a legend to the right expanding the canvas.

btw: Does it mean "Elmwood" or "Elmswood"? I just had a nightmare and I am german...

10-04-2009, 05:49 PM
It looks pretty sweet I think! I like the general layout, the fields, the little walls, the river, roads and hilly terrain.

Some criticsm:

- Overall it's a pretty dark map.
- The houses don't cut it for me. The roofs don't look convincing.
- Labeling is very dark, I would go with a light color, maybe even white!
- Things you might want to add: some dirt squares, a watermill near the river, some sandy beaches, maybe some chimneys or towers on top of the houses,
- I would expect more houses within the walls, it's safer there.
- Lots of houses are not connected to the roads. I would expect thinner dirt paths leading from the front door to the larger roads.

A question: why does the wall have so many holes in it?

Anyway, it's really looking pretty good already!

10-04-2009, 06:39 PM
Not too shabby, pretty good in fact.

10-04-2009, 10:39 PM
My advise is to start adding subtlety to the map. Try setting various layers to 75% opacity (or perhaps less in the case of the labels) and see how it appeals to you. Look at colors with an eye toward how they interact with other colors near them. I'm colorblind, so when I see color issues, they either aren't there or they are there pretty dramatically. The color of some of the larger labels puts me off for some reason.

I think it's a lovely map and with some fine tuning can become a solid piece of work.

Steel General
10-05-2009, 07:15 AM
Coming along nicely...

10-05-2009, 12:54 PM
I've displayed the picture on a different monitor this day and was very astonished, that the picture was really dark as Gandwarf mentioned. I will have to fix that.
That style is a bit abstract, so I will not add much details like chimneys etc, but I will play around with different roof textures and colors of the labels.
The challenge for me was to make the best of a computer generated city, that's why I posted both pictures.
@Gandwarf: It is a setting in the map generator to create an unfinished city wall. There it is a fun map with no background it leaves enough space for your own imagination. I immediately thought of german bureaucracy: The town council wanted a wall, spent a lot a money to build it and realizing at the end when it is nearly done, that two people doesn't want to sell their houses to get it finished. Yes, it's a bureaucracy campaign map!

10-05-2009, 01:35 PM
lol, nice explanation :)

(i imagine some suspicious housefires in the near future, lol)

10-06-2009, 09:47 PM
Wow, nice map!!!

10-06-2009, 10:23 PM
Very nice. Much better than my attempt at the Eneini style. You might make the towers' shadows longer than the wall shadow to indicate that they are taller than the wall. Also, look for Ascension's motion blur shadow technique that fills up the holes at the corners of the structures. I think he described it in the Oasis thread.

I would expect to see evidence of activity near the river. Since that's looks like the community's only water source, there should be trails leading to it from a variety of places.

Either Elmwood or Elmswood work in English.

10-07-2009, 09:01 AM
Thanks for all the good comments. I will post an update soon.

10-09-2009, 04:40 AM
Elmwood would be a more likely name in English, but Elmswood is certainly possible and actually gives it a bit more character. New Elmswood is unlikely to be hyphenated, however.

Most of my criticisms would be explaining why I wouldn't let a program design my town, so I'll skip that. Good for you to remember to add a graveyard, though. The obelisk would intrigue me if I were planning a visit.

It isn't too dark if you want a dark look. Overall, I like it. Artistic, while still abstract enough that it is clearly a map and not trying to be an aerial photograph. You could maybe do a little something to give the city wall some texture, though. It rather looks like concrete or even plastic.

A few clearly defined public buildings would help. There are a couple of larger buildings, but they don't otherwise seem special. I would expect a church or temple of some kind, probably a town hall. With the farming in Elmswood, I'd also expect a couple of barns. A couple of other buildings could be differentiated as basic industry: a smithy, a cobbler's shop, or the like.

10-09-2009, 04:54 PM
Thank you for all the hints and advice. I tried to follow them and "played" a bit with photoshop. The positive effect is (of the last months) that I have learned so much about that program, I never thought about.
There are still some points to improve. Here are the latest results...

10-13-2009, 03:50 PM
I like the last one (with the really visible grass texture) a lot!
Though I wonder, wouldn't the village make more use of the river?
How about a mill? or some kind of docks for river traffic?

Could use a ruined church near the top / next to river too =P
Ok, that one I just added because I'd love to use the map for my D&D campaign =)
I do hope thats allright though? (the church part was somewhat of a joke, though it might look interesting considering the inconsistant wall and such)

10-31-2009, 06:05 PM
Sorry for replying so late Imahilus,
but I was (and am) being busy in playing Fallout 3. Of course you can use this map in your campaign. I can even send you the psd file if you like it for modifiing.
Here is the final result. Not much added, just a few houses near the river and a heraldic figure. I read a lot about heraldry in the last week and it was very interesting.

10-31-2009, 07:04 PM
I like the feel of it. It's a little dark and a little "fuzzy" but I don't think that really hinders its useability - for gaming anyway. I'll suggest that the fonts are really bright and crisp next to the style of the map. You might want to tweak something to bring them more in line (or might not :) ).

I just want to add that something about the map makes the place feel a bit sinister. When my eyes fell on the graveyard I started thinking...

10-31-2009, 08:14 PM
Very nice - you should post to the finished maps topic now. I think this is very rep worthy.