So far all I've got with my first map are the geographical features. Could I get some feedback and also some ideas as to where are the kind of places cities would realistically be placed in the map. I know between the big river fork is a good place, but not sure where else.
Important crossroads of trade routes
Fords and bridges across major rivers
Below important mountain passes
In case of endemic conflict - well defended places
Places with good natural harbors
Sources of valuable raw materials (flint, gold, iron, star diamonds, soul cucumbers, whatever :))
There's usually one route that's the best from point A to point B, sometimes natural barriers will mean that multiple routes from multiple points follow the same route for a certain distance - that's an obvious trade route calling out for settlements and points of control to develop.
Hope that helps!
Well...how big is the scale of this map? If it's all drained by one big river, I'm picturing something the size of the Amazon basin here -- as if you took South America and snipped off everything south of a line between the southern end of Peru and São Paulo. Is that about right?
If so, I'd say you would definitely end up with cities on that series of big bays in the south, probably several -- maybe one at the west-facing one, one or two on the biggest bay there and either the peninsula to its south or the island south of that, and one on that protected peninsula with the big mountain range to its north.
City at the main fork as you said, plus I'd put one on each of the two major forks upstream of that, and one at the mouth.
There is a protected valley in that big mountain range, also seems like a good location, plus maybe something along the length of that river.
Possibly also one on the east side near that island, and another at the east-facing bay guarded by the high mountains. Although...why is the huge west-flowing river draining that whole continent without any mountain range to raise the eastern side? I can't think of anywhere in the real world where a river drains a whole continent without there being a consistent difference in height from one side to the other -- the Andes, the Rockies, the Himalayas. If this were my map I might raise that whole right side of the continent.