Help: software and methods for quick small towns
Greetings to all. I have checked the software list already and the tutorials, but there are so many options it's hard to choose. The challenge: a children's book, much like an RPG GM's encyclopedia/world set. The theme is political, not fantasy. I need to create the maps of a few small towns and a somewhat larger capital (1000-1500 buildings approx.) Some coastal, other inland.
Now, the problem. I have Photoshop, and willing to purchase additional sw if necessary, though I don't like the add-on policy of the City Designer series. I read a bunch of tutorials, and tried to recreate them with more or less success. The "Fastest Town in the West" is a very nice solution and I'd be glad if I could get it done with it alone, but can't. I need to be able to put in some larger buildings like council, church, factories and train stations, and do it consistently with the houses (perspective, shadows etc), without each having the same roof. Also need apartment houses.
Most of the other tutorials create cities without distinguished buildings, rather just blocks. That's no good for me.
So I'd be very happy if someone could advise me on a way to explore, and preferably closer to the "generator" principle than everything hand-drawn. (I also need to work on the storyline itself, even though the maps are crucial.) I may have skipped some tuts due to the immense amount of knowledge accumulated here. Thanks in advance!