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Thread: City Design by Journal Entry -Reboot!-

  1. #1
    Guild Adept loogie's Avatar
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    Wip City Design by Journal Entry -Reboot!-

    Ok.. well, I don't have a whole heck of a lot of time to map at the moment, but I'm still itching to get some creativity out there... so I'm going to attempt to retry a concept for organically designing a city by using the characters visions of the city to build it... My last attempt started off well, but became pretty overwhelming pretty quickly.. plus I wasn't quite happy with the setting... My realm idea has grown up, and I have more of a feel of how it comes together, but really as far as a geography or city design I have nothing...

    Here is the thread of the original attempt, Attempt 1

    I'm happy to see that at least someone was sad I stopped working on it


    Now however I'm tasked with trying to figure out how I can streamline the process, and possibly still allow others to post (like i did in the first attempt) but not rely on them continuing to post (or even just waiting for their next post before moving on)... I found that was the hardest bit, having people posting at different intervals, its very hard to keep it all in-line without ending up waiting (and thus forgetting) about the process all together..

    The premise is simple.. to build a city, from the ground up, not only defining its streets, it's places, and people, but forming history and depth as we go... Think about watching those specials on the History channel where they mention a collective of journal entries about a certain event... the concept of multiple takes of a certain occasion helps paint a full picture... This is the idea i'm trying to capture here...

    As I figure it, I can go about the same way as I started before.. starting with a small scene, or a starting point... I think this time I will start small, and how many cities are traditionally started, with a focused building to cause people to start building near it... a saw mill, or a church, or a hotel... even just a cluster of farms.. not too sure yet.

    I will give a description of the world and the area, it's surroundings and such.. and describe any current characters involved... Then I will leave the floor open for those who wish to join. If you wish to be part of this I ask that you choose a character... either from the open list I will keep up to date, or by creating your own immigrant. You will then begin posting as them. I will post updates about whats going on in the city.. party by working with what other posters have said, and party to try to move the city along the paths I think are best suited... You are welcome to post as little or as often as you wish, but try to keep in tune with the current position of the city... Upon creation your character will be PART of the city, even if you only make one journal entry... If you don't mention them again their fates are up to me, and I will decide how they go about their lives in the way your entry identifies... Generally, I think the best way to do this would be for me to post an event or update... and then give you a chance to post an entry if you wish...

    Conflicts will be resolved in a first come first served basis... that means if you are the first to mention the object in question, you can decide on the outcome... Of course for a large conflict the majority rules; and also I have the complete and final say if there is something I want changed... but I doubt I'll excercise that right, I prefer unexpected creativity

    I will post when I can, and I will try to draw maps as we go, capturing some of the historical occassions of the city's growth...

    If anyone has any other suggestions about how I should go about this, I'd love to hear them... this is an idea I think could really create something special, but I'm at a loss about some of the finer details..

    What say you, cartographers of the realm!?
    Last edited by loogie; 03-08-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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  2. #2
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    I think this is an amazing idea and I can't wait to get started. I'm not the best writer but I would enjoy submitting ongoing entries for a character.

    I will try to keep an eye on this thread and as soon as I see the opening and the character list I will start writing!

  3. #3
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    Go for it!

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    Guild Journeyer Sular's Avatar
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    I'm intrigued by this idea and I'd like to assist if I can.

    Edited to Add: What are you views on letters as well as journal entries for this project? I could see letters from immigrants and travelers to their contacts, relations, and friends back home might be interesting as well.
    Last edited by Sular; 03-09-2012 at 05:30 AM.

  5. #5
    Guild Adept loogie's Avatar
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    I'm open to really any sort of communication that would help flesh out the city... the end result I would like to have is a decently thought out city with an organic feel, and loads of content that allows you to see the roots and history of how and why the city developed the way it did... I originally got the idea when I lived in England.. for those of us North Americans who see pretty much any city in England, Europe, or old North American settlement for that matter... they aren't exactly designed... they "sprout" as a result of all the factors that makes the city what it is... Other more modern cities are usually planned from the get-go.. which has a much more mechanical feel to it.. In the old days I'm sure there was even less emphasis on sticking with a "city plan"... I want to see those winding alleyways, the almost polished cobblestone streets, and I want to be able to have an idea WHY they are that way... This is really the best idea I had about reaching this objective.

    It's one thing for someone to start by planning the end result... its an entirely different experience starting at the beginning and working to the end...

    As proof that I'm not all talk.. I've done a quick little drawing in inkscape of our starting point...

    Name:  Fort.png
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    a newly built wooden fort... There will be more locational and descriptive info to follow, but this fort has been built to protect the (at that time) frontier reaches of the realm. The only other real population are 2 families who have been living the land for a few years... Recently valuable metal deposits have been found down stream of this area, and many believe the mountains close to the north are where these deposits come from... The fort is meant to guard the pass from the not uncommon raids from the goblins and orcs that make their homes in the mountain caves. As of yet I believe I will begin with the arrival of the owner of the trade depot, who will be the first "resident" to set up shop. besides him, there will be 3 or 4 soldiers on rotation in the fort, and the nearby fontier familys who live the land.

    The actual posting will soon follow!
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    Guild Novice Facebook Connected David Corsalini's Avatar
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    I'll be following this post very closely!

  7. #7
    Community Leader Gracious Donor Lukc's Avatar
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    Actually, the "organic feel" you're referring to is often a reflection of the strength and size of authority in a region, of the urbanistic precepts (or lack thereof) of the polity, of the economic and cultural base of the settlement, and so forth and so forth. For example, many European cities that were founded by the Romans were actually laid out on a very strict grid system, but the subsequent collapse of central power and the rise of the independent, walled city mutated the layout.

    I would suggest, as a starting point, the terrain. Perhaps even a regional map, where we then determine where the new city shall be built. Then the questions follow: who is building it? how? how many people are there? what technologies do they have? what is their economic base? what is their culture?

    Based on your wooden fort, I would guess a rather primitive, barbarian culture. Perhaps orcs or hobgoblins.

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    I've been thinking about journal entries all morning and I think I'd like to do a town Smith.

    I do have a few questions. How are things technologically? How much magic? What about faith?

    Lastly, is there a well? If not, how far is it to fresh water? If there is fresh water is it a river, a lake, a spring?

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    I've got my first entry read, working on the second. Just as soon as I have those details I can edit them and move forward!

  10. #10
    Guild Adept loogie's Avatar
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    LOL great to see such enthusiasm! Lukc, your starting points were all things I was planning on giving, so that works out well... The drawing is just a quick sketch in inkscape, so it might not look how it'd actually be, it's meant to be just a small tower made from logs (due to the speed in which they wanted it built), small squat, with dirt and wood walls, probably only about 10-12 feet high, with access to the roof for watching... it doesn't really need to be one of those factions, i'd like it to be himan, but no need for them to be primitive, just a preliminary fort that can be upgraded/built upon later.
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