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Thread: Sarvonnas, the River Jewel

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  1. #1
    Guild Novice Felonius's Avatar
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    Wip Sarvonnas, the River Jewel

    So, around a year ago I posted my first city map here for critique . . . aaaand it was really bad. So bad I wonder what possessed me to think it was even worth critiquing.

    So this is my second attempt at creating a deep woods / river setting city map. And I'm much happier with it so far, but am wondering what else I can do to improve it.

    Things I know probably need fixing already:

    -Tree line brush strokes "tell" around certain edges
    -The interior city needs more "pizazz"--parks, landmarks / monuments, etc.
    -Some of the housing around the castle walls needs to be re-done.
    -The larger "estate" type buildings just aren't working well quite yet. Need more hand-finishing touches, methinks.
    -Needs farmland on the outskirts, probably in the south-west corner.
    -The whole "docks" area is still a massive work in progress. The warehouse / shipping buildings are out of scale, among numerous other things.

    What say ye, Cartographer's Guild? How can I polish up the River Jewel?

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Guild Adept loogie's Avatar
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    I looks really good, I like the design of the city as well...

    The biggest thing for me is the one-tone of the trees, it's fairly easy to see that they are just a layer on top of say, the map relief... since they are all the same shade (or at leat the tints are random and don't follow the hills etc)... Shading the tree layer (i think just a "multiply" layer with hand drawn shading?) could bring those tree's into line, and have them flow with the landscape...

    Other then that, I'd suggest modifying the rooftops to be multiple shades as well, just slightly different random tints if possible, it's a bit washed with the same colour at the moment. The warehouses have a hard shadow on them too, leaving it like that would make it look like they're taller than the walls, which would probably not be correct... A lot of the shadows could use some changing really.. again I think modifying shadow height (might be a LOT of work, I dunno) for the buildings would give it that realistic look.. but definitely i think the castles shadow should be deeper, since castles are usually taller than their walls, at least their turrets are... as for city sights, I think a city that size would probably have a few plaza's, I'm going to say... 3? one major and 2 minor? it's a pretty big city so I think it would warrant such...

    Your on track for a great map tho.. keep it up!
    Photoshop, CC3, ArcGIS, Bryce, Illustrator, Maptool

  3. #3
    Guild Novice Felonius's Avatar
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    Great suggestions, thanks loogie!

  4. #4
    Guild Journeyer Facebook Connected Joshua's Avatar
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    If you're going to add in plazas, it looks like there's a centralish area with a fountain or something similar that might be great for the "major" one Loogie mentioned. Placements are definitely up to you, but I'd also consider a small one by the docks/wharf area. Since the city is on the river, I'd make use of it. Is it near the ocean as well, or upstream? If it's near the ocean, it might be a trade port, so you might want to develop even more city along the river. If it's further upstream, I think what you have is great.

    I love that the city isn't predominantly grid-based, but yet it has at least one or two really big, "main" streets. It looks random enough to be natural and yet not so random that it looks haphazard and just thrown together. I'm envious of your street layout abilities.

  5. #5
    Guild Journeyer thebax2k's Avatar
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    Cool map Felonius, I really like the natural feeling layout and the "sprawl" of the city. Some thoughts about how to spruce up the city based on what I know about history and urban planning: 1. Roads. I see the two roads coming over the river into the city, but I do not see any roads coming into the city on the left bank. A city the size of Sarvonnas (looks like several thousand at least) is located at the middle of a nexus of roads, there should be roads coming into the city from all directions. 2. Defense. I see the original wall that Sarvonnas grew out from, but what type of country is it located in--pacified, frontier, civilized? If you have deep woods near the city than there is the potential for bandits if the city is not near the frontier. If the city is near the frontier or the edges of civilization, then there definitely should be some type of defenses to protect Sarvonnas from marauding humanoids, etc. At a minimum, you might want to think of a ditch or wooden palisade to protect the "new" part of the city. 3. Defense Part Deux. Why do you have the gates set back from where the bridges land on the left bank? Bridges in medieval times were expensive undertakings (given that construction was done with simple tools, pulleys, human or oxen/horse powered cranes, and human or oxen/horse powered turnstiles). None of the steam or diesel powered heavy construction equipment used in modern construction was available. So bridges tended to either be in the middle of towns or heavily defended if they were on the perimeter of them. Although you don't want it washed away, the curtain wall on the left bank should be closer to the bridges with gates on both sides or at least a bastion with a gate on the right bank for the northern bridge.

    Curious to see how this turns out. Good luck.

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