Introduction & Project Scope:
Hello Cartographers! I'm a tabletop GM who has mostly run campaigns set in fantasy or sci-fi settings. However my next game, called Vigil, is a superheroes campaign set in a fictional 1970s European metropolis. This is a new genre for me to be running, and on top of that I've found it exceedingly difficult to find resources for designing and creating a fictional "modern" city. After giving it some thought, I figured it couldn't hurt to turn to some expert mappers to see if they could help me bring my setting to life!
If you're interested in learning more about Vigil there is some initial flavor text on my Obsidian Portal campaign site... don't mind the mess, they just finished the first stage of their "Reforge" project, so things are a little screwy at the moment. There's also not a lot there yet, and it's mostly world-building material, but it's a start. Basically, the campaign I'm going for is something like a mix between X-Men and Batman: The Animated Series in terms of style and tone.
The game will be taking place chiefly in the city of Avalon, a fictional city occupying the same general area as WWII-era Berlin. Due to the cataclysmic event that ends the war and inadvertently creates all the "supers," Berlin is effectively leveled. Over the next 25 years a new British Empire annexes most of Germany and sets up a mini nation-state there, the capital of which is Avalon. Again, this is pretty high-concept stuff, there's some more information on the Obsidian Portal site, and I'm happy to get into more detail with anyone who is interested.
Long story short, what I need most is a map of the city. These are the details that I have hammered out so far:
As of 1970 (campaign start), the city is 85 sq mi, with 750,000 people and growing. The city is built over the ruins of old Berlin, and most likely uses existing natural waterways in its design. The city contains several districts; originally I thought five (Government, University, Upper-Class, Lower-Class, Business/Market), but this is absolutely up for debate and change. Honestly I don't know much about maps or their creation, so I'm a bit at a loss on how to describe what I'm looking for or really what is necessary to create a realistic city.
Here's an excerpt from my Campaign Contract where I talk about the setting/tone. Hopefully this will help get across some of my feelings and ideas:
As far as a visual tone, I'm imagining a noir, art deco style for Avalon. Think Rapture from Bioshock or the Paul Dini Gotham City from Batman: The Animated Series. Here are a few examples... Avalon is a relatively new city; in fact, in 1970, it is not even fully completed! Briefly, construction of Avalon begins in April 1951, and by 1960 local populace is already beginning to filter in. The ten years leading up to game start are spent building up the city’s districts... Where Vigil’s “tech level” is concerned, keep in mind that technology stagnated for a time as a result of the Havock. Therefore, even though the game is set in 1970, you should expect a tech level closer to that of the early 1960s: rotary-dial phones; big, rounded-rectangle cars; typewriters; the copy-machine is a brand-new product; trains, buses, airplanes, and zeppelins (because zeppelins are cool!); radio, vinyl records, black-and-white TV (though color is coming!), and film; newspapers and telegrams; Polaroid cameras; etc. No cordless phones, no cellphones, no internet, etc. In general, there are no computers, and even if they do exist they are primitive, exceptionally rare, most likely owned by governments, and completely alien to your characters.
Number of Maps:
-1 Full City Map (detail here is perhaps macro (regional/by district) instead of micro (streets/buildings)
-X# of District Maps; Detailed (depending on a number of things such the scope of the project/budget/time/etc., I may request additional maps that focus on specific districts that go to a more micro level of detail)
-I'd be grateful for something at least semi-professional if not better, seeing as I have zero talent for this.
-At least initially, the map would be used only online at my campaign site, though I could foresee circumstances under which I may want to print it out.
-300 dpi minimum, file format I leave to your preference or suggestion.
-I'm thinking full color, though considering the style and influence I think I could get away with a B&W map as well.
Remains with cartographer...
However, I'll copy this part from another thread: "These maps will not be published or reproduced for commercial gain by me. Thusly they will be for my personal use only. However, I do require written permission to reproduce the maps as needed for my personal use. Also, I would like permission to add in a name and building key as needed." For a tabletop game, being able to set markers for important landmarks and whatnot will be key, hence this second part.
I'm planning to begin the campaign sometime in the Spring of 2014. There's a ton of stuff left to do before my players and I are ready to go, so I can't really give a more specific deadline than that. That said, this map will be an incredibly important piece in the creation of this setting, so I'm willing to be flexible on deadlines if need be.
I know I can't expect something super-professional for free unless I'm the luckiest person on the Internet, so I'm coming into this with the expectation that money will probably change hands. That said, I have no idea what to expect in terms of payment, so this will be something that I'll have to hammer out with whoever is interested in the project. I can't promise big, big money, but I hope that we can work something out.
If you have further questions (because God knows I probably left out something vital), don't hesitate to ask or comment on this thread. If you're interested in working with me to bring Avalon to life, please contact me here on the Cartographers' Guild forum; I'm pretty sure I've made the requisite number of posts to be able to receive PMs.
Thank you so much for your patience with this mapping amateur (me!), and I hope that we can create something special for Vigil!