This thread is all Gandwarf's fault. he's too impatient, even for me, lol.
Ok, while testing out Ascension's city/town tutorial, I've been keeping notes as I go this time.
One of my biggest problems has always been the background and history of my current project. Sometimes it'll be as simple as "what kind of things have happened to this map since it was printed", other times, as you're about to see, i put WAY too much thought into things But without having an idea of the history of the place, I tend to lose focus and move on to something else (i've got at dozens of started pieces for different techniques, abandoned because I really had no idea where to take them). In this case, i really wanted to do the town tutorial and see where it led - building up the river was a lot of fun, and it was a sense of wonder watching as it built up - especially considering there are no pics in the tutorial yet so i had no idea what things were going to look like until I followed the steps And I've been going out of my way to NOT look at other city maps while I work at this, i want to see how much of my own style develops without having any images to compare to..
But then we get to the point where we lay out the town, and figure out what to put in it. And that's where I got stumped. Never having laid out a town before.. how the heck do I do it. So the tutorial got put on hold while I did some research and made working notes, and finally I decided to use one of the small towns I used to live in for inspiration. The final version will be nothing at all like the real place, of course, but I am including elements. I also put a lot of thought into WHY there is a town at this location in the first place, and why it's laid out the way it is. I eventually decided to build up the town in stages (for the planning, not the map itself). What was in the area when the town first came into existence, what the locals were doing that caused it to happen, and then as it became more established and prosperous, what added in and what external influences came into effect. I built it up in 4 stages, and that will end up impacting the final vision of the town.
This might be overkill, but I actually wrote out a brief history of the town, plus what buildings would exist at each stage - and this led me to placing the primary industries first, and I'll fit everything else around them.
I'm going to post my working notes for the history, to show you why the town is turning out the way it is (i would ask if anyone's interested, but typically the answer has been yes to that kind of question so I'll go out on a limb for this one)
I just realized how long it is, so I'll do the history notes in the next post.
To tide you over, here's the town so far. (the buildings on the left are generic template buildings so i can duplicate them and move them into place instead of making new ones all the time - labelled according to layer to make it easier to figure out what i'm putting where) The notes up top were to help determine a few things (smelly industries go downwind etc). And Nirth.. well, my excuse is that's the local dialect coming into play (or i can't be bothered to fix the typo, take your pick lol)