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Thread: A Steam Punk Teutonic Dwarf City

  1. #11
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Default City WIP

    I have downloaded the trial of Adobe Illustrator but I couldn't make head nor tail of it. I hope Drawplus is easier to get started with.

    I wanted to begin this project so I have gone ahead in Photoshop while I experiment with the vector programs.

    Function over form is the idea at the moment, although I am planning to add some decorative art like Ravs has done in his "city madness"
    I made a fill layer and then erased the non-building parts. Followed by a find edges filter, 1px drop shadow and a 1px black stroke. It was pretty quick and easy to get this far. I think about 90-120mins so far. The labeling will take some time but the map should be quite usable by the weekend.
    I want to name the streets of the main grid as 1st street, 2nd street etc and have intersecting avenues numbered as well. I will give the alleys names to suit their uses.

    Any of you language buffs out there have an idea for pseudo Germanic-dwarven words for "big street" and "small street"
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Steam Punk Teutonic Dwarf City-dundervaarg1.jpg  
    Last edited by Aval Penworth; 07-27-2010 at 09:52 PM.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

  2. #12
      Gidde is offline
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    Good start! I feel your pain with the vector programs; I have yet to master the learning curve on any of them, and I've tried Illustrator, Inkscape and Xara. One of these days I'm going to bite the bullet and get over my vector block

  3. #13
      ravells is offline
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    Looking really good, Aval. If you do decide to get Drawplus X4, it has an incredibly good autotrace function. You can import your buildings layer into drawplus and it will trace the image into vector for you.

  4. #14
      Katto is offline
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    Looks good so far! From the cliche of dwarves being excellent miners you should consider to avoid a "chaotic" street layout. For the names you could label the map with a rune font to avoid creating lots of new words.

  5. #15
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katto View Post
    Looks good so far! From the cliche of dwarves being excellent miners you should consider to avoid a "chaotic" street layout. For the names you could label the map with a rune font to avoid creating lots of new words.
    Do you think that the layout is chaotic? I thought it was quite orderly, with neccessary variations due to building useage.
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  6. #16
      Katto is offline
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    No, I don't think it is chaotic. Orderly, angled shapes like cubes or pyramids mixed to new forms as buildings. That's how I imagine such a city.

  7. #17
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    For naming the streets, I can't just use a rune because I need to say the word in game play. So far I have come up with 1st Strad, 2nd Strad etc for the East West streets and 1st Aven, 2nd Aven etc for the North South Streets.

    @ Katto : so is there a part of the layout that you think does not work?
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  8. #18
      Crayons is offline
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    According to wikipedia, Tolkien's Dwarf language, Khuzdul, sounds much like Hebrew. You could try a English-Hebrew phonetic free web translator and then kinda muck about a bit with the results?
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  9. #19
      Katto is offline
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    I don't know the history, setting etc. of your campaign, but your wip intro sounded very promising. I even don't know the scale of the map, but some of the clusters look very detailed, so I think it is a very big city.
    Here are some of my thoughts:
    - I'm not a fan of the american city layout, but here it makes sense and fits to the setting
    - I miss the spontaneous WOW effect so far. The shape of the city could also be an xy city and it is not necessary in a higher technology level to place it next to a river. So there it is a dwarven city it could be completely built into a mountain (steampunk Moria) or just a part of it and the other outside.
    - Have you ever played Sim City? I mention it, because you wrote of a steam railway system. Try to implement a railway into a finished town layout that's fun.
    - With a high technology level the city expands in 3 dimensions. Not just x,z also in height. You could map e.g. a 3 level city: ground level (poor ones, because of gravity), mid level (50-100 meter, workers, transit system etc.), upper level (100-150 meter, elite, parks, art, monuments etc.)
    - some important places can't be generic and should be drawn individually
    - the style you chose is an abstract one. This works fine for medieval societies, but I have a problem to imagine it in a steampunk setting. So much is possible there, may it be the transportation system or architectural wonders.

    Ah, and your question: have a look at the most detailed cluster you have created. Without a scale the city must be enormous and this level of detail is the base for the other blocks.

  10. #20
    Guild Artisan Aval Penworth's Avatar
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    @ Katto The city is very big. 50% Dwarves, 40% Human, 10% Gnome population. The city has already been introduced in the campaign, so I am not going to be able to change the layout too much or move it to a mountain side.

    The shapes are meant to represent city blocks, rather than individual buildings. With that in mind I have de-cluttered the busier blocks. The walls are 100 feet thick in some places, but there are many rooms and passages inside them. The main gates are so massive that the are very rarely opened. People gain access through the many smaller gates in the side. The small side gates are 20-40 feet off the ground and the access ramps and elevators would be withdrawn if there was a serious attack. The city straddles a 300' deep canyon. Ocean capable steam ships dock on the river banks 300' below the city and giant elevators operate night and day to carry goods up and down the cliffs. Much of the power for the dock machines in generated by piping river water into underground chambers where specially placed heat emitting minerals create steam.

    I imagined that there would also be an undercity and mines below that. I imagined the buildings to be quite tall and also have several floors below ground as well. There would be a lot of steam release points in alleys and on rooftops. So as you travel on the ground level it would be noisy and smoggy. Visibility would be quite low in winter, making for interesting adventure opportunities. Rich folk get about in air balloons, and ornithopters or rotocopters.

    I am going to put in an underground rail system that will also run across the canyon through the center of the bridges. The ground level map will just show where the station access ramps and travellators are located.

    As cool as it would be to draw all the marvels of the city, there is no way I could reasonably represent them on a single map. So I am going for usability.

    @Crayons. Thanks, I did not know that about the Hebrew base. But it is already long established in my campaign world that these folk sound German. Still I can use your advice ..I guess I will google 'phonetic free web translator' and see what comes up.

    I have however decided to make this a diplomats map which has been translated and has a few clumsy turns of phrase and spelling.

    Latest wip is attached. Hopefully this more clearly displays what I am trying to achieve.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails A Steam Punk Teutonic Dwarf City-dundervaarg2.jpg  
    Last edited by Aval Penworth; 07-29-2010 at 12:21 AM.
    Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go..

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