That looks pretty good, bro.
That looks pretty good, bro.
Cheers Big A.
Good Eye, Joe, Here is the reference I'm working from. I liked the Isle de France island in the Seine, so this is going to be Paris 'Fantasyfied'. The Hebrew university online map library has a stack of reasonably high res city maps of a cartographer called John Stockdale so I have a lot of reference material to try and emulate his look and feel. The real magic in these maps is getting the edge of the city line right.
All the main roads now completed. The fun begins! Working out where to put big negative spaces and large buildings and the like.
I've kind of figured out that if I keep treating this city in the abstract (like most of my maps, they are not for anything except for my own enjoyment), I'll never finish it. I've got to get personally involved in it, otherwise it will have no character, and I'll go off and do something else. So I thought I'd take a leaf out of my own book (literally) and mind map / splatter diagram the city, think of little stories in it and build up its personality that way. Also zooming in small and zooming out big to make sure the detail hangs with the whole (that's the theory). Hopefully all of these ideas will give stuff I can put into the city and have reasons for said stuff being there, and most importantly give me something to put on the map.
I've started with the wizard's enclave (self contained on a nice little island) and just made up little stories in my head about what it's like there,
So I looked at the wizard's enclave. Big Wizardy schooly thingy, I didn't want to go the way of Hogwarts, but something more Stephen Erickson 'Mazalan' dark fantasy with teeming populations and lots of plots and counter plots. So it's a Wizard school, but also a safe haven granted by the ruler (this is the Capital city) to Wizards where they form a political power base. Wizards are a secretive lot, so they have their enclave, but they're also a backstabbing bunch, so the really powerful ones live somewhere else (which gives me more locations to map - wizard houses in rich areas). I was also interested in the junior wizards. I thought it would be interesting that rather than being allowed to stay in the enclave, they had to live in digs (and they're poor). I liked the image of the acolyte wizard sitting in his garret overlooking the river at night, so I made the right hand side of the island a poor area (suggested by small, windy streets and the crinkly edge overhanging the river), the wizard population need servants etc so this gives them a ready supply in the same area. It's also nice to think of all the acolyte wizards going out drinking in some flea-pit tavern together and the locals, having lived there for a bit, although not mages themselves, know quite a bit about what wizards are about. This nicely defines the character of the Island to me as a self enclosed community - the powerful and poor.
To make ends meet the lower level wizards have a potions market where they sell minor potions to the city population (so there is interaction between the wizards and the population), but near enough to the Enclave where it can be easily controlled - this gave me the potion market square and a reason for it being there. I liked the idea of the Wizard's enclave having a tall tower that dominated the skyline of the city as a symbol of power, which gave me the big tower circle.
The enclave itself has the big tower surrounded by what might be a complex structure (twisted wizard minds = complex structure), the gardens and trees suggest a level of wealth.
I'm sorry to ramble on (there is nothing that bores me more solid than someone going into excruciating detail about their world building), but I thought I'd explain a bit how I'm approaching this project and how the worldbuilding part interacts with what I actually put down on the city map.
I'm thinking about font sizes (I've set 4 pt. as my minimum) as the map would be printed on A3 sized paper.
Anyway, all of this is just a peek into my head, now I'm approaching this project in a more disciplined fashion.
Pfft, quit being sorry, that's good stuff! And the map's looking great too :)
See? THIS is how cities are born (at least in MY head) if you have a solid story then you have reasons for stuff to be where/how it is. This is really great Rav and I'm eagerly watching :)
Well thought-out world-building, or in this case city socio-political-econo building, is always interesting. I like your ideas here, man - sounds pretty fun. Lots of opportunity for stories, episodes, game-play - especially if you're a fence, assassin, thug, or other type criminal. I play paladins so that sort of leaves me out, though :) I'd get toasted in a hive like this. Good stuff good stuff.
Oh..sorry I was just thinking aloud there... :)
I love it, this one makes me want to design a city. As if I did not have enough hobbies! Curses! *shakes angry fist towards the sky*
Uh anyway - did you ever update this?
Too much r/l stuff on at the moment, bartmoss...when it's all over I'll come back to it...promise!