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Thread: Demera city map

  1. #1
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Wip Demera city map

    Hi folks,

    as I couldn't find help anywhere else, I will now show this map to your experienced eyes Thanks to Eilathen for encouragement

    This is Demera, the capital of an egypt-like country in Alvarania, my fantasy world. I'm not really satisfied with this map, but have no idea why. Well, I suppose more details would make it better, but somehow I'm quite uninspired this time o.O

    Short explanation of the city: The inner ring contains palace and houses of the upper class. All temples are built in a way which makes them belong to the inner as well as to the outer circle. The free space to the south-east of the inner circle is a fairground(?), the western quarter of the town is where the dead are ... eh... kept in houses like the ones of the living people.
    For everyone who speaks german, you may read more here: http://www.schattenherz.net/drachenb...graphie/demera

    Demera city map-demera.jpg

    I would appreciate any suggestions concerning style and contents

    Greetings,
    Schattenherz

  2. #2
      arsheesh is offline
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    Hey there Schattenherz, welcome to the Guild! Looks good so far, but since you're asking for advice, here's my 2c. The blur that you've got going on the docks looks sort of funny. Perhaps you meant to give the impression that the docks were somewhat submerged, but nonetheless the faded blur still doesn't quiet look right. In addition, the grunginess to my eyes could be toned down a bit so as not to be too distracting. I'd also try adding some more texture and/or ripples to the river to give it a sense of depth. Otherwise this piece looks pretty good.

    Cheers,
    -Arsheesh

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      Ascension is offline
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    I'm just pleased as pie to see southeast lighting. The canals seem a little off but I understand why they were done that way, no ideas to do it any better. Looks good to me so, nice job, man. Just need a scale so that we can tell distances.
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      ravells is offline
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    Hi there, for me the street pattern within the city blocks is unconvincing (it looks too random and not man made) - it looks like you have created a rectangular brush and drawn the buildings with that - most of the buildings have exactly the same x/y rectangular proportions. I think the size difference between the main streets and the smaller streets is too big so it looks a bit unnatural. Cities are very hard to look convincing. I've spent the last 10 years looking for short cuts, but have yet to find any which really do the job properly.

    Take a look at many of the really good city maps here (for example A2area's map: Sheinar) and see how they deal with building distribution, street sizes and negative space.

    p.s. check the link in my sig about building fantasy cities...which may or may not be of help.

  5. #5
      Larb is offline
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    I agree about the piers. It looks too much like a fade rather than the effect you are going for (which I believe is a sloped pier descending into the water). You need a harsher line where the pier breaches the water's surface.

    About the street layout - I have similar trouble making mine look convincing too. The map itself looks awesome though, it's really well crafted and clear. I like the style a lot.

    The only other thing is there appears to be a slope down just beyond the river within the confines of the city. I dread to think what happens on the rare occasions that the river bursts it's banks.

  6. #6
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    Hi,

    thanks for your comments, guys! I really appreciate them

    I will try your suggestions, Arsheesh, they sound convincing. Thank you for pointing out what to do about the docks, Larb, for that would have been my next question
    The city is protected by a dam just behind the harbor. Is that what you thought to be a slope?

    @ravells: maybe that's just the point why I don't like the outcome of the map. Though I like some randomness in placing the buildings, it may be too much here. I will play around with some ideas I had right now and show the results here, so you may help decide which is most convincing. Thanks for your critique!

    Schattenherz

    edit:
    What do you think? I tried to give the houses more different sizes and making them more aligned with the streets. Better now, or didn't I get the point?

    Demera city map-demera_haeuser01.jpg
    Last edited by Schattenherz; 07-21-2011 at 11:01 AM.

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      Yandor is offline
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    I think the newer ones seem to blend better, but I was thinking about it... And its a smaller thing I guess, but up in the top corners of the map, you only have the "pattern/color" nothing else really to fill the space (if that makes sense) I checked on the Nile river on google maps, just to make sure my suggestion I was going to give had some credibility and when I looked, they had Hills/Mountain-ish looking terrain right up to the edge of the nile river. So having altering terrain leading up to the city or water could also be an idea to add to it (maybe even sand dunes).
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    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    My only critique (on a otherwise really nice piece), is that I think the shadows on the city walls are a little heavy and dark. No big deal really, just my 2 cents worth.

    Keep up the good work.
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  9. #9
    Guild Apprentice Schattenherz's Avatar
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    You're right, Yandor, at least some rocks would make it look more interesting/realistic. Thanks
    I will play around with the shade of the walls, Steel General, maybe you're right.

    Thank you all, I'm quite overwhelmed by your nice and useful words

  10. #10
      ravells is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schattenherz View Post
    Hi,
    What do you think? I tried to give the houses more different sizes and making them more aligned with the streets. Better now, or didn't I get the point?

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Much, much better. In my humble view if the basic structure of the city is unconvincing, no amount drop shadow or colour is going to fix that. Get the structure right first and then have fun with the colours and textures etc. Don't forget streets can be both positive and negative space, depends on what's around them. You can suggest that by extending street lines where there are no buildings on either side.

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