[WiP] Commission - Town of Beruak
I've been commissioned to do another town, and the commissy (commissioner? commissionante? commissionary? ) has kindly allowed me to post a WIP thread here as it develops. The town is built on the banks of a pretty big river, about 200 feet (60 metres) wide, flowing south along the edge of a hilly and mountainous country to the west (hence the feeder stream). The "named buildings" are the ones in black, while the rest of the town is in 75% grey. I'm thinking of putting the town walls, except for the named gates, into 75% grey as well.
Now, the purpose of the map is for a fantasy game map, but I'm going for clarity with this one and I hope the style of the map is going to match the theme closely enough ... it'll be a bit of a challenge, I suppose.
The scale is 1:1200 at 300 dpi ... so this version should be about 1:4800.
Comments, as always, very welcome.
I like the clear line, the only thing that sounds weird for me is the mixture of German/English for the Freiherrschaften.
Yes ... that's me being naughty with the filler names. I don't have all the names for the labels yet, so there may be some sillyness here and there
You might want to clip the contours where they pass through the urban areas - human intervention in the natural grades tends to render contours meaningless.
Is there really a 100 foot (10 story) drop along the north bank of the river in the city?
That strikes me as suprising given how little change there is in the bank of the stream and river - the cliff suggests hilly terrain (with a change in grade and a strong current) while the constant el 1425 river bank suggests a flatter terrain and sluggish current.
A closer examination of the contours suggests that they should be renumbered as 2 or 4 foot intervals rather than 25 foot intervals. At 25' intervals (and 200' for the river width), the flattest areas on your map are roughly the slope of a handicapped ramp (8%) while natural slopes tend to fall closer to 1-2% for flat areas. Most of your city is built on land steeper than a flight of stairs and will require extensive terracing.
You might want to change the fill on the named buildings to make them stand out even more (although I must admit a strong personal preference for shading over hatching that biases my outlook on 'old' style maps).
Given your other work, I am sure that the final piece will be beautiful.
I hope you don't mind my nit picking the technical details.
Last edited by atpollard; 01-14-2012 at 10:21 AM.
Well, atpollard seemed to cover the elevation issues and gave me a few insights I hadn't really considered before (thanks for that). The only one that struck me being the land being mostly flat in real cities generally, but not here. Other thing is there are only two gates and the one on the west side seems a bit odd. But could just be a quirk of the city so that is that. No apparent buildings outside of town though.
Apart from that, very nice and clean style. The map looks great. I think the fill on the buildings is fine myself but the outlines of some of them seem a lighter grey than the others? I don't know why that is.
@atpollard - well, I agree it's not completely flat. I was going from my experience of terrain and medieval towns, which are mostly Alpine or Mediterranean, where 100' drops aren't really that unusual. I agree about clipping the town contours though. Hmm. On checking, it might be a bit much - 60' feet would be closer to the 20 metres I had in mind. On the other hand - it is a fantasy town and a bit more contour does make it more ... impressive to visualise. It's at approximately the elevation of Zürich and even Zürich is in a depression that drops approximately 600' from the heights on either side.
I haven't added contours to the river (indicating a drop) because it's gentler than would be visible at this scale, while the valley it has carved is quite visible. The town was built on an outcropping of harder bedrock that served as a natural dam for a long time, before the river broke through eventually (maybe it was a terminal morraine?). possibly I should narrow the river there ... Anyway, while the terrain is mostly rolling and not so steep, defense needs mean that a steeper location is better suited to settlement. Plus I think stair-case streets look really neat
<-- is this approximately the incline that would result?
@Larb - the West Gate is built right on top of the stream, doubling as a bridge and culvert, barring entrance along the stream. I'm going to have to indicate that some more. Hmm. Maybe even carve out a moat along that wall, or something.
Some of the buildings are a lighter shade of grey because they are going to be unlabelled it's just so I can tell them apart at the drawing phase.
Thanks for the thoughtful comments!
Great job on the criticism guys!
Looks wonderful as usual Luca!
And an update. My flu's going away, so I'm getting back to work slowly. I've rearranged the terrain a bit, added the labels, added a moat ... the hatched areas at right are where I'm going to slot in some descriptive elements and a regional map (more or less). The light green border is where I'm going to put a decent border. I've kept several of the vicious gradients, because I think a decent medievalish fantasy city works well with a few cliffs in the middle .
I'm really liking this. There's some very evocative places and names in there, which is what I really dig in a fantasy city. I want to know what Verdeek's up to, and who's in charge of the army, and what the view's like from Longbridge.
Another awesome Lukc production...can't wait to see the finished product.
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