It COULD make sense. The problem is that for most people, it doesn't. I happen to be a farmgirl who grew up along the mississippi, so I knew of that one. Most people've not seen things that way. And your islands don't seem as much like hills, and being hills is what makes them make sense, so...
I think you should either:
A) Lose the islands
B) Make the islands follow the coast a bit more, and bring them closer together
C) Widen the river
Or leave it like it is
It's really a matter of personal preference, but, tbh, I wasn't saying that the other posts were *wrong*... just that there are exceptions. It's still not typical for most rivers.
Another suggestion for those islands: what I've noticed in all the examples so far given is that, no matter the size, location or number of islands, the river has a main channel and some smaller ones. The Mississippi actually shows the main channel sidestepping the islands. Perhaps you should just tweak the shores a bit to give it a clear main channel.
PS: There's also a type of waterway called a braided stream/river. Perhaps check out some images of them in Google Images to get an idea (but be aware that they occur in a very specific geographic range).
If you put islands in a river, any of several things could happen. The constraint is that if X cubic meters of water flow into and around the islands per second, X cubic meters per second must flow out the other side.
Originally Posted by feanaaro
First, the river could flood slightly in that area, or raise itself higher out of the banks. This is unlikely unless the river is descending at a fairly steep angle (and flowing quickly to begin with); on a flat river this scenario would have the water flowing briefly uphill.
Second, the river could become deeper in that localized area. Also unlikely; the islands would erode quickly.
Third, the water pressure could increase, but since these are rivers and not water pipes that won't happen.
Fourth, part of the river could go underground for a short distance, but if you ask me that seems awfully contrived.
Fifth, and most likely, the river will momentarily widen its course around the islands. If the islands are close to shore it may widen even more because it will not be so deep there.
Personally, I think it looks fine; it doesn't scream "this river is too narrow".
I think I will re-do the river, and maybe the entire terrain. Better to do it now before going further into the city development. I must also work on textures, to find something that works well both zoomed in and zoomed out.
I tweaked the river edges, some of the colors, and a few other things.
Hmmm... the wider river looks more plausible, but something is still off.
I think it's the islands... not sure if its the overall shape or what, but they feel disconnected to me?
In the *thumbnail*, and zoomed out, the river banks (and the definition of the hills) look smudged. Close up, they look really good Looks like your land continues, under the water.
Your islands don't have that look, but really, they *are* hills under the water... So I'm wondering if A) You can give them the same effect, and B) If the smudginess in the thumb bothers you at all.
Everything else looks really great, as far as I can tell.
I am not aware of a way in which the river banks could be "soft", so that there appear to be a continuous transition from land to water as it should be, and at the same time not look "smudged" when zoomed out.
My original idea with the islands (don't know if it makes sense geologically) was that they are like "spikes" from the underlying bedrock (like small mesas, not really, but more or less); so that the river flow eroded the surface soil but let them standing. Thus, the islands should have very steep banks, unlike the regular river fronts. Whether this reasoning hold or not, I am not sure I could get the same effect as the regular banks, there is not enough space around the islands for all the bevels at the size they are now.
I hope you don't mind, but I took the liberty of drawing on your map to illustrate roughly how I think the islands could be made to work better. I also got carried away, and started messing around with the hills (which look good, by the way, but for realism could be perhaps less circular).
I made the assumption that the river flows from right to left, as shown by the black arrow (it it doesn't, I think you might need to reconsider that tributary stream). As a result of my interventions, I also think the river may not be as wide as you had originally planned it, and I may have bulldozed over your village. Sorry about that. On the flip side, the river looks a bit more sinuous, which, in my opinion, helps realism. Hope this is helpful.
EDIT: I agree with Jalyha about the riverbanks. It does look good in the closeup, and I wouldn't worry about it too much for the thumbnail (except try to make it consistent at all points, including around the islands).
Last edited by TheHoarseWhisperer; 01-25-2014 at 11:36 PM.
I don't think that a small hill (roughly 2*2km, and maybe 150-200m high) could support 8 streams flowing to the rivers. For example, Rome is very hilly as it is well known, and yet no stream goes from the hills to the Tiber (plus, the entire region is not particularly rainy).
The river as you draw it looks indeed better, but it does not make sense either to have it so narrow – this is longer than the Nile and draws the watershed of a continent-sized area, though not a tropical one, so probably smaller than the Amazon – nor to have multiple islands so large, I think. I should probably try to get a better shape for the river, though I am finding difficult to obtain a good result. It would probably be easier if it were narrower, but it can't be.
Hate to contradict you feanaaro, especially about Rome, but I think the original city may have had streams among its hills. I studied Roman history a few years ago, and remember learning that the early settlers had problems with flooding (in the low areas) and drainage. The first villages were located in the hills as a result, and a major early project was the Cloaca Maxima. Any streams that may have existed then will be covered as the city expands. I am uncertain about whether there were any real rivers in early Rome, but I do know that London had numerous small rivers that have been subsequently buried by urban development. You might be surprised, is all I'm saying.
If your river is meant to be so large, I think I know the perfect example for you to work from. The Yenisei in northern Russia has a huge watershed, and numerous islands along its course. Try checking it out in GoogleEarth ( I just did, and recommend the area around 69-70 degrees N and 84-85 degrees E).