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Thread: City of Kastraal

  1. #1
      Philtros is offline
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    Wip City of Kastraal

    Hello everyone!

    This is my first city map-making project. I am currently in the middle of the creation and I'm in need of some inspiration!

    I used a few tutorials to create it, as I have absolutely no past history with arts, especially map making. I wanted to post it here as there's a LOT to do and I feel there's already a LOT that should be improved with the map, and I am eager to have a few comments, as only my wife has seen it until now.

    I tried hard to create trees. I wish to know how you guys feel about them so far. I used a tutorial but I'm not quite sure yet how I feel about the way I create the trees around the city...

    Here are the things I want to implement:
    - A cemetery («Cimetière des anciens» on the map, in french)
    - A lone manor onto a small hill («Communauté de l'Erthiault» on the map, in french)
    - Gate entrances (one in the west, and one in the south east)
    - A merchant port with a few ships («Vieux Port de Kastraäl» on the map, in french)
    - farmer fields (outside the gates)

    City of Kastraal-kastraal_1.4.jpg

    Anyways. I am open to constructive criticism, and to any and all comments there is!

    In the meantime, I will be working on the map and update the posts here with new versions of it.

    Edit: Oh!! And I forgot to tell what I used to create the map.

    - Software used : Photoshop CS6
    - I used this tutorial for the trees
    - I used Theses brushes for some buildings
    Last edited by Philtros; 08-17-2014 at 06:37 PM.

  2. #2
      ditberlin is offline
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    Hello Philtros,
    I think your map is very good for a first attempt and I encourage you to continue it. Just a suggestion, but think a legend would be very helpful. I am nouveau myself and will start by checking out the tutorial. Once I get the hang of things, I'll try to remember to come back to your thread and offer any help I can.
    Salutations,

  3. #3
      Vellum is offline
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    Take a look in the albums section of the gallery pulldown. search those out who's style you like and try their techniques, good start for sure. Keep at it. have some rep

  4. #4
      Philtros is offline
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    Hey! Thanks guys!

    @Vellum, I'll be sure to check it out soon!

    Here is an update on the map!! :

    City of Kastraal-kastraal-3.7.jpg

    As you can see, I decided to cut off some land, as I felt I needed more sea water. I might be thinking about making a small island to the east, with a bridge connecting it to the city (perhaps putting the «Orc Ghetto» there? Similar to the slave prison in Dragon Age 2?) I added a lot more trees, two entrances and some towers. I tried to create a training complex for the anti-mages guards («Gardes d'Horus»). I might move the «Communauté de l'Erthiault» OUTSIDE the city (thinking about making a big hill, a manor on top of it, and lots of trees all around it, with a metalic gate surrounding the perimeter). I need to start making plow lands too. I really don't know where to start for that though. I'll have to check some tutorials for that!

    @ditberlin: Perhaps you're right, I should think about making a legend instead.
    Last edited by Philtros; 08-31-2014 at 12:37 AM.

  5. #5
      Philtros is offline
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    City of Kastraal-kastraal-3.9.jpg

    New update!

    These are what I'm thinking about doing soon:
    - that little «prisoners island» in the east, connected to the main city with a long bridge.
    - those plow lands (this will come much later, still moving stuff around!)
    - create a «Legend» instead of names all around the place. I'm thinking of a scroll-like legend, as I have seen in some maps. Many scroll brushes are free to use (with credits) on Deviant art, might look into it...
    - that cemetery, anyone have a good example of how it should look from a satellite view?
    - A port. Thinking of creating a port similar to Magnimar's in Pathfinder...
    - A public place (you know... like somewhere to hang people. Public execution. Public annoucement. Fun government stuff right?)
    - A castle (with a «rich people» place!)


    What do you guys think so far? Any comments for a beginner like myself? Suggestions?

  6. #6
      Philtros is offline
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    City of Kastraal-kastraal-4-1.jpg

    - I kept the names on areas I haven't started yet.
    - The ghetto is now on an island, heavily guarded.
    - Created two better entrances (I think)

    Work to do :
    - The harbor;
    - The cemetery;
    - The nobles area (with a castle);
    - Two bazaars;
    - Industrial area (wood & Iron);
    - River giants area (northwest);
    - Plow lands / farmers around the city (optional? I could surround the city with forests...)

  7. #7
    SJS
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    I'm just wondering about the scale of things... If the small shapes are individual buildings, it seems like the temples are really enormous by comparison. Also the major roads would seem to be on the large size. Of course, I might be misconstruing what the small shapes represent. What's the scale?

  8. #8
      Philtros is offline
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    Thank you SJS for the questions! This map I am creating will be used in a pathfinder game I am mastering (I started this week). Fortunately, my players won't be going into the city yet. I still have about a month and a half.

    I'll answer it after giving a bit of background history.

    The magical City of Ozeï'r (namely : Kastraäl), is one of the three major cities of the region of Léandras, surrounding (and regulating) a giant Maelstrom that «drains» the water of the region to prevent another flood.

    The circular building in the very center is the pinnacle of the city, housing the 80 powerful mages. It is about 800' tall, built by very ancient ingenious gnomes architects. The whole city is built around it, yet none other than the mages of Ozeï'r has ever seen the inside of it. The tower also has a dungeon twice as deep, but that's a secret.

    The temples are exactly as you said. Gigantic. Yet, they are large in surface, but their height is no more than half a hundred foot.

    The southwest temple, «The Temple of Sarenrae», has been destroyed about 20 times in the course of the history of the city. It has been renovated about 20 years ago, after a rich paladin «purified» it of the foulness (a plot concerning kobold adepts of a rival god, namely Asmodeus). This temple accepts and helps the poor and the diseased.

    The east temple, «The temple of Abadar», has strangely never been destroyed, even when the city was twice completely been flooded by rising waters. This temple is reserved for the elites. They actually struggle to obtain the reins of political power of the city. However, even though they try as hard as they can, they are far from being able to rival with the magical power of the mages of Ozeï'r.

    A small house in a poor to modest residential area can usually contain about 10-30 individuals (mostly workers and families).

    Kastraäl has approximately 180 000 residents.

    I have yet to implement a graphical scale... It will probably come last, with the legend. I will create one though
    SJS likes this.

  9. #9
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    I'm assuming, like SJS, that each of those small shapes is an individual house. If that assumption is correct, than, I am sorry to say, I think the scale of your city is wildly unrealistic.

    Consider: in most parts of the outer wall, you could fit four or five houses alongside each other; the streets are colossal; each temple is worthy of being a wonder of the world at those proportions; and even the ships you have included are marvels of engineering.

    Another problem--and this is a real pet peeve of mine--if this city is meant to be reminiscent of any cities that existed before the 19th century, than it would not have free-standing houses as you have depicted. Typically, buildings would be built right up next to each other. It saves space, and saves time and money in construction, and these are all important factors in pre-Industrial urban life.

    Sorry if those criticisms seem a bit harsh, but I get the impression you are committed to making this a good map, and if you have a month and a half remaining, you can definitely do it. Most of the groundwork is already there, but a few things could be tweaked or altered to really improve it (or, at least, make it resemble a historic real city more).

    THW

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