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Thread: The City of Opal Island

  1. #11
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    I like what I'm seeing so far.

    One thing that does catch my eye is that the buildings appear 'flat' opposed to the nice ridgelines, etc. which help give a sense of depth. Maybe add some shadowing or a slight bevel to give the buildings some 'depth'?
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  2. #12
      Ascension is offline
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    I like those fields, good stuff.
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  3. #13
      thebax2k is offline
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    Thanks for the additional background info Katerek and the nicely handcolored map. I didn't know if the city was on potentially hostile seas like Freeport or Fogdown or otherwise. Given that its in the middle of a lake that is controlled by the kingdom the city is the capital of, I would still have towers around the lower areas (and perhaps a few on the heights) that are easily accesible to the water to keep an eye out for smuggling and help enforce an evening curfew (curfews were common in cities in the middle ages, given the high level of banditry that existed, people were not out after dark unless they had to be).

    I suspected that you were using the procedural program to generate streets, the communities it creates have a distinct "look" to them. That isn't a bad thing, but the program tends to create lots of cul de sacs and wavy streets on what is flat terrain. Certainly roads and trails have followed the terrain throughout most of history, but don't go overboard with it. The island your city is on is relatively small and unless each of the levels of it somehow resembles a bmx course with moguls that we can't see , then it is likely that a grid has formed on each level as the city expanded and grew.

    I again echo Gandwarf, in that if this is the capital of a kingdom, unless its a petty kingdom with a very small population, most of that island is going to be absolutely crammed with buildings (at least the lower parts--I see your city as, in a sense, a smaller version of Ptolus, which is also on multiple levels). I don't know if there is an FLGS near where you live, but if there is, head on over and see if you can find a book from Privateer Press called Five Fingers. Its a major city spread out over several islands at the end of a delta, and nearly every island is crammed with buildings. If you have a population of 20,000 or more for your city (and most fantasy capitals I've seen (City of Greyhawk, Lankhmar, etc.) have at least 30-60,000 people), your island is going to be crammed with buildings.

    I know that's a lot of work for one map, but if this is a city your adventurers return to again and again, I'd say its worth it. One good way that you can capture the disparate communities that were settled and then merged to form the larger city is having neighborhood "clusters" with their own distinct road grid within the city. For instance, most of the city could be loosely square like (similar to Fogdown) but one small neighborhood could have a circular grid, another on a hill could be akin to a corkscrew, a humanoid ghetto could have lots of dead ends and blind alleys (the better to ambush enemies foolish enough to follow the humanoids in), a dwarven section could be almost modern appearing with a rigid adherence to a grid of equally sized blocks, and so on.

    In any event, I have been impressed with your maps and hope you keep drawing and posting them. Keep up the good work.
    Last edited by thebax2k; 05-06-2009 at 11:53 PM.

  4. #14
      Katerek is offline
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    Steel General - Im not sure what you mean. This may help though - I have been thinking that once all of the buildings are placed that I will go back through and color code to specifics - i.e. certain types of buildings will have their own color; then after that I might look to add textures and more detail for the actual buildings.

    Gandwarf - As to a key - I haven't posted it as the numbers are thus far just for my own reference. Once I get everything where I want it, I will likely go back through and renumber it so that various neighborhoods and what not will have numerical neighbors.

    Bax - As always, thank you so much for the in-depth reply. I have added several more buildings and as a result of your comments have been going for a more grid-looking system, though one with more of an organic look. Thus far, a single exception might be considered in the upper central part of the island, an area I have been mentally referring to as The Landing, you will see more right angles and more of a pronounced grid. This area of town is where the dwarven refugees settled.

    I am actually familiar with Five Fingers - it sits on my shelf as we speak. My intention is to absolutely cram this baby with buildings.

    As always, all C&C are greatly appreciated and further more encouraged. The following is the latest WIP. You can see how I am developing some of the neighborhoods - or at very least, trying to. The areas near the southern docks is where I have been focusing most of my efforts. I have also noticed a trending of sorts as well - the areas that face the larger of the roads are - in my mind - leaning towards more commercial use, and thus, the more clap board/america wild-west thing; while the areas 'facing' the smaller roads are leaning towards more residential.

    Thanks again.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The City of Opal Island-opal-island-03.jpg  

  5. #15
      NeonKnight is offline
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    One: Congrats on making a city map with what I like - CROWDED, CONNECTED BUILDINGS! That alone earns you REP in my books.

    My only issue, is there is a few area where the road come withing 30 feet of another road and ends. People (and dwarves and elves too likely) being who they are, they would likely not be willing to walk 500 feet when a 30 foot trek across the field would get them somewhere

    Roads coming to end are ok, if they are radiating roads, or if they are blind alleys/lanes coming up against another building, or a deep gulley (and they haven't build a bridge or anything yet), but otherwise those roads would join up.
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  6. #16
    Community Leader Facebook Connected Steel General's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katerek View Post
    Steel General - Im not sure what you mean. This may help though - I have been thinking that once all of the buildings are placed that I will go back through and color code to specifics - i.e. certain types of buildings will have their own color; then after that I might look to add textures and more detail for the actual buildings.
    Thanks again.
    Yup, that's what I meant.
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  7. #17
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katerek View Post
    Steel General - Im not sure what you mean. This may help though - I have been thinking that once all of the buildings are placed that I will go back through and color code to specifics - i.e. certain types of buildings will have their own color; then after that I might look to add textures and more detail for the actual buildings.
    I did that with ALL my old Pen/Paper city maps, and even to this day I can look at one I drew 20 years ago, without a key and know (roughly) what type of building it represents.

    My code was:

    BLUE - Guard/Barracks/Military
    RED - Taverns/Inns/Brothels etc.
    Yellow - Warehouses
    Orange - Temples/shrines/etc
    Purple - Generic Businesses (tarders/coppers/tailors/jewelers etc)

    My Big Ol' City Map thread can be found here: City Maps Galore (Pen-n-Paper)
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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  8. #18
      Katerek is offline
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    Actually Neon, your's is another style that I have quietly been monitoring and borrowing. In fact, I have even taken one or two of them and converted them to computer maps.

    Here is the latest version. I have cleaned up alot of the streets and random looking buildings. I laid more of the streets out and added a few more buildings so that - hopefully - the over all pattern of the city is beginning to emerge.

    Thanks as always. More to come in a few hours I am sure...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails The City of Opal Island-opal-island-04.jpg  

  9. #19
      Gandwarf is offline
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    Yep, definitely starts to look better! Especially the area near the docks. I would add a lot more roads there, though. I still see a lot of green passages... they would be travelled I think and a road would pop into existance.
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

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  10. #20
      NeonKnight is offline
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    Yep looking good, looking good!
    Daniel the Neon Knight: Campaign Cartographer User

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    Any questions on CC3? Post them with CC3 in the Subject Line!
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