Cruzamento De Rio (WIP)
This thread is all Gandwarf's fault. he's too impatient, even for me, lol.
Ok, while testing out Ascension's city/town tutorial, I've been keeping notes as I go this time.
One of my biggest problems has always been the background and history of my current project. Sometimes it'll be as simple as "what kind of things have happened to this map since it was printed", other times, as you're about to see, i put WAY too much thought into things :P But without having an idea of the history of the place, I tend to lose focus and move on to something else (i've got at dozens of started pieces for different techniques, abandoned because I really had no idea where to take them). In this case, i really wanted to do the town tutorial and see where it led - building up the river was a lot of fun, and it was a sense of wonder watching as it built up - especially considering there are no pics in the tutorial yet so i had no idea what things were going to look like until I followed the steps :) And I've been going out of my way to NOT look at other city maps while I work at this, i want to see how much of my own style develops without having any images to compare to..
But then we get to the point where we lay out the town, and figure out what to put in it. And that's where I got stumped. Never having laid out a town before.. how the heck do I do it. So the tutorial got put on hold while I did some research and made working notes, and finally I decided to use one of the small towns I used to live in for inspiration. The final version will be nothing at all like the real place, of course, but I am including elements. I also put a lot of thought into WHY there is a town at this location in the first place, and why it's laid out the way it is. I eventually decided to build up the town in stages (for the planning, not the map itself). What was in the area when the town first came into existence, what the locals were doing that caused it to happen, and then as it became more established and prosperous, what added in and what external influences came into effect. I built it up in 4 stages, and that will end up impacting the final vision of the town.
This might be overkill, but I actually wrote out a brief history of the town, plus what buildings would exist at each stage - and this led me to placing the primary industries first, and I'll fit everything else around them.
I'm going to post my working notes for the history, to show you why the town is turning out the way it is :) (i would ask if anyone's interested, but typically the answer has been yes to that kind of question so I'll go out on a limb for this one)
I just realized how long it is, so I'll do the history notes in the next post.
To tide you over, here's the town so far. (the buildings on the left are generic template buildings so i can duplicate them and move them into place instead of making new ones all the time - labelled according to layer to make it easier to figure out what i'm putting where) The notes up top were to help determine a few things (smelly industries go downwind etc). And Nirth.. well, my excuse is that's the local dialect coming into play (or i can't be bothered to fix the typo, take your pick lol)
And as promised, history/working notes...
Primary focus of the area, farming. Central location with grain storage and mills as primary business. Transportation incoming from local farms, mostly outgoing on the river some on the kingdom road. Slaughterhouse/butchery as secondary, also providing leather for armour. There was a thriving woodcutting business during the beginning stages of development, but that is starting to taper off now that farmland has been cleared, and woodcutters are now having to travel too far for new wood since it’s not that heavily forested here in the first place – and what is left is being viciously defended by bandits who use the trees for cover and living (The local constabulary has requested military forces to clear the bandits, but so far has not received any help). The land is reasonably fertile, and started off with the first few farmers living near each other pooling their resources to create a central collection point for their harvests on the kingdom road. The grain is collected at the stockpile on the west bank, and shipped downstream on barges.
More farmers joined in, one ended up taking over the stockpile as fulltime responsibility, and became the first general store merchant. A few others became wealthy and began buying out neighbours and acting as landlords, with the largest landowner being considered a mayor/magistrate. Reasonably central close location so livestock pens and holding facilities were added for herds being moved to other locations, eventually developed their own slaughterhouse and meat processing facilities and became a destination rather than a waystation. A military outpost (10-15 men) has been established as a presence to remind the locals that they are still part of the kingdom. They help defend against bandit raids, but they are not strong enough to actively hunt them. The locals hope their reports will influence the nobles to send a larger force.
Livestock was collected on both sides of the river with the south side being a holding pen for the ferry, north side being the primary. This has now been switched for defensive purposes as the west bank was more strategic, the slaughterhouse pens also being moved from the road so as not to be in the middle of the commercial district, temporary holding pens for cattle being moved to other destinations are still in the old western paddock.. Livestock is transported north along the road. The region is slowly being turned over to more pastures and less grains as the price of meat goes up in other areas of the kingdom.
Now having become a full town, and beginning to prosper, it caught the attention of the nobles at court who sent a knight to ensure the lands were kept secure. He has built a manor house and has been given royal funds and stonemasons to replace the wooden palisades with stone walls to repel bandit raids which are on the rise. The frequency of the raids is starting to annoy the knight, who has begun training a force to actively hunt the bandits down. The bulk of military armaments are shipped in from elsewhere, though local craftsmen are producing good quality bows and arrows for export as well as local use. The local forge is more for repair than creation, with most tools imported.
Being rather devout, the knight offered incentives for his church to create a site, and used his personal fortune to expand the church to contain a small monastery.. This is now bringing more notoriety to the town as one of the monks turns out to have considerable artistic talent and is creating illuminated manuscripts of unusually high quality. This has begun pilgrimages to this area, and locals are beginning to take advantage of the pilgrimage trade. These manuscripts have caught the attention of the royal court as well, and another serious bandit incursion will likely see the pious king sending a regiment of troops to secure the area for once and for all.
Stockpile (on road)
1 wharf/dock each side
small manor houses
Another general store
palisade (with gates on road)
4th generation (present)
stone walls start replacing palisades
LESS TALK, MORE MAPS!!!!1
Haha, just kidding of course. It's a very good idea to write out what a city is about. It will make the city look a lot more realistic in the end. I like the fact you are describing generations and how the city evolved.
The map itself is starting to shape up nicely. The layout is great. That is a mill near the bridge, right?
Anyway those individual buildings can be outlined in BLACK or something to define where one building ends, and the other begins?
Otherwise, very good start.
Good idea on the outlining, I've been staring at them wondering what they were missing :)
And yes, that's a mill out on the water. I got the idea from a picture I saw, it actually had 3 mills built along the length of a stone bridge. I merged them into one, and gave it a double waterwheel, then offset it so it wouldn't be in the way of the livestock being run across :)
I'm very glad to know that the tut can stand on it's own with no pics...yet. Whether it's my writing or your skill or both this looks near perfect so far. The only two thing that I have to point out is:
1 to keep the light source consistent...it looks like the crafted houses have a light source in the bottom right while the beveled house has top left.
2 the river bank has the odd beveling artifact at the edge of the image, use an airbrush tipped eraser (at like 2-5% flow) to reduce that a little.
Great work man.
This thread is in the regional mapping forum by the way. I am going to move it to the city mapping forum.
d'oh, sorry about the thread placement, habits, I guess :)
Ascension: glad you approve so far :) I know there's a few shadow issues yet, I realized partway through that I was messing that up :) thanks for reminding that it still needs to be adjusted.
I usually have a bit along the edges that I'm not too worried about, a gutter of sorts. In the final version, i will have either cropped that out, covered with a border, or fixed. Thanks for the reminder though, i'd hate to forget to take care of it :)
Fixed the shadows, was having troubles with the riverbanks at the edges though, I've rarely been able to keep layer effects from messing up at the edges. So, Border it is (though I'll likely make it a lot less whelming for the final version, i'm thinking half the thickness).
After fixing everything I just kind of got tired of working with buildings and wanted to do something completely different for a bit. :)
Dunno if I'll keep that compass -might keep the shape but not the effect..
I like the way you treat the river infrastructure...
It gives me inspiration.