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Thread: WIP - The city of Ankh-Bathor

  1. #1
      Clercon is offline
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    Wip WIP - The city of Ankh-Bathor

    This will be a huge project for me to finish. I've probably asked for too much, but you have to give it a try. Finally I've come to map the single most important place in the world of Etrakien - the city of Ankh-Bathor. So far I'm just trying to get the coast line, canal and probable size of the town right. So a lot of things might change in the future. The graphics are at the moment just placeholders, so don't take them too serious.

    As I’ve stated in earlier posts the city Ankh-Bathor consists of a eastern and a western city that has grown together, and today it is considered to be one city. I probably try to describe the town some more later in this thread.
    So how does the town look? Believable?

    And this will probably take som time to finish :-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - The city of Ankh-Bathor-ankh-bathor_1.jpg  

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      thebax2k is offline
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    Clercon, I like your maps. I have little doubt it will be a stunner when complete. I did have a few questions/observations from a realism point of view you might want to keep in mind as you draw your map:

    The first question that comes to mind--what's the scale? Are these two cities a mile or two apart or are they 20 miles apart?

    Second, if the cities are less than a mile or two apart, why is the canal between them so wavy? If the canal is man made, then it would likely have been dug as straight as possible, the only reason it would be that wavy was if the landform and terrain required it (which to be honest, is the explanation you might want to run with--your canal looks far more "interesting" than a straight line would be).

    Third, where are the locks? Although the two bodies of water on either side of Ankh Bator are likely close to the same height (for example at the Panama Canal, the Pacific is 20 cm higher than the Atlantic or about 8 inches), locks would facilitate two way traffic by moderating or eliminating a strong current and enabling horses, donkeys or whatever tow system you want to rig up to tow the ships from end to end (lookup the Erie Canal), they also can slow, moderate, or stop a storm surge from wiping out everything along the canal.

    Fourth, and this point ties into question two, is this piece of land the continental divide between two or more tectonic plates? I know it sounds a bit over the top, but Panama is, which is why it is so mountainous. If that is the case with Ankh Bator, the central part of the canal would be higher than either end. You'd just need to find a source of water to keep the canal running (Panama's is the massive amount of rainfall (69 inches a year) that keeps Gatun Lake filled). Perhaps there is some massive dwarven waterworks, aqueduct or similar system--just the thing requiring hardy adventurers when it starts developing problems.....

    Fifth, and I know this is early in the process, the canal will likely have towpaths on either side (or at least one side). There should also be markets. One final consideration is defense. Although the city is in the middle of a powerful nation If I remember your first reference to it correctly, what is to keep raiders attacking either on land or sea? City walls may not be necessary if the land the city is in has been at peace for a long time, but there should be at least some sea forts to deal with the marauding riff raff.

    Regardless, I'm curious to see how this develops. Good luck.

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      Clercon is offline
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    Hello thebax and thanks for your input. The whole point with this early WIP is that I want this to be right and I’m no city designer in real life. So hopefully people like you can help me to get things straight.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Clercon, I like your maps. I have little doubt it will be a stunner when complete.
    Well at the moment the map is in a very early Alpha stage so hopefully the visuals will improve a lot :-) At least you have put some pressure on me now.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    The first question that comes to mind--what's the scale? Are these two cities a mile or two apart or are they 20 miles apart?
    At the moment the scale is about 12 km across. This in miles would be something around 7.5 miles. It might change however depending on how this map develops. But something around that scale it’ll be.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Second, if the cities are less than a mile or two apart, why is the canal between them so wavy? If the canal is man made, then it would likely have been dug as straight as possible, the only reason it would be that wavy was if the landform and terrain required it (which to be honest, is the explanation you might want to run with--your canal looks far more "interesting" than a straight line would be).
    Spot on :-) I went for looking good here, but I might change some parts of it to a more straight path. However is the terrain some of the reasons that the canal isn’t completely straight. The canal has a small story to itself as well. The city of Ankh-Bathor is situated on the remains of a much older city from the times before the great war between the Archonts and the humanoids in the seven worlds. By then magic was very common in the world and the canal was created to connect the two seas, “innerhavet” and “Etrakiska sjön” (by then they had different names of course). After the war the city was laid in ruins but the canal remained as a scar in the earth. So we are talking of a canal that has existed for some thousands of years (haven’t really decided the timeframe here, but it’s not very important). So maybe the course of the canal has changed some bits because of earthquakes, changes to the world during the great war and so on, but a canal created by magic can’t seize to exist, not this one at least. And it looks better than a straight line :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Third, where are the locks? Although the two bodies of water on either side of Ankh Bator are likely close to the same height (for example at the Panama Canal, the Pacific is 20 cm higher than the Atlantic or about 8 inches), locks would facilitate two way traffic by moderating or eliminating a strong current and enabling horses, donkeys or whatever tow system you want to rig up to tow the ships from end to end (lookup the Erie Canal), they also can slow, moderate, or stop a storm surge from wiping out everything along the canal.
    Thank you for this input, I love locks so of course I have to put some of them in. Didn’t know that the panama canal had them. So now the Ankh-Bathor canal will have them too.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Fourth, and this point ties into question two, is this piece of land the continental divide between two or more tectonic plates? I know it sounds a bit over the top, but Panama is, which is why it is so mountainous. If that is the case with Ankh Bator, the central part of the canal would be higher than either end. You'd just need to find a source of water to keep the canal running (Panama's is the massive amount of rainfall (69 inches a year) that keeps Gatun Lake filled). Perhaps there is some massive dwarven waterworks, aqueduct or similar system--just the thing requiring hardy adventurers when it starts developing problems.....
    Another good question. This one made me think. First of all there are aqueducts going into the city from the hills surrounding the area, so some of the water comes from them. Secondly there are hot springs in this area that feeds the canal with water. The same hot springs are also used to heat some of the more luxurious houses during the winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by thebax2k View Post
    Fifth, and I know this is early in the process, the canal will likely have towpaths on either side (or at least one side). There should also be markets. One final consideration is defense. Although the city is in the middle of a powerful nation If I remember your first reference to it correctly, what is to keep raiders attacking either on land or sea? City walls may not be necessary if the land the city is in has been at peace for a long time, but there should be at least some sea forts to deal with the marauding riff raff.
    Yes there will be towpaths, at least on one side. At the moment the graphics are just placeholders for me to know where city, countryside and water will be. So the pattern used for the city is not the one to be used, therefor no markets, villas, palaces and so on. When it comes to defense the whole city is surrounded by a wall. Parts of the wall are from the times before the great war, these parts are of hard black stone that are impossible to break, protected by long time forgotten magic.

    Hopefully this answers your questions to some degree.

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      Gandwarf is offline
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    Now, this is certainly going to be interesting to see develop. I like the overall shape of things... bring it on
    Check out my City Designer 3 tutorials. See my fantasy (city) maps in this thread.

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      Clercon is offline
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    Some more testing and fiddeling has been done with Ankh-Bathor. You can now see the city walls (they are not done in a long way) or rather aproximately where they will be situated. The docks are done, or more the place where they will be. They are marked with grey. I've also started testing out how to do the canal town on the eastern side of the city. I can already see that I have to go back and widen the thinner canals or they will dissapear too much.

    I also changed the actual canal a bit. made it a bit more straight, but not too much.

    Please feel free to comment.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - The city of Ankh-Bathor-ankh-bathor_2.jpg  

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      Clercon is offline
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    So I’m trying to figure out how to do this. Trying out some different techniques to see what works. After a couple of trial and errors I’m closing in on something that feels good. So I thought I put it up for display for all of you to see. When you sit on your own you tend to go blind after a while, so some input could be nice. The houses is what we mainly look at here, the park in the middle of the map needs some trees and abit more work on the grass. So what do you think?

    The area you see is the ”canal town” in the city. An area of small islands of houses connected with each other through a system of bridges.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails WIP - The city of Ankh-Bathor-ankh-bathor_house_test.jpg  

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      waldronate is offline
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    Looks good, but I have two observations: the streets are very uniform in width as though the streets define the buildings and the presence of extreme triangular and trapezoidal buildings bothers me. Consider some maps:

    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...00971&t=h&z=17
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...19419&t=k&z=16
    http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sour...04855&t=k&z=18

    Lots of wandering lanes but nary a triangular building and streets of varying size in each. I understand how these things happen when doing maps like this, but it still disturbs me. Having said that, you're much more patient and effective an artist than mere critics such as me, so take my comments with a grain (ounce, pound, ton) of salt.

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      Zar Peter is offline
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    I kind of disagree with the street width. Cartography is the art of reduction while keeping the information, it's totally allowable to reduce the thousands of different street widths into just one or two. Also the trapezoidal buildings are allowable because the environment is forming the shapes, it angles just shouldn't be too big or low. Triangular buildings on the other hand mostly occur in towns with high gradients and are not a good match to seaside cities. There are too much of them in this map.
    I think it looks very promising.
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      ravells is offline
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    Clercon! If you are going to map the whole city in that sort of detail you will go mad. I admire your courage in taking on the project. Stylewise, I like the size and distribution of the buildings and negative space, but I think it would look better without the bevel. One suggestion: Very large buildings usually (but certainly not always) have courtyards (otherwise no light inside) and space around them to emphasise their importance.

    best!

    Ravs

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      Clercon is offline
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    Waldronate: Well I decided to simplify things (as Zar Peter describes) so I only have 2-3 different sizes of roads. In the end this part of the town will be a very small part of the whole city. I tried to make the roads smaller but it didn’t turn out well when zoomed out. Everything just blured together.

    One funny thing to mention is your reference to Venice. The eastern part of the city actually borrows the coastline from Venice :-)

    Zar Peter: Thanks for your comment. When it comes to buildings I didn’t really think about the shape of buildings. To even make it possible to make the map with this kind of detail I’m trying to develop a method that let me create a lot of buildings in quite a short time. The prize I have to pay for this is that the shapes sometimes don’t follow how the “real” world shapes things. But I try to think about it when I continue to expand the houses, so I can avoid it if possible.

    Ravells: Yes I know that this is too much detail for any sane person, and the map will probably drive me mad both one and two times. But if I map Ankh-Bathor I want it to be great. I want you to be able to feel the massiveness of the city when you look at the map. So what choice do I have :-)

    When it comes to the large buildings I’ll have your comment in mind. So I probably go over the once more, to make ‘em right. I tried to remove the bevel and I think you’re right. It gives the whole city a cleaner look. So I probably go with that.

    Thanks for all the input it really makes this easier for me, and it might save me from madness ;-)
    Last edited by Clercon; 01-26-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: spelling

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