This isn’t strictly a tutorial, but rather a step by step for a recent city map. I’ve been doing some city design recently for Rhune: Dawn of Twilight, and got the okay from Jaye Sonia to post some work in progress shots.
The first step is to talk through the overall structure of a city, identify the key areas and learn a little about the history. Using that I put together a rough sketch like the one above. As you can see, this was just pen on paper, scanned in and emailed to Jaye.
After this, we knock together a list of corrections/changes. I sketch the amendments onto the draft in a different colour to help keep track and then start laying in the structure. I always begin with the roads – they define the structure of a city:
You can see the main arteries, the hubs that form at the conjunction of roads, and the city wall locations all in the layout of the roads. When this is signed off I start on the buildings. The buildings take the longest, and I’ve got a couple of different methods for laying them in. However this isn’t really a tutorial post so I’ll save that discussion for a later date. Here’s the building outlines for Damas:
As with the roads, the negative space defines the main structures of the city. It’s easy to spot the roads and city walls here, but it should also be easy to identify richer areas (larger, more regular buildings) and poorer areas (smaller and more chaotic with less city planning).
With the buildings in place the city is really well on the way to completion:
I’ve added in some terrain detail, lightly coloured the map and added all the labels. This is still not finished – the final map will have a load of texture and tone added, but at this stage the map is a perfectly functional reference, and any final changes can be identified and corrected before completion. The final map of Damas will have to wait until the product release date, but if you want to check out more details of the world of Rhune, check out the website.
These were initially shared over on G+. If you’d like to get some more real-time progress shots – check out my page.