Purpose of this tutorial is to give a few tips about maping a city to all the people out there who want to map.
It’s not important what era you are using - it can be medival, futuristic, SF, fantasy anything that at least tries to be a little bit realistic with some things - those tips might help you in creating a decent looking city that will actualy feel like a living place So let’s start with the basics.
Before you even open up a map editor open up your notepad. It’s an important thing to play all the ideas out before touching the maps - it never goes as it should when you are making stuff up in the action. Start with a name for the city. Depending on the game you are making - the name can be just random (If you can’t make up something yourself it’s not a shame to go here: http://ebon.pyorre.net/ ), or it can have some meaning (I personaly prefer the second option - gives a nice feel to the players eh?). When we have this step settled we can move on with it! Also if you want you can plan out names for diffrent districts of the city but that’ll get expanded later on in the tut.
Now as we have a name for the city itelf we must determine it’s character. Making a great empire capital is something totaly diffrend from building a keep that defends the borders, building a town in the mountains or plains is something totaly diffrent from creating a harbout. The rest of the tutorial will guide you in creation of a capital city - as it’s only a tutorial, not an instruction I will leave other types to your creativity.
We have names and we know what we are doing now - it’s a big city that is a capital for the whole empire. As a capital city it’s doesn’t server ndustrial pruposes (that depends actualy… if you are creating a socialist nation or something like that… why not?). In this city people from around the whole country meet and if there are people… there are shops. Lot’s of shops. Creating a bazzar area is a good idea. Also the capital city should be a bit of a showoff - nicely looking buildsings, some parks, fountains, maybee a school (if you are doing a fantasy/madival game remember that schools weren’t too comon in the middleages) or even an university? Of course it’s also a place where the council or the royal family stations. That means we nead a palace or a castle somewhere around here. Few inns and bars here and there, defenetly a temple… a big one that is if we are talking about a capital city. The list can go on - numbers of locations can be really long if you want to. It’s also really really important to add lot’s of buildings that aren’t actualy used? Why? Come on! Did you ever seen a city that is made only from social buildings, shops and things like that? Thing that makes a living city what it should be is the density of buildings. Even if players will never enter a building or if the building doesn’t have any real purpose it creates that density feeling.
Ok - next step is the layout. The thing that actualy doesn’t exist in most of the Eclipse games. Launch google and look at some maps. Check out maps of some big cities like Paris, London… if you are makinng a fantasy game or check out cities that were build a long time ago. Notice the layout of the streets. I don’ tell you to create a huge web of backalleys and streets but you should understand that placing some random buildings without any idea is a horrible thing to do. Each disctrict should have it’s place and that should be more or less logical. Let’s say our city is surounded by a big wall and will have two entrace gates and two main avenues. The main roads will meet eventualy somewhere in the center of our capital - there thye will merge into one and lead to the palace. The fork of the roads is surounded by parks and ther is an university there - near the second ring of the walls (the second ring surounds the palace and barracks placed near the only gate in the second ring). Now let’s think about the bazzar. It’s right next to one of the entrace gates - most poeple come to the capital for bussines, not to visit the castle or other places like that. Inns? They should be near the bazzar - again, if people come here to sell goods they want to stay close to the marketplayce for the night. Places like bars can be places somewhere deeper in the city - those are usualy for adventurers not for merchants. Also the more expensive inns should be placed near the second ring of the walls - away from the noise of trade and from the troublesome adventureres, near the gardens maybee. Also you should remember that even the most representative cities have their darker corners. Our city has a shady slums like area stickied to the inside side of the first ring of walls - a black market is active there… a thieves guild… some ‘unofficial’ stuff going around. Also the cheapest inns and bars are somewhere around there. This ara is away from the main roads. If you don’t have any more ideas for places that players have a purpose to visit simply fill the rest with common buildings - they doesn’t even have to be open for entering.
We have a city now! But it’s emtpy. Filling it with vendor owners, inn keepers and guards won’t do the trick. We nead some random people walking around there! People you’ll never remember and probobly won’t even bother talking to, people who will walk from place to place making sure you’ll have problems with getting to where you want - a crowd. If you have the scripting/coding powers you can make the people say random things like “I don’t know you!”, “Why are you talking to me?”, “Scram!” and walk around certain paths… yes… if you are making a crowd you nead to waypoint at least half of it… did you ever saw a bunch of people randomly walking few steps in one direction, stoping and doing the same again and again? Tourists, retards and zombie movies doesn’t count!
Ok. I think this is all I have to say about building cities. If you want to contribute to the ‘tutorial’ add you idea by posting it - If I’ll consider it decent I’ll ad it to the first post. Also you are encouraged to rate it and add your coments!
Added by McNugget:
Yeah… you should also remember that it’s not olny important for the houses and buildings to be dense and city like - they nead to look decent. No squares with triangle roofs.