This is a map of the city Southpoint, situated in the southern parts of the kingdom Armadien. The map is done using the same technique as the one I described in my tutorial I ran earlier here on the blog, but on a much larger scale.
The map is done in City Designer 3 (CD3) from Profantasy, but edited with various effects in Photoshop after completion in CD3. CD3 is probably my favorite program from Profantasy and I’ve done quite a lot of maps using the program. Mostly small villages and medium sized towns. The programs strength is that it let you create a very convincing town or village in a very short time, compared to if you did everything by hand in a program like Photoshop. It is easy to place houses and trees and there is a great variety of different textures of more “important” buildings you can as easily use.
Even if the program in most cases work great there are some smaller drawbacks with it. First and mainly it has a tendency to crash,and usually this happens when you haven’t saved for a long time. Which makes you loose a lot of work. So saving as OFTEN as you can is a must. Also when you use a predefined style the end result tend to be a bit ordinary, that’s why I like to process the maps in Photoshop. To give them a more unique look and feeling.
When you create a larger town like Southpoint you need to do a bit more planning of the city then if you’re mapping a small village. When I made Southpoint I started by looking at some older towns in Google earth, which is a great and fun way to spend you time :). In this way I tried to see how I could capture the look and feeling of a town, that would make Southpoint look more convincing and real.
When I started on the map I began by creating the landmass and sea. I then decided where to put the inner town wall an designing the streets in the inner more compact part of the city. At this stage I put in the roads that led into town and decided where to put the gates for the outer town wall and how the wall itself would stretch. I now had a inner dens city surrounded by a city wall and an outer city wall with roads leading up to the inner city from the maps lower end.
Next step was to try to figure out where people would settle down in this area. usually people start to build houses around the city gates, you need to have a place to stay if the walls are closed and after arriving in the town you might want some refreshment or selling some of your goods. At this stage I also tried to decide what roads will be used more often, because these will be cobbled, where might the squares be situated, any other landmarks I want to put in.
A good thing to do here is trying to pretend that you are a visitor to the town. When you enter the city through one of the gates what can you expect to see? Where would you go to look for an inn? Are there any temples near by? In this way it is both fun and inspiring to start building your city, and often I come up with a lot of ideas in this way.
So after completing the map and working in the way described here I came up with the following story regarding Southpoint.
Southpoint used to be a free city with close connections to the City state Ankh-Bathor further south. But the King of Armadien couldn’t accept it’s freedom (well he obviously wanted part of the money). After some short battles and long negotiations Southpoint agreed to be a part of the Armadien kingdom and pays a yearly tax from it’s vast trading income. A lot of very influential people in the city (mainly traders) don’t like this and want there freedom back. With support from Ankh-Bathor they are plotting against the king. Unfortunately some are also looking for help in the shadows and nightmares where seldom good deals are done.