Archive for November, 2015

City mapping image resource

November 30, 2015

Phonecam shot of a game board with an interesting graphic style for a city map.  (Triple bonus points if you know the game without Googling it.)

SvonN

Could be a useful inspiration for a city map, with building blocks laid out but no individual building features detailed.  There are a few details, like a couple of public fountains, and some wooded/parklike areas noted, but it’s mostly just positive/negative space with buildings and streets and squares.

I’ve gone for a less Nolli-esque approach than this with my first map section for the Exquisite Corpse City, but to my mind, this is perfectly valid, as well.

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Another Faceted Cavern

November 20, 2015

Been busy getting the Exquisite Corpse 3 -CITY off the ground, and just realized I didn’t have anything queued up for today.  I’ve had a pretty consistent run of Friday posts, but the last couple weeks have mostly been about the Exquisite Corpse Dungeon and CITY projects.

postmap28-323map

This is a section of cavern that has been made usable as a wizard’s laboratory complex by installing some doors at openings where they could be fitted, to create a few rooms and cordoned-off areas.  But not every area is completely sealed off, so some of the ‘experiments’ that are now on the loose may have a bit more range than expected.

As usual, feel free to use for any non-commercial purpose, or contact me if you’d like to use this on a commercial project.

Exquisite Corpse 3 – CITY

November 13, 2015

Here are the directions for Exquisite Corpse 3 – CITY  SIgn up to participate, and follow the progress as it evolves in the Exquisite Corpse 3 CITY Community on Google+

PROCESS


CapturecityYou will only fill about 3/4ths of the section you draw. The person who draws the next section further out will fill in the rest as part of completing their section. If you are the first to claim a spot adjacent to an unfinished section, you will get that section (not just a strip) that is mostly completed, and will fill that in, along with drawing the section you’ve selected, but leaving about the outermost 1/4 which the next person will fill in, if the city expands that far, or which will be the outskirts if it doesn’t go any farther.  [See diagram for how this might work. In the example, black was the first section drawn (note how it does not extend to the top edge of the section), and then red was drawn afterwards (again, leaving space at the outer edge for the next participant).]

Leaving roads and other connecting elements for other players to build off of is an essential part of the Exquisite Corpse process, but all buildings and other singular features should be complete.  Please don’t draw a building that goes off the edge of a section for the next person to finish.  However, the second participant in any pair of sections may certainly draw a large structure over the dividing line between two sections (again, see example at right).  There is nothing magical about the section lines that means they can’t be crossed; this is only to keep from making things unnecessarily difficult for the follow-up artists.

MAP REQUIREMENTS


Map scale is roughly 10 yards/10 meters/30 feet/5 fathoms/2 rods/one-half chain per square.

All maps to be *exactly* 1500 x 1500 px (20 x 20 squares) Getting everyone to provide properly and equally sized sections will make management of this project a lot easier.  Any graphics format (JPG, PNG, TIFF) is acceptable.  Hand-drawn, computer-drawn, and hybrid styles are all allowed.  Because of the way this is structured, you will actually be returning 2 drawings when you return your finished works.  Please send those as two separate image files.

When you turn in your section, you must also provide a name for it.  Keys and legends may be included.  Brief narratives and descriptions are also permissible.  These will be incorporated as an appendix in the final piece.

Unlike the previous Exquisite Corpse projects, this one is open to color as well as black and white imagery.  It will be a more varied and patchwork project than the earlier Dungeons.

SCHEDULE


The Exquisiste Corpse 3 – CITY project runs from today, 13 November 2015 through the end of the year.

Once a spot is claimed, you have 1 week to complete your section and turn it in, or the spot is forfeit.

Participants can claim multiple spaces, but only 1 at a time, and only 1 per quadrant of the map. (Turn in your first piece before you claim another spot.)  A section is open for claim once all the lower numbered adjacent spaces are completed.  You can either put your name in for a random selection (you’ll get assigned a section when your turn comes up), or you can request a particular section.  I may go random for order of the first ones, but I’ll have a list so you’ll know when it’s getting close to your turn. If you’re going to be unavailable for a while, you can go on hold.

Unlike the Exquisite Corpse Dungeons, there will probably be some midway reveals, so you’ll get to see the center of the City before the whole thing is completed.

OVERVIEW


This will start from the center, then there will be 4 extensions from the 4 sides of that, and then extend on and out.  The starting diagram map shows the sections, and updated versions of this diagram will be used to identify which section is assigned to each participant.  If this project grows beyond the identified sections, we’ll add more spaces.

The river must be continued through any spaces it connects to. If there’s a river coming into your space, you have to extend it to another adjacent space. Small ponds are okay, but this won’t be a coastal city, so no ocean/seaside/waterfront.

PARTICIPATION


By participating in this project, you agree that your contribution is Creative Commons licensed CC-BY-NC 4.0.  Additionally, you agree to allow Antherwyck House Games permission to include your map in commercially distributed print versions.  (In short, I’d like to make this map available in print through OBS (DriveThruRPG and RPGNow) to further spread these works.  They are going to be priced close to cost, but print products have to be sold, so specific permission for this needs to be provided.)  This is meant to be an opportunity to promote your work, so be sure to include contact info and a blurb for the final version.

To participate, you have to have a G+ account and check it regularly; all the communication during the map-building will be through there (and afterwards, an email address for contact and followup).  This will be cross-posted to the G+ Exquisite Corpse 3 CITY Community, and turn assignments will be posted there.

Exquisite Corpse City – Layout

November 12, 2015

This is the organization chart for the Exquisite Corpse City.  Starting section is the space numbered 1 at the center of the city.

AssignGrid

Current turn will start with spaces numbered 2, so there are 4 sections for this, then 8 sections for band 3, and so forth.

You can sign up for a particular space if you think there’s one you really want to work on, or you can sign up for the list, and get assigned a section when your turn comes up.  Everyone will get randomized at first, and then once things get started, I’ll just add names to the list as people sign up

Some Notes on Medieval Cities

November 11, 2015

If the grid for the Exquisite Corpse City is going to be 30 foot/10 meter squares, I wanted to see if that really made sense.

So (perhaps prompted by Stephan Beal’s suggestion in a geomorph discussion), I got a Google map of Carcassonne and did a quick and dirty grid overlay with roughly 30’/10m squares.  It looks pretty good to me.

CarcassonneGrid

This isn’t the full 20 x 20 section, but it is 20 squares wide (counting just the full squares), so it’s a reasonable guideline for medieval building density and what an Exquisite Corpse City section might look like.  It’s tight enough in that it’s worth drawing from an artistic perspective, but, at the same time, it’s far enough out that lets each section be a substantial enough size to become a city map.  People are pretty small at this scale, but are still individually distinguishable; it seems like a really good scale for something like this.

There are only a few roads in this at this scale, but roads, lanes and alleys can be distinguished.  A one-square building is reasonably good sized, but there will be many features that are smaller, so drawing at a larger scale and then downsizing for the final drawing may be called for.

For a more visual reference, here’s what that same area looks like as an aerial view:

CaptureCarcassonneAerial

For another reference point, here’s a bit of Paris at about the same scale.  If you want the aerial view, you should be able to find that on your own.

CaptureParis

Exquisite Corpse City – Ideas

November 10, 2015

Okay… Despite my better judgement, I’m going to open up an Exquisite Corpse City to run until the end of the year. I wanted to give it a rest until after the new year, but there’s enough interest, and I think, with a few rules in place, it can run without needing too much attention on my part.

I have some guidelines I’ve been thinking about for this since the weekend. So I’ll open this up for discussion, and we’ll try to get everything straightened out in order to start on Friday the 13th (beacause, yeah!)

Proposed Rules


Capturecity Map scale is roughly 10 yards/10 meters/30 feet/5 fathoms/one-half chain per square.

All maps to be *exactly* 1500 x 1500 px (20 x 20 squares) Getting everyone to provide properly and equally sized sections will make management of this a lot easier.

Once a spot is claimed, you have 1 week to complete your section and turn it in, or the spot is forfeit.

Participants can claim multiple spaces, but only 1 at a time, and only 1 per quadrant of the map. A section is open for claim once all the lower numbered adjacent spaces are completed.

Rivers must be continued through any spaces they connect to. If there’s a river coming into your space, you have to extend it to another adjacent space. Likewise with (major) roads. Small ponds are okay, but this won’t be a coastal city, so no ocean/seaside/waterfront.

This will start from the center, then there will be 4 extensions from the 4 sides of that, and then extend on and out.

You will only fill about 3/4ths of the section you draw. The person who draws the next section further out will fill in the rest as part of completing their section. If you are the first to claim a spot adjacent to an unfinished section, you will get that section (not just a strip) that is mostly completed, and will fill that in, along with drawing the section you’ve selected, but leaving about the outermost 1/4 which the next person will fill in, if the city expands that far, or which will be the outskirts if it doesn’t go any farther.

When you turn in your section, you must also provide a name for it.

In the above example, the Black End was the earlier section, and the Red Quarter was done afterwards. Only the participant drawing the outer section can draw a building across section lines (like the Red Castle in the example).

Claims for particular sections can be placed in advance, if there’s a particular location you want, or you can put your name in the pool. I may go random for order of the first ones, but I’ll have a list so you’ll know when it’s getting close to your turn. If you’re going to be unavailable for a while, you can go on hold.

To participate, you have to have a G+ account and check it regularly; all the communication during the map-building will be through there (and afterwards, an email address for contact and followup).

This will be cross-posted to the G+ Exquisite Corpse Dungeon Community, and useful comments posted here will be copied over there (because that’s probably where most of the discussion will be).

City Geomorphs

November 6, 2015

Capture

There are times when an idea suddenly seems to be in the air everywhere.  This time it’s cities.

CornerTower_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4Firstly, some discussion has been kicked off, already, about an Exquisite Corpse City map as the next Exquisite Corpse mapping project.  I’m not sure if that will be to everyone’s tastes, but there are already a few people who are interested.

A couple different ways of configuring it have been suggested.  I’m partial to an idea that I originally floated on G+:  “I think it’s pretty obvious it would start at the center and then extend out in all directions.  It might be interesting to have each person do only the inside half of their section, and have just a few outlier buildings in the outer half, and then, if there’s an extension from there, the person doing the next section adds some buildings to that outside half of the previous section, as well as doing their own section that same way.  Could make for a really interesting map that was more interwoven and less hard edged.”

As I was telling Thor in a recent chat, my view of Exquisite Corpse is that it’s not meant to make sense as a whole.  Having distinct districts is both more compelling for a fantasy setting (at least for me, in this case) and lets each artist’s work stand on its own terms.  I like the idea of having some interweaving in this, with the outskirts section of the earlier person’s work being subsumed and incorporated into the next person’s piece.  I think that could be very cool.

I also think I’d let everyone see the core section, to have some common references (there’s a lot more that’s up in the air with something like this as opposed to all the understood conventions of dungeon mapping).

CityWall_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4And then, there’s nice article about “Give Your Village Meaning and Purpose” from Raging Owlbear that has useful suggestions about making a reasonable village that goes beyond being a faceless, forgettable place.  I notice when things in game don’t make sense, and, as a GM, I want to make things that have reasonable underpinnings.  Does a village of 500 with a fully stocked armorer’s shop and 4 different taverns make any sense?  Not really, unless it’s a company town serving high levels of mercenary traffic.  A one industry town, like the example in the article, makes a good deal of sense.  And then, along with that, the layout of the town, from a functional perspective, starts to suggest some things.  Of course, when you’re working with geomorphs, you don’t get that, which leads to these maps…

CityGate_RThorm_Antherwyck_com_CCBYNC4Although there’s not a lot behind these, I made a couple of choices about inside/outside with the layout of the streets and paths and the orientation of the buildings (orthogonal or not) depending on which side of the wall they are on.  There’s not deep meaning to it, but it sets up a sense of a distinction between the two sides of the wall, and someone might pick up on that and make use of that as they fleshed this out for themselves.

These were drawn for the latest Inkwell Ideas geomorphs contest.  The three maps (at top, and individually included) include a centered city wall (falling between the 5 and 6 positions* on the sides where it occurs) in addition to the requisite pathways (at the 3 and 8 positions) into and out of each tile.  A series of these could conceivably be used to make up a city map (even better if there were a few more like it, for added variety, as well as some other non-wall tiles for in-fill).  These don’t really meet the 10′ grid requirement (or else those are teeny-tiny buildings).  I’ve been wanting to do some town/city things for a while, so this was a good excuse to give it a shot.

After making these maps specifically because of the Inkwell Ideas contest, I think I missed the deadline for sending them in.  Oh, well…  Nonetheless, I’m sharing them here as I typically do.  These geomorphs are Creative Commons licensed CC-BY-NC-4, so they can be used non-commercially.  I’d love to hear about it if you use these (or any of my maps).  And, as usual, contact me if you are interested in a commercial use.

 * these are done using a standardized method for making inter-operable geomorphs using a 10 x 10 grid and a regularized pattern for where the connections to adjacent tiles need to be.  Visit Dave’s Mapper for more about the geomorph standard and lots more geomorph maps.