05 January, 2014

Map Tutorial 19 (Part 3): When Settlements Mature

There were a few comments on the last post saying that they were expecting the tutorials to follow the growth of a single settlement from its earliest buildings through to its maturity into a bustling metropolis. That's not the way I decided to go with this particular set of tutorials, but as you can see in this installment, it's certainly something that crossed my mind.

There will be another post at a later date, with a video image that gradually shows the growth of a single village through a number of seasonal frames over the course of several decades (4 frames per year...70 odd years...that's 280 frames and it's taking a while for me to compile).

For the moment, just a bit more theory regarding the development of towns and small cities.

As an aside, it was pointed out that many medieval villages did not have cobble-stoned streets, so that part of the tutorial isn't entirely historically accurate...but neither is fantasy. Good streets would be a factor of commerce in the area and a need for smooth travel. Larger towns might have regular travel within their boundaries and might develop a stronger desire for hard paved roads, small towns would probably make do with dirt (especially if they aren't particularly wealthy...or aren't trying to show off to neighbouring villages). Some towns might be built on the crossroads of ancient trade routes (established by an ancient empire that might be an analogue of the Romans), these towns might have the central crossroad paths paved with solid flagstones from a bygone era, while the remaining streets are dirt.

The aim of these tutorials is to bring these ideas to your attention, so that you can add depth and history into your maps. If readers are picking holes in my ideas and commentary, then that makes me happy; it shows that people are actually reading what I'm writing, and it shows that they are thinking for themselves and pushing the ideas presented according to their own goals.

As long as people keep reading, I'll keep posting.
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