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Realistic CitiesArticle created by Shadowgate
How many times have you played a scenario that had cities in it that
looked like the computers AI randomly placed buildings in an un-orderly
fashion? I’ve seen many of those and I’m sure you have also. This
tutorial will hopefully provide with how to create realistic cities.
What type of city do I want to make? Will it be an agricultural town, a
fishing industry, a military establishment or a super city?
These are questions that every designer should ask himself before
embarking a long and hard journey of making a city. Only after you have
decided what society you are representing, should you actually begin laying
down buildings. Due to the fact that I'm an architect, I always have a
grid note book, and pencil, and always make a base plan for the city.
Choosing the right city to match your civilization is definitely a
must. There are some Civs that would’t have certain items in their city
such as the Chinese (Town Centres). Or other Civs that lack the
appropriate architecture. The Koreans won’t have stables in their cities (since
in Korea, stables were only located in villages, never in cities), so
stables should not be included, unless you are making a village a
considerable distance from the City.
I find it interesting that when making a town, Frankish and English
architecture, blend perfectly. Also The replacement effect is a necessity
for merging buildings. It is a good idea to have the appropriate
surroundings included in the region that the people are from. For instance,
the European Civilizations would most likely have deciduous trees and
grassy terrains somewhere around their towns and cities.
As with a real city, location is key. If you already have a map that
has a lot of water in it, why not put a fishing village on that water.
Cities look really nice when tucked in a forest surrounding or hidden
from enemies amongst cliffs and hills, such as would be apparent in Irish
villages and small towns. If the location you want to put the city in
is kind of bare, be sure to use the Editor to add eye candy, forests,
water, hills and cliffs.
LAYING DOWN THE CITY
Small Fishing Village
Since a city here you are making surrounded by water (theoretically),
it was a good idea to have a little fishing village along the outskirts
of the city. Docks were not just placed by themselves as may be the
tendency. Houses were also placed near the docks and in close vicinity to
each other to give the feeling that there was a bustling fishing
industry there at one time. Be sure to avoid leaving buildings isolated,
unless isolation plays a major part in the scenario.
Beach with Cabanas
If the city you are planning is near the water, as was the case above,
what else would give it a realistic look? The inclusion of a beach.
This type of setting can be used with houses, Korean yurts, since the
campfire could represent cooking or other dwelling places to resemble
either a shore fishing village or a vacation area for the noblemen.
Farms and Sheep Pens
If your city or town is going to be "all inclusive", it will be
necessary to have some sort of food source. To make sheep pens, simple apply
the dirt, grass undergrowth, and grass sandy, under the sheep, surround
them by fences. It would look nice to have a stable, or granary with no
farms so it looks like the sheep have someplace to go at night, to hide
from wolves. When making a realistic city, it is important to place
related items, buildings and objects relatively close, like they would be
in a real city. It would not make sense to have your domestic food
source far away from your farms. Also, as was the case in medieval times,
farms and animal food sources would be kept outside of the city walls.
It always makes sense to use WWI and middle age universities, blended
together, using the replacement effect, to make the university seem
real. And don't forget to tweak those graphic enlargement numbers. Add
houses and a monastery or two to the immediate surroundings of your campus
to give it a College feel.
These cities focus on military (since it includes barracks, duh). The
Military city should have has large Archery and Siege regions. When
creating military regions in a city, it is good to have more than one of
each type of building. Reason being that the more units you can train in
a short amount of time, the better. Just imagine a humongous city with
one barrack, stable, archery range and siege workshop being attacked by
a full force of mixed units. Not a pretty picture...For varieties sake,
make a few military regions with a number of the same buildings and
spread the regions out among the city. And again, it is always good to
turn to the replacement effect, and graphic scale.
When adding one or many grave yards to your city, be sure to keep them
more towards the outskirts of the city. Body disposal was a little
different back then. What type of graveyard do you want to create? A burial
place for heroes? A quick makeshift locale for masses of dead
individuals? A Crypt? Different World Player items will be necessary.
Personally, I like to make hilly, and cliff graveyards, with crypts, royal
tombs, and a few convenient little monasteries around. As for headstones,
for the poor, you could use the "grassland cliff //" in the terrains
menu and elevate a grave site with a small brush to make it look like
something decent. But the cliff isn't necessary if it's a pauper's grave.
Well, don't forget to use the replacement effect, graphic scale, and
remember, no matter how good you're city is, it ain't worth scrap until
it has people walking around, and some sounds and voices in the