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Old 05-29-2006, 06:53 PM   #1
AtOmIc_PeAnUt
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Idea How to terrain a city

OK, so I've only got 6 posts on my account, but I'm not a noob, which is why I decided to create this tutorial, that and the fact that it seems a lot of people are asking how to make a city, and because in my experience, existing "How To Make A City" tutorials are naff!

So now the formalities are done, I'm going to be a hypocrite. I am a noob... Atleast to this site, and this is my first tutorial, which is why I'm apologising in advance if I get this in the wrong forum. Please don't flame me

The city we will create probably wont be to everyones taste, but that is fine, there are many ways to build a city, each with a very different look and atmosphere. The city we will build here will have quite a cramped, grubby feel to it.

PREPARING OUR MAP

So, to start with, we will create a new 64x64 map, using the cityscape tileset. Please note my kindness here, as a lot of people post screen shots of how to do this, whereas I didn't want to be patronising

I think most people will aggree that some of the tiles we have been given are god damn ugly, so we're now going to change that. On your toolbar, go to Advanced ---> Modify Tileset, and check the box allowing us to create our own custom tileset.

We're going to chuck out the things that look unnatural or too clean. These include:

Grass, Grass Trim, White Marble and Round Tiles.

Once you've removed these items, replace them with the following:

Short Grass, Cobble Path and Crop from the Village tileset.
Grassy Dirt from the (shock horror) Lordaeron Summer tileset.

Zoom (requires log in)

PLANNING OUR MAP

So, now we have an area to work on and an appropriate tileset, we can begin to plan out the structure of our city. No matter how scummy or run down your city is, chances are it will have some kind of main square or courtyard at its heart, so for this example, we will create a civil square kind of arrangement.

We need to simply mark out a square with some kind of pattern on it. The pattern can be basic or intricate, depending on the status of your city, i.e. intricate and amazingly detailed in a capital, but simple and plain in a slum.

We will also place a few, large monumental doodads in our square, these can include obelisks, statues, fountains and so on.

I will aslo create 4 main roads leading away from the square and into the rest of the city.

Zoom (requires log in)

"But that looks !&%$" I hear you say, in truth, yes it does, but don't worry, it is only meant to be marked out remember, you can go back and add detail till your heart's content later if you like.

If you are intending to include any more momentus areas in your city, now is the time to mark them out, but do not detail them yet.

So, now we have a centre point from which to work, we can plan out the rest of our smaller roads and alleyways. To do this we use a smaller width, and mark out lots of little roads leading away from our main roads.

HINT: Make sure you don't just create one huge, never-ending road which wraps around your map over and over. Use lots of small, interlinking roads and streets for best results.

Zoom (requires log in)

Notice how I included a wider road going around the city, these main roads could represent anything you like, borders into another district, etc. They could also be used just for guidelines to marking out your little streets.

PLACING BASIC BUILDINGS

Now we have the structure of our city and our road system laid out, we can start on placing some primary buildings. For this, we will use the 'city buildings', located under Doodads ---> Cityscape ---> Structures.

Go around and fill in any excessively large spaces with the large right-angled buildings, but keep your buildings near the tiled path with a little dirt still showing. When you have done this, fill in the rest of the spaces with the regular 'city buildings', but try not to overlap onto your paths

HINT: Try to have as many doors facing into the street as you can, to improve the cityscape effect.

Try to pack your buildings in as tightly as you can, but still leaving the small space of dirt between the building and the road. Dont worry about strange angles either

Zoom (requires log in)

PADDING OUT BUILDINGS

Now we can start to pad out our city with the small buildings, they can be found in the same place as the city ones and are just called 'building'. Use them to fill in any gaps between your larger buildings.

HINT: When placing these buildings, try to put the small green ones on the outside of a block of buildings, and the tall purple ones in the middle.

When you have been round and filled in any gaps or just added a few little buildings to make areas look nicer, you should try and get as many of them as you can to face outwards, away from the block they are in, or towards the nearest street. You can do so by selecting them, holding down CTRL, and then clicking where you want them to face. If this doesn't work, you'll have to press ENTER, and edit the rotation that way, through trial and error.

HINT: Where there is a purple building in the middle of a block, max out its scaling to make it tower over the rest of the block, adding to the cramped effect.

DIRTYING YOUR CITY

To start dirtying our city, we will simply vary the tiles a bit. In a completely random manner, throw down the following tiles over areas which are still covered by dirt:

Short Grass, Cobble Path, Rough Dirt and Grassy Dirt.

Zoom (requires log in)

Now we can further the process of making it look old and lived in, simply by adding rocks, overgrown shrubs, flowers and so on. This step couldn't be less simple, just choose spaces, alcoves etc where a bit of scenery would be nice, and stick some environment doodads down. I would aim to use the following:

Rocks, Shrubs and flowers, all of which can be found in:
Doodads ---> Cityscape ---> Environment

Use these items of terrain to hide any more gaps you couldn't hide with buildings, or ugly lines where buildings meet, etc.

HINT: Make sure to have the random scaling and rotation on for this.

HINT: When your placing your doodads, try to bunch them in groups, rather than having a stand-alone rock, or 3 shrubs on their own, try placing a rock, then some shrubs over and around it, and then some flowers near its edge.

Zoom (requires log in)

FINAL TOUCHES

Now our city is fully furnished with buildings, and looking lived in, we can add the final touches. These should include plenty of the Cityscape 'Post Lamp' doodads. You can also stick in a few villagers, wandering mercenaries, rats, and so on, and any other doodads you want, such as wheelbarrows or barrels.

HINT: Do not use the random scaling and rotation for the lamp posts, but throw them down in a random manner. Make sure you dont line them up neatly, just stick them where they look good, usually behind rocks and in shrubs, etc.

CONCLUSION

So there you go. I hope this can be of use somewhere, all feedback will be welcome

I have included the map for anyone who wishes to take a closer look, and get the views the screens dont give. It is also unfinished around the borders of the city. This is for anyone who wants to have a go at completing it and try to make it fit in with the rest of the city. If anyone does that, and wants some pointers or feedback, just send your completed version back to me, either as a reply here, or a PM or whatever.

-CHEERS

AtOmIc_PeAnUt
Attached Images
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN1.jpg (83.9 KB, 1344 views)
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN2.jpg (106.1 KB, 1979 views)
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN3.jpg (90.6 KB, 1713 views)
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN4.jpg (117.2 KB, 2228 views)
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN5.jpg (103.0 KB, 1753 views)
File Type: jpg CITYSCREEN7.jpg (117.4 KB, 2438 views)
Attached Files
File Type: w3x City Example Map.w3x (31.0 KB, 348 views)
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:18 PM   #2
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Please read our Rules, images should be attached not linked to ImageShack. Also images larger than the style width of this site must be within [thumbnail] tags. Please do not make a thread title all in capitals, I have modified this for you. Lastly, take a look at the header of the forum. See the 'Tutorials' button? Might have tried there first.

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Old 05-29-2006, 07:40 PM   #3
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The grassy dirt is very ugly; it doesn't fit in with the rest of the tileset. Also, you didn't mention Rough Dirt, and yet, your terrain contains it. For suggestions, you could fix the perspectives on the doodads and give some perspective tips.

However, this is a good tutorial for beginners, so I'll approve it.

EDIT: Also, crop your pictures, get rid of the World Editor.
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:40 PM   #4
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Also, your images are huge (1.4MB each). Please save them as JPEG instead of BMP and decrease the quality.
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:47 PM   #5
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OK, well I did say at the beggining that I am noob to this site and writing tutorials, but I wont get angry, lol. If I attatch images I wont be able to display them in the relevant section of the tutorial though, or will I? Guess I'll have to attatch em anyway.

PS I only included the grassy dirt cos I thought it looked kind of like mouldy hay O_o Guess not though...
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Old 05-29-2006, 07:52 PM   #6
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[attach]####[/attach] will let you place the attachment where you want in the thread. (The #### appear in the URL to the attachment, somthing like attachmentid=####)

Or if you can't figure that out, just do [thumbnail] with the link to the attachment.
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Old 05-29-2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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OK I changed them to thumbnails, is it OK now? I aslo added in the fact that I used rough dirt (I purely forgot about it before because it's on the original tileset) and changed a few typos etc.
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:52 PM   #8
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Well, I don't know where you uploaded the images as attachments, but the links are broken.
To attach the images to your post, edit it, click on go advanced, manage attachments, and select the images you want to attach from your harddisk. As already mentioned they should be jpg or gif, not uncompressed bmps.

When the images finally work this can be approved.
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Old 05-30-2006, 05:21 PM   #9
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lol OK I fixed the images again
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Old 05-31-2006, 05:16 PM   #10
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Ok, that's cool now, approved!
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Old 06-01-2006, 06:42 AM   #11
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This tut's not so bad. Though the city looks pretty ugly to my liking. Too much everything in a too small area. Buildings and their placement looks like random village cottages yet the streets are cobbled and symmetrical like in bigger cities.

Also if this is "city" why does it have dirt and rocks all over it when streets are cobbled? I think that if people have the knowledge of cobbling roads they would most definetely pay attention to foundations of the buildings.

Still, I think this tut works. I just disagree with some issues here :)
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Old 06-01-2006, 12:08 PM   #12
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Eh, he hasn't even changed the fog from it's default, the whole thing is flat and pretty ugly imo. Anyone could make this in a few minutes. I'm working on a city tutorial that is going to be really long, (suspence) so be on the look out. As for the tutorial writer you should really take a look at the terrain capabilitys of our members here because 95% of them are better then you, and somehow you writing tutorials for them seems rather wrong. But it's still a good start, but you have lots to learn.
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Old 06-01-2006, 02:16 PM   #13
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lol, well sorry for offending you so badly... I did say that it was my first tutorial, but still I think 95% may be an exageration O_o I think you may be basing that off the minority of regular WT entrants...
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Old 06-01-2006, 04:47 PM   #14
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That's a bunch of buildings and stone, this is a city:
Click image for larger version

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ID:	6925Click image for larger version

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It's not really anywhere near done, and I don't think it ever will be (though I still occasionally work on it). Of course, except for one or two special buildings and doodads it's not using any custom models, which makes for a little repetitivity with only some 10 different kinds of houses. Even so, I think that each neighbourhood has a unique feel to it and is different from every other, so that's all right.
Some people complain think the purple weird; I think it looks cool and eventually there won't be so much left of it (except on certain main roads and the waterfront, which is at it should be).

And yeah, it did take me ages to make, but it was totally cool to do, so I don't care


How to do this? Well, as for me I started by making the river (which I changed a number of times after), then I had an island in the middle, because that looks cool, and I made a few streets there.
After a while the island was complete and I started on another neighbourhood some way away; later on I linked the two with a long (but not too straight) street which in the end turned out to be an important commerce road between the harbour and the lands north of the city. Then the city just more or less started to grow organically, I just continued putting down things where they made sense and I couldn't help but come up with explanations and historic events for the city, many of which I've written down. Now, I'm not sure if that's the kind of thing you want for your city, but it *is* a city and not just some houses dropped haphazardly along a pattern of, for lack of a better term, roads.

Click image for larger version

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Views:	361
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ID:	6927

Incidentally, if anyone wants to use my city, just contact me and we can talk about it.
I haven't stopped work on it either; I have some great ideas, but I always get bored with triggering real fast.

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Old 06-01-2006, 07:02 PM   #15
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ROFL I GIVE UP, i just won't bother posting any more tutorials, I just get flamed, and told it looks 'ugly', or 'mine is better' or 'you do it like this...'
If anyone does actually find it useful (which I sincerely doubt now) please do let me know :D
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