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Hand-drawn conceptual town maps

Posted by Servant of the Lord, in AdventureFar, Design, Story/plot 27 March 2012 · 1,726 views

game world maps indie development rpg
  • Town names
  • Northern Ruling city
  • Kradenhiem   The castle
  • First destroyed village

Here's the basic world that the game takes place in:

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It's a single nation, land-locked on two sides (north-west and north-east) by mountain ranges, and the ocean to the southwest, and swamps to the south-east. The game takes place solely in that one nation.

It's not a very sea-faring nation, though it does have some limited trade by merchant vessels through it's one major port city ("Viarmhiem") near the capitol.
It has a few fishing villages but with only small vessels not going far from shore.

The structure of the nation is the capitol, Kradenhiem, and three major cities, or 'Lord cities', that control the surrounding towns, and villages on behalf of the king.

The capitol is ruled by the king, which rules...
The cities that are ruled by lords, which rule...
The towns and villages that are ruled by mayors (small villages don't even have a mayor).

The three lord-cities are named after the compass-points.
"Hahdief" - aka "Northering ruler"
"Sahdief" - aka "Southern ruler"
"Lumdief" - aka "Eastern ruler"

The main thicker road that encircles the nation is a well-paved stone road named, "The King's Highway", most other roads are dirt, unless leading to a larger town or city.

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This is the map of the capital city "Kradenhiem", which means "The source/center of honour" (The name was changed to that after becoming the capitol of the nation).

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Note: The city does not actually curve left-ward, that's just my mad drawing skizzels. Posted Image

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The game starts off in the farthest North-eastern part of the nation, in a secluded village named ' Vi ' that just got burned to the ground and everyone in it killed, you (a non-governmental 'guardian') and government soldiers are there to find out what happened and report back to your superiors (you to your fellow guardian peers, the soldiers to the king).

This is a map of Vi pre-destruction:

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Pardon my annotations. Though the map is drawn of the pre-destroyed village, the numbers and the corresponding text refer to locations of the first game scene, as the player is walking through the already-destroyed village, looking at the ruins and talking with the government officials already on-scene.

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Hafdief, the northern ruling city, is one of the first places you visit. The city itself has no real plot significance, though you return to that general area several times during the course of the game for minor plot reasons.

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I hope you enjoyed this look at some areas that don't yet exist map-wise in my game that's not yet released (or even properly named!). Posted Image
Next week I'll post a character concept image or two from one of the artists.




Well I love what you have right now, it looks like you have a good deal planned out, can't wait to see the character concepts as well, overall good job!
I really enjoy designing worlds - I think it is a lot of fun mapping things out and planning the 'bigger picture of the world'. Overall, you're design looks pretty solid - although I had to look at flow patterns to determine what is a river vs. a road - use of color could have made that clearer.

If you're looking to make another pass at your concept maps - I developed a pretty nifty technique with my own maps I'm be glad to share. Create some basic colored regions to block things out (swamp, forest, desert, mountains, etc.), then pick a noisy texture you like from a public texture source, and use a multiplicative techinque on that layer. (If you have access to photoshop, layer effects like "glow" and "drop shadow" add a little more candy to help presentation)

With a little finessing, you can create public-facing maps with just a few layers, really:

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While this map may look fancy - it's really just solid color 'blobs' in photoshop with some layer effects and a multiplicative texture layer over it. The texture is simply rust on a peice of sheet metal - which had a sort of 'organic' feel to it.

Keep at it! Good stuff starts as a note or sketch on a whiteboard, and I'm curious what you're concepts artists will provide as far as character designs. ;)
Thanks for the feedback!

@Jeff.Leigh: Thanks for the advice and techniques with coloration! I'll keep those in mind for when making the in-game viewable map - my roads and rivers totally do look too similar.
The world map shown isn't the one that will be viewable ingame but a concept for development. I intend to hand-draw the in-game viewable map (or get one of the artists to do so), and scan and color it.
Looks good! lol You should see the world map I did, nothing close to yours! ;)
Would love to see it! I've been following your journal entries sporadically, and greatly enjoy that old-school tile look (one tile equals one tree or one mountain, etc...). I'm a great fan of the original two Dragon Warrior games (or at least their Game Boy Color ports).
Thanks, I appreciate that. :)

Dragon Warrior still is a great game, and I really miss those NES years! I'm all about the classic look.

Keep up the great work with the maps, sometime I'll post my horrid version! Haha... You've got a real talent for map design, great placement!

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