Watabou Medieval Fantasy City generator
I thought I would put my thoughts and tips to using this great generator and annual issue.
I can now go from generating a map, downloading it to SVG, converting it to dxf, and then produce something like this in 22 minutes.
Here is what I mean:
I did 10 of the small towns last night. Fleshing them out is a later and longer task.
There are a few drawing tools I have added which I found very helpful (they are my creation, but do feel free to use).
Note that the roof colours are light brown, darker shaded are reserved for 2nd or 3rd floos (either round or polygonal).
I also bypass the whole drawing fields around furrows, and use a drawing tool I made which adds furrows to the various coloured fields (here I used the brown, green and default settings for fields that comes with Watabou annual). This also means I can draw fields wherever I like, using the drawtool (which I have done here) and bypass the step of dealing with translating the dxf fields into something. To make the tool (Fields with Furrows - green, brown or yellow), I had to make a hatch pattern for the furrows. I don't know if anyone is interested in this.
What I do is to draw the fields using the draw tool over the lines (which are still on the Import sheet, ) layer). Then when all the map is translated (except for the fields) I delete the Import sheet, hide all layers except 0, and delete whatever is on that layer. Then delete 0.
I also have a drawtool for the Legend background. All this is in my own template which has the same name as the official one, with QW added at the end.
I also have new drawtools for a gatehouse, and tools for 2nd and 3rd levels of buildings. You will also note a drawtool for the rivers with a darker centre, indicating deeper water.
Finally, I have finessed drawing the towers a bit - I leave the tower markings on the Import sheet (ie, don't convert them) and use them as guides for my towers. To keep towers the same, I do one in the correct position, then copy from the centre to all the other positions. With the square towers, which are a little trickier, I do one for each set of gates, copying one side tower to the other and line them up parallel to each other.
Finally, you can go to this site, which allows you to enter your own parameters in the URL, such as size (midget to humungous) and number of gates and roads leading from the city.
Set all the other options as you would like. Here is an example:
The sad thing is that if you want to set the number of gates (which also sets the number of roads leading from the city) you must manually add &gates=[number of gates desired] each time you reroll.
If you press the space bar and hold it down, in the generator, you will get the total number of buildings at the left top corner, which can help work out your population (I get lazy and use 4 pop/building except for large cities, when I use 6/building).
As for what setting you need to have in the downloaded png and svg, you MUST have the following.
a. Palette: Colour only - turn everything else off.
b. Annotations: Scale bar only - turn everything else off - believe me, you don't want to have text in the dxf.
c. Hatching off
d. Thin Lines on
e. Buildings: Have No stroke off for separate buildings, and on for blocks only (which I use to do simple sewer lines), and either tight or not (close buildings or separated), No Triangles on, and Improved lots on - this last is a new feature and gives much better shaped buildings. I have complex turned on, but this is because i am an obsessive nerd. If you want a good system for sewers, the save anothe SVG with Blocks turned on.
f. Water: Turn isolines and simplified off. Leaving isolines on is a real headache.
g. Warp: You can also edit the map using the warp tool (which is gradually getting better, or I am getting the hang of it) and Rotate it by using Shift-Warp - useful if you need a specific alignment., and saves you doing it in CC3+.
Getting the settings right is absolutely essential if you want to get a useful svg to convert to dxf.
I love taking the original Watabou annual settings and converting them to other styles, eg my cities of Nesvines:
All these are in the Community Atlas. This generator and the annual have made making big and medium size town so much easier.
The Watabou generator is being updated regularly, and I am also a Patreon. If you use this free tool a lot, please consider becoming one yourself, to encourage Oleg to continue with his improvements. He is working on curved streets and making blocks more editable. He recently has reduced the acuteness of the walls, added the improved lots, moved farmhouses to the side of the fields instead of plonked down in the middle, allowed castles to be inside the city walls rather than attached to them (your choice), improved the look of the coast and rivers to be more natural, and allowed you to specify number of gates as mentioned above - still not easily available as an option.
To finish off, here is the link to my first Watabou map before the annual, and then after the annual.