CA style development - "Darklands City" (issues for September and December 2021)

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  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    I'm envisioning something half way between run down and medieval apocalypse. It sounds like others may be thinking about more recent ages than me, so I'd better ask.

    What ages are you all thinking of?

    AleD
  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 45 images Cartographer Administrator

    What ages are you all thinking of?

    Low to medium fantasy medieval.

    JimPLoopysuejmabbott
  • edited June 28

    What ages are you all thinking of?

    Well, I would think Dark Ages Europe, around 1000AD with ruins that don't fit the period. For example; a post apocalyptic, grimdark feel, would have modern-styled ruins, as in Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire Trilogy.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thanks Remy - that was where I was going with this, but not so very tightly that it couldn't be imagined as any time period within the entire medieval period.

    Jim - the ruins will set the age, since there isn't much else to do that with in a top view city style, and the setting of the age is most likely going to be by materials used, and the style, size and quality of the roof. Also the little bits and bobs that go with everything, like whether or not there are water troughs for horses or petrol stations for cars. I'm not familiar with the Broken Empire Trilogy, so I'm a bit confused by what you mean.

  • It’s a grimdark series set in a future, post apocalyptic version of earth, where it’s medieval technology. Quite a good read. The ‘hero’ is very unheroic. In fact, he’s a basically a psychopath. Think swords and sorcery with more emphasis on the swords set a a few hundred years after a nuclear catastrophe of some sort.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Hmmm.

    If I had done the structure symbols of ruined modern cities in the overland style that might be an appropriate age, but I think this time it will have to be medieval buildings to match the medieval age of the overland style.

    That is not to say that we can't do a more futuristic city set at some point, though.

  • thehawkthehawk Traveler
    Loopysue said:

    Thanks Remy - that was where I was going with this, but not so very tightly that it couldn't be imagined as any time period within the entire medieval period.

    That is what I was thinking too, based on the style done in the overland. I just point out modern images to give a feel of the difference between 'old ruins' (like Roman stuff all over the place that I'm sure you can just close your eyes and picture by now) and 'recent ruins' that are the result of some conflict or cataclysm that happened recent enough that maybe even older children remember a before time. As Quenten alludes to, there are a great many examples of this in the world today. A search for 'war torn city images' or some such brings up some good examples.

    Loopysue
  • I don't know my history as well as I should but I just kind of imagine an arthurian age where most people of power are corrupt and everybody knows it but is too fearful to stand up to it, so they purposely keep that fear cycle turning with public displays of punishment. Getting in good with certain officials means you are untouchable, up to the point of your usefulness anyway, so crime is common and it is a risk to even try and prevent it from happening.

    Then the players enter.

    Loopysue
  • pvernonpvernon 🖼️ 34 images Traveler Betatester
    edited June 29

    A thought, coming in to this late, is to check the flavor text in the Mistborn books by Brandon Sanderson. Which may point to some detail things to through in.

    Volcanic dust on roofs, and roads for example.

    Loopysue
  • 17 days later
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Well, I've made a start with the textures, which at this point are mostly grass - 6 shades, including burnt. There are a few natural symbols so far, including the first fire, and a tiny prototype building in 4 states - new, aged, derelict and ruined.


    TonnichiwaQuentenMonsenJimPWeathermanSwedenCalibreAleDGlitchdagorhirjmabbottand 2 others.
  • Great looking symbols Sue!

    As always I can't wait to see it all finished.

    Loopysue
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy
  • Love them, Sue. I get a floating feeling from some of the bigger rocks. Will the fire symbol be separate? I hope so, it is so great.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited July 17

    Thanks Quenten :)

    The bigger rocks look like they are floating when combined with the burnt grass, which is nearly black, but with the rest of the grass they seem fine. I've added a shadow sheet just underneath them to cast a shadow on the grass, but this could be reversed so that the shade of the face is increased as well.

    Yes, the fire is a separate symbol. It would be a bit awkward if it was built into the ruin symbol. The scorched soil and grass are also separate fills and not part of the ruins, so the ruins can be placed in a more peaceful scenario among the grass.

    JimPQuentenGlitch
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Working on the trees today with my new Affinity brushes. These new brushes I've got are also how I managed to draw the fire. No promises yet, but I am very much hoping to generate some kind of water flow symbol with them as well.


    MonsenJimPDaltonSpenceCalibreAleDWeathermanSwedenGlitchdagorhirjmabbott
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thank you, Quenten :)

  • Hi everyone and great work @Loopysue !

    I am a bit in late with the discussion but if you are looking for inspiration about a desolated "post-something" ruined city I suggest the old game Mordheim. There should be a pc game which may provide some images. Also, some scenarios for the miniature game could he of help (here a random one). It is based in the Warhammer universe, so it should look like an German medieval city around the end of middle age (I guess, sorry if I am wrong). I really like the grim atmosphere of the game, where bands of adventures enter the ruined city (due to a meteorite fall) to get treasures.

    Anyway, symbols so fare are wonderful! I can't wait to see it all finished.

    Loopysue
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thank you for that, AleD :)

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited July 19

    Well I finished the trees for this first part. I decided they weren't dark enough and a bit too cheerily yellowish. Some of them were also not very well defined so I tweaked the brushes I was using and here they are now.


    MonsenCalibreJimPGlitchQuentendagorhirjmabbott
  • They're lovely trees Sue, but I think we're hitting the same issue as with the Darklands overland style, in that they're just too nice!

    Maybe think about something less symmetrical, and with some dead branches, or just branches without leaves, and maybe even some very battered trees too?

    LoopysueMonsenJimPGlitchjmabbott
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Thanks Wyvern. I'm onto doing the houses now, but I will look at things again if I finish them before handover is due.

  • thehawkthehawk Traveler
    edited July 19
    Wyvern said:

    They're lovely trees Sue, but I think we're hitting the same issue as with the Darklands overland style, in that they're just too nice!

    That's what they want you to believe. That's how they lure you in. All bright and cheery. Pretty flowers. Oh, what a lovely fragrance! And that fruit looks awful juicy doesn't it. Pulling your attention away from the razor sharp thorns. The bark that.. Wait, that almost looks like a fang'd mouth. But that has to just be my imagination, right? It couldn't possibly be.. hrk!

    Black locust might be too bright green, but is otherwise a good example. Brambles, blackberry vines as thick as your wrist, murder hornet nests, scotch broom, kudzu.. And I think even the wild peas would take an adventurer out and leave no trace until winter time..
    LoopysueWyvernQuentenCalibre
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited July 20

    And there you have it in a nutshell. Well, in two comments anyway. Two opposite approaches to darkness - one completely direct, and one so subtle you could easily miss it if you weren't paying attention.

    I hope that by the time the second part to this style is published there will be enough to do it either way, though with time constraints I might have to go for the subtle approach for the first part. There will certainly be scorched ground and fire, despite the apparent normalcy of the rest of the artwork.

  • Varicolor might help. perhaps.

  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy

    Help?

    I hope you will be surprised in the end. Darkness is all the more frightening if it masquerades as light. But of course there will be varicolour ;)

    JimPCalibre
  • dagorhirdagorhir Newcomer

    I'm loving this style already! I just can't wait to use it.

    Loopysue
  • The 'Darklands" style is going to become my go to, at least for personal projects, I think...

    Loopysue
  • LoopysueLoopysue 🖼️ 28 images Cartographer ProFantasy
    edited July 24

    Thank you, dagorhir and Jim :)

    I think a lot of the sweetness of the style was contributed by the water, so I've put an RGB Matrix Process on the default blue water and turned it considerably more murky. I've also started work on the tiled houses of the set.


    MonsenDaltonSpenceJimPWyvernQuentenMedioTheschabiWeathermanSwedenCalibreAutumn Gettyand 1 other.
  • MedioMedio Surveyor

    Looking really good so far :)

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