Designing a City for Supers - is my sandbox big enough? - Page 2





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  1. #11
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    Yeah, things are a lot more spread out into suburbia on the West Coast than they are here in the Northeast. I remember that from my year living in San Jose. You successfully get by without a car in New York City, not so easily in Los Angeles.

    And borrowing from real world examples is a great idea - I like to do that too.

    Today I went back to the map and started to add some neighborhood overlays, but I still need to add some more in. Later I'll detail those neighborhoods at the street level. I need to brainstorm through my list in FreeMind to get everything placed where I want it. I want to have an overview map of the city first so things make sense when I start writing up detailed descriptions of the locales and populace.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails grimmtest00004.jpg  
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    One good thing to remember if that when possible most city planners lay down streets in modern cities in grids with sections of the grid being aligned towards prominent features or important locations. For instance every street in that yellow section would be aligned north/south or east/west and everything within the downtown loop would be at an angle to that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde View Post
    One good thing to remember if that when possible most city planners lay down streets in modern cities in grids with sections of the grid being aligned towards prominent features or important locations. For instance every street in that yellow section would be aligned north/south or east/west and everything within the downtown loop would be at an angle to that.
    Good point - that's exactly what I want for those areas. And the northern tip of the Business District (which I might name the Financial District) above the downtown loop up by Fort Triton will have more of an "old world" street layout based on the layout of the early settlement, like around Wall Street and the tip of Manhattan.
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    Not a big city, eh? So no webslinging?

    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde View Post
    One good thing to remember if that when possible most city planners lay down streets in modern cities in grids with sections of the grid being aligned towards prominent features or important locations. For instance every street in that yellow section would be aligned north/south or east/west and everything within the downtown loop would be at an angle to that.
    This assumes the city was ever planned. Most east coast cities are twisty and turny because when the streets were created hills, valleys and water streams determined where people wanted to be and what was "easy". Planning doesn't usually happen until the city's first big fire. There should be some section of the city that is "the old section" where streets follow no rhyme or reason. This is why lower Manhattan is not as uniform as the area around Central Park.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
    Not a big city, eh? So no webslinging?
    In what sense?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmucchiello View Post
    This assumes the city was ever planned. Most east coast cities are twisty and turny because when the streets were created hills, valleys and water streams determined where people wanted to be and what was "easy". Planning doesn't usually happen until the city's first big fire. There should be some section of the city that is "the old section" where streets follow no rhyme or reason. This is why lower Manhattan is not as uniform as the area around Central Park.
    Exactly. That's what I want for certain areas along the eastern coast and along the river, with more "urban planning" towards the west and more "inland".

    Here's today's effort adding in the major neighborhoods/districts. Tomorrow I plan on working on Lake Triton's northern shore. I wish I could find somewhere to host this image in all its full size glory without having it automatically shrunk down. EN World shrinks the image and converts it from PNG into a lossy JPG. Picasa keeps it as PNG but shrinks it even smaller (plus the forced integration with Google+ has made Picasa confusing and practically useless for me now especially with Blogger). I've been trying out PhotoBucket - the image isn't shrunk down as much as other places, but it's still not big enough for all the detail.

    Spoiler:


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    Jaerdaph,

    Just wondering what program are you using to do the map? CC or inkscape or Illustrator*?


    * I'm not sure you would have used PS or such a flat map.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Relique du Madde View Post
    Just wondering what program are you using to do the map? CC or inkscape or Illustrator*?

    * I'm not sure you would have used PS or such a flat map.
    I'm using Campaign Cartographer 3 (CC3), specifically the Modern Road Map templates from the 2011 Cartographer's Annual Volume 5 for CC3.
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    For those interested, I'm developing Grimm City as a campaign setting on my blog now, Just Add Heroes. Tonight I posted a writeup about the early history of Grimm City:
    Just Add Heroes: Grimm City History: Early History and The Troubled Time

    Thanks for reading, and now back to making the maps!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Umbran View Post
    So, it is about 4 miles by 3.5 miles or so. A person could walk across that in an hour, and a marathon runner could get across it in about 15 minutes (not counting traffic and such).

    The thing to note in your sandbox is that there's nowhere in it that cannot be reached in fairly short order by a person on foot. There are no remote places you can't get to quickly. Vehicle chase scenes will be over quickly, or run off your map.

    If I say it has a population density of something between a dense Boston suburb and Manhattan, we are talking a quarter to a third of a million people or so - so, maybe like Cincinnati or Pittsburgh. Less, if that square isn't all so densely populated.
    Well, living in here in Atlanta, I would say that the part of the city that could be classified as metropoitan is not that large. Of course, this is part of the illusion of the comic book world, where the downtown canyon of skyscrapers seem to sprawl endlessly, and everyone lives uptown in a megaplex of giant apartment building. The downtown/uptown sections of real cities--even metropolises--are actually fairly compact, and a traveler cutting a straight line will hit highways leading out of the heart of the city pretty quickly.

    Most cities consist primarily of residential districts sprinkled with small commercial zones, and these don't feature a lot of neat-o adventure-facilitating locales, just boring old homes. Which is why I, for one, wouldn't strive for a great deal of specific detail when designing a city for the purposes of adventuring. The terriory would become too familiar very quickly, and it would sort of paint me into a corner as far as ideas for establishments and districts that weren't initially accounted for.

    On a personal note, the main reason I found City of Heroes made for a stifling superhero experience is specifically that it confines a superhero's adventures to a city. Traveling to outer space, the center of the earth, secret government facilities that hover above the clouds, the anti-matter universe, ancient forgotten cities--that's exciting. Compare that to duking it out in cubicle farms and public libraries.
    If you ever find yourself tempted to retort "And in other news, water is wet...", try to resist. This is the go-to quip of the obtuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaerdaph View Post
    I added a little bit more detail today after setting up the map coordinate system. I have this brainstormed list of things I think my city should have - some of them I've developed and some are just seeds. I have an app on my DroidX called InkPad I like to use to make lists like this when I'm working on a project.

    • Public library
    • City Hall
    • Police headquarters
    • Police precinct houses/stations
    • Correctional facility
    • Mayor's mansion
    • Art Museum
    • Natural history museum
    • Opera house
    • Theater/playhouse
    • Hospital
    • City jail/prison
    • Insane asylum @ Ravenswood Island
    • Sports Arena/Colosseum/stadium
    • The docks/piers/harbor
    • Slips and basins
    • Warehouse district
    • Factories
    • Parks
    • Squares
    • Chinatown
    • Bus depot
    • Train station
    • Airport
    • Subway
    • Sewers
    • Steam tunnels
    • Hotels - 5 star and fleabag
    • Restaurants/diners/cafes
    • Bars and dives
    • Cathedral
    • Churches
    • Mansions and Manors
    • Townhouses/brownstones
    • Luxury high rises
    • Slums/ghettos
    • Tenement houses
    • Cemetery
    • Cotham Yards ballpark
    • Fort Triton
    • Fort Charles
    • Naval yards
    • Old Ivy University
    • Schools public/private/academies
    • Fairground
    • Amusement park
    • Boardwalk
    • Reservoirs
    • Abandoned buildings/anything
    Definitely looks like you've put a lot of thought into this. Do you play video games? Check out a game like GTA or Saints Row. You can explore the map at your leisure.
    If you ever find yourself tempted to retort "And in other news, water is wet...", try to resist. This is the go-to quip of the obtuse.

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