Immersion is the key.

Hi guys! It's me with another mapping tut, taken straight from a forum where I'm no longer active.
It's a nifty guide to creating towns and villages with a rich atmosphere.

Bear in mind that this won't be a step by step tutorial on how to create a town city. It is just too varied. So I'll lay out some basic guidelines rather. I honestly can't show you how I map, it's all done on... let's say, instinct.

Right's let get into this.

General Tips:

- First, decide on what kind of town you're going to create. Is it a bustling port town? A merchant's market in the middle of a desert? A fantastic 'sky city'?

- Knowing that will allow you to decide what tiles to use ( very important ) as well as deciding the overall layout.

- Leave plenty of walking room for your characters. Nothing is more infuriating than having an NPC block your route.

- Give the player a reason to explore your town. Rewarding gameplay ( such as searching for objects, or finding out about lore etc. ) can go a long way into creating a memorable town.

- NPCs too, can help bring your town to life. Stay away from the dreaded "Hello, welcome to So-so-so Town" and such other generic phrases that NPCs tend to spew out. Give them backstories and relationships with other NPCs.

- Atmosphere is very important as well.

For example: If you are going to create a port town/city, you'll probably want to go for a white-washed, clean look, to give the town that impression of open space, and fresh, open air. Which makes you think of a seaside town/beach, you get my drift, right? So, armed with that knowledge, you'll probably restrict yourself to using light-coloured tiles ( grey/blue-ish roofing, off-white/white walls etc ). That alone eliminates the tiring process of deciding which tiles to use. Which can frustrate many mappers.

Here are some examples, and the procedure I tend to follow when mapping different towns.

Castle Town

This map is merely an example. The actual town is a lot bigger, with more walking room.

Stone, Brick, warm-coloured tiles.

May have wooden roofing for the lower-class areas, with a crack or two in the walls. Don't combine contrasting tiles ( eg, bright red roofing with bright blue roofing, it can be a bit jarring on the eyes, since red is a very strong colour ).

If you feel the need to add red roofing to your towns, do so sparingly. You may add canals in the upper-class areas, just make sure there's a water source nearby on your world map. Oh, and adding a sewer doesn't hurt, either. ^^ A walled city is natural here, with gates at the north, south, east and west entrances.

Atmosphere: Bustling, with people talking in the background, guards posted at every entrance, maybe a busy town square in the very middle of the town.


Lots of natural resources, like wood, straw, bamboo etc for both walls and roofing for rural areas.

Plenty of natural vegetation as well. DO NOT use paved pathways here, it will ruin that overall natural beauty of the town. Villages can be anything from that elusive magic town to an ordinary woodcutter's village. You can use your imagination there. There are so many examples, so I'm not going to list them.

Atmosphere: Tranquil, serene, with water BGS in the background ( if you have a stream or river running through it, of course ). Otherwise, sound of nature.

Merchant's Town:

There will probably be a bustling square, surrounded by stalls selling every conceivable thing.

Depending on where it is located, it could either be in a backwater town (less fancy, limited stalls, maybe an odd beggar or two/pickpocket ) or in the very center of your game's capital city. They'll probably have transport available as well for your characters (anything from wagons to horses to boats maybe).

If you are creating a major mercantile marketplace, make sure it's connected to a main route of sorts on your world map, which links up all your towns. Doesn't make sense if the town is cut off in some way ( unless, it's part of a sidequest and your character's job would be to free up the route ).

Atmosphere: Noisy, maybe BGS of vendor-sellers. Persistent NPCs who urge you to buy their goods, hagglers, shady figures. Maybe a bandit's hideout in an unused building.

Port Town

Another example map. It may look nice to have a compact-looking town, but once you start adding NPCs, it becomes a bit difficult to navigate.

Tiles used: Cool-tinted roofing, white-washed walls, light-coloured stone flooring.

Located near a major trade route, or acts as a harbour for the major cities. Normally forms part of a major quest during the main storyline.

Atmosphere: Similar to Castle Town.

I admit, this tutorial was very hard to write. I could go on and on about more detailed set-ups, but this will do for now. If you guys really want me to show you how to go about mapping the individual towns shown above, then I could help you, but it will be hard... I map purely on instinct, and I've been mapping for the better part of 5 years as well ( first started out on RMXP ), so there's practice thrown in there as well.

I hope it comes in use for some of you. =) Yeah, there's a bunch of older screens from Enelysion. Just shows you how old this tut actually is. XD


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Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
Hmm. See, sometimes i subvert things..
I think you should say that people should take some example at real-life and historical/sci-fi towns and cities as well, because that helps a lot! :D (I must say that I also plan... like, everything on instinct, but I still don't know if it works to me ^_^;)
Hm i Wonder if i can pul somethi goff here/
Well, I can't necessarily do any people- or at least not their dialogue, as i"m doing a map- but Am going to do a few things with events; not in the sens of things that happen, but with plants, etc.
One thing also, when it comes to things happening within the town, you can give each town a specific event in which that town is talking about, so as to add to flavor.
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