I think it’s time I came out with a longterm project of mine now it finally seems to be going somewhere.
The idea goes back to a city I designed on paper when I was 14 (1989) so I’ve been involved with it in some way or other for the last 20 odd years (!) but I only started for real last year when I made a big wire mesh of the map.
The map is approximately 8km x 8,5km large with a 6km x 4km peninsula making up the bulk of it. The original design was about 3 times bigger but I decided I was going to finish a smaller version instead of becoming frustrated with the XXL one. (As it happens, I think the small version is a biggish job already…)
It’s basically a concentrated version of the original design with all the important bits minus a lot of redundancy (so actually, the big one might not be so hard to do if and when I finish this one). In fact, I can only think of two structures (airport and stadium) I actually had to ditch for spatial reasons. And I changed the height of the tallest building from 400m to 300m because it just looked to big in the small version.
As a place, I guess my city a bit of a kitchen sink job with elements of places I’ve seen in real life and /or various media. I think you could say that it’s like Hamburg, various mediterreanean coastal cities, Midtown Manhattan, San Francisco and L.A. (I haven’t been to Frisco and L.A) having a get-together.
This is rather a low detail affair. The idea is to make a complete city and strike a balance between level of detail and dimension. However, once it’s finished (ca autumn this year) I’m planning to flesh out a number of interesting places (‘famous’ streets, cathedral, prominent skyscrapers etc)in much greater detail with day and night skins.
For now, I want it to be just about detailed enough for viewers to make educated guesses at vegetation, building styles and dimension.
I merge objects all the time so I can quickly make whole districts invisible should the cpu load become too heavy to do modeling work.
RAM-wise, it should be doable with headroom to spare. I’ve done quite a few test projects using ridiculous amounts of vertices so there shouldn’t be a problem building up the city and add a few extra doodads whenever the mood strikes me. I want the model to be as detailed as possible before going in to make the ‘places of interest’.
When it’s finished, the whole thing shouldn’t consist of more than 20 objects altogether (‘old_town_buildings’, ‘old_town_traffic’, ‘beach_side_vegetation’ and so forth) for easy deletion and/or invisibility switching.
To reduce material clutter and make joining of objects simple, everything in my model uses one big texture image (with a few exceptions). So far it’s been working quite well.
I’ll keep you posted as this is coming along. There’ll be lulls and times when I’m fed up with it. With a bit of luck, I’m going to make the first detailed bits by the end of the year.