Logic within cities





When we are creating a place, whether in a novel, story, illustration, comic or video game, we must take into consideration certain important details that surround them so that the place makes "sense."

there are various elements that make up, for example a town, such as a river network, houses, etc. The material with which the buildings are made must also be determined. It makes more sense to create "rock" houses in a mining town, than to make it "wood", which would correspond better to a town near a forest.

We also have to consider the basic services of each city so that it feels realistic.


In this tutorial we will show point by point those elements to consider when we are creating our world.

1 - City Organization

The way in which our city is organized is a crucial element in defining the identity of our people. A well structured and planned city will denote a stricter government and laws, whose inhabitants must follow the rules. On the other hand, a "patch" type town is one that was born spontaneously and, little by little, more structures were added as the population increased. This generally demonstrates a chaos in society where problems are gradually resolved.

Finally, I also wanted to highlight the fact that there are "dual" cities, that is, they are so sectorized that one can easily contrast between the "rich" and the "poor".


We will see some examples of organization.

1-1 Ordered City

In this city we can observe a previous planning. There is a large central square, surrounded by basic service centers, such as hospitals, banks, schools, etc.

There are "sectors" that have their own microstructure, that is, medical centers and smaller schools, surrounded by suburbs.

Finally, there are those places where the "raw material" is obtained, in this case, mining, an agricultural sector and a fishing sector.


You can create this type of city from the CENTER outwards, and, if you wish, use a guide or grid to make the streets.

1-2 City Patch

Having no planning, this city has unorganized streets, different buildings and colors that have nothing to do with each other. We can even sometimes find small houses in the middle of large buildings, or homes that are in very difficult access. Generally these types of cities are "around" some source of wealth, whether mineral, river or magical in the event that your city is fantastic.


You can create this city starting with the land, and then adding houses and buildings as you think about what is needed.

1-3 Mixed City

A dual city can be the product of a great separation of classes, or of a conurbation, that is, two cities that, as they grew, joined together. Here we can usually see a kind of "balance" of elements, that is, two large hospitals at each end of the city, two types of architecture, etc. This balance does not imply that both parties are equal, one may lack many things or that people are very poor. Generally these cities have three "centers", one for each "side" and a third improvised center where both factions meet, which can be a geographical delimiter like a river.


To create it you can simply mix two cities with the previous techniques, or start from the center and start its expansion.

2 - Essential Buildings

Each town or city has essential elements to be considered as such, that is, what guarantees the survival of its population.

It should be noted that, the lack of these elements can demonstrate the financial or economic situation of your city, for example, a large city that only has a small hospital demonstrates a huge health crisis, just as a city full of banks and stores shows that money He reigns in his place.

2-1 Basic Elements

1 - Houses.

The most basic of the basics. A home may not necessarily be a structure as such, but may even be tents or people living in trees, the main thing is that the villagers have a place to spend the night or take refuge from the weather.

2 - Hospitals.

Health is important. Whether a healer, a shaman or a specialized clinic, there should be a health center that people can access in case of any emergencies.

3 - Schools.

Although it is not necessary to have them in every town or city, having an educational center always shows the quality of life in the place. It may be the least "basic" if we think of small and isolated villages, but most large cities have educational centers.

4 - Energy.

Although uncommon in ancient stories, in large cities a source of energy that operates the artifacts is essential. This should not necessarily be electricity, but depending on your world it can be a source of magic or dark energy.

5 - Protection.

Although it is not necessary, it is quite common to see a police or protective force within a town that ensures the survival of people. Whether police, soldiers or firefighters, it is important to take into account the possible dangers that may affect your city and how to protect yourself from them.

6 - Food and supplements.

Markets, shops, workshops, etc. They can also be natural places like large groves or grasslands, depending on your history.

7 - Recreational.

Leisure and recreation time is important so that your residents can live happily and have time for relaxation. Depending on the world this can vary between squares, beaches, discos, pubs, etc.

8 - Unique.

If you have created your city based on some element or races of your own, you must have a source of that element that allows the life of these people. For example, a race that survives thanks to a field of energy produced by the ground, you must add it in each corner or some structure. If it is vital for the characters to eat sweets to survive, create many candy stores, etc.

3 - Concordant Elements

As mentioned at the beginning, the city must reflect not only the social and economic style on its façade, but it is also important that it makes sense and concordance with what is shown, that is, likelihood. For example, that in a city in the skies earmuffs are used to mitigate the wind.


3 - 1 Natural Resources

In most cities of the world there is a river or river source to supply people with water.

It is important to see the economy of your city and how it survives. If its inhabitants grow their own food or live on exports. If it is a fishing village, it has a large lake with several ports (1)


These natural resources should be REFLECTED in people's homes. If there is a lot of forest and wood, the city will have in its buildings much of this wood (2). If the city is metallurgical, its houses will be metallic or steampunk style (3), likewise with a technological or electric city where all its doors are automatic.

It should also be noted that the animals have to be consistent with the place.


3 - 2 Environment and Geography

The shape of your town should be accommodated as much as the geography and the environment in which they are. A city between snowy mountains must present steep streets that reach the top (1), a city floating on the sea must present a justification, such as wooden logs that allow the float or a coral reef that sustains them.


Houses can be made in such a way that, in a rainy town, water drains from the roof in a more efficient way than normal (2). In a city of bird people stuck in a cliff the houses can have a metal hook that allows them to cling to the rock like a cage (3), etc.

3 - 3 Clothes, Customs and Traditions

All of the above also falls to the residents themselves, who also reflect the lifestyle in the city. If in the snowy town the inhabitants hang their houses in the mountains they will receive the ice constantly melting, so their inhabitants must use a bucket of water as a hat (4). This custom generates that there is an industry of "bucket hats" for people.

If your inhabitants like to paint, it will be common for both clothes and walls to be scratched and colorful, there may even be a law that implies that your house should be with at least 10 drawings.


With this we can create from a character to the city, or from the city to the character.


4 - Architecture: Think of your inhabitants

It is common when we plan a city to focus clearly on everything in order and there are beautiful buildings and large avenues. We tend many times to group populations in a sector without taking into account several quite important factors.

4 - 1 Inside Houses

As a personal example, I have been making a hotel with many rooms, one for each character, and I end up making them fit in such a way that many of them run out of windows !! (2) It is important when houses or homes are being resumed EVERYTHING said before but on a micro scale, that is, the inhabitants need basic services such as a bathroom, a kitchen, a bed (1), and everything according to the geopolitical environment.

Always think that in the schools there are bigger bathrooms, that in stores there are more things behind the seller's window, and that this one also needs a bathroom or a cafeteria, etc.

4 - 2 Around the House

When we mention the organization and natural elements of our city we also have to take into account how they affect the architecture of our buildings. Unless that is our intention, let's not put a river a few centimeters from a house. What about the floods! (4) Although if that is our goal we must reflect that in, for example, the corners of the house, eroded by water and with moss (3).

4 - 3 Streets, Tickets, Avenues

Something that is quite forgotten is also creating streets and avenues for the city (5). Connectivity in a city is key to its existence, whether old dirt roads in a peasant city or dual-highway highways in a large city or even rails for flying cars of a futuristic city, we must think that everything must be of Somehow connected. Of course there will always be hermits or secret places that are not connected, but most places are. The relief and, again, the environmental conditions must also be taken into account.

If your city is on a cliff, the streets that go to the hills will be steep, and therefore the houses above will be different from those below and because of this, they will have difficult access.


5 - Final Tips

Finally ... Enjoy and play! By creating a town, building or society you are creating laws, people and a certain "order." You can imagine yourself living in the city, the problems you may have, etc. And don't just keep a point of view, try to think like a rich, a poor, a student or a worker (1). In this way you can build your city with much more detail and credibility. This will create things like:

5-1 Hidden Details

A carpenter's house can be made of wood, but due to the bad ecological situation in his country he has had to cut the wood of his own house to survive, so that house has several holes and cuts (2). This may not be mentioned directly in the story, or if it is an illustration, it may not even be noticed at first sight, but that small element gives more realism and credibility to your work, will allow others to draw conclusions, etc. .

5-2 Character Creation

If you have trouble creating characters, starting to create your world will help you greatly. If you put on the shoes of an X villager and imagine his life in the world you created, you can create a character with real problems and goals, living in a world that affects him, just as you can also justify a character to be " different from others. For example, a very pale subject in a desert city where most are brown, because he is a person who only goes out at night and this makes him suspicious of a crime, but that really is only because he lives in a place where always gives shade (3).


In the end, to create your own city it is not necessary to follow the order mentioned here. You can first create the city map, or if you prefer to determine geography or society. However, if you are creating a world, you should then consider ALL the elements mentioned to make it feel plausible.


Thank you very much for reading this tutorial! I hope it has helped them to create their cities, whether for stories, character creation, illustrations, video games, etc.




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