- 1 OGF: Year Three (7/23/2020)
- 2 OGF: Year Two (7/23/2019)
- 3 OGF: A Year in Review (7/23/2018)
OGF: Year Three (7/23/2020)
Three years! It's time to look back once again.
Tigeria: The Cinq Îles and Beyond
It's no surprise that Hexagonia City continues to be my best work. I've started detailing the buildings and other features of the city. Observers of my work have remarked that the city resembles Hong Kong (well noted!) and Le Corbusier's "Towers in the Park" urban design concept. It's very cool to know that the urban style that I'm mapping has a name and a history. I've also realized that Hexagonia City is developing character; now I can play with the existing urban ideas which influence the city and decide what to keep and what to throw away. What elements of "Towers in the Park" should I use? What other cities might I look to for metropolitan influences? What ramifications do my urban planning decisions have on the city?
And where would a city be without its metro? People like variety. Some people want to live in the city where the nightlife is vibrant and their friends are near. Others want to live a little farther out in the suburbs where it's a little more peaceful. And so I've started thinking about zoning the region for different types of urban activities. One neighborhood may be the arts district, another the district of tech start-ups, and yet another the diplomatic district. All of these districts form the urban patchwork and define the driving forces of urban Tigeria. I think that's pretty neat.
Cities attract people, and people create jobs. And so we have more jobs! The Assembly of Nations complex has expanded to include several new buildings across Power Plant Road and a data center complex to the north. Céleste and Danhduong Transportation Limited have opened plants in the region. And for those thirsty folks in the city, a boba milk tea from the Dakota Point Dairy is sure to please.
But Hexagonia City isn't the only place that's growing. So let's look at...
Meilan is something of a fortunate accident. A lot of cultural shuffling occurred in the OGF world this year, and that meant that the Asian-inspired nations on Antarephia would move away to Archanta. How would Tigeria justify its Meilanese presence then? So I asked to see if Tarephian Meilan could be reserved for the Meilanese people. I was not expecting to get the territory! And so the future of Meilan fell into my hands.
Meilan opened a lot of possibilities for me because of the territory's prime location on the Strait of Lyc. I considered creating a major entrepôt there. I thought about the political forces from the greater nations in the region and their effects on Meilan. I wondered how to keep the Meilanese language alive in spite of the Franquese and Ingerish languages nearby. What natural resources does Meilan have available? All of these questions make Meilan a fun exercise in mapping affected by sociopolitical change. Trade routes often become highly contested regions, and Meilan is no exception. I'm looking forward to demonstrating how the past influences the present developments of this critical territory.
Tsanonba: A Rebranded City
The cultural reshuffling also meant that my mapping in Chanunwa, West Commonia would be changing from English to Tagalog. And so I went back to revisit the capital of what is now known as AR902. Tsanonba, as the city is known in Tagalog, has grown by the day. As I've expanded the road network, the metro and tram networks have grown as well.
Blue mappers had left some rather disorganized roads and buildings, so I was once again cleaning up the city. Gone are the bulky polygons that indicated where the sports stadiums and government buildings were. The new stadiums and AR902 capitol building stand tall and proud.
As a blue nation, AR902 is also where I try new urban styles that I learn about. The "fused grid" urban concept of Bayan Berde is one such example.
It's exciting to try so many mapping styles and urban concepts. But mapping for different purposes is important, too. People need places to live, places to work, and places to shop. Let's look at some shops!
Gobras City Retail
There's always something to do in a project like OGF, and this is true even in collaborative nations like Gobrassanya. I still had to detail Tissoons and the other districts I had taken ownership for. So detail I did.
I'm very pleased with how the Gobras City Flea Market and the Lhatvohg Fields Shopping Center turned out when I had finished detailing them. I can see how far I've come since my first days when I look at the detail of these two places. The tight aisles of the flea market and the landscaped walks of the shopping center certainly inspire the imagination.
Watching our individual contributions come together in a collaborative territory like Gobrassanya thrills me. We all have different mapping styles in this territory; and while these mapping styles may sometimes clash, they also create the impression of different architectural styles that the OGF world has. From the marble buildings near the center of the Gobras City to the sleek, modern towers farther out, Gobras City is as interesting as ever.
I really appreciate all the feedback and support I've gotten from this community. I've learned a lot from my mapping neighbors in Tarephia (the best continent!) as well as those of you who stopped by to say hi. A lot of you do move around the OGF world, but I'll still be in my lovely corner of the world. Until next year!
OGF: Year Two (7/23/2019)
Another year comes to a close, and that means it's time to reflect a little bit on what I've done since my last bliki post. Ready? Let's go!
Hexagonia City: Heart of Tigeria
This year, I've been focusing a lot on the Cinq Îles and its capital, Hexagonia City. Hexagonia City is a lot of things to a lot of people. A city of cultures, a city of diplomacy, a city of innovation. From touring the towering buildings at the Assembly of Nations Office of the Tarephias to picking fruit at the Heritage Orchard, there is something to do for everyone. I've added a lot to Hexagonia City since last year, and the larger urban area is beginning to take form. Now I think about questions such as: Where will the metro go next? How will commuters get to work? What businesses and organizations will make their home in Hexagonia City? Only time will tell.
Speaking of organizations, let's look at one particular organization...
The Red Shield
The Red Shield is intended to be one of OGF's premier humanitarian organizations. I'm happy to have contributed this organization to OGF, and I hope the Red Shield continues to grow. Although I have received much interest in the Red Shield, I do wonder if an opt-out system (like the AN has) rather than an opt-in system would be better for such an international organization considering how OGF functions.
The Red Shield is one of the many organizations I take responsibility for, and I'm still learning how to be a good moderator while moving the organization forward. Even so, this is an exciting opportunity for me to add another dimension to OGF. I'm glad people are thinking about the roles the Red Shield could serve in their communities and in their countries' histories. Natural disasters and man-made disasters have always existed, and the Red Shield is ready to help!
The OGF world could always use more help with mapping, and lending a hand to map blue countries is one way we can make OGF come to life. So this year, I decided to practice my agricultural and industrial mapping in Gobras City.
Interestingly enough, mapping agricultural areas has been a tough exercise for me. I always found myself wondering if mapping a plot of land and calling it a field was enough for verisimilitude. If you think about it, isn't that what farmland looks like in reality? But I wasn't sure, so I added a few farmhouses and water towers for good measure.
But Gobras City is also a growing city, and with housing and industrial developments encroaching on agricultural land, finding a balance between the urban and the rural was imperative. So I had some fun with transit-oriented development. Map a few towers around a transit station, and you're done! No sprawling suburbs, no angry citizens knocking at your door asking why an entire neighborhood appeared on their farmland overnight; everyone is happy, and they have you to thank for that.
Gobras City was a nice exercise in mapping a territory along with other mappers. The challenge is to find creativity within the constraints agreed upon by the community. In the case of Gobras City, the layout of the city was determined long ago, but the finer details were still left to the imagination. What history does this area tell? Do you fill the area with buildings? Public spaces? Cultural centers? The answer is up to you.
Inxigne: A New Territory
Back in the Lycene region, I recently acquired a new territory which I named Inxigne. Inxigne is a land of pristine isles, tropical resorts, and colonial cities. I'm excited to figure out how to map a land of contrasts. How much does the traditional way of life blend with the modern? Is there social cohesion or social upheaval? What sort of relationship does Inxigne have with the world? If you stick around, you may soon find out.
Things on My Mind
- I've come to realize that the actual influence a city has on the world is not how expansively it's mapped or how many people live there; rather it is how integrated the city is with the global economy (like it or not, money runs the world). This means that the more diverse the economy of your city is, the more powerful it will be. One of my goals this year is to map more businesses in my cities to integrate my cities better into the region and the world.
- I'm beginning to see an urban corridor running from Hexagonia City up to Meilinmen. However, I'm trying to decide whether this should be a continuous urban corridor or a series of urban areas linked by a common transportation route. Since my neighbors are planning cities with millions of people in them, it seems a little unrealistic to me to have so many populous cities so close together (imagine the strain on the environment; is there enough food, water, and energy for all?). I might have to scale down my cities, but I want to wait and see what my neighbors end up doing.
Thanks to everyone in the Tarephia Cooperation Council for putting up with me and helping me call Tarephia my home in OGF. I've enjoyed getting to know your visions and your nations better. That's helped me understand my place in the region so that I can map not just my own countries, but my part of the region.
Thanks to everyone who has followed my work. It's nice to hear your opinions on my mapping and help me become a better mapper, even if we are at odds sometimes. Community projects are not always smooth, but that's part of the experience which I've learned to appreciate. Chazeltine (talk) 06:40, 22 July 2019 (CEST)
OGF: A Year in Review (7/23/2018)
Well, folks, this is it. July 23 marks my one-year anniversary at OGF, and what a trip it has been! I've learned so much about the OGF community and myself since I joined, and this community means a lot to me. Before we visit my cities around the world, I should warn you that mistakes were made (and they ain't pretty)...
"In West Commonia, born and raised..."
As a testament to my ~originality~, I named my first city Big Park because it was located just outside West Commonia's forested areas which were called (yep, you guessed it) Big Park. And one of the first things I mapped was the quaint Big Park Cafe at the rural intersection of Highways 1 and 201. But all good things must come to an end. So, bam! a new freeway interchange was born. And so it was with the rest of the city. Road by road, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, Big Park grew from a sleepy junction into a decently sized city nestled among the hills. And somewhere along the way, Big Park acquired an airport that was far too large for it (oops...).
I learned quite a bit about what cities need to function. Questions like:
- Where are the government offices?
- Where do people go to school?
- Where do people go for leisure?
- How do people get around?
And so libraries, schools, churches, and train stations began popping up around town. It wasn't much, but it was something.
Speaking of train stations, let's hop on the West Commonia High Speed Rail and travel to...
The grand capital of West Commonia, Chanunwa was a mess of tangled roads and rails when I arrived. Streets ran every which way, subways had stations every 500 feet, and railroad tracks curved way too tightly. It was a cartographer's nightmare. So with my trusty set of blueprints and my handy-dandy JOSM editor (JOSM is a life-saver, trust me), I went to work.
And so with a massive BOOM! the citizens of West Commonia witnessed the greatest demolition demonstration that will probably be seen in that part of the world for a good while. A few days and a few clicks later, Chanunwa 2.0 was born! I tried my hand at merging multiple street grids, creating a basic rail network, building a power station and wastewater treatment plant, and more.
Chanunwa was a wonderful exercise for me in creating different types of buildings, from high-rise towers, to apartments, to houses. I also experimented with public spaces, like national parks, squares, monuments, and bike paths. But eventually, it was time to move on. So I hopped on a plane and flew across the world.
The Land of the Tigers, Tigeria may not be the most powerful or the wealthiest nation on the planet, but as an up-and-coming nation, the Tigerines are doing quite well (thanks for asking!). If you ever visit, be sure to visit a local tea shop for some pineapple cakes and tea (mmm, delicious).
Tigeria and Kotel are very much a work in progress (the forests are a huge struggle for me, but I'm trying my best haha). Some parts I'm very happy about (such as Hexagonia City and Tigris), while other parts could use some improvement (such as the northern half of the country). All in all, I'm happy with the work I've done so far.
Things on My Mind
- The one issue I haven't been able to figure out yet about Tigeria is the population in the Dragonfly/Libellule river valley. I intend to run a railroad and a highway through the valley one day, but accessing the valley from the east and west is really difficult due to the mountain ranges on both sides of the valley. I imagine that small towns will dot the valley, but I'm not sure if this justifies anything beyond a major road running the length of the valley. Maybe one major city (Danaus Regentum) will exist in the valley, but beyond that, I'm not sure how developed the valley should be. For now, the valley will remain rural.
- I'm debating running a highway through the Libellule Gorges. I personally don't want to since it's a national park, but the gorges also provide a logical direct route through the Tigerine Mountains from the coast to points further inland.
I'm so grateful to the community that's been supportive of my journey here (shoutout to the admin team, especially isleño and Luciano! You rock!). You all have taught me so much about world-building, like how a nation is shaped by its geography, how nations grow, and how nations interact with one another on the global stage. I've also learned about how governments function and how cities become important centers of power.
I'm excited to see where my second year with OGF will take me, and I hope you'll share this journey with me.
Send a Postcard, Receive a Postcard
Congratulations on a year! I'm pleased you've taken great consideration into a lot of the natural features in your country, and there's a lot of promising mapping. I have a suggestion for you to consider. Take a look at the scale helper for a while and compare your work to real-world mapping. (For example, I lined up Tigris with Halifax just as a comparison because of similar topography.) Compare places like Hexagonia City and the islands to things like the Azores, etc. I started doing this a while back to ask myself some key questions:
- How much detail is needed for a coastline, even in an urban area?
- What size should things be to be realistic? This includes distance between things (coast and streets, dual-carriage highways, parallel railroad tracks)…
- How sweeping are the curves on railways, motorways, ramps, and aeroways?
- If population density of a real-world place is similar to mine, how sprawling or compact should the development be?
I think some good critical self-reflection will go a long way to even better mapping. Things like the turning radii on the rails in Hexagonia City or the overbuilding of the island (Arbor Greens) just to the northeast will get corrected quite quickly. There's a lot of good stuff you've got; I think you can make it even better. Good luck! — Alessa (talk) 15:05, 23 July 2018 (CEST)