- 1 That Was the Year That Was
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That Was the Year That Was
Oh look, we've made it to the end of another year. What a stupid one that was.
Today is December 31, 2017, otherwise known as Proclamation Day in Cambria, or alternatively as the day marking one year since I took the keys to Vodeo. While I will admit that I have been looking at other territories and thinking why didn't I choose that one?, I wouldn't exchange Vodeo now. Where once there were unmapped forests, there are now cities, highways, power lines, and Empire Coffee shops. During 2017, Vodeo made its biggest evolution ever, from being a nation built on paper to one digitised in greater detail than I'd ever dreamed possible. Some sacrifices had to be made in the transition, and the old order found itself well and truly thrown out (Avalon and Cambria were once on different coasts rather than provincial neighbours), but all in all I'm very pleased with how Vodeo has done so far. Let us now look back at a few highlights.
The Year in Vodeo
Or: "How Vodeo Took Over the World, Year One"
Saviso dominated my mapping time this year. It's understandable, considering that even in the paper days, Saviso was the most well-mapped and constructed, not to mention that it's the country's capital and largest city. The Saviso you see today is a rough copy of a map I worked on over a couple of years, albeit in far greater detail. I had been somewhat scared of taking on the challenge of mapping Saviso given its immense size (roughly that of Myrcia with five times the population), but it's turned out to be a lot of fun. Saviso is unashamedly a homage to two of Australasia's greatest cities, Auckland and Melbourne, but when you're this fabulous, why hide it?
Building Aslington was definitely the highlight of the year for Saviso. I had originally intended it to be a pretty staid suburb housing Parliament and the judiciary, but you delightful people decided to make it vibrant and cosmopolitan instead. As Alessa put it:
- “I can imagine that this is likely the most culturally diverse place on the map right now. It would be so much fun to visit.”
Since then, I've been thinking about who might call Saviso home. I thought of the Neo Deltan ambassador who gives daily thanks for the industrial-strength air conditioner on the roof. I thought of a small Myrcian girl who left Dunwic with her family in the 1950s to create a new life in this enormous tropical city. I thought of the Østermarkers who moved here in search of better pay to send home to loved ones. And I thought of the Maureti immigrants standing in doorways screaming at each other. Saviso's not just the capital city of Vodeo anymore, it's a city for people from all over the world to enjoy. Ingerish, Castellanese, and Franquese might be the three most-spoken languages in Saviso, but they're just three of many. The Queen City of Tarephia is a city of the world now, and you guys did that. Golf claps all around.
It all started here. Holme was the only city mapped in what was then called Melcar, and it was only a small city on a peninsula. Most of the area mapped east of the Garden River is mostly as I found it, albeit with new names and some alterations here and there. The biggest change here was filling in the western bay to make room for new suburbs - Vienna Road follows the old shoreline. In the real-world history of Vodeo, Holme is pretty much equal to Saviso in importance - the city goes back almost as far in time, and where there were maps of Saviso, so too were there of Holme. And yet, the grand old dame isn't all she could be, but I'll discuss that in further detail below.
In the real-world history of Vodeo, Brynderwyn originally didn't exist. There was no need for it to - no city served the purpose Brynderwyn does, that being a port city at the mouth of the Rabe. Originally Brynderwyn sat right on the border of two provinces, but when I scaled the provinces back, suddenly Brynderwyn began to take shape in its Cambrian clothes. Thanks to some discussions with Pawl, Brynderwyn went from a sleepy little river town to the site of Vodeo's first successful permanent settlement, and is now a major tourist trap drawing in big money thanks to its nautical history. And as if having pirates filling the parking meters wasn't enough to love, there's the historical charm of Welcome Island and the rugged splendour of the Tahorine Range alongside it. But the icing on the cake? Brynderwyn is home to the distillery that makes Vodeo's most famous rum - Port Adelaide. Drink some tonight as you welcome in this new year and you might wake up in time for the next new year.
When I wasn't mapping Saviso, chances were good I was at work in Cambria instead. I'm not sure why the province took my fancy this year, but as a result, we now have lovely places like Crafers and Tindalls Bay to admire. The M1, Vodeo's most important highway, linked Avington and Holme for a while, but the pathfinding never quite worked and so now there is a break between Longlac and Marazan, meaning motorists will have to
endure enjoy the miles of bloody boring cane fields scenic splendour along the Gibbons Highway. Admittedly, most of the province outside the main centres is still blank, but all in good time. As the royal province, Cambria deserves a little bit of fancy treatment, don't you think?
Vodeo is a tropical country (in case you hadn't noticed that enormous red line painted across it marked Equator, Do Not Remove), but Avalon is where it really goes full bore. Based on northern New Zealand, Queensland, and California, Avalon is something of a love letter to those parts of the world where sunshine means a day at the beach. Avington, which is still mostly bare, is a big howdy-do to Los Angeles, Brisbane, and Cape Town, and as we head west we find the mountain people of the Googies. In the south, mapping around the Pralack has begun in earnest. But while Avalon is a merry (and heavily sunburned) province, it's also home to a rather personal memorial. Yes, even in Avalon there has to be a little rain so that we can appreciate the sunshine.
Gerrise came about after spending a weekend in Wellington at a political conference, and Gerrise takes a little inspiration from Wellington as it goes along. Gerrise isn't much on the map yet, but just as the plainest girls get treated the kindest by puberty, she will soon blossom into a beautiful city.
In 2017, I focused mostly on the coastal cities and provinces, but that's not to say that other areas missed out. Radern was one of the first cities to be added to the map, although it was almost completely torn out and replaced with a new look a few months after it had been built. After being a nondescript point on the map, Silverton began to emerge as the year came to a close. Lake Indigo, which was originally a forest of all things, decided to try something different and turned into a body of water instead, for which Port Torahan was most grateful indeed. And along the western border, Schellingen and Stoke began to stake out the places where Vodeo is and Vodeo is Not.
The Road Ahead
2017 was a year of sketching out Vodeo and getting a feel for its new history and identity. In 2018 I hope to use the experience I've gained to expand out from the cosy confines of Saviso and Cambria to some bigger, meatier, girthier projects. Say, is it hot in here or is it just me?
A New Holme
Holme is a pleasant city. It is prosperous, it is home to the Queen, and it's beaten Saviso in the national cricket championship for five years running, something no Holmsider keeps to themselves when meeting a Savisan. And yet, I'm not happy with it. Holme's not my city - it's just my changes and updates to a city that was largely mapped by someone else. The central grid suited me fine on December 31, 2016 when I was still scratching my head wondering what on earth I was going to do with it, but now on December 31, 2017, I realise it's holding the city back.
And so it's going to change. Saviso and Radern both had extensive redesigns this year, but they'll pale in comparison to Holme. Draw a box over the city, with its corners in Vauxhall Island, Belvoir, Waldegrave, and Gardentown. Now imagine everything in that box gone. Poof. In its place I plan on a new Holme that looks more natural and built without modern planning. The neat streets with their nice angles might look pleasant, but it also looks boring (and you guys know big grids aren't my thing), especially for a city founded in the late 1590s. I've got a rough idea of how the new Holme will look, but for the most part the Lands Survey Department will do what it does best - rip out the streets and then put them back in any old place.
As mentioned above, the coastal provinces of Avalon, Cambria, and St Austell hogged the limelight this year. In 2018 I'd like to focus a bit more on the rest of Vodeo, where the coffee selection is a bit more basic and hipsters aren't to be seen (much to the horror of Gerrise). Silverton will be a priority, given its importance as the only major capital not on the coast, and as the city where five of the country's most important motorways (the M2, M4, M5, M6, and M7) terminate. Other cities, like Radern, Welson, and Cheltenham, will hopefully appear, alongside an expanded motorway network to join them all up. Don't worry, this isn't Gobrassanya, we still have two-lane roads to enjoy once the motorways run out.
And Speaking of Motorways...
...expect to be able to drive a lot further by the time 2018 splutters to an end. The gaps between Longlac and Marazan and Tindalls Bay and Mercer are real eyesores on the M1, compounded by the fact that much of the motorway isn't even dual-carriageway yet. Other major national motorways will expand out as well, including one I'm very much looking forward to, the M3 Crafers Bypass. It's a humble bypass, but I love making interchanges, so Crafers is going to get some nice ones.
Did I mention that Saviso is big? If you were to set off from Cape Morley (come back next year to see what it looks like) and drove to Streatley, not only would you realise you're perfectly capable of taking another person's life after sitting in traffic on the Harbour Bridge, but you will have also driven about 80 or 90 kilometres. Inaigas to Avoca? 60 kilometres or so. Saviso's shape is pretty much set (although the western part of Saviso Harbour could do with some work), so in 2018 I'll be focusing more on filling in the city. So far there's already a few well-mapped areas, particularly around the city centre, Baltic Hills, Saviso Bradford Airport, and North Harbour. What it will look like I still can't say, but I'm sure it will be grand. Expect plenty of tram lines to arrive in 2018.
I really can't believe it's already been a year since I joined OpenGeofiction. I have had no end of fun bringing an old hobby of mine to life (as it were) and building on it to an extent I thought couldn't be done. Whether it's been building cities or browsing the wiki, it's been fantastic. And so as the clock runs down on 2017 (with less than three hours to go), I'd like to finish by thanking you all for your support this year. Whether it's been kind words and suggestions on my bliki posts, discussing new ideas in the forums, user diaries, and talk pages, or getting requests to expand the reach of Cobalt and Empire Coffee around the world, I really do appreciate it. Next year I'd like to be involved in more collaborative planning, so if you'd like Vodean participation in something, drop me a line. I hope you've all enjoyed following Vodeo in its first year as much as I've enjoyed watching your nations and taking notes for my own. Many a time at work I'm writing down place names or ideas, or sketching out maps, that will someday find themselves on this site. It might be madness, but it's a happy madness.
Happy new year, everyone.
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If you start reading this entry at 11:57:24 PM, you'll miss midnight, you idiot.
Congratulations also from me, another person who started their own territory on New Year's Eve. Good luck in 2018, and success in any endeavours, map-retated or otherwise. _zM (talk) 17:19, 31 December 2017 (CET)