How to: City Layout

Hello there,

For anyone that has built a city or is working on something similar for that matter, knows and has experienced that it can be quite tough to come up with an excellent city layout in which networks and infrastructure for a variety of (humane) transport options are optimized and work smoothly, creating a nice picture while still being able to fulfill all of the general demands a city faces in an efficient manner.

I too am facing these problems currently, hence i am reaching out to the devforum to ask for advice from more experienced builders or (game) designers to give their point of view, tips & tricks and overall standard rules that help creating such a city.

Your advice can be anything from grid layout, infrastructure, terrain, phases to devide the development process in, sources of inspiration, architectural styles, optimizing performance while still having a detailed map etc.

TL:DR

  1. I am trying to make a city in the best way possible.
  2. It’s quite hard as there are so many aspects to the development process of an entire city.
  3. I have tried to draw out maps, look at inspirational pictures online etc.
  4. Please provide this topic with your point of view, tips, tricks and rules.

Thank you for reading

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You recently liked my post talking about city design and assembly here:

I did make sure to really specify that it really depends on what kind of game you’re making. You should probably specify in your main post (as in, edit your post to include more info) to help other devs fully understand what you’re asking :slight_smile:

Was there a question you had that wasn’t answered by that post?

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There was, but in a more global way. Such as how you start designing a city and what some rules of thumb are.

Again, it really depends on the game. If it’s a driving game, obviously focus more on the roads than the buildings. The example I used in that other thread didn’t have cars, but had combat that was ground level and in the air, so I focused less on the streets and more on the buildings and how the player could move around it. That’s why it’s important to specify the gameplay before making the city. Maps should (almost?) always reflect gameplay goals.

As for general map design priciples: Planning is key.

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It all depends on your own workflow and what you’re using. I use Google Earth, Illustrator, Autodesk Revit, qGIS, Blender, etc.

  1. You need a conversion of meters to studs. I use a range of like 0.32 - 0.36 Meters per Stud
  2. You need a master plan of a city. You need to define how big your roads and sidewalks are before defining how big your building plots are
  3. You then start to build your roads and sidewalks

If you’re building a city on voxel terrain that’s not flat that would make it even harder to place roads and buildings. If you want height variation I would just go with part terrain and then convert it into voxel terrain with part to stud.

Organization is also key if you’re not using folders or collections(Blender) you will hate yourself down the line also name things that make sense.

This is my old project workflow

City plans

I even floorplan my buildings on top of making a city plan

Since terrain is such a pain to build on. You would need to build roads in Blender there’s no way to efficiently project a road onto terrain on Roblox.


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It’s easy to use curves in Blender to make curved roads on terrain

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Look at cities with Google Earth and street view for inspiration.

I don’t use Google Earth anymore it’s not good for planing plus watermarks. It does let you create shapes and measure but it’s nothing compared to any GIS software. Which allows you to use more than one map rather then some outdated areas or censored places with Google Earth.

3 Likes