Project Deios - Phase One Public - City Builder
I am so excited to finally be able to talk about this! If you are not aware, there is a big project in the works from some of the top world building services and influences - Project Deios. Collaborating on the project we have: DungeonFog - a tool for making grid based maps, World Anvil - a tool for world builders to catalog and link their world like a wiki, The Great GM - a content creator who helps people craft and run better games, and Blue Sword Games - an artist who creates maps and map assets of all sorts. When you see a project coming together with these wonderful people behind it, as a world builder, you just have to get excited. And if seeing all of these names working together to create a tool to aid you and I in creating our worlds, maybe some of the teasers we are getting along the way will. Thankfully, as of today, I can finally talk about the first phase.
The first piece revealed to us was a city builder. Now, if you’re not a Patron in our Discord, you wouldn’t have known this, but just a few weeks ago, I had started the hand drawn rough draft/outline of my first city map for Erylia. I actually started working on this before I had unlocked Phase 1 of Project Deios and had no idea this was coming. Naturally, when I saw this, I got extremely hyped. This was solving one of the first problems I was encountering - how would I make this map digital and look good? I’m not an artist. I may get some cool looking ideas formed in my head, but I have never been good at putting them down on paper. Some might say that is why I Dungeon Master and run a podcast, where everything exists mostly in the minds eye. The second problem that I was running into was how to create variation in the buildings I was drawing. Some of the repetitiveness of the buildings comes from the tiny scale I have been working on, while some of it just stems from struggling to visualize how the buildings would fit together.
Creating neighborhoods and districts will be a breeze. In my own map, I could almost stop filing in the areas between roads and I would have enough of a guideline to follow that the Project Deios City Builder could fill in the blanks. It would look better and more natural than what I am coming up with so far too! There are a couple things I am really excited about when I watch the animation above. I’m not sure how it is deciding where the boundaries are, but the way it changes the ground in between two “neighborhoods” into a texture that resembles a path eliminates the need for fiddling around with fitting all of the assets around “road” assets. The way it does this also reminds me of a game I played around with for a little bit called Foundation, which is a gridless medieval city building game and one of the coolest features are the natural footpaths. I am curious how this will handle cities with actual roads and what kinds of blends we might get between roads and footpaths in the future. There is also that tree in the center. This is another thing that scale hindered but I also just struggled to visualize in a medieval setting, where does foliage and scenery fit in in your city map? Evidently, right in the center of a cluster of buildings, and I love it there.
Remember all of the people I said are involved with Project Deios? If you’re familiar with DungeonFog, you may have recognized a vary similar feel in the interface for the City Builder. This is where we see our first major tie in with the creators involved. The way Project Deios is being set up, when you create a city map, you will be able to create deeper, more detailed maps of the individual buildings within the city like many do currently with DungeonFog. Depending on your style of world building, this can be a huge boon. For one, even though there are hundreds, if not thousands, of buildings within the city, chances are your story and your game are only ever going to take place in a handful of them, maybe a dozen if the city will be visited often. You can have a vast and beautiful looking city, while only worrying about the finer details for the few that will really play a part, but if something happens, you’ll also have those finer details so you can quickly pull up the battle map for your players. Lastly, because the buildings are all tagged with a pin, you can keep track of where things are in the city. No longer will you get mixed up with The Prancing Pixie being on the eastern edge of the city one month and the southern gates the next. Unless the inn moves, it is named The Prancing Pixie after all.
DungeonFog may already have a lot of assets to its name for map making, but many of them are made with creating grid based maps, usually to be used for combat. Moving to a large scale design like the City Builder created a need for new assets, and it is there that we start to see the tie in with another creator. Blue Sword Games will be working on assets that are designed and created with the use in the City Builder in mind. This means having a cohesive look, but also looking good when scaled to various sizes.
There is more to come and today is just the beginning. If reading this and reading the full release for Protect Deios - City Builder has excited you, I encourage you, join us in the adventure. Try to solve the riddle and unlock Phase 2 for yourself. I have already made it further, and let me tell you, today is the tip of the iceburg. Deios is huge and anyone who cares about world building should have their eye on it. There is a private section in the DungeonFog Discord that you can join once you’ve unlocked the secret. Come discuss with others who are as excited as I am.