I’m currently working on 2 different projects at once – developing vocabulary (and semanto-phonetic character-glyphs) for the Graven conlanguage Mijanu, and completely rebuilding Graven from the ground up with a whole new island shape, new organization, new everything. Except key locations, that is. They’re staying, just … staying somewhere new. It’s a little complicated, but basically my original map was totally higgly-piggly (I just *had* to use that word today), not very well organized, and pretty much just slapped together in a week from a collection of other partially finished maps I’d started and gotten tired of over the course of a year or so. This time, I’ve actually planned out the different areas, what they’re “based on” (real-world associations, if you will), and I’m starting with streets instead of buildings. That way things are a little more organized and realistic looking, but still with a good, solid “growth flair” as I like to call it. Basically, I want this planned, but planned so it looks like the city “grew” into a lovely whole. I’ll post the first iteration once I have some streets to show scale; I’m working at 24″x36″ and 300 dpi, as I plan to print this out as a massive poster and then have it laminated so I can take notes on the map itself, as it hangs gloriously on my wall. I’m really looking forward to that, actually.
Now, Mijanu. I’m still working on fleshing out the grammar and getting some sample texts translated, but here’s a little “taster” of what the language looks like in the Latin alphabet (American, English, romanized, whatever).
“Ete.na irra.ren nina eskitu.tan. Ete.na orei.sun koreya.tan, hera par.sun yu.fararu.led. Terre, ete.na kora.sun navu.tan.” (trans. “I went to the market yesterday. I wanted (to buy) a cow, but couldn’t find one. So/therefore, I bought a monkey.”)
Obviously nothing particularly deep or special, it was just something I came up with while working on a comic script I’m in the process of writing. The characters live in Graven, where you can get monkeys at the market. There’s a lot of the grammar missing, and while I have quite a few vocabulary words I have to not only keep building new ones, I also have to create “glyphs” for them. It’s going to be awhile before I can write anything longer than a single short sentence or two in the full script. Hopefully by the end of the weekend I’ll have some sketches with single words or short phrases in them, as signs and such. I’d really like to get some environment sketches done, complete with signs advertising fresh vegetables.
Now, just as a note, I was looking for some good SteamPunk reference for one of the districts in Graven, and came across this *absolutely amazingly fantastic* looking new game that I am just drooling over. I think I might die of dehydration, but be that as it may, here’s the press release about CLOCKWORK EMPIRES. I don’t even dare try to explain how awesome this game looks. Just read the article and see for yourself. I think one hint is all I need to give you – procedural generation of buildings. How cool is that? (If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “procedural generation”, basically you get to not only build a city by placing buildings – think Age of Empires series, but you can also edit individual buildings).