I was requested by a few to make a 'guide' of my thought process with the making of my latest thing :p
*** This it not a technical guide, better sources for that!
I'd make a video but my computer is too wooden for such fancy tech. Hah.
So here it is...
Before I get to this point, I begin by shaping the map, using the engine as a simple sketch book. I use whatever I feel like as a placeholder for the future. Outlining or marking spots, I do this to save time from searching the Root for a 'marker'.
And always remember to think about of the world works. Is it a river? What happened before? Like here, pieces of the olden wall still lies crumbled:
There's a history behind it, and that makes it easier and faster to figure out. (At least to me!)
I didn't know you could drag walls out when I made these, but I'd still have made them the same. To me it's fun building legos, but jokes aside I wanted something of my own creation, something different:
Cities are alive and their history and culture is strongly built into it.
People form ways to pass the time, and even in the slums you can find great bits of intrigue, even in the seemingly most mundane things.
I would also advice working with different kinds of lighting to best see the effects of things. Sometimes stuff doesn't work the way you envision, especially if you're like and you aren't used to the editor.
Remember to also think about how nature forms, rivers erode mountains and form them along. Always follows gravity and the path of least resistance. Wet things get mossy as well.
Like here, there is a purpose to the faces gazing down upon 'the poor'. And in turn have the slums, and the poor gaze up on the nobility and the faces in turn. The lore; It's to give them something to strive for, to look up at.
And like here, a crumbled tower blocks the old way, and so they ripped a tree up to make a new one, a fresh one (It's muddy and messy:
And the last thing would probobly be to challenge yourself and just try stuff, just make sure to make backups of your hard done work.