Spotlight on Design 6 – Fountains

Fountains… so beautiful… so controversial. Why the controversy? Because no matter how small or large, fountains land squarely in the category of ‘eye-candy’, which players seem to either love or loathe (or at least leave). In any event, the presence of fountains shows creativity on the part of the designer and that a great measure of care went into the making of the map.

Some basic techniques of fountain making can be found here.

We’ll look at most of these fountains in two ways: as they appear in the map, and from a flattened view. The flattened view will give us a closer look at the necessary precision for this type of eye-candy, i.e. the careful and exact placement of water squares with the smallest brushes.

The first fountain we’ll look at is from Lord Senesac’s Curse of the Lost Dwarven Mine of Theos. So many fountains are works of art located prominently in the center of the castle; this one is notable because it retains the rustic feel of the rest of the map. It looks more like a well with man- (or dwarf-!) made sides, except for the tell-tale spray of water indicating the presence of the fountain.

Leaveyou has made an unusual fountain in his Crusader invasion, Assassination. Sheets of water are cascading down, with the chains from the drawbridges giving the illusion of support from under the water. I think it’s the only time I’ve seen drawbridges play such an integral role in a fountain.

It looks considerably different in the flattened view!

This next fountain comes from one of my own maps HU – Varian’s Seaside Vacation. It’s notable primarily because I remember the many hours spent counting the clicks to raise the water for the two alternating heights.

This view shows the lower outside level of water, which can’t be seen from the regular view.

Multi-level fountains mixed with steps really set off the cathedral in Octavius Maximus’s map, The Holy City I. An ordinary cathedral becomes quite spectacular.

Take a look at the symmetry from this view.

Pirate Roberts shows his usual excellent design skills in Blackamoore Falls, with this intricate and whimsical arrangement of stairs, waterfalls, fountains, and castle buildings.

It’s especially fun to watch the peasants and townsfolk making their way through this fully functional castle. Note the innkeeper rolling the barrel up the stairs to the Inn in this detail!

Last but certainly not least is this magnificent series of fountains from Hanarky’s Dreamcastle, which she originally created for a contest. A multi-leveled fountain offset with smaller fountains, all nicely landscaped – it’s all here!

Again, the flattened view shows the perfect symmetry.

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