Spotlight on Design 8 – Lowered Walls

Take a large rock and a stone wall, place one on top of the other, and what do you get? A flattened wall! Lowered walls are one of the most versatile design elements available to mapmakers. After learning this fundamental skill, the world of eye candy maps is opened to you.

NAT has written a tutorial for the process of lowering walls, which can be found here. He also found screenshots and wrote the descriptions for many of this week’s examples.

This screenshot is taken from The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 2 by Sulis. He has made a lowered crenulated wall bridge and left the middle clear; it is simple but very effective. This modest bridge blends in perfectly with the map design. Sulis has also placed a small docking area at the top of the picture, just another small piece of eye candy made from lowered walls.

In contrast to the humble use of lowered walls in the first screenshot, the lowered walls here have a big part to play in this fantastic water garden from Sulis’s The Secrets of Sylvandell Ch 5. Dug down in the ground Sulis has made a true masterpiece of eye candy here using loads of different walls; all with varying heights.

In another scene from the same map, Sulis uses very low walls to separate sections of the town, making for a very orderly appearance.

The Monastery at Lane by Octavius Maximus features flattened stone walls all the way to the ground to make a road. This is a time consuming process but extremely effective, especially for use in huge castles or cities.

This screenshot taken from NAT’s
White Castle (Llantilio)
shows how lowered walls can be used in defence as an alternative to normal walls. They can look very successful when used as perimeter walls or for fencing off areas in larger castles.

Hanarky has built a stadium complete with spectator seating. This screenshot shows a close-up of the stadium, with the care taken to flatten the walls at different heights.

In my own map, HU – Varian’s Maze, I found it necessary to lower all the walls to half height. The walls are close enough together that if I hadn’t, the people couldn’t be seen walking in the maze.

Here is another example where the walls have been flattened all the way down to the ground. This patterned boulevard is from another map of mine, HU – Varian’s Seaside Vacation. Flattening walls to the ground in a pattern presents its own set of problems. To see a way to avoid potential difficulties, look here.

The final three screenshots are all from Lord Yoshi’s Crusader eye-candy map, Cascaros – Waterfall Palace. You really need to see this map to appreciate all the work that went into creating the plazas, so be sure to download it!

This first screenshot establishes that the castle really is made from flattened walls. Note how the edge of the walkway is flush with the ground.

Several heights have been used to create the features in this detail – the bench around the tree as well as the lowered area around the fountain.

This close-up shows how one of the plazas has been constructed of minutely differing heights of walls. This must have taken an incredible amount of work!

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by NAT and Kester