House Dres Settlements Brainstorming

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Continuing the discussion from the old thread. (And, the really old thread, which still has some good ideas in it, though it is ancient.)

As we are developing the culture of House Dres, we are also collecting concepts for the settlement architecture, statics, and exterior models for house Dres. This includes things like houses, manors, stronghold cantons, waterworks, etc. In other words, the models we need to eventually begin creating the exteriors of House Dres.

We are looking for ideas & concepts.

The House Dres cultural planning document can be found here and its discussion thread here.

The Deshaan Plains planning document can be found here and its discussion thread here.

The previous thread on the old forums is not long and should be read first! But, here is a selection of some of the concept pictures people have posted there:

 

The current idea for Dres is that their large cities are based off of big, hexagonal cantons. They were originally strongholds that grew and grew and eventually overflowed. They will have a main canton base and may also use the modular-house tileset on and around them. Smaller cities and strongholds also feature a smaller hexagonal canton base.

The modular-house tileset is for smaller houses, outposts, and manors. These can be relatively small or larger and are supposed to be solid looking and forbidding.

Last, we have more bug-like inspiration. These ideas may be used for smaller houses, or perhaps nomads, or perhaps some other type of more rural areas. Possibly incorporating skyrenders or other animals somehow.

 

Assets Needed:

Assets that still need to be created; for now, there are two very WIP lists:

New list

List from the old forums

 

Current Set:

Please ignore the odd positioning of some of the images; they were taken that way to maintain consistency.

 

 

Stronghold-cantons:

 

 

 

Modular house/manors:

 

 

Slave Pits:

 

 

Bug Type Things

 

 

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I ought to put in a note here: one thing that would greatly speed up the creation of Dres architecture concepts – and I plan to do this myself, but knowing me will probably end up getting side-tracked – is to take a screenshot of each existing piece of Mwgek’s Dres set, (download: TR_n6-2-Dre_Mwgek_2.rar; I suggest placing each item in an empty interior cell, rotating it 45° and then pressing ‘c’ to get a pseudo-isometric view centered on the object and then taking the screenshot), then posting them here, either directly in a post or on a separate page or an imgur album or whatever. The images don’t need to be super large as long as they’re recognizable.

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I got around to doing the above. Some of the models are oddly positioned in the images as I used the above method for consistency and, as it turns out, the models aren’t always perfectly centered. I and other leads may add to the notes later on. Check the spoiler tag in the first post.

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I can model but I can’t texture. Anyway, that’s my rendering of that building up above. It has Gnomey’s stamp of approval and I figured I’d post it here to let others know that we’re not just sitting on our butts doing nothing. There’s two more buildings for Dres that are entirely different that are in development and almost ready to be textured as well.

Not another memory

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That looks really insanely good, Not.

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Not, you may give people the wrong impression as my seal of approval was not without caveats.cheeky

I tossed together a quick mock-up of a Dres canton in the CS. It’s mostly just a facade. I’ve attached the file.

The proportions are not quite right; I think the second level of the canton should be taller and narrower and the council strucutre should probably be a bit smaller. Overall it’s a bit busy. I do think it conveys the rough impression, though, and serves its purpose as a proof of concept, which is what I was going for.

AttachmentSizeDate
Binary Data TRDresClansteadMockup.ESP11.91 KB2016-02-07 20:17
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Liking it!

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I’m so excited for our upcoming content of the Dres lands, it all looks so amazing already.

Especially those cantons are going to be such a sight ingame, really great design.

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Thinking about it further, I think I would like that canton better if it didn’t have a dome. I think Dres architecture works best when it’s angular and imposing. The dome feels almost too grand.

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Or instead of a dome, going for the more organic structure of the seashell shaped Old Mournhold ruins set. Still viable as a cap-off, but more pointy and natural.

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Yeah, I wasn’t quite sure how to cap the structure off, but have a few ideas now: a sort of glass or otherwise transparant ceiling, an open courtyard (one of the old ideas for Dres cantons), or what I’m leaning towards, something inspired by the Daedric towers. (Those aren’t completely mutually exclusive). I do agree it should probably be more angular either way.

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As it turns out I found some time to doodle today, and landed with some designs I’m pretty happy with, which lead to a new mock-up:

File attached as before. I forgot to mention that the cell is “Dres Clanstead”.

As can be seen in the sketch, I settled on three platform designs; one for the large platform and two for the smaller platforms. The large platform would be modular, the smaller platforms could be as well.

Dres clansteads would have either one or two levels depending on importance, and with about half a dozen clansteads + Tear I think we’ll be able to get suitable visual variety. The top smaller platform design would also be used for outlying structures like arenas (technically available for the settling of clan wars, but generally used to settle disputes within the clan, generally between low-ranking Chap-thil and the like; Dres prefer to deal with clan wars through employment of the Morag Tong, who have a strong presence in the Deshaan with a guild hall in every clanstead, though disorganized border-skirmishes, raids and counter-raids between Chap-thil of rival clans are also fairly common occurrences), the clanstead temple and possibly slave pits.

Refer to my never-finished top-down sketch of a Dres clanstead which I think was my first concept for House Dres:

At the center of the clanstead is the council house. I think basing the design off of the Daedric towers was the right way to go. It is capped by a sort of open courtyard at the top reached by steps which wind around the exterior of the structure. At the center of the courtyard is the ancestor pillar, or ancestor pillars. The bodies of recently deceased Clansmer are placed on bugbowls on top of the ancestor columns, which are weighed down with stones, and burned. The strong foehn winds that occasionally blow up from Lake Andaram and over the ridge of the Deshaan before encountering similar winds blowing up from the Argon Jungle carry the ashes eastward.

Access to the council house is generally restricted to the clan elders, and even they are prohibited from passing through the screen which divides the interior of the building in two. Instead, they hold council in the front chamber, where seats are arranged for them around the wall. Behind the screen are the quarters of the clan Matriarch and her ‘successor’. Their needs are seen to by a trusted servant between clan meetings; otherwise the screen is not to be disturbed, and the elders must content themselves with hearing the words of the Matriarch through the screen. Even this is seen as gracious, as the council house is effectively the wise woman’s yurt, and it is still as well understood among the Dres as it is among the Ashlanders that the yurt of the wise woman is not to be entered lightly. For the most part, the day-to-day affairs of the clan go on beneath the ever-watchful gaze of the council house without paying it much heed.

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Binary Data TRDresClansteadMockup.ESP16.38 KB2016-02-08 23:49
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All very nice, new but with Morrowind-y flavor, and a tie to the old Dunmer strongholds you see in vanilla with the coloring. I only have one negative comment: the knobs on the building’s roof in this picture look very strange. Might need to be made smaller, maybe into inward-curved spikes? As is, reminds me a little of a jester’s cap. laugh

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If you mean my mock-up those central pillars are just stand-ins for the ancestor pillar(s), which would probably need to be a new model. Generally the knobs are not supposed to stick out as in your image, but should be used with the building T(op) mesh.

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i’ve got an idea for the more organic house dres architecture: the Dres could use the towering skyrender hives as the basis for their towns. the skyrenders would work as natural guards, and it makes sense economically. also, when skyrenders make their nests, they leave lots of raw materials outside from all the digging to be used. just a general shape i’m thinking of using. 

the ending of the words is almsivi

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Started on a list of Dres assets. The list should get proper concepts, and will probably be expanded as well, but should give a rough idea of how the set would look like.

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A day’s progress. This is the TR_ex_dres_pl_02 asset from the list: the large platform with no door. It’s not quite finished; I realized I somehow managed to make it 256 units shorter than intended; in fact, I might want to make it taller than that. It does give the general idea of what I’m going for, though. (Just imagine the wall side section of the side view a bit taller; the top-down view is accurate).

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Progress:

I have noticed a few irritating inconsistencies with scale that aren’t immediately apparant, so there’s still a bit of work to be done. The general shape should now be correct, though.

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As I’ve said before, we will probably only really be able to settle on a Dres architeture palette once we figure out our palette for Deshaan. Nonetheless, I’ve put a bit of thought into this lately, specifically the exterior palette, so I figured there wouldn’t be any harm in posting my thoughts:

First, ignoring the hue for a moment, the basic principal is as follows:

-ceilings, pillars and the organic structures would be very dark, almost black.

-walls would be covered by a very pale plaster, as the Deshaan in general will be a very pale region and I don’t think we want the Dres tileset to clash too heavily with it.

-the trim, edges of doorways and other accents would also be covered with the same plaster, but the plaster would be rougher, darker and mixed with the glowing stuff.

-floors (texture on the right) would either be almost black like the pillars, similar to the trim texture, or somewhere in between. The idea of mixing in glowy bits is tempting, to make Dres clansteads seen from above at night seem like weird airfields, but the idea probably wouldn’t work out in practice; it would just serve to make the texture tiling blindingly obvious. Edit: after further consideration, it might be worth trying; if the glow is only apparant in relatively close proximity it should look fine.

I went with a bluish hue for the mock-up for two primary reasons: it’s the Dres house colour and I thought it might be interesting to make Dres clansteads blend a little with the sky, and in the case of Tear sea, save for the dark accents, to try and further emphasize the Dres link with Skyrenders and their general aloofness. Failing that, either a very pale grey or something matching the Deshaan palette would probably be the way to go.

 

Edit: another quick mock-up for good measure:

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I like this! Keep this going Gnomey.

-- Mwgek --

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Had some fun with the canton idea:

 

-- Mwgek --

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I’ve finally pretty much finished my large platform concept; I mainly intend to add a grid, colour, (I’m sort of hesitant here as to which colour scheme I should use), and possibly some captions and detail drawings:

Note that the sides look steeper than they are due to the shape of the buttresses.

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Made some minor changes. Click on it for a better view.

Click it for a 3D tour.

-- Mwgek --

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These canton models look great, Mwgek.

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Wow very nice models, indeed. I also like the ornamentation on it. Only nitpick I have is, that the stepper slope seems a bit to steep to me to be practical, or do my eyes decieve me here?

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It's steep, but it's possible to walk up. If i make it less steep the area on the top tier get smaller.

-- Mwgek --

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Ah I see. And some stairs? Or would that not look good?

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Don’t know if this can be incoporated into the current models this late in, but I found this for a possible architecture idea for the cantons.

These are Fujian toulou out of China. All dwellings open inward into the courtyard and there’s no outside iwndows on the first floor for defensive puporses.

Sometimes they can be built several to a town, or just one big town:

I tried to sketch this out real quick for what it might look like in a Dres city. (operative term tried! Blur is due to bad cell phone pic) The outer canton walls would be a few stories high to accomodate dwellings along the inner couryard, and the center would be some sort of temple or city hall structure. The courtyard would be an open air market with stalls set up between the buttresses of the center tower. Since having an enemy army climb up the outer buttresses would be counter productive, these instead are steep battlement-like extensions off the main canton, where archers and mages can be posted to rain havoc down on anyone assaulting the walls.

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I’ve always been very open to having a variant with some sort of interior courtyard as illustrated in the above sketch, and I believe Gnomey was also open to it. I’d (personally) like to see the art refined into a more functional concept. Would like more opinions on having a third open variant though.

That being said, Mwgek’s model is lovely, and I’d love to see him follow through on it! Excellent stuff, and glad you’re kicking around.

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Hm, there’s room for improvement, as the file didn’t quite export cleanly. I’m not sure what file format is most convenient for modellers, and how high the image resolution can go. The palette could probably use a bit more experimentation as well:

As far as Mwgek’s canton is concerned, it’s quite a departure from my design, so I think we’d need to choose between the one or the other. One aspect I do think needs improvement with Mwgek’s canton model is its angularity, but otherwise it’s a nice alternative take on Dres clansteads.

I am indeed planning a ‘donut-shaped’ platform piece for the clansteads pretty much as Kevaar described, which would be placed on top of the above large platform piece and would surround the ever-present central clan council hall. It would be an alternative to the standard ‘small’ central platform piece as shown in my other images.

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I’m also in favour of Keevar’s idea, because it has a certain insect-, hive-feel for the player as he enters a canton trough one of multiple archways.

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