House Dres Settlements Brainstorming

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FYI everyone our Dres assets/assets needed list is now in the asset browser. I just shoved everything into one place. http://www.tamriel-rebuilt.org/asset/dres-architecture

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A fairly quick concept. It may be a little dark; I didn’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning it up.

A view eastwards accross the plains from on top of the platform of (say) Dres Hairab, along wih the clan sigil, the Bug-Standing-on-Nectar/Bug-Lifting-the-Chains/Temple-Tower-Throne. (The Dres sigils of the old Clansteads have a lot of history to them, often formed from a synthesis of preexisting imagery, and then gaining further meanings and symbolism over time).
Didn’t end up as cluttered as I’d initially intended, but it’s a start. I’m still getting used to the palette after all this time...

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-I moved the contents of this post into the House Dres Brainstorming thread, since it was House-general, not settlement-specific. -10Kaziem
 

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I had a sudden art inspiriation last night and drew a bunch of Dres buildings.

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Those are superb! I really like the flags waving in the wind.

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Beautiful pictures! Evokes the feeling of an untrusting settlement in an unforgiving land.

Pardon me if this has already been decided for good, but is the plan to use gray/white for the Dres buildings? My only concern is that the color might make them too much like Indoril from a distance. Would some kind of earthy red work out okay?

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No; those were just drawn in ballpoint pen on old paper. We’re really going with a sort of purply color, as far as we know, though we’re open to suggestions of course.

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Ah, okay. Purplish could work. The reason I was thinking red was because the color evokes a sense of aggression and cruelty, which fits with Dres. Purple does denote wealth, but it also suggests refinement and high civilizations. If anyone were purple, it’d be Indoril or Hlaalu. Or the Empire (since they do have Roman aspects...)

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I think a dark gray with subtle undertones of green, purple, or blue would be best. Gives them that darker feel and uniqueness, but is also naturalistic—not like the Indoril whose buildings are more brightly colored. And gray because that’s what the Dunmer strongholds were!

Also satifies my OCD when answering PR questions as to why “Dres” architecture of TESO looks like Indoril architecture. Still matches their style while being properly different and weird enough.

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Hmm… I’ve been looking at Indoril and Velothi architecture and right now I’m thinking our Dres architecture is still a little toooo similar to them. I’ll be trying to make some minor changes that will hopefully show a little of what I mean in some upcoming art. For now, though, here’s a picture of mostly what we currently have.

Edit: in case I don’t remember when I try this next, what I’m thinking is to do the following:

  • Add some concave curvature to the sides of the buildings, along with a slightly “spiked” look so the profile of the buildings is recogniseably not velothi/indoril.
  • All roofs are flat. Maybe some have a small lip on them. Maybe just outright flat?
  • Dres routinely build 3 stories tall. Other Houses tend to stop at 2 stories aboveground.
  • Dres buildings don’t have basements. The ground is too crappy for that. Hence the building up a lot.
  • Dres use a lot of organic addons to their cement buildings. That means lots of overhangs, shades, extra tents on top of roofs, etc.
  • Anything that isn’t actually the building is organic. Storage containers, eaves, tends, overhangs, bridges, lean-tos, etc. I’m thinking that Dres cities should be quite crowded and include lots of alleyways, eaves, etc.
  • Dres cities not on cantons should look rather like an ashlander camp but houses instead of yurts. So, there would still be a lot of organic materials around, build into and on top of the buildings, etc.
  • Dres should have plenty of banners and wind-danglies around. Everyone has their own small clan affiliation and is quite willing to show it.
  • Though corners are slightly rounded, nothing is big and round like a cylinder. Anything with real curvature should be concave.
  • Basically: overflowing cement hives.

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I made a few more pieces of artwork. Just some sketches.

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hmm… you mean sort of mixing Pueblo/Favela/persian Bazar style with Dres architecture and lots of clan/business display… then the houses ought to have either flat roofs with overhangs, or flat roofs with low stone railings, and overhangs would be made of organics (straw, leather, that kind) hanging from wooden/bonemold/stone attachments set into the walls.  This probably would integrate a bit more strongly with all the other organic stuff crowding the place.  Pueblo/Favela style would mean the ground floor would often be larger than the first (which is called „second” in the US, if I recall correctly) and higher floors, which would give it a unique look with roof-terraces etc.  Especially when you arrange at least some of the buildings into a complex overlapping and wall-touching layout with narrow alleys and wide places.
If I may borrow your sketches from above, something along these lines maybe (red is organic stuff):

The more I venture into the realms of wisdom, the more I realize that all wisdom is nothing but illusionary and theoretical.
So, in order to go completely illiterate and bogus, I need to know more about everything.

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I like that idea. I was browsing a little further back in the thread and it was suggested that lots of overhangs might be used to create a new and interested silhoutette, maybe evoking a kind of hive feel. I personally like the ideas of the Dres strongholds starting out with poured cement, but being accessorized almost exclusively with organic material.

That also reminds me that one thing we will need will be plenty of models for posts, overhangs, and cement hooks/holders/nubs for the overhangs to attach to.

I’m also starting to think that absolutely flat roofs would be the way to go here, no lip or railings.

The organic material I think they’d use would be a mixture of sewn hides, or saltstrap leaves, or maybe chitin.

Also, given the “cement” type nature of these houses, they probably will also have nice thick mats inside to cushion the feet.

In comparison, while the Dres will build cement-type hives, with lots of houses and such clustered in the same place, I imagine Indoril castle-estates as being made of stone and having been designed as one cohesive unit. In comparison, Dres strongholds are overflowing with layers and addons as they were repurposed from their original use.

Hlaalu build more “normal” imperial type towns, and Redoran build towns also, though their architecture is naturally that big-bug-hut type. Telvanni are just weird.

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Some years ago I stumbled over a video series by a youtuber called sckchui, in which he brings up some very interesting points about the different architectual styles of towns in Morrowind and how they reflect the people living there, here’s the link if someone wants to take a look:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R72E0DMVA0E&list=PL803A0A5E28E2CB77&index=1

In a video about Balmora and House Hlaalu for example the video’s description says:

“Balmora is the main town of House Hlaalu, who are a faction of traders and entrepreneurs. They believe in free trade, free religion, and are open to integration with the Empire, making them the most progressive Great House of Morrowind. Their philosophy is reflected in the architecture of their town, with houses arranged in rows and an apparently small gap between the rich and the poor. “

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I like these ideas.

Rounder architecture would make it stand out. The Dres are the most old school of the House Dunmer, so there should be a “close to nature” vibe to their homes.

Would bad ground quality make multi-story buildings problematic? I know very little about architecture, so I’m just asking. You do see some pretty big structures in RL swampland, so I’m geussing it doesn’t matter too much.

@Ateiggaer That’s a wonderful series, and it really explains how special Morrowind is. 

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@10Kaziem: you’re going a bit into the direction of 16th/17th  century Japanese buildings and castles there, with tatami as floor softening and bedding, except that they didn’t use concrete or other compound material.  That is a really intriguing thought: Pueblo/Favela-like hives with a little Akaviri influence left over from the swarthed thwarted invasions.
  Flat roofs without anything: Not advisable if you want to use them as terraces or working places.  Imagine typical mediterranean, south american, or african houses of that style, they all have low (about 5 to 10 cm high) walls or railings (or, from a different angle, the floor is a bit sunk between the walls), simply to ensure that nothing rolls off or gets blown over the edge by a sudden gust of wind.  And people on the roof have a sensorical feedback before they crawl or walk too far (especially sideways or backwards) and fall off.  Also, it stabilizes the roof and gives an indirect anchor point where to fix stuff onto with hooks or nook and cranny.   The alternative would be either embedding wooden posts or holes for them in the ceiling, or using the same stubs the overhangs hang from, and affixing a low-height wind-shield or such.  (Sorry, got a bit carried away there, but pre-christian architecture is a hobby of mine; don’t take it too seriously, it’s just a load of suggestions).
  Telvanni weirdness: that’s what happens when gardeners and eco-freaks get out of control wink.
 
@dallicant: bad ground: depends.  If you take a look at traditional building methods, on not-so-good underground there is mostly a foundation of stone blocks buried in (or thick wooden posts rammed into) the ground, deep enough to reach a stable layer of compact earth or stone so that the actual building can sit stably and safely atop this foundation.  The diameter and wood of the poles or the strength of the stone blocks is what decides how large or of how many storeys a house can be.
 

The more I venture into the realms of wisdom, the more I realize that all wisdom is nothing but illusionary and theoretical.
So, in order to go completely illiterate and bogus, I need to know more about everything.

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@dallicant I think rounder architecture would too. We aren’t trying to go toooo far from what we have currently, so I’m thinking use the roundness less as bulging and more as stretched-skins look (that paper-overhang-hive look). Concave curvature rather than convex curvature. None of the other houses do concave much.

Also, another way of making the ground stable is by pouring a concrete slab. Another reason I suggest Dres not have basements. And also, things should have relatively wide bases per tower.

@oldchimer I’m fine with small lips on the edges of the roofs; as you say, it works better for wind, and give a place to anchor stuff.

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Some small sketchy arts:


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Okay, decided to wake up a little bit during the night to make a write up of how each of the usual temples are designed and organized. Will probably post later today after doing a editing run-through and making sure it stacks up with lore.

Please send coffee and energy drinks to fuel my writing addiction.

Thank you in advance, sera!

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Here is what I wrote on Deshaan Temples, from a writer’s point of view.

AttachmentSizeDate
PDF icon DeshaanTemples.pdf70.47 KB2016-11-12 02:11

Please send coffee and energy drinks to fuel my writing addiction.

Thank you in advance, sera!

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This point isnt really about the Dres building models but more on the eventual actual asset placement of the city. I was thinking that if there is to be a Thieves guild presence in any of the larger Dres settlements then they should be themed around roof climbing (not sewers, inns or basements like most). There is alot of great stories about thieves using roofs to travel unseen and I cant think of a single TES city that has implemented anything close to that. This also works into what 10Kaziem was suggesting about a possible adversion to building basements and it would be alot of fun to create a few routes along the roofs (with possible high arcobatics in mind!). Just a suggestion though.

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The Imperial guilds don’t have much of a presence in Dres lands, but perhaps a more local thieves guild (not Camonna Tong, but similar), or the Twin Lamps can make use of it. I do think roof-crawling would be fun, though the exterior dev would need to keep that in mind while making the towns (or at least give the player some scrolls of jump as part of those quests).

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I agree with you that Imperial factions shouldnt have much of an influence in Dres lands but the Thieves guild isnt quite in that same group in my opinion. Tear is one of the trade capitals of the world and I would think that there would be an opprtunity from them there (also being a crimanal organization Dres might have a problem keeping them out even if they dont want them there). Twin Lamps might actually be a better idea though, kind of like a underground railroad but on the roofs.

You’re totally right that this would need to be kept in mind when the exterior designers do thier work. I dont think we’ll have to worry about there being a skill floor for jumping, I was honestly thinking that high acrobatics players would be able to complete these tasks faster not that players NEEDED high acrobatics to access these areas. In the small cases where high acrobatics might be required a potion or scroll will work as you said.

It might not be worth the effort though, we would need to commit to this idea and enforce it throughout the whole process if we wanted it to work. If all the larger settlements end up using the Dres style Cantons that are being designed it probably wont work either (espically because the wasteworks would be a better place for criminal elements).

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I also thought of something along those lines some time ago, but maybe it shoul just be a “light” version, in contrast to towns in Elsweyr, were roof-jumping would fit the most IMO.

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Roofplay sounds cool and all but aren’t wasp-riders a big Dres thing? Not wise for thieves to seek out heights in these conditions

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Thats a great point Rot, I didn’t think of that. I also agree that Elsweyr is probably a better place to implement roofcrawling like this. Starting to think that the Dres settlements might not be the best place for this. 

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Well I think it’s still a great idea, to have at least for the player some roofcrawling options, not everywhere and at all times, but just because it’s fun to play a stealthy character. :)

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I was thinking that Dres cities should have lots of paper or canvas overhangs/tent roofs to keep the sun out but let the wind in. So the overhangs would make roof-jumping interesting. I do think it should be available as an option, a known option, for a player to use, and maybe one or two quests could feature it. I wouldn’t make it a major architectural driving force though.
 

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Paper?Would some of the overhangs rip under the player’s weight? Would be fun for roof-hopping quests, though I’m not sure if it would be programable.

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Well, think thick, resin-laminated paper. Or, maybe stretched hides, or canvas, or laminated saltstrap leaves.

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