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20 Oct 2014

gro-Dhal wrote:
I feel like we haven't had much concept art for a long time. What sort of stuff do you think you could draw? Plants? Clutter? Landscapes? In-game art/carvings?

I could try my hand at any of the above. What sort of things did you have in mind?
Post Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:42 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

Well anything that fits the Indoril aesthetic or adds atmosphere can go here:

I proposed two unusual agriculture ideas a while ago and it would be neat if someone could bring them to life:


1. Watery fields like rice paddies. Within, rows of wooden stakes driven into the ground. On the damp stakes a particular deadwood fungus is cultivated for harvest. Can look like anything (I was thinking something with long spikes or fronds).

2. Gnarled twisted trees, low-growing. The bark or sap contains a compound that attracts snails, so each plant is covered with clusters of snails. The creatures are harvested as a regional delicacy or boiled into glue, sealant material etc. The farms are called snail orchards.

And there are some good suggestions on this thread:

Post Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:12 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
26 Sep 2014

Location: Russia
Something like this?
The fields in the shallow marsh. The village of huts in the middle of the backwater. Around the mangrove forest of very large trees like eucalyptus. Vines everywhere.
Slaves to work the fields, and the overseers of boating. There are baskets on their heads, as in India. Then use pitchers with acute bottom to easily put in the soft sand.
Post Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:53 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
20 Oct 2014

gro-Dhal wrote:

1. Watery fields like rice paddies. Within, rows of wooden stakes driven into the ground. On the damp stakes a particular deadwood fungus is cultivated for harvest. Can look like anything (I was thinking something with long spikes or fronds).

I don't have a good way to scan or photograph hand drawn images, so I've been trying to draw with a mouse which is a bit clumsy and frustrating to say the least. This is a sketchy, impressionist type image. I learned to draw in this style with charcoal on paper, and I know it might not be ideal for concept art. I could try to create something with more physical definition once I find a good way to photograph work on paper.

This is an apparatus that consists of several large pieces of insect carapace (I was thinking silt strider legs) driven into a watery field. Damp ropes or vines are strung between them and a sort of hanging fungus is allowed to grow from those ropes. I was thinking that the fungus could be the same substance that is seen hanging from trees in the ash swamp.

I imagine this as being used by peasants for subsistence. The fungus is a low quality food, but it grows quickly and easily. It would be found in small personal plots near huts and small villages. There's a figure on the left to show scale.

Apologies for diverging so far from your original concept, but I felt that my other images weren't very successful.

Fungus farm.jpg

 Filename:  Fungus farm.jpg
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 Downloaded:  277 Time(s)

Post Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:41 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
15 Jul 2014

Looks nice but fugus typically grows from ground. If I were to make a shroom farm in morrowind I would make manure an compost statics. On exterior place logs on ground in ordered fashion and compost piles with guar or cloth overhangs close to ground over them. Maybe have an irrigation ditch nearby with buckets for water.

Could also have mushroom cultivation in caves with manure piles in roughly erected wooden boxes. Passages would be lined with manure piles and compost boxes. Logs are imported and left to rot out once they have been inoculated by shroom farmers. Guars (manure) and guar carts are obviously key to many large mushroom growing operation. For that you need bedding, guar pens and grains/veg. Free range guars shit in the field where small amount of mushrooms might be found. The type of mushroom should be reflected by type of growing material and environment. Factors such as full or partial shade, covering or not, mix of bedding and manure, and required moisture should all be considered.

Although I like the drawing, do not consider rope based fungi farm to be practical. It's labor intensive and would not be damp enough. Nice drawing although later work should be posted in relevant topic or within concepts.

my opinion.
Post Wed Oct 22, 2014 6:49 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
20 Oct 2014

I appreciate the thoroughness of your thinking. I do think my idea is feasible, though. I'll explain how I arrived at it's design.

What you describe is very similar to the way mushrooms are cultivated in the real world, as seen in this picture:

I considered using this idea, but I couldn't come up with an interpretation that I thought would be visually interesting as an in-game asset, or which fit in with the overall aesthetic of Morrowind. Instead, I based my idea off the Usnea type of fungus, which grows in sunlight from the branches of trees that are dying, but still standing:

My idea was that the ropes on my structure would be made from natural fibers and allowed to decay in order to mimic the dying plant material that the fungus would require in a natural environment.

I also liked this idea because it could make for a self-contained and easy to place in-game asset. In other words, it wouldn't require the creation of a large farm complex or other models to justify it's existence.

This isn't to say that there isn't room for a more complex, large-scale type of mushroom cultivation in the mod, but this idea wasn't intended to fill that role.

edit: Sorry, I'll try to find a more appropriate thread to continue this discussion.
Post Wed Oct 22, 2014 7:20 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lead Developer
19 May 2006

Location: In your garden.

The above posts have been split from this thread. I think the concepts should focus on two Houses: Indoril and Hlaalu. Dres agricultural concepts should generally go here. (House Redoran will probably have no agriculture to speak of and, aside from the fact that it's even further down the line than House Dres, I do not think Telvanni lands should have much to do with agriculture, as the locals would tend more towards herding).

Here's what was discussed (to my knowledge) on IRC on the topic of Indoril agriculture:

<Gnomey> Well, I think there are a few things to keep in mind,
<Gnomey> mostly that the crop wouldn't be saltrice, and should have the same role as saltrice.
<Gnomey> So it probably shouldn't be a grain, or if so, it should be a grain used for textiles, not bread and other food.
<Swiftoak> hmm do we need some new staple crops?
<Swiftoak> MMMM
<Swiftoak> now we're thinking in the right direction
<Swiftoak> dyes
<Gnomey> I'm very much leaning towards something related to textiles,
<Swiftoak> they had a dyers and tanners guild
<Swiftoak> i'm thinking the dyes and textiles
<Gnomey> but it should probably also be edible too.
<Gnomey> So some sort of leafy green edible plant that can be used as a dye, or something.
<Gnomey> Not necessarily green,
<Gnomey> that was just a turn of phrase.
<Swiftoak> yeah
<Swiftoak> im thinking white
<Swiftoak> but thats deshaan
<Gnomey> I think it could be pretty much any cold colour.
<Gnomey> A warm colour would probably look odd.
<Gnomey> I'm also leaning against purple.
<Swiftoak> im really leaning towards indoril's blue-green
<Swiftoak> thats just crops though like there's trees too
<Gnomey> Yeah, that's probably the best bet.
<Gnomey> The crop should probably not be considered a delicacy of any sort.
<Swiftoak> so gnomey and i are chatting
<Swiftoak> i'm wondering if anyone has any ideas about farming the alt orethan
<Swiftoak> we're thinking the crops have something to do with textiles
<Swiftoak> but little unsure how it's all managed
<Gnomey154> Specifically, I was thinknig along the lines of a non-grain,
<Gnomey154> so it wouldn't compete with saltrice,
<Gnomey154> but the crop should probably still be foodstuff, to support the Indoril population somewhat.
<Swiftoak> the spindleword is nice
<Gnomey154> Its model, and all current flora models, are ill suited for large fields.
<Swiftoak> right
<Gnomey154> It is a nice direction, though.
<Swiftoak> i could draw something i suppsoe
<Gnomey154> It always makes me think a little of artichokes, the spindlewort.
<Swiftoak> thats where adan got the inspiration Razz
<Gnomey154> I suppose what would be best is if the crop is food, dye and fibre all in one.
<Gnomey154> Maybe some cousin of the kresh weed?
<Gnomey154> Or edible cotton, or what have you.
<Tondollari> what if there were a creature in the orethan that was basically a big bag of water
<Tondollari> and the dunmer killed it and transported it to provide potable water to different areas
<Tondollari> like the armun ashlands, where rain is scarce
<Tondollari> except its product wouldn't be called water, might taste a bit different. but is still mostly water
<Tondollari> i guess it would be inhaling orethan water and separating the living bits out, kind of like a whale
<Swiftoak> hmm
<Tondollari> except smaller
<Swiftoak> orethan water is holy water
<Tondollari> yes
<Tondollari> you mean, they don't drink it?
<Tondollari> that's a whole lot of holy water
<Swiftoak> idk they can
<Tondollari> is it holy because of someone's tears
<Tondollari> veloth?
<Tondollari> wait that's alma
<Tondollari> sea pig:
<Tondollari> something like that
<Swiftoak> neat
<Gnomey154> That is neat.
<Gnomey154> But I don't think the farmers in Alt Orethan should be herders.
<Gnomey154> I think it would be a good idea to use elsewhere, really.
<Tondollari> so you are looking for a new plant for the orethan?
<Tondollari> not pre-existing
<Tondollari> err, alt orethan rather
<Swiftoak> yes
<Swiftoak> a new plant
<Swiftoak> a new model
<Swiftoak> and some derivative ingredients
<Swiftoak> we were thinking something to do with textiles
<Swiftoak> dyes
<Swiftoak> but can also be used as meager foodstuff
<Tondollari> red hair dye. for the camonna tong
<Gnomey154> Preferably, the plant would have a fairly low polygon count and would be well-suited for arangement in rows.
<Tondollari> gotta have the right hair to get in
<Tondollari> yes
<Gnomey154> I think their hari is naturally red. Razz
<Gnomey154> *hair
<Tondollari> i bet some of em dye it to look more dunmeri
<Gnomey154> That's also probably true.
<Swiftoak> hari
<Swiftoak> i like that name
<Gnomey154> As a name it just makes me think of Harry.
<Gnomey154> Haha, in a way, I ended up using a rather topical term.
<Tondollari> how about
<Tondollari> something vertical with this pattern:
<Tondollari> the circular bits being the fruit
<Gnomey154> Wow, that looks nice.
<Tondollari> can be used for food or dye
<Gnomey154> Doesn't need to be verticle, though.
<Gnomey154> It could sort of hop along the ground or something.
<Tondollari> its fruit could be picked at all stages for different color
<Tondollari> hop?
<Tondollari> oh you mean like arches?
<Gnomey154> Yes.
<Gnomey154> My vocabulary just flew out the window.
<Gnomey154> Is that an actual plant?
<Gnomey154> The things I discover through TR...
<Tondollari> lemme check
<Tondollari> something from nicaragua
<Tondollari> TR variant would def. be bigger, and with a larger pattern
<Gnomey154> Yeah.
<Tondollari> what do you think the color range would be?
<Tondollari> for the "fruit"
<Gnomey154> Hm.
<Tondollari> a rainbow might look bad
<Gnomey154> Green to blue would be the natural range for Indoril, but might be dull.
<Gnomey154> I'm thinking that grown fruit, and the 'stalk', can be the blue-green of Alt Orethan.
<Tondollari> how about a more yellow stalk
<Gnomey154> That should also work.
<Tondollari> would show off the blue/green fruit
<Gnomey154> I think it depends a lot on the colour palette for the rest of the region, though,
<Tondollari> yeah
<Gnomey154> which we don't really know yet.
<Gnomey154> If the dirt is reddish, yellow might not look as good.
<Gnomey154> Maybe try yellow-brown to blue-green or something?
<Tondollari> the ground cover for alt orethan will be changed?
<Gnomey154> Probably, yes.
<Tondollari> to something that isn't grass
<Gnomey154> It would probably stay mostly grass,
<Gnomey154> but the tilled fields would naturally be free of grass.
<Tondollari> oic
<Tondollari> so nutritional red dirt
<Gnomey154> Yeah, that was what I was thinking.
<Gnomey154> I was also considering yellow, but it's hard to get it to look fertile.
<Gnomey154> It would probably be best to draw a design for the plant, and then try out a lot of different colour combinations on it.
<Tondollari> yes
<Gnomey154> So, the fruit is gathered at different stages for different dyes.
<Gnomey154> It would also be used to feed the farmers.
<Gnomey154> So probably the fruit would be crushed into some sort of gruel.
<Gnomey154> I'd like it if there were also local drinks made from it.
<Gnomey154> As in, alcoholic drinks.
<Gnomey154> Probably all very much lower-class fair.
<Tondollari> would it be a little... moddy? for it to have so many uses
<Gnomey154> I don't think so.
<Gnomey154> There are quite a few realworld plants with a wide range of uses, like rice.
<Tondollari> nevermind
* Linda ( has joined #tamriel
<Tondollari> are there velk in alt orethan?
<Gnomey154> Probably, but I don't know.
<Swiftoak> like kwama produce kwama eggs
<Swiftoak> kwama cuttle
<Swiftoak> etc.
<Tondollari> what do you think of the idea for velk nectar booze?
<Gnomey154> I think that would be the upper class beverage.
<Tondollari> yes
<Gnomey154> I'm fine with it being booze, also fine with it being vaguely booze-y tea.
<Gnomey154> I like the idea either way.
<Gnomey154> It does overlap a little with the idea of Dres Skyrender mead, but it's not really a big issue.
<Tondollari> oh
<Tondollari> what if the stalk were used for the roofs
<Gnomey154> Yeah, possibly, or fibres from the stalk could be used for textiles, or both.
<Tondollari> naturally curved
<Gnomey154> The original idea was for bamboo to be used for the roof, but I think it works either way.
<Tondollari> do we already have bamboo models?
<Gnomey154> Yes.
<Tondollari> and they will also be in alt orethan
<Gnomey154> Yes, probably.
<Gnomey154> One moment...
<Tondollari> should alt orethan have more than one special plant?
<Gnomey154> In the first post,
<Gnomey154> Yeti links to a picture.
<Gnomey154> As a crop? Possibly, I'm not sure.
<Gnomey154> I think a single crop is enough, but it could have more.
<Swiftoak> yeti ffs come on IRC
<Swiftoak> a single crop is fine
<Tondollari> what if these things were embedded in the ground instead of arching
<Tondollari> and more like
<Tondollari> a spiral
<Tondollari> does that sound too polygony
<Gnomey154> Do you mean sort of like some of the Telvanni roots?
<Tondollari> no
<Tondollari> like a flat spiral
<Tondollari> disc
<Gnomey154> Hm. That doesn't really sound like it's well suited for agriculture.
<Gnomey154> Or at least, not for traditional fields.
<Gnomey154> Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.
<Tondollari> i was thinking that way it could also be in the wild
<Tondollari> coiling on the ground
<Gnomey154> I was sort of thinking of the bitterroot myself.
<Tondollari> also collision detection wouldn't be an issue
<Gnomey154> I was basically thinking rows of roots running parallely, forming raised ridges, or even sort of fences.
<Tondollari> i might be kinda obsessed with spirals
<Gnomey154> Obsession isn't bad.
<Gnomey154> In this case at least.
<Tondollari> still rows would be less poly for sure
<Tondollari> or texture detail
<Gnomey154> Yeah.
<Tondollari> do you think the TR variant would have the criss-cross pattern in the pic?
<Gnomey154> I'm not sure.
<Gnomey154> I think it is interesting enough to be included, though.
<Tondollari> with a large
<Tondollari> scratch that
<Tondollari> what if the farmers just got the whole stalk and gnawed on it?
<Tondollari> instead of gruel
<Gnomey154> That also works.
<Tondollari> like corn on the cob
<Gnomey154> They could also boil it to soften it up.
<Tondollari> also

To summarize, for Alt Orethan we will need a crop that is able to cover a lot of ground with relatively few polygons, so that we can have large fields near Almalexia without melting computers.

Rough ideas were that the plant could be used for textiles, eg. for dyes; could be used to make a sort of cheap gruel to feed the lower castes; and maybe could be used to make some sort of beverage, also for the poor, which may or may not be alcoholic. (I'm actually thinking not alcoholic at the moment, as alcohol would impair the productivity of the labourers. Effects such as restore fatigue and drain intelligence should work, though).

You don't have to limit yourself to the above discussion, though; it's just one direction we could go. Mass agriculture in a forest environment might also be worth exploring for Lan Orethan, in case we want to go that route, though again the number of polygons would very much be a concern.

As for Hlaalu agriculture, the IRC discussion is fairly short:

<Swiftoak> i came up with more ideas for OTH
<Swiftoak> breweries
<Gnomey> Ah, yeah.
<Gnomey> Comberry, right?
<Swiftoak> maybe idk
<Swiftoak> thinking new plant
<Swiftoak> sujamma breweries
<Swiftoak> the hlaalu have a monopoly both on production and distribution
<Gnomey> Maybe saltrice too, actually; perhaps House Dres doesn't do much with saltrice beyond selling it.
<Swiftoak> hmm, idk if saltrice would work in othrleth
<Gnomey> IIRC Greef and Sujamma are comberry, Shein and Mazte are saltrice.
<Swiftoak> they could import saltrice and brew it though
<Swiftoak> really?
<Gnomey> Yes.
<Swiftoak> i dont recall sujamma being anything
<Gnomey> Their IDs indicate as much, I think, or dialogue.
<Swiftoak> "potion_local_liquor_01"
<Swiftoak> ahh
<Swiftoak> grief and shien are cornberry
<Gnomey> Yeah.
<Swiftoak> mazte is fermented saltrice
<Gnomey> Yeah.
<Swiftoak> shein is also cornberry
<Swiftoak> but nothing on sujamma (ESO has them from sujamma berries, but i think thats kinda lame and we can think of something cooler)
<Swiftoak> anyways what is brewed doesnt really matter
<Gnomey> Yeah, I might be wrong on Sujamma.
<Swiftoak> cornberry is grown on the TRV
<Swiftoak> i kind of want to figure out what type of hlaalu settlement spaces (not towns, but like
<Gnomey> It's also possible I got that information from the old Morrowind website or something, but it's not a major issue.
<Swiftoak> other things
<Swiftoak> like what do they produce on the farms there
<Gnomey> I personally think we don't need to introduce too many new crops, though;
<Swiftoak> true
<Swiftoak> my idea was that we make othrleth morrowind's wine country
<Gnomey> I think we can have slatrice for Dres, comberry for Hlaalu, something new for Indoril,
<Gnomey> and then there's stuff like Hackle-lo and Corkbulb.
<Gnomey> The latter of which is noted in dialogue to be more important on Vvardenfell. (As a wood substitute).
<Gnomey> Not that we need to keep the dialogue, of course.
<Swiftoak> yeah
<Swiftoak> idk i like the idea of cool new plants, maybe just one

The meat of the discussion is in this thread, including gro-Dhal's quote above.

Finally, to reply to ihavefivehat's concerns on drawing style, TR generally employs two kinds of concept art: functional concept art, which basically acts as a blueprint for modellers, and atmospheric concept art, which is there to develop the look and feel of a certain subject, such as a region.
Unlike TR's earlier Hammerfell project for Oblivion, Morrowind requires relatively few new assets; however, it is just as important to develop distinct looks and feels for different Morrowind regions and factions, making atmospheric concept art comparatively important.
As an example, you could make pairs of drawings illustrating the contrasts between Hlaalu and Indoril agricultural practices. I think a more impressionist style would work very well to that end, as those practices should reflect the vastly differing attitudes of the two Houses, rather than just being a palette-swap of different crops.
Post Thu Oct 23, 2014 7:36 am Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
Lead Developer
05 Nov 2006

Location: A charter'd street

ihavefivehat wrote:

My idea was that the ropes on my structure would be made from natural fibers and allowed to decay in order to mimic the dying plant material that the fungus would require in a natural environment.

I also liked this idea because it could make for a self-contained and easy to place in-game asset. In other words, it wouldn't require the creation of a large farm complex or other models to justify it's existence.

Almost like a fungus vineyard. Very interesting.

Post Thu Oct 23, 2014 5:36 pm Send private message             Reply with quote                   up  
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