Common Plants and Ingredients

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Infragris
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Common Plants and Ingredients

Post by Infragris » Thu Nov 03, 2016 4:55 pm

Something that has bothered me of late is the presence of a couple of "common" IRL plants and ingredients in data: tomatoes, pumpkins, corn, tobacco, potatoes, etc. Many of the current ingredients and flora are based on real-life plants, mostly because they were copied from Oblivion. In itself, that's not a bad thing: the presence of familiar vegetation is in line with how the province is presented, and helps distinguish it from the exotic weirdness of Morrowind. My main problem with the consumable/agricultural stuff is that is it very eurocentric/classic fantasy fare, which is something we've taken pains to avoid in other parts of the mod. Furthermore, the place these flora containers currently take could be used to further flesh out Imperial material culture and lifestyle.

What I would like to propose is to edit a small selection of plants and turn them into "native" Cyrodiilic plants: simple changes to the texture, model, and name could alleviate this dissonance and make the gameworld more interesting. I realize this is again extra modeling and texturing work, but since many of these plant need to be updated anyway I think it is warranted.

Thoughts?

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Post by R-Zero » Thu Nov 03, 2016 6:09 pm

Nice idea! :)

Could start with making the carrots purple. I'm not big on agriculture though so I don't have any ideas beyond that.

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Post by worsas » Thu Nov 03, 2016 10:15 pm

I'm personally not so bugged about these real world crops, even though I prefer tailor-made things like the Spikerice plant or most of the container plants at SHOTN over implanting things from real world into Tamriel. Our Cyrodiil already has a unique spin in many places and I think that most of the time these real world additions don't damage the overall picture, even if they add something self-explaining to the gameworld.

Keep in mind, we don't only have carrots, tomatoes, potatoes and corn, but also plants like rice, ginseng or lotus. I see more of an international mix of plants than an classical/eurocentric plantlife, actually.

I personally tend towards stressing the semi-tropical climate of the province with future container plants and maybe exploring some more asian influences. I agree that some plants could just get modified to make them more interesting, however. The pumpkin could be switched for a butternut pumpkin or another less generic-looking pumpkin variant, for example.

For me the tobacco doesn't mesh well with the other unique narcotics/stimulants in this universe. It is mentioned in an ingame-book, though, if that accounts for anything.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:07 am

I've never posted on this subject because I don't want to create more work around here, but if we're discussing this anyway, I personally see a mix of Mediterranean and New World crops for Colovian agriculture (give or take any fancy names we give them):

Food Crops
=====
Olives
Grapes
Apples
Cherries
Apricots
Chili Peppers
Garlic
Onions
Corn
Potatoes
Tomatoes
Spikerice
Wheat
Beans
Cocoa
Vanilla

Cash Crops
==========
Tobacco (Cigars)
Olives (Olive Oil)
Grapes (Wine and Brandy)
Flax (Linen)

Of course, that's just my perspective since it would definitely require the creation of several new assets; that said, hanging bunches of garlic or chili peppers, spice jars, and cigar boxes would be useful clutter items for Colovian homes to add some cultural flavor too I think. The other option if we do decide to go this route would be to have a few of these show up in our lore (books or dialogue) but not necessarily in game- kurst brandy, for instance, is made from cherries, but that doesn't necessarily mean that we need to have cherry trees.

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Post by worsas » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:57 am

the place these flora containers currently take could be used to further flesh out Imperial material culture and lifestyle.
- Spices (?)
- Beverages (currently wine, cherry wine, cidar and brandies)
- Drugs, stuff for smoking (currently Tobacco)
- Fabrics (currently wool, silk, flax)
- Dyestuff (?)
- Staple Crops (currently rice, corn)
- Fruits (currently apple, grape, strawberry, trinity fruit)

These are just categories for possible unique resources. I don't think we need to really fill these all to create an immersive gameworld, though.

I don't have any concrete thoughts on unique crops, we should have myself. I would like figs grown in the colovian highlands and northern gold coast myself. But that is just a random thought. I like jiubs idea of pepper plants, too. I'm undecided on many other suggestions, though.

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Post by roerich » Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:49 am

Great suggestion, worsas.

Expensive spices and dyes is something that I really think is missing in the large markets of Tamriel.

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Post by R-Zero » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:43 am

worsas wrote: - Drugs, stuff for smoking (currently Tobacco)
Daggerfall had Indulcet (Drain Stamina, Fortify Luck), Sursum (Drain Intelligence, Fortify Strength), Quaesto Vil (Drain Willpower, Restore Stamina) and Aegrotat (???). Sadly, we don't know anything else about these drugs, but I guess we could try to implement them. The names sound reasonably Imperial too.

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Infragris
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Post by Infragris » Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:57 am

EXISTING PLANTS
There are two basic aspects of the current plants that I would like to rework: names and appearance. Names is easy: a lot of plants, like maize, tobacco or tomatoes, are etymologically derived from sources like the Aztec language, filtered through Portugese and finally English. This is a very specific background which obviously doesn't apply to us. In these cases, it would be better to invent a new, Cyrodiil derived name, possibly taking inspiration from the scientific Latin names of these plants. Appearance-wise, our plantlife is too indebted to how these fruits and vegetables look after generations of advanced agricultural selection. In nature, plants like strawberries and tomatoes rarely grow fruits bigger than a berry. It's only thanks to modern cultivation techniques that they could grow to their current sizes. Same goes for carrots, which are only orange because of gene patriotism in the Netherlands.

Cyrodiil-specific plants
  • Bergamot: a small purple flower based on a real plant, but the term "bergamot" when referring to a plant is actually based on the Bergamot Orange. I propose renaming this to Monarda. Also propose introducing green Bergamot Oranges for in the Nibenay: these can serve as both a fruit and a source for tea material.
  • Columbine: maybe rename to Aquilegia. No solid reason save for weird associations.
  • Maize: this one annoys me a lot, mostly because it is boring + the etymology and association with the Aztec culture muddies things a lot. On the other hand, a corn-like plant does make some sense in the general "Empire in the jungle" line of thinking. Propose renaming to Indureta, and drawing inspiration for a remake from these pics:
    [hsimg=]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... .18.21.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... M_corn.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... rncobs.jpg[/hsimg]
    In fact, it might make a lot of sense for the Imperial to try and breed pure red maize, as a patriotism thing. Red rice is also a thing. Hmmm...
  • Sacred Lotus: I'd like to Cyrodiil-ify this one: color the interior bright red, call it Perrif's Lotus or a Heartlands Lotus or something like that.
  • Tobacco: best course of action would be to replace this with some other, culture-specific smokeable leaf. "Classic" tobacco can exist in the world, but doesn't need to be a native Cyrodiil plant: High Rock could cultivate it, for example. I propose replacing it with a Sivat Plant: its leaves are pulped and boiled into a hard, waxy paste, which can be heated and smoked to increase concentration and ward off sleep. Very popular among clerks and magistrates, who often have expensive Sivat sets in their offices. Effects are somewhere between coffee and cocaine.
  • Tomato: this one also bothers me a lot, for the same reasons as the maize one. Fun fact: tomatoes, eggplants and chili peppers are all members of the nightshade family. I propose weirding up the tomato plant by coloring the fruit blackish purple, and making it a lot smaller. We could call it an Edible Nigtshade or perhaps a Lycopersicum.
Generic plants
These are held separately in data, but I think we're the only ones using them right now. As a general rule, I would propose leaving these unaltered (for the most part) but introducing Cyrodiil-specific variations for the province. Just assume that we should not use these plants, or are in some way on the hitlist. NEW PLANTS
If I'd have to make a selection, I would propose the following new plants:
  • Olives: I think there was already some talk about olive trees in some of the region planning threads. Olive trees and olive oil production could well be staples of the Highlands economy.
  • Grapes: we have two generic grape vines already but the models need to be replaced. For some other reason, I feel like these should have a unique designation, like Colovian Grape or something like that (SHOTN has a Wrothgrarian Grape). Seeing the importance of the Colovian vineyards, it makes sense to spend some extra attention to these.
  • Figs: I really like this idea. Figs, apples etc. are generic plants which I think fit very well into the Cyrod framework, and need little recontextualization. Fig and apple trees can also be used in the wild for exteriors, and orchards make for more interesting farmlands than, say, a field of potatoes.
  • Chili peppers: personally, I would go for a traditional black pepper plant. Perhaps these would be better saved for the Nibenay, though. If we go for chili peppers they should get a different name.
  • Pomegranate: another plant in the figs and apples category, and one that was very important in the Greco-Roman cuisine. Also visually very interesting.
  • Colovia needs at least one very common grain type for their bread, whiskey and beer + to contrast with the lower Niben's rice-based agriculture. To me, heavy rice cultivation doesn't really fit into the Highlands ecology. I propose Rye as the staple Colovian crop.
In general, I think we could keep dye and heavy spices as Nibenese things, as they fit their cultural profile better. Colovia is more about husbandry (cows, horses, goats) and the growing of staple crops. A lot of these new ideas should be kept in mind for the Niben context. We need a ton of new plants anyway, since the flora list is atm not very impressive. It's fine for the coast, but once we go inland we'll need more variety.

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Post by R-Zero » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:39 pm

Great writeup, Infragris! Really makes sense.
Infragris wrote: Colovia needs at least one very common grain type for their bread, whiskey and beer + to contrast with the lower Niben's rice-based agriculture. To me, heavy rice cultivation doesn't really fit into the Highlands ecology. I propose Rye as the staple Colovian crop.[/list]
How about Buckwheat, maybe? It is used for making whiskey among other things.
[hsimg=]http://tcpermaculture.com/site/wp-conte ... heat02.jpg[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2015-0 ... _x_450.jpg[/hsimg]

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Post by Ted » Fri Nov 04, 2016 1:20 pm

Thee how watermelons look like in past... maybe it can be usefull :)
[hsimg=]http://hbu.h-cdn.co/assets/15/31/768x55 ... rmelon.jpg[/hsimg]

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:10 pm

We already have olive trees in data and a concept for an olive oil bottle, so having harvestable olives is a no-brainer.

I would definitely take chili peppers (maybe rework these into the fruit of the Dragon's Tongue plant?) over black pepper for exactly that word you used - "Traditional". It also fits with the Colovian martial tradition (I can see Colovian youths having pepper eating contests to prove who's tougher, for instance) and distances us from bland British cuisine (which is why I'd like to scrap leeks, cabbage, carrots, and radishes). I really think we should keep potatoes in as well since it ties together with the tomatoes and peppers.

I'm good with figs, and I personally see pomegranates as a Nibenese thing but I'm cool with having them for Colovia too.

Rye or wheat are fine by me.

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/IsqBD8R.jpg[/hsimg]

Also, would it be worth our time to have pickled goods as a consumable? The Imperials have both wine and cider which means logically they'd have vinegar too.
Last edited by Saint_Jiub on Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by roerich » Fri Nov 04, 2016 2:10 pm

Another valuable trading commodity that is really needed all over Tamriel is salt. Sutch salt is the most commonly found product in Cyrodiil, and an important part of the Gold Coast economy. In Skyrim, the most important salt production is done in the Hjaalmarch salt marshes. Hjaal salt fetches high prices among the markets in both the north and elsewhere.

[hsimg=]http://www.saltsistersonline.com/images ... 380128.jpg[/hsimg]
Last edited by roerich on Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by R-Zero » Mon Nov 28, 2016 12:00 pm

Considering the proposed incense items - I think it would be a good idea to include these as ingredients that have Fortify Mysticism or maybe other magic schools as their first effect.
There shouldn't be a duplicate of this effect anywhere so it won't be a problem as far as alchemy balance is concerned, but would serve as a nice cultural tidbit, especially for Nibenese magical practices. A nice nod towards vancian magic too.
http://www.uesp.net/w/images/0/09/OB-class-Sorcerer.jpg Also I'd like to mention stuff we had in Daggerfall as drugs and poisons again:

Indulcet
Sursum
Quaesto Vil
Aegrotat
Nux Vomica (aka Strychnine tree)
Arsenic
Moonseed
Drothweed
Somnalius (already have this one!)
Phyrric Acid (no RL equivalent it seems)
Thyrwort

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Post by roerich » Mon Nov 28, 2016 2:21 pm

Interesting. Moonseed, Drothweed and Thyrwort sound the best to me.

Regarding spices, it would of course be best to have uniquely Tamrielic variants, but we can be inspired by real world spices.
Romans spiced their food with pine kernels, leeks, celery seeds, parsley, lovage, dried mint, safflower, coriander, dates, honey, vinegar, raisin wine and broth
http://factsanddetails.com/world/cat56/ ... m2071.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Pepper - The most sought after spice. Black pepper was the most expensive. Imported from Asia and later Africa.
Cinnamon - A Spice made from bark of the Cinnamomum zeylanicum
Cloves - Cloves were indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia
Nutmeg - Spice made from seeds also indigenous to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia
Ginger - Ginger was a spice also known as 'Grains of Paradise', also called Atare Pepper, was used as a substitute for the more expensive black pepper during the 1300 and 1400's
Saffron - The dried aromatic stigmas of this plant, was used to color foods and as a cooking spice and dyes
Cardamon (aka Cardamom ) was a spice made from the whole or ground dried fruit a plant of the ginger family, indigenous to India and Sri Lanka
Coriander - A Spice made from seeds and leaves and a relative of the parsley family
Cumin - Spice made from the dried fruit of a plant in the parsley family
Garlic - A spice mported by the Romans
Turmeric - Spice made from a root, related to ginger and has a vivid yellow-orange color
Mace - A spice made from the dried fleshy covering of the nutmeg seed
Anise - A liquorice flavored plant whose seeds and leaves are used to spice a variety of dishes
Caraway - Caraway or Persian cumin are the small, crescent-shaped dried seeds from a herb
Mustard - A spice with a pungent flavor, either used as seeds or ground
http://www.lordsandladies.org/spices-in ... e-ages.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Post by R-Zero » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:47 am

Considering incense ingredients, we already have bergamot and lavender for this.
For Colovia it would be nice to have animal-based incenses like Labdanum (collected from sheeps who graze on certain plants) and Ambergris , although we kinda already have Sload Oil in place of the latter. Maybe some kind of mineral incense that is mined instead of being extracted from plants or animals.
(Speaking of sheeps, let's add bezoar stones too while we're at it.)
EDIT: (Maybe even combine them. A trichobezoar is a bezoar formed from hair and Labdanum was collected by combing sheeps' hair.)

For Nibenay, plant-based incense would be the best. Although with how sofisticated Nibenese culture is, I would use patented incense mixes instead of raw materials.

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Post by Infragris » Sat Dec 10, 2016 7:48 pm

I looked into the four Daggerfall drugs - Indulcet, Sursum, Quaesto Vil and Aegrotat - which turned up some interesting associations. Indulcet is derived from the latin verb for sweetening things - the word "indulge" might be derived from it. Sursum is also latin, and is an alternate version of subversum: to overturn or subvert something. Quaesto Vil could, with some liberties, be roughly translated as "seeking evil", or "researching evil". Aegrotat literally translated as "he/she is ill", but was also the name of an academic certificate that allowed students to pass courses without attening lessons or examinations.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:56 pm

Indulcet - Moon sugar mixed with brandy - a legal sleight of hand which allows it to be sold openly within the Empire.

Quaesto Vil - An extremely rare Nibenese libation, only available through dealings with the Cult of Vaermina. Heartland rice wine is infused with the whole body of a serpentine Daedra and allowed to steep for months or years, granting the drinker visions of the horrors of Quagmire (quest related?)

Still thinking about the other two

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Post by R-Zero » Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:27 pm

Saint_Jiub wrote:Indulcet - Moon sugar mixed with brandy - a legal sleight of hand which allows it to be sold openly within the Empire.
I'd rather have more drugs not related to Skooma and Moon Sugar, honestly.

Nice idea for Quaesto Vil! Actually this reminds me of "Sake Bug" or Shuchuu, a creature from Chinese-Japanese folklore I've read about recently that looks like a salamander of sorts and has the power of turning water into sake. http://img.mp.itc.cn/upload/20160826/b9 ... d5d_th.jpghttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100 ... eworm1.jpghttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100 ... eworm2.pnghttps://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/100 ... eworm3.png Which sounds Nibenese as hell :D

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Post by Infragris » Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:21 pm

Quaesto Vil as something Vaernimic works quite well - in fact, it's pretty much what I had in mind for the Dried Lotus Cult already, though under a different name.

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Post by Infragris » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:26 pm

Quick summary of my thoughts on the original topic:

New flora containers I would like to introduce, in order of priority:
  • Olives: pretty basic black olives, perfect since we already have the olive trees in place. We would just have to replace them with container versions (tedious but doable).
  • Ironrye: a type of rye native to Colovia, used for Colovian bread and ale. This plant could be added immediately as a slight variation on the Shotn grain plants, and will be very useful as a staple crop on farm fields and the like.
  • Figs: something for the long run, maybe, to be introduced around the West Weald or Kvatch.
  • Plena Pepper: a kind of chili pepper. Maybe we can do something weird with the color, give it a stripe pattern maybe.
  • Pomegranate: more of a Nibenese/Massiquerran thing, maybe
Also continuing on the spices discussion, this is my shortlist of spice ingredients:
  • Pepper (maybe a unique name like Rihad Pepper)
  • Nutmeg
  • Saffron
  • Cardamon
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Anise
  • Caraway
Finally, the flora containers I would like to rename (+possibly edit the texture/mesh slightly):
  • Bergamot: Monarda
  • Columbine: Aquilegia
  • Corn/Maize: Indureta. The mesh is fine, but the ingredient looks kind of artificial.
  • Sacred Lotus: Periff's Lotus. This model should probably be updated, but for now it is not too bad.
  • Tomato: Lycovine. Kind of an edible nightshade berry. Slightly purplish maybe.
  • Tobacco: Siyat. See drugs discussion.
  • Pumpkin: Poppad Gourd. The pumpkin model we have right now is atrocious. Not only is it ugly, it is way to high-poly.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:38 am

Per the earlier convo in the Discord, here are 4 options for the Poppad texture (haven't touched the stem yet, and ignore the ugliness of the accursed pumpkin mesh):

Image

What do you think? I'm leaning toward either yellow or white, personally.

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Post by Infragris » Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:45 am

Honestly, I like the blue/green ones more. Maybe we can make a couple of (regional?) variations. The whole look probably changes depending on the model, too.

How about a gradient approach? Say you take the blue one, and halfway up it patchily transitions into the white or the green one?

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:15 pm

Hm, maybe something like this?

Image
Image

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Post by Infragris » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:24 pm

That looks amazing. I love it.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:40 pm

Cool, have fun :) I made textures for the leaves, stem, and gourd, should be easy to apply to whatever meshes we end up going with. The textures are 256x256 & 256x128. At some point as we update our flora, I'd like to downscale a lot of the textures, 1024x1024 & 512x512 dimensions are pretty excessive for teeny tiny little flowers.

Image
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Post by Saint_Jiub » Mon Jul 31, 2017 7:43 pm

So, I know we're gonna be tweaking names and textures, but in terms of the IRL crops that Colovians are basically gonna be growing, do I have this right?

Food Crops
========
Corn (Indureta)
Chili Peppers (Piena Peppers)
Squash (Poppad Gourd)
Grain (Ironrye)
Tomatoes (Lykovine)
Olives
Figs
Grapes
Apples

Cash Crops
========
Olives (olive oil)
Grapes (wine)
Flax (linen)
Siyat (smokeables)
Mandrakes/Ironrye (ale)
Apples (Cider)

Which leaves potatoes, onions, carrots, radishes, blackberries, and strawberries unaccounted for. Do you have plans for these, or are they on the chopping block? Personally, if I could only save one I would say keep onions in for sure (renamed to allium, maybe?)

Also, what about herbs? I have some suggestions (surprise surprise)

Herbs
====
Lavender (similar to rosemary)
Fennel
Bergamot (similar to oregano)
Lady's smock
Basil?

As far as material culture, this list gives us access to cigars/pipes, hanging onions/peppers/herbs, and bowls and lamps made out of dried gourds, any/all of which could be useful for cluttering.

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Post by Infragris » Tue Aug 01, 2017 10:54 am

Pretty much, yes.
Ironrye is meant as a staple food crop, since it is used to make colovian bread. Besides rye, spike rice is also common (it is currently the most used food crop for fields around the gold coast).

I think onions and blackberries are no problem (in fact, I think both are used in some places in Stirk). Both also have quality models that fit the rest of our assets well. Not even sure if they should be renamed - I think they onions are named in some books, so they are setting-appropriate.

The rest of the generic plants I would avoid - they don't really add all that much (with this list we should have plenty of useful crops), and their models are often lackluster. Carrots or a carrot-like thing I could see working, but the model would need to be updated. Potatoes are apparently a big thing in Shotn, so we can leave that for the north. Also in the list of generic plants I think we can use is garlic, which already has hanging garlic assets.

Herbs list looks good, although bergamot would be renamed to Monarda. Lavender would fit in the West Weald, but the model needs to be updated. Fennel is used a lot around the Gold Coast, so it's already a good fit. I'm not sure about basil - we already have a bunch of smaller flora containers which could be designated an edible herb, so I'm apprehensive about adding more on top.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:58 pm

Using Oblivion's corn as a model since we don't have one in Data yet:

Image

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Post by Infragris » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:59 pm

Can you send me that texture? I have a half-finished model for this ingredient somewhere.

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Post by Saint_Jiub » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:02 pm

Here you go :)
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