Fortresses of the First Empire

Model, texture and sound development of SHotN
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worsas
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Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Mon Aug 03, 2015 11:02 am

Now with the possible ruin types in the eastern Reach in question, I realised that it makes no sense that we have so many Direnni ruins, while there are nearly no leftovers of the first empire of the nords, the climax of nordic power that preceded the Direnni hegemony and at which most of Highrock (and naturally all of the Reach) and Morrowind was in the hands of Skyrim. 'Old Fort', a fortress built from huge stone blocks dates back to this era, aswell as probably the nordic structures added by TR in the western Morrowind.

This thread is to discuss how this shortcoming can be addressed and how these fortresses should look like. I think that our barrow assets should play a role. But it would make sense to extend on them a bit to create more believable wall- and tower- structures. I find it important that defensive structures are clearly recognizable as such.

Also, we have inherited this guy here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... dtower.png" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

As an idea: We could repurpose the dungeon set created for the tower ruins to serve for these ancient nordic fortresses. I think it would work quite well for that.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Wed Aug 12, 2015 5:04 pm

So I've been looking through Bethesdas flickr-album to find some inspirational pictures. Also, this description from the 1st pg:
A fine example of Nord military engineering can be seen at Old Fort, one of the royal bastions constructed by the First Empire to guard its southern frontier. Towering walls of huge, irregular porphyry blocks fit together without seam or mortar, as if constructed by mythical Elhnofey rather than men.
[hsimg=]http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7207/68775 ... d714_b.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7059/68775 ... cf52_b.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7179/68775 ... b5cb_b.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7038/68775 ... fa93_b.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7049/68775 ... 6724_b.jpg[/hsimg]

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:21 pm

I always assumed that small Nordic towers have the same origin as the round forts, i.e. that barbican-like structure known from Oblivion, as seen (hardly :P) here. They look rather similar in my opinion, texture-wise. But the latter is supposed to be way younger, dating back to early cyrodillic reign, right?

It would be a shame not to have structures as these seen on the pictures. I agree they should be rather frequent, albeit not so majestic in most instances. I think we may already be able to come up with similar designs using barrow tilest. There are also these towers (1, 2) from Momo's resource pack that I believe we already use. (link)
worsas wrote:As an idea: We could repurpose the dungeon set created for the tower ruins to serve for these ancient nordic fortresses. I think it would work quite well for that.
I know it may sound radical, but how much effort would it take to gaunt and ovalize the towers themselves, so they can fit this concept after the retexture? I don't think we have many ideas behind that "Breton towers", and this certainly would be a headway in adding Nordic fortresses around. Plus, I know Reach has it's own rules etc, but there are already many ruins sets employed in our landmass, so it feels quite messy now.

Regarding the dungeon set - do you mean Sky_In_Dungeon_01_ tileset?

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Fri Aug 14, 2015 10:50 pm

We don't have the towers from momo. Those stone ladders seemed like a weird thing to me and I had no concept for the interior of the towers in mind how they could be made to work well.

I have also toyed with the idea of reworking those breton towers, as The Reach seems like a place of Reachmen rather than a place where western Bretons would have made big holdings. We also have most defensive spots occupied by them or the direnni ruins, so I would totally agree with replacing the breton towers, but I'm not 100% sure yet.

The imperial ruins were originally supposed to double for nordic ruins, but they will now be used for imperial ruins in P:C aswell and for our mod they should specifically act as ruins of the second empire along the northern coast or as remnants of colovian holdings in Falkreath or the southern Reach (the rectangular towers will be used for colovian fortresses in P:C, for example).

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Thu Oct 22, 2015 12:24 pm

There are some phenomenal examples of what can be done with barrow assets in the newest TR's realease:

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/PzWZZab.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/1U5iTZL.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/AqFALV5.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/CAbzeEW.jpg[/hsimg]

That's the way to go with these fortresses, if you ask me. :)

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Thu Oct 22, 2015 1:18 pm

Yeah, I would like to work with those barrow blocks on these nord fortresses. But I'd like to have some more dedicated fortress pieces, too. A set of different doors and real wall pieces and stuff like that.

I'm going to speak about the fortress ruins with Berandas and perhaps we can create them with relatively little modelling effort by mostly using the good, odd barrow pieces.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by Luxray » Fri Oct 23, 2015 4:46 pm

This all sounds good to me, how many 1st era forts should there be overall in the reach?
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Fri Oct 23, 2015 5:14 pm

The current plan is to put ancient nord fortresses in place of the current breton towers, since most defensive positions are occupied by them and we don't really have anything like a background story for the latter. Also, the sundered towers should be created from these ancient fortress assets.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Wed May 18, 2016 3:38 pm

So, would anybody object against removing Sky_Ex_Ruin_Nord_Tower_01 altogether? I think that we should avoid using these TES V - assets and use our own approach instead.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by roerich » Wed May 18, 2016 4:46 pm

Please remove it!

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by Moritius » Wed May 18, 2016 4:53 pm

<ThomasRuz> A cleansing potion, with a nasty side-effect
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by spineinside » Tue Jun 14, 2016 12:51 am

just to quick hello to this topic.... I have ( finally ) begun modeling this

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Tue Jun 14, 2016 9:29 am

This will be the last big addition that we need to get everything completed. Thankyou.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:30 pm

spineinside, are you still working on this? It would be great to have these pieces as soon as you can arrange to make them.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by spineinside » Sat Nov 05, 2016 1:50 pm

Guys , sorry for my absence

I am unable to put a finger on these assets until the end of this year, sorry for noticing it that late but it will be best if someone else could take it from me and progress or make an input of another vision to finish it completely. due to belief, is this the last complex thing that keep us far from release ?

Here are some sketches of my researching and 4 models If you find it useful. (corner philar and 3 towers - open top, closed top, Stonehenge type with levels)

[hsimg=]http://s3.megawrzuta.pl/data/0/165251/b ... 343cd8.jpg[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://s3.megawrzuta.pl/data/0/165253/d ... 492bfc.jpg[/hsimg][hsimg=]http://s3.megawrzuta.pl/data/0/165252/f ... 8dc996.jpg[/hsimg]
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Sat Nov 05, 2016 9:19 pm

Hey. Thankyou for dropping by and uploading your stuff. I'll maybe continue a bit on these in your absence. The ornate block looks great, but the tower pieces are a bit different from how I imagine them myself. I like the sketches.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Sat Feb 11, 2017 12:34 pm

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/223 ... _spire.jpg First picture of progress, continuing on spineinsides heritage. This tall spire is supposed to help at the creation of fortresses similar to this one: http://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7059/68775 ... cf52_b.jpg. I'll provide some more closed block walls later on that are more useful at creating towered structures.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:29 pm

That looks wonderful. What's the scale? As seen on the picture, ie. few times human size?

It would be lovely to have some variants of top wall/tower part covered with grass, like our overgrown rocks, as seen on some Adamowicz's concepts

edit: found said concepts:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47857688@ ... 321466509/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47857688@ ... 321466509/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47857688@ ... 321466509/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47857688@ ... 321466509/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
https://www.flickr.com/photos/47857688@ ... 321466509/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:27 pm

This spire is quite big, about twice as tall as the barrow sidewalls. It's supposed to be for these ancient cliff fortresses and somewhat imposing when combined with the wall elements. I have progressed quite a bit since the last post. btw. I will post some files for testing, once I have some further pieces done.

At the moment I'm specifically focused on pieces for fortress-like structures. These overgrown tombs may follow later. Though, I'm not sure yet, how well I can really pull off a grass covering with them. You will not get what you see on these screenshots at the very least, not 1:1 but perhaps something which shows the same idea but seamlessly works with other already existing barrow assets.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Wed Feb 15, 2017 5:50 pm

Awesome, so using this tileset would be pretty much about cobbling together various versatile elements? Like LEGO taken to an extreme level? :P I'm looking forward to testing these assets.

These overgrown assets might be made from the rock, perhaps? Like, add the bottom to the rock, fill it's inside, and replace the rock part with a sidewall-like block structure? Barrow sidewall in a shape of overgrown rock with grass atop it is how I imagined it, pretty much. These would allow us to make cliff ends like in Druadachs, only with the grass growing on the fortress, seamlessly hidden in the landscape.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:34 pm

A first batch of objects for testing. Still many more missing.
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:45 pm

I approve this tileset :ugeek: It's a great start. http://i.imgur.com/UDA1KSx.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/Gb8cWPs.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/zc3yd3r.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/eGwyJWf.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/xO8ncNV.png Does ornament texture for the pillar has some "extra texture effects" (don't now a thing about texturing, sorry! :P ) like bump maps or normal map etc? It looks somewhat "glossy" both in CS and in-game; it especially stands out on two last screens I posted. I don't have MCP installed on this Morrowind version, just in case.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by roerich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:59 pm

Agreed. 8-)
http://i.imgur.com/fYaqX94.png Can you post a list of the pieces you have planned, worsas? That way we can request if there's something we think is missing.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:53 pm

Does ornament texture for the pillar has some "extra texture effects" (don't now a thing about texturing, sorry! :P ) like bump maps or normal map etc? It looks somewhat "glossy" both in CS and in-game; it especially stands out on two last screens I posted. I don't have MCP installed on this Morrowind version, just in case.
I think the texture is just missing some mipmaps, so there is aliasing in the distance.

Ideas for further pieces mostly evolve while I'm moving along, but these are the ones, I have in the planning, currently:

- straight walls which expose smaller bricks
- Protruding wall elements for the bottom parts of fortresses with staggered stone slaps/stairs
- Diagonal wall pieces. Hard to describe, just walls that increase in height from left to right and vice versa.
- floor pieces for the top
- battlements for the top
- doorway and door
- some pieces for the creation of walkways and possibly bridges. A smaller variant of the current barrow stairs.
- 1-2 additional types of spires, possibly including sculptures.
- a rudimentary wallset incorporating small bricks and big boulders. Not sure, if it will even have a gate.

-> later the interior tileset with some stuff from spineinsides drawings.

Some of these pieces are quickly done. But it all will take a considerable amount of effort nevertheless.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by roerich » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:06 pm

That list sounds great. If I were to suggest anything it'd be some arrow holes and a wall piece with a gate-entrance in it.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Sat Feb 18, 2017 6:54 pm

just one more update so I can call it a day.
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:12 am

Fantastic. I'd love to try to make something similar to TES V cairns from staggered wall pieces. I also would be willing to bet roerich will tease us with a droolworthy Old Hroldan update the moment it is merged with Tamriel_Data. :P

I just remembered we talked about altering those brown "Breton watchtowers" to make them belong to this tileset. Is this still a thing or not, at least for the time being?

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:01 pm

I just remembered we talked about altering those brown "Breton watchtowers" to make them belong to this tileset. Is this still a thing or not, at least for the time being?
I will just leave those alone. I have been thinking about creating some kind of substitute for them, but it's probably too much work at this point.

We should either keep those towers or scrap them in favour of first empire fortresses. At the very least the one tower atop the hill in the east of the Druadach should get replaced with an ancient sentinel tower or something similar.

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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by worsas » Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:48 pm

Now there are battlement attachments, an arrowslit and a floor piece.
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Re: Fortresses of the First Empire

Post by berry » Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:44 pm

Alright, I'm in love with this set. I know it's not exactly it's purpose, but I tried playing with that cairn structure idea I mentioned and I love the possibilites. Can we have a region where those are a dominant feature, please? :)
http://i.imgur.com/tOPimCt.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/hCltyph.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/0mQleOW.pnghttp://i.imgur.com/85ZSm8T.png Here's full album with some more pictures.

--
We should either keep those towers or scrap them in favour of first empire fortresses. At the very least the one tower atop the hill in the east of the Druadach should get replaced with an ancient sentinel tower or something similar.
Sounds good. 1E fortress would look great there, and fit in thematically - we can make it look like the Reachmen scavanged boulders from it for their sacral areas around that place, especially for the altar just below in the forest and the hagraven valley on the other side of the mountain.

Personally I suggest we keep the towers, but try to use them more consciously, as Breton ruins indeed. I thus could see them working well in claim 1 or 2, or even moreso by the Haafiheim-High Rock border. Heck, we can have a fetch quest leading there as well - for example, I believe in recentmost iteration of Karthgad dialogue that grim Breton of Karthgad mentions he used to have a small manor before the war - he might want the player to catch a heirloom from one of these ruins.

--

I can also relate that previous update fixed that issue with the ornament texture I mentioned. Looks much better now.

Fantastic work overall, worsas!

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