Design Notes: The City of Sutch

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Infragris
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Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Wed Mar 16, 2016 4:31 pm

Continued from here.

A couple of quick pictures that explain the basic concept:
Image [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/M8b5dSa.png[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/s1xuqQm.jpg[/hsimg] [hsimg=]http://41.media.tumblr.com/dc57c9078dca ... 1_1280.jpg[/hsimg]

Sutch is a small Colo-Redguard city in the northern Gold Coast, on the border of the Gilded Foothills. The city is built on top of and inside a narrow stone spire in the Soetar river, connected to the cliff faces on either side by large stone bridges. To the southwest lies the large Lan Taifoi Hai/Lake Oloman. The city's inhabitants provide for themselves by fishing on the lake, salt extraction, wine-making, and trade.

HISTORY
Sutch has a rich history of conquests and defeats. The city started as a small Colovian outpost in the early First Empire, but was conquered in the Redguard invasion of 1E 808. It became a prominent Redguard border fort and a pilgrimage spot for the wind-goddess Tava and the Ansei sword-saints, being the southernmost point of conquest and the point where the Ra Gada broke. The city remained in Redguard hands until the Reman conquests of 1E 2703, when it was given to a vassal of the Emperor. The city was lost again during the Akaviri Potentates, reclaimed by Tiber Septim, and subsequently made into a contested area by the Second Treaty of Stros M'Kai, which failed to provide a suitable arrangement for its governance. After the passage of the Camoran Usurper in 3E 267, Commodore Umbranox claimed the town as part of his new county, granted to him by the Emperor. As a result, the town is currently under the rule of Countess Umbranox, but the population is of mixed descent, with a stronger influence from the Redguard side (especially among the poorer districts). Most governors and influential citizens are Imperials, as a result of nepotism and favoritism. This, along with resentment over trade laws benefiting the port of Anvil, have resulted in a desire to rejoin the province of Hammerfell, promoted by the criminal organization known as the Kali Mes, who have free reign in the undercity.

LAYOUT
Sutch can be divided into three main layers: the waterfront and warehouse galleries, the merchant galleries, and the topside. They are connected to one another by a switchback causeway, which sees little use these days, and the Ascensor, a large elevator-like structure which is mainly used to transport goods between levels.
  • The Waterfront is clustered along the city's base. This area consists of several shacks, a poor inn, some warehouses, and the docks. Ships here are either fishing boats or river trawlers which come from the remote port of Seppaki, which give Sutch access to sea trade. The population is mainly Redguard and Colo-Redguard. Besides the entrance of the Ascensor lies the start of the old switchback path, which was the main way of moving goods before the elevator was built. Since it is no longer in use, the poor population has built shacks and cave houses along its way, turning it into a secondary poor district - more or less the same as the Waterfront shacks in terms of population. The Kali Mes has free reign in these areas. There are also several tunnels leading from the waterfront and the causeway into the rock: these are old warehouses, which are no longer in use due to flooding. these tunnels lead to the secret base of the Kali Mes, hidden in an abandoned Ansei shrine.
  • The merchant gallery is a large cavern halfway into the rock. it can be reached through the ascensor, the causeway, or through the southern bridge, which connects with the road to Anvil. This is where most shops and middle-class houses can be found, as well as a central caravanserai/inn. Sutch is very important as a center of trade, as it lies on one of the few decent roads to Hammerfell and provides access to the sea.
  • The topside refers to the district that occupies the very top of the rock. This area can be reached through the ascensor and along the northern bridge, which leads to the Brena River crossing and Hammerfell. Most houses here belong to the upper class and wealthy factions: rich traders, a Fighters Guild chapter, a chapel of Zenithar, and the fortress of the Baron of Sutch.
ENVIRONMENT
Besides the city itself, there are a number of interesting places in the area of Sutch:
  • Vineyards: to be found on the western side of Lake Oloman, these vineyards produce the famous Sutchi wines.
  • Salt beds: Lake Oloman's access to the sea and mineral composition make it rich in salt. The shores of the lake are ringed with salt beds.
  • Bleak Mine: this very profitable salt mine lies to the southeast of the lake . It is a major employer for people from Sutch. Like most industries in this region, it is in the hands of an Imperial nobleman, who lives on an estate not far from it. As a result, the mine has been targeted by the Kali Mes.
  • Kynareth temple & monastery: one of the headquarters of the Order of Kynareth. This temple complex lies a bit outside of the town itself. The Order of Kynareth is mainly composed of wandering priests, and cares little for existence within the cities. They have settled in Sutch because of the prevailing sea and desert winds. It is rumored that the monastery is built on the ruins of an older temple to Tava, which was destroyed in the Reman Era.
  • Ayleid cities: the western shoreline features no less than two ancient Ayleid cities: the old sprawl of Beldaburo and the more recent citadel of Garlas Malatar. While Beldaburo has been thoroughly plundered, the inner chambers of Garlas Malatar remain uncracked. Rumors speak of a dread sorcerer-king, Massamalir Thousand-Hands, who still stalks these halls.
  • The Fortress of the Shore-Kings: this vast ruin lies on an island off the western shore. Once home to the kings of Colovia, this palace now lies in ruin, practically unplundered due to the difficulties of scaling the island's cliffs.
  • Malacath shrine: a leftover from the days of Nedic and Orcish tribes, before even the rise of the Ayleid Hegemony. This shrine, hidden among the ravines of the Gilded Foothills, has been lost since time immemorial. With the recent emancipation of the Orcs, large Orsinium war parties have been sent out to recover and secure the shrine - so far, without success.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:14 pm

The Salt beds are one thing where we'll be able to benefit from the data merge with TR. They have got that stuff in the works for the Deshaan right now.

The old switchway path, you mention, would be mostly a cliffpath, with some holes leading to the houses? Btw. the description sounds quite fantastic so far.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Luxray » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:19 pm

I absolutely love the concept for the central elevator running through the city. It's the sort of fantasy-city component that is interesting and unique and should make the town memorable.

Your writeup of the surrounding areas in the northern Gold Coast are awesome as well. I'd love to see well-constructed ruins for the Ayleid locations and kynareth temple such as you describe. Good building off the previous thread's discussion and cool ideas!

Unfortunately I don't have much else to add currently, but i'll try and think of some ideas about the city and the location.
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Infragris
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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Thu Mar 17, 2016 4:25 pm

worsas wrote:The Salt beds are one thing where we'll be able to benefit from the data merge with TR. They have got that stuff in the works for the Deshaan right now.
I think there are some nice salt assets in Lythondea, but I'm not sure. We'll have to ask Melchior. I thought the Deshaan stuff was mostly natural features? I'll have to take a look.
worsas wrote:The old switchway path, you mention, would be mostly a cliffpath, with some holes leading to the houses? Btw. the description sounds quite fantastic so far.
It would be a narrow, semi-artificial cliffpath, some parts as stairs cut from the rock, and perhaps even an interior tunnel or two (like the part where it goes behind the elevator column). The houses would be cave homes like those in Gnisis, maybe with some Redguard trappings.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by roerich » Thu Mar 17, 2016 11:51 pm

Very satisfying to see these concepts come more to life. Interior (or interior-in-exterior) tunnels as parts of the cliffpath should look great.

There will be passages between the merchant gallery and the topside besides the Ascensor, hopefully? I think those two should be more connected than the third, if the travellers by road are entering from the topside (or a bridge going into the cliff?). With transportation of goods from the docks being the obvious exception here.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri Mar 18, 2016 2:47 pm

There would be stairs and tunnels for foot traffic, probably. And some of the merchant houses would likely have private means of moving goods between the levels, to avoid the baron's lift toll.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri May 06, 2016 6:24 am

Do we have a gameplan for Sutch architecture? Infragris, I think you hit the nail on the head in another thread that we can't continue our trend of making a brand new architecture style for each city - on the other hand, I think if we release a third city using a repaint of the same architecture that Stirk and Anvil use, people are going to get bored.

My thought is that we should use the Stirk buildings and walls, retextured of course, but supplement them with a few new pieces we can attach to mix up the look, like this patio and pillar:
[hsimg=]http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get2/ ... -01442.jpg[/hsimg]
[hsimg=]https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/73 ... 2fdec9.jpg[/hsimg]

As well as one or two new buildings, like the Chapel of Kynareth:
[hsimg=]https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... 9-2006.jpg[/hsimg]

EDIT: We also still have ZackG's Sutch files, though they're far from usable in their current state.
https://www.dropbox.com/s/7ycqs2ctopiez ... rt.7z?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (NIF export by worsas)
https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ol1a2tdkk33q ... d.rar?dl=0" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; (Original Blender files)

Did anybody save that tower that he made for Sutch? It was deemed too big at the time, but with the current layout it could be useful as the elevator/tower connecting the upper and lower levels. The DL link on the old forums is broken.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/gYQlTLa.png[/hsimg]

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Fri May 06, 2016 7:35 am

I don't know, if we'll really have to go a retexturing route for these. As soon as someone manages to even start on these houses, I assume, they will be relatively quickly finished, using the above concepts and going a minimalistic approach (3-4 house variants at most).

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri May 06, 2016 9:34 am

Ideally, there would be three different types of housing:
  • Poor shacks: these make up the waterfront, and clutter the switchback path up the hill. For these, I think the Gold Coast rural shacks would fit best, especially since we don't really have any other "poor" architecture.
  • Middle class/upper class houses: these only appear on the top of the hill. These could be done either in the style of Stirk or Brina Cross, though my preference leans towards the latter. As you said, they should be modified with Redguard accessories.
  • Cave houses: these litter the switchback path and are used in the interior galleries. Simply a matter of editing the vanilla velothi cave houses as used in Gnisis: a different texture, some extra variations (deeper, different levels, chambers etc.), and a loose wall and pillar with a Redguard-inspired design.
I am tempted to say we should use the retextured imperial fortress set for the elevator and the local fort. These are Imperial additions to the city, after all. They could be made more iconic with a unique window element and roof design, like an onion tower or something like that.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Fri May 06, 2016 10:26 am

I agree about using the regular poor shacks for the bottom area of the town, but regarding the other houses I'm strongly for a unique architecture, even though we shouldn't keep going that path for further towns of these dimensions in future. And if we must, we could even do a halfway decent retex of the houses, zackg had been making. But retexturing velothi buildings?

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri May 06, 2016 10:36 am

Not velothi buildings, velothi caves houses. Im talking about the "in_velothicave" set, they look like this.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Ted » Fri May 06, 2016 11:24 am

[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/J4Mg6ld.jpg[/hsimg]
My very quick sketch on the first picture in the thread.
Fort Sutch is now in the center. The main building is in it - something like this
[hsimg=]http://milamaris.ru/wordpress/wp-conten ... anteon.jpg[/hsimg]
Near to the viewer - a residential area (or imperial district)
In the north - a high district or the Grand Bazaar. Move main Port here.
In the east Redguard area. Across the bridge parking traders, camels, taxes and fees office, tavern for travelers.
Under each of the bridges - huge waterfall.
A huge tower as before is a lift, and at the bottom the port on the lake made of wood. Here huts and lives local fishermen

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri May 06, 2016 2:34 pm

The problem with doing a unique architecture for sutch is that it's the last gold Coast city, meaning that we'll once again need a brand new architecture style for the next city after that. I just don't want this to turn into version 2.0 of the city and dungeon scale discussion, where we're kind of just now realizing how over ambitious our original vision was.

ZackG's models themselves need improving to be brought up to par with what we already have in data- look at the angularity of the doorframe compared to the Stirk gate. There are a lot of corners that should be rounded out more as well.

Ted, your concept looks good but I do prefer the original to be honest. I don't love the fort smack in the middle of the city, and don't see a reason to change the established proposal.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri May 06, 2016 3:59 pm

We'd have to see what an exterior modder can cook up, but I imagine that the top of the rock will be quite narrow, maybe just enough space for the fort, four or five houses, and a small square. The bulk of the city would be hidden in the vertical column. Ideally, this should be a small city, the size/population density of a place like Gnisis.

Also don't see the point of huge waterfalls under the bridges. Where would the water come from?

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Ted » Fri May 06, 2016 4:10 pm

Ted, your concept looks good but I do prefer the original to be honest. I don't love the fort smack in the middle of the city, and don't see a reason to change the established proposal.
Ok.
Also don't see the point of huge waterfalls under the bridges. Where would the water come from?
The river, which flows out of the ocean falls into the lake from the high cliffs. A town on the island in the middle of a waterfall.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri May 06, 2016 7:06 pm

I actually really like the waterfalls in concept, but I don't think the Morrowind engine would really facilitate it since all water is at the same level- we would have to put fake water planes all around the upper side of the city which would look kind of crummy. Cool idea if we can find a way to make it look decent though. Does OpenMW allow different water levels in exteriors?

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Ted » Fri May 06, 2016 10:41 pm

Multiple water levels was one of the features in one of the last openMW relises, as I know.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Saint_Jiub » Fri May 06, 2016 11:16 pm

Hm that's interesting. So then the question becomes, do we require OpenMW for our mod? It's basically a requirement anyway since we're so far away from the center of the map (exteriors get all........ twitchy), should we make it official so we can take full advantage of its features?

Maybe this is the wrong thread for this particular line of discussion though, don't mind me......

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri May 06, 2016 11:39 pm

Once OpenMw has actually had a full feature release, we'll have no other choice than to make it a prerequisite. We more or less do the same thing for the MCP, after all. The bugfixes and more robust engine will be invaluable.

This waterfall stuff is really not appropriate for this area. The region is rather arid - the main industry is salt production - and Sutch is not a very large or wealthy city, which means or resources for decorative water features. I don't know how others envision this area, but the way I see it your rivers would have to stream uphill for this thing to work. Not to mention the practical concerns a water curtain would have for river traffic.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Saint_Jiub » Sat May 07, 2016 1:36 am

Rather than a natural waterfall or decorative water feature, what if those two bridges were dams? Lake Facil's size with its lack of tributaries, etc would make a lot more sense if it was an artificial lake.

[hsimg=]http://jeffstatt.smugmug.com/photos/135925454-M.jpg[/hsimg]

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Sat May 07, 2016 8:02 am

I'm not sure where the salt pans are supposed to be situated, but if the lake is actually a saltwater lake, there won't be need for a freshwater source and the water would come from the ocean instead? Sorry to say Jiub, but I'm with Infragris on this waterfall question, it just doesn't fit into the picture for me. At best, a small runnel feeding into the lake would work for me.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Scamp » Sat May 07, 2016 2:06 pm

We tend to overdo it with the waterfalls everywhere. I actually do see a bigger problem with waterfalls, and that's the height here. If we are going for this scale, even the OM-waterfall is probably too small and it wouldn't look decent (especially if we'd have to scale it up). I think we are capable of creating a fancy city without waterfalls.

While I like the way Ted divided the city with additional walls on top of the rock in his concept, I agree with Infragris that there's probably not enough space at all to pull that off in a decent fashion. We'll have to see how it turns out once we're doing CS-mockups. Regardless I'd still keep the fort where it's in the original concept though.
I'm actually quite interested in doing some work on this once we got the area and the models figured out. I'll probably start working towards the region soon-ish and collect some feedback.
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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by sasquatch » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:11 am

Im willing to work on a few Sutch concepts this weekend. I like the concepts posted by infragris up top with bridges coming in at different levels, so it'd be a mashup of those four with some additional comments and reference material. Such a dynamic city could allow for a real unique views and play with some nice depth and open interiors to it. Some of the P:T cities are too sprawling and flat, Anvil for instance. Seems like Sutch has the potential to be a real gem if faithfully executed planned and implemented, well.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Sat Jun 11, 2016 9:41 pm

Sure, feel free to experiment a bit. Cannot hurt to test out what can be done with the assets we currently have.

On Anvil: I like this flat, laid out character about Anvil, to be honest. It feels very imperial(roman?) to me. That's not to say there shouldn't be other towns with more vertical variation.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Leon » Sun Jun 12, 2016 8:49 am

worsas wrote:On Anvil: I like this flat, laid out character about Anvil, to be honest. It feels very imperial(roman?) to me. That's not to say there shouldn't be other towns with more vertical variation.
I slightly disagree, in my opinion I think Anvil looks a bit too flat. Some very little elevation here and there won't hurt, especially in the gardens.
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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by ZackG » Fri Jul 08, 2016 4:50 pm

Saint_Jiub wrote:Did anybody save that tower that he made for Sutch? It was deemed too big at the time, but with the current layout it could be useful as the elevator/tower connecting the upper and lower levels. The DL link on the old forums is broken.
[hsimg=]http://i.imgur.com/gYQlTLa.png[/hsimg]
I still have that file, if anybody wants it.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by worsas » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:30 pm

hey zackg, thanks for dropping by and your offer here. If you have anything on your harddrive that you think could help us with this town or even if you are interested in modelling anything, feel free to put forth whatever you have. Any help is appreciated.

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:03 pm

This picture is a great example of how Sutch should be framed by the surrounding ravine:

[hsimg=]http://67.media.tumblr.com/790da47317aa ... 1_1280.jpg[/hsimg]

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by roerich » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:23 am

Absolutely, that is a perfect example. It's only missing an additional ravine, separating the rock upon which the city is situated from the rest of the cliffs. Pretty fitting for a color palette as well, at least for the surrounding landscape.

Edit: Shitty mockup. I want to have the cliffs in the right side of the painting you posted to be in the same way, but with room for the lake. Though not as much lake as in my mockup.

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

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Re: Design Notes: The City of Sutch

Post by Infragris » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:00 pm

A view of Seppaki, a small fishing town and remote port for Sutch:
[hsimg=]http://65.media.tumblr.com/75f0e28f40f1 ... t4_500.jpg[/hsimg]

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