Log 5 – Blocking Out

This week I took a step backwards and tried to picture the environment how I wanted it. This wasn’t so easy with the lack of blocking out so I took the time to do just that.

I began by making an environment within Maya. This was heavily influenced by Skyrim, but I inevitably found myself trying to match what they had within the game, rather than creating my own design. Eventually I noticed that this was happening and decided to stop further development in this manner. I have included an image below to showcase the intent.

To compare this to skyrim I have also included further reference. Below will show similar positions and structures. The building being created was in face facing the opposite direction and can be seen on the bottom left side. This had simply just been moved to a different position and that was all.

Skyrim Ref Image (Riverrun)

After restarting production on the blockout, I thought about placements more, and requirements within a town of this setting. This led me to developing the general layout and appearance within Unity instead. I downloaded many different assets from the asset store that met the requirements that I was seeking, and then began to compile the environment. I drew upon the original inspirations again but approached it from a new angle. I first started with the entrance into the town as I wanted an open, non gated entrance in and out of the town. So I made up a series of walls from the asset packs I had downloaded and began to play with a general layout. At first I started to try similar designs to skyrim again, but decided to take a different approach with the walls being hollow, allowing guards to walk though or stand inside away from wind. I began adding stairs and moulding the mountain areas around the walls. When I had a basic shape I added some buildings that I thought would be crucial within a town.

The buildings I felt were crucial within a medieval town were, smithing, bakers, market, lumber, slaughter house, barn, pig sty / cattle milking. I then began to map out a rough placement around this. Believing that these would be at the forefront of the town. I slowly integrated housing and a slums into the mix as well.

I sought feedback on this, which highlighted the stop point of the housing shown in the above picture at the top of the image. I steep climb was included and made the area feel off. Suggestions to extend this slightly were given, which led me to including a second terrain for this purpose. I also thought about the background of the town at this point and the hierarchy of power. This led me to thinking about a church that overlooks the town and heavily influences it. Usually in towns that thrived a church would be at the epicentre, so inclusion of one seemed extremely logical.

I converted the hill into a steady slope that will utilise large stairs to reach the church. This helped to showcase the importance by placing it in a viewable place from anywhere in the town. I added a slight rotation and removed some mountain area behind to allow light into the rear windows so that it wouldn’t darken the presence of its light.

After the church had been added, I request further feedback from others and peers. One frequent comment was the lighting, but this will not be touched, placeholders will be included to show where lights will be, but due to the assets not being my own, I don’t want to tweak with the settings as of yet. Another comment was regarding punishment. I was shocked that I had forgotten something so embedded in the time setting. I quickly made some stocks, which replaced the lumber mill. The lumber mill was then placed next to the blacksmith area, which helped to match this up nicely. Next, I removed a couple of houses over by the barn, which helped to hide the entrance into the slums. In there place I added a guillotine, leaving enough space to potentially add a hanging area to its side. However, I’m a bit unsure due to the barn placement, and how it may overshadow this. I am now playing with the light placements, and this is mainly so I have a concept of the lantern designs and positions. Following this I will then begin production of my assets.

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