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Different interpretations of the city I've noticed


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#1 V-Man339

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 06:34 PM

Over my time playing missions I've realized many artists seem to have a different interpretation of Bridgeport.

 

Sotha seems to include a mixture of wider, open areas along with more focused alleyways in equal part. Probably the most varied collection of showcases I've seen.

 

Melan seems to exhibit the most claustrophobic missions in the city I've ever seen, leading to some of the most mantle-centric gameplay you can find in the setting.

 

Springheel seems to have found an odd balance, with the odd alleyway oftentimes surrounded by very large, open areas.

 

 

This isn't a complaint so much as an observation, I love that I've seen ghettos, apartment complexes, city centers and the like all shown to be in a massive overgrowth of Gothic nature.

What I'm largely wondering is whether you guys think there should be a sense of contextualization.


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#2 grayman

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 07:40 PM

Nope. Each author is allowed to represent the city in his own way. I believe this has been brought up in the past. The city is a large one, with varied architecture and neighborhoods.



#3 V-Man339

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Posted 24 April 2017 - 11:06 PM

Nope. Each author is allowed to represent the city in his own way. I believe this has been brought up in the past. The city is a large one, with varied architecture and neighborhoods.

Awesome, any contrasts you feel are really interesting, impressive or worth noting?

Like I said, I absolutely love the difference between Penny Dreadful 2's sheer vertical claustrophobia, a city overgrown of itself next  to A Reputation to Uphold, a wide open if at times tightened area with elaborate if awkward stone-work and areas wide enough for horses to use throughout, along with at least a courtyard big enough to house an old, massive tree.


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#4 Sotha

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:22 AM

Awesome, any contrasts you feel are really interesting, impressive or worth noting?

The wiki has a few lines about the City in general.
http://wiki.thedarkm...stricts_of_Note

But that is just for inspiration if mappers are out of ideas. Ultimately, Bridgeport is, if not an empty canvas for the mapper to paint in, a pristine coloring book, which the mapper can color as they please and make it their own.
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#5 Melan

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 02:37 AM

I also find these differences interesting. Most of the time (at least where the mission allows it) I am personally shooting for a vague surrealism, of weighty but slightly improbable construction and a sort of over-urbanisation that's most definitely hostile and claustrophobic. I am also keen on inscrutable advanced technology. This style was inspired by earlier FMs (Calendra's Cistern, Assassins, Rocksbourg and Uninvited Guest), and is related to the missions skacky, squadafroin and firemage are doing nowadays. It also draws from the narrow alleyways and constant height differences of the ancient Mediterranean cities, which preserved a lot of their mediaeval character. However, as Gothic architecture goes, it is not the rich and ornamental Gothic of the great cities, but the more simple and austere "poor man's Gothic" of Central Europe (which I prefer).

 

Others, I think, draw on different sources. Springheel's streets are more historically authentic and are far more real than mine, and they seem to draw on Georgian-era ideas. Lots of junk, lots of mud, and more realistic technology. Spooks has also gone for this style with a wonderfully realised outer city district in King of Diamonds (which has a lot of the character of period slums, from the backyards to the tightly packed housing). Then you have Grayman's city mission, kvornig's more Victorian take and Sotha's (which has a kind of mediaevaln romanticism? Johannes Burock seems to be going for something similar with his WIP) - again, different concepts, and all very fascinating.

 

I don't think these alternate visions can all be contextualised at the same time. You can put together some of them some of the time, but not all of them all of the time. I personally don't think there should be a complete canon, although it is fun to see people building on each others' ideas.


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#6 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:00 AM

@Melan, a bunch of that outer city (Iassume u mean the parts the player cant access?) you refered to in spooks mission was built by me when I worked on the map with him. I made a point of using as map prebuilt building and facades as possible.

#7 Melan

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 06:37 AM

Bikerdude: No, I mostly referred to the interior of the city quarter.


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved

#8 Bikerdude

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 07:03 AM

That is all Spooks then, he like when you built Rttc had lots of wide open spaces etc. So after a perf run was done, he modified the extra spaces/brushes building that had been created to fit the original theme of the map.



#9 Spooks

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:03 AM

I feel passionate about the characters of cities and how authors choose to present their key traits to the player as well. From a very technical point of view, there's types of city layouts our game engine does worse than others. I've been wrestling with the incongruity of backyards and open-air public places among high wall, multi-storey housing which, unfortunately, seem to be a requisite if one wants to make a well performing city FM. Then there are, of course, row houses and the long sightlines of roads, but I think that is less of a concern because TDM and its authors never have (nor should) concern themselves with portraying accurate city layout. It is more the romanticised, twisting back-street and courtyard maze one could get lost in that I think we all aspire to.

 

For me, I'm still trying to figure it out. I adore the high stone wall and inner courtyard architectural styles of Edinburgh and Naples, Dishonored 1 and 2's clear influences, respectively. Do I want to emulate that in one of my missions? Not so sure. I think verisimilitude is a very important thing, obviously, for a simulation genre game like TDM. I don't believe, however, that you can achieve it simply by copying a certain architectural style and its trappings, nor somebody else's impressions of it. I think, personally, that the most important thing for suspension of disbelief is that the streets and courtyards, arcades and back alleys of your city all feel lived in and inhabited - even if no living soul is to be seen commuting through them.

 

Environmental storytelling is all well and good -- say you encounter a skull in a dungeon with an axe lodged into it. It is clear a man was murdered and the weapon that fell them is enough proof to show for it. But it is a statement of a man's death, not a question of how they lived. Is a story really being told here, or just a fact relayed to the player? Remove that skull from a dungeon -- where it is a rote trope -- and place it in a strange place, like an abandoned dwelling, or an eccentric collector's trophy room. Suddenly, there arises a wealth of context, how greatly nebulous and exciting for the player to ponder and imagine. What is this object's significance, how did it come to be here? The skull doesn't tell of a single event now, but a series of them, a narrative! One that you do not even have to explain yourself, for the players will be all too happy to place their own spin on the mystery.

 

So it is the same, then, that in our city we should aim not for the statement of how its stones were built, but by whom, how and what they were used for. There should be an accumulation of history in (our ideal) medieval cities -- windows get bricked up, walls get demolished and new materials get used to construct an extension, old thoroughfares are left abandoned as the flow of traffic changes. It is the lasting marks that humanity leaves on the inanimate that sell the line that this is a lived-in place, the defining characteristic of any city, I would think.

 

 

 

On the topic of my mission, if anyone is interested I could always upload the early version of King of Diamonds before I pushed it into beta-testing, which I still have. It is definitely a different looking place, though I'd never prefer it over how the final version turned out, as Bikerdude's additions provided for a lot more gameplay content I ended up putting than you'd think. The dark ritual wasn't even a thing in the old version, to name one example.


Edited by Spooks, 25 April 2017 - 02:13 PM.

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#10 wesp5

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 09:41 AM

Very interesting topic! So would it be possible to draw a very general map of the city with single missions pin pointed to certain quarters or similar?



#11 Epifire

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 12:17 AM

Over my time playing missions I've realized many artists seem to have a different interpretation of Bridgeport.

 

This is the core reason I'm not even making a mission based out of the city. :P

 

Well that and there's just so many city types now, I think it needs to get shook up once in a while. 


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#12 Kurshok

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 06:37 PM

Maybe a Skyrim Nordic-esque City in one of the Pagan Far Northern Countries would make a good map.

#13 Melan

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Posted 29 April 2017 - 12:09 AM

Glenham from Sotha's Transaction is kind of like a Northern European small town in its layout and character.


Come the time of peril, did the ground gape, and did the dead rest unquiet 'gainst us. Our bands of iron and hammers of stone prevailed not, and some did doubt the Builder's plan. But the seals held strong, and the few did triumph, and the doubters were lain into the foundations of the new sanctum. -- Collected letters of the Smith-in-Exile, Civitas Approved




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