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TDM Universe / Setting


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Greetings dear fellows,

 

Although it is great that mappers can be creative and do pretty much anything in their FMs, since TDM has got its own universe, I think it is better if the design and story fit in the picture. Since I did not find a topic to discuss that, and people ideas, and I have some questions, here it goes.

Jared, is that you ?

Must be rats...

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ARCHITECTURE

 

According to what I read somewhere (cannot recall) TDM is set in a steampunk version of Tudor era.

Based on what I have seen in the FMs I played, buildings are mostly:

 

-cobblestone buildings and castles, inherited from middle-ages

-cheap half-timbered black & white Tudor style houses

-woodplanks houses, probably for poor people

-ornate stone Elizabethan mansions

-ornate Roman mansions

-Roman or Gothic churches (not sure about that)

-Georgian houses/mansions (even though it should appear later on, but fine after all it is steampunk)

-metal buildings made by the Builders or Inventors, with pipes, steam, and all

 

Any comments / confirmation would be appreciated.

 

First idea:

FM inside towns usually require a lot of half-timbered Tudor houses, mostly using the same framed plaster textures. They look great, but are used all the time. I have seen that some mappers have made their own timber frame to add diversity. You have to keep the basic beam grid pattern, but then you can put V-shaped, X-shaped or curved beam patterns inside each grid slot.

Even better, IIRC some mappers have replaced the plaster (the infill, thank you Wikipedia!) by something else, maybe bricks. According to the Wikipedia article, there are many other historically accurate possibilities including wattle and daub, weatherboarding, and cobblestone. Could add diversity but maybe some would not fit TDM style. I will make some tests and edit when I am done. Maybe it has been already covered, though.

Edited by Bastoc

Jared, is that you ?

Must be rats...

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In relation to architecture, a few things:

 

Your analysis of historical "legacy" seems correct, the point being there is a wealth of different styles and artistic languages from which to take inspiration from. All those styles are possible, and also others, namely, in my case, romanesque. This is an example.

 

As I have argued a couple of times, I dont really understand what keeps most new mappers from actually sitting down and studying plans and sections/elevations of historical buildings. The amount of information on the net is immense. This would, in my view, improve the feel and authenticity of maps considerably.

 

Why try to guess how a victorian mansion works, if it has a bathroom or not (is it inside or outside the house?), the size of the kitchen and if its located in the basement or on the top floor, when you can simply study a plan? Contrary to what this would seem to imply, Im not even obsessed with architectural authenticity or anything of the sort, its simply that, by studying real cases and basing your conclusions on references, your imagination becomes so much more richer, you go well beyond those simplistic archetypes we store in our head, to something a lot more informed and interesting.

 

Wanna build a house of a lord, based on roman architecture? This plan looks to me much more interesting and full of ideas than anything I could come up with on the spot:

 

050.jpg

 

Now, the reason you dont see me preaching this often is because of two reasons, A- geometry building takes a painful amount of work and time to become richly detailed, I mean serious work; B- mappers are busy enough trying to make the mission flow correctly, so that effort trumps any "visual" consideration for me, as I can most of the time ignore the obvious shortcomings of a map and focus on the task at hand, a game allows you to do that when the mechanics is good.

 

So often the world will twist and be modeled in relation to a certain pathway you want the player to follow, or a room that has this size and furniture because of the AI that is patrolling around in it. Anyway, its a long topic, but I think the nice thing about a game placed in an historical setting like this is that we can (and in my opinion, should) take advantage of all the material we can use as references to really improve our ideas and allow for the creation of richly constructed worlds.

Edited by RPGista
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The thing with architecture is that most people, including myself, don't know much about it. So if a FM does not fit a certain architectural period, most people won't even recognize that. I think that this steampunk thingy combines all periods from middle-age towards industrialization, so I don't think it is generally bad to mix those things up.

 

This does not mean that it is generally a bad idea to study some architectural documents to get a feeling of how it was in certain times, but I don't think of it as neccessary. Mappers should choose themselves on where to invest time into.

 

In the end it is all about creating an enjoyable gaming experience, and architecture is just one part of the mix.

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I think it's one of those things, if you have the time, investing in researching it pays off... It's similar (to me) with understanding medieval society & vocations, or psychology for convincing motivation & storytelling. I think it's worth more than people give it credit for, but there are also limits to what a mapper can do by themselves in making an FM.

 

That said, I think there are some simple architectural principles or common mistakes that every mapper should learn as part of learning how to map, like you normally can't make a stone or brick ceiling (no tensile strength), ceilings have to be sufficiently supported, rectangles everywhere are visually boring, etc.

What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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A good idea for architecture is simply doing google image searches for medieval architecture and mimicing those. You won't go too badly off the mark, and you don't have to spend much time researching, just draw similar stuff as in the images.

 

Medieval architecture is simply more interesting and impressive when compared to our contemporary style of building; it is much more fun to map, too.

Clipper

-The mapper's best friend.

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I think coming from you guys, we have some good guidelines up there :) So, to sum up, if you'll allow me:

 

- If you feel like it, and have enough time, studying some architecture is a good idea

- But you should not bother too much, as it's steampunk, and it shouldn't keep you from being creative

- Imitating pictures/plans usually yields good results, and guaranty it's not nonsensical

- Remember that it's only part of the game, and you should also build gameplay-friendly

 

Now, about that:

 

So if a FM does not fit a certain architectural period, most people won't even recognize that.

 

Even though, I cannot deny the truth lying in this statement,I believe people are aware to some extent that it feels right, and would maybe think it's at least slightly better (even without being able to explain why).

 

I think it's one of those things, if you have the time, investing in researching it pays off... It's similar (to me) with understanding medieval society & vocations, or psychology for convincing motivation & storytelling. I think it's worth more than people give it credit for

 

Matter of taste I guess, but personally I totally agree. It's much more immersive when the characters (and not only player1 and finalboss1) have a life, a past, projects, etc. fitting the universe, and likewise, when the design/architecture reflects a coherent way of life/era.

 

So, another topic:

 

LIFE / JOBS

 

Found this List of medieval jobs. Seems like a good toolbox to make up towndwellers and people living in castles/manors.

Edited by Bastoc

Jared, is that you ?

Must be rats...

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I'm pretty sure I posted something like that on the wiki too. A list of manor jobs: http://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Wealthy_Household

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