Indoril Chapels

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EDIT 2: Fixed.

EDIT: It seems putting in spoiler tags fucked up my quotes. I'll fix them soon.

In the near future, I would like us to finalize a general concept for what we Indoril Chapels (formely known as Castle Estates) should look like. Progress on settlements like Roa Dyr requires a framework for what buildings and NPCs are found in all Indoril Chapels. What are their roles and purposes? And what layout features should most Indoril Chapels share?

To help faciliate discussion, I’ve gathered together relevent posts from the old forums that touch on the subject. Important points to address include the names and roles for the indvidual structures discussed in Swiftoak and Gnomey’s posts, along with how they should be arranged.

Do you have more recent thoughts on this topic, Gnomey? 

Sload: Indoril Society (Proposal) - 4 June 2014

 

Sload: Indoril Castle-Estates – June 17, 2014

 

Yeti: Indoril Castle-Estates – June 18, 2014

 

Swiftoak – Indoril Castel-Estates – June 21, 2014

 

Swiftoak – Indoril Castel-Estates – July 16, 2014

 

Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – July 19, 2014

 

Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – August 6, 2014

 

Swiftoak – New Roa Dyr Design – August 15, 2014

 

Gnomey – New Roa Dyr Design – August 15, 2014

 

Gnomey – New Roa Dyr Design – August 16, 2014

 

Gnomey – Indoril Castle-Estates – May 22, 2015

 
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My main issue with House Indoril in general and the chapels in particular at the moment is with visualization. I think we have a pretty good written concept, but I have trouble visualizing it, and I get the impression I’m not the only one. The Indoril still seem to me largely a House cobbled together from preexisting assets and assets designed long before we knew what House Indoril was (other than the Temple House and ‘looks like Mournhold’) used very counter to how they were intended to be used. Focusing in particular on chapels and the intention to create them in the MH tileset, the MH tileset was designed by Bethesda with a very particular intention, namely to create an insular enclosed city in its own worldspace consisting wholly of purpose-built pieces. That intention is quite at odds with our intention to create the chapels as notable visible landmarks ever looming outwards over the surrounding countryside, often built on high and uneven terrain. In addition, MH buildings were generally designed to be used independently of each other as separate upper class structures, whereas the chapels are intended to be fairly monumental in structure.

While I do think it is possible to get an impressive effect with MH architecture, doing so often requires using a ridiculous number of objects very differently from how they were intended while trying to avoid making the whole structure look cobbled together. Which is further aggravated by the fact that a lot of TR’s Indoril buildings are very much cobbled together, generally consisting of copies of a Tribunal building with various rotations.

It’s because of the above that I was intially hoping we’d have a fairly intensive design and discussion process on House Indoril and the chapels in particular. The way things turned out, I ended up trying to carry out that process in practice in the CS, but while I think my work on Roa Dyr lead to a lot of results (among other things forming my above opinion on the MH tileset), I think perhaps working on a particular in-game location – Roa Dyr, no less, whose aesthetic we specifically wanted to preserve – resulted in my limiting my experimentation.

In short, my conclusion is that the best approach would be to go through a fairly intensive design and discussion process and basically take things back to the drawing board. And I mean that quite literally. I think we first need to figure out how we want our ideal chapels to look, and only afterwards assess the MH set and try and figure out how adaptable it actually is to that new purpose, and whether it could be made adaptable with additional assets. (Which, I’m sorry to say, will probably be necessary).

I think – and hope – that we now have both enough artists and enough people interested in the topic to actually carry out a discussion and design process. The main question is how much of a priority we want to make it. But If we are going to do it, I really suggest we divorce ourselves from in-game presentation as much as possible. With all the other Houses we have assets created to their character. With Indoril, it has too often been the case that we have designed their character around our assets.

Anyway, that rant is probably all I’ll get around to saying on the subject today, but having it behind me I have indeed had some more thoughts on Indoril chapels which I intend to elaborate on, in particular relating to their history.

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Yes, I definately see the need for additional assets. Concept art similar to the recent Dres clanstead drawings that have been posted on the forums lately would help point us in the right direction, I feel.

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i don’t know why, but i feel as if there should be more stylised indoril cantons on the mainland. not just copy pasted from vivec, but temple cantons, stylised in the region’s architecture, representing the temple’s foothold in said region. also, the velothi tileset in general has so much potential, just using it for one or two towns would be a waste.

also, what happened to the constant design that in every town, city, and village, there would be a temple at the center. i always thought this consistency made the world feel real.  

the ending of the words is almsivi

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The plan is to make most of the towns in Mournhold in the Veloth set – which is the same as the Vivec Cantons and the various Tribunal Temples. Examples include the former Bosmora (forgetting it’s current name) and Almas-Thirr. That and the Indoril Chapels are two separate issues; the Indoril Chapels are not towns or cities, but rather strongholds akin to the Telvanni Towers.

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We definitely do need some concepts on this, but at the moment I think the few of us that are around that make concepts may be a bit stretched thin. (There’s still the Deshaan to take care of.)

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Yeah, that’s what I think as well; at the moment we’re focusing on Deshaan, so I think it’s better not to get distracted. If an artist happens to get a good idea for an image, though, or feels like taking a break from the Deshaan, Indoril art would naturally be welcome.

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i wouldn’t mind doing some art on this later, what set will these be in?

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The plan is to use the MH set, but I’d consider not worrying about that for now at all. As I said, I don’t think we should design Indoril around their architecture. I’d really act as though we don’t have any in-game assets for them yet, design freely, and worry about how to practically implement those designs later on.

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Is it possible for us to come to an agreement on what we want Indoril chapels to look like? This stalled discussion is the only thing holding back progress on Roa Dyr, and Roa Dyr is one of only a few things holding back progress on the Indoril-Thirr section, and the Indoril-Thirr section is holding up progress on the Aanthirrin, which has been a relatively small part of our mod that we've been working on for a number of years now.

At this point, I honestly believe we've been overthinking the visual aspect of these locations. Visually, an Indoril chapel should look imposing and dominate the surrounding lands, reminding everyone that the Indoril are in charge. They are essentially walled castles that house an Indoril lord who rules over the local peasants. There should be some vertical aspect to their design, similar to the Telvanni Towers, but obviously not reaching the same heights on average. They should not look like settlements. That means no shops and very few standalone buildings. Most structures should be connected to the enclosing wall, the main manor, or both. Any fast travel is exclusively for the use of the Indoril. They have serene gardens, where the lord can reflect and mediate upon his or her duties. Slaves live in Velothi cave dwellings built into the terrain the chapel uses as a foundation.

Preferably, we would have new assets and concept art to help implement this, but I just don't think any of that is ever going to happen. We're too busy with other things, like the Dres, and we need to prioritize what warrants an intensive design and discussion process. In this case, I'd rather trust exterior modders to make chapels that follow this written blueprint and are aesthetically consistent. We don't necessarily need a precise mold. Just guidelines. And even though the MH set has limitations, talented modders can still do wonders with it. Gnomey's work on Roa Dyr is proof enough of that.

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Speaking of roa dyr how bad would it be if me to suggest we replace the red lanterns with green ones? So green and blue?

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Sure. Why not. You'd have to ask Gnomey what he thinks, though, since he did most of the work remaking Roa Dyr. I'm sure he has a specific idea of what the aesthetics of the place should look like.

While this thread isn't specifically about Roa Dyr, it would be good to discuss how its visuals should change to make it compatible with our written concept for Indoril Chapels. It's probably spread out a bit more than other chapels should be, though I don't think that's a major issue. Chapels should be allowed to vary stylistically to fit the region they're built in.

 

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I also would imagine roa dyr to be a little unique in the way it's set up. I my own head canon roa dyr is currently inhabited by the iliv family and the father is an indoril who is nearing dilusional because he believes that when he dies he will be sainted by the temple for his work in the arnesian war and for his pious lifestyle, but it makes him a bit hard to deal with as he sees himself 'holier than thou' in a way. I also think that roa dyr should be unique in that most people (maybe just indoril?) believe that the gardens of lanterns there is much more blessed than any other gardens, this roa dyr is kind of the vivec city of indoril chapels. Am I wrong in thinking that or...?

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My work on Roa Dyr is very inefficient as far as performance is concerned; the MH set is too limited in my opinion to do much with in its current state. Not to mention the dubious technical quality of some of the models.

I do think we have a good idea of what needs to go into a castle estate by now. What I'd really like to see (and what is one of the many things on my to-do list) is an example castle estate that is made from scratch, so that we have a clear idea of what we should be aiming for. Fudging around with Roa Dyr is all well and good, but because the plan for Roa Dyr calls for preserving the best parts of the old settlement (mostly the canals and lanterns, really, and interiors where possible) it is somewhat limiting.
Rather than structures bound by a wall, castle estates were originally intended to be fairly monolithic structures. I think that is a better design. After some time away from Roa Dyr, I think Indoril should ideally have larger rooms; rather than the existing MH interiors which (outside of Almalexia buildings and some other exceptions) generally stay within the shell of a single building structure, Indoril castle estates can extend interiors over several building shells or into the terraced platforms that form the foundations of the estate. They can have more, larger and more stately rooms. Note that the possibility has been discussed that Roa Dyr would be somewhat of an exception, and I'm not ruling that out. But if it is, all the more reason why we short first sort out what the rule is before focusing on the exception.
Another subject is clutter, which Indoril probably need more of. I think that will also be easier to judge if we have an ideal example to work of; at the moment, the main rooms that require clutter that come to mind are at least one parlour for consuming Velk nectar and some sort of ancestor shrine. The former already has an associated asset, the second will require some thought; perhaps it will need assets, perhaps not.

Edit: in the spirit of progress, I had a go. The test castle estate is just east of Vivec. Just finished the basic shell for now. This would be on the larger end of castle estates, Ammar remaining a good example for the smaller end.

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I like your mockup, Gnomey. Ideally, what resources would you like us to have for the chapels? More types of platforms? Walls? Segments for connecting things together more seamlessly? If we agree that Roa Dyr isn't a prototypical chapel, how much work do you think it requires currently?

As someone who has worked extensivly with the MH interior set, I know its limitations, though it can be used to create open rooms. My Indoril council hall uses a number of atriums, for instance.

This isn't really the thread to discuss Roa Dyr's characters, Templar Tribe, but the lord of Roa Dyr's original (and I believe current) personality is this:

 

His name might end up changing. I believe Gnomey wanted Indoril Lords to be named after saints or other prominent members of the House. So, the lord of Roa Dyr might be called Indoril Olms. Basically, the Indoril are so conservative and resistant to change, all of their leaders would have the same names as their predessors. Am I remembering this correclty, Gnomey? I believe you also wanted to do away with family names for the Indoril, so they'd all be called Indoril [Personal Name], so the Indoril would all belong to the same family that is their Great House.

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Gah! While trying to move the comment thread on Indoril naming over to this thread I accidently cleared the clipboard. I'm really sorry about that. :-/

Rats made a point about avoiding creating a new bottleneck by waiting on new MH models. While I do agree it would be a bottleneck -- and this will probably only become clearer as I continue work on my mock-up -- at the moment you can only really get anything halfway aesthetically pleasing by mashing together pieces that were not intended to be mashed together. Indoril buildings also don't mash together as tidily as, say, Hlaalu buildings. In general, you end up with a lot of excess faces aside from just the badly/unoptimized models, and it's hard to avoid a jumbled cobble-y look. Aanthirin, Lan Orethan and above all Almalexia have performance issues as it is; I think using the tileset in its current state will only exacerbate that, and might just lead to us redoing stuff anyway later for the sake of optimization or what-have-you.

Indoril buildings and even the hwalls, by virtue of the way they snap together, tend towards right angles and rectangular forms. The inside corner piece of the hwall also doesn't share the dimensions of the other pieces, meaning that while it does at least snap to the other pieces it tends to create gaps or overlaps in the walls. In general, there is no coherent design philosophy to the set; it feels as though, beyond the rather restrictive selection of assets that shipped with Tribunal, it was expanded on the fly, probably by several different people, often to cover very specific needs. Because that's probably exactly what happened. Thinking about it, I honestly don't think any of the other tilesets are comparable to the disarray of the MH set, though OM has a similar issue on a smaller scale.

Having gotten the spontaneous rant aside, (sorry about that, it didn't start as one), I can only really jot down what I feel the set is missing as I work on it. At the moment, having mostly just created a rough shell, I think the hwall could use some shorter curved elements, as well as a sort of buttress piece to cover any gaps. (you might notice that I currently use rotated corner pieces to that effect). Some sloped pieces might also be nice, but not strictly necessary. In general, more curved pieces and dedicated solutions to closing gaps would go a long way. Some large foundation blocks as exist in the Imperial set would also come in handy.

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Those additons sound reasonable to me, and I understand your point about the MH set being very limited. As long as the list of desired assets doesn't get too long, it shouldn't be too much to ask a modeler to help with.

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Would it be worth trying to tackle a few models for OM ruins as well at the same time?

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For now, I think we can make due with the current OM assets. Ruins can afford to look messier than settlements, which means modders have more freedom arranging that set's pieces. Compared to Indoril and Dres settlements, OM ruins are also a much lower priority for our mod. We can afford to not use them very often.

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Gnomey could you look at these please.
Snapping works but iffy... snap before rotating and move the 1st piece a little.
vertex shading is slightly off atm... but i could use some feedback

EDIT 01:

Mockup of variations standardbuilding_01
All have a foundation 4 roof variations, 2 height variations and a low semi to make a side building.
Vertex paint needs some work.

Still could use some feedback...

Edit 3:
Central towers. How close is the size of these?

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Package icon Indoril Wall 02.zip115.65 KB2017-05-10 21:46
Package icon Indoril Building 01 Set.zip313.8 KB2017-05-12 09:28
Package icon Indoril Tower Beta.zip329.77 KB2017-05-12 11:14
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Ahhh asylum comes through once again!

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Chapel or something..

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These look good to me. Thank you for taking the time to experiment with new pieces, Asylum.

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I found this image while looking up something else. I believe it is part of the Morrowind Rebirth mod? I post it here as a suggestion for what the non-chapel Indoril tileset could look like. It's colorscheme hints heavily at both Velothi and Indoril, which I think is fitting and bridges the gap between our Velothi and Indoril towns. We may still want to make some changes to the geometry (more hex buildings or curves rather than square and Hlaalu-ish). I also posted some ideas on my concept art thread: http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/comment/6795

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That's Morrowind Rebirth's additional Vivec "canton" placed in front of the bridge to the Foreign Quarter.

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A non-chapel Indoril tileset would be exclusively used in Almalexia, correct?

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A few notes on Indoril Chapels, that I have mostly come up with while messing around with Roa Dyr in the Indoril-Thirr file (the idea of daily updates on progress there flew out the window, didn't it...), though some are older ideas I never got around to writing down:

-most Indoril Chapels were built in the wake of the War of the First Council, and the Tribunal's rise to power.
-they were essentially built as outposts to spread Indoril power and the Tribunal faith across the surrounding countryside.
-they were often built on the site of older structures, such as Chimer Strongholds (rarely, but Roa Dyr and the original Id Vano are likely examples) and defeated rival holdfasts (possibly the Ebonheart Chapel, built on top of an old temple of Lorkhan), and perhaps sometimes even Velothi Towers. (Some of the Indoril were probably originally mage-scholars who lived in the Velothi towers).
-Chimer strongholds were only rarely transformed into Chapels as they are built on plains, while Indoril generally prefer to build the Chapels in high locations commanding a view over as much territory as possible, and that would be seen from far and wide.
-the main visual influences: Ashlander yurts (in the sense of council pavilions from the time of the first Council), Chimer strongholds, high Velothi architecture, Daedric shrines.

Indoril incorporate a lot of symbolism into the Chapels, but often in complex and unclear ways. They favour geometric forms such as wheels, triangles, pentagons and hexagons (both associated with the Great Houses, and the latter also Tribunal+Anticipations), and sometimes more obscure symbology such as nets. (Vivec City is supposedly the corpse of one of Vivec's monstrous progeny covered by the nets of the Dunmer who would form the Buoyant Armigers). Indoril are not absolutely obsessed with the symbolism, though, and do still have four-sided buildings, for instance, though prominent structures (the lord's residence, the council area and the temple) are generally not four sided.
Dunmer buildings are generally built from local, easily sourced building materials, primarily adobe and organic materials, or in the case of Chimer strongholds stones gathered from the surrounding countryside. Daedric shrines are an exception, but they are explicitly alien structures in Morrowind. Indoril Chapels are not primarily buildings; they are attempts at terraforming. They are intended to challenge permanent structures like Daedric Shrines and Dwemer ruins and to an extent Nordic stoneworks, to act as controlled pocket-utopias from which to grow Morrowind as a garden, and as a sort of skeleton or foundation on which to establish Tribunal (and Indoril) culture and hegemony.
The Indoril distinguish between Laws Determined and Laws Ordained, or basically laws of nature which are set in stone and rules and regulations which, while important, can be changed. (One of the important responsibilities of the Indoril is to direct that change). Symbolically, Indoril are establishing their rule as determined law, binding it to the Earth Bones in a sense. That intent no doubt contributes to the Indoril not registering the loss of Chapels like Id Vano, and thereby letting the lands they dominated lie neglected, as acknowledging the fall of a Chapel would be the same as acknowledging the fallability of House Indoril, and would to a degree undermine their legitimacy as Morrowind's governors.
To that end, the use of materials taken from the ground with great effort -- massive cut stones and brass and such -- is very intentional and purposeful. The Indoril are clearly setting themselves apart from the other Houses which, while they have recognized roles and significance, are in a sense replaceable.