Deshaan Plains Concepts & Discussion

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10Kaziem

Also on that note, Gnomey, is that map of yours fairly accurate for the heightmap and regions?

That’s actually sort of what I’d like to know. It is the heightmap and region set-up I personally think we should go with, though the crevisses are still not shown. Tussocks/Argon Swamp/Argon Jungle are all Argon Jungle stuff which we haven’t discussed yet.

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i’m on a different computer and i an access them fine… but i’ll be sure to scan them and re-upload em’ and maybe do some more. did you like them?

*edit

this was meant to be a reply to 10Kazim’s comment, sorry..

the ending of the words is almsivi

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Yes, I did like them. They look very nicely alien and could go well with the nomadic people.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable. Still active. Find me on Discord.

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Just as a note: we’re also now looking for concepts on more plants, rock formations and rocks, salt formations, crystals, skyrender nests, bug burrows, and the like. The Skype meeting of Sat. Feb. 6 notes has some more notes on exactly what we’re looking for.

EDIT: The best place to find the concepts we want is actualy here now.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable. Still active. Find me on Discord.

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What if there was a little bit of colour (greens and yellows) while still looking arid.

Found this link:   http://maybewerecrazy.com/?tag=badlands-national-park

The bottom three pictures are dry climates but with furtile soil.

 

_____________________________________________

This could be the transition from Shipal-Shin to Deshaan

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For some cave inspirations:

 

 

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I felt like drawing rocks for some reason:

I do not think rocks should have a significant presence in the Deshaan proper. The cliff pieces would be used for the chasms, probably for the edge of Lake Andaram, and possibly at the Shipal-shin border. I don’t think they should really be used anywhere else.

The large rocks would generally only be found at the base of cliffs, especially at Lake Andaram; incidentally, there should be at least one more large rock, but I ran out of page space.

Medium and small rocks would be found on the plain, but generally in clusters that are relatively few and far between. They would generally be used to accentuate landmarks/visual features, like a dried out brine pool, or to themselves serve as landmarks/visual features.

Flat rocks would be used a little more liberally, also generally placed in small clusters, often near other rocks. While they should have collisions, they should be low enough not to serve as obstacles.

Whereas in most regions rocks are used to cover up ugly texture seams and hide general land texture tiling, I think in the Deshaan that role should mostly be carried out by tall grass. Aside from allowing the Deshaan to appear as an open plain rather than a sort of boulder landscape, and allowing us to implement larger creatures along the lines of the plain strider without fear of wonky pathing and glitching about should we so desire, I think the approach will also let us make the most of the rocks where they are used, rather than rocks simply serving as a constant background noise.

To that end, rock clusters would frequently be accompanied by other assets; first and foremost salt formations, but also flora. The salt formations would tend to look very jagged, contrasting with the overall smoothness of the rocks.

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Made a new plant concept, the salt crocus. As usual it could use a better name. A plant that makes its “petals” out of crystal; this would have the usual white/drab color scheme for the leaves, but the small, single, rare flowers would be a spot of color when you find them. Probably grows in ditches or crevices so they’re not visible from afar.

More poetically, they tend to appear suddenly after the rare rains, and their petals are dissolved by water. The petals are an alchemical ingredient, hard to harvest and prone to dissolving.

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Ah, great idea.

I think the stalk could be made to look a bit more woody (not thicker) to better supprot what would probably be a very heavy ‘flower’; maybe something like these:

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Note to everyone! We now have a running tally of the assets we need for the Deshaan plains and also what we need concepts for. That thing is HERE and should definitely be read, especially by artists and asset makers.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable. Still active. Find me on Discord.

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Just quickly made this. It’s the ashmire from the ashlands, except I made it salt like instead of ash like.

 

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Package icon salt_mire.zip99.72 KB2016-02-14 08:23
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Something like that would probably be useful, if not exactly that asset.

EDIT: I stayed up late last night to make some more concepts, because I won’t be at next Saturday’s Skype meeting on the Deshaan (Sat Feb 20).

Some crystal formations + more concepts for bert:

Some experimental crystal colors, then, a detailed color palette for the Deshaan:

The color palette in action:

 

EDIT: Also, make sure you all check out Asylum’s models that are in progress in the Assets forum. They’re coming along quite nicely.

Does: concepts, textures, youtube vids, admin stuff e.g. PR, handbook, assets, small website things. Activity level: wildly unpredictable. Still active. Find me on Discord.

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Hm. My main hang-up with the colour palette is that I’m still not entirely sold on the yellow and (more to the point) purple contrast. Though as far as the purple is concerned, something that springs to mind: perhaps more of a reddish-purple could be used to work with Daedric ruins? Also, this might be the same issue as before, but I feel as though the yellows and especially purples are far too saturated.

 

So, we have flora concepts and rock concepts. Fauna I’m personally putting on the backburner, as fauna can be included at any point in the implementation stage and doesn’t need to be available for exterior modders. I think the main terrain models that still need to be pinned down are salt formations. As far as the exterior is concerned, I think these should essentially come in four variants:

salt crystals: These are relatively pure salt concentrations that form interesting shapes. Some could have splashes of colour and some could be an entirely different colour, but I think the colours shouldn’t be too saturated. Google images shows quite a range of shapes and colours. Should have a good deal of variety. Asylum has made a great start on these:

salt lumps: Lumps of salt mixed with dirt roughly the same size as the small rocks in my concept. Should have a light but dull colour and a very complex surface (probably via textures and vertex shading). Probably five variants.

salt spires: Same as salt lumps except for their shape. Should come as single spires or as groups. Probably something like four single pillars and two groups. I don’t think these should be very large at all; generally shorter than a person. (Note that most of those are – I believe – rock and not salt formations, but the general shape is what’s important. I included an image of an actual salt pillar to round them out).

salt platforms: I’d say at least three variations. Again, Asylum has made a great start on these:

Aside from that, chlorine clouds and brine pools spring to mind; unless we want to get fancy, one model for each would probably suffice. There’s also the idea of chlorine vents which I’m not entirely sold on; I feel that might get too similar to the ashland steam vents.

Edit: I almost forgot to mention: the brine pools would naturally just need to be a retexture of the generic (I’d go with) 512x512 flat tile.

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I suggest you look up the cave known as 3N or Namakdan if you’re interested in interesting salt crystal formations.

EDIT: Damnit how do I get these things to scale to a size convenient to a forum post?

Fixed that for you. You need to double-click on the image and change the size by editing the text fields; edits to the image size in the main comment field apparently do not save and break the functionality. ~Gnomey

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Yeah, those salt formations are excellent references, though more specifically for the salt washes tileset rather than the exterior.

I ended up tossing together some concepts for the salt formations I described above; I also included concepts on two ways I think the Spindelwort could be modelled as well as an illustration of my above suggestion that the Salt Crocus be given a segmented stalk. (The plant concepts are naturally not to scale).

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Right, I almost forgot: a technically unfinished atmospheric of the salt washes:

I plan to still include an NPC for scale and a riverstrider, but to me this is a rather low-priority concept as there’s a lot of functional stuff still to be created. (For now my focuses there will probably be the actual Salt Washes and Skyrender tilesets).

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It would be awesome to have geysers in the salt plains. Already have the water shooting type particle effect from the fountains in mournhold. And the steam from the molag Amur region. And Ashmiers from the ashlands. Just chnage textures and sizes and what not.

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Like this (kind of):

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How about having structures like this to somewhat break up the flatness of the landscape?

Or having slight raised dunes between flat areas?

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I LOVE the colorful pools in Kevaar’s post; it would be great if there were a couple of those. Something that might be interesting for the caverns and whatnot, to give some interesting depth to the landscape would be something like The Cleft from Myst’s URU:

Obviously it doesn’t have to be exactly like that, but just the idea of having some things down in the cracks of the landscape would be cool. Cave entrances, maybe a dwelling here or there, or ruins, a cache of interesting/rare plants, or heck just a way to get from one side to the other without having to jump across and possibly kill yourself lol Although that might be interesting too, maybe a quest where the PC has to find someone who fell into one of these places and couldn’t get out.

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A few sketches of Deshaan’s borders:

Northern Border

Andaram Border

Northern Border: where the Deshaan Plains descend into the tumbling hills of the Orethan, and conversely the subtropic vegetation of the Orethan straggles its way up into the Deshaan as far as it can go before succumbing to the salt. Also featured at the bottom right is the northernmost of the mudflats; note the fringe of vegetation around the edge of the mudflats which mark the highest point the water can reach in periods of high tide. (In game the waters of the Mudflats are near their lowest ebb). That fringe is home to plants like wild saltrice.

Andaram Border: I’m not sure if this should be a cliff as shown or a very steep and rocky slope. Either way you have the Deshaan Plains up top and the Middle Thirr down at the bottom lining most of the lake’s edge. Also featured is one of the secondary entrances to the Salt Washes.

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Thos look pretty cool, very interesting. They match up fairly well with what I was imagining as well.

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I’ve finally gotten around to making (or rather updating) a Deshaan Plains mockup using the WIP meshes and textures that are available so far. (In the latter case with a lot of edits).
The cell is T_MW_DPcell, up near snowy Solstheim because I don’t plan ahead. Note that the area being surrounded by cliffs is not representative of how the Deshaan will look. The Deshaan will have chasms disappearing into the ground, but few if any cliffs rising out of it.
I seem to have updated the texture paths for the Skyrender incorrectly, but couldn’t be bothered to find a solution. I’ve also played around with purplish vertex shading to go with the purple/yellow colour scheme. It might need to be toned down a bit more, though.

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File T_MW_DPMockup.7z8.43 MB2016-05-08 20:44
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As said on IRC, the white seems fine to me – salt is just very white and snow is something that only happens to Nords. In MW at least.

Not sure if random smoke out of the ground would be preferable, but I’d advocate more tiny crystals instead of grass to break up the landscape.

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The first part of above post is referring to the question of whether the salt looks too much like snow, by the way.
As for the second bit, I do like the idea of having salt crystals on the ground, but why not have both?

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Looks like my textures need an update to reduce the scale of the grass… it’s obnoxiously large. The white looks alright, but could have maybe a cracked texture. We’ll have to see how it looks with plants and stuff layered on top of it though.

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Just a quick update before I turn in for the night: some updated textures. I tried to adapt one of Kaziem’s ground textures for the salt formations, (TerrDPSaltRock_01), but it wasn’t entirely successful. Otherwise, I mostly just bumped up the yellow a bit. Screenshots might follow tomorrow.

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File T_MW.7z4.75 MB2016-05-09 00:32
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The Crystal Formations in Deshaan Plains also look a bit like the order crystals in The Shivering Isles for oblivion : 
Large Salt columns could be added a bit of height and diversity in the Deshaan Plains and could also be used to replace hills and whatnot.

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Hm. To me we should keep away from the crystals looking like well-cut quartz. Uncut crystals tend to have a more chaotic formation that looks granular or even furry when packed together. Patches form where water has gathered and evaporated, including water drips along sea cliffs, inanimate objects, or cave ceilings. Salt in particular weathers very easily because it dissolves in water, so perfect large crystals are rare. (Salt pillars often have other minerals mixed in them that disrupt the perfect crystal formation.)

Bunch of examples, almost all from the Dead Sea, which is awesome inspiration:




← I don’t know how that got formed, but omg!

Salt in particular also has a square formation to its crystals (due to how the Na+ and Cl- atoms align), rather than the planed hexagonal look you see in gemstones. You would probably find the big crystals in caves rather than on the surface, where they would otherwise get dissolved away come every rain:

Sorry, just had to get on my soap box. :) Quartz-style crystals in landscapes are very overdone in fantasy games, so I wanted to be sure ours looked especially Morrowind-y and true to the nature!
 

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Those are very good suggestions Kevaar! I agree 100%.

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