Tropical environments

Public discussion of the Province: Cyrodiil project.
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Scamp
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Tropical environments

Postby Scamp » 06 Jan 2013, 04:04

Excuse me if someone has already made this thread and I completely missed it. Also, there might be a better sub-forum for this, but I don't know.

There was a discussion about our future tropical environments on the BSF. Someone suggested moving it to our internal forums and I think he's right.

Saint_Jiub wrote:I've been playing Far Cry 3 lately (Christmas present), and one of the biggest surprises to me is how similar a lot of its tropical environments look to Cyrodiil.

http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/88 ... _07_06.png
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/88 ... _50_56.png
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/88 ... _44_00.png
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/88 ... _20_75.png
http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/8/88 ... _52_19.png

Makes me think it would be really easy to replace some of the flora models with tropical plants (of which there are many on TESNexus...)


LanceAvion wrote:Far Cry 3 is a good inspiration, but I imagine most of Cyrodiil's jungle is denser.

[...]


wolli wrote:I would prefer Cry's sparse forests over dense, it's so much harder and time consuming to make, not to mention the extra lag... *shudders*
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Scamp
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Scamp » 06 Jan 2013, 04:08

I really, really like Far Cry 3.

However, I have this in mind when I think about our jungles and what they should look like:

ImageImage
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby StoneFrog » 06 Jan 2013, 05:32

Far Cry is too sparse for my liking - it reminds me of, well, vanilla Oblivion, which felt very unrealistic with regards to how dense forests (and cities, and everything else) were.

I'd also like Cyrodiil (or at least the more heavily forested regions) to have a lot of canopy, so that they feel as cozy as possible. That Morrowind mod intended for use with Bitter Coast billboard sprite trees, that extends them over Balmora, is a good example. I personally don't use that mod as I feel Balmora specifically is supposed to have the West Gash aesthetic, but it is exactly what I've fantasized about seeing overhead in a truly jungled Cyrodiil.

I think we wouldn't necessarily need a million tree meshes to pull that look off, if they're large and tall enough.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Saint_Jiub » 06 Jan 2013, 06:46

Heh, for the record, my comment on the BGS Forums was more regarding a potential mod for Oblivion to at least deal with the absence of any sort of tropical environment. If you just replaced, like, 50% of the rhododendrons and bushes in the Nibenay region with the kinds of stuff in those Far Cry screenshots, I think the effect would be really nice and more friendly to previous lore than the vanilla version.

With regards to StoneFrog's comment though, I just want to say that I am 100% completely against using billboard leaves in our mod like in his screenshot. I think it looks utterly tacky, especially compared to the fully 3D trees that will be present in other regions (and probably right alongside the large jungle trees).

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby SamirA » 06 Jan 2013, 06:56

The Great Forest will be the most jungled and dense region. We will have to strike a balance between performance and density there. Mostly this will mean our models need to look good, but be low poly or we will kill framerate.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby MoonAndStar » 06 Jan 2013, 12:09

Maybe the Far Cry 3 jungle would work in parts of the West Weald as it merges with the great forest and the Rumare basin. But in general I agree with Scamp and Stonefrog, a thick, tall jungle with abundant canopy is best. It would contribute greatly to the feeling of being lost.
I love that picture of Balmora with the canopy. That's exactly how I'd imagine cities like Mir Corrup and Cheydinhal.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby StoneFrog » 06 Jan 2013, 16:10

Saint_Jiub wrote:With regards to StoneFrog's comment though, I just want to say that I am 100% completely against using billboard leaves in our mod like in his screenshot. I think it looks utterly tacky, especially compared to the fully 3D trees that will be present in other regions (and probably right alongside the large jungle trees).

I hate billboard trees as well. They don't diminish right in fog, too. I was just giving you an example of how much coverage of the sky I feel would work to make Cyrodiil feel sufficiently forested. The alpha-textured-planes method of Morrowind trees is the way I'd rather see it done too.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Wollibeebee » 08 Jan 2013, 03:07

These screens posted by scamp say Nib, but I think the land between the nib and the gold coast would look great if it resembled Cry3. I meant to say "land," as I'm not sure which region it would fit best, I wish we could rename the Great Forest the Great Bush/outback.

But the slow merge between exterior locations is something to aim for.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby MoonAndStar » 08 Jan 2013, 14:56

While we're using other games' jungles as inspiration, I'd like to point out Just Cause 2. They made the jungles in that game look fantastic, without making them impenetrably thick with vegetation (which would be a pain in the ass to do for Morrowind, apart from the FPS drop that it would suppose), and the trees are very tall and leave an abundant canopy when clustered. I think this type of jungle would work well for the Great forest area.

I couldn't find too many good examples, but here's this video that kind of shows it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqoIYzferdI

This one's quality is awful, but you get the general idea:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE_ebvnpOI4


Then, as Wolli points out, the Far Cry 3 style of jungle could be used for the transition between Colovia and Nibenay; namely, in the West Weald.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Scamp » 08 Jan 2013, 17:02

MoonAndStar wrote:Then, as Wolli points out, the Far Cry 3 style of jungle could be used for the transition between Colovia and Nibenay; namely, in the West Weald.


Except that the West Weald is not a jungle and thus shouldn't look like a Jungle, other than the transitions further to the north when it merges with other regions.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby MoonAndStar » 08 Jan 2013, 18:16

I didn't express myself well. I didn't mean the whole West Weald, but was thinking more the eastern and northern portions of it. If we go by Oblivion's maps, the West Weald ends pretty damn close to Bravil, which is nibenese heartland; and Far Cry 3's not-so-dense "jungles" would be a good transition from open fields to claustrophobia-inducing jungles. But you're right of course, the West Weald is Colovia after all.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Saint_Jiub » 08 Jan 2013, 19:12

I agree with MoonAndStar. This is my biggest issue with the PGE depiction of Cyrodiil- this hard divide between Colovia and Nibenay where on one side it's Eastern Europe, and on the other it's the Amazon, with nothing in the middle. There has to be some blending and artistry at work here and honestly, if we're doing a tropical environment in part of the province, I think the whole province should retain elements of that. For example, rather than doing the traditional Scottish highlands for Colovia that everyone will be expecting, we could be drawing influence from the Andes mountains of Peru:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/c ... c_view.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-w81wMk6j4YI/T ... s,+SA..jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/22/Andes_mountains_(Huamachuco).jpg

Which are still highlands, and we can still do our Nordic-influenced culture and architecture there (and have it be more interesting and distinct from Skyrim because it's NOT a carbon copy of the Whiterun area or whatever), but it doesn't feel completely jarring compared to what we'll be doing in the east.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby MoonAndStar » 08 Jan 2013, 20:19

Andes influence sounds like a good idea. Plus these Inca walls:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/sadsnaps/4638642673/in/photostream/

They remind me of the ancient nordic stone walls in TESV, so that fits in nicely with colovia's nordic heritage.

But I wouldn't want the South American influence to be too strong either. I think of Colovia as the region that is the most like southern Europe, with clear ancient roman influence, especially in the military and generally with the clothing; and the architecture as medieval Southern European.

When I think of the Colovian Highlands and the area known as the Imperial Reserve (I think), north of Kvatch, I imagine it looking quite like central Spain, with lots of dry grasland, juniper and Holly Oak forests here and there, and old ruined castles on every other hilltop..

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Castillo_Monasterio_Rodilla_01.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bf/Panorama_desde_el_Castillo_de_Poza_de_la_Sal.jpg
http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=13&with_photo_id=9865418&order=date_desc&user=1603766
http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=147&with_photo_id=10743755&order=date_desc&user=1731178
http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=97&with_photo_id=68428371&order=date_desc&user=3156858
http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=146&with_photo_id=9160413&order=date_desc&user=1152796
http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer#view=photo&position=151&with_photo_id=302949&order=date_desc&user=58854
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/8709216

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Scamp » 08 Jan 2013, 20:50

Saint_Jiub wrote:This is my biggest issue with the PGE depiction of Cyrodiil- this hard divide between Colovia and Nibenay where on one side it's Eastern Europe, and on the other it's the Amazon, with nothing in the middle. There has to be some blending and artistry at work here


I've made good-looking, convincing transitions between Roth Roryn (rocky desert), the Velothi Mountains (RM-styled mountains with snow, too) and Ascadian Isles for Tamriel Rebuilt in a single, 9-cell claim.

I can make it work.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Tarius » 09 Jan 2013, 00:37

The edges of a jungle are what should appear impenetrable. The canopy shouldnt let too much light in which is why its not as dense as it is around the edges. once you ge past the edge and under the canopy, its going to still be thick, but not really claustrophobic or hard to traverse.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Saint_Jiub » 09 Jan 2013, 01:02

Scamp wrote:
Saint_Jiub wrote:This is my biggest issue with the PGE depiction of Cyrodiil- this hard divide between Colovia and Nibenay where on one side it's Eastern Europe, and on the other it's the Amazon, with nothing in the middle. There has to be some blending and artistry at work here


I've made good-looking, convincing transitions between Roth Roryn (rocky desert), the Velothi Mountains (RM-styled mountains with snow, too) and Ascadian Isles for Tamriel Rebuilt in a single, 9-cell claim.

I can make it work.
I'm not calling your skill into question. I'm just saying I don't think we should say "That's Colovia, so there can be nothing even remotely tropical about it except for right at the Nibenay border. I think it's more realistic, and ultimately more interesting, to have some of those South American/African influences throughout the whole province, even as we strive to make the two regions feel stylistically and culturally diverse.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Wollibeebee » 09 Jan 2013, 02:10

Scamp wrote:
Saint_Jiub wrote:This is my biggest issue with the PGE depiction of Cyrodiil- this hard divide between Colovia and Nibenay where on one side it's Eastern Europe, and on the other it's the Amazon, with nothing in the middle. There has to be some blending and artistry at work here


I've made good-looking, convincing transitions between Roth Roryn (rocky desert), the Velothi Mountains (RM-styled mountains with snow, too) and Ascadian Isles for Tamriel Rebuilt in a single, 9-cell claim.

I can make it work.

He's not so much talking about exteriors, but the changing of cultural aesthetics found on either side as they merge into one another. Poop, bum, boobies.


We could use forts, for the middle zone, using the vanilla forts we would make them ruins, but themed to the area; different statues, motifs, windows, catapults vs some magic doo-da.

It is a hard one, it's not like there would be small fortifications facing one another, one covered in Ogre skulls, the other human, or some shizz.


And I never intended for the West Weald to change, especially not the Colovian Highlands. But not that it's been suggested, why not? I mean, from the resources it looks like we're making it much like what it was in Oblivion, but the entire appeal of P:C is the rainforest, and the West Weald is the next and soonest possible region for a jungle.
Let's go back to the original exteriors: viewtopic.php?f=118&t=9
they're half-way between scamp's screens, and the actual forests in Oblivion. Why couldn't we make the West Weald more like ZXT's cells, with all the colour of the Weald, and the free space (like cry3). We could start the merge there, and then the Great Forest could be more like Scamp's pictures.

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Re: Tropical environments

Postby SamirA » 09 Jan 2013, 02:58

Everything should be more unique and otherworldly looking, not like Oblivion. The color pallete has been mostly the same, but our actualy production region of the GC and Stirk are hardly anything like what was seen in Oblivion. If you just look at the colors it is familiar as well as the Ayleid ruins (obviously) but aside from that there are few similarities.

Any resources we have for upcoming regions are WIP. Stuff to look at for ideas mostly. many will eventually be removed and not used as we create newer stuff.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby Scamp » 10 Jan 2013, 18:26

Thread might be worth moving to a public forum as the guy starting the discussion on the BSF is thinking about making a thread here, while I already did.
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Re: Tropical environments

Postby SamirA » 10 Jan 2013, 18:49

Done.
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