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Looking for suggestions for environment

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Well, basically, I want to hear opinions on what style of architecture would look most interesting in a game. the choices can be as broad as "Ancient Greek" or as specific as "Roman Temples" Please explain a bit on what you like most about the look. I'm not looking to re-create a civilization or anything, I'd like to know what technological specifics, like "post and lintel doorways" etc. Its not very easy to create an 'alien' environment . . . most of the stuff you see on tv, movies and games that feature alien architecture is way too far fetched to me. Most of these architectural types are simply un-sound in design for a culture that would be so advanced. It takes up too much room, and as far as function, well, it looks like they would have merely spent a lot of money and that's it. So I'd like to know, again, what types of architectural technologies you think would look well mixed together to form something that may well have been built by a culture that would have found they're own way in a different way than us. Thanks in advance for all your feedback.

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Well, it would help to know what types of resources are available on the planet and what level and types of tools are available...and the availability of heat energy for either metals or ceramics.
Usually, the easiest to form with structural stability is whats used in a given area. For example: More arid regions will use compressed earth with roofing of frond, grasses (as with thatch) or interwoven sticks, woven leaves (like yucca) etc. Areas near woodlands use primarily wood. Coastal areas are kind of unique. In Florida there are coral outcroppings which are quite soft to cut in somewhat shallow water. Bring the blocks on land and dry them out and they are hard enough to retain their shape when stacked atop each other but soft enough to meld together with pressure so they don't need mortar, they also had the unique ability to absorb cannon fire without shattering :)
Plains areas developed mostly animal hide structures. Western settlers would dig a basement, tip their wagon over to form half a wall and the roof then cut pieces of sod to stack against it for insulation.
Transportation is the key to more permanent type structures.
Grand stone buildings such as in Rome, Greece or even the great palaces of France didn't happen without slave or prison labor. They only paid popular artisans and Atilla didn't do that.
Maybe this can give you a starting point to think about what is unique about the environment (and perhaps history) of your new world and how it could be used.

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Xenallure has 4 different architectural styles, one for each race: medieval european with fantasy elements and some oriental influences, art nouveau with a cyberpunk twist, biomorphic opal caves/cliff dwellings with sculptured tree roots, and a scavenger style which has various bits and pieces jerry-rigged together with ropes and nails.

I think that you have to describe the culture you're working with if you want us to make any specific recommendations about what type of architecture they would have, because architecture expresses a culture's personality. I like neoclassical architecture too, but I wouldn't put it in my game because it would create the wrong feeling, it's not something the races in the game would build.

BTW I'm desperately seeking an architectural artist if anyone knows of any available ones! o.O;

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Quote:
Original post by Cybergrape
Grand stone buildings such as in Rome, Greece or even the great palaces of France didn't happen without slave or prison labor. They only paid popular artisans and Atilla didn't do that.


Also true of Egypt and the great South American empires, although to some extent the latter used a labor tax on free citizens. And then feudalalism is a kind of semi-slave state which has also resulted in some impressive castles and palaces being built in Europe, Japan, and I think China. So the general principle is that only cultures in which one individual can command lots of others build big fancy architecture. But this doesn't have to hold true when magic or high tech enter the equation. Perhaps one talented 'architectural mage' or robot or swarm of nanobots can build any palace in a few days. Similarly, perhaps summoning magic or matter synthesis technology make cost of materials and cost of transportation negligable.

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Quote:
Original post by sunandshadow
Also true of Egypt and the great South American empires, although to some extent the latter used a labor tax on free citizens. And then feudalalism is a kind of semi-slave state which has also resulted in some impressive castles and palaces being built in Europe, Japan, and I think China. So the general principle is that only cultures in which one individual can command lots of others build big fancy architecture. But this doesn't have to hold true when magic or high tech enter the equation. Perhaps one talented 'architectural mage' or robot or swarm of nanobots can build any palace in a few days. Similarly, perhaps summoning magic or matter synthesis technology make cost of materials and cost of transportation negligable.


Yes, I agree, ultimately what you end up with depends on available building resources (including the availability of cheap transportation), the tools you have to shape it (magic and nanites are pretty cool tools), the climate (who would want to live in a log cabin in the tropical summers of Japan) and the culture. Once you have an idea of these things you can then speculate on the types of architecture that would spring up.

Culture often reflects the environment as well. For example in resource rich areas societies tend to be more welcoming, less warlike, more time is devoted to art and speculative inquiry. If there is little to no threat (large animals, weather, raiding groups etc) the society tends to be more individualistic. Everyone can pretty much do their own thing without censure. If threats are present then a more cooperative society forms where conformity to a group identity is more pronounced.
Where resources are smaller than the population, more competitiveness is prized, political/social and individual strength is the path to at least some of the group surviving. Industrial development, specifically weapons making thrives in this sort of environment.
Throw transportation in the mix and you get our history of war and conquest as societies move out of the environment that formed them.

Anyway, world building can be fun :D

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So DarkChilde, you seemed to be looking more for specific architectural elements - did you want us to list your favorites? Or you could tell us your own thoughts on what kind of architecture is interesting, or more about the culture you are trying to develop architecture for?

I don't want this thread to die, I want to talk more about architecture because, having given up on finding an architectural artist, I got 9 fat photobooks on architecture, plus the 2 I already owned, and I'm going to be doing architectural design for my game, Xenallure, this week.

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Well, I'll list my favorite architectural elements then. [smile]

- Stained glass windows
- Whiplash curves (the signature element of art nouveau, usually made out of wrought iron, but also sometimes wood/paint/inlay)
- Various funtional sculptures: lamps which look like flowers; animal feet on furniture; caryatids and other (preferably styalized rather than realistic) sculptures which support roofs or lintels; gargoyles, fountains, and other water sculptures; and biomorphic architectural forms in general.
- Palladian arches and columnades supporting arched vaults
- geodesic domes, smooth domes, and pyramids
- using rope lashings on bamboo or wood
- inlay in general
- murals, mosaics, and graffiti
- bay windows and lofts
- spiral or square spiral staircases
- small tunnels and squishy padded floors and furniture, also hammocks
- hexagons
- shiny varicolored materials, especially opal, tiger's eye, malachite, marble, wood (oak, birch, tiger maple), and multicolored glass. Also sparkly matrials like gleaming metals and cut gemstones.
- buildings incorporating living plants, for example with trees planted in the floor of a hallway, or jungle-like atriums with greenhouse roofs or artificial lighting, and indoor waterways, like recirculating faux waterfalls or streams with goldfish living in them.
- architectural elements made out of aquariums with fish swimming in them

I'll probably think of a few more later, but those are most of my favorites. [smile]

[Edited by - sunandshadow on January 31, 2006 6:40:55 PM]

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Oh golly, my problem is the only thing I don’t like is the gunnite and glass boxes going up everywhere. Favorites though…
-Lighted fountains at night. They can be synchronized jets out of a flat pool or stone adorned with a rubinesque menagerie, I love ‘em all. I do have a soft spot for lighted waterfalls that incorporate lush tropical flowering plants, lava rock and really gnarly old timbers.
-Braided thatched roofs.
-Plaster and timber like the real Tudor period.
-Hanging baskets and boxes of fuchsias and wild flowers.
-Transom windows that run all the way around the outside walls in a room, with finished soffet on the eaves outside of them.
-Entire walls that are sliding panes of glass.
-Visible wood grain. I love timber cabins, finished or rough.
-Leaded panes.
-Free form urethane structures although I prefer a sandstone –like texture and tinting on the external surface.
-Santa Fe style adobe with the imbedded timbers and the covered breezeways.
-Art Deco you betcha with that wonderful indirect lighting coming out of and reflected against layered walls with strips of lapis and metal and burl to draw the eye up and around all those delightful fluted lines…I think I may be a reincarnated 20s urbanite.
-The lovely quality of light you get through wood and paper walls in Japanese structure.
-The wonderful upturned bows of classic Chinese roofs and the graceful but heavy window framing.
-American colonial federalist, those great door headers!
-Arabesque “onion” domes and spires!
_ Glass and filigree, reminds me of fairies LOL!
- Huge natural rock fireplaces.
- Georgian fire backs and fire baskets.

OK Darkchild, the ball is to you. :)

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Well, I think pretty much any natural structure must be modified somewhat before people can live or work in it. But I like caves and giant seashells or bones, and trees, and all that sort of thing. I have also played with the idea of living buildings and spider web-like nets. I think the important point is that the building must look like it works, not like it's just a bit of artistic whimsy.

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