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A preview of new Xenos work!

Discussion in 'Developer Work and Blog posts' started by Scottie, Nov 10, 2016.

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  1. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Having gone so far with Xenos before Richard Matey left (just in time for folks to choose their plots for housing), it's now time to go back into the city to fulfill an even broader vision for it, and to polish it up for completion! Since I had built the entrance to Artifice, into which one may go only after having won the fabled Lottery of Elysium, I was asked to expand upon my ideas for the developed areas of that region to have a similar "Greco-Roman" feel to its architecture. For the capital Xenos and its surrounding environs, there would also be a bit of old-world Italy in the mix, just for the sake of variety... Like Rome in our world, Xenos should evoke the feeling of new architecture have been built within and upon the ruins of the older civilization that once thrived there. Since Xenos is not quite as huge as Rome, however, I decided to also draw additional inspiration from concepts of what Pompeii must have been like in its hey-day, before the terrible destruction of Vesuvius...

    Below you can see my initial work as I begin upgrading the center of town, specifically the port-side entrance and its main attraction, the Forum of the Lottery. Here visitors to Xenos from across the world gather to participate in the Lottery in the hopes of winning the great prize, a ticket of entrance into mysterious and miraculous Artifice itself! On approach to the outer arches, flaming braziers atop stone pillars light the great statue of the Titan of Truth, which seems to welcome visitors as they enter below. Beyond those arches will eventually be a cultured garden walk, where participants and bystanders gather in conversation while awaiting the ceremonies.
    [​IMG]

    Another set of inner arches, formed by the mighty bases of aqueducts that feed water into the city from the forested hills south, is topped by huge statues depicting the satyrs which are said to roam the far northern mountains of Elysium where they tend to the grounds surrounding Artifice's magical golden entrance. Past hanging crimson banners can be seen the amphitheater of the Forum, also lit by large flaming braziers and lanterns suspended above the curving stone seats, where gathering guests will sit once the Lottery begins. Once fully constructed, this area will also host fountains fed by water falling from draconic gargoyle heads, much like Artifice itself. As one would expect, more foliage and cultured plants will be added as well.
    [​IMG]

    I entered this scene at dusk, which suited me well, since I wanted to gaze at the effect of the various light-sources. And of course, I just had to climb the stairs of the amphitheater to sit beneath the night sky and look down upon the scene as other guests would. In so doing, I saw that the shattered moon arced wonderfully overhead at just that moment, so yet another screenshot was required!
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully you find this initial work exciting... Once I finish working on the wrapped gift boxes, I'll be getting back on this again and digging in for the rest of the milestone! I'll post more images and descriptions into this thread as I go... Wish me luck!

    Scottie ^_^
     
  2. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    This is fantastic, I can't wait. I so look forward to seeing more of your amazing work Scottie, and I say you don't need luck either ;). Your talent will shine through as you chalk up another awesome scene for the game:) . :)
     
  3. Cordelayne

    Cordelayne Bug Hunter

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    Wow great work, as usual Scottie! :)
     
  4. Glantor Edge

    Glantor Edge Avatar

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    That looks awesome Scottie, well done! Looking forward to your expanded vision of Xenos! :D

    By the way, would it be possible to provide us with an updated overmap of Xenos? I'm trying to indicate where my lot is and post it on the forums, but there's no updated map of Xenos anywhere. Thank you for your help!
     
  5. Envane

    Envane Avatar

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    Amazing work Scottie, I do like the 'Greco-Roman' visuals a lot. I cannot wait to see the finished city in-game!
     
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  6. dp_dropout

    dp_dropout Avatar

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    My home town is finally starting to take shape! Good stuff!
     
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  7. Roycestein Kaelstrom

    Roycestein Kaelstrom Avatar

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    After the final wipe, the lot placement can no longer be changed, so your lot should remain where it is.
     
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  8. Daxxe Diggler

    Daxxe Diggler Avatar

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    Harvest, Yule stockings, gift boxes, Midras... AND Xenos...

    Scottie have you gotten any sleep in the past month? How do you put out so much fantastic work in such a short time? Keep up the great work sir!
     
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  9. Robros Reh

    Robros Reh Avatar

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    I like the idea of an expanded map as I have not been able to find a map of greater Xenos also. The only maps I have been able to find are ones that center on the center of the city and do not show the surrounding area. My home is located as far away from the center as you can get.

    Looking forward to the expanded vision of Xenos.Well done Scottie.
     
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  10. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Getting maps like this done for all the cities is indeed an eventual plan! It's not on my schedule yet, but I do have a JIRA work-order submitted to me for getting a few other maps done and fixed and such... Perhaps I can either get Xenos added to that, or I can get a new JIRA for a Xenos map created.... ^_^
     
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  11. Ronan

    Ronan Avatar

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    Scottie nicely done. Is Xenos supposed to have a "dark" feeling? I sort of figured more of a white marble finish to a lot of the buildings.
     
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  12. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Wow! Somehow I managed to work on Harvest and Midris when I wasn't looking! ^_^ Heh!!! ...Actually, Esteben (Sorcerous Steve) is the mastermind behind Harvest and Midris, but he must have given me credit for something he was using for placement inside those zones... Thanks for the compliments none-the-less,...and I'll pass on your compliments for Esteben!...
     
  13. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Well, for the moment, it does look a bit "dark" merely because I've taken only dusk and night-time shots... However, I do intend to do a material pass to bring many of the things more in-line with the materials I used for the Artifice Entrance (which has a more "desert-y" tan look to it)... I'm probably not going to go full-white like the marbles of Rome, but I'll at least get closer to matching the type of tan-ish stone you can see at its perimeters.... I intend, for instance, to make the aqueducts match that, so that they look a bit different from the aqueducts made of dark grey stone seen in Ardoris...
     
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  14. Hazard

    Hazard Avatar

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    Looks really good. Would be fun to find some old discarded lottery tickets around town.
     
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  15. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Having had the chance to return to labors in Xenos, I've begun to flesh out areas of primary interest to me, which I hope will set the tone I want to achieve with the entire scene! Starting at one of the entrances, I wanted to ensure that one of the first things visitors understand is the fact that the culture of Xenos is ancient, predating the cataclysm, and that many of Xenos' structures are actually built atop the foundations of the ruins beneath. In many cases, the most glorious of these were incorporated into the more modern architecture... Like the Rome of our work, there will be few places you can gaze that won't hold details of the old world, both small and large... Here at the very entrance is no exception, for across the old road from the caravans of merchants lay a ruined courtyard surrounded by columns, its original use long forgotten...
    [​IMG]

    Further along the path into the city proper, past tall and imposing aqueducts, grand roads lead up steep hills that wind their way through several of the richer neighborhoods, whose fantastic views are now graced with sculptured foliage, stone arches, and pillars topped with braziers. Where before there had been very little in the way of decorative finishing, I wanted to make sure that such steep roads and the leveled-off areas for player houses felt very "intentional" in their craftsmanship...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Though I have no idea which players have already claimed these lots, or which houses they have chosen for themselves, I have placed (for my own reference) houses there that remind me of old Roman villas, to help me capture the inspirational feel of the areas as I create the sights around me... Where before were only dirt paths or a sprinkling of cobbles, there now springs forth old stone retaining walls, granite stairs, and evenly-paved roads like those of ancient Pompeii... Added to that are publicly-maintained decorative flower pots, shrubs, and trees, which I'm hoping the proud owners of those houses will now enjoy gazing upon as they frame their view of the sparkling sea beyond, with the masts of tall ships rising from the harbor.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    All of the decorations pictured are, of course, outside the boundaries of the lots themselves, so the beauty you see here will merely accent whatever decorations you choose to place yourself! At the top of this grand avenue a partial circle of arches gloriously frames various angles of observation across the sprawling city itself... A fitting view, indeed, for those of such wealth and extravagance that can afford to live in the wondrous city of Xenos, gateway to the pleasures of distant Artifice!

    [​IMG]
    I hope you're enjoying these sneak peeks! Stay tuned for more to come!

    Scottie ^_^
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
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  16. Beaumaris

    Beaumaris Avatar

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    Great looking work. Thanks!
     
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  17. majoria70

    majoria70 Avatar

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    Thank you as always Socttie. I love your descriptions of this beautiful scene. It would be an amazing place to call home for anyone. :)
     
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  18. Robros Reh

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    Looks really great. Scottie will you be adding any of this along the coast line outside the city?
     
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  19. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Absolutely! Once I set the tone for some of the inner neighborhoods, I fully intend to shift my focus toward the coastal dwellings as well. I have quite a few ideas in mind for stone steps and terraces, with graceful colonnades scattered along sandy shores and grassy slopes leading down to the waters of the bay and inland lagoon (yet to be made)....
     
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  20. Scottie

    Scottie Master Artisan SOTA Developer

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    Thanks! The beginning is always the hardest, as I slowly assemble all the elements I'll be using again and again to tie the visual theme together... Soon I'll be contemplating some new things to make as well,...such as marble benches, rounded tables, and fluted columns...
     
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