Building the Metropolis of Beran's Reach

Discussion in 'Player Owned Towns' started by Duke Vallas [BEAR], Jul 21, 2014.

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  1. Duke Vallas [BEAR]

    Duke Vallas [BEAR] Avatar

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    All,

    A while ago, we made the announcement that we had secured the Metropolis of Beran's Reach. This was the first effective class player settlement of its kind, however its sheer size presenting an obvious design challenge. As a result we've been quietly working away on ideas ever since.

    Shortly afterwards, we formed a small design team which was tasked with working up a concept for our little slice of the world. What did we want to build? What feeling did we want to give 'the Reach' and what would make it stand out?
    It's clear that so early on in SOTA's development that what there are no guarantees that our thoughts and ideas would ever make it into release. The recent hangout hinted towards a certain level of standardisation regarding templates, a sennsible move considering the 40+ Player Towns which have been sold. However we've carrying on regardless, treating this as much as anything as a creative exercise to push the boundaries. It can't hurt but try!

    Why are we posting this thread? We're interested in gauging a bit of feedback while taking on board input from across the community. We're at the stage where we have a basic concept, now it's time to flesh it out a bit. We'll be using this thread to keep everyone up-to-date with our progress while providing a bit of a forum for constructive discussion. Our design team will use any feedback here to make revisions to the design as we go forward.

    Even if it doesn't make it into the finished release, we're hoping that the following discussions will set the scene for Beran's Reach to be shaped and moulded into something special.

    Initial Concept - "Beran's Reach - A travel guide

    The metropolis of Beran's Reach is an imposing sight for any traveller who ventures out to travel the roads of New Britannia. Placed upon a headland, encircled by thick walls and flanked on two sides by unassailable cliffs and roaring sea, the settlement is the embodiment of power. As a testament to its qualities as a fortress, it is said that no army has breached its defences during its turbulent history.

    This bastion is perhaps the reason behind the culture embraced by Beran's Reach's citizens. Often direct and uncomplicated, those that dwell within its walls often have a hard, resilient reputation. Yet this trait does not mean that it's people are cold. Quite the opposite, a warm welcome can be found in abundance. Perhaps nowhere more than within the famous establishment of The Bear Tavern, a notable building which dominates the metropolis skyline. Here you can certainly find a warm fire and listen to the many stories of locals and fellow travellers alike. A must for the aspiring visitor.

    The environs of Beran's Reach are urban, compact and frequently chaotic. The homes of sprung up to take advantage of every space within the vast defences, creating a maze of streets and passages. The compact size of the city means that the poorest and the richest environs are but a stones throw away, intermingling all strata of society. Where these meet a vibrant range of shops and entertainments can be found, appealing to a diverse range of tastes. Save for the walls, the only notable extension is that of the small port of Porth Mae. This sleepy fishing village lies within a cove at the base of steep cliffs, accessible only by the famed 'fish gate' of Beran's Reach. While primarily a working port bringing in goods for the Metropolis, its little fishing cottages make it an a picturesque place of calm away from hubbub of city life.

    As a result of both its security and size, Beran's Reach is a sizeable economic hub. Home to adventurers and merchants alike, fed with gold from distant lands and supplied with exotic goods from all corners of the world, it is a wonderful city for the aspiring explorer. Its trade markets and boutique shops provide a treasure trove of curiosities just waiting to be discovered. This makes it a common stop over for many a band of adventurers who wish to equip and prepare themselves for their next excursion. Come market day, the streets commonly swell with all manner or Warrior and Mage, all looking to make a deal.

    Aside from its rich trading heritage, this cosmopolitan metropolis is a maze of industry of innovation. The narrow streets and winding passageways play host to innumerable workshops and craft halls. The strong, independent culture of those that dwell within 'the Reach' is the catalyst of a hive of activity, with every household providing a veritable cottage industry. From mysterious options to the finest in bows and armour, much can be found by those willing to explore.

    In closing, Beran's Reach is an exciting, diverse Metropolis which offers the visitor a myriad of sights and sounds. From the tight, bustling architecture, to the buzz of the markets, all can be found within its daunting walls and vast fortifications. I implore you to com. Who knows, you may be tempted to stay.

    The weary traveller"


    Government system - Two-part government, City Council (representative), High Council (executive).

    Administration - Volunteer administrative, led by nominated representatives.

    Military - Volunteer militia and citizen soldiery.

    Environ - Coastal, situated on a headland which dominates the surrounding countryside. Seaward, the metropolis lies above a cove which contains a small fishing village which acts as the primary port. Landward, the approach is blocked a sheer natural cliff face, on which the outer wall is situated. The main route of access is via shallow incline to the main gate (Kernow Gate), leading up from the kings road. A narrow secondary gate (the Folly Steps) leads from a narrow clifftop path on the other side of the Metropolis.

    Plot allocations - Heavy emphasis on urban housing.

    Castle plots - 1
    Keep plots - 1
    City plots - 3 (1 ship)
    Town plots - 15 (1 ship)
    Village plots - 51 (1 lighthouse)
    Row plots - 93

    Initial sketch - Here you can see the general laydown of how we are attempting to lay out Beran's Reach. Given the idea that we wanted the enclosed, urban feel of a walled city, we're attempting to go for a design that's quite compact.

    [​IMG]

    We've come across two challenges with this build. Firstly that the placement of houses doesn't take into account overlapping or curved buildings which are fairly common in medieval cityscapes (making the most of available space). Secondly and more interestingly, despite the Metropolis being the largest player settlement available we found ironically that we were running out of buildings! This meant that we've been struggling with trying to get the 'feel' of a large settlement with the allocation available.

    Our solution? Firstly, as per the brief we've gone for an outer wall as part of the design. This both suits the background concept while helping to help draw the buildings closer together, creating a more confined space. In terms of building placement, we've gone for a high percentage of lower-level housing both to further the urban design and to start to carve out a good proportion of streets, lanes and passageways. As you can see, the design incorporates a very loose sense of zoning from the poorer districts to the more expensive, with little segregation. This we hope will provide a range of environments that will naturally evolve as homes and businesses spring up to cater to a wide variety of clientele. Rather than assign specific business, industrial and residential quarters, we're looking to give people the space to make the most out of their plots. This will give an interesting environment for visitors to explore.

    It was widely felt that water access would be a significant bonus, in part to provide a viable avenue to meet the likely supply needs that come with a substantial settlement. As a result, we amended the design at an early stage to include a small port, Porth Mae (catering to those of a nautical persuasion). This led to fairly radical rethinking of the setting for Beran's Reach, moving to what we hope would be a coastal scene that delivers a striking location.

    First Rough Cut - We're in the early stages of putting this into a working location. Our lead modeller Dallanar has been tirelessly working to carve out the design in the Unity engine, slowly forming Beran's Reach out of the available resources. It's far from finished, however we're making steady progress. The latest design features the makings of a waterfall and the seaward cove. This will be reworked and refined with further work seeing on shaping the landward cliffs and the approaches. The metropolis will no doubly also change shape as feedback rolls in.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, what do you think? What feedback or comments would you like to make? We're due to continue to work on this for the forseeable future, making what we hope to be regular updates as time goes on. We'd very much like to encourage others with design experience to get involved with our little project as there is no shortage of work! Further, we'd love to have further creative support to help provide Beran's Reach with a bit more flavour.

    Additional feedback can be provided at our website which can be found here.

    All the best,

    V
     
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  2. Kvothe Kingkiller

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    Looks quite outstanding so far! Cant wait to see it in person. Keep up the good work!
     
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  3. Duke Vallas [BEAR]

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    Many thanks. :)
     
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  4. Markus Sevron

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    Very nice work Dallanar.
     
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  5. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    True.. Dallanar did do the work on the unity model. Nice job.

    Great write up as well Vallas. You guys have been busy, first I've seen all this. Must say I'm impressed.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
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  6. pinzasso

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    Great work so far. Look forward to the finished product.
     
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  7. Duke Vallas [BEAR]

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    Fingers crossed we'll be able to get a revised version out in the next couple of weeks. Once we've got something solid we'll update it here. :)
     
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  8. Anosa Saycosie of Gilnea

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    Spaghetti Wednesdays on Tuesdays....dreams do come true.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Vodalion [BEAR]

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    impressive work and a big heads up to the design team !

    I´m looking forward to fill these streets with life - together with all the other nice people of Beran´s Reach and the Bear Tavern !
     
  10. Bambino LudoVate

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    Thanks for the compliments and support everyone, Its been hard keeping this the design teams little secret, but we wanted something solid to start from prior to releasing the info to everyone. Now that we have a good starting point, time to tear it apart with critiques and make the adjustments needed.
     
  11. monxter

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    Wow... now this is looking great.
    Can't wait to see this city come to life and pay a visit!

    Have you thought of adding some pools or ponds inside the city?
     
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  12. Bambino LudoVate

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    Thanks Monxter, inside the inner walls is far from finished right now, wanted to make sure that our layout was sufficient and wanted that compact feel to it, right now its a little open looking due to not a whole lot of assets besides the housing, but once finished it should all be there.
     
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  13. OrionSnake

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    Looks magnificent!
     
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  14. Bambino LudoVate

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    Thank you from all of us on the Design Team. :)
     
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  15. Mata

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    very nice your metropolis Beran Reach.
    I am really looking forward to visit you.

    where does the dwarf blacksmith Dwalin Bruchberg? :D
    he has been around for a few days my armor, I need them at last.
     
  16. Bow Vale

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    Very impressive indeed. Liking the whole design. The walls will give it a great secure feel and the living trading area within is very well designed. The best bit though is the addition of the port and the path to. Really all well done.
     
  17. Duke Vallas [BEAR]

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    Many thanks! Development is continuing at a decent pace. :)
     
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  18. Bambino LudoVate

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    I do believe an update will be coming soon. Much has already changed.
     
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  19. Lord Karl

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    Now that is awesome!!
     
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  20. Ravenclaw [BEAR]

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    Feels like Christmas when I was young.. Is 'soon' almost here. ;)
     
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