In Progress Central Riverlands Megabuild by Ravish, Ric and Scubooty

Ric

Ser
Hey everyone!

Me, RavishMeRed and Scubooty are applying for a megabuild in the Riverlands, with the intention of redoing the areas of Hogg Hall and Harrentown and finishing Bigglestone, Butterwell, Chambers and Whitewalls. More details can be found in the document. To make it clear, we are NOT applying for Harrenhal itself yet, but this megabuild will serve to prepare the way to the server build :)

To check the app, click the banner:
1652143853455.png

Thanks,
Rav, Ric & Scub
 

EStoop

Steward of Oldtown, Knight of Fairmarket
Hey Rav, Ric and Scub,

Nice plans! One point of critique from me though:
I think it's a mistake to start the immediate area around Harrenhal without having at least some plans for the castle itself. The plans for Harrentown confine future efforts to update Harrenhal not only to the current footprint, but also anything that will be added as part of the town and it's surroundings. If previous serverbuilds have taught us anything it's that it is already hard enough to make a location fit canon without these confinements.
 

Ric

Ser
Hey Stoop! Thanks for the comments, we appreciate it.

Answering your point, we actually already have some initial plans for Harrenhal in mind, that will be included in the soon(ish) to be post app. And besides we understand that the town areas can be seen as independent entities, since despite the proximity we do plan on some space between the houses and the castles' walls, with the work on the warcamp part being easily changeable if needed. Any detail that might be dependent on the castle layout will be able to be postponed as well.
We have also decided that the areas immediatly to the north and to the east of the castle should be left for later (there's a couple hamlets and fields planned for them), making sure that the future redo will have room to expand both to the north and to the southeast/east if needed.
 

Emoticone11

The Dark Lord Sauron
Hey, sorry about the delay, I finally got a chance to read through the document in detail and look at the tests. Per Stoop's comment, I think that you should aim to have a 'minimal' wool sketch of Harrenhal in place that takes into account all the necessary canon before working on Harrentown and the surrounding area. I also left some pretty minor stylistic feedback on some of the tests at /warp Harrenhaltest. Other than those things, I'm happy to jump on as an approving mod.

Before you begin, could you also clarify your anticipated workflow for terraforming? My personal suggestion would be tackling the megabuild in stages, i.e., don't wipe or redo any existing terrain or builds until a previous segment is near completion.
 

RavishMeRed

Printmaker
Pronouns
he/him
Hey Emote, thank you for your feedback.
On behalf of Ric and Scubooty:
  • The suggestions regarding Harrenhal are quite mutual. We are currently in the process of gathering canon information to piece together an accurate layout for the castle. Our current course of action is to expand the castle to the northeast and eastern currently occupied areas, if such expansion is needed.
  • Our anticipated workflow for terraforming is to begin in the northern sector of the megabuild and move clockwise around the lake once those areas have been completed.
  • The planning of Harrenhal and Harrentown will be simultaneous, and one will not start without the other. In the future, we are hoping to open hamlets in the northern forested area when the terraforming in the sector is complete. This area is far enough away from the Harrenhal/Harrentown section that it will not affect it in creation.
 

CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
Confirming I’m happy to jump on as an approving mod as well, confident that you three can give the region the love and care it's so overdue for.

Given you'll be working as a team of three, I think it would be worthwhile having some kind of procedure in place if any of the team has an extended absence from the server. This would be to avoid having a situation where a major part of the project stalls because the person who was managing it doesn't have the free time to work on it. I'll defer to you guys how you want to address it, but it could be something like if someone's absent for more than a month, then the other two can step in to make decisions in their place. Whatever you decide on, best to discuss it from the outset so everyone's on the same page.

Re: Harrenhal, I would focus on figuring out the general footprint first so you can atleast make a start on planning Harrentown before the layout of the internal castle structures are figured out (as that might take a while).

Otherwise I would echo Emote's point about holding off on nuking anything until you're ready to work on it. Would suggest touching base with Codd when he's back about his ideas for the area as well.

Looking forward to seeing your progress!
 

Ric

Ser
Hey everyone! Just a few updates:

First of all, as most have already noticed, Harrenhal was nuked. We decided to nuke it after coming up with the layout we are happy with. The decision was made so that the terra of the area could be reworked properly and that the work in the town could progress in a more secure way. Floating near the place the castle was you can find the layout we plan on. The old Harrenhal can still be visited at /warp HarrenhalOld, in the old map, and the Scavangers Hunt has been updated to skip the clue that was located there.

Second thing is that work is progressing steadly, mostly in Harrentown itself. Jakethesnake8_8 has been helping with the streams and we are slowly working in the forest area.

And last but not least we decided to open Bigglestone for applications. Anyone interested in applying should read our application document to check the requirements and what we want done in the area. Anything that doesn't exclude or conflict with what we want or the canon (which is already in our doc too) can be added, but it will require ours + an approving mod approval.

If any questions please feel free to ask one of us :)

Thanks,
Rav, Ric & Scub
 

Ric

Ser
Hey everyone!

Before all: we have decided, after discussing it with him some minor points, to approve Jakethesnake8_8 application for Bigglestone! Now you need the approval of either Emoticone11 or CashBanks.

Taking the opportunity, a few updates on the progress of the project:

Harrentown is still under plotting, but it should be close to done and soon the construction will begin. To the north, thanks to Jakes effort, the main river in the area is now largely done. Around the same area we decided to open a small canon hamlet as a test for the style (/warp harrenorchardham). The plots are already done, but everyone's free to look around and give feedback if any!

Thanks,
Ric
 

Scubooty

Bookbinder
Hey everyone, we've just opened up some Special Builds and Minis for builders to apply for! For the special builds, there is an abandoned Whent hunting lodge as well as a Market Hall within Harrentown, builders can test for these and notify any of the leads for approval. There are three Minis open for application on the forums, they are, an old first men ringfort once belonging to House Strong, as well as, a fortified farmstead, and a hamlet. All the minis and specials are marked on the Dynmap with markers, leave a tag and/or a post on the thread for your applications!

Thanks,
Scub
 

Jakethesnake8_8

Aeromancer
Pronouns
he/him
Hey everyone!

Before all: we have decided, after discussing it with him some minor points, to approve Jakethesnake8_8 application for Bigglestone! Now you need the approval of either Emoticone11 or CashBanks.

Taking the opportunity, a few updates on the progress of the project:

Harrentown is still under plotting, but it should be close to done and soon the construction will begin. To the north, thanks to Jakes effort, the main river in the area is now largely done. Around the same area we decided to open a small canon hamlet as a test for the style (/warp harrenorchardham). The plots are already done, but everyone's free to look around and give feedback if any!

Thanks,
Ric
*Bump*
 
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Hello!

First congratulations guys for this project! It's a really exciting mega build :D

I'm frustrated I couldn't make this post a bit sooner before the building began, but the past half year I was very busy and didn't even realise this was being done. But I guess better late than never.

I have some feedback to give and I'll try my best to make it as summarised and clear as possible.

1- Starting with roads and gates. The current layout doesn't make sense to me, for 3 reasons:

Gates of a city/town wall were only constructed based on the roads that joined at the location and necessity to leave the walled in area and lack of exit for a big distance. Right now the gates you have have somewhat redundant positions, looking at the two gates in the western wall they not only are very close in distance to each other, they also branch out roads that go in the same southwest direction with the northernmost one looking like a secondary field road. My suggestion for these 2 would be to create one gate that has one clear larger road heading southwest to the bridge (the bridge being more upstream than it is right now).

Second reason is the main square not being anywhere near the crossroad of the main roads, yes main squares have all shapes and sizes and some of them appear in very odd areas (although these cases usually relate to irregular geography) but 99% of the time not only were they pretty central the main roads would join in the square too, and right now the main square you plotted sits in a slightly awkward position (while this town is in a very flat area), only one of the roads that merge in the square is a main one coming from the gate and going to the castle gate, the others are secondary. The shape of the square looks like this:

R826R-full.jpg

A shape that should be avoided at all times for squares that aren't in cities since only then could there be a bigger public construction work that has planning and people designing the space, besides that squares would only appear where naturally quicker and easier paths for roads would appear (like slime mold). Here are some examples of various "centres" of settlements:


Mind you these squares can be even more diverse with the planning of secondary roads etc but I didn't want to waste too much time on it.

Third reason is that the roads just don't have a natural look to them. There shouldn't be any "city block" type of plotting, those are reserved for the largest cities we have on this map and really only in the centre and they still would be a lot more organic and following the existing natural roads, in the plotting you made you have houses arranging themselves around blocks when they would arrange themselves around the roads. I did a very quick and simplified plotting of how structures could interact with roads:

houses.jpeg

The thickness of the roads also should be changed, the bigger roads should be the main ones coming from the gates and heading to the castle gate, and still there should be a hierarchy, 1 will probably be the widest and the other 2 smaller depending on the importance of the road.

Here's a suggestion of a layout based on all of the points above, mind you a lot of it has creative ideas of mine to change up a bit some aspects, so those can be completely disregarded, the main thing is just the feedback I gave (with the palisade continuing on the lake side and a harbour that would be just a promenade with a wooden wall (idk how those are called, the walls in harbours that go to the water so ships can sail close and unload resources) with no jutting out piers the boats here would be pretty small so no ships so the need for wood piers that stretch inside the water doesn't make sense to me since the water lake isn't too shallow for the smalll boats):

map.png

1660161566180.png

Harbour sort of like this but a lot less developed with wooden palisade instead of stone wall etc.

2- Size of the town:

-For me the discussion around the sizes of towns are never about the actual square block the town occupies but more so how the town interacts with the area in terms of scale and plotting. I pasted my own town of Starpike near Harrentown to get a sense of scale since nowadays I don't leave that area at all so the scales and proportions are always off for me.

2022-08-10_17.27.03.png

Starpike town being a smaller town is from my (very superficial) calculations around 2/5 of Harrentown it's slightly bigger than a third but not quite half so two fifths is the measure I came up. When I counted the structures that I have (doesn't include structures like firewood sheds, cart sheds, stables, work sheds, thatch storage sheds, cemetery, extensions of the houses like storage buildings, etc) it amounts to 26. Currently Harrentown has 141 unique structures that correspond to different households/buildings, if Harrentown had the same building density as Starpike town, it would have 65 unique structures less than half of what it currently has. And the main reason for this is the lack of utility buildings, road space, yard space, and general working space for people to walk around with carts, produce, places to store wood, barrels, animals, random necessities and utilities, places to store carts, wagons and other means of transportation, farming equipment, places for industry to happen, this town is large enough to have at least 1 industrial complex of something that gets exported (be it pottery, a tanner, a large trader, etc). Here are 2 screenshots from Kingdom Come Deliverance of houses from a far smaller village (skalitz to be exact):


Now this happens more on flatter terrain where there is more free space to utilise, but even then all settlements should have some sort of plotting that takes into account a layout like this, because for people to work and live in they need space to do it, and places to utilize for all the functions they need that I've listed above. And right now the plotting you have doesn't translate that.


(All the examples I showed aren't to deal with style but layout and plotting only)

3- Houses:

I've mentioned already the plotting in relation to road layout but now I will expand upon the topic above I was talking about. There should be a ban of houses with a 5 blocks big wall, unless it's a very poor but longer like you can see in the rightmost house of the level I houses in the manor lords tweet, and like a shack type of house almost all houses should have a configuration of 6x(number bigger than 6 if it's not a square layout) or a 7x(number bigger than 7 if it's not a square layout) or larger of course. These houses wouldn't suffice for anyone to live in and I know we like to think that medieval time corresponds to super tight living spaces, but they weren't as small as we make them, the problem was it was a lot of people living inside them (specially in cities, other settlements like towns and villages they generally had more space than the current below-average city dweller in an apartment), buildings 5 wide can be storehouses, utility buildings and other structures, I'm not saying there aren't cases where a house being 5 wide doesn't work, but it should be a lot less common than we make them.

2022-08-10_17.50.58.png

Even the poorest farmer in this settlement would have maybe a longer house with some type of shed, if you place a shed here then you make it difficult to enter the yard space.

In general there's a huge lack of space and empty places too like grass between roads and houses and other spots where it would just be empty. the main roads are narrow and the secondary roads are wide and too regular, houses are too on top of the roads in places of less density (away from main roads and big trading areas). Houses should keep a fairly simple and geometric layout based in rectangles with branching rectangles of other structures that belong to the house and not like corner houses:

2022-08-10_17.51.38.png

Lastly I like the idea of the palisade but the execution isn't great, I think you can modify a bit specially the inside of the wall, look up images of kingdom come deliverance a lot of the settlements there have palisades that look great with nice gatehouses too (skalitz for example).

2022-08-10_17.51.51.png


You can stick with the log design but just make the inside of the palisade higher than the outside and make the walkway like the first and second images show maybe.

I think that's all for now, I hope I wasn't too annoying with this and I'm sorry again for not writing this sooner when the planning stage was happening, but I also didn't want to not say anything because not only is it an awesome project in an iconic location but also cuz I think ya'll have really creative ideas and very good building skill, so this is me trying to help in anyway I can. Also any feedback that I give that maybe wrong or historically inaccurate please do let me know.

Thanks for reading!
Seri
 

DutchGuard

Shadowbinder
Pronouns
he/him
To be fair to seri, Harrentown is very much in development, not many of the specifics were planned in advance, so we don't really have much choice but to give feedback on the town as it is being planned at 1:1 scale in game. I wouldn't blame yourself for not commenting sooner.

I fully agree on point 1, especially on the back of my previous comments about the town being developed organically and slightly chaotically.
I also agree with points 2 and 3, especially with regards to density. The whole town should operate almost as the outer bailey or yard of the castle, there should be lots more "air" between plots in general. Again, this suits the unplanned nature of the town.

I disagree that the palisade wall should be more developed however, again, this contradicts the haphazard history of town development, though some leftover earthworks from previous periods might be appropriate.

I also wondered if there might not be more houses built against the walls of Harrenhal itself. Unlike other castles, there is no danger of the houses becoming points of entry or fire hazards for the castle because the walls are so high. I doubt the Whents, or the families before them, bothered clearing lean-to housing against the walls. It would also aesthetically reinforce the "flea on a dogs back" visual for the town.
 
F

FD001__

I agree with Seri about the town's layout. Harrentown should have a parasitic nature with Harrenhal, living off of it with houses crowding against the wall.

I think the square to the NW of the town could be removed, and the new focal points of the town would be at the town hall and the main gate.
Harrentown plan copy.png
Light red - Palisade
Light blue - fields/pastures
Orange - dwellings/structures, varying in density
Brown - roads paths
Black - Harrenhal
Yellow - Focal points/squares

Made this quick sketch plan of how it could work - with the big open fields within the palisade, then moving further inwards the town becomes denser. The two smaller squares would be developed around the most important parts of the towns surroundings; Harrenhal and the God's Eye. Not sure how those squares could work however.
 
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Scubooty

Bookbinder
Thanks, Seri, Dutch, and Finn, for the feedback! We have discussed and considered the different points brought up and have come to some conclusions at this time.

To begin with, many of the features of Harrentown are very WIP that includes the roads palisades and, even plotting of certain areas. However, all feedback we have received we will try and respond to in a manner that is sufficient yet also still fits within the original intent for the town. This project is unique because it revolves around a town that has evolved differently than some in Westeros, as such, any elements of a town that may be expected elsewhere on the server are not necessarily applicable in the same ways. This is because Harrentown has been built in waves over time as it has passed between different houses within short succession and now is in ruin.

Starting to break down the feedback we have decided that two of the gates on the Western side should be merged into one. The previous roads were made very early in the planning and we realized after seeing the feedback that they were somewhat redundant as well. Regarding the square, it was meant to be built at a later date after the town had expanded beyond its former size. However, we have opted to keep a sept there and removed that square in favor of the other two already within the town. The roads within the walls are relatively reasonable since the town has expanded over time the current streets are actually the rural farm roads that separated fields and over time have become utilized within the growing town. With some of the changes already implemented in response to the feedback given this is going to be a more evident design.
Moving on from the streets to the walls/docks, the palisade like much of the town is not supposed to be the most effective or the prettiest. The palisade walls will not separate the town from the docks particularly because it is not meant to be defended from the water, given that it is not on the sea it would not receive larger ships. That being said the size of the piers themselves (mainly the stone ones) are from the time of Harrenhall’s conception, keeping with the theme of being over the top and quite unnecessary.
Additionally, the town will have had industries within, the spaces between the houses are multi-purpose yards that would be utilized by the multiple plots surrounding them. We believe the town does have space for many different professions as well as simple agriculture. There are the aforementioned multi-purpose yards and then further near the edges, the town becomes less dense. This was in the original layout and can still be seen in the current updated plan. Also, it's worth noting that both the yards and houses, due to the destruction and current occupation of the town, will have only hints of their former use, now being abandoned and/or destroyed and burned.
Regarding the density itself, the buildings are mostly at very common sizes for the server there are plenty of plots at projects like Highgarden and Gaunt that showcase small sizes like 6x10. Again going back to the roads themselves being too large or lacking vegetation, they are by no means a final representation.
Lastly, the area between the town and castle walls is currently a buffer until the castle walls and gates in the area are more finalized. We have considered the idea and will continue to experiment with its implementation.

Thanks,
Scub, Ric, and Rav
 
Thank you for the response Scub! Although I feel the answers aren't that clear, let me explain why.

You begin by saying this:

This project is unique because it revolves around a town that has evolved differently than some in Westeros, as such, any elements of a town that may be expected elsewhere on the server are not necessarily applicable in the same ways. This is because Harrentown has been built in waves over time as it has passed between different houses within short succession and now is in ruin.

And I do agree with this to some extent, Dutch described a very interesting way of creating this different looking town by making it seem like a parasite against the castles walls or at least the gate that's inside the town. This idea makes sense given the nature of the area and it's war history. But the rest of the ways you guys went about the plotting of the town aren't being backed up by reasoning of this nature. What has war and chaos impacted for the town to be plotted like this?:

2022-08-15_15.50.45.png

Since it's always being destroyed and rebuilt resulting in a much smaller population than most towns, why are houses clustered together in areas that aren't really directly accessible to the castle and it's protection? Why don't houses have each their own yard and working space? The crops can be shared yes but I still don't see the reason for this and you also didn't provide with enough argumentation for a plotting like this, you actually provided counter arguments against this, reminding of the war ridden history which makes it a lot less developed and less dense than most towns.

The roads within the walls are relatively reasonable since the town has expanded over time the current streets are actually the rural farm roads that separated fields and over time have become utilized within the growing town. With some of the changes already implemented in response to the feedback given this is going to be a more evident design.

The only roads that should be 5 or more blocks wide should be the brown ones and the orange one that I don't know why you guys didn't connect it to the gate but had it like it is circled in white. All the other "urban" roads (meaning they'd have carts, wagons and people passing) should be around 3 to 4 blocks wide (mainly 3) and the rest where only people would walk on should be around 2 and 1 wide, the ones I circled in green should be around 3 wide. And since the idea is to make it so the past field roads have been reutilised as streets than the wideness of them distances the idea from the execution, the materialisation of the idea isn't fully successful.

2022-08-15_16.03.53-cópia.png

And regarding this part:

Regarding the square, it was meant to be built at a later date after the town had expanded beyond its former size.

I know you eventually removed the square, but this is more in terms of the idea itself. Wouldn't it make more sense if harrentwon has had a very similar area of settling since it's always being destroyed and rebuilt? They would use the foundations of the previous structures and salvageable building materials from the previous structures in the same locations, it would actually be fun to see houses having a very layered and obviously built upon look from remnants and previous structures that have been destroyed. So the idea of construction projects expanding the town into further land space seems a bit counterproductive in the sense that you guys want to create a town that feels very built-upon, destroyed, built on top, destroyed, built on top, destroyed, built on top, etc. It would be very interesting to have very strange stone foundations reminiscing of the Harren times where maybe they built some structures that now have plank shacks with thatch roofs on top of them.

Moving on from the streets to the walls/docks, the palisade like much of the town is not supposed to be the most effective or the prettiest.

When I made the feedback about the palisade it wasn't with the intention of making it pretty, lord knows I never liked and never did building with the sole purpose of making it pretty, it's realism, logic and looking good above all (looking good is different than looking pretty). Specially in this town which I feel like about 0.1% of it should be considered pretty ahah. My feedback was more in the sense of the design itself being bad. The fences look very busy and the walkways look weird with the slabs. My feedback would be to do something like Alex and endy did in Beresford which not only looks better it also looks a lot more natural and amateur hand made or try a design that emulates something like this while making it more dingy and amateur made:

stock-photo-medieval-wooden-fence-made-of-palisade-1035386752.jpg

Additionally, the town will have had industries within, the spaces between the houses are multi-purpose yards that would be utilized by the multiple plots surrounding them. We believe the town does have space for many different professions as well as simple agriculture. There are the aforementioned multi-purpose yards and then further near the edges, the town becomes less dense.

Industry doesn't work like this. You'd have more than these 2 but the main 2 ways of industry are domestic and industrial. Domestic, the owner of the industry would have a workshop in their yard with all the buildings necessary for such, and if it's in an urban area they would have a shop area usually very open onto the main street, if it's in a more rural area the consumers would just go into the working area and buy the products on display. This way the family might employ apprentices if the commerce is large enough to support such, but it would still be the private area of the owning family. An industrial complex would have a large area with large buildings to sustain a production suit for exporting. Now the spaces between houses not only don't have enough space to even be able to consider it domestic industry (would be more of self sustain domestic practices like weaving baskets for the family or creating leather shoes for the family as well) they also cannot be considered industrial sized since an industrial complex wouldn't have a block of houses around it in the way you created the house blocks. Multi-purpose yards don't create industry, they can house communal crops, communal areas, laundering spaces etc, but houses still need their private yards for their domestic necessities (firewood cutting, storage of their personal carts and tools, etc). So to summarise, a Cartwright wouldn't have their work space inside a block of other houses, the work space would be behind the house with an access from the main road right next to the house with a medium large yard for the Cartwright to work with fences all around or some light separation. And industry wouldn't happen inside a block of houses too.

Regarding the density itself, the buildings are mostly at very common sizes for the server there are plenty of plots at projects like Highgarden and Gaunt that showcase small sizes like 6x10

The existence of something in previous projects doesn't make it so we should continue with the practice forever. But besides, both examples you described follow the exact measures I was talking about. Harrentown has around 11 5x8 houses, Gaunt has none with all the structures that are 5 wide being farm buildings and utility buildings, and in Highgarden a very high density town (which imo makes it more reasonable to have slimmer and expanding upwards houses) having about 2 houses with a 5 wide facade but having a 10 long side. In general I feel your houses could be longer as apposed to bigger.

Finally I'd say to look into tumbleton, Luk did an amazing job of making a town that's been rebuilt and that translates a less dense town sitting in the remnants of a destroyed one.

Thank you for reading!

Seri