In Progress Central Riverlands Megabuild by Ravish, Ric and Scubooty

DutchGuard

Shadowbinder
Pronouns
he/him
I was also going to suggest Tumbleton as being the perfect town to model Harrentown on, as it was also destroyed and rebuilt.

I also have to slightly contest this comment:
That being said the size of the piers themselves (mainly the stone ones) are from the time of Harrenhall’s conception
I really don't think Harrentown was planned in conjunction with the castle. The castle is large enough (more than large enough) to operate entirely independently of a town, and there is enough canon to support this. This doubly true because you are planning a mooring inside the castle, reducing the need for formally planned piers in the town.

I do have to admit that all this discussion is maybe a little bit overkill because most of the town will be in ruins, so its going to be especially difficult to observe the original town plan.

I was also wondering if you could elaborate on the Lannister camp in the town you mention. I would have thought there would be enough space inside the castle to host the army, though a few tents around the town would definitely enhance the war damaged look.
 

Deiniol

Poet
Pronouns
he/him
Hello Ric, Ravish, and Scub,

Here's my application for the House Strong mini. For a better look, it can be found on my plot at /warp Deiniol.

I haven't added plants within the concentric ditches for consistency's sake, as I don't know what plants are going to be used for the surrounding forests. But the breaks in the outer wall, marked with green wool, would have more mature plants, whilst the rest of the inner ditch will contain younger or pioneer (ruderal) plants.

Hope to hear from you soon.

 
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Wazgamer

Lord Paramount of The Riverlands
Pronouns
they/them
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:

View attachment 13253

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:

View attachment 13254

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):

View attachment 13258

View attachment 13260

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.

View attachment 13255

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.

View attachment 13256

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:

View attachment 13257

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).

View attachment 13259


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
Seri could you elaborate on where you got this information? I love looking into Medieval settlement planning.
Also maybe compile this into a guide for people to reference better
Thanks!
 
I've been meaning to make a guide (in the beginning I planned on making one for my probies but the idea grew into just being a general westeroscraft things guide) but I have not been able to make it due to not having enough time to do so. You usually don't find a lot of articles and how to documents on how to create a realistic medieval settlement. All the information and knowledge I gathered has been through countless hours of studying maps, articles, university thesis's, medieval representation in books and paintings, historical recreations of models, in real life locations where the general layout has more or less retained a medieval realism and authenticity.

The last few months the biggest inspiration and source of information and accurate realistic portrayals of medieval settlements has been kingdom come deliverance the game. It is crazy accurate in terms of almost everything from the houses to the materials, road layouts, fences, buildings, moats, defensive structures, farming, etc etc. The only thing is that it just needs a stylistic and geographical interpretation, meaning, using all the realism in it and translate it into a reach reality, or a north reality or crownlands etc... since KCD is only set in Bohemia. For example, for Starpike I used a lot of learning from KCD but then I transformed that with the help of documents describing medieval France, the Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle, descriptions of French medieval life (all of these entered around southern France) and models and recreation imagery.

The main advice I can give in a general sense would be to study and research before doing. When plotting a settlement look at at least 4 or 5 images of either historical research on medieval settlements, accurate medieval models, medieval paintings and representations, or other forms of imagery and text-based descriptions. When plotting a granary study about it, where would they be built, were they made of stone or wood? who took care of them and where did they reside? Does it need space around it or can it be adjacent to other buildings?. When plotting a row of houses should they be attached or separate? In the area that I'm basing from as inspiration what examples do I have of medieval houses? What professions do each have and what do they need to do said professions? Let's see a Cooper, they construct and mend barrels, tubs and other large or small vats where heating wood and folding is a big part of the process. First they need a shed to work, they need a place to store their large wooden planks and they have to be dry so either a small storage house or if it's a poorer Cooper a thatch shed will do, they need a place to heat the wood. I won't go on for long but this is the thought process I have not when building but when planning and plotting, because it will lead to worse plotting if you trust the builder to use in a logical way the house plot and the yard plot to create a realistic medieval house complex with a profession, it's good to have a sense from the beginning of how many sheds there needs to be, if a small kiln is necessary, a storage room, a cart shed, etc houses should not just be a sole house!!! even the lowest farmer will have a firewood shed or a tiny wooden plank granary!

I really like this site for layouts:


The Dictionnaire raisonné de l’architecture française du XIe au XVIe siècle is very very important. Yes, it is based on French architecture but it can be used on any region in Westeros with the information and knowledge provided, but be aware to not start creating French chateaus and French cottages in the riverlands, all examples should always pass through an interpretation process based on geography style and other factors. You can find information about everything here, from churches, monasteries, architectural elements, building techniques, walls, towers, bridges, doors, castles, granaries,and a lot more, with scales and measurements too:

https://fr.m.wikisource.org/wiki/Dictionnaire_raisonné_de_l’architecture_française_du_XIe_au_XVIe_siècle/Index_alphabétique_-_A

Other sites I reccomend:




(Mind you the representations here are a lot more geometric than they would appear irl, here's an example of a settlement that would be represented with hard straight lines but in reality it would be a lot more organic https://sarahhayesdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/model-13.jpg)

This thread is a good start too:


This site is very good in terms of images that recreate a realistic medieval setting:


Arda has really good guides too!:


I love these recreations:


This site is good to also understand medieval life:


This one is by the French ministry of culture, and it's good to find structures in France by century, type of structure etc


A pretty big article about medieval cities that I haven't finished reading:


This is a site of all the medieval windmills in France:


I would've liked to make a more planned and thorough response to your question but I can only give you this at the moment. But the main key element to take from this is research!! The funky looking sites with weird text and medieval heraldry sometimes are the best source coming from medieval history enthusiasts and geeks!

Thank you for reading,

Seri
 
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Deiniol

Poet
Pronouns
he/him
Hello Ric, Ravish, and Scub,

Here's my application for the House Strong mini. For a better look, it can be found on my plot at /warp Deiniol.

I haven't added plants within the concentric ditches for consistency's sake, as I don't know what plants are going to be used for the surrounding forests. But the breaks in the outer wall, marked with green wool, would have more mature plants, whilst the rest of the inner ditch will contain younger or pioneer (ruderal) plants.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Bump

Edit: I've just noticed you've left melons on my test, I'll get on with addressing them over the next couple of days.
 
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Ric

Ser
Hey everyone! Going to take this opportunity to give an official answer and a couple announcements:

To answer Seris points:
First about the plotting, we still think the plotting style we decided on is valid and can work well. The houses would share the central yards for food growing and their domestic industry if appropriate, if other spaces more private in some instances. It's also worth saying that all of the houses and their yards will be destroyed and pillaged. Very few things will be able to be clearly distinguished on what they were before the attack. Finally, in this map we could find a very close equivalent of what we are aiming for on plotting regards:
1663272263006.png
Regarding the roads, as said in our previous answer, their shape and size weren't final. We have since worked on them though and now they should be closer to a proper width.
Concerning the houses size, we have reworked some of the plotting to take that into account, as well as some changes to the road plotting allowing that as well.
Finally, about the palisade, we decided to rework it. We don't have much to say on it, but keep in mind that the current shape is not final.

Now on Dutchs points, about the Lannister camp, we do agree that Harrenhal probably has enough space to hold the army inside. The decision to have the camp on the town rather than on the castle is because canon states that's how it was organized. We do plan on having some of the army inside of the castle nonetheless, though. We will wait to have the town more built before working on the tents in loco.
 
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Ric

Ser
Bump

Edit: I've just noticed you've left melons on my test, I'll get on with addressing them over the next couple of days.
Continuing on, we decided to approve your app! On the condition that you finish applying the points given in the melons we left there. Now all you require is the approval of either Emot or Cash and then you're good to go!

Finally, as a last announcement, we are opening a few minis:
1663272811296.png
- A destroyed hamlet, previously focused on producing forest glass and with a holdfast nearby.
- A fortified farm, also destroyed. Speak to one of the project leads to see what we aim for this.
- A septry inside the town. More information can be found about it in loco.

We hope to soon have the town open for building, as we still are trying to set an appropriate way of showing the style of the houses and finishing some plotting points.

Thanks,
Rav, Ric & Scub
 

Emoticone11

The Dark Lord Sauron
Bump

Edit: I've just noticed you've left melons on my test, I'll get on with addressing them over the next couple of days.
I haven't seen the melons or your fixes yet, but I did have some feedback to give on some aspects. In a nutshell, I'd revise the ground materials and foliage as it looks a bit too messy at the moment, and I think the detailing on the outermost wall is a little too messy at the moment as well (though it may be less of a problem if the ground mix is made less noisy).

That said, this month is pretty busy for me, so I don't want to hold you up while I wait for a chance to get on in the same timezone as you. I approve as well on the condition that I might have some feedback to give in-game later.
 

Bovine

Street Preacher
Pronouns
he/him
Now on Dutchs points, about the Lannister camp, we do agree that Harrenhal probably has enough space to hold the army inside. The decision to have the camp on the town rather than on the castle is because canon states that's how it was organized. We do plan on having some of the army inside of the castle nonetheless, though. We will wait to have the town more built before working on the tents in loco.
Do you think it is possible to have a version of Harrenhal and the town built before the war started, free from the scars of war and Lannister occupation? I know this would likely be much more work for you fellas, but I think builders and guests alike would love to see them in their full glory. Or it could just be me who has a soft spot for the Whents lol

I think it would also be a cool project to build Harrenhal before Aegon's conquest in its even grander glory!

I am really liking the way this project is shaping up and am excited to see further progress!
 

Deiniol

Poet
Pronouns
he/him
Continuing on, we decided to approve your app! On the condition that you finish applying the points given in the melons we left there. Now all you require is the approval of either Emot or Cash and then you're good to go!

Finally, as a last announcement, we are opening a few minis:
View attachment 13578
- A destroyed hamlet, previously focused on producing forest glass and with a holdfast nearby.
- A fortified farm, also destroyed. Speak to one of the project leads to see what we aim for this.
- A septry inside the town. More information can be found about it in loco.

We hope to soon have the town open for building, as we still are trying to set an appropriate way of showing the style of the houses and finishing some plotting points.

Thanks,
Rav, Ric & Scub

I haven't seen the melons or your fixes yet, but I did have some feedback to give on some aspects. In a nutshell, I'd revise the ground materials and foliage as it looks a bit too messy at the moment, and I think the detailing on the outermost wall is a little too messy at the moment as well (though it may be less of a problem if the ground mix is made less noisy).

That said, this month is pretty busy for me, so I don't want to hold you up while I wait for a chance to get on in the same timezone as you. I approve as well on the condition that I might have some feedback to give in-game later.
Thanks Rav, Ric, Scub, and Emot.

As you've seen, I haven't yet finished addressing the feedback you have me originally, but I'll add in your feedback as well Emot. Unfortunately I thought I would've addressed most of it by now, but uni and family emergencies have gotten in the way, so I probably won't be online much, if at all, over the next two weeks.
 
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CashBanks

A Knight at the Opera
I've been playing with a new Harrenhal Granite texture to give an option for some more variety with the castle walls
Tossing up between Option 1, which is a bit darker and matches the Basalt Bricks, and Option 2 which matches the Bedrock cobble.
If the Harrenpals have a preference/like the idea I'll put in a new block request.