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Questions for Jon: Grey boxing, scale and flow


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Btw, some great questions in this thread.  I'll talk to Jon and we'll cook up another update with more details on how we are building this stronghold, and our assumptions about scale and flow.  

 

If you have other questions, feel free to post them here!

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

As Todd said, we'd like to collect your questions for Jon O'Neal, our lead environment artist whose work you can see at the bottom of this story

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I'm curious what the approximate scale is for these renders. JTodd mentioned using the doors as a reference point. We have a pretty good shot at the door of the building in the top image, and it looks to me like the ramp up to the ramparts is sized similarly.

 

Can we assume a Legionnaire would take up maybe 4-5 adjacent tiles (along one axis) and a human would take 3-4?

just an Eldreth

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moved some parts of my posting here. not really questions, but some thoughts.

 

i live in the province of rhineland. castles everywhere. you nearly cant spit on the ground without having to say "oh, sorry, was that your castle?" :unsure: so...

 

 

- walls seem too thick - maybe a little thinner, but not too much.

 

The Walls of the Keep seem to be too thick.

 

they really look too thick. ;) on the other side, explosions would not look spectacular if the walls are very thin. and with thinner walls either a catapult would vaporize a whole wall segment with one hit or the thinner walls have to be very, very strong. and than: how should charakters be able to push through (like shown in the video) without having two days to dig? however, a little bit thinner might look better. as long this still allows pvp fight on the walls.

 

- wall-hitpoints - maybe two or three randomly mixed materials? (to make breakthrough effort less predictable/more variable)

as they are made out of voxels, they will have hitpoints. different materials, different amount of hitpoints until they get destroyed. In my experience something gets boring if it is too predictable. yeah, unpacking my tribock, three boulders, thats that wall gone. boring. (imho) it would be great to have walls randomly made of two or three different materials with different hitpoints (i.e. light rock, medium rock, heavy rock). this could add a whole new experience to sieges, where it could make sense to search the weakest point first. like it, frankly, should be.

 

o ramps (or better: stairways) - smaller, right(down) to left (up), ending near a corner (more logical)

ramps are usually not that wide. they are no ramps at all. and they are in the corners. why.

- if attackers break through the outer wall, the defenders are still on the wall-- now defending the entrance of the inner wall from above. even if this would have been the last wall, they wouldnt want to have the attackers flood their last point of resistance: this wall.

- they would be small enough, not to let to many attackers upstairs at the same time. imagine a tank wall climbing upstairs? uhm, why should you build a castle wall that allows this?

- they would always lead from the right (on the ground) to the left (on the wall), so attackers couldnt swing their swords unhindered, because on the right side is that damned wall.

- if there are not much stairways and a castle is very quadratic (as in the picture) they would not end at the center of a wall, but in the corners. because you can reach two walls with one stairway and by this save time reacting to the movement of your enemy outside. and it is easier to defend, because attackers who try to use the stairway have to cope with defenders from two walls.

 

o castle layout - if somehow possible: not quadratic (typical in games, but not typical in real)

uhm. i really dont know how to say this politely. *cough* but, well, those defence facilities usually doesnt look like this. those old master builders usually didnt say "well, i make four walls, put a roof on it and voila i made a house." they builded well-conceived. and thats why their buildings are still exist centuries later.

yes, i know: a quadratic castle is much more easy to build. and: many people overseas are thinking quadratic, in regards of castles. ;) that is no preconception. just search for "medieval castle layout" in google pictures and you will see quadratic castles. then search again with the same words, but translated into european words (where those real castles are) and you will see not-quadratic castles. i dont say that this is better. i dont know. but those guys had reasons not to build them quadratic. and i think it would make the game more rich and realistic, if we have them too.

 

o castle layout - differentiated walls, different strength(thickness)/height/(maybe angles), depending on enviroment and importance

just like we will in the campaigns, thos old builders had no endless supply of materials. they had to look: how, where and why do i have to spend my resources best. there is a river beyond this wall. ok. my wall is far enough away to prevent catapult bombardment. that means that only people could endanger this walls, maybe ladders. so this wall can be thinner, but it has to be higher and have more possibilities fight of people. and so on.

if castle walls are differentiated this way, castles should look more realistic... and make more fun in combat.

Edited by Dr. Kraahk

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Will all strongholds have the exact same design, like all Large Keeps look the exact same, or will there be some freedoms in how the walls and towers are placed together?

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can we collect heads from players we kill and then mount them on pikes to put on our castle

 

didnt you read the article? yes we can, but they will be shown as grey blocks.

 

EgGZCjy.jpg

 

and a question @jon: it seems as if you could fall down the wall, because there is no ... how do you say in english?... this "holes" between the, uhm, "heads" in the picture. if the test is only about destroying the wall from the outside, it would be ok i think. but if we are to fight on the walls, there should be small walls between the "heads". im sure you are aware of this. mentioned it just for the sake of completeness. and to give this posting more sense but to answer eonwes posting. ;)

Edited by Dr. Kraahk

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I'm curious what the approximate scale is for these renders. JTodd mentioned using the doors as a reference point. We have a pretty good shot at the door of the building in the top image, and it looks to me like the ramp up to the ramparts is sized similarly.

 

Can we assume a Legionnaire would take up maybe 4-5 adjacent tiles (along one axis) and a human would take 3-4?

The risers on the steps at the top of the ramps and ramparts should be 6 to 7 3/4" tall+/- which would make the squares in the courtyard between 8" x 10 or 12" in size. I would hazard a guess they are 8" x 12" squares.

 

In the last picture you can put a pen/pencil next to the wall, put the point on the top of the wall and mark the bottom where it meets the squares with your thumb nail then run the pen/pencil from the base aligned with your thumb mark at the base and squares and run the pen/pencil along the line of squares and count from the tip back to the base and you'll get 14 to 15 squares and assuming the squares are 12" makes the wall 14 to 15 feet tall.

 

Or this could be a castle from the hey days of the Legionnaire's and the steps could be 18" tall...

 

 

Edited to add "put" in you can "put" a pen...

Edited by Warprose

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I know this is a dumb question, but have the world builders who are greyboxing the fortifications taking note of historic fortifications?  

 

Pretty sure the best source of defensive structures that make sense are ones we ourselves built to defend ourselves from ourselves.  :P

 

Wall battlements usually consisted of a head high Parapet along with chest high gaps to allow the discharge of hurty missile things.

 

As much as I love them making the fortifications cool to look at and fantasy like, ultimately being a PvP game, they should serve their real purpose, as defensive structures, even in our EKs.

 

Easiest solution, place a waist high parapet along the outer wall edge and place the teeth on top and adjust their height accordingly.

 

But that's just my opinion;  I mean, who knows, maybe even in an  EK people would want to wage war on each others castles.  At the end of the day it is a stronghold;  Pretty or otherwise, I think it would be more immersive with them being practical.

My hubris is the size of a 2 by 4 nailed to the side of a YF-12 jet barrel rolling into a volcano piloted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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I do like the overall scale and architecture, though some of the towers could perhaps have a little more height difference from the wall.

I do have the following questions:

 

Do all the castle ramparts and stairways have to be quadruped friendly because of the Centaur? Will we see things like narrow walkways, spiral staircases, and ladders, or will all those things be off limits because they won't be accessible to some archetypes?

 

When deciding a limit on how wide or narrow to make stairs and doorways is it whatever looks good, whatever is realistic, or is there a formula like the widest known archetype collision box x2?  I ask because I know player collision is in game for strategic purposes and it can work for you or against you, but if archetypes have varying sizes of collision boxes unaware people may find themselves obstructed by their own teammates if unlucky. 

 

In the second image, at the center top, are we seeing the beginnings of a multi-story inner keep?  I would really like to see inner structures that are taller than the outer wall to add another layer of verticality and extend the viewable distance from within the keep in multiple directions.

Edited by Gilgamer

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Very fun stuff!  Thanks for opening this up for feedback - these look very exciting.

 

--While I understand the need for access ramps for the centaurs, the huge ramps I'm seeing just seem out of place.   Maybe it's the perpendicular ramp leading to the 2 upper ramps that is sorta awkward.  I'm thinking that one ramp running parallel to the wall may be more graceful.  Or perhaps you could leave the ramps as is but put a gate in the wall where the 3 ramps meet.  That would create a bit of flow.  Though when I think of it, not such a great defensive choice to have a gate right near the ramps.

 

--I'm seeing some short towers but I'm hoping that there are a few taller ones available in larger structures.  I really want to drop things on attackers' heads from high up and while the walls are nice I am hoping for a taller tower launch point.

 

--I know this is the first step of many but just a gentle reminder for the future steps about the glory and grandeur that is known as moat.

 

--There's a great balance here between structures and open space inside the castle walls.  I am hoping we can place stables, storehouses etc. as additional items down the road and it's great to see some room to put them without filling the interior completely.

 

--I'm really excited about these images!  I am imagining myself walking the walls, keeping a keen eye on the surrounding land for invaders.

--Bonus picture of Conway Castle in Wales.

300x321xaerial.jpg.pagespeed.ic.oRi5Lrz_

Edited by oridi

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I just want to be the one to say I don't care how historically accurate the keeps are as long as they are fun to play on.

 

Sure, history can be a great design foundation.  But history also didn't have centaurs, magic, and the Hunger, so presumably Crowfall's keeps will have a somewhat different foundation.

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I just want my EK castle to look epic. I'll let the magic defend it.

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Do EK walls have any benefit? Will we have the ability for siege PvP in EKs? Also, will we have the same abilities as in campaigns for construction of EKs? So placing turrets and towers, etc.?

To the best of my knowledge these questions have been asked quite a bit and there's been no specific answers as of yet.

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Do EK walls have any benefit? Will we have the ability for siege PvP in EKs? Also, will we have the same abilities as in campaigns for construction of EKs? So placing turrets and towers, etc.?

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This game looks like a larger scale version of marvel heroes so far with forts.  - nephiral marts 7 2015

 

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moved some parts of my posting here. not really questions, but some thoughts.

 

i live in the province of rhineland. castles everywhere. you nearly cant spit on the ground without having to say "oh, sorry, was that your castle?" :unsure: so...

 

 

- walls seem too thick - maybe a little thinner, but not too much.

 

 

they really look too thick. ;) on the other side, explosions would not look spectacular if the walls are very thin. and with thinner walls either a catapult would vaporize a whole wall segment with one hit or the thinner walls have to be very, very strong. and than: how should charakters be able to push through (like shown in the video) without having two days to dig? however, a little bit thinner might look better. as long this still allows pvp fight on the walls.

 

- wall-hitpoints - maybe two or three randomly mixed materials? (to make breakthrough effort less predictable/more variable)

as they are made out of voxels, they will have hitpoints. different materials, different amount of hitpoints until they get destroyed. In my experience something gets boring if it is too predictable. yeah, unpacking my tribock, three boulders, thats that wall gone. boring. (imho) it would be great to have walls randomly made of two or three different materials with different hitpoints (i.e. light rock, medium rock, heavy rock). this could add a whole new experience to sieges, where it could make sense to search the weakest point first. like it, frankly, should be.

 

o ramps (or better: stairways) - smaller, right(down) to left (up), ending near a corner (more logical)

ramps are usually not that wide. they are no ramps at all. and they are in the corners. why.

- if attackers break through the outer wall, the defenders are still on the wall-- now defending the entrance of the inner wall from above. even if this would have been the last wall, they wouldnt want to have the attackers flood their last point of resistance: this wall.

- they would be small enough, not to let to many attackers upstairs at the same time. imagine a tank wall climbing upstairs? uhm, why should you build a castle wall that allows this?

- they would always lead from the right (on the ground) to the left (on the wall), so attackers couldnt swing their swords unhindered, because on the right side is that damned wall.

- if there are not much stairways and a castle is very quadratic (as in the picture) they would not end at the center of a wall, but in the corners. because you can reach two walls with one stairway and by this save time reacting to the movement of your enemy outside. and it is easier to defend, because attackers who try to use the stairway have to cope with defenders from two walls.

 

o castle layout - if somehow possible: not quadratic (typical in games, but not typical in real)

uhm. i really dont know how to say this politely. *cough* but, well, those defence facilities usually doesnt look like this. those old master builders usually didnt say "well, i make four walls, put a roof on it and voila i made a house." they builded well-conceived. and thats why their buildings are still exist centuries later.

yes, i know: a quadratic castle is much more easy to build. and: many people overseas are thinking quadratic, in regards of castles. ;) that is no preconception. just search for "medieval castle layout" in google pictures and you will see quadratic castles. then search again with the same words, but translated into european words (where those real castles are) and you will see not-quadratic castles. i dont say that this is better. i dont know. but those guys had reasons not to build them quadratic. and i think it would make the game more rich and realistic, if we have them too.

 

o castle layout - differentiated walls, different strength(thickness)/height/(maybe angles), depending on enviroment and importance

just like we will in the campaigns, thos old builders had no endless supply of materials. they had to look: how, where and why do i have to spend my resources best. there is a river beyond this wall. ok. my wall is far enough away to prevent catapult bombardment. that means that only people could endanger this walls, maybe ladders. so this wall can be thinner, but it has to be higher and have more possibilities fight of people. and so on.

if castle walls are differentiated this way, castles should look more realistic... and make more fun in combat.

^ All of this except wall thickness. Structral damage looks like it will be very accessible in sieges, and even if we can repair walls quickly, pre-gunpowder castle design will likely be a deathtrap. Star fort designs should help with this, and hopefully will be possible in CF.

fort-bourtange-3%25255B6%25255D.jpg?imgm

Honestly, you are the type of person that is much to competitive, has zero compassion for other people and think you are better than everyone else. You likely love to troll people on a day to day bases to get others angry and laugh about it. You make playing any online game unfun for everyone else.  -Kuroaka

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Star shaped forts are awesome and very useful.

That design looks more interesting then the usualy "simple" block, not to mention it is much easier to defend since firing arcs for the defenders are much better.

My birthplace used to be a city sized version of it a few hundred years back.

 

220px-MannheimRheinschanze.jpg

 

(Just for a reference, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to walk from the southern gate to the center of the top star.)

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but it will annoy enough people to be worth the effort.

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Keep in mind Star forts were a reaction to the development of cannon, artillery and modern firearms.  Technically they would still be viable today were it not for the development of aircraft, helicopters and WMDs.  

 

Unless Crowfall has cannons in it, then the need for star forts would be unnecessary beyound the realm of decorative.

My hubris is the size of a 2 by 4 nailed to the side of a YF-12 jet barrel rolling into a volcano piloted by a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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Keep in mind Star forts were a reaction to the development of cannon, artillery and modern firearms.  Technically they would still be viable today were it not for the development of aircraft, helicopters and WMDs.  

 

Unless Crowfall has cannons in it, then the need for star forts would be unnecessary beyound the realm of decorative.

Not entirely; Star Forts were a reaction to the 'blind spot' design of more iconic round-tower castles. The deflection of cannon shot was a nice bonus, rather than the initial motive. I would strongly wager that that's how the principle of sloped armor came to be applied in fortifications (and by extension ships & vehicles) translated from infantry armor like cuirasses.

 

f0tdQ68.png

 

 

With a traditional 'round tower' fortification, there will always be places you can stand where you will not get shot. Usually, these are at the foot of the fortification since the defenders cannot shoot directly downwards. A defender relied on multiple towers to interlock their fire to cover their own blind spots, but this only went so far. The solution came by elongating the bastions into a point, such that the space that was traditionally a blind spot was now a fortification. With the angular bastions of a star fort, the design is such that each bastion covers not only its adjacent walls but the foot of the other bastions.

 

BW6Y3cy.jpg

 

Another prominent feature of the design was the concept of 'defense in depth'. That is, that there are multiple layers of fortifications that must be successively breached, and that an attacker may exhaust himself and be forced to withdraw before he breaches all of them.

 

You can see the beginnings of this with some of the later castles, which featured a 'Keep' inside the outer walls that acted as a castle-within-a-castle. When the outer walls fall, the defenders retreat to the keep and the siege-breach-storm cycle begins anew. Some of the people above linked some very good castles with multiple successive defensive lines, so that to completely take a city you'd have to go through up to a half-dozen defensive lines. In addition, the outer defenses were almost always designed such that the inner defenses flanked them, so that any attacker on the outer wall would be caught in the open against cannon and musketfire from the inner walls, often from multiple angles.

 

In addition, the overall shape of the fortifications served to channel attackers along them, greatly lengthening the amount of time they spent exposed as well as increasing the overall amount of distance travelled. You can particularly see it above on the bottom-left, where an attacker would have to assault the first triangular bastion, then travel along the outer wall to the second bastion, then breaching a gate, then from the gate down the path, then across a final bridge into the fort proper.

 

All this while being subject to musket and cannon fire meant that taking a Star Fort by storm was nigh-suicidal; if at all possible, it was preferable to starve out the garrison and avoid throwing thousands of men into the multiple-serrated-jaws of this fortress.

 

 

Re: Star Forts viable in modern times

Noooot exactly. The concepts apply, but fortification has moved onwards beyond this. Especially with the advent of accurate and powerful indirect-fire artillery, modern fortifications are built low, sturdy, and often underground. The bunker networks of the Maginot & Hindenberg lines, as well as the sprawling Atlantic Wall are prime examples of this, how we've moved on from 'Fort on a hill' to 'Hill is the fort'

 

maginot-600x250.jpg

 

With the expectation that a fort will come under large-caliber shelling, we've moved from large, open fortified areas to small, enclosed bunkers forming a network of strongpoints. Contrast a rope to a chain; both serve the same purpose, but a chain's links are standalone units.

 

Note to the Artists:

Please remember that you're not simply designing pretty castles; Defensibility should be the primary design consideration, above all else. These forts and keeps are going to be our 'epic' setpiece battles, and the larger ones especially should feature multiple & varied phases of attack and defense. Put differently, taking a large fortress is a multi-stage battle with successive defensive positions & strongpoints that must be breached.

 

These are our boss-fights; They should look like Tower Defense maps, not fantastical paintings.

Edited by Psyentific

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