I felt the game needed hub zones, and I thought about creating a bunch of settlements, but finally I decided to create a large town. It took me over 6 months to create all assets and scripts, but it’s now pretty much done. The town will be the first place you see after leaving initial tutorial dungeon, and will serve as a main hub throughout the game. It is fairly large – much larger than I initially planned, and went through one large redesign phase. My main inspirations were Old Camp from Gothic 1, Khorinis from Gothic 2, and Elddim from Dungeon Siege 1. The town is nowhere near as complex as the ones in Gothic games, but I still tried to create a fairly large area which is thematically consistent, makes sense geographically, and has some basic logic attached (like farms around it which can support the citizens with food, ports which serve as trade routes to other places). The dialogues aren’t fully written, but I’ll do my best to make every NPC unique and have its purpose in the world. Below is the first sketch of the town map, which I made after creating few basic buildings.
Brown squares with a dash are old/medium quality houses. It’s the area that player will see first. Red marks the richer neighbourhood – with large houses, gardens etc. Grey is walled part of the town, with Garrison, Ruler’s villa, trading quarter and few houses.
Here is bird’s-eye view of the town with all areas complete.
As you see, there are quite a few areas added – the port, beach, fountain, sugarcane and wheat fields.
So just to go through the progression around the town… Player leaves the tutorial underground area and finds himself behind the Inn. He follows the only path available meeting a guy who, for some reason, is reparing the bridge with his club and doesn’t care that it’s middle of the night.
Player might talk to him, and also talk to the Smith. The road ahead is blocked with carts and broken materials, so as he enters the Inn, he speaks to the Innkeeper who gives him a key to a room upstairs. A small interior with a bad and a candle is enough to get some sleep.
Few hours pass, and you wake up during the day. From now on the tutorial is complete, and entire world opens up for you. You are still guided by NPCs if you’d like to, so you are not alone (at least for some time).
You make your way further into the city – there’s a marketplace where you can buy some food and a port with a few fishermen.
You might take a look at the old town. There’s canteen and Shaman’s hut – they might sell you potions and other magical items. The NPCs are obviously poorer than the rest, but they seem happy with what they have, and they have easy access to clean water and food supply. The dialogues aren’t written, but Shaman has an ananas (pineapple…) on his head, so that is respectable.
Walking further, there are 2 ways to get inside the Town Walls district. Either through a Garrison, or through a Church. It’s not limited in any way, and helps with navigation around the town. Here you can see the Church from the inside:
…and here’s a trading quarter with a pretty fountain in the center. You can buy Armors, Weapons, and visit Post Office there.
If you continue deeper into the City Walls, last thing you will see is probably Host’s villa – a Host is chosen racial leader for the tribe, and right now, after the murder of Sovereign Reitiff (who was human) the one who takes care of the situation in the town is the leader for Fox Folk – Feirika, seen below:
There are several other details that the town has or will have – highest priority are dialogues, which have to be done for traders and questgivers. Eventually everyone will have unique dialogue, and I’ll try to make most people relevant in one way or another. This town will be the largest settlement that will serve as the game’s hub.