Let’s talk about the Avotoc culture some. More specifically, what we can infer about Avotoc Culture from some images, as well as some insights from what I wanted to put into pictures but found it hard to draw.
I have three images (would’ve had four but I’m getting tired of drawing wooden ships and I want to do some more diverse artwork with what little free time I have left) along with another soundscape that I put together over the past few days. The main point that you can see in the images driven home is that Avotoc build their buildings out of wood mostly, and that they shape them like sailing ships. Most of Avotoc culture revolves around the sea, since according to legend the Avotoc were grave keepers of the original burial ground (the GreatSea), as well as other large bodies of water which have since become graveyards.
Avotoc Homes usually resemble ships that point bow-up, as if they have been capsized, or ships turned completely upside-down. The most notable difference other than the orientation of the houses themselves is the addition of pillars aside most family’s doorways. The pillars are usually the only stone found on or near an Avotoc residence, and the pillars are embedded with a crystal that slowly grows over time to look like ice crystals, a reference to their paternal deity Davoto. The larger and more ornate a pair of ice crystals, the more proud the family should be. Banners that hang above the doorway also are a source of pride for Avotoc families. The house on the bottom left corner has stilts, so families can live over the water as well. These homes seem more like “subburb” type homes where in modern times can lose individuality and become cookie-cutter. I don’t anticipate these homes having pillars or banners. Perhaps they’re apartments, or homes for non-Avotoc?
Avotoc offices are large buildings that continue the sailing ship motif, but slanted. The height of the back varies from business to business. Larger buildings needs braces to support the backs and sides, as shown in the bottom right. The doorways for businesses lack the pillars and familial banners, but are made up for with ornate metalwork above the doorway itself. The metalwork can be reminiscent of the family crest of the owner or founder of the business, or they can be related to the practice of the business itself. Rather than hang banners over the door, larger and longer banners are hung at the sides of the entrance, from poles on the sidebrace. Like other Avotoc doors, the door itself rotates in a lowered rut/ditch clockwise in and out of the doorway.
The head/CEO/COO of each business sits at the peak of the building, giving their office space the best view in the building. Other office spaces throughout the building may or may not have windows, even if they are on the outside of the building.
Avotoc Shops are essentially various ships mostly buried underground. Most shops focus on specific items like clothing, weaponry, chemicals, and things that are more trades than shops we would see today. Ships are rotated so that only some part of the ship is visible above ground, usually the bow or the quarterdeck, as well as some way to get inside the ship. A single mast is used on most shops, with the sail (sign) being a locally regulated size. Dispite the different sizes of the ships in the image, if all the ships were resized to the same scale, the sails would all be the same size (or pretty close).
Different vendors/merchants set up their shop above or below ground, usually depending on their wares for sale and whether or not a decent selection can be hauled up for sale at any time (pun not initially intended). The note in the left references doors and doorways- large enough doorways have a rotating door just like every other Avotoc building, but smaller doorways remain open with a locked trapdoor above the stairs and ladders.
The large ship at the top is my idea of a mall, which wouldn’t appear in most Avotoc cities, since what it would take in land space would require a lot of planning before hand to build one ship rather than several smaller ones. The interior of the ship itself would house many smaller stores just like a normal mall would. The sails atop the ship would house many logos of the different vendors inside just like a sign from an actual mall. The size of the ship could be increased (before it’s put into the ground) by either lengthening the ship or making it deeper, if the land is available.
Finally, I got the opportinity to revisit some of my old music gear and found some sounds I really like, and hope to use in the actual soundtrack. Again, the textures and sounds aren’t 100% final, but I feel like I’m getting closer to something I really like. The musical composition is relatively the same as the Kickstarter Atmospheres work, and something I don’t think will change. It’s pretty steady and constant.
Before I wrap up all this content into an article, there are two more things I need to do before I consider myself “done” with Avotoc (for now): I need to make some similar concepts for the ships they take off-planet, and need to work on the design and implementation of the instrument of Avotoc. To make the sound I’ve previously used different guitars and overlayed them with several textures and effects, but I want to cement the design for cannon as well.