That looks good JT - I like your buildings. I like your new grass though I find it very saturated; perhaps the entire map is a little dark. I agree with anomie that the darker grass is confusing - perhaps consider using darkness AND light to show the contours of the hill. Also I added a .png of my stables to my big castle thread in case you want to use them.
Aside from the lighting issue this is looking really nice so far. The textures work well together.
If you are searching for ideas, I offer this sketch ..
Enter lower court and stables at level one.
Barracks above stables at level two.
Great stair from lower court to Great hall (level three).
one side of great hall is craftsman's courtyard and shops (level three) with craftsman housing above (level four).
other side of the great hall is the family court with courtier housing around it on levels three and four.
the corner towers would reach to level 5 and may provide access to all the other levels.
Just an idea for fitting ten pounds of castle in a five pound box.
wow..that's great... I don't have need for the "family" court or housing as these castles are strictly military (It sounds rough but no families are even allowed on the grounds ) I really like this...hmmmm :)
Then flatten it down and move the barrracks to the family court.
The great hall could become more of a true Keep.
Following atpollard's advice. I came up with this for the internal layout. I decided that the buildings would be made from wood but roofed in slate (it is abundant in the kingdom). I'm having a little trouble trying to get the perspective right on the second floor of these buildings however. Any advice in that area would be appreciated. :) *EDIT* The horses and other items are just there so I can try to get some sense of scale.
Chief architect Maran Lolln stood in the upper court of the castle and allowed himself the briefest of smiles. The internal buildings were nearing completion and to his great satisfaction there WAS plenty of space. A large keep had been built to house the barracks and armory with storage cellars dug out below. The main hall was nearing completion which would hold the kitchens and dining hall along with the Lord General's apartments. The smithy was already completed and was turning out metal items at a fantastic rate. Lolln knew the king was eager to start using this castle and had already assigned a General and the cavalry that would serve here. This castle was nearly done he thought to himself he felt a sense of pride mixed with apprehension as he remembered there were five more castles yet to be completed.....
So as I often do I re-worked the internal layout. The first version was functional but FAR too "neat" For some reason neat bothers me. I like a bit of a mess or a sprawl or the building that doesn't quite fit but manages to fit nonetheless. I actually went and looked at some castle layouts and came up with what you see here. It's a mix of atpollard's suggestions and some stuff I found on the Interweb. I think I like this layout (but we'll see after I stare at it some more) If this turns out to be the one then next up.....details !!! (my favorite part). As always feedback is requested and appreciated. :)
Grass colour is MUCH better (I love it now!) but it is still unclear that your castle is on a hill. You need to work on the lighting/shading to make that hill a hill. I preferred the grass/hill on the second last post because it was brighter.
I agree with you in terms of layout/tidiness and am having the same problem with 'Big Castle' ; however I really like your internal layout of map 2.
Also, are you making one castle to use on all four of five of your forts on the worldmap, or will you be making each individually? If the latter case, each could have an individual layout, and you have four or five ideas in this thread already.
Chief architect Maran Lolln stood on the roof of the keep and surveyed his surroundings. The keep reached nearly 50 feet in height a full 20 feet above the castle wall. It would hold a barracks for the 100 soldiers assigned here as well as the support staff of cooks, stablehands, blacksmiths and other staff. The lower floors also held an armory where armor and weapons could be stored and repaired. The ground beneath the keep had been dug out to hold storage cellars and an escape tunnel if the need for it should ever arise. The very top level of the keep held an observation post for the Lord General and a modest apartment for visitors. The main hall had been enlarged to feature a private dining hall and kitchens and a large apartment for the Lord General and his wife. There had been many arguments about this last feature. The king was of the mind that no women should be found in these castles. He felt they would be a distraction to the true purpose of the castle. The soldiers assigned to the fort would be rotated in and out on a regular basis making the separation from their families unpleasant but bearable. The Lord General however would be assigned to this post for a period of 10 years this length of separation was far too long to prohibit the Lord General from bringing his wife to Wolf's Fall castle hence the larger main hall to accommodate her and her 2 children. A bailey wall was built effectively dividing the large courtyard in two allowing the Lord General's wife and children their own space. It was not luxurious and they did share that space with the large noisy and often foul smelling smithy but some concessions were unavoidable. Lolln felt comfortable with the design and was glad to see this castle nearly completed. It would be another long winter before it was fully finished and populated however....
Here is today's update. As you can see from the story blurb, I've softened my position on having at least one family present at this castle. I divided the courtyard with the bailey wall and made the keep much larger and taller. I like this layout (I think) and I think I will now move on to detailing. As always feedback is requested and appreciated :)