Roads of Daggerfall

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by ByteMixer » Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:23 am

In the case of Tamriel, and the extensive spell creation within the era of Daggerfall, I don't see why not as far as magic being used to create tunnels. Surely some mages could be able to create a spell to carve out earth. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but I don't know how detailed the lore goes with roads. And I'm not exactly at TES geek either. In the case of mountains, though. more likely they would cut into the side of the mountain as the Romans sometimes did.

IRL, yeah, mountains would be navigated around. No way Romans or people of the medieval period would have the tech needed to create tunnel roads. They'd have to brute force it with massive slave labor. Even then, it would probably have to be softer materials like clay and limestone....maybe volcanic rock.

In my previous post, II was thinking more along the lines of small hills or knolls made of mostly dirt, soil, or clay, maybe limerock. Not so much a tunnel as a trench. Those could certainly be excavated by locals. Maybe not real easily or quickly, but it could be done.

Though in the case of Rome, they just built the road straight up the hill, reasoning that the footman would rest at the top and descend the other side more quickly. If the hill was impassable, they'd build the road, still straight, going around in angles, kinda like a hexagon or octagon. Roman roads tended to be very straight. In the cases of mountains, the roads were built straight at angles to get around, and sometimes would cut into the side of the mountain to make the angle. Or they would go through a pass. I'm not arguing that at all. In fact I don't disagree with any of your notions. I probably just wasn't as clear as I could have been.

In any case, I came across a pretty good document detailing some of Rome's road building techniques here: ... rsity1.htm

Maybe some of the info there could help come up with some ideas.
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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by chtujo » Tue Jul 16, 2019 9:40 am

jayhova wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:36 am
Assuming the green points are settlements and the red dot is a farm or home etc. both the first and second examples do not work as roads. Why? Because roads are built to go somewhere. Not just anywhere. Somewhere specific. Where? The closest place that will provide you a means of living. In the first/bottommost example our homestead is connected to two settlements. This ignores the fact that roads are created one at a time. There is little incentive to create a very long and expensive road to a settlement when you already have one. So no, the first example would not make sense.

Let's look at the second example where the homestead builds the shortest possible road to connect it with a population center. This ignores the idea that people build roads to provide a living for the themselves. The route pictured to the closest settlement is 60% longer than a direct route. For 40% more road they have a direct path to the settlement they will be going to 90% of the time. It's pretty simple if there are two settlements near you and one is twice as far as the other you will be spending most of your time going to the closer one.

In the third example is how it is likely a set of roads would evolve. The homestead builds a road 40% longer to save 60% time on 90% of their trips. Later they spend half as much again to create a third road segment that shortens the trip to the second settlement significantly. This road set does not increase the travel time to the second settlement by a significant percentage but does reduce the travel time to the closest settlement significantly. In this way the roads do what they are built to do, pay for themselves as quickly as possible.

EDIT: The road to the second settlement is less than 10% longer than the second example
Good points, I hadn't properly though about the "what they are built to do, pay for themselves as quickly as possible.", however this could likely be fixed in the example above by just changing the "starting with the furthest away first" (from my original post), to "starting with the closest first".

I have no doubt that my idea isn't super realistic, however it seems relatively easy to implement, and is relatively specific with how to do it (the 2 things I was trying to achieve with my "algorithm"), as opposed to some of your ideas (politics, connecting to the capital, etc, which I really like the idea of BTW.). A real programmer would probably do something quite different (to my idea), but whatever.

EDIT: Just want to make sure the second paragraph doesn't come off as rude or dismissive. I'm sure your ideas can be done, they just seem like they might take a bit of time, and I just don't know how they'd be done.

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by Dalebvr » Tue Jul 16, 2019 1:40 pm

I'll be the first to admit I'm not approaching this as a coder; I'm looking at it as a writer and amateur historian. I think the point that hasn't been made clear is that the easiest way is also likely going to be the way that breaks the suspension of disbelief since you're dealing with a complex issue. People have traveled on roads all of their lives, and the human psyche is geared to absorbing and categorizing things for quick recall. The Uncanny Valley is a perfect example of that. Humans in infancy record what is 'right' about facial structure, and when you depart from that, it flags as 'wrong'. And there is a granularity to it that people simply do not think of consciously. It isn't the shape of the skull beneath the soft tissue; there is also the changing thickness of the muscles, the changing location, the added changes brought on by vascular pressure, tear production, and about a dozen other things. Animators have long proven that you can get plenty of behavioral signals from a room of people reading just by watching what their calves and feet are doing under the table. Most people don't even register the feedback (unless they're animators or foot fetishists :mrgreen: ), but they get the signals nonetheless.

Roads, be they for invasion or trade, follow rules enforced by world structure, money available, and hands and backs to build it. In this time period, actual stone paved roads went to high population densities, which were strategic targets. Village to village was typically dirt pathways, as once the big cities were pacified, the rural areas kind of had to accept it. Otherwise they starved or were burned out by 'bandits' wearing uniforms. Daggerfall the game only has a double handful of cities; the rest would be afterthoughts at best. There would also not be any real cross connectivity; the path of least resistance would get the bulk of the traffic, as it would be the one open and safest. Cart trails were notorious hangouts for people wanting to steal and not having to fight for it. On those secondary routes, you had to go from village to village unless you chose to risk cutting through the wilderness; there was only one route, and to get to City A, you had to go from village D to C to B. And you have to keep in mind that 20+ years of no traffic and a dirt road will become forest once again and vanish.

I would think that working out the logic for the main roads to the biggest cities, getting that working right and defining the road itself would be a better approach. That is what the Empire would have built to last. Since other roadways would be different, that might be better done as a follow on. Break the villages around the cities into sectors and trickle a road from the hub city outward in each sector. That would establish the 'spoke' pattern common in older road systems, and not the grid mesh of modern transportation, where you have multiple paths to point X.

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by King of Worms » Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:10 am

After 4 years of debating, the opening post is still the most advanced from this whole thread.

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by Azteca » Wed Jul 17, 2019 2:20 pm

King of Worms wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:10 am
After 4 years of debating, the opening post is still the most advanced from this whole thread.
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe." Carl Sagan.

Sadly, DFU does not provide a 1:1 simulation of the charges between subatomic particles and thus we cannot create a tasty pie from scratch :|
But with a pre-made crust, apples and sugar from the local shop, we can make a tasty one with a lot less effort.

Honestly, the discussion here and in some other threads can be useful up to a point but it's like designing "The Perfect Car." Ok, it should go up to 200mph, get 100mpg, accelerate and brake on a dime without ejecting you, look awesome. If it turns out to be technically possible, it's going to take 5 years of 1000 people designing it, it's going to cost $100mil and it may or may not work as expected in the end.
Now go talk to the guy designing the $30,000 sedan you can buy at your local dealership. Is it perfect? No. Does it fit all the basic criteria? Yes. Is it affordable? Sure. And most importantly, can you actually go drive it?

The people who actually have to implement these things (coders, developers) know that it's all tradeoffs. Brainstorming is a valuable part of the process but it will never get the thing made. After a certain point you either write it yourself or let your earlier posts speak for themselves (in my opinion).

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by Usernamicus » Fri Jul 19, 2019 12:58 pm

ByteMixer wrote:
Tue Jul 16, 2019 5:23 am
In the case of Tamriel, and the extensive spell creation within the era of Daggerfall, I don't see why not as far as magic being used to create tunnels. Surely some mages could be able to create a spell to carve out earth. Certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but I don't know how detailed the lore goes with roads.
Stares at Arena's Destroy Wall/Floor spells while fondly remembering turning a dungeon floor into a pac man.

And personally I think a better solution is implementing a flawed, but functional version and then tweaking it from there then try to brainstorm out any potential kinks before implementation.

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by Jay_H » Fri Jul 19, 2019 1:37 pm

I don't think anyone's waiting for this discussion to reach its conclusion before putting in the work. It looks more like everyone's killing time :lol:
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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by Kamer » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:41 pm

Should we really argue about something being unrealistic in a series where the imperial province completely changed its biom, and landscape, and had a lore reasons to why instead of just retconning it?

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by mikeprichard » Fri Jul 19, 2019 4:48 pm

Would be nice to hear from Uncanny now that he/she's back as to whether they intend to make any more progress on this. Four years on, the first post of this entire topic still seems to be the most intriguing.

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Re: Roads of Daggerfall

Post by jayhova » Sat Jul 20, 2019 11:42 pm

roads 2.jpg
roads 2.jpg (10.8 KiB) Viewed 2564 times
Here is the same example with the road closer to the path connecting our two settlements. I have slanted the road slightly toward the closer settlement as there is a moderate incentive to do this.

You can imagine that every place on the map has a sort of quasi-gravitational/electrical force we'll call commerce. Gravity attracts bodies toward one another, while commerce attracts people. So the larger a settlement is the more commerce it will generate and consequently the stronger the attraction will be. All places on the map are surrounded by land that resists the flow of commerce. To counter this, connections called roads are constructed to lower the resistance to commerce. The roads then become conductors of commerce and so also have a commercial attraction, though less than the settlements. The force that acts against the construction (and maintaining) of roads is cost. A road is constructed when the commerce conducted through a road exceeds its cost. Cost increases with terrain.

So, a population center will tend to want to build a road that makes the best compromise between cost to build and maintain, and return in commercial value.
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