Do you have any wads or know of any that you think pull it off successfully?
As a mapper (sort-of) my ideal aesthetic is what takes the minimum amount of input for the best results. So very functional architecture and a minimalist approach to detailing is some sort of ideal. As I'm prone to go madly off tangent in either direction from one map to the next, it's hard to say I succeed in this that often.
Edit: What if we were to make rules for wad creation in order to create a certain aesthetic in a wad "converted" from elements in language that Tolkien found aesthetically pleasing?
One of the examples Tolkien gives in A Secret Vice to illustrate his
invented language that has reached a “highish level of beauty” is a poem
called “The Last Ark” (MC 213-214). Students of Tolkienian linguistics
ﬁnd this a particularly interesting text because it is relatively long and
Tolkien produced three different versions of the poem, each in Quenya
Elvish at a different stage of evolution. The existing literature on Tolkien’s Elvish languages is vast and I have no intention of going into the
matter in detail here, but it is enlightening to examine brieﬂy the phonetics of this poem and deduce how Tolkien applied in practice the ideas
discussed above. For our present purposes it is sufﬁcient to reproduce the
ﬁrst two verses of the poem as it appears in A Secret Vice, with Tolkien’s
translation into English (the accents indicate long vowels):
Man kiluva kirya ninqe
oilima ailinello lúte,
níve qímari ringa ambar
ve mainwin qaine?
man tiruva kirya ninqe
Reading the Quenya text from a viewpoint of complete semantic
ignorance one is forced to concentrate on the words’ shapes and sounds,
and what is immediately noticeable is that the majority of them end in
a vowel (the guidelines to pronunciation included in The Lord of the Rings
and The Silmarillion indicate that ﬁnal vowels are always pronounced).
Additionally, in the rare cases that they end in a consonant, only /n/ and
/r/ are used. The entire poem comprises ninety-six words, of which a
mere seventeen end in a consonant.
There are none of the brusque consonant clusters so typical of English (e.g., ngths as in strengths, or sps as in crisps), nor are there any hard,
guttural phonemes. The potentially harsh fricatives are restricted to the
soft /f/ and /v/, together with non-sounded /s/. Among the vowel phonemes in the above sample there are seventy-six higher-sounding front
vowels (such as /i/) and a mere seven lower-sounding back vowels (/o/,
/u/). Long words in the style of German or Greek are excluded; the
maximum word length in the poem is four syllables, and most have three
or less. The overall effect, therefore, is a ﬂowing language [level] in which the
words [rooms] run smoothly together, with ﬁnal vowels linking easily to initial
consonants [with rounded areas linking easily with angular ones). The sound is light and melodious thanks to the predominance of front vowels and soft consonants, the absence of harsh phonemes, and the even spacing of consonant-vowel syllables.
So what would the logical or common-sense way of abstractly translating this be? I dunno... short stanzas could mean small rooms/areas; the preponderance of soft sounds and words ending in vowels could be indicative of non-angular, roundish design with rooms/areas that flow into each other without expanding on one area too long. Not sure what kind of texturing or lighting the poem would illicit or what kind of architecture [simple rooms, high ceilings, close quarters, contrasting architecture?]. Also, there are much more short vowel sounds than long ones--how should they respectively be translated into the map design?
How would you translate the poem into a map based on it?
Last edited by Hellbent on Oct 10 2012 at 15:56