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Glass window alternatives: horn, cloth, and parchment


allstreets
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As the post title says, I'd like to suggest alternatives to the current glass windows in game, as a way to add more window variety,  give another use to some existing materials that have relatively limited uses at present (wax, parchment, and cloth). Parchment or cloth windows also seem like a good match to the rough door in terms of windows that have a chance to break/degrade easily.

First, some historical background on these glass alternatives:

Usable animal horns currently don't exist in-game, but seem like a logical addition to the other harvestables from bighorn sheep. While I haven't found any evidence for windows made from sheep horn, cow horn historically was used for both windows (see a restored cow horn window in Barley Hall here) as well as book covers (see 'hornbooks').

Greased paper/parchment and oiled cloth windows have a long history, although unfortunately not one captured in photographs. They were commonly used in conjunction with wooden shutters to cover window apertures - cultural historian Jacob von Falke describes windows common in wealthier pre-16th century medieval homes that had wooden shutters combined with "fine waxed linen, or oiled paper" as well as windows with horn and transparent mica set in lattices (Art in the House pg 61). The man who made the horn windows for Barley Hall made oiled linen windows as well - he briefly compares the process of making each in the comments of this post. Oiled and treated parchment and cloth created semi-translucent but also waterproof windows that let in much-needed light. In the more recent historical record you can find mention of 'greasepaper' windows used by American settlers as they moved west - a far cheaper and more practical alternative to transporting glass across the continent, especially in the many temporary homes built along the way.

As for how to implement these alternatives in game, the parchment and cloth ones could be as simple as combining fat and the window material (or, to go along with the Barley Hall method, fat and resin. Window frames could also be a placeable block constructed out of sticks or boards that could then be filled with 'panes' of parchment or cloth which would need to be refilled as the panes break. Dyed cloth or tinted parchment (historical evidence for the latter is discussed here) could be used as well, adding color to builds.

I have other thoughts on adding a parchment construction process to the game, but that's somewhat beside the point for this post. Hope this sparks some interesting possibilities for the devs and/or modders!

 

Edited by allstreets
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these would be a great addition for early builds, particularly in maps with little ore (or just playthroughs that avoid metalwork as much as possible, which is my favorite kind). I like the idea of horns being added as a bighorn sheep harvestable, especially if they could also be used as sconces, like in skyrim.

do you think the horns could be cut with a knife (maybe a metal knife, as that's a bit more advanced but still doesnt require an anvil), or would it need to be a saw?

the greasepaper and oiled linen windows are also super interesting as an alternative. i feel like all three have a much more yellowed light than glass, and would be really good for somewhat dim rooms, especially in less wealthy settings. would appreciate these from both an aesthetic standpoint and also as a functional glass alternative.

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On 7/10/2022 at 5:07 PM, Kolyenka said:

these would be a great addition for early builds, particularly in maps with little ore (or just playthroughs that avoid metalwork as much as possible, which is my favorite kind). I like the idea of horns being added as a bighorn sheep harvestable, especially if they could also be used as sconces, like in skyrim.

do you think the horns could be cut with a knife (maybe a metal knife, as that's a bit more advanced but still doesnt require an anvil), or would it need to be a saw?

the greasepaper and oiled linen windows are also super interesting as an alternative. i feel like all three have a much more yellowed light than glass, and would be really good for somewhat dim rooms, especially in less wealthy settings. would appreciate these from both an aesthetic standpoint and also as a functional glass alternative.

Haven't found anything in the books that says one way or another, but I imagine a knife would work, especially since the horn is being soaked first? Very thinly shaved pieces of horn are mentioned as being used in latticed windows, which suggests to me something more delicate than a saw.

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