I've been working on a new fortress for a couple days on my server, and I'm just looking for a little feedback on it so far. It has a semi-Medieval theme, although I used a couple of new tricks to spice it up. For example, I used ice around the rim under the water to make a perfectly see-through pane from the inside.
Back View (Thus Far)
The comments unanimously decided that the detail work and towers needed the most work. I haven't much time today, so just a little work done. I laced a few parts of the front with smooth stone and rounded off the turrets. I also added logs/ cobblestone walls using the same method as BdoubleO100's city hall on the new Mindcrack map. I'm still not completely satisfied with the towers, though, so I'll continue to change those.
New Front View
Changes to the Towers + Side Walls
Still Mostly the Same from the Back
I've spent a lot of time lately working on the back wall, and I think I like the end result. Oshi pointed out that the building seemed undersupported, so some of the ice walls have been converted to cobblestone. I also copied the towers from the front to the back, although I'm not completely sure I like all the symmetry. A building in the real world is rarely symmetrical, so why should mine be, right?
Regardless, it's progress. Interior, roofing, and a few battlements still to come. I will probably be light on crenelations, though; the fortress is more of a meeting place/ safehouse for the UHC tournament we will be doing in the coming weeks. Normally, I would go redstone crazy and fill it with traps and cannons, but I don't find them necessary for its purpose.
I understand that not everyone is a big fan of all the cobblestone, and some have suggested that I change a lot of it to stonebrick or smooth stone. The problem is the players on the server; they voted to make a predominately cobblestone castle. I've incorporated stonebrick, cracked stonebrick, smooth stone, and logs all in an attempt to break up the cobblestone's look, but the oodles of cobble is here to stay.
End Result of the Back
Comments requested more logs, so I worked them into the niches of these little towers.
Inside View of the Back (For Now; Will Change)
So what do you guys think? I'm open to any suggestions. Keep in mind that this building will be used more as a meeting place with a theme than an actual fortress.
It would probably look better if it was trimmed/laced with stonebrick. The two towers on the side could also be more circular as to make it seem more like a castle. Looks like a good foundation though, just need to start building the interior and remaining walls. Also make sure to build secret tunnels and passageways in the castle!
Though I'd say it looks too similar to a simple square, reinforced by the fact that the turrets are square too.
Look at some pictures of castles, they weren't all square and most architects back in the day worked with what they had (I.E. they didn't always have flat land to work with, so they'd build into hills and ditches as needed. This makes the builds look more natural.)
I'd change some of the textures as well, the majority of it is built as cobblestone with a small trim of stone brick and honestly if I was only looking at the thumbnail it just looks like cobblestone all round. Gotta add some contrast to the colours to make details pop out or it's just gonna look like a giant grey brick from a distance.
I think that's enough to start with, looks like you've just started this build anyhow.
When I want to vary my textures with walls I utilize smooth stone, it's the same color as stone brick but its texture is soft and can add some level of detail that's subtle yet effective. Of course I build without think 90% of the time, my stuff comes out as naturally as a breath, so I'm not sure I'm the best suited to be giving advice. I also agree with the less blocky approach to the towers, if you have to go grand scale to achieve this it doesn't ever hurt to do so.
Here's an example of a fortress I started doing block by block
I got carried away with the scale but I implemented the varying smooth stone texture I mentioned previously
Maybe just a tad less cobble? You could try adding more smooth stone and leave the cobble around the edges, or use stone bricks. I'm sure it's going to look way better once you get your crenelations going, it's a good start.