Author Topic: Tanneries and leather  (Read 167 times)

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Offline flagpole

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Tanneries and leather
« on: September 24, 2018, 09:04:14 AM »
Brand new player here... I came looking for mods because there were two glaring problems in the vanilla production chain - missing millers for grain (no-one eats raw grains unmilled) and missing tanneries for leather (you can't do anything with untanned leather, let alone make clothes out of it :o ). I'm incredulous that this wasn't part of the vanilla game since this is so basic and an expected part of production chains in about all other building games I've played. I'm very pleased to see modders have addressed the milling problem and provided good consistency for milling flour/baking across their mods, but the approach to tanneries is rather inconsistent; or perhaps they aren't very interesting to modders.

My main problem is that tailoring would never use a raw animal hide without it being scraped clean of fat and flesh and hair, which is what the tanning process does. If there is going to be any reality in the production chains (which has been happily explored or taken to extremes in other areas, with a plethora of baking products, milk and cheese, even coke and charcoal) then tailors should never take raw hides from hunters/livestock farmers. I can see the difficulty of changing it now, as unless there's a possibility for a simple over-ride you either have to change the raw product resource for every possible modded hunter model and animal type that might drop "hides", or stop tailors from picking up "raw" leather, which means altering all possible tailors out there to accept all possible cured leather resource types. But since that work has been done already with the millers and flour from grains, I am surprised that there hasn't been more effort at a consistent approach for leather.

Right now I see maybe three mods (apart from CC which I don't want to get into right now) that add tanneries, but each does it in a different way, so they aren't really mixable, because of the way the raw material leather (hides) and the tannery output (leather/cured leather) are used or inconsistently coded. I noticed RedKetchup in one post somewhere suggested he wouldn't do a tannery because DarkBibou's old Tree of Life mod did it already, but that has a lot of drawbacks AFAICT, especially the lack of recent updates and the fact that you have to have roaming cows and chickens in your forest for hunting, which is nonsense for some of us. The good part of that is that it seems to insert before any leather usage by any other business, so there are no changes needed for vanilla-based tailor requirements, for instance. EMB's Village production has a nice solution producing cured leather, but the leatherworking using that seems to be restricted only to producing unusable goods for export (pouches and saddles), not inserting in the tailoring chain. Other mods have a shoemaker, but again that's more extra unusable goods instead of it being part of the critical tailoring chain.

I also want to comment on the tannery process/building itself: tanneries are deeply unpleasant buildings to live near. Throughout history the basic production method was to soak your raw hides in urine and even dung, since uric acid was the cheapest and most easily available active ingredient in the process before a formal chemical industry. I don't believe salt was ever part of the medieval method as it was an expensive food import from the very few places that could mine it (or create salt pans near the coast), almost as precious as spice. But that does mean that in-game any tannery should have a very significant unhappiness factor around it, like a mine but probably more so. I've been to Fez, the almost unchanged medieval town in Morocco, which still has original working open tannery pits in the centre for their famous leather export industry, and even now in the modern era the stench is almost unbearable, so using human and animal urine in the past in Moroccan heat must have been... challenging for the locals. ;)

Here's a good guide to them: http://www.onlyadayaway.com/visiting-the-fez-tanneries/ - although I'm not suggesting a change to the models from the current covered production buildings.

I'm putting these thoughts out there in the hope that some of the still active modders might consider them in updates to their tannery chains, or by adding more realistic tailors that don't take smelly, bloody, hair-covered raw hides to make clothes from. ??? The production chain could also use fertiliser (as dung dropped by animals) rather than salt, or just assume that the source is the population themselves, which would be historically accurate, and would allow an immediate industry startup rather than having to wait for livestock (or build salt).

It would also be nice to see some brainstorming to make this more consistent across mods, although I'm aware that compatability with CC is likely to be the biggest argument most will have against any change. Since this has never been discussed here AFAICT, I'm interested to see the feedback.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2018, 10:35:22 AM by flagpole »

Offline brads3

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Re: Tanneries and leather
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2018, 10:19:14 AM »
the game designer left much out. the thinking is he never dreamed the game could be as popular and do so much as it does now.the other idea is the bannies do much work themselves.so they grind flower and make bread and can the food "behind the scenes" so to speak.  similarly they deal with the leather.

     there is 1 way to get the extra step to the leather process. it is not  going to use urine.it will also offset your mod list.you can load the North mod and then add the tannery. the North has reindeer and gives deer hides.the tannery will process the hides into leather to be used by the tailors. due to the differences in salt and leather from EB's mods to TOM's the leatherworks did not work.it will give the extra step to your clothing process. you will need to use the North as your main mod.experiment with it and add to it as you go.you may try adding EB's mod above the North. this might fix the salt for the leatherworks but offset the salt for North buildings.it will become a give and take to find which way works best for you. you won't want to add RK or CC to the mod set up though.   

Offline flagpole

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Re: Tanneries and leather
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2018, 11:14:31 AM »
Thanks brads, but I wasn't really looking to go North either. I was hoping for more creative solutions than locking myself into one specific modding environment, and it might be something that other players would appreciate too.

I understand there's a tension between those who want easier production chains so as not to add too much difficulty, and those who like complex, realistic chains. There certainly seem to be plenty of those around! I'd argue that what I'm suggesting is a useful middle ground that maintains realism. You add just one essential building into the tailoring chain (or maybe two if you have a water industry as well supplying the tannery), eliminating salt which should be a food product but assuming that the active ingredient is supplied freely by the locals. :D  Then any additional production (shoes, leatherware) is optional but can soak up excess production beyond clothes, for export since it's not usable locally. It makes basic clothing a little harder to reach at start from vanilla, but not much.

In terms of general non-North usage, it might just mean slightly altered tailors to work with existing tanneries in various modders' sets. That's probably easier than altering all the possible hunting/livestock side of things to drop hides rather than leather, for use in reworked tanneries (although I think that would be an optimum goal). But I don't know what might be possible with some sort of global over-ride on buildings or production.

I really do think an unhappiness radius on tanneries is important, though, so I'm offering this idea as an opportunity to tweak and improve the whole chain slightly for everyone.

Offline embx61

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Re: Tanneries and leather
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2018, 12:01:38 PM »
I have the framework in place so all i need to do is add a tailor building to the Village production set which have the shoemaker, tannery, salt mine, water well all ready in place, and can make clothing from cured leather instead of just leather and your wish becomes true :).
I did some reading and salt was also used in the Tannery process so not out of place to use salt in a tannery I think.

If Salt is taken out the tannery process the salt mine is useless in my mods as salt is at the moment only used by tanners.
I still thinking about a meat preserve chain. It will be just 1 building as the water and salt are available.

Probably something what make some regular meats like venison, mutton into a preserved meat version what give 1 1/2 to 2 times the amount of the meat what went in.
It is too bad the game has no decay of food and it cannot be modded in.
Just a pottery/glassware(So these get a real use too) item as container and salt and a meat product ---> preserved meat.

I personally would just go with preserved meat for all meat to not overload the items so venison, mutton what is put in will all will be preserved meat so only one extra item is needed.
Still tinkering with this subject though as numbers etc.

The Vanilla tailor can just stay as it is so no harm done for those who not want the tannery/tailor chain :)
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Offline Tom Sawyer

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Re: Tanneries and leather
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2018, 12:48:20 PM »
I think it has to be defined in which environment you would like to play with a tannery. A general solution is difficult or even impossible because mods have different livestock and wildlife with different outputs and properties, different resources and professions. What I can do is separate the Nordic tannery with an override of vanilla deer and cattle to drop hides and with a small radius to decrease happiness. Salt or any supply is not used in the recipes. It would also include my tanner profession and could be used in vanilla-based games.

Offline TheOtherMicheal

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Re: Tanneries and leather
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2018, 03:44:30 AM »
Too add to the information about the Nordic Tannery from The North mod, Tom Sawyer released it as a separate mod and I am using it with MegaMod (and other mods).
I have it placed near the top of my load order so that all "leather" from deer and cattle is produced as "hides" and must go to the Nordic Tannery to be turned into leather. it works well but anything that supplies leather from other animals is not affected (the leather is still supplied as leather).

And as embx61 mentioned, he has a tannery in his collection of mods so you dont have to use The North to get access to a tannery but as was pointed out by brads, the vanilla game is quite unsophisticated and the designer never thought the game would have the appeal and longevity it enjoys (plus he also designed it as a survival game and not just a city builder so I think he left some things out so that it wasn't too harsh to play & enjoy).

However Tom Sawyer's The North mod is very good and makes the production chains more logical than in the vanilla game so you might enjoy his mod, it's definitely worth checking out. The production mods made by embx are also very good and worth checking out too. I don't use The North because MegaMod conflicts with it so I make a lot of use of embx's mods along with Red Ketchup's New Medieval Town and Discrepancy's Small Village mods.