Hohenwerfen Castle — World Building

Iuliu-Cosmin Oniscu
4 min readFeb 20, 2022

An exercise

The following was an exercise I did in 2020 as part of the @JFGnorD' #leveldesign challenge on Twitter.

I don't remember exactly what the challenge's theme was, but this is what came out of that.

Hohenwerfen Castle

The Castle

Hohenwerfen Castle is a medieval rock castle situated on a 623-metre precipice overlooking the Austrian market town of Werfen in the Salzach valley, approximately 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of Salzburg.

The fortress is surrounded by the Berchtesgaden Alps and the adjacent Tennen Mountains. Hohenwerfen is a "sister" of Hohensalzburg Fortress, both built by the Archbishops of Salzburg in the 11th century.

Tennen Mountains Berchtesgaden Alps

The River

The Salzach River runs through the town of Werfen down to Salzburg.

Salzach River in Salzburg

The Town

The map is inspired by other German and Austrian medieval castles like Liech, Cochen, Eltz and Neuschwanstein.

Traditional German towns inspire the Town Theme with beautiful colourful houses such as the ones below:

The action took place in 1916. The town is used as a refuelling and repair station for Zeppelins and airships.

The town hosts a Church, the Pfarant. Behind it, there is a small cemetery leading into a bunch of crypts. These connect to a sewer through an elaborate network of catacombs. (WIP)

The town connects to the castle via a mountain pass. The court overlooked the city and served as a vantage point in past in case of invasions and other aggressions:

From the keep, a castle bridge leads up to a small outpost on top of a nearby cliff where a zeppelin docking station has been installed. The Fueling tower nearby serves as an anchor point for the Airships stationed here.

A small bridge traverses the chasm above the river connecting the castle to town.

The river cuts through the mountain, splitting the city in two. Two bridges traverse it. The Bridges also frame the central docking area of the town. This is all the base crafts and merchants' situation, including smiting and other manufacturing jobs.

There are several entrances in the town coming from all directions:

The player can access the town via the river; however, due to the state of the war, they might be heavily monitored.

The process

I drafted all my references in Inkscape and then used Blender to build it.

However, this project will not continue, but I felt I should unearth it from twitter and give it a permanent documentation page.



Iuliu-Cosmin Oniscu

As a level designer I am not a creator, I am a facilitator. Senior Open World Designer. #Leveldesign #Open World #Design @notimetoulose.