In conjunction with making the terrain of my level and based on my concept imagery I started sketching and blocking up simple building assets. At this point I wanted to keep things as simple as possible as it was just the layout stage for my level, but also keeping polygon budget and UV unwrapping in mind (I knew there was going to be a lot of unwrapping!).
The first few buildings were designed with the starting fishing port/village area in mind. They are very simple but should be easy to unwrap and texture with a low poly count. Once textured I'll distort and warp the geometry to give a more aged look to the assets as you can see in the sketches. Doing it this way means the texture will warp with the geometry as it deforms.
As the player winds through the streets the buildings become more sturdy and opulent to show the wealth and status of the citizens in the world. This medium townhouse asset acts as a halfway gap between the poorer, port buildings and the large townhouses that ring the market plaza.
The large town house will be packed closely to create the narrow shady streets that branch off the main square. I followed my reference material closely so the upper floors over-shadow the street below. Levels can be broken down in a modular fashion to create new buildings of various heights.