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I've been practicing my mapping skills but one thing that I've be having trouble with is mapping the outside of large buildings. I'm OK at mapping the inside of buildings and I've read a few mapping tutorials but do you have any tips for building like castles and mansions?
Get a general layout in mind. For the most part, buildings are planned. They're almost always symmetrical in shape and design.
- Keep in mind what kinds of rooms your manor or castle is likely to have. If it's upper nobility, there's bound to be various recreational rooms, servant quarters, gardens and the like.
- Castle designs depend on what the castle was built for. Some were summer homes and thus were more about beauty and peace, often set in high altitude areas that made them hard to storm, just in case, but offering an amazing, relaxing view. Castles that were more army forts often had thick walls with different buildings in the courtyards to house animals and food as well as buildings that could be torn down to use as blockades between the gate and the castle proper, gatehouse, wells.
- Inside castles were often full of grandeur. Stone flooring with carpets only as runners or in living areas (like bedrooms and sitting rooms) was the norm. Stone made it hard for people to sneak up on guards as footsteps echoed.
- Remember that while you're making a castle, you're also making a game and as such, making the player to walk a million miles to get from one door to another is rather silly. Considering each tile to be around 1/2 - 1 metre in length (1 - 3.5 feet, respectively) usually helps to scale things well. Try to take into consideration that walls will have hidden space behind them, too. So if you want to make a 5 tile wide corridor, and you're using 2-tile high walls + one-tile roof-tile, then you'd only need three extra tiles above the roof tile. Example shown here:

Green shows the overlap. Behind those tiles are two tiles worth of room. Thus, this corridor is total 5 tiles wide all the way through. Blue highlights where the base of the wall would be. It's equal to the thickness of the wall. If the roof tile was two tiles thick, it would be two tiles thick at the base, too, and anything above it would be the overlap.

Check out some layouts online - google them, there's quite a few out there. I'll also recommend you check out The Here and Now of Yesterday (game on site) which is based in a manor, but that's completely up to you.
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