I’ve been experimenting with 3D-printed Dice, in this case, it has an LCD-style (Liquid Crystal Display). The video below shows me painting you the rest version I printed in clear resin.
Download for free;
How do you express the soulless husk of the corporate world in a game like Cyberpunk, without going over the top into parody? Tantacrul’s video on Corporate Music – How to Compose with no Soul, was just the inspiration I needed to create some soulless hell.
From the midst of the storm of the last 3 years, I’ve had to pack a lot of side projects away while I focused on my job. So, a while ago I archived this website. Bring things back online it’s been 18 months since the last post.
Now, to pick up the pieces. Reorganise the parts into something coherent. Maybe a facelift. A continued imaginary exploration of the other worlds. Fantasy realms of the past, the all too near future of dystopian oligarchs, and an expanse of sci-fi stars stuck in an all too familiar pattern of human conflict.
Part of moving my projects over Blender 2.83 LTS is collecting my notes on various topics, including cameras.
5 cool camera tricks in Blender 2.80, this covers some cool stuff. However, I’ll have to manual set up the cameras until isocam gets updated.
From the Isocam script:
It’s worth noting that for TrueIsoCam, the X-Rotation Slot can be set to
( atan( sqrt(2) ) ) degrees.
The Wiki page for IsoCam needs updating.
Ever since reading Tolkien as a kid, I’ve just loved the style of map that he created for Middle Earth. And this style has carried across to Fantasy RPGs. So when the opportunity came to create a map for The Tales of Tarya, I jumped at it.
This time I wanted to make a good quality digital copy for this project. YouTube came to the rescue with this excellent video on mapping from the Fantastic Maps Channel.
A short summary of the technique for mountains…
Combine that in to a group I then proceeded to do the same for the coastline, hills, forests, rivers, cities/towns, and labels. So about 20 layers all up.
Although, YMMV, I find this CPAF, because hidden behind the music are words that bite home with the cutting wisdom of the bards carving ideas into your mind. So, I’m filing this piece of forgotten ‘art’ under CPAF!
Pulp‘s lyrics fill a void only the poor can really understand, combined with a saccharin pop beat and the overacting god, otherwise known as William Shatner, on the album, “HAS BEEN” … No truer words spoken … elevates it too the next level with an almost act of piracy (or a cover for the uninitiated) by not signing! The sheer genius and greatness of this! Remix culture at it’s finest.
Settings for a Isometric Cameras in Blender, adapted from
Daring Dino’s video Creating Isometric Cameras in Blender.
Setting up the camera this way requires that it is set to Orthographic with the rotation adjusted 54.736, 0, 45 (X, Y, Z). The XYZ coordinates can be anywhere to set up a good shot.
I’ve also noticed that if the Z-rotation is shifted +-90 to (45, 135, 225, or 315), it still maintains an isometric view, but from a different side.
RPGs have been around for a while and one of the great joys is the stories that emerge from the game. The innocent-sounding ideas that become disasters ending in a TPK, and that epic-level bullshit that players try and get away with, and those stupid jokes that become core to your own game.
TheGlen’s list, Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG, gives insight to some of those experiences. Read the full list here:
or Mister Welch, a website that spits them out one at a time.
I have been so tempted to build a Gnomish character around, just the references to Gnomes to try some out in the home game.
Recently I went back and played Thief Gold by looking glass studio, picking up the triple pack of Thief Gold, Thief 2, and the new Thief 2014. The experiences I had between the new and old were very stark. This video by Dom Giuca sums up some of my frustrations with the game and the style of games in general.
The game Thief used artful storytelling techniques in the crafting of the levels to heighten the mood or terror of an opponent and still manages to achieve it with very minimal technical specs, especially when compared to today’s titles.
It provides the player with a minimal toolset to achieve your goals, but to will feel the loss of one of these things
Another thing I’ve noticed is the sound design a theme which is picked up and explored by Strat-Edgy Productions in The Sounds Of A Thief. This is an element of game design that I’m hearing in more and more games.
These elements bring me back to why I (and possibly you) play games, which is for new experiences. To see the world in different ways and to explore where those paths lead us.
Useful links related to Thief & Thief 2
As a player, a rich world is one I’m happy to return to again and again. There is something about these rich worlds that keep drawing me onto the new horizons. So what are these worlds and what is it that keeps me coming back. Firstly some examples…
The classic that has spawned hundreds of imitators making the foundation of the fantasy genre is the only place to start when exploring the idea of rich worlds. Looking beyond the story there are many facets of Middle Earth that draw you in.
Firstly, there is the distinct races of Middle Earth. Each has a unique culture that separates it from the other peoples of the world. The way that Elves exists is distinct from the Dwarven mindset. The quick vicious intelligence of Goblins plays at a different speed to the Ents. So each race or culture approaches situations differently and this can play out in the behaviors of the NPCs, although Players as always remain unpredictable.
Secondly, the use of language or in this case languages. Each language acts as a further barrier to make each race distinct from one another. The harsh sounds of Black Speech, divides the Orks from the musical tones of the Elven languages and the Dwarven Khuzdul. The unique created languages add another layer of richness to the beautiful landscape.
The third is the long history that adds weight to each culture. Thousands of years of history that each individual carries from their own cultures help build a strong narrative. For example; The eminently that exists between Elves and Dwarves is created from their long history of wars.
Finally, there is the map which represents the geography of the world. For me the map of middle earth provides a rich tapestry to wonder around the page of possibility exploring it’s locations without having to write all the details onto the page, but explodes in my mind filling in the blanks.
The world of Westeros also has a long history with many elements not fully revealed to the readers (or watchers) of the series. George has previously stated that his inspiration was the Wart of the Roses where this first Tudor king, Henry the VII rose to power followed by Henry the VIII. That time does mark a tumultuous period of English history, and as a fantasy world build it does give you a short cut into creating a rich background for the players to carve up.
Another thing that Westeros has is the taking of standard fantasy cliches and adding a twist. For example; If you look at the Stone men which could be in D&D terms Golems or Earth Elementals, but in the mythos of Westeros are suffers of Greyscale. There are a number of differing stories surrounding each of the major elements existing in the Song of Fire & Ice. So having a basic idea with lots of embellishments and variations to the story existing to add strength to the tales, and natural rumors for the players to shift through.
White Wolf’s World of Darkness (WoD), in a similar move to Westeros, shows us a hidden history and what is concealed behind the common news stories of today to illuminate the horrors that lurk at the end of perception. And if we choose to peel back the skin we to can reveal the sores of festering evil underneath. It takes the current world events and adds another layer of meaning to over the top.
In the first 72 issues of the comic series Sandman, Neil Gaiman weaves together the legends of many cultures with a twist of modern horror to create something new. The tails are familiar, yet play out in unexpected ways as greater entities that dwell outside the myths impact upon what we know.
As the GM or World Creator, what are the simple ways to add richness to our gaming worlds with a huge amount of effort, such as, Tolkien did when writing the created histories for Middle Earth.