Saturday, March 19, 2011

AdeptiCon Tables: part three

Redrawing and Revelation

Once I had the first concrete drawing of all 6 tables sketched in a small plan, I… well… I redrew them, only bigger ("ohh it's like space... only darker"). I took each component and enlarged it more or less to scale on an individual sheet of graphed paper so that I could a) observe the space each wall, each corner, and each doodad would require on the table in a more precise manner, and b) whittle away some more time until it got warm enough to build once again. This Winter was brutal. 

The process both of redrawing and of enlarging the initial ideas forced me to refine my thinking considerably. I felt much more confident about what would be happening after spinning, sifting, erasing, folding, and generally ruminating ad nauseum on them (in some of these photos, you may spot a red folder. That's my graph and ideas folder. I've had it laying about for months now). In the end, this has proved a tremendously useful step.

At this time, I also painted out some swatches of GW colors so that I could match them to the standard house paints (more on that next time).

Unfortunately, I had come no closer to answering any of the questions from the last post. Where, Why, When, and more. But I wasn't about to let that paralyze the operation. AdeptiCon waits for no man. 

Never worry. As if on cue, the blogosphere answered. I forget where I first saw the link (though I suspect that Porky had something to do with it. This is his particular talent) to the Rancor Pit's planet generator, but it’s a brilliant bit of randomly generated fluffernutter for those of us in need of it. I remember that I almost felt that the internets were listening to my soul; it felt my angst and filled the need as only the internet can. Just glorious.

It’s great fun. I clicked a few times until I found something that felt right… and here it is:

Planet Name: Roamir
Planet Function: Colony/Mining
Government: Military Imperial Governor
Planet Type: Satellite
Terrain: Volatile/Volcanic
Atmosphere: Type II (breathing apparatus rec.)
Length of Day: 15 hrs
Length of Year: 270 local days
Hydrosphere: Moderate
Temperature: Temperate-Hot
Population: until recently 900000
Starport: Limited Services
Tech Level: Post-Industrial Hyperspace

So that’s the planet in question. Very little of this information is relevant to the Killzone games (indeed, much of it remains a non-entity), but it gave my poor planet a name and a face and a bit of history and a kind of purpose. Inertia took over once more. I found it quite useful when thinking about a few specific details to know this history. What color should the soil be, for example? It's not as easy a question as it first might seem -particularly when you consider that that soil might appear here and there across 24 consecutive feet of table.  That's a different monster.

Oh, and at this time I began genuinely to hoard every last little item I could find that seemed to promise some small glimmer of purpose or potential.  It almost became a compulsion.

One more thing. At the end of each of these posts from this point forward, I intend to add a little "top tip" from all the modest, un-intrusive items I have learned while stumbling through this process. These tips will be small, no doubt, and potentially obvious to the more experienced terrain guru out there; nevertheless, they are/were new to me and helped push me from there to here. So. Here goes:

++TOP TIP: when laying out the table, I had to remember that one-by is actually only 3/4 inch thick. To keep the plans and the reality from varying too widely, I purchased a roll (two in fact) of blue masking tape... 3/4inch. As I mapped out the table, I plotted the lines with the tape as well in order to ensure that I was looking at an accurate representation of what I'd planned. Later, this acted as the reasonably precise footprint of where the wood would sit, and helped tremendously with the actual measurements involved with the carpentry as well. Some walls are still sitting on top of this tape even now.++


Max said...

Thanks for the link to the planet generator- its pretty cool to mess around with for a while.

Deadmeat said...

Planet Gen. AWESOME
Boards so far. AWESOME
Learning new things about making a KillZone board. PRICELESS

jabberjabber said...

Glad that I'm not the only hoarder :)
The killzone board making series is terrific!

Brent said...

Hiya man - I'll be at Adepticon this year after all!

The Flylords out of Austin are kidnapping me for the weekend, and we're all taking the Short Party Bus up from Texas.

Guess I'll get that beer after all!

Meet you soon - Brent

Brian said...

@ Max. It is great fun, isn't it. There's a lot to be said for the imaginative spaces that simple generator provides.

@ Deadmeat. Much obliged.

@ Jabbers. Cheers mate. I appreciate that.

@ Brent. Beer? I thought yours was a white wine spritzer... hey ooh.

Sidney Roundwood said...

Great post, B, and it’s going to be really interesting following your blog detailing the construction of the tables. In particular, the Top Tips are always welcomed. Also, focusing on a single planet, and all the questions and consistencies which flow from that choice, is a great idea. I think having a specific place in mind, a real sense of place, helps draw everything together. I can’t wait for the next post!