Sunday, February 24, 2013

Awash With Roses

The Sea Is Awash With Roses

The sea is awash with roses O they blow
Upon the land

The still hills fill with their scent
O the hills flow on their sweetness
As on God's hand

O love, it is so little we know of pleasure
Pleasure that lasts as the snow

But the sea is awash with roses O they blow
Upon the land

--Kenneth Patchen

Saturday, February 23, 2013

3D Hex Terrain: Proof of Concept

The thing about gaming is that it tickles a number of seemingly disparate interests. One of those interests is miniature 3D terrain. While miniatures gaming is its own universe, for different reasons (mostly having to do with kids), I'm basing a 3D terrain project on Battles of Westeros, a hex-based board game.

I've always had to reconcile hexes in a game's graphic design. If they're unsightly and wreck amazing design work, I can't deny their usefulness in making games more playable. They're a necessary evil. So, the primary challenge of this project is to make the hexes more subtle. I'll borrow an idea from the computer graphics of WorldWorks Games: I'll use terrain itself to mark the hex spaces.

Here's the proof of concept:

In the photo above, the corners of a hex are done in light-green grass. It's a bit more pronounced in the rock area near the bottom of the photo. It doesn't look natural. When it comes time to do this for real, the hex corners will have to be done with varying terrain types. While I like how the above turned out, when I focus on the hex corners, they look a bit like spray-painted turf.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this was to make -- even though this was my third try. The rock features are dry-brushed wall spackle. Everything else is Woodland Scenics and Games Workshop right out the box.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Between the Years

A day
drunk with the nectar of
weaves its way between
the years
-- M. Angelou (from "Wonder")

The antidote to a cold late-winter morning. Random scenes from last summer...

Sunday, February 17, 2013