Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Straightening the wonky rivers

I was browsing the WorldWorks Games forum looking for possible kitbash ideas. Someone requested more river tiles, and specifically asked for a less wobbly river. The one that comes with the Hinterland Forests set is VERY windy:

Here's a quick demonstration of what I can do to straighten this out:

Some suggestions came in from the WorldWorks forums. Here's a stream with a small island:

Here's the straightened stream, with rocks:

Hintervale - Destroyed Wall

It dawned on me last night that it might be cool to take a destroyed Himmelveil Streets wall and layer on some of the grass from a Hinterland Cliff wall, making it blend in more with the overgrown remains of an ancient city. Here's a sample:

I still need to work out the posts, but that should be easy. I made the wall in two types - a full 6", and these above that are broken in half, allowing for shorter ruined walls. I might go a step further and make some "prop" walls that have Hinterland bases and are free-standing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hintervale - Ancient City

I don't know what to call this... I've called it "Ancient City", "Ruined City", "Lost City"... Whatever. I toyed around with these tiles in the past, and I'm taking another stab at them, thinking about what might constitute a full 'set' of tiles:

I think of these tiles as terrain plot hooks - I'm not looking to actually build a whole ruined city (not yet at least). I'm looking to have a little bit of civilization peeking through - enough to make a player realize they've stumbled onto 'the spot' where something needs to go down. I like the dried-up and murky fountains... I'm going to try to add some leaves to the water in the fountain. The other two tiles... Hrm... I need to tinker with the grime on the bricks - they stand out too much. I will be cloning some grass in between the bricks a little, and I think that will go a long way.

Update: Someone requested "brown stagnant water" rather than the "mossy green" one. Here an attempt:

I'm just tinkering with the hue of a semi-opaque layer on top of the original water. If the color is right, but the highlights look wrong, I can try to go back and eliminate them.

Clearing my plate

I've almost completed going through my old kitbash submissions and freshening them up so they stand a chance of being accepted. It's been a considerable amount of work, as it turns out. I've gone back and created 1", 1.5" and no grid formats of all the tiles I've done in the past, and I've created anchored as well as anchorless versions. Some of the tile sets I was working from never shipped with anchorless versions, so I had to do the work of covering up all the glue spots before I could use them. I've also created TerrainlinX Planner files for all of the kitbashes. It's not as fun as creating the tiles for the first time, but it will hopefully be rewarding to be able to share them with other people. Fingers crossed!

The sets I've submitted now are:

1) Cliff Entrance to the Lost Halls
2) Himmelveil Canals - Extra Halls
3) Himmelveil Gardens
4) Himmelveil Streets - Extra Halls
5) Hinterland Forests - Dead Ends
6) Hinterland Forests - Shoreline

I still have a couple old kitbash ideas I'd like to clean up, but this really helps clear my plate of some long-standing todo items, so now I don't feel like I'm neglecting things when I get back to the TLX version of CastleWorks Ultimate!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Kitbash Idea - Hinterland Lava Flows

Not sure how well this will ever work out, but I was thinking of other sets that would be fun to combine, and here was something quick I came up with:

I need to work on the execution a bit, but the idea is this - combine the lava from the Lair of the Dragon God set with the river tiles from the Hinterland Forests and Hinterland Cliffs sets. I had to do some adjustments to the river tiles to make them less bendy (and I probably will do even more...) since most lava flow pictures I could find did NOT look like the lava went all zig-zaggy... I added a layer to darken the stuff around the lava flow so it looks more charred. I need to soften the boundaries between the charred and uncharred areas, but that's not hard.

I think it'd be neat to kitbash the SwiftScenic DeadFall: Deadman's Canyon set so that it uses Hinterland Cliffs textures for the rock face, and grass/dirt textures for the flat parts. Then I could make a volcano texture to let lava flow down.

Here's another version, this time making heavy use of some dead ground texture I made from another Hinterland Forest tile. I cloned out all of the grass, reduced the saturation quite a bit, then used that around the lava. I really hate the harsh edge between the lava and the ground texture, but I'm not sure feathering the edge will make me happier... I'll continue to experiment.

Friday, August 10, 2012

TLX Castle - slightly less quick roof test

I printed out a couple roof pieces and small trusses, and two 6" walls. This gives me some idea of what these pieces will ultimately look like:

I almost think the tiles look too large for the scale of the building.  I might have to try another printing after scaling the tiles down some to see what I like better. Still, I think they look pretty Ok.

This is another 6" wall. I like how the walls came out - they look really nice assembled. I totally am looking forward to doing some with transparencies!

Here you can see the small truss piece. The posts and 3" walls were just Himmelveil Streets pieces I had close by. I think they're going to look really nice once I get some more wall textures done.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

TLX Castle - quick roof tests

While at work waiting for my code to compile, I sometimes try to make progress on the mindless tasks of converting pieces. This usually means simply creating more and more templates from existing sets. Today, I thought I'd try to whip up a simple roof piece and truss.

That's an example 6" "low roof" piece using one of the roof textures from CastleWorks. The interior texture is from Thoumont's.

Here's the other texture used in roofs in the CastleWorks set. It's ok, I guess. I'll withhold judgement on it's style until I print out a piece or two and make a building. That's really why I put these together - to see what it'd look like when built.

I did a single end truss piece that would be compatible with these roof pieces. The exterior of the truss uses the exterior plaster wall texture (it's darker and has water stains on it), and I found an area of weathering that fit nicely.

If I have a chance tonight, I'll assemble them. Working this small will be refreshing - it's only a couple of simple pieces to edge and assemble!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TLX Castle - testing interior walls

I thought I'd take a few minutes to try out converting the interior walls. Here are some sample shots of 6" walls:

I've tried to avoid scaling the walls, but I want to keep some of the details. So, for example, I had to remove some of the metal pieces from the exterior of the wall when the door/window were there. But, it worked out OK. Also, I didn't scale the railing, and I pieced together the peeling wall areas. I think they are pretty true to the original. There are some challenges with the door and with some of the other window styles, but I'll keep plugging away. I think, ideally, I'll have maybe three different 6" walls, and four different 3" walls.

After I get these done, I'll try to convert the roof!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Photos of some castle build progress

Here are a couple shots of the catwalk system as it's coming along. I put together some of the new support beams and they work great.

Clearly photography is not my main profession... Here's some closeups of the supports in "action":

The first photo shows one of the supports with just one half of the top attached, allowing it to fit snugly against another wall. The second shot is of a center support, so it's got both pieces on the top.

The catwalks themselves have TLX anchors on the tops AND the bottoms:

Those two anchors on the bottom, combined with the supports, make the catwalks really stable. They're a little fiddly to get into place, but it seems worth it.

As for the towers, I'm going to try to plow through as many of the tear-drop shaped tower floors as I can tonight:

My hope is that I can get enough done for a three-story tower. I don't have the posts or walls for them yet, but those are easier to make than cutting out the round foam core tiles.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

TLX Castle - todo list for exteriors

I think this is a list of what I need to complete before I get working on the textures for the interior buildings.

  1. crenelations: I've got railing-style crenelations which will work great for flat edges, but I also want crenelations on the rounded walls. My thoughts now are to try making 1/2 height crenelation "walls". I think in the end they'll take up less space and be more versatile anyway.
  2. hoardings: My current thoughts - and I haven't attempted anything yet - is to come up with a fold-flat box that will have tlx wall tabs on the sides, allowing it to slot into a full-height or half-height post (not sure which).
  3. catwalks: I've done 6" straight catwalks in a stone texture. I'll do 3" as well. I'd also like to try some using the wooden textures available.
  4. stairs: I need to turn the existing stairs into tlx stairs. I've never done that before, but I'm hoping it will go quickly once I get the hang of it.
  5. misc: I need to build a ladder or two (there ARE ladders, right?) and see whether I need to tweak them or not. I want to consider at least dropping a trap door texture onto the tower floors, possibly even coming up with a way to make the trap doors open and close.
Basically, I'm almost done with the exterior walls. For the interiors, there will be a lot... a LOT... of tedious work doing up the roof pieces, so I'm going to try to stay very focused on the few pieces I need for my current build-out...