Sunday, April 25, 2010

Map 6 of 26: Mission Abort!

Originally I planned to post a map that would showcase a bit of gaming nostalgia from years past. Unfortunately, this map is taking a ton of time to clean up and finish. So hopefully that "classic" map I promised will be up for viewing in the next few weeks. In the meantime I give you a map designed by a "psychotic moron".

Back on 04/03/2010, I was discussing my personal opinions of the character selection (or the lack thereof) from Brave & the Bold on a thread title "**SPOILER ALERT** Brave and the Bold" over at HCRealms. I broke the set figures down on a rating scale from 1 thru 5 where generally 3 thru 5 are positive categories and only one category is overtly negative. Here's a quote from that thread.

"1- Characters or concepts I dislike so much that if I had a time machine I'd go back in time and kill the creator's parents (Remakes or New ****)
020 – Damian Wayne
042 – Robin
045 - The Wizard Shazam (I won't forgive DC for messing up the Marvel Family)"

In a 04/11/2010 thread titled "Disgusted" created by HCRealms member mjts , mjts ranted:

"Some moron actually said that there were three characters in this set he disliked so much that if he had a time machine he would go back and kill the parents of the creators. I am not sure if he was talking about the creators of the sculpts, the dials or the comic book characters, but what was more surprising to me was that this psychotic was not immediately banned."

Now OK, I'll give you that my category label is a little extreme but I intensely hate the concept of Damien Wayne. For the people out there that like this character. I'm glad they got two versions of him.

However, Batman has been known for his willpower for years. Knock him unconscious and try to take off the cowl... blam!... you're electrocuted. The man carries anti-shark repellant in his utility belt. That's prepared. This guy even carries around a piece of kryptonite just in case his buddy goes loco. That's even more prepared. He's slept with a billion women for seventy years and never conceived a child. Cripes, Hugh Hefner couldn't even do that.

Yet somehow Talia got a hold of some Bat-seed. Are you telling me there isn't some Bat-defertilization spray in that tool belt? You've got to be kidding me.

So it got me thinking, in the vast tapestry of comics, how could Batman stop this? Clearly he'd use the Atom to shrink down and stop the conception or maybe since he's a billionaire pay someone to shrink down and permanently set up shop in his sack who leaps into action in the event of an unexpected release. I like the idea of Batman joining forces with Rip Hunter and the Atom to go back in time to get inside Talia and stop Damien Wayne from being conceived. Once there, they're surprised to find hordes of League Elite and Man-Bat Assassins guarding her eggs. So with that fight in mind, a new map was born.

Now of course this map isn't exclusively Talia, so we can use it to stop any of the ridiculous offspring comicbookdom has forced on us over the years. From Connor Hawke to Hulkling no contrived legacy character is safe.

Before anyone asks... yes, this is an indoor map. This map was difficult for me as it was the first time I had to hand design all the shading effects. No one on the various RPG map sites had ever designed the necessary uterine shadows needed to create the internal area of this map. This map also has a ton of blocking terrain to help define where the "cavern" walls would be.

The debate has also finally been won; giant sperm flow is hindering terrain. Late last night, a fellow judge and I were discussing the merits of making sperm flow water terrain but in the end I felt at that scale the sperm would be too large to be wet. Also before any microbiologists reading this jump down my throat, I understand that the sperm, eggs and background are way out of scale to each other. However I needed to get all three elements in the map and feel the scale offense is nowhere near as bad as some of the scale liberties mainstream companies have taken on their maps such as the giant computers on that bank map.

Anyway, thanks for reading this moron's psychotic ramblings and I'll see you in a few weeks.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Map 5 of 26: Warrior Island

One of the major reasons I wanted to get into map-making was that I felt dramatically limited by the types of maps that mainstream companies were producing. I've also been an avid comic book reader and my personal collection stretches back now well into the Golden Age of comics. The fun part about comic books is that the locales can be fantastic: Atlantis with Namor or Aquaman, fiery Apokolips, underground caverns or ancient Greek islands. The dull part of current gaming for me is that the vast majority of the maps produced have been in Anytown, USA.

I also wanted to toy around with map dynamics not yet explored by mainstream companies. Sometimes I'll start working on a map and think "Why does elevated terrain always needs a way to it?" This is seen in the Martian Clock Map. Conceptually, that clockwork structure is floating. So why should a non-flier be able to get up there automatically? Mainstream companies have the obligation to create a balanced playing field as the makers of the game and shepherds of the gaming experience. I don't have that hindrance. I have the luxury of designing playing fields that are not shackled with the burden of being balanced for both players.

And that brings me to my next map, Warrior Island. With Brave & the Bold having so many island-hailing warriors in it, I felt this next map was appropriate to complete. It's been sitting half-finished on my hard drive for easily two years and I felt it was time to finally clean this one up.

With this map, I wanted a map that gave a stronger advantage to one side (the island defenders) than the other (the offshore attackers). Here the defenders have quickest access to the elevated and blocking terrain. The attackers are saddled with nothing to obstruct any line of fire to them and start off with a movement penalty for being in the water. There is only one measly square of hindering terrain, the idea behind this is that it gives the defenders home field advantage as the attackers have no place to hide from the island natives.

Of course, I have to now shell out the cash to get to Kinkos and print this baby up. Hopefully by the weekend I will have my 600 point Amazon army taking on Darkseid and his parademons.

Next week, we'll revisit an old classic.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Martian Balls!

Many of you may have seen this blog and my thread dedicated to my personal custom map challenge over in the Custom Maps forums.

I want to thank everyone who has supported me here, at HCRealms, and on the Dundjinni web site.