Friday, January 31, 2014

PBE Games - The Litany of Releases

Since last post, I've been busy with new stuff over on DriveThruRPG / RPGNow. Here's an update on the latest PBE Games releases, beginning with several new entries in the Uncommon Ground texture pack series:

  • Flecked - A stone surface with flecks of bright material embedded.
  • Erosion Control - Rough stone with lighter areas protruding from a darker substrate.
  • Petrified Lichen - A stone texture with an irregularly colored surface.
  • Worm Rock - A two-color hatching pattern for old-school style maps.
Note there are previews of each texture available on the relevant product page. Looking forward, I have another eight to ten Uncommon Ground textures almost ready to roll, including two more hatching patterns, another wood grain, and more stone too.
Petrified Lichen Preview
On the Dungeons in Blue front, I put out Twisty Tunnels, a geomorph pack of natural caves. This is similar to the Corridors and Intersections pack in that it's primarily passages, intersections, and curves, with very few rooms. As I've been making more use of geomorphs in my own game, I've discovered you need a lot of these connector-style tiles to fit things together. I have a similar package, Tunnel and Cave, in the works, which provides the same sort of passages and intersections, but each tile is also a natural to worked tunnel connection.

Twisty Tunnels Preview
I've also updated the Master List to include the most recent additions to Dungeons in Blue, plus planned additional releases. Look for three more full geomorph packs, plus the associated triple pack in the next week or two.

Lastly, I released One Page #14 - Arctic Features and Hazards which provides twenty locale-based minor encounters ready for use in any fantasy RPG. I have two more of these planned, one for Jungles, and one for Wetlands, which should round out the One Page terrain types nicely. I'll be doing a standard five pack deal for numbers 11-15, and I'm also planning on bundling up all the outdoor features and hazards One Pages into the Great Outdoors Collection.

Worm Rock Preview
OK, so that's about it for the product updates. Thanks as always for reading, and enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Hex Complete

When I finished up the last post, the hex map I'm working on looked something like...

I spent some time working on this last night, here's how it went. I started by rolling the actual terrain for each of the marked hexes. When Ground Rules generates terrain, there's a chance it will also generate additional terrain in the surrounding areas according to built in rules based on terrain type. Mountains can generate mini-ranges, swamps spread, and oceans create shorelines of land terrain. By the time I was done with this phase, the map looked like the one to the right. You can see where the swamp expanded down south, and the ocean hexes generated a strip of coastline in the northeast (the extra forest is me getting ahead of my narrative).

With this process out of the way, it was time to start adding new hexes. I'd planned on filling in hexes randomly, but decided to do something a bit different instead. Since each hex's terrain is determined by nearby neighbors, I elected to roll a d20 and count off filled-in hexes with open borders spaces, left to right, top to bottom. Then I'd roll up the first empty hex in a north / clockwise rotation around that spot. That seemed to work out pretty well, giving me this as a map about half-way through.

In this image you can see some of the terrain / hex type crossover that Ground Rules creates. For example there are two A5 light forest hexes in the NW. A5 is mountain terrain type, so these woods will likely end up surrounded by more mountains. You can also see how the A1 random type breaks things up a bit. So far so good.

It was about here that I discovered a couple minor errors in my Excel sheet, so I put the map on pause and fixed those. Today I continued with the build out process, and finished up this afternoon. The final map looks like this.

Not bad for a couple hours of dice plus Gimp work. Of course this isn't done by any means. Next I get to start working on the 6-mile hex version of the map. As I work through the more detailed version I'll also be making notes on all the generated hex locales and features too. That's a lot more note-taking, so I need to figure out how I'll be recording all this. As you can see, the detail level takes a major jump up with the small hexes shown.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Ground Rules Revisited - Hexes Again

A while back (a long while actually), I built a bunch of tables designed to create random hex maps that were not completely nonsensical. The result was Ground Rules, a web-based hex generator. I've been reworking the tables underlying the generator a bit, in hopes of putting something together that would work in a PDF format.

Wilds - Scratch that Last, Feed the Reptiles!

After splitting up a bit the last few turns, the party gets back together and decides to do something about the lizards in the Reptile House...

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Wilds - Do Not Feed the Reptiles

The next two turns in my play by email game find the party doing some exploration, with two party members splitting off to do their own thing. Chaos seems to be the order of the day...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Geomorph to Dungeon: A Brief Guide

If you've read my blog or any of my G+ postings, you probably know I publish a line of virtual tabletop geomorphs called Dungeons in Blue. I've been using these geomorphs for some of the maps in my play by email game, The Wilds, and I've mostly worked out the kinks of turning a bunch of tiles into a map that's useful for this style of play, so here's how I do it using Gimp. I assume the reader has a basic understanding of digital paint applications, and the concepts of layers and layer masks. I'll be working with Dungeons in Blue geomorphs in this example, but there are plenty of other tiles out there too.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

PBE Games - Many New Things

Still playing a bit of catch-up with posting post holidays. Every time I think I'm done with that, I find something else to... Ooo shiny!

You get the idea.

Here's the new stuff from this week (and last):

The new kid on the block, Uncommon Ground, is the result of me delving into texture creation. Each texture pack contains four versions of a single seamless base texture, each rendered in a different color. All textures are 2048 by 2048 px PNG images, so they should be easy to import into any digital art application. Textures are all licensed for private or commercial use (read the terms here).

Here's a preview sample of True Grain.

I hope you'll check out some of the new stuff above, thanks as always for reading.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Wilds - Rise from the Dead!

Finally rolling again! Over the holidays we did a bit of a player shuffle, with two people dropping out due to lack of interest. Not completely unexpected in a game that's been running for over a year now. After scrounging around, we found two new players willing to pick up the strays and run with them, so Mordikarr and Locky have been handed off to two new players. This is the first turn with the new lineup, and we had a fairly extensive break, so it's pretty short, and ends with a brief summation of the current situation. Here goes.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The Wilds - A Brief Summary

Slowly ramping back up on this, and there are some new players possibly joining the game, so I thought I'd put together a brief summary.

Monday, January 6, 2014

PBE Games Flash Frozen Sale!

tl;dr: All PBE Games individual products are now 20% off on DriveThruRPG and RPGNow.

Well the polar vortex / winter storm Ion is here, and it's minus 9F with gusty winds. I have a nice snow drift across my front door, and I'm wagering this is all because I ordered a replacement hard drive for my desktop 2nd day delivery!

Rather than complain about the weather I decided to have some fun with it, so while I'm outside freezing my fingertips off as I clear the driveway, you can get 20% off all individual PBE Games products. That includes the two latest releases, One Page Number Twelve : Dungeon Junk, and Dungeons in Blue - Small Dungeons #5, which were just released this past weekend.

The sale ends when the temperature at my local weather station breaks 0F.

Keep Warm. Don't Starve.
Aaand, the sale is done. I neglected to update prices last night, but the temperature this AM was a blistering 11F, so definitely above zero. Hope you found something good.

Friday, January 3, 2014

PBE Games - First 2014 Releases

After dealing with New Year's computer failure, I managed to get the first two products of 2014 out the door. Of course as I was working on uploading the files, I realized I hadn't updated product IDs on the new releases to reflect the new year, so I had to tweak a few files. Products 1051 - 1053 are lost forever. Not that it really matters to anyone but me of course -- who notices product IDs? Anyhow, here's the new stuff:

  • One Page #12 - Dungeon Junk offers twenty piles of possibly useful trash, ready to plug into your labyrinth. Who knows what your players will use it for?
  • Dungeons in Blue Small Dungeons #5 - adds another stand-alone / geomorph hybrid map to the mix. As usual there are player and GM versions of each map, along with the usual map key, preview image, and readme file.
That's it for new products, but not for the day. With bitterly cold weather ahead, I'll be making some chili today for sure!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Oh 2014, You Joker!

I was planning to publish two products today, but 2014 had other plans, gifting me with a crashed hard drive in my main machine. Luckily I'm an anal-retentive IT guy, so I have backups and the drive is part of a RAID1 array. No data lost, just time and patience. If all goes well, tomorrow I'll have a chance to do something productive. Between the usual holiday stuff and playing a bit too much Don't Starve (an indie survival adventure PC game which is surprisingly addictive), my completed projects queue is getting short! Right now I have two more complete One Pages, and two more Dungeons in Blue Small Dungeons ready to roll, plus two more Dungeons in Blue geomorph packs mostly done. I'm also working on a couple new things, a series of mapping-oriented texture packs, and an in-depth reworking of Ground Rules, the hex-terrain generator I built a while back.

For now, I'm off to do some frog-hunting. So hungry...