Saturday, June 30, 2012

Hexmap in Progress

This is another iteration of my hexmap random generator project. I decided to throw this out as a work in progress, so you can see how things have been working out. This map is about a third-done, and I've changed up the process I'm using a bit.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Diablo 3 - Act IV Books and Dungeons

The final chapter in the four part series outlining the books and dungeons required for various campaign achievements in Diablo 3. These entries cover Act 4. As always, the index is a good place to look for other Diablo 3 stuff.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Diablo 3 - Calling a Spade a Spade

At least Blizzard is doing their part in the drug war...
And yes, that's supposed to be humor.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Diablo 3 - Boss Affixes

Another in a series of concise game data listings. See the index page for a full listing of related articles.

Today's list covers boss and champion affixes, the modifiers that give boss creatures and champion packs their deadly powers. These are culled from various sources and personal pain. As always if you see something missing or incorrect, leave a note in the comments and I'll correct it.

I use the term "boss" to refer to unique monsters and their minions and champion packs. I try to use champion when talking about affixes that can only apply to champion packs.

Diablo 3 - Act III Books and Dungeons

Another concise listing of the book and dungeon locations, this time for act 3 achievements. You can find more Diablo 3 pages here.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Homicide - Long Time, No Body

It's been a while since we've checked in on our detectives. I blame Diablo 3. Let's dive back in and get things moving!

When we left, Detectives Stacy and Long had just found Michelle Allen dead in her own apartment; an unexpected twist, since the pair were beginning to suspect she was was Scott Marin's murderer. The fact that she's dead doesn't mean she isn't, but a dead murderer isn't very satisfying. We'll press on.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Minecraft - Work in Progress

Lest you think I've forgotten about my Minecraft let's play build, here's an update. There's not a ton of visible progress, because my giant tower project has been consuming huge piles of blocks. Since I've decided to emphasize glass on the top floors, this means digging sand, then cutting wood, and then melting sand to glass.  Did I mention it was a lot of blocks?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Diablo 3 - Act II - Books and Dungeons

The second in a series of articles outlining the book and dungeon achievements in Diablo 3 act by act. This is, obviously, the Act II listing. You can find more Diablo 3 pages here.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Diablo 3 - Act I - Books and Dungeons

Sometimes you just want a concise list instead of a wiki. This is a reasonably complete list of locations for all Diablo 3, Act I books and dungeons that are used for achievements. It does not include the bestiary lore, since that's dependent on killing monsters, not drops. You can find more Diablo 3 pages here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hexmaps Again - Round Three

Another sample hexmap, using the latest revision of the tables I'm working on. As you can probably tell I've added support for placing settlements, ruins and lairs, and a few other features. I've also modified the ocean generation process a bit, so it looks more like ocean instead of fjord-world.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Hexmap and Reality - Answer

Earlier today I posted up a map challenge asking people to ID what they thought a rough hexmap represented. Here's the answer:

The Hexmap and Reality

I've been thinking about hex maps and outdoor adventures quite a bit recently, mostly because I've been working on a random terrain generator that, hopefully, will produce not-terrible maps. I decided to try an experiment, so... Take a look at this map and try to guess what it represents. The scale is 20 miles / square (yes I'm lazy and used stagger squares instead of hexes -- sue me). Terrain is:
  • Pale green - plain
  • Drab green - scrub
  • Light green - light woods
  • Dark green - forest
  • Tan - hills
  • Brown - mountains
  • Light blue - wetland/coast
  • Dark blue - ocean

Click for larger view

I'll post up the answer a bit later.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Random Hex Terrain II

Another map generated by the random generator I mentioned earlier today. This one started in wetlands, and  has a fair amount of ocean. I think it looks fairly solid, no real why is that there spots.
It's getting better. I've been visualizing these maps as 25 to 30 mile hexes, so about 375-400 miles across and 250-300 miles north-south.

Random Terrain Generator

I mentioned in a recent post that I was working on a set of random tables for terrain generation. The tables themselves aren't quite ready for use; at the moment they only exist as an Excel spreadsheet; but I did spend an hour to build a small test map. Once I had the raw map done on graph paper, I used Hexographer to create a legible map.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Guild Wars 2 - Scenery in 10,000 screenshots

Guild Wars 2 is an MMO currently in beta testing. One of the beta testers spent about eight hours taking close to 10,000 screenshots showing off the scenery of the game and edited them into a video stream. Worth a look if you want to see what the game looks like.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Paper Grid Things

I've been messing around with some terrain generation tables lately. Mostly aimed at building quasi-random hex maps. They're coming together into something kind of interesting, but they're not quite ready for prime time yet.

In the process of building these, I needed a few sheets of hex paper with over-sized hexes, so I could scribble some notes in each as I went about how I was using the terrain tables. I couldn't find any in my paper stash that was appropriate, so I went back to an old friend, Incompetech graph paper!

If you've never used this site, you should. The owner has a bunch of different options for building custom paper and spits out a PDF sheet according to your specifications. Grids, triangles, hexes, axonometric, polar, spider, brick, and more, plus a bunch of specialty stuff like note pads, musical scores, and storyboards.

It rocks. Bookmark it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Homicide - Search Warrant

When we left our detectives, Evan and Jeff, they'd just gotten a preliminary report from the on-site forensics. I had planned to leave the scene and pursue one of the many leads floating around out there, but now I've decided to push ahead with the last bit of physical evidence here, searching the apartment of one of our suspects, Michelle Allen. We've already done the work to get a warrant for this, so in the interests of speeding the plot, I'm going to declare we've gotten it and are ready to go in, with Mike Lewis, the property manager, providing access.

Minecraft - Jungle Tree Farm


Monday, June 11, 2012

Minecraft - Jungle Trees

How big a room does it take to grow full-sized jungle trees in Minecraft? A pretty big one actually.

This is the partially completed rebuild of the jungle tree farm from the bottom looking up toward the main entrance tunnel. It's big enough that I needed to stretch multiple levels of walkways across it to light the space, and it still probably has a few dark spots I'll need to fix. On the good side, hollowing this out has produced quite a bit of stone for the giant tower I'm building...

A Survival Game - Random Thoughts

Survival games in the RPG world are nothing new. There are plenty of zombie apocalypse based games around, and more than a few D&D games are survival focused. Over the past few years I've toyed with the idea of a more practical survival game without coming to any satisfactory conclusion about how it would work, or even what the game would be about. This post is a bit of a brain dump on the subject.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Minecraft - Minor Problem

I've discovered a problem in my current build. In doing some research on sapling growth I've discovered that jungle trees have half the chance of producing saplings per leaf block as other trees (1 in 40 vs. 1 in 20). This means my mundane jungle tree farm isn't going to produce a viable number of saplings to maintain growth.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Homicide - Where Were We?

Last session our planned scene, checking in with the forensics teams to find out what they'd discovered, was interrupted by a little scuffle when the suspected rental office thief fled the scene. He'd been hiding in the crawl space beneath the offices, and a uniformed officer flushed him out. Let's go back to our main scene and see how things go.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Minecraft - Build the Things!

I've made some progress on my new Minecraft build, I thought I'd share a few tidbits and images showing current progress.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Homicide: Forensics

When we left our detectives, Jeff was checking in with the forensics teams doing their thing at the apartment and the car while Evan was getting the ball rolling on some administrative leads. The net results were:

  • A warrant for Michell Allen's apartment is in the works.
  • Albert Burns has been picked up by the Indiana State Police at a traffic stop.
  • Wanted bulletins are out for Michelle Allen, Gabe Babbett, and Rose Marie Orr as persons of interest in a homicide investigation.
  • Babbett's truck has been flagged as a suspicious vehicle.
  • Records that will confirm Mom and Dad Marin and Mike Lewis's alibis are being pulled.
  • The anonymous call that lead to the body was from a distant pay phone, and the call was recorded. We'll pull that recording too.
  • Jeff reports the forensics teams have both pulled important information.
I've also boosted our Chaos level to 7, since things seem to be sprawling a bit.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Homicide: Probable Cause

This is another turn of my ongoing Mythic GM solo game. I've made a couple changes to how I'm tracking this let's play, mostly to keep the turns focused on action rather than filling them with the game context. I've created a single page I'll be using to track the details of the game from the Mythic perspective. You can find the context right here. Note you can also see the posts in this series, in order, on the index page. I update that about once a week, depending on post frequency. Right enough about administration, on to the game.

Minecraft - The Tower

Just a short one today. I've set up the core of the ground to sky tower I set as a goal for my current let's play Minecraft. Standing atop this thing really gives you a new sense of the phrase 'reach for the sky'.

The Tower

Friday, June 1, 2012

Fire Swarm

One might expect a creature known as a Fire Swarm to be some sort of elemental being of flame and heat. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Stats and Such

This is just a reiteration of the method I use for describing items, creatures, and encounter details in a quasi system-free way. I use the Fate RPG ladder of difficulties to describe the attributes, skills, abilities, and features of whatever it is I'm talking about. The Fate ladder looks like this:

Value Descriptor
+6    Legendary
+5    Epic
+4    Superb
+3    Great
+2    Good
+1    Fair
 0    Average
-1    Mediocre
-2    Poor
-3    Terrible
-4    Abysmal

This is the same system as the one I used throughout my posts on my old blog, the RPG Dumping Ground, and it served me well. It's pretty easy to port various things described in this manner to other systems since the ladder provides both a numeric and descriptive reference.