Sunday, December 4, 2016

Constellar 2.0 Released

ConStellar 2.0 is out!  You can grab it on the App Store by following this link.

This release has five new levels, but the most exciting part has been integrating the new art provided by Mark Barrett of Rescue Pups fame. Mark was kind enough to put together a set of replacement assets for my little game and I am ever so grateful.  The game looks 500% better and I'm super grateful to Mark for helping me out.

New Constellar Logo!

I'd be super grateful if you checked out ConStellar.  Also! If you want to check learn more about Rescue Pups you should check out Mark's Dev Log over at TIGForums.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Mobile Games Dos and Don'ts

Mark Barrett turned me on to an interesting presentation from back from 2013. It's by one of the founders of NimbleBit, who have been cranking out hit mobile games for almost a decade now. It encompasses 29 bits of advice ranging from the general to the specific. It's only a half hour so you're not risking much by giving it a look.

Give it a watch here.

Then you can read an interview with the presenter for some extra explanation.

I've been working with Mark, doing some coding work for a project he's working on called Rescue Pups. You can read about that over on TIG Forums. It's a game about running a dog rescue shelter. Dogs come in, you take care of them, dividing your time and money amongst them to get them as adoptable as possible so someone will adopt them as their pet. The initial prototype is kicking along.  I'm really happy with the progress I was able to make in just two weeks using Objective-C and XCode's Interface Builder. We've got the initial game loop in and we've been iterating on individual gameplay elements, working to find the fun.

So before this post ends without a single picture, here's a concept image from Rescue Pups.

Rescue Pups!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Google Sheets: Disabling Grid Lines

I love using Google sheets for my data and was trying to massage a chart to look the way I wanted for an upcoming project. I wanted to turn off the horizontal and vertical grid lines since I felt like they were interfering with the display of the trendline and would end up cluttering the final display.

With grid lines on the left: NO! Without grid lines on the right: YES!

Googling around didn't immediately provide an answer. There were quite a few posts about how to do this when you're using Google's javascript API, but very little about how to do it in a Google Drive spreadsheet. Yes, I was using google to figure out how to use Google's own products. Seemed like should have been a slam dunk.

So let's figure it out. If we look at the customization options for the chart we can set the color of the grid line. So let's just set it to the same as the background color. That's close enough to invisible for my purposes.

Set the Gridline Color to White!
In this case the color is white and the vertical lines are gone but I still had to get rid of the horizontal gridlines. To spare you the twenty minutes I spent examining the customization menu it turns out there's a drop down you have to use to be able to modify the horizontal gridlines.

Use this drop down to change between vertical and horizontal axis

It took so long to find because it's basically the only drop down like it in the whole customization menu. The tiny little arrow on the right really failed to jump out at me. I expected the vertical options to show up in the same panel as all the other customization options. A tab bar would have been a much better choice in this case, since I would have seen what I was looking for and known to click on it. With the option essentially invisible in the dropdown list I ended up spending way too much time hunting for an option I knew should be there but wasn't immediately apparent.

Can we just talk about dropdowns vs. tabs for a minute? Dropdown lists are great when you have many similar options that the user can choose from.  The expectation with a dropdown is that you're making a choice for a particular field not that you're changing the context of an entire section. Tabs telegraph to the user that by selecting a particular tab you are going to be switching between different contexts and the options on the different contexts are going to be related to the heading somehow. By breaking this paradigm, Google Drive has made an interface that requires more effort and attention on the part of the user.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Itunes Connect: Fixing an error with Version Information.

I had a problem today submitting one of the apps I work on, Ops: Infinity Edition.  It's a little squad builder for the tabletop miniatures game Infinity, made by Corvus Belli.  The app has been out for years, but just today I tried to submit a new version with the latest round of data fixes and I was getting rejected by iTunes Connect.

When hitting the Submit for Review button I was getting the "There are one or more errors on this page." message and a little red stop sign was showing up next to the Version Information localization drop down.

Red symbol not shown, but it was right next to the down caret by the question mark.
No amount of modifying the text or changing what languages were supported by the app store page fixed the issue.  Whatever the error was, it was not apparent how to fix it or what, if anything, it had to do with the app's Version Information. Finally, it turned out to be a problem with screenshots.  I had just updated the screen shots, using only the 5.5 inch versions and deleting the old screenshots for the smaller versions.

Solution.  Open the Media Manager (located below your app screenshots) and check the "Use 5.5-Inch Display" checkboxes for everything.

Set all sizes to use the 5.5 -Inch Display.

Only requiring the 5.5-Inch screenshots for an app is a new thing on the app portal and it seems that since I previously had screenshots in there, simply deleting all the images for smaller versions wasn't enough for iTunes Connect to figure out what I wanted to do.

Apple could definitely do a better job telling you what the errors are that you need to fix. Especially in this case where the data with errors is hidden on a screen that doesn't normally display (Media Manager).  If their web design is going start hiding information off screen and the data you input there can have errors, they should really think about a more descriptive error message than "There are one or more errors on this page." I'm guessing they could pretty easily build up a list of errors and display them in their big red scare-box.

It sure would make lives a little easier.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Constellar 1.4 Released

Her
Great
Constellar 1.4 is just released now in the App Store.  Get it on the App Store using this link.

It features six new levels, bringing the total level count up and over the sixty mark. Two of these levels, shown to the left and right were inspired by the current presidential campaign.

Thanks to everyone who has downloaded and played Constellar. If you haven't yet, you're missing out and should download it today.



Sunday, August 14, 2016

Blogger Tip: Removing Border and Padding From Images

Sometimes you'll want to remove the padding and border that Blogger.com automatically adds to images. In setting up some posts for Constellar I had to do a bit of HTML trickery when I was setting up the app store download link like this:



Obviously the border and padding around the image aren't desirable, and keep the two images from lining up correctly.  Fixing this wasn't too terribly difficult.

In the Edit Post dialog you just have to select the "HTML" button, find the image you want to remove the border from and add the following:
style="border: none; margin-right: 4px; padding: 0px;"
As an example, here's how the HTML code for the Constellar app icon looks:
<img src="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-uy3l4rC2I54/V5LoNmRuBbI/AAAAAAAAErs/mnclr2dlqJs0Y_vrnxyIWgAqseWHg2aFwCK4B/s400/Logo40Rounded.png" style="border: none; margin-right: 4px; padding: 0px;" />
 And here's what the final result looks like:



I hope this helps anyone trying to achieve the same effect.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Constellar: On Sale This Weekend

This weekend only Constellar is on sale!

Maybe you fondly remember the fun you had with connect-the-dots as a child, or just want to give your brain a workout. At just 99 cents Constellar can help you relive your childhood and provide your election numbed brain with some much needed exercise. No need to get off your couch, just download on your Apple device today!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Constellar: The Story

Games often have a story behind them. Here's the story of Constellar.

The "House" level (pictured left) was my first introduction to the kind of connect-the-dots brain teaser featured in Constellar and I discovered it in a Pizza Hut. Back when I was eight or nine we lived in Virginia. I always looked forward to going out for pizza not just for food, but also for the placemats which always had pictures to color, mazes, jokes and brain teasers on them. My brother and I would always ask our server to borrow a pen so we could finish the mazes or play the little games together.

 I remember seeing the five dots with the instructions to draw a house without picking up your pencil or retracing a line. It took a few tries, but finishing that little puzzle became one of the sparks that has fueled a life long fascination with math and brain teasers.

In college I took classes on graph theory, among other things. I learned about circuits and cycles and Eulerian graphs. Finding paths and circuits was a common homework assignment. I learned about the mathematical underpinnings of this kind of brain teaser and the fascinating set of rules that governed the strategies for solving them.

Thirty years later I'm now making games that matter to me. I'm so lucky that in this period of my life I have the opportunity to create things drawn from my life experiences. I get to make games that I want to play as an adult and that I would love to be able to introduce to my eight year old self.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Constellar! I made a video game!

There's an addition now to the sidebar on the right.  I've made and released a video game called Constellar!

Constellar is a fun (at least to me) connect the dots app reminiscent of the Astrarium puzzles in Dragon Age. You can help the stars align in this fun and challenging brain exerciser.

It's been about a year now since I left my office job to make my own way in the big, wide world of game development. In between contracting jobs and various other projects I finally have something I'm ready to show the world. I'm really proud of my work on Constellar and I hope that you'll enjoy playing it as much as I've enjoyed making it.



Sunday, July 10, 2016

Progression of Rats

I've finished off the wererat assassin. I'm not super happy with the painting, but I'm not super happy with the model either. The reaper bones miniatures are made of a low quality pvc. If you do pickup any of these miniatures I'd recommend thinking about them like the prepainted miniatures you might get out of a blind box, except that you'll be painting them yourself. The cost of the models makes them ideal for bulking up your collection, especially for things like role-playing games.  But the quality of the cast means there's a very low level of detail and you probably won't want to put a huge amount of effort into their paintjobs.

Shhhh. He's being sneaksy.

He's up to something...
I'm closing in on the last of the rat figures for the pathfinder campaign. Here's the current state of the Skaven Grey Seer that I've been gradually covering with paint. The model is very detailed but actually pretty easy to paint, with all the details accessible even after assembled. I think Games Workshop did an awesome job with all their clamshell plastic character models. After their finecast debacle they just really knocked it out of the park with these miniatures.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ratsassin Completed

I was able to get one miniature all the way finished for the Tuesday Pathfinder campaign.  Here's the model for my character, a ratman ninja/monk, or as it's known in the Warhammer universe, a Skaven Assassin. The Player Characters are level four, going on five. My three level dip into monk is at an end and I'm just a couple levels away from getting into shadow dancer. Pathfinder has so many variants and options in it for every aspect of the character that it's possible to spend entire evenings weighing options and plotting progressions.

Sneaksy and Stabbity
Since we had a chance to explore a bit more of the dungeon we are trapped in, I have also expanded the dungeon map to include the rooms we opened up during the last play session.

Next, you put a Duergar in the box.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Paint Night!!! Also Some Maps.

I'm super excited for paint night tonight.  I'm just back from a lovey family vacation, the kiddo is sleeping over at the in-laws and I've got free time to apply paint to miniatures.  The plan is to get one or two rats finished up for use in the Tuesday game.

Also for sharing are a couple maps I drew after being inspired by the blog Dyson's Dodecahedron, which I found out about through Geek and Sundry's Signal Boost! show. They're for locations in an future RPG campaign I'd like to run. Not being an artist myself they're much rougher than I'd like, but I think with some copying and revisions I could make them quite presentable.

A Druid's Home
First up is A Druid's Home. To the east of Dunahara lives a druid.  He keeps entirely to himself, living in the hollow trunk of an enormous tree stump. A stream flows from left to right and a small path cuts across at two shallow points. The trail leading to the stump can be difficult for visitors to find as the druid has encouraged a wall of brambles to grow up around his home. The druid is entirely self sufficient. A patch of bushes provides berries and a small fish trap gives a bit of meat. Anything else the druid might need he gets by transforming into various forest beasts and hunting game.


Dunahara


Dunahara itself is a fishing town of moderate size. A great storm passed through many years ago, sinking a large vessel just off the coast. Many fisherman live in huts practically hanging off the cliff side, but there are a few larger buildings like a tavern and stable. A number of farms in the surrounding area supplement the local diet and economy. The capital lies three days cart ride to the south but less than a day by boat.  Dunahara's fish arrive fresh daily and are much sought after by the capital's citizens.

Friday, June 10, 2016

More Rats

skitter, scratch, stab
Work has been progressing on the rat-folk models for the pathfinder campaign.  The skaven assassin I'm using for my character is almost complete.  He'll be going on the base with the tall archway on it. I've also started putting together a module for pcgen (a fantastic program for creating and tracking a character) that includes some things that we're using in our campaign.  It's got the ironskin spell that we wanted to use but wasn't already in a module.  It's also got some updates to the monk class and ratfolk race for options that we wanted to use but that weren't there.  It's up on github so you can use it if you're interested. Check it out here.

We've got skeleton guards protecting our loot.
I've also put together a map of the dungeon we're currently exploring. We were teleported into it by our employer (and now nemesis) and doors have been slowly opening up, leading to new locations full of folk who want to kill us. I'm no artist, so the tiles were made using a free tileset created by Buch over on OpenGameArt.org. Go here to get it for yourself.


I'm gearing up to start an RPG campaign that I'll be running myself.  The beast trainer adventure that I've mentioned before will be part of that. Right now I'm thinking about how the world works and what the major players are.  To foment conflict I'm looking at having four factions I can draw upon when the players want to be explore in a particular direction. Political, religious, economic and military powers are the broad strokes I'll rely upon to create conflict and tension in the world.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Rats, I'm stuck in a dungeon

Tuesday game night occasionally sees us playing some Pathfinder where the three players in the party are all Ratfolk. We're currently trapped in a dungeon and have plans to take over the whole complex, but first we have to assert our dominance.

Rats!
I was in Portland last weekend and was finally able to pickup a handful of miniatures at Guardian Games to use for the PCs in the campaign. I love Games Workshop's line of Skaven and I was able to find a few that I wanted without having to order online. Instant gratification!

I also picked up a wererat assassin from Reaper's Bones line of miniatures. I knew about Bones but had never purchased any. They really are cheap miniatures, about a tenth of the price of a GW character mini. They aren't high quality, and I don't think any amount of painting skill is going to turn them into display quality. But if you just want some cheap character minis you can use for gaming they're probably not a bad way to go. At about three dollars a pop, though, you're probably better off buying a regiment box from Games Workshop if you need a large number of similar miniatures.

I've gotten a start on painting them up.  One of the PCs is a bomb-tossing alchemist and I was hoping to find an old Poison Wind Globadier but no luck.  I may have to go to the web for that one.

Paaaaaaint Meeeeee!
The Riptide of Joy and Suffering hasn't gotten any love for a few weeks. I've got him sitting on my shelf, staring accusatorily at me. Some day I'll finish him up.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Indie Games at iFest

I ran over to Seattle Center Armory to check out some indie games today at iFEST.  The exhibitors were a mixed lot. There were some actual independent video game developers, an obviously not independent video game developer, a few people there showing off their board or card games and a handful of folks who were trying to get you to sign up for a class or a school to learn how to make video games. A real grab bag.  I did see some games that intrigued me.  Here's a breakdown:

The Rabbit and the Owl by Formal Sheep. This was an intriguing take on the platforming genre where you have two characters, one black and one white, who inhabit the negative spaces of each other's levels and can only affect the other character's space with specific mechanics. It's sort of like a platformer/puzzle version of Ikaruga, but as a cerebral puzzler instead of a frenetic shoot'em up.

Warcube by Haven Made looked interesting.  A low poly action shooter with puzzle elements.  The website shows off some flocking behavior that I didn't see on exhibit in the game, but it had a clear art style and fun looking gameplay.




Tiny bubbles, by Pine Street Code Works, has no website that I can find. They had a simple puzzle game about manipulating soap bubbles by cutting the walls between them or dying them different colors.  Combining and dying the bubbles is the key to completing the various objectives on the board. It looked like there was plenty of content and the gameplay seemed solid, so look for this game to be released soon.



Investigator, by Constance Chen, has you playing Sherlock Holmes-as-Alligator. Plenty of puns and make this a great read.  Constance had probably the best comment I overheard at iFest.  When someone asked her who her intended audience was she said, "Myself. I just like making these things."  The spirit of independent game development in human form.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Hobby Progress: Orc Boyz

I found some time to base my orc boyz this week.  It's actually my first time using static grass.  I tend to prefer using small gravel or drywall paste for my bases, but I thought these guys would look best walking over a grassy field.

Get me my choppas!

Basing these guys took some forethought.  With ballast/gravel I usually use watered down white glue. which sits tall on the base when wet due to surface tension. This works fine for heavy rock pieces but I didn't figure the lightweight static grass would do very well. I ended up just using straight white glue thinly applied with a brush. This meant the stickiness of the glue let it sit as a very thin layer. After dunking the base in the tub of grass I used a second, clean brush to clean any grass off their boots and the sides of the bases. It worked well and went very fast.

The last step was to spend a few minutes finishing up the logo on their banner. A fine brush and a bit of time got a spider and some skulls picked out.

I don't really have a use for orc boyz so I've put these guys up for sale over on Half Price Minis.  If you have a use for them you can pick them up for pretty cheap.  Check them out here.

Monday, March 14, 2016

A New Thing: HalfPriceMinis.com

So I've got a new endeavor going.  I've launched a webstore for selling used miniatures called HalfPriceMinis.com



I've been collecting miniature for more than twenty years.  At this point that's well over half my my time on this planet.  I love miniatures and the games we play with them and I fully realize how expensive the hobby can be. I'm sure there were years where I spent a few thousand dollars on miniatures.

The second hand market for miniatures is huge. Just go look at the listings for Warhammer 40K on Ebay. I've certainly bought my share of miniatures via auction. I've also lost enough auctions and received enough weird things from random ebayers that I'm kind of turned off by the whole thing. I want the surety of knowing what I'm going to get and that I'm actually going to get it.  I suspect I'm not alone.

HalfPriceMinis is a store with cheap, usually used, miniatures. No muss, no fuss. Just click, checkout and its yours.  No waiting for auctions to end, getting into bidding wars or getting something you didn't expect. We won't try to trick you. We just want to get these miniatures to people who are going to love them and play games with them.

Friday, March 4, 2016

February Hobby Wrapup

February is fading from sight in the rearview mirror, so before it's completely out of sight I thought I'd say a few words giving myself a hobby report card.

  • Empire Swordsmen - A+. Nailed it.  I finished painting all six swordsmen and even got a blog post in about it that you can read here.
  • Bloodletters - F.  I pulled these guys out of storage and then they sat on my desk scowling at me the whole month. I hear Khorne is intolerant of failure, so I expect some kind of retribution.
  • Riptide - B-. I got some more paint on this guy and started in on his line highlighting. Not done, but not forgotten.
Riptide of Joy and Suffering

I started his line highlighting up around where the head attaches so I could get that bit glued in.  The arms and shield are being held together with bluetac for the picture.  I want to get them and the torso finished before gluing them on permanently.

For March, I think I'll leave the bloodletters on the desk.  There's really not that much left to do on them.  Of course I'll continue work on the riptide, but instead of thinking I'll get it done I think I'll set a more modest goal, like getting the torso and arms finished.

I've also got a band of Warhammer Fantasy Orcs sitting on my desk that just need to be based.  I'm thinking I'll just sprinkle some static grass onto them and call it done.

Waaaauuuuugh!!!


Friday, February 26, 2016

Painted: Empire Swordsmen

There's certainly not much time left in February for completing my hobby projects, but after a nice afternoon painting session I do have my Empire Swordsmen wrapped up.  They go along with my other swordsmen, Master Engineer, Witch Hunter and a gaggle of flagellants for the painted Warhammer Fantasy Empire army I've been working on.

Reporting for duty.

There's a lot of detail on these guys that I didn't pick out. I made the decision early on with this 30 strong troop choice that I wasn't going to spend much time on each individual. They're meant to run around on the table as a large mob so the important thing was for the paint scheme to consistent across the regiment. That's why they call it a uniform, after all.

Here's an older shot of my witch hunter and his retinue.  The freshly painted swordsmen and master engineer aren't included in the shot. I still have a steam tank and 12 more swordsmen that need painting up, then the original composition of the army will be fulfilled.

A witch hunter and his retinue

I'm not going back and putting these guys on round bases for Age of Sigmar. Even though that's probably the rules set they'll be used in from here on out, I still like the look of them when they're all ranked up in traditional Warhammer Fantasy style.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

My Cygnar Collection

I thought I'd take a break from my painting updates to showcase my Cygnar army.  It's the faction I chose when I first started playing Warmachine. It is the largest in part because it has had the most time to grow, but mainly because I still have a soft spot for it in my heart and end up adding the occasional model her and there even though I don't really need it.


Here are my warcasters. From right to left: Caine, Kraye, Haley, Sloan and Junior. I'm most happy with the Sloan model.  I really like the conversion to her aiming her rifle rather than holding it up in the air like a drum major. I've also realized upon taking this picture that Caine needs some touch up work, especially on his face. Dude looks like he's wearing a mask.


Here are the heavy warjacks. Again from right to left: centurion, stormclad, defender. I think the defender is my favorite jack by far. Not because his rules are necessarily awesome, but because I love lobbing cannonballs downrange and the idea of robot-brain-killing-hammer.


And the light warjacks.  We've got a charger, hunter, firefly and sentinel. You'll usually find the hunter being run by the journeyman warcaster and some mix of the others running around causing problems where they can. I like to field them even though they're probably not the best choice given that the warcasters I run are happiest when they're keeping their focus to themselves.


And all my gun mages. There's two units of regualar gun mages in there with their officers.  Also along for the ride are two gun mage captain adepts and the Black 13th.  Gun mages are my favorite of all the various Cygnar units.  Having almost 20 of them in various flavors on the board puts a lot of tools in my swiss army knife.


I've also got a few random solos.  Three stormcallers, Arlan Strangeways and a storm strider.


And here's my pile of unpainted miniatures.  There's Nemo, a couple squads of long gunners, a unit of stormguard, a range squad, Thunderhead, a second sentinel, an ironclad and Captain Darius with his halfjacks. Someday I'll get all these guys painted up, either through my own efforts or by farming the job out to a miniatures painting service. Blue Table Painting has already handled a fair bit of the army, but I'm open to doing some research and seeing if I can find someone else to do the remainder.

I'd love to have an excuse to add to the army. I like the rules on the minuteman light jacks and I've always wanted to throw down a cyclone heavy. Some sword knights would let me field the theme force for Darius. Of course adding in a stormwall colossal would be fantastic.  The work of an obsessive collector is never done.

Sadly, the army hasn't seen the tabletop in years. Some of the painted units like the firefly and storm strider have never seen action. I really want to be able to write a resolution that I'll get them into combat soon but I think that would just be empty words. C'est la vie, I suppose.  Someday.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Riptide of Joy and Suffering

I remain, as always, a slow painter. Do you also paint slowly? I feel like a couple hours of painting only gets me through one little section on a large model or that I just get one color laid down on a squad of miniatures.  C'est la vie, I suppose.  I should give up on any dreams I had of being a professional painter.  It would take much too long for anyone to want to hire me.

I wouldn't want to hire me.

Clank Clank I'm a tank.

The base colors on my Tau are Bastion Grey from Privateer Press and Mecharius Solar Orange from Games Workshop. Both paints need two coats to get proper coverage, but for different reasons.  The grey is very thin and lets a lot of the primer show through so two coats are necessary to get a smooth finish.  The orange is extremely thick, and remains so no matter how much water I add.  My brush seems to end up pushing globs of paint around and it takes two coats to smooth it all out.

It's time consuming.

I might get one more evening of painting in on the Riptide before I set it aside to tackle some of this month's other projects. I pulled out a reference model from my empire army so I will go ahead and tackle the six empire swordsmen on this month's todo list.




Sunday, January 31, 2016

Cairn Wraith and Riptide Wrapup

Well, January is all over except for the crying so let's wrap up this month's hobby goals. I wanted to get my Empire Engineer, Cairn Wraith and Riptide finished up in January and I met some of the goals.  You can see my engineer in this post and I also managed to wrap up the Cairn Wraith.

spooooky

I'm pleased with how he turned out.  I did try to put some nicks on the weapon haft but I don't think they came out very well so I'm going to go back and repaint bone over the top of them to smooth it out.  

The Riptide did not get finished, but I did make more progress on it than I thought I would at the beginning of the month.  It's a large model with a lot of pieces that took a long time to clean and assemble.  I thought that I might only get the subassemblies primed but I did manage to steal a few nights of paint time to get a basecoat on parts of it.

So many pieces...

So the Riptide will carry over into February. I'll also be looking to get a few more empire swordsmen painted up and to put the finishing touches on a big group of khorne bloodletters.  It's quite a mob of models, but the bloodletters are already halfway done so I don't expect they'll take a lot of time to finish up.

That's a lot of demons.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Engineer Beauty Shots

The whole family left town on vacation this week so no progress on this month's hobby goals.  I did get a few minutes to snap some shots of my finished Empire Engineer.

Checking range on the enemy!

I did get some time to think about the RPG adventure I'm cooking up. One important element for any adventure is the addition of a cinematic scene.  This will usually occur during a battle and act as a set piece for the whole adventure. It's a chance as the adventure writer to describe something memorable for the players.

In the case of the beast trainer adventure I'm cooking up I've got some little dragonling/kobold guys and the dogs they've been training.  I've already decided on having the trainers holed up in a cave for the adventurers to explore. Setting this in the cave creates a scene with few routes of escape and a heightened urgency. Since dragons and fire are pretty much synonymous I thought to have the elite dragonlings spit fire.  This led to consideration of the players being trapped in a conflagration and having to escape. Images of smoke filled rooms and crazed, burning animals filled my head and I figured I had the perfect setting for a climactic battle. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Master Engineer and Riptide Progress

I've been cranking away on this month's goals and I've got my riptide mostly assembled.  It took a fair number of evenings to get the whole thing assembled and cleaned up.  He's a jumble of subassemblies at the moment so that when I go to paint him I'll be able to get my brush into all his little nooks.  I might even magnetize the torso to the legs to make storage and transportation easier.


Riptide Parts!

Once the riptide was mostly finished I was itching for a change of pace so I broke out the Empire Engineer and painted him to a playable state.  I don't imagine I'll ever need two empire engineers in my collection, but if I had to do it again I would definitely paint the base separately from the rest of the model.  There are a lot of fiddly bits on there that are difficult to reach with a brush once the model is standing on top.

Scoping out the competition!

My January goals are going to be coming in tight.  I didn't think the riptide would take as much time to complete as it did so I'm not sure there will be time to get paint on him.  Finishing the Engineer was nice, though. I can't let just one thing eat up the whole month. Progress needs to happen on all fronts, not just the biggest, shiniest parts.

I've also started brainstorming and outlining a little Pathfinder/DnD adventure.  I dug out some minis from the old DnD tactical combat game for inspiration.  I'm thinking the little kobold/dragonling things on the left are training beasties to help them fulfill some sort of plan.  I haven't decided completely on their motivations. Maybe they're retrieving an artifact or trying to drive some townsfolk off their land.  Maybe they're just lurking or being bandits.