Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Gygax Challenge Week II: To Be Continued... Later...


So, Dundjinni can be very, very slow on an old computer - which was one of the reasons I started using my less reliable G5 Mac to plan the work - but yet retain that stubborn resistance to planned obsolescence. 

I finished the map work above fairly early in the day - but rendering it in full definition proved to be very, very difficult. Since I have the map saved, I can come back to this later (week 5). This is at approximately 72 DPI - and the rendering as a JPG took a minute or so at 1600x2000. 

The program defaults to 200 DPI at 8000x6000 or thereabouts - which was taking hours, and crashing out during the finalization of the BMP format. I may have to tweak Java or my GPU settings to do this (the latter is a crippling feature, considering I had the best PPC AGP card in the G5).

The physical dimensions of a canvas that size is like 32"x40" and gives a truly detailed result - I haven't given up yet, but overland maps are much, much more crowded than the average dungeon map. Some of those tree symbols were put down one at a time...

Nonetheless, I want to be into Week III, so I did some manipulation on the lower resolution image with Photoshop. Basically I highlighted edges, faded the overlay of them, posterized the image, used auto contrast/color/tone, and applied a basic canvas texture very slightly...


As you can see I muted the color a little bit, and posterizing took care of some of the more jagged mouse drawn lines. I'm not looking to layout material in Photoshop - but it made it easier to smooth the image out and make it a bit more 'organic' looking.

Since I stated one of my inspirational sources was horror comics of decades past - I wanted a bit more blend with that style...


I will be doing all of my map labels from within Comic Life, which is a somewhat limited program but captures that comic book feel. It's not perfect, and I'll probably revisit this technique when I have the full resolution BMP.

Over the next few days, between real life work, I will start putting together some names of places and the first few concepts of the dungeon design. I think I will wrap the random encounter tables into stocking the dungeon, since I will need to find a suitable layout for the charts.

I'm thinking of some forgotten crypt-temple beyond one of the copious marshlands that tend to well up around the mountainous regions. The town nearest will be a palisade walled fort town like you'd imagine fur traders in the 17th century using... or, easier still, Sleepy Hollow from the Tim Burton movie.

Until next time... Stay creepy!

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