Last modified date

We’ve had quite a bit of downtime from gaming recently, with work, health and other issues getting in the way of rolling dice and other actual gaming activity. Which means I’ve been spending some time working on related aspects of the hobby – mostly art and writing.

I’ve had several ideas of what TAS supplements to produce next. My original plan was to put together a collection of sub-1000dt trade ships. For a while Mongoose did seem to have their own product in the works for that topic, so I’d decided to drop the idea, but it now seems to have fallen off their release schedule so I’ve started thinking about it again.

I had been thinking about doing a collection of Starports (starting with class E and D), including maps, renders and details. That requires a lot more assets for Dungeondraft, which I’ve started working on. My ‘leisure’ pack has grown quite a bit recently, with bar and casino assets, though it’s not officially released on Cartography Assets yet because I’m not happy how some of the assets look yet.

Some casino assets at 256px resolution

Slot machines, arcade games and gambling tables are amongst some of the assets I’m working on adding. I also have playing cards and poker chips. I think they look okay at 256px resolution, though they may not look as good at lower resolutions.

Same assets at 70px resolution

I used to do all maps at 70px resolution, which was the Roll20 default (a strange resolution to choose, since it isn’t divisible by very much – 60px or 80px would have been a more flexible default). 100px or 256px is what I tend to use for most maps now.

Bar assets have been particular complicated, and have a similar problem to computer consoles. A lot of the interesting aspects are vertical – shelves of drinks are stacked vertically, so producing top down artwork which shows off that there are multiple layers of shelving has been tricky.

Slot machines and arcade games have a similar complication, in that a lot of the interesting information is vertical.

Because you can never have too many ideas in the pipeline, I’ve also started on another Wonders of the Solar System supplement as well as a one based around a single ship – a 2,000t freighter. This is something I did a blender model for a while back, for a ship that featured in my Traveller campaign. I’ve been touching it up, and have started on deck plans.

Marlow class freighter

This has also meant more Dungeondraft assets were needed. For a ship this size, I wanted larger versions of the usual fusion reactors, jump drives and other assets. Rather than just repeating a lot of the small assets, it seemed more interesting to have larger versions with slightly different detail.

Fusion reactors and jump drives

The latest draft versions of these assets are available directly from GitLab. The officially published sources are over on Cartography Assets, where they should be more stable. I did make a mistake in naming some of the assets – those which have multiple sizes have a number suffix to denote the size which should be either in displacement tonnes or squares, however I haven’t been consistent. Now that they’ve been officially published though, I can’t go back and change them without breaking compatibility.

All my Dungeondraft assets are released as CC0, so can be used in commercial maps for free.

In non-digital space, I’ve started painting some more late medieval heavy cavalry for Saga and other games. I should have 40-50 figures by the end of it, which is far more than Saga needs, but could be useful for some of the fantasy games that get played at the local wargames club. They’ve been sitting around unpainted for about 15 years, so it’s probably a good time to start on them.

Also on the wargaming front, I’ve tried coming up with a data card for Stargrunt units. I’m experimenting with displaying dice types graphically, using the right colours. It’s done using SVG, so a bit fiddly to put together for something which is mostly just a text table. But I wanted something which was relatively clear to read during a game.

Stargrunt Unit card

Samuel Penn