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View Full Version : A sneak peak at my current project! Yeehaw, cowboy.



RecklessEnthusiasm
11-04-2011, 11:42 PM
So I've started my next big project for RPGNow, and this one might kill me before it is finished. Basically, I am mapping a full wild-west town. In 100dpi, encounter-map style. This bad boy is going to be huge-- 2x poster size, all together with, last count, 18 buildings in a classic cowboy "main street" road. I may end up dying due to stress... and actually, I kinda regret not having fit/included more buildings: I am running out of space for all the classic cowboy locations! Let me think--Saloon, stables, hotel, apartments, general store, gunsmith, church, town hall with clock tower, jail, undertaker's, brothel, mayor's house... and a little room for a couple more. I am racking my brain for all the other classic locations. If anyone can think of more, let me know.

The idea is that this is geared for VTT players to be able to wander around in and use as a "home base" for a western campaign. I guess it could work for things like Deadlands or Weird West. I dunno. There just isn't a lot of western-themed stuff out there so I thought I'd fill the gap.

Here is a super quick render of the view of the town from the entrance. Apart from lots of missing textures (which makes it look like winter or something), it looks ripe for a showdown at high noon, no? My only problem so far is that I can't think of a way to have awnings/overhangs that wouldn't cause problems with the overhead view.

Midgardsormr
11-05-2011, 01:07 AM
Don't forget the barber! You can't have a huge Western brawl without at least one guy in his undershirt with shaving cream still on half his face.

jbgibson
11-05-2011, 01:36 AM
Newspaper office, stage depot, bathhouse, Certified Painless Dentist & Surgeon, barbershop (often double duty with the dentist), assay office (if there's mining nearby), tack & feed store, bank, post office, land office, jail, supply yard (either there's a local sawmill, or else they bring lumber in by wagon - in either case, gotta have boards & nails), blacksmith, school (or is this town pre-family?), dance hall and/or fraternal hall, firehouse (once the place had burned down a couple of times), corral (parking lot for stock, as the stable might be parking lot for horses?), water tower & windmill, graveyard (OK, might be outside of town), boarding house (slightly distinct from apartment or hotel), a bunch of privies out back...

'Course a bunch of those could double up or be skipped if it's a young/small town. Aaaaand of course many a town would have multiples....

Your initial render is pretty awesome. I agree the missing overhangs diminishes the look; maybe once the board sidewalks are rendered it'll look less stark? Claiming it's in Arizona and it last rained in '47 won't do, since then the sun would be just as big a deal as rain. Could you maybe just blatantly have the overhangs on a separate layer and render 'em only if you're doing a street view? Maybe go all schematic & lightly crosshatch covered pieces of sidewalk in the over head view?

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-05-2011, 01:57 AM
Barber! Perfect! Handlebar mustaches EVERYWHERE.

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-05-2011, 02:07 AM
Newspaper office, stage depot, bathhouse, Certified Painless Dentist & Surgeon, barbershop (often double duty with the dentist), assay office (if there's mining nearby), tack & feed store, bank, post office, land office, jail, supply yard (either there's a local sawmill, or else they bring lumber in by wagon - in either case, gotta have boards & nails), blacksmith, school (or is this town pre-family?), dance hall and/or fraternal hall, firehouse (once the place had burned down a couple of times), corral (parking lot for stock, as the stable might be parking lot for horses?), water tower & windmill, graveyard (OK, might be outside of town), boarding house (slightly distinct from apartment or hotel), a bunch of privies out back...

'Course a bunch of those could double up or be skipped if it's a young/small town. Aaaaand of course many a town would have multiples....

Your initial render is pretty awesome. I agree the missing overhangs diminishes the look; maybe once the board sidewalks are rendered it'll look less stark? Claiming it's in Arizona and it last rained in '47 won't do, since then the sun would be just as big a deal as rain. Could you maybe just blatantly have the overhangs on a separate layer and render 'em only if you're doing a street view? Maybe go all schematic & lightly crosshatch covered pieces of sidewalk in the over head view?

Thanks for the praise! Several of those building ideas are gold! I entirely forgot outhouses--that's a must. Post office is really good too! I'll definitely be coming back to this list. This will be the very first of my "Western Maps," and if it does well I'll go back and do more stuff, particularly things that might be farther outside of town like a farmstead, coal mine, mill, etc.

As far as the overhangs go, I've been trying my darndest to wrap my mind around how I might include them without messing with the usability. It would be easy(ish) to have them as separate images for VTT use, but for I can't think of anything that wouldn't be a huge hassle for printed use.

Doing things like semi-transparency or crosshatching always feels like it throws off the look of the map to me. That's one of the reasons I deeply, deeply hate trees--there never seems to be a good way to handle foliage.

Lukc
11-05-2011, 03:11 AM
What are you using for the modelling?

tilt
11-05-2011, 03:51 AM
sounds like a great idea - and I'm sooo with you on the overhangs/trees/other small base big top thingies.. :) working on my city maps myself and also thinking what to do about roofs and stuff :)

rdanhenry
11-06-2011, 12:15 PM
You have to have a bank. If you're playing outlaws, you need it to rob. If you're playing lawmen, you need it so you can stop the outlaws when they come to rob it. If you're doing neither... well, you still might have some financial business.

ravells
11-07-2011, 12:03 AM
Not sure if it's been mentioned, but so many westerns I've seen have had an undertaker's office.

Katto
11-09-2011, 05:15 AM
Good start RE. Hope to see more pics as you progress. And don't forget to watch 'Rango' to get additional ideas :)

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-12-2011, 04:30 PM
Welp, I am broke as a joke this month so I'm putting this project on the back burner while I do some regular commissions, but I'll still be working on this when I get a free moment.

Here is a perspective render of the town from a while back. I finalized what all the buildings are, and there are a couple that I didn't have the space to include, sadly. I chose a to have a gunsmith in favor of a barber shop, since this will be used for RPing purposes. Bank, jail/sherrif (with a gallows next door), and undertaker's will be represented. Future "expansions" will have to include barber, telegraph office, assay office, etc.

Katto - I actually tried to go back and watch some cowboy movies from my youth to get inspired! Sadly, I chose "Maverick" which is definitely not as awesome as I remember it being when I was 12. I'll have to see if I can sit down and watch Tombstone or The Quick and the Dead.

Ravells - Definitely got the undertaker's covered. I also have a church--whenever I do things like graveyards and churches, I always find myself accidentally wanting to include the regular religious iconography that I associate with them! I always have to remind myself that fantasy settings wouldn't have things like crosses on their buildings!

Tilt - Yes, trees are my enemy. And normally choosing to leave off overhangs/raised porches wouldn't be a problem, but they are pretty iconic for western settings. It's a shame I can't easily include them. Hopefully I'll be able to make it sufficiently western without them.

Jaxilon
11-12-2011, 05:15 PM
Just looking at this, and it's wonderful by the way, but at this angle it looks like you could easily put the overhangs and still see the walkways. You might have to fake it a little by raising them higher than they would otherwise be in order to still show the ground beneath but I think it might work. Now, if you plan to rotate it to a top down look then they really are toast. :)

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-12-2011, 06:17 PM
Just looking at this, and it's wonderful by the way, but at this angle it looks like you could easily put the overhangs and still see the walkways. You might have to fake it a little by raising them higher than they would otherwise be in order to still show the ground beneath but I think it might work. Now, if you plan to rotate it to a top down look then they really are toast. :)

Hah, I think I'm toast, then! This is just a sample perspective of the model. The actual product will be a top-down map (with a slight perspective-trick do you can see a little of the faces of the buildings).

The more I look at this though, the more I think about starting over and redoing several of the buildings. It might make more sense to release each building as a separate map-pack anyway. Though I can't shake the notion that one whole town would be awesome for VTT play. It would be almost like a video game where you could wander around wherever.

ravells
11-12-2011, 06:54 PM
It's such a shame without the overhangs.....not sure if you can do this in sketchup, but can you make them and group them. Set the texture to transparent when you do the plan view and bring the texture back when you do the perspective view?

Shame that y'aint havin' the hangin' tree, but I do like the shadow the gallows are casting...really dramatic!

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-12-2011, 07:13 PM
It's such a shame without the overhangs.....not sure if you can do this in sketchup, but can you make them and group them. Set the texture to transparent when you do the plan view and bring the texture back when you do the perspective view?

Shame that y'aint havin' the hangin' tree, but I do like the shadow the gallows are casting...really dramatic!

I really am not sure what to do! I can render the overhand separately and turn the transparency down, or I could have them on a separate layer... for the print version, there could be just a separate piece that you place onto or remove from the map, based on what floor your character is on... but that seems like an unnecessary hassle. I'm looking around for examples of how others have dealt with overlapping levels with open sides, but I can't really find any.

Lwaxana
11-14-2011, 06:23 AM
Don't forget the random haunted house ruined building at the edge of the town, the one place to scare kids with but no one in their sane mind would come close enough to tear it down.

Did anyone mention a train station? Or the gallows?

maxsdaddy
11-22-2011, 09:30 PM
Around these parts we like to use the term fundsalow. One quick suggestion when you get back to this; western fantasy town + lightening train = awesome.

mearrin69
11-30-2011, 12:19 AM
Terribly cool. I want it as printable fold-up terrain!
M

RecklessEnthusiasm
11-30-2011, 06:32 AM
Terribly cool. I want it as printable fold-up terrain!
M

You know, I've always played around with the idea of making papercraft models but haven't tried it yet. Definitely down the line though--and western buildings would be a great place to start since they tend to be pretty boxy and would lend themselves well to it. Hmm.

Oh, incidentally, this project has turned into a Western Maps (http://www.rpgnow.com/index.php?cPath=5606_8095) line on my RPGNow shop. I haven't actually announced anything yet since I want to get enough buildings to set up a nice little town first, but hopefully I'll make fast progress and make an announcement in the news section before too long.

tilt
11-30-2011, 06:58 AM
neat RE - good luck with the project and may you sell as many as fleas on a camel ;)

Soultroubadour
12-03-2011, 07:56 PM
Wow man- these are fantastic! Really makes me want to run Werewolf Wild West again *sigh*

swlawren
06-18-2012, 03:22 PM
I just picked these up at RPGNow and they are really awesome. Will there be anymore than the 4 there now?

RecklessEnthusiasm
06-21-2012, 09:15 PM
I just picked these up at RPGNow and they are really awesome. Will there be anymore than the 4 there now?

Hey there! It turns out that western maps aren't huge sellers, so I've put this project on the back-burner for a bit while I work on a few more fantasy ones, but I really do hope to come back to it soon and get at least all the basic cliche western locations covered! Keep your eyes peeled. Oh! And if you picked them up, I would be massively grateful if you do a review for any or all of them some time. Reviews help out a bunch!

jfrazierjr
06-22-2012, 08:45 AM
My only problem so far is that I can't think of a way to have awnings/overhangs that wouldn't cause problems with the overhead view.

Since you are doing a VTT version and I believe you have targeted MapTool, one option you can use is to have the awnings as a separate object that can be "layered" and then removed. In MapTool, you could even go so far as to use Wolph42's "Bag of Tricks" (http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=16066) to have it "remove" the awning when a token is moved under it. For that matter, if you want to do the work, you can do the same with the roofs and include the full floor plans of each building. I am kind of proud of all of the work Wolph42 did on this project of his(I am sure he has spent several hundred hours on it!!!) since I added the feature to the MT code that made almost everything in his BoT possible(the sad part is that other than a few quick tests in the early days, I have not actually had a chance to USE his stuff...)

RecklessEnthusiasm
06-23-2012, 03:38 AM
In MapTool, you could even go so far as to use Wolph42's "Bag of Tricks" (http://forums.rptools.net/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=16066) to have it "remove" the awning when a token is moved under it.

Funny you should mention that--it is exactly what I did. Actually, I spoke to Wolph42 right as I started making map packs and got his permission to use his macros in my Maptool versions of my maps. I have incorporated his bag of tricks into almost every single one of my maps, and he is always listed in the "Special Thanks" part of the Readme files for his contributions! I've used his roof macros, the foliage macros, and made HEAVY use of his teleport pads for stairs/floor transitions.