To shine a little light on the subject, I’ve been experimenting with adding LEDs to a couple of the models I’ve been creating. It took a few iterations for me to be happy with the exact layout but the result is a glowing success. I’ll stop with the puns now since I’ve no doubt killed off a few of you already.
Currently, the electronics (dammit! that was unintentional) fit both a 2025 battery, or a 2032 battery. The trade off is that the former is a little loose, and the latter a pretty snug fit that makes it a tad tricky to get the battery out again.
When I say electronics, It’s just a battery with a little bit of tape on one half that slots into the gap around an LED. There are no wires. I won’t be able to get away with no wires if I continue on this path for the space ships later. those are going to need a wire unless the ships are big enough to house a battery, which most aren’t. I’m sure those who enjoy such things will be happy soldering a little wire or two so I’ll live with it.
I’ve also done a little furniture. I even painted a couple of bits as you can see. Nothing wild, just some generic modular bits 25mm wide so they take up the usual grid size for TTRPGs. I also did a bunch of logs. Amusingly, those simple objects took the most iterations of any model I’ve designed, not because they printed badly, just that I wanted to make them be ‘no supports’ and they were nightmarishly difficult to get off the build plate, especially on my Phrozon mini… which I’ve levelled at bellow zero… somehow.
Ah well, Nevermind. I’ll try to announce something interesting soonish, but I’m a social media dunce so I promise nothing. I’ll just keep making stuff in the meantime. If you want to know what, ask. me on Twitter or something.
Yeah. I know I missed June completely, and almost missed July. I’m a bad person, but look, an unpainted spaceship.
Right. Now that you have been suitably distracted from my complete inability to report on actions in real time, I’d like to talk about beta testing, simulation, and the iterative nature of design, Mmmmmm, Sexy!
First was the word, and the word was Urrrrggghhh! My disdain for several TTRPG staples was enough to get me to try and solve those ‘problems’. I put the single quotes because I’m sure for many people, always having a 5% chance of missing is great, and taking half an hour or more to get through a single round of combat is fine because it let’s you do other things when it isn’t your turn, such as plan your pension. I fixed these things for myself, and then, because I could gather a few captive audiences together (waaaaay back when you could just go hang out with anyone you felt like), I did the initial beta tests of the system with those unlucky individuals. The result: great success!
This is the first point that I do two things. I strip away any parts that did not work, and fill in the gaps if that is needed at all: at this point it wasn’t. Then, I simulate, a lot. Sure, this requires some maths, some code, or a fair bit of head work, but it really helps limit what you need other people for. With simulation you don’t have to give crap to your beta testers that has no chance of working. You can literally save hundreds of hours of testing by elimination design cul-de-sacs. If you have a huge pool of testers you can use them, but I don’t, and I’d feel bad about asking them to waste time testing options that could be eliminated beforehand.
The simulations are done. Now you need Beta testers. No amount of mathematical certainty can tell you how something feels, or if people generally find something easy to understand as written.
so THANK YOU beta testers. In particular, a thank you to those of you that were given small A/B tests as those guys have solved so many little dilemmas for me. Most of these were completed ages ago, but one that came in very late reminded me of their importance.
In this case, it was a question of whether it mattered if the player could roll maximum dice based on the current skill with the highest level that they were using that moment, or, maximum dice based on their highest skill level regardless of which skills were being used.
Initially this may sound like a distinction without a difference. Looking deeper you can analyse it and realise that the later allows for riskier action sets within a moment than the former. The later also incentivizes some specialization in the long term, while the former incentivizes the player use their highest level skill as often as possible to maximize what else they can do. More importantly. Another difference is in player understanding because the former method means that the maximum number of dice that can be rolled is context (skill) sensitive, while the later method means that the maximum number of dice that can be rolled is a constant, although the players may not wish to roll that many dice as they would be performing extra actions and introducing extra risk.
Whether you understand that or not, the important thing is that I could not simulate how these two different variations of the mechanic would make players feel, and that is what Beta testers can do for you. They give you the human factor, which is important, because you are designing for humans.
Enough brain farting for one blog. Time for you lot to go off and do all the social media things, whatever they may be: liking, disliking, creating angry comments, or drawing pictures of giraffes with laser monacles. I don’t pretend to know how social media works. Bye for now.
I didn’t forget to do a blog for May, I just didn’t make time for it since so many other things always seemed more important. I’m now writing this at 2330 on the 31st of May. I doubt I’ll get it out until next month, but it’ll be close enough right?
The above half painted models are all NPCs from the western town. I will get round to painting them fully at some point, but the main reason I print and paint every model, is to make sure that other people can print and paint every model. I can be pretty confident of these things because I don’t calibrate my printers very well, and I’m a middling miniature painter. These minis all have 25mm bases and most of them have realistic proportions (You might be pointing at the Mayor’s moustache, but I assure you that happened).
I do find problems at this stage of course, and I fix them and make reprints. That black dog is clearly huge for example. Some people might appreciate the detail of the fur, but I imagine most people would prefer a good boy that doesn’t look like it will swallow a man whole. A more subtle issue is the banker’s watch chain. I’ll need to make this a little bulkier because while it prints on the Phrozon mini 4K, it simply doesn’t print on the Elegoo mars: one of the most common printers that people have. I have the same issue with a small spider demon thing so that’ll have to get a little rework too. The point is, that I’m testing these things so you don’t have to. Having said that, if a model is difficult to paint, I’m just going note that somewhere so you know, I’m not going to simplify it. You just have to try harder to paint it nicely 😛
I put this image here because it seemed to fit. These characters are some of the other NPCs from the western. I have models for some, including Grace and Granny spooks who were in the first image, although Granny is unpainted, and that version of Grace is wearing a blindfold. There are reasons and they aren’t kinky so just go with it.
For the mini of the one armed guy I just snapped an arm off one of the generic cowboys, and the burnt native brave came into existence because I had an accident with an airbrush that defined his backstory. The creator of this universe is a clumsy god. The images are just for brightening up the scenario document and the only reason they are in this post is to say thanks to the artist who did half the work on them: Francesca Tarsitano. I’d tell you to go check out her portfolio but she hasn’t properly put one together yet, so instead I’m going to say that the three cowboys in the picture are self portraits she made to reflect her moods, including the beard. If she wants to dispute that she can firebomb my house later.
Anyway, social media exists for a reason, and one day people will realize that reason and stop using it. Until that day, I will occasionally vomit content onto your feeds. Bye for now.
The above is a page from a book that exists in a TTRPG universe. It’s perhaps of moderate interest to the current player group but no one else, unless they just want nightmares. It was not handed out last session. Same goes for the second image which is a handout, but was not handed out. That’s the theme of todays blog.
There’s been an ongoing discussion between myself and several beta groups about player handouts. Some of them may not have been talking about handouts specifically, but it was the general concept of how much information is given to the players written down, versus how much they should remember or write down themselves if need be.
TLDR: It depends on the adventure you are playing and the players you are playing with. If that’s a good enough answer for you then thanks for stopping by and I hope I’ve got something more interesting for you next time…
For those of you who are super nerdy like me and into this stuff, I’ll try and skip across the surface level of the main arguments in a way that is unsatisfying and non-conclusive so that you can argue about it amongst yourselves. Glad you’re still hear, enjoy your hate reading.
When solving a mystery, a large majority of players wanted to have handouts for physical things or important notes or evidence, but absolutely refused the idea of handouts for rumours or snippets of information they had heard/seen. They instead wanted to either write it down, or just remember it. the main argument against handouts for information you gain is that it changes the mystery into a collection quest. In the same manner that a lot of video game RPGs have you collect the right evidence and then the proper dialog appears, without the players ever putting 2 and 2 together… or as I’ve been guilty of, even bothering to the read the dialog. You can only deal with so much bloated drivel before tuning out… hmm. Should I be self-aware here…naaaah.
The counter argument to this is that play sessions can often be a week, or even a month apart, and it’s hard for players to retain everything about a game when they have other things in their lives to deal with between times: the kind involving real world consequences. Many experienced DM’s may poopoo this because that is the whole point of the recap in a complex campaign, but I’d argue not everyone does a recap, and with a complex campaign it still needs the DM to have taken notes or have a very good memory in case there are conflicts between the players as to what actually happened. (Notes go a long way to help that)
The second area this comes up is, ‘things the players character would know’, and you could give out a handout for that in some circumstances. However, if you are giving a player a large sheet of pre-game reading, chances are you’ve already put them off the game and I think most DM’s can tell you a story or 500 of giving something to a player and them just not reading it. The argument against this is that the DM can always butt in and say “Your character already knows X about Y” when it is appropriate. This lets the player build up their character and the world lore as the game progresses… I shouldn’t have mentioned world lore. Discussing world lore is a whole different topic that has been covered by far beardier DM’s than me, so I won’t get into it.
Right! Unless someone has questions or wants to add to the discussion, that’s as much as I’m publicly saying on the matter of handouts. You may leave. Remember to always use social media responsibly because it’s full of children, and some of those are also young people. Bye for now.
Ahhhhhhhhhh! I’m doing stuff, but here’s me doing a last minute blog before I run out of month. See this guy above? This is Mato! He is a large man, and he likes to do some skull crushing… Wait, I meant comparatively. He’s a large man, compared to other men with a 25mm base.
Almost naked buff dudes not your thing? Ok. Here’s something else instead.
I finally got around to adding the missing Beaky Boi. This is Beaky Boo, more commonly known as Sneaky Beaky. I also painted a pink variation with spikey knuckles, and a version with green feathers. I had no reason to do this. I just did. He’s basically a beaky bonus.
Now Here’s a barrel.
It’s a digital barrel. It’s what I made this lunch time before doing this blog. I will now do a 3d print to make sure it can be a physical barrel as well. I just thought I should post something that is actually current and that was as current as I could possibly manage.
For those of you who got to the end of this, I am sorry for you, but thankful that you did. Feel free to do social media stuff like saying hello. We have social media somewhere.
I already admitted that I’m bad at the blogging thing. I could try doing the talking head thing instead but I’d either have to spend a lot of time editing the videos, or just have you all listening to me rambling on about how a specific maths change in the system affects the probability of outcomes and by extension the narrative feeling for players.
That’s pretty much the reason I don’t tend bring up mechanics when doing these blogs. I’m sure I will just nerd out at some point with numbers, but I’d much rather show you stuff that other people have been helping me with.
I realise that officially I am just a one idiot show here at Radiationburn.net , but like other men, I am not an island. I have plenty of help from a whole host of people. Ben: who has made an enemy of Microsoft word after negotiations between him and the tables tool broke down), multiple artists; who have leant there dexterous fingers to many a doodle, dozens of beta testers: who sacrificed their time and sanity for the cause, and the guy I’m highlighting today, Vermillion Painting: who has very kindly taken on the task of painting many many minions for the western setting (and for an exceptionally reasonable price). Both the bandits above, and the natives below, are painted by his nimble fingers. So just have a gander at those for a moment….
Aren’t those nice?
In truth, he’s also done another batch of characters but I’m not showing those yet.
Ok. enough of this blogging malarkey for now. I have several more minis to paint, documents to write, and, other super secret stuff.
You could try contacting me on social media ( YouTube, twitter, Facebook, etc), but it’s unlikely you’ll get me tospill the beans there either. Bye for now.
So I got to the last day of the month and realised I hadn’t made a blog for January. That isn’t a big deal, just bad behavior on my part. Nothing to worry about. If I don’t make a blog post for a couple of weeks to a month that just means I’m busy. Those pictures above were both from 2020. Those guys are all painted already but I’ll cover that in another blog…probably.
As you can probably make out from my poor attempts at photography, all the cowboys and natives models are made and printed for the Wild west scenario. That actually puts us at about 20 models out of the original 6 I had planned. But since covid has decided to hold the world hostage and delayed the release of SARIL, I might as well make it bigger and better while I’m waiting… although I do miss coding a bit.
If you actually sat and counted the different models in each picture you may notice that there aren’t 20 distinct models and I applaud your thoroughness. Know that I just haven’t shown you all the models yet… for reasons.
Unrelated to that… and most of the rest of the universe, I thought it important to point out that my toaster decided to introduce a diversity quota. 2020 was a strange year.
Toaster politics aside, I’ve been working on documentation mostly this month. Tidying stuff up and filling in any bits and bobs that might be obvious to me but others would like described more specifically. No point in showing you 200+ pages of documentation just yet so you can settle for the current version of the symbol font but with no context. Good luck decoding it.
I will try to be a good boy and post a blog a bit more often in the coming months, but If I’m posting multiple blogs each week that probably means I’m procrastinating so you don’t want that.
Call to action. YouTube, twitter, Facebook, yadda yadda yadda etc. I’m off. Bye for now.
Yes. I did start this blog post with a reference to a terrible film. I’m not even ashamed.
Production continues on the Wild West scenario. Lots of text is boring without context and there is a huge risk of spoilers, so here we can see the first stage of painting the Gambler and the Demolitionist
I actually finished painting them, but the cat commandeered my lap so I can’t go take pictures of them yet. The important thing is, I am now slightly less behind on my miniature painting schedule than I was a couple of days ago.
Looking at the picture, some of you may be thinking I am disrespecting something by using ancient paints as model holders. I say NAY! I am honouring the superb hexagonal bottles with life beyond death?… Paints might be fine inside. The point is that these bottles let you put the model down flat at 7 different angles… and I think I also get extra geek cred for having them.
Back to sculpting the rest of the crew I think. Wait. I forgot my call to action. EVERYONE! GO DO STUFF! Sorted. Bye for now.