Thursday, July 23, 2015

Video Game Terrain Inspiration - Ultima 7

One big thing as crafters, and in this case - terrain makers, is where do you find inspiration to create your pieces? Whether you're making it for Warhammer or other table-top wargaming or if you're making it to assist in the story telling of your RPG campaigns, we all need a little nudge now and then to find and make usable and neat little things.

Today I'm going to talk to you about my all time favourite game series, Ultima (in particular Ultima 7). It's a top-down DOS game from the early 90's. Don't let that throw you off, though - it's a role-playing game with an in depth story and character development where you can amass a party of adventurers led by yourself (The Avatar)

Ultima 7 Part 1 takes place in a land called "Britania" - a place filled with magic in a world completely different from Earth.

One of the great things about this game is that it runs quite a lot like a D&D campaign. You'll have dungeon delves, monster fights, boss fights, side quests, etc - all in top-down form which makes it very easy to look at the screen, draw up the plan of the building you're in and remake it using basic terrain making items. Here's an example:

Above you'll see The Avatar (cape) and a party member called Iolo inside a building in Trinsic. From top down we can see the floor is wood, right down to the nails holding everything together. The style of this home is a very simple Tudor. Two rooms, some tables and beds and nick-nacks lying around.

One of the most frustrating ways to get around the game is to purchase a cart. Easily remade in terrain scale. Here you can see a stone building from the outside with a nice slate roof, as well.

As a Dungeon Master, this game can give you some great ideas on frustrating dungeons to put your PC's through.

This is a view of the entire dungeon, in this case captured in a different mode than you would play in, but it gives you an idea of how complex the dungeons can be.

Pillars, a Black Gate, symbols - all things we can add to terrain.

Here is a jail I built based on the jail in Yew in the Black Gate:

The Ultima Codex showcases my work here

I'm not the only one to make Ultima inspired terrain pieces, check out this blog post

So go and download DOSBox, find yourself a copy of the game and have at it! Get distracted from crafting for a wee bit and gain inspiration from Ultima 7!

1 comment:

  1. Very informative post! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign!
    Elo boosting