Some back story, if you will:Cue epic music!
I've always been an avid fan of Castlevania. Over the years, I've watched sequel after prequel after sequel fail to really capture the spirit of the game in 3d. If it isn't a mishmash of boring corridors, it's taking the character out of the Castle altogether, and farther away from the joy that is Symphony of the Night.
It's become somewhat of an obsession, frankly. Me thinking about this, and the desire to capture the nature of Castlevania in a 3d design and make it usable for some form of gaming.
I'd sketched numerous floor plans on paper over the years....but increasingly, the detail and accuracy and visual-ness I wanted simple couldn't be reasonably captured on paper. (Not unless I wanted a 30 pound book of sketches and maps to show people. I have a binder as thick as my wrist with half-conceived gaming ideas as it is.)
So around 2009, I found Google Sketchup, a free-ware drafting and design program. And I started on the castle that has haunted my dreams.
Unfortunately, I didn't know shit about Sketchup. So while I made this really cool looking castle, it wasn't very functional for gaming. Distances were in the 1000's of meters, and while abstraction was fine for the exterior, for the interior it was totally unworkable. In order to make an exact interior layout, you need the floor plans for the exterior foundations....and since the measurements on the exterior map were off....so too would all my interior measurements be in meters. I realized that in order to make it work, I'd have to abstract and calculate thousands of meters of space into something much smaller. It dawned on me as I worked on a corridor that was, in scale, 200 feet tall and 75 feet wide. And it was a side passage. >.>
So I shelved the idea for a while, and after an emergency reformat, lost all my work.
That was where the story ended....
But now....it begins again!Link to incomplete image album
All told, this represents about 1 day of Richard-Dreyfus-in-Close-Encounters-Of-The-Third-Kind-like work.
Obviously, I have a ton of work left to do. The previous map I did had a full hedge maze and tons of imported models that made the map look much spiffier. I have a lot of detail work to do as well. Windows, doors, facades, surface textures, all that shiz.
After that is finished, I will begin mapping the interior
. Oh yes, that's right, that's how fucking crazy I am. Yet it's achievable! Why? Notice that little women in the screen shot? That's the scale, which I started with first and foremost. Every inch of this castle is in a "realistic" scale.*
*Few castles have curtain walls that are .5 miles long, or built keeps that were over 100' in the air. Mine has both.
Which leads me to part 3.....what the hell am I doing all this for? Well, like I said, it's an obsession firstly. So it's going to get done anyways
....I'd like to do one or maybe both things:
1. Run a D&D campaign with my friends using this castle as our setting. I will use a PC to render the map to players in real time, so instead of 20 minute-long scene descriptions, I'm just going to go "This is what it looks like." Most of my effort would consist of moving the map around for the players, and measuring things if they can't eyeball it.
2. If I can't get a group going to play this (or I do and it works well.....) I would like to run a forum game, starring this map as the centerpiece. This won't be for a while....but just some ideas....
-Forum members form a party, or play as single individuals exploring the castle.
-I write a forum-friendly RPG system to handle it all. (Was planning on writing a Castlevania RPG game anyways.)
-Game consists of players trying to get through the castle alive to solve the dark mystery (that everyone knows) behind it.