Map – Dragon Skull Pass

I started showing boy s the basics of Dungeon Alchemy while we were away so that he could design the shrine that his character Caeluma is founding at Amberhammer Hold. He’s got a basic layout sorted out, and will now need to do the tweaks and nudges to the decor and props to finish it all off.

This has brought me back to making some random maps to toy with some more of the new features in the recent update, which has led to this mixture of landscape and hidden crypt dominated by the wedged skull of a long-dead dragon:

overhead map view of a snow-covered winter pass through mountains with a dragon's skull wedged at the bottom and a room and corridor carved out in one side of the valley.

Entry to this snowbound pass through the mountains is under the skull wedged above the southern end of the pass. A small crypt or shrine has been tunnelled out of the mountain rock, with its entrance at the top of a rocky slope covered in ice and snow. Danger might come from within that structure, or from bandits on the clifftop or even on top of the skull. Perhaps a yeti has taken up residence in the pass, or a troll preys on the unwary.

As usual I’ve put together a zipfile of the original .dam file, the exported jpeg and the text file containing lighting information – and that is included in this blog:

If you use this for anything, please let me know – I’d love to hear how you used it.

Inktober Eleven and Twelve

We’re getting close to the halfway mark, which is a nice distraction from how this bug just isn’t quitting. Today’s late posting is brought to you by exhaustion, frequent trips to the loo, and as much lemsip as I can handle.

Day Eleven was a fun and simple one: Snow. The snowman was an obvious choice, and gave me a chance to practice footsteps and disturbed snow, as well as twigs and coal. The carrot was also harder to draw well than expected. Just a fun little picture with no additional meanings inserted.

Perhaps inevitably I had to go with a pun as part of today’s prompt: Dragon. In this case a dragon in drag. Perhaps the biggest challenge was working out the lipstick placement to show the snout shape. I’ll probably do more in this vein as I’m critiquing it hard even as I look at it now – but I’ve kept to my half hour and no prep approach.

Quietly Bopping Along

Well things are starting to revert to a more normal state of affairs now that Christmas and New Year are becoming genial memories, and the rapidly approaching pay days of more traditional work regimes are rising on the horizon.

Along with everyone else in the UK, I’ve been moderately entertained by the snow that suddenly crept up on us with at least a week’s warning – largely because the area that I live in seems to have something of a micro-climate that makes it a few degrees warmer than most of the surrounding towns.

Snow-covered evergreen tree
A local tree this weekend

Even so, we’ve had enough to transform the local park land into a fair approximation of the proverbial winter wonderland. While t’other half has been wrapping up warm and trying to get the ongoing asthmatic chest and throat infection of doom under control, I took the opportunity to wander out with Small this weekend.

I’m used to her presenting a very cool and collected front these days, so I ventured the idea of diving out after Sunday lunch into the snow with a half-expectation that there would be a lukewarm reaction. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find that my announcement that it was still snowing steadily – and indeed looked like it was snowing¬† harder – was met with a grin, the setting aside of her laptop and her rapidly bounding over to check for herself. There may even have been an expression that this was rather ‘cool’.

In the event, we had a great time taking photos and then even more time having a running snowball fight up and down the length of Sunbury Park – in common with the many families that we saw out there that afternoon. We even ventured on to a nearby local Italian deli that goes by the name of Little Italy for hot chocolate and croissants – a lovely place with friendly staff and good prices that I’ll definitely be going back to.

So all in all – for me – the snow has been more decorative than disruptive, and life continues to¬† bobble along. I’ve even picked up a bit of new writing work to focus on, which is always a good way to start a new year.