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Dungeon Crafting: Puzzle Dungeons

image source: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Now, I don’t know if you people have seen Mark Brown’s miniseries on YouTube known as Boss Keys, but it’s pretty great. It picks apart and analyzes some of my favorite dungeons from the Legend of Zelda games and finds out what makes a dungeon a Zelda dungeon. I have always loved these dungeons because they have a lot of density and force you to explore the space slowly and think your way through its puzzles. Definitely check out Boss Keys. From what I learned from those videos plus my own experiences as a DM, I’m going to try and detail how to create a Zelda-like puzzle dungeon. There are a few hallmarks that you should hit on:

Dungeon Density

Each area in the dungeon should be complex. It should have several things to interact with in each room other than the monsters or guardians. Everything doesn’t have to be immediately useful or usable, but it should provide context for the dungeon. For ideas, think what the dungeon was used for and research what sorts of things might be in an ancient tomb, lost temple, or forgotten keep. Have certain puzzle elements stand out. A good example from the Legend of Zelda is the eyeball above a closed door. I would stray away from that type of “puzzle” as it’s very well-known, I assume, that you have to hit the eye to open the door. On the other hand, a well-known puzzle like that could signal to the players that this is going to be one of “those” dungeons.

Making a dungeon complex and dense will mean that you have less rooms to populate, and will make it feel robust and well-used. It will also give a feeling of slight confusion for the players as they try to organize all of the information you’re giving them, but as the dungeon progresses, they can pick and choose which parts of the dense dungeon are integral to solving the dungeon!

Hub Areas

With all of that dungeon density I’ve been talking about, it’s good to have some sort of hub area. It could be a large room, a safe sanctuary, or have some overbearing landmark for players to imprint on. This will be the main part of the dungeon that they remember and can rely on. They will pay the most attention to this hub. So if this hub is a main part of solving your dungeon puzzle, they will notice changes made to the room very easily. For instance, a hub room could be a gaping chasm with bridges that seem to be mechanical. When certain levers in other parts of the dungeon are pulled, some pathways in the hub open up and some close off as the bridges ascend, descend, or turn. Back in my post about dungeon tempo, this creates a nice rhythm for players to always come back to a room that they’ve cleared and notice progress.

Branching Paths

Branching paths are a key part of puzzle dungeons. Don’t have a dungeon that is all one path that railroads players to the end of the dungeon with a puzzle for each room. Players need to be able to explore and discover the available paths in the dungeon and find the path for themselves. In the Boss Keys miniseries I mentioned, Mark constantly differs Legend of Zelda dungeons by whether they make you find a path versus making you follow a path. I personally enjoy finding the path and I think most players do too. It is key in creating what are known as…

A-Ha Moments

An a-ha moment is not that feeling you get when listening to Take On Me, but it’s pretty close. It’s that feeling a player gets when they figure out a puzzle by suddenly putting two and two together. There are a few aspects to create this in dungeon and level design:

  • Foreshadowing: implying that one part of the dungeon must be revisited later or implying something further in the dungeon exists. Laying this groundwork puts thoughts in players’ heads to help them markedly acknowledge that it’s okay to leave this area, because something lies ahead.
  • State Changes: the environment of the dungeon or its parts changes based on the actions of the players. This is the “puzzle” part of the a-ha moment. Pressing a button to change gravity, move a pylon, or change water levels can would count as a state change. Even acquiring a key item that can affect the dungeon or the players’ movement would count (see Link’s Pegasus Boots, Hover Boots, Silver Gauntlets, etc.)
  • Backtracking: After the state change, the dungeon has shifted. Some areas that were once inaccessible can now be accessed, and areas that were once open have closed off. This forces the players to backtrack. Where do they backtrack to? The place that foreshadowed the backtracking.

How does this look in practice? Let’s make an example:

The players enter a dungeon and quickly make it to a hub area with four doors. three of the doors have a bridge extending from it to a central platform. The platform and bridges are 100 ft. above a pit of spikes, which are very satisfying to kick the kobolds in this room onto. Once players tire themselves of punting kobolds, they notice that the central platform has a large plinth with a stationary mirror set into it. The mirror is facing one of the directions of the bridges. The mirror can’t be easily moved without tools, and it has no apparent use yet. The players move on to one of the doors connected by the bridge.

The players go through several chambers, fighting monsters and avoiding traps, when they find a room with a lever in it. When pulled, they hear a low rumbling and grinding of stone elsewhere in the dungeon. When they return to the hub room, the central platform and bridges have rotated, allowing passage to the door that didn’t have a bridge leading to it before.

Down this new route, the players find a stone button with an angel relief on it. After pushing a huge rock onto it, they hear another rumbling. On returning to the hub room, an angel relief is now visible on the wall as a stone slab has moved away to reveal it.

The yet unexplored room is still accessible by the bridge, and after exploring down that path, the players find a crank near a gilded relief of a sun. The crank opens up a sunroof in the hub area. The sun (if daytime) shines light onto the central mirror in that room, which then reflects it out in one direction. The only problem is, the beam of light from the mirror isn’t facing the way the PCs want (towards the revealed angel relief in the hub area).

Realizing that they need to point the mirror so the light shines on the angel relief, they must backtrack to the room with the lever that rotates the bridges and mirror until the mirror is oriented the way they want.


This example has density. It’s essentially four rooms with all the things they need to solve a puzzle in the hub area (the central room with the bridges). It could use more density though with more puzzle intertwined throughout some filler rooms or with more things to do in each room; I was light on description for the purpose of the example. It has three branching paths (four if you include where they entered from). The mirror foreshadows a light puzzle, and the sun icon foreshadows the opening of the sunroof. The bridges, angel relief, and sunroof all exist in the hub area and change states based on the players’ actions in the rest of the dungeon. Players have to backtrack to the room that changes the bridge orientation so they can rotate the mirror to face the right direction. This is a fairly simple puzzle, but in the context of a session of D&D where the story less shown and more told, it can prove more difficult. Keep all of these factors in mind when making a puzzle dungeon, and don’t forget to watch Boss Keys!

*cough* anyways.

sorry but I’m with the bandwagon on this one. Daniel wanted the best for the creatures I feel, but Jordan kinda treated it like it was expendable ??

something wasn’t right for me when James and Aleks left. Sly and Seamus left for personal reasons, I get that but James and Aleks?? The Creature hub was like… The hub was important to them. They wouldn’t have left just to be like “hey let’s ditch these losers and start a channel” and when James talked about the leaving on his channel, he was being nice with his words, as are all the ex Creatures when they leave, but he was basically saying his and Aleks’ ideas were being chucked out the window constantly.

Idk like it feels like Jordan was like “this is my channel, you are my employees.” And when he got bored, he dropped his toy (the hub channel) and never picked it back up again.

Even if the rumors aren’t true that he’s giving up The hub because of Stef, I still don’t appreciate how he smiled and talked about his good job and nice planned out future while Dan sat next to him and cried silently hoping that no one will notice. Like okay you had a safety net, Daniel didn’t so either you plan to help him financially or, you know like, shut up. Dan has no idea how these next however long time it’ll be until he is not just financially stable, but comfortable again.

Idk I just want Dan to be happy again.

The Creatures just officially announced they’re leaving the channel behind. I’m full on sobbing. I grew up watching these lovable idiots, and as stupid and cheesy as it sounds they helped me a lot. 

I’m gonna miss seeing new content on the Hub but I do wish them all the best in the future. 

And before any Cow Chop fans take over this post, please don’t. Let me speak up and say that we all knew it was coming. Trust me, we did. But it doesn’t mean that it hurts any less.

-Ryan

running buddies waiting for the train to pass

thetemporalduo  asked:

You make the Hikari Twins even cuter wirh your art! :D I love it, and I can't wait to see mor of you wonderful art! ^-^

OHHH my gosh, first of all, i’m sorry about how super late this is! but thanks a bunch, that means a lot to me!!! :-) i’ll do my best to draw even more of these two dorks from here on! 💪✨ (ALSO GOMEN if it isn’t very clear in the first pic, netto’s just teasing saito because he’s not very good at hiding the fact that he’s happy/embarrassed about being complimented HAHA _(:3)

Me trying to make deal with baby girl:

ME: So cutie pie, I know you tend to wake up around 2 am, but mommy would love you to wake up around 3.30 am, could that be possible? 
ISLA: *smiling like sunshine*
HUBS: 

ME: What? Ride along with the Shield! 
HUBS: Maybe you don’t count on her…I’ll wake you if you don’t stay up for whole Raw? Is that good deal?
ME:

HUBS:…you’re adorable, but stop corrupting our girl into a Shield trash. One is enough…
ME: I’m not a Shield trash!
ISLA: *giggles*
HUBS:

I’m total Shield trash….

Written for Portugal week (day 6: change). It was gonna be short and fun but quickly got out of hand and there also be angst. 

And to make it worse, I wrote two versions of this story:

This one’s the purely GEN and PG version!!

Without any hint to any pairings and barely any curse words. 


If you want to read the shippy and longer version, please head to this AO3 link instead

{if accessing from my blog open in new tab or it won’t load, my theme’s fault}



𝓒𝓪𝓽 𝓯𝓸𝓸𝓭 𝓯𝓲𝔁𝓮𝓼 𝓮𝓿𝓮𝓻𝔂𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓷𝓰

  • Rating: PG
  • Pairings: None
  • Characters: Portugal, Spain
  • Genre: humor, hurt/comfort, fluff, family
  • Words: 4k+
  • Tags: Animal Transformation, cat!Portugal, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, everything is just emotional, crybaby boys, England’s magic is not to be trusted…  I aim to guilt-trip every meanie Portuguese person out there ;) 

  • Summary: 

Portugal might not have asked to be turned into a tiny ball of meowing fur, but at least he’s gonna get something out of it: a lot of petting and maybe, just maybe, fixing his relationship with Spain.

Too bad he hadn’t noticed sooner that there was a lot that needed fixing in it.

Story under the cut / [permalink]

Keep reading

RP- Hubs

Been honestly considering trying to get a hub started at Druther’s in the South Shroud. RP everywhere, chill, hang around, make random plots for people to do once in a while. That’s how we used to do it in my guild and friends on WoW. Everyone just needs to be chill and have fun. Takes time to have people actually hang around there to make it a hub, but if we worked at it I bet we could have something. Esp for the adventure/wild types. 

On Balmung or Mateus guys?

Living in an out-of-the-way apartment complex but still decorating and buying candy for potential trick-or-treaters has me jumping at every tiny sound outside hoping it’s some of the neighbor kids.

HARRY TIX FOR SALE

before i hit up stub hub or whatever i want the actual fans to have a chance for well priced tickets. I bought 4 tickets by accident, I purchased some nose bleeders because i was scared i was going to miss the chance to see Harry but ended up getting better tix. I DO NOT NEED THOSE TICKETS AND I’M SELLING THEM. It’s for the DALLAS TEXAS show on JUNE 5TH 2018. they are SEC 326 ROW B SEATS 5&6. at $100 a piece. 

THIS IS PROOF OF THE TICKETS. I am not trying to mess with you, just hoping these can go to someone with no chance, good luck. 

anonymous asked:

Here's a cracky idea--post movie fic where Peter has to deal with a bevy of new Ravager aunts and uncles: Stakar Ogord and his team. After all, Yondu may be gone, but his kid's still here, and what kind of friends would they be if they didn't look in on the boy every now and then?

At first Peter thought it was a coincidence that he and the Guardians kept running into Yondu’s old space pirate buddies all over the damn galaxy.

He’d met them after the funeral at a wild 3-day wake on Stakar’s ship (bigger than the Eclector, and painfully reminiscent of it). Peter’s hangover lasted even longer than the party, but he’d ended up having a much better time than he was expecting. Ravagers definitely knew how to party, but what Peter hadn’t seen coming was how much it helped to be around people who’d known Yondu even longer than he had … people who had loved him as much as Peter had. For the first time, he got to hear embarrassing stories about Yondu’s youth, got to know him through the eyes of people who had known him as an equal, rather than through the eyes of a scared Terran child.

… he’d liked Yondu’s friends, damn it, and there was a part of him that was angry all over again that he hadn’t gotten to know any of these people growing up. He couldn’t stop thinking about how different things might have been if Yondu had just talked to them, tried to explain …

Except, no: if Yondu hadn’t made the choices he’d made, been the person he was, then he would never have picked Peter up on Earth, and Peter would never have known any of these people anyway. And the idea of losing this life – the idea of never meeting Gamora, or Rocket, or Drax, or any of the others … never knowing any part of the galaxy outside of Missouri … never meeting Yondu … shredded something inside him.

It had been a very hard life in some ways, but it was his life.

So he got to know Yondu’s friends a little bit, and after the party broke up, Peter figured he’d never see any of them again.

But then they ran into Stakar on Knowhere, while they were fencing some artifacts recovered from the ruins of a nameless planet out near the Hub, and ended up having a few drinks with Stakar and Martinex for old time’s sake. And then there was that salvage job in the Crab Nebula, which also seemed to have gotten onto the radar of Aleta and her crew of terrifying warrior women, so they ended up cooperating with Aleta’s furies to get the derelict ship stripped down for scrap (it wasn’t like they could have fit it all into their cargo hold anyway). And Mainframe helped them out of a little jam involving a small mercenary fleet that they might have pissed off by snaking a job out from under them; she said she was just passing through anyway. And then Charlie-27 and Stakar were checking out the famous animal market on Murin-IV for some reason, which meant they were around to help Peter and company break out Rocket after he stupidly got himself captured as a zoo oddity –

… and wait a minute.

“Are you following us?” Peter demanded, the next statistically-unlikely time (two weeks later) when he ran into Stakar again, this time in a bar near the spaceport on a backwater ice planet while picking up parts after they’d had another skirmish with what was left of the mercenaries.

He was fully expecting Stakar to deny it, but instead the old pirate gave him a sideways grin and told the bartender to put Peter’s drinks on his tab. “You know,” Stakar said, swirling the bright-yellow drink around in his glass, “we’re putting the old crew back together – been pulling off a few jobs here and there.”

“I heard that,” Peter said cautiously. “If that’s an invitation – uh, not to shoot you down or anything, but –”

Stakar gave a sharp, hoarse laugh, and for an instant there was a hint of Yondu in the glint in his eyes, jabbing an unexpected pain under Peter’s ribs. “Not that we’d turn down the famous Star-Lord –” Peter wished he could figure out if he was being made fun of or not; there was a lot of Yondu in that, too. “– but I figure you’ve got your own thing going, and it’s working out for you just fine. Am I wrong?”

“You’re not wrong,” Peter admitted.

“But,” Stakar went on, jabbing a finger at him around the smudged glass, “that doesn’t mean we don’t have your back. We weren’t there when Yondu needed us, but we’re sure as hell gonna be there for his kid. You’re a Ravager, son. You ever get in trouble, all you gotta do is give us a call.”

Peter stared at him, wordless. Stakar reached out and lifted Peter’s chin with a fingertip, closing his mouth. “You better shut that thing or something’s gonna fly in. Especially in here.”

“Uh … yeah.” Groping for normality, Peter knocked back his entire drink in one gulp, and choked. Stuff tasted like it was 200-proof. Why the hell had he still not learned that drinking with Ravagers was usually a bad idea?

“Another?” Stakar asked, looking amused.

“Sure,” Peter gasped. At least the drink gave him an excuse for why his eyes were watering.

He had grown up thinking that he didn’t have any family at all. Now he was starting to entertain the strange, dizzying possibility that you could have more than one.

*waiting for American Gods to load up*

hub talking to me: I wonder how they’re going to adjust this story for television, because there’s a lot of stuff they’re not going to be able to show.  It’s way too graphic.

Brian Fuller: Hold my beer…