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BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Discussion and planning of large-scale Castle Themed displays and events

Re: Idea for Collaborative Project: Brickcon 2012

Postby SEdmison » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:36 pm

JoshWedin wrote:Just a few thoughts from my end.

1. With a limited number builders, we may want to focus on one civilization and make it really good, rather than stretch ourselves thin trying to do two.

2. I would prefer the bare-chested peasent, rather than trying to come up with another torso. I'm afraid that replacing the most common figure in the game may make it unrecognizable. Plain yellow torsos should work, in my opinion.

3. We should have it be at least the "Castle" age and probably even go to the "Imperial" age, so that we can actually have a castle.

4. I think it would be cool to have the borders of the landscaping be black, to show the unexplored regions of the game. Doing this may make it much more recognizable.

Thoughts?

Josh

Agree on all counts.
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Re: Idea for Collaborative Project: Brickcon 2012

Postby SEdmison » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:43 pm

AK_Brickster wrote:I also thought it would be cool to have some "fog of war" areas in the build. I also considered only building one civilization's town, though maybe you could have some enemy soldiers attacking something as well, since the actual battles are the whole point of the game.

I like the idea of having at least some soldiers from another empire, even if we decide not to do the buildings for it. I agree that the battles are important, and it would give us a chance to show a second faction color, just to help emphasize why all the buildings on one side have a faction color. That is, if you see some red troops battling some green troops, you'll have an easier time making the connection that red and green are team colors.
AK_Brickster wrote:As for the peasants, I'm all for doing the yellow torsos, I just don't have any and thought that the other ones would be more readily available. If people have a lot of yellow torsos, by all means, let's go that direction with it.

I have some. I also have some BrickForge stickers that make them look like muscles rather than just plain yellow.
AK_Brickster wrote:Just a thought, for the "fog of war", maybe we could elevate the black area to the height of a few bricks to give it a little depth?

I think we're going to have to prototype this and see how it looks. I actually considered having the fog of war be 8 or 10 bricks high, allowing us to give it spherical-looking cutouts to show vision radius from individual units on the board. But doing that runs the risk of just making too much chunky black, so I want to see it in brick form before we make a decision on that. (Plus, with black, you may not be able to see cutouts and subtle shapes anyway, so it may be pointless.)
Last edited by SEdmison on Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Idea for Collaborative Project: Brickcon 2012

Postby SEdmison » Sun Oct 09, 2011 8:47 pm

Just thinking a bit in terms of logistics, do we want to build the buildings on free-standing plates (ala the village standard) so they can be dropped into the scene? Or do we want to have individual builders do whole sections to a baseplate-plus-brick standard? Of course the Age of Empires games internally work off of an isometrically projected grid, but we're free to interpret things in the way that's most visually appealing and easiest to divvy among contributors.
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Re: Idea for Collaborative Project: Brickcon 2012

Postby Sir_Darc » Sun Oct 09, 2011 9:57 pm

I think following the isometric view would make more sense, and give it the same feel as the game. Really it would just mean twisting the buildings 45 degrees facing the outside of the display. Drop-in buildings would be easiest. The terrain can be separate, and maybe follow Base-8, with foliage etc. to drop in as needed during the display build. That way terrain can be it's own thing, and all that's really needed is some flat clear areas for the town.

Now that I think about it, it's pretty easy to do a collaborative when based on the tiled graphics of AoE.
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Re: Idea for Collaborative Project: Brickcon 2012

Postby JoshWedin » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:27 pm

I definitely think we need some prototype landscaping with the fog of war. I could make some up next Saturday and I encourage everyone else to try some out. I like the idea of droppable buildings. Then the landscape can be done and buildings can go wherever they look best.

I've been thinking about this all day at work (:D) and I have some more thoughts.

We do need more than one civilization but I think it would be most striking if we chose one civilization to be the main one, with buildings and such. Then have multiple civilizations just attacking or passing through (Scouts, anyone?).

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there could be 8 civilizations at once in the game, right? It would be easy for someone to make their own version of some civilizations forces and we have lots of "slots" so no one would need to overlap, I'm thinking. For instance, the main one could Jordan and David's favorite, with them under attack and such from The Vikings, Persians, or what have you, all chosen by whomever wanted to build some of that civilizations armies.

The benefit to this is that we would be able to spread figs all over the "map" and there would be no question as to who owned them. That way if I call dibs on a certain type of army of a certain civilization then everyone knows that I own all of those on the map. Make sense? Is this something that would be agreeable to all?

Regarding terrain, I would be in favor of not using BpB. It is brick-intensive and the map on AoE is mostly flat anyway with the exception of cliffs. I think it would pretty easy to figure out a simple standard for the land or ask if one person is willing to build it all to keep it standard, depending on how large we are going with this.

Lastly, the coordinator in me is speaking now. In a collaborative effort like this, there needs to be a buck-stopper. Issues will probably arise where an "executive decision" needs to be made, if the group can't agree. I would suggest David (Fraslund) for that role, since this was his idea to begin with and he obviously has a vision for how he would like to see this turn out.

Just my two bricks worth,
Josh

PS. I find it really amusing that there is a planning thread 3 pages long for BrickCon already. On that subject, I'm going to change the title of this to reflect the specific nature of this discussion.
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby CastleLord » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:37 pm

I have to say i agree with all your ideas Josh.
And to answer yes. you can have 7 other factions not including youself.
So a total of 8 with you.
And if it's needed my services as a builder is available. If you want it that is.
(This means that if you want it, i'll glady build stuff. Then pay for shipping both ways across the atlantic)
looking forward to how this turns out.
I also agree on Fraslund as the "leader" since as said this was all his idea.

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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby AK_Brickster » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:53 pm

I like the idea of a few different civs' units on the map, especially since some would be easy to do (ie, vikings) in a way that makes them easily distinguishable. I do think that doing as many as 8 might stretch our resources a bit. I'd rather see a couple of civs done really well than have random figs in half-a-dozen colors running amok. Maybe cap it at 4ish?

I second not doing BpB. Much easier to just drop in flat plates as needed without having to worry about having everything be BpB. As for showing the isometric view, I think this is where darc was going with this, but just turning the plates 45 degrees seems the easiest solution. I'm also in favor of just doing drop-in buildings.

Finally, I third the nomination of David as coordinator/final word on disputed topics. Great idea David!

(PS: Josh, I'm glad I'm not the only one who spends his whole day at work thinking about Legos :))
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby SEdmison » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:21 am

I agree that trying to do a full 8 civs might be a bit... scattered. We could potentially have builders team up even within the same civ just by divvying who's going to build which buildings, which type of troop, etc. That is to say, I could build the archery range and archers for a civ, while someone else could build the barracks and some man-at-arms or swordsmen for that civ, while someone else entirely could build the stable and some mounted troops for that civ. (For that matter, nothing says that the builder of a building and the builder of the troops coming out of it have to be the same person.) I do agree that we want to avoid a situation where two or three or four people all have exactly identical troops on the map, because it's going to complicate making sure that everyone gets their stuff back. (See the BrickCon 2011 lost-and-found thread for an example from this year, then imagine everyone bringing identical stuff!)

I agree with the nominations of executive authority, drop-in buildings, turning baseplates 45 degrees, and not using bpb all stated so far. So the way I see it, we need to decide on the particular civilizations to concentrate on, with an eye toward having one be the "main" civ from whose point of view we're presenting the scene (that is, it will be his troops that dictate line of sight, primarily his buildings that we see, etc.) and another 1, maybe 2 or 3 civs whose troops (and maybe occasional building) we see in the scene. That decision should be a combination of which civs are most visually distinctive and recognizable and which ones we think we can build for (perhaps based on having people step forward and say what stuff they could build confidently, based on colors and parts available). At that point, we could then have folks volunteer what they're confident they can get done, and start a master tally list of who's building what stuff for the chosen civs.
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby BiggerJim » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:41 am

Sounds like one main civ, perhaps one smaller one then various units traveling the "map"? I like it.

Is there a good way to see what units look like? I haven't played this game in years
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby JoshWedin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:05 am

Can I suggest that we don't turn the baseplates 45 degrees but just turn the buildings instead? If they are "drop-in" this will be easy to do. If the baseplates are turned that will cause significant issues for the rest of the castle area by cutting down on usable space. As most of you know, space is limited and I would hate to waste it in triangular spaces that can't be filled.

Josh

PS. Jim, I haven't been able to find a site that has pictures of all the AoE units.
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Oct 10, 2011 3:51 am

BiggerJim wrote:Sounds like one main civ, perhaps one smaller one then various units traveling the "map"? I like it.

Is there a good way to see what units look like? I haven't played this game in years
Jim, try this site: http://ageofempires.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Age_of_Empires_II

If we are volunteering to build stuff already, I can probably help out most by doing one of the castles, since the majority of my collection is grays and blacks. I think it's pretty much a consensus to do the Teutons as one civ, so I can do that castle. I can also do a gold/stone mine or two.
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby JoshWedin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:06 am

I'm all for volunteering for specific buildings and units now, but before anyone actually begins building there are some items to work out still.

Scale -
How much room are we giving to each building? Most of the buildings are relatively small in size. Perhaps we should pick a footprint for the castle and then scale down from there?

Colors -
We need to decide what color the Teutons are going to be. I would really like them to be something other than red because I have a plan for a large unit from another Civilization and I need them to be red, based on available parts. Is this a problem for anyone? (How's that for a vague teaser? ;) ).

Landscaping -
Are we doing the drop-in buildings for sure? Also how big of a map are we going for? Remember it can't be more than 6 32x32 baseplates deep.

Build on,
Josh

PS.
I volunteer to build the peasants, so that they all match. How many do you all think we need? I was imagining around 30-40.
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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby CastleLord » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:37 am

Liking the ideas Josh.
And for scale...
I don't really know. There are 3 Large buildings in the game that can set the scale. The Castle, The Town Center and the Wonder.
While i mention the Town Center... Wouldn't that make the mocs easier to link to AOEII? Everyone thats played the game knows the Town center is the main building.
And back to scale... Maybe the scale of the castle should be 32*32? or maybe a little smaller? The Town center and Castle are equally big in the game so the one you set makes the other one identical in size.
since as i said, the castle and the Town Center is two of the three largest buildings.
Just my thoughts.

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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby JoshWedin » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:36 pm

CastleLord wrote:While i mention the Town Center... Wouldn't that make the mocs easier to link to AOEII? Everyone thats played the game knows the Town center is the main building.


Yup. I assume that we will have a list of buildings that we have to have. Town Center is definitely at the top. That and the Castle will be the most intensive to build.

I'm cool with 32x32 for the Town Center and Castle. Then we scale everything down from there.

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Re: BrickCon 2012 Collaborative Project: Age of Empires II

Postby AK_Brickster » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:35 pm

JoshWedin wrote:
CastleLord wrote:While i mention the Town Center... Wouldn't that make the mocs easier to link to AOEII? Everyone thats played the game knows the Town center is the main building.


Yup. I assume that we will have a list of buildings that we have to have. Town Center is definitely at the top. That and the Castle will be the most intensive to build.

I'm cool with 32x32 for the Town Center and Castle. Then we scale everything down from there.

Josh

32x32 should work well, I think. One of the features of the Teuton castle is a round turret, which would be tough to do much smaller than a 32x32 footprint would require. Does anyone have a table that shows how big other buildings are in relation to the castle? (ie, the castle is 8x8 "grid units", a tower is 1x1 grid unit, mine is 2x2, etc)

Josh, I think we are going to go w/ either green or blue for the Teutons. I'd prefer green, aesthetically, but maybe blue would be easier since the green from the game is more along the lines of the new dark green, which many people probably won't have very much of, and it shows up as an accent color in all of the buildings. The blue from the game is relatively close to the standard Lego blue, if I recall correctly, and I'm sure there's more elements / better availability in blue than dark green.
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