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TOPIC: Rooms: Lava
#15608
Rooms: Lava 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
"Rooms" is an idea for expansions to the Fantasy line that enhance the existing pieces without creating an entirely new line. A "Rooms" set is not necessarily a room unto itself -- it might be just a few pieces that allow the builder to add pieces to other DF sets to evoke scenes and environments not previously available.

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Lava comes up from time to time on the boards as a potential addition to MasterMaze, both as a natural hazard and as a diabolical environment. Some have called for rivers of lava, possibly based on the existing Cavernous Rivers pieces. Some have created lava pieces from scratch, or from HirstArts molds (and I encourage them to start a WORKBENCH thread in the Gaming Talk forum, or to provide links to their Cool Pictures threads). DF has even given us a beautiful Lava Fountain to put in our dungeons.

One of the problems with adding lava is deciding which line to add it to -- Cavernous, Fantasy, AND Den of Evil would look fantastic with lava additions, and each of them has good arguments for why lava would be present. Cavernous and Fantasy floor tiles are very compatible with each other (especially when most of the tile is occupied by a "feature"), while DoE tiles are VERY distinctive, so I would put DoE lava on the back burner (as it were).

Let's start out with the floor. A 4"x4" tile featuring a lava pool is a great start for a room or cavern with lava. The pool itself might only occupy the center 2"x2" area, or it might occupy nearly the entire tile. (A 2"x4" Cavern floor tile would allow us to offset multiple pools, for a more "random" appearance.) Since the standard Cavernous floor pieces are 4"x4", a Large Lava Pool tile should measure 4"x8". A Small Lava Pool tile (2"x2") would ONLY be useful in conjunction with other Fantasy floor pieces (because of the size) and the lava feature would have to occupy the entire tile (with a narrow border around the edge).

Lava pouring out of a wall would be a nice addition as well. There are actually a couple of options for this: "devoted" wall pieces, and freestanding accessories. A "devoted" piece would be an actual wall tile with a lava flow sculpted into it -- to work with the lava pools, a Cavernous Lava Wall piece would have a pool in the base into which the lava is flowing; while a Fantasy Lava Wall might have a variation of the Lava Fountain set into the wall, a head pouring out lava into a semicircular stone basin. Freestanding accessories would be sculpts of the lava (and maybe other minor stone features, like the spout and basin for Fantasy) that would be placed against an existing wall piece -- I would make the base long enough to reach a Lava Pool piece placed by a standard wall piece. The freestanding flow can be used to encouraga a party along a different path, or to force them to jump over the flow (possibly sacrificing equipment to be able to make the leap).

Finally, sculpt a Lava Geyser shooting up into the air. This will show where lava is being pushed up from underground. (I know it should be called a fountain not a geyser, but "fountain" has already been used for the Fantasy Floor piece.)

IMO, a Lava Room set should include one Lava Pool, two Small Lava Pools, and the Lava Geyser. (I'd sell the Large Lava Pool separately, due to size -- which some builders might not like -- and probable cost.) It would also include ONE devoted wall piece of each type (Cavernous and Fantasy), OR two freestanding Lava Flow pieces (depending on which variety is produced). That's six pieces to create a volcanic or hellish environment in a room of our dungeons. Those who want more lava can buy more sets.

As always, let me know if I've missed anything, including pieces that should be included and/or prohibitive problems with the idea in general.

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No, I haven't forgotten rivers of lava. But the Rooms idea is to create limited sets that get an idea across, not to create an entire new line. However, no discussion of lava pieces would be complete without addressing the issues of rivers of molten rock cutting across our dungeons.

It might be possible to introduce lava rivers slowly, a couple of pieces per release. Instead of devoting huge amounts of time, effort, and resources to creating an entire line all at once, DF could minimize their risk and gauge reaction before creating the next piece for release six months or a year later.

For example, they might JUST produce a Straight Lava River piece and a Curved Lava River piece. This would allow builders to run a river of lava across their Caverns. If reaction (measured by sales) is positive, they might introduce end pieces next -- these might be wall pieces into/from which the lava flows, or pools. The next variation might be T and X Lava River Intersections -- that covers the entire gamut of river pieces.

While this means that a new line of products could take a couple of years to be fully released, it also MIGHT make it easier for DF to produce them. It might also allow them to produce and release multiple lines at the same time. It would certainly allow them to abandon a line that doesn't sell before they have fully committed to it, minimizing the impact of a market failure. And once all of the pieces have been released, they can be repackaged and sold as a complete set.

Note that this marketing model would require OUR cooperation. If DF puts out a couple of Lava River pieces, or Ice Passageways, or BioTech SciFi pieces, then we can't sit back and wait to see what the next couple of pieces will look like, or decide to save up our money for when the entire set is available. We will HAVE to purchase the pieces we like when they come out -- no amount of praise on the forums will make it economically feasible to continue producing (let alone developing) pieces that don't sell. DF has dealt with us (the customers) fairly and with good faith over the years, and we can trust DF to respond to our purchases by producing more of the products that (we show them) we enjoy.
jackattack
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#15609
Rooms: Lava 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Oops, forgot a couple of items. (I do go on, don't I?)

For inclusion in a future Traps or Wicked Additions set, how about a Fantasy passageway (probably 4" long) that is blocked by a flow of lava?
For a future Cavernous Additions set, how about a Cavernous passageway (same length) that is blocked by a flow of lava?

Okay, I'm done now.
jackattack
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#15610
Rooms: Lava 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
jackattack

The selection of possible Lava Pieces you suggested is truly inspired and I hope that most of these or variations of most of these, are produced if at all possible.


I'll be honest though, the scope and demands of such a plan (as a potential buyer) as is, does fill me with some doubts as to its viability.

IMHO, if any set is to sell it must be essentially usable from the start.

For that reason I believe that all the essential items required for use would need to be included in one set only!

In order to accomplish that, the pieces required for a relatively simple Lava River/Fault /Chasm should be included -but these really should be included from the start. Then, to allow for a "full environment" effect to still be achieved from the use of this set only, this set could be then be augmented with a number of smaller, cheaper and more versatile "accessories".


I will now attempt to explain my suggestions below.


1) Keep "accessories" generic for use with all product lines, whenever possible.
These can be placed on floors and need not be resticted in their use/versatility.

2) When a full piece is required -(lava river/flow pieces), default to caverns.
I mention this as Caverns are IMHO the most appropriate line to use for faults and/or volcanos. Caverns are perhaps, most easily integrated with all the other existing DF lines (MM SF & DOE) as well.

3) Below is an envisioned, sample Fire/Lava Set composition:

Full-pieces included:

*2 straight Lava River (w-small outcropping) pieces (4x4)

*2 different straight Lava River (w-Flow) pieces (4x4)

*1 Curved (90 degree) Lava River piece (4x4)

*2 Lava (removable, cavernous) wall pieces: One with a wide central flow (for rivers) and one with a small flow and crevice/fault (1/side) for random placement/use throughout a volcanic cavern complex.

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Environmental "Accessories" included: (These would be smaller, stand-alone pieces with NO flooring attached)!

**1 Placable, evil-looking statue. This statue could have some permanent red/flaming (or gem-like) eyes with additional empty places -(crucibles?) on it for placing either flames (see below), or gems (from the Fantasy Floor Set) etc.

**2 Unique, med volcanic lava pits (1 med and 1 double/connected pit).

**1 Lava geyser, (being a stand-alone clear/coloured plastic or resin piece that can be placed throughout the flow as the hazard erupts).

**2 Fire Plumes, (as above)

**2 Fire Walls, (as above)

**8-12 An assortment of small and med flames/fires (as above).

**2 (One med and one small) lava flows for placement near wall cracks (fissures/crevices?)

Such a set would provide collectors (owning either one or two of these sets) with considerable setup opportunities. Even one such set would allow for a cornered-off fiery chasm with a cave/lair on the far side.


PS Additional (and different) statues could also be included with another WA sets for greater variety.

PPS Additional fire-related pieces (like a ring-of-fire) could similarly be designed for use with a specific set, then such pieces could be included with that lines (say, DOE for example) appropriate WA set as well.


I would also welcome any comments, criticisms and/or suggestions for improvement.

Thanks again.
Wereweasel
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#15611
Rooms: Lava 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
Great ideas.

I like the Fire Accessories in particular, but I wouldn't package them with a Lava set -- it would be such a good set, and so versatile, that it should be sold all by itself. (Fire crops up in all sorts of dungeon/adventure situations: lava, spells, breath weapons, diabolic environs, evil decorations, ignited pools of oil, particularly nasty traps, and so on.) Add some Curved Fire Walls, a Fire Ring (open circle 2" in diameter), and maybe area fire effects (circles or squares) to cover all of the bases. Even customers who don't use DF would buy them...

Do you want T and X intersections as full pieces? Would they be introduced as part of a full release, or would they come later? Personally, I want to be able (eventually) to create lots of little islands in the lava for adventurers to leap to and fight on.

A statue might be nice, but only if it is a "rough" sculpt, or partially deformed by melting, or unique in some other way. It's so easy to turn a regular mini into a statue that I don't see any point in doing it unless the DF statue is extremely distinctive.



I agree that it would be nice to get all of the Lava pieces at once, but I have a couple-few reasons for suggesting a piecemeal approach.

The first is that I favor smaller sets over larger ones, especially for a specialty line like Lava. It allows customers to get more of the pieces they like, and fewer of the pieces they don't need. It also allows customers to expand their collections in financially manageable chunks. Imagine if WA3 came out, and someone decided to combine all three WA sets as a single huge item that cost $240 -- not only would you have to buy every single trap piece in order to get more arrow slits, it would cost an arm and a leg to do so. Cavernous Rivers and Cavernous Lakes would make a logically consistent single set, but they were developed and released in two stages. I'm suggesting that it might work to try a future major release in even more stages.

The second is that, as popular as a Lava set is here on the forums, it remains a specialty item (perhaps even a novelty). As cool, as beautiful as it would be, a Lava set is only good for creating volcanic and infernal environments (either of which also describes a dragon's lair). As such, it is less versatile than anything DF has produced to date (which is actually a testament to Dwarven Forge's success, that the existing lines are so well established that they can turn their attention to enhancing and accessorizing them). Look at how popular the Arena was, and the clamor on the boards to have it produced for sale -- as great as it was, it wasn't commercially viable. Personally, I'd probably use Lava pieces half as often as River and Lake pieces.

Finally, I think that introducing a set slowly might actually make it easier to get it introduced in the first place. In discussions about other potential new lines of DF products, it has been pointed out that starting a new line is a huge undertaking that involves considerable risk. By doing a couple of pieces to start out, they would have to devote less time, effort, and money to a new line, making it less of an investment -- if the new pieces receive a lukewarm reception, then they know not to make any more, reducing their risk. In addition, it might be possible for them to create more new releases concurrently -- instead of one huge line, they might introduce the "starter sets" for two new lines of products. (Imagine getting Ice and Lava in the same year, perhaps even in the same shipment!) The overall time to produce and release a new line would be the same, but instead of waiting for a couple of years to get everything, we'd get some of the pieces every six months or so.

This is, of course, just a suggestion. Customer opinion is a perfectly valid reason NOT to do things this way, and we have one vote against already. There may be reasons on the business side of things as well, that DF knows and we don't. (Which could actually boil down to personal preferences in the creative process -- Stefan might be the kind of guy who likes to concentrate on one thing at a time, or he might enjoy dividing his attention between multiple projects. Either way, I'd rather have a happy Stefan doing things his way.)
jackattack
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#15612
Rooms: Lava 8 Years, 2 Months ago  
jackattack

Now that you mentioned it, I also do like the idea of two separate, and smaller sets -(1 for Lava and 1 for the Fire "environment "accessories).

Perhaps by having them in separate sets there would be sufficient room to have both a greater quantity and variety of the Lava pieces included as well.

That sounds like a potential win-win situation to me.
Wereweasel
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