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Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101
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TOPIC: Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101
#62830
Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
The current Cavern Kickstarter is introducing for the first time Game Tiles Dungeon Passage pieces. I keep reading from new DF customers that they have concerns about the usefulness of these pieces which perhaps mean that they might not quite yet grasp what exactly are passage pieces. The following is therefore a little academic tutorial about what are Passage pieces and how are they intended to be used. I do not work for DF and this thread is not official in any way but I thought it could help Stefan/Jeff deal with other KS concerns as well as possibly help promote the sale of these great pieces.

Dungeon Game Tiles use what I call a modular grid system. Walls, floors and corner pieces can be assembled in multitude of configurations, which is why this system is called modular. Furthermore, when these pieces are seen from above, you quickly see that all these pieces are assembled together as a perfect grid of squares since they all have the same footprint: perfect 2*2 squares.

For example, here’s a very intricate setup of classical Game Tile pieces:



By drawing lines between each individual piece, you can clearly see that all pieces form a perfect grid and that not a single piece overlaps into an adjacent square.



This modular grid system allows building setups easily while helping calculation of movement from several RPG systems that use 1” grids.
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#62831
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Not all dungeons are tightly built. Sometimes, dungeons are "dug" and rooms are connected by hallways, also called passages. With the original Game Tiles, this is how you could build a passage between 3 rooms:



This approach displays floors "outside" the actual passage. Furthermore, the actual width of the passage is not completely 2". This is because the wall's thickness is occupying some of the passage because of the modular grid system.

It is quite frequent in RPGs that hallways are 10' wide. That is because it allows more dynamic encounters/combats where two melee fighters could fight side-by-side on the same battle front. Furthermore, with the size of miniatures now being more and more of the so-called "heroic" 28 mm scale, it is sometimes desirable to have 2 full inches wide passages to allow easy access to cumbersome miniatures.

This is how you could do a full 2 inches wide passage using original Dungeon Game Tile pieces:



This method once again display floors "outside" the passages.

Another method many people use is to strictly use floor pieces:



This method necessitates a lot of 2*2 floor pieces which are most of the time in limiting quantities and of course does not display walls where they should be.

Although these 2 last methods work, the perfect solution to display 2" wide passages is actually the following:

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#62832
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
If we overlay a grid on the previous setup, we can clearly see that a few squares would not be occupied fully by square pieces:



That is because a new kind of piece is being introduced to Dwarvenite: passage pieces. Unlike regular Dungeon Game Tile room pieces, passage pieces do overlap in adjacent squares:



This does not mean that the modular grid system is compromised. On the contrary, all the 1" squares drawn into the flooring still form a perfect grid for movement calculation. The only thing that changes when you use a Passage piece in a layout is that you can no longer place a regular room piece adjacent to some sides of passage pieces without creating misalignments in regard to the grid in huge setups.

The present kickstarter offers the following Passage packs:



The pieces included in these packs include the following individual pieces in various amounts:

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#62834
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Passage pieces have long been used in classical Polystone Resin Sets. As PVC/Dwarvenite molds cannot be made to cast pieces as big as the resin pieces, a new approach to make Passage pieces was designed by Stefan.

To generate a corner section of a Passage, instead of using a single resin piece, 3 PVC/Dwarvenite pieces are being used (1 Corner Passage and 2 Passage (2 beveled edges)):



To generate a T section in a Passage, instead of using a single resin piece, 4 PVC/Dwarvenite pieces are being used (1 T-shaped Passage and 3 Corner Passage (2 beveled edges)):



To generate an intersection (X section) in a Passage, instead of using a single resin piece, 5 PVC/Dwarvenite pieces are being used (4 Passage (2 beveled edges) and 1 2*2 regular floor):



Using classical Polystone/Resin pieces, this is one of the most intricate Passage you could be doing:



Note that using the resin system, a minimum of 6 inches is needed between two intersections.

With Stefan's 5 beveled pieces, the new system allows much more intricate passages with a minimum of 4 inches between intersections:

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#62836
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
During Kickstarter 1, we saw a glimpse of what could be Passage pieces in PVC/Dwarvenite (link). Myself and others quickly became enthusiasts in trying to elaborate what could be the most versatile system with the fewest number of pieces to limit the number of required costly molds. I proposed a design that Stefan called the "windmill" design (link). More recently, Jackattack proposed an elegant 3 pieces system (link). Finally, a KS2 backer called Nicholas proposed a third system in the comment section of KS2. Proposing possibly better designs made sense last year, but as they have already been sculpted (link & link), these designs now make less sense to produce cost-wize.

Here they are for reference purposes:



Jackattack's 3 beveled system:



Nicholas' design:



Windmill design:

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#62837
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Stefan rejected these alternative designs because a few of the proposed individual pieces from the Passage Sets could possibly be used for building rooms with full tiled floors. Doing that would not break the modular grid system but potentially could complicate the assembly of large layouts as these pieces, as Passage pieces should be, overlap in adjacent squares.

Here's an example:



To make the bottom wall flush, 1 complete tiled wall and 2 complete tiled corners could be used and the walls from this room would still not be flush:



If all walls from this room were done using full tiled pieces, the walls would be straight but it could not be connected to the rest of the dungeon and gaps which would not be multiples of 2" would appear and prevent many regular tile placements:

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#62838
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Nevertheless, I still believe full tiled pieces could be useful, such as in building passages alongside rooms.



It could also be used on the periphery of Setups where these pieces would overlap only in squares that would not be used anyway such as the outside walls of a castle.

With the complete tiled wall and corner pieces from the Windmill/Nicholas design, this is how you could assemble such corridor/outside wall without misaligning the rest of the build:



With Stefan's current 5 beveled pieces, only one piece would be needed to make this wall (Jackattack's 2 internally beveled wall):



So, without changing Stefan's current 5 pieces beveled design, I am proposing the possibility of producing this sixth piece. It is up to DF to decide whether this piece is worth doing but I guess it is also up to me (and possibly others?) to tell DF their interest in this piece. For me, such piece would fix the lack of versatility of Passage Pack #3 and would make myself buy largely this Set in combination with the 2 internally beveled wall. As such piece would also have beveled edges, I don't think anyone would confuse such piece with regular walls... no need for an alternate paint job here either.

Anyway, I hope it helped a few of you. Also, please weigh in on your interest for 2 internally beveled walls!

...crazy scientist out.
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#62840
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Very good analysis Biowizard! I agree, I think the backward beveled walls would definitely open up more opportunity for unique layouts.

I will also add that back-beveled corners (like in Jack Attack's proposal) can be just as useful. They would be necessary to make sharp winding turns. Each of the 4 examples in the image below shows how where they could eliminate improper wall alignment and overlap.




In addition to the pieces already being developed, I think both of these would be very useful.
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#62841
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
It's been a lot of fun to try to come up with a good method of doing passages! I think without the rest of the corresponding concept pieces, this one piece is of too limited use for me to want it. I would want to be able to just buy a big bucket of the parts and be able to have the quantity to use them wherever I need them. Also, this might make me need to have a lot more T-intersection pieces than I would care to use most of the time (since generally a single T piece is all you need at the intersection), so most people would have to buy a bunch of T pieces and usually not use them.

Each design has weaknesses when trying to put two corners together or intersections too closely together, or two bevelled pieces together, or to put a secret wall in the middle of your passageway, that after a certain point you just have to decide to "not do that" and live with it.

I think the only way that really makes sense at this point it so buy a bunch of full #1 (pink) packs and cut some of the corners off and go windmill if that's what you want (maybe cutoff one side of some if you find you need more semi-"orange" pieces), and then cut the bevels off the #3 corner and T pieces (and be stuck with 4 "green" pieces. Maybe trade them to someone who prefers the normal method?). Personally I probably won't bother since I have enough of the original KS pieces to mostly do what I want anyway, and I'm going to be putting my available funds into the caverns pieces.

Making a bunch of freestanding L pieces just doesn't seem that practical since you'd have to destroy some pieces to make the Ls. If someone really wanted to do this method, I think you could just use standard corner pieces and pretend like the floor isn't there, but this creates more waste since you need additional pieces. I think the freestanding L method only makes sense if these L walls can be mass-produced cheaply.

For most people I think that basically using them as the "master maze" pieces is going to be the preferred method. I really think Stefan's method is the best for the majority of people, and they will just have to understand the strengths and limitations that come with it, such as not putting a passageway wall right next to a room. They could easily just put a spacer piece by the doorway and have the passageway *not* be right next to the room.

-"Nicholas" from the KS
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#62842
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
And down the rabbit hole we go. But first, thank you biowizard for structuring this thread with a preamble that grounds the discussion solidly in passage design. Hopefully, that will lead to less confusion.

For me, even though I want flexibility, there is no chance that I would buy pieces to make my passages set even more complicated.

What it comes down to for me is that I'm not interested in spreading my money across a larger library of unique pieces, which increases my costs and makes building fussier.

There is some chance that I will buy some passages pieces and just accept their design constraints -- if you want black shoes and the only pair available isn't exactly to your taste, sometimes you still buy black shoes because it is better than using permanent markers to make a brown pair black, or going barefoot. Right now, I have money pledged for passages.

However, if I "buy the shoes that aren't quite my taste", I won't then spend extra money to buy an elaborate contraption to bolt onto them so that they look like the shoes you want... only 40% larger than they should be.

I'd be in the market for a library of passage pieces that just has a design that does what I want without bloating out to seven uniques (such as biowizard's windmill, Nicholas' or jackattack's designs do). But I think I can safely assume DF won't be offering such a set, which is why I'm entertaining buying "the shoes that are not exactly to my taste".
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#62844
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Biowizard,

First of all, thanks for putting together such a clear and thorough explanation of the whole passage system and the alternative proposals. I hope anyone who'd confused about the options on the Kickstarter finds their way here; if this doesn't clarify things for them, probably nothing will. Well done!

As for the proposed additional piece, I can certainly see how it could add additional functionality to the existing passage sets for creating passages around rooms.

Three observations: 1. If this piece were available, it seems like it would mostly be useful for this particular application (passages outside rooms), so its desirability would be highly dependent on how much a GM wanted that functionality.
2. If this piece were available, its use would tend to make people need proportionally more of the externally bevelled "T" pieces and perhaps more corners as well. This is neither good nor bad, it would just affect the balance of different piece types in an optimal set.
3. Layouts with passages around rooms, like the one you illustrate, can potentially create issues of "breaking the grid" if someone tries to put a second passage surrounding the first. I'm sure you realize this; it just seems worth mentioning lest someone get too enthused about building an infinite series of nested passages with just one more type of piece. Of course, almost any piece can cause this problem if someone tries to create a layout that just isn't within the design parameters of the pieces they have, and this piece would expand those parameters.

I personally wouldn't have a big use for such pieces because I don't generally try to replicate module maps, but instead design original dungeons; I'm also generally happy with 7.5' wide or 10'/15' wide passages such as one can create with the original game tiles. However, I can see how the added functionality this piece provides would be great for those who are looking to more closely reproduce a favorite dungeon layout.
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#62845
Re:Game Tiles Passage Pieces 101 7 Months, 3 Weeks ago  
Of the four methods described, my personal preference is Jackattack's. Mainly because it's the fewest pieces. The fewer the pieces, the easier it's going to be to build with. While the bevels are very noticeable on a 2 dimensional drawing with a white background, once built I don't think they would be all that noticeable and, at least for me, would give me the the most usable pieces for the least amount of money.

My plan at this point is to just wait for these to come out after the KS and buy them then if at all. I'm planning on putting all my money now into cavern pieces.

Thanks for the in depth write-up though Bio. It does a great job of explaining the different designs and their philosophy's.

Which upon looking again, it seems to me Dungeon Passage Pack 3 seems to be Jackattacks pieces.

Upon looking again, I see that's incorrect. Bevels go the wrong way on 2 of the 3 pieces.
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