Friday, July 06, 2012

Alley Map

There are lots of new DC Heroclix figures coming our way, what with the movie-based Dark Knight Rises set (already released and in my hands), the DC Heroclix 10th Anniversary set (with corresponding Golden/Silver & Modern versions of a handful of iconic characters, such as Brainiac, Superman, and Catwoman), the New 52 Justice League set (whose Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman have already been previewed), and the forthcoming Batman set (which remains mostly in a deliciously dark Gotham-like fog).  .

In celebration, I've decided to refresh my collection of home-spun Heroclix maps.  Wizkids shows gobs of imagination and ingenuity in their creation of power dials for characters, but their map-making is, on the whole...uninspired. 

So, I've always dabbled in creating my own, with varying results. Some are crackerjack, enough in fact that other players have written me requesting the file so that they could get them printed for themselves (the Iceberg Lounge and the Abandoned Church seem to be perennial favorites).  Others have been less successful in my eyes, often because what seemed workable or attractive on the screen turned out to me less playable than anticipated.

The most common flaws in my maps have been overcomplexity and a tendency toward garishness.  The map below, of an alley in Gotham City, is my attempt to course-correct.

I've used a more muted color-scheme, much lower on the Sin City/Dick Tracy scale of color saturation than in the past.  I have also experimented here with ways to convey essential gameplay information (such as hindering and elevated terrain) that I hope are more subtle than the rather garish neon markings that Wizkids uses on all its standard maps (for reasons of clarity, I'm sure). 

I made the whole map first in a "normal city" way:

This could be any city, really.  Except for Apex City, of course: no meteors and none of the buildings are on fire.

But then I ... I just couldn't stop myself.  With the dark alley, poorly lit streets, an urban rooftops, it was obvious the map has Batman in mind.  Meaning this is Gotham City...

So, if this is in Gotham City, I knew "H" from the Comic Treadmill would never forgive me if I didn't do a version that had rooftop giant props.  And thus...

Hats. Typewriters.  Record-players.  Globes.  Mmmmm.  Giant prop goodness.  They just don't make 'em like that any more... .


Edison said...

Hi, are you from Singapore?
I'm from Singapore and a Heroclix player. Do you play?
Great map btw!

Scipio said...

Um, no, actually, I am from Washington DC.

I am glad you like the map!