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Showing posts from January, 2015

Making Mine Scenery Part IV

Today we're going to focus a bit more on the chasm board section. Last week I posted the above picture showing the pieces I was going to use for the incline. I actually opted to split the small connector piece in half and shape the "chasm end" some.


The other half is sitting all the way to the left of the picture, on top of the black cardstock. The other weird offcut was to be used as well.


I spread the 3 pieces of foam out to create a more gradual transition, and then I glued down a piece of black cardstock across the 3 pieces. This created a nice shallow smooth incline. I had some offcut foam suitable for making some larger rocks so I shaped and glued those down as well. Finally, I laid down the two pieces of I-beam/girder, traced them with a pencil in the spot I wanted them, and then I cut insets into the foam and card to allow them to drop into place.


I pulled out the girders, painted a thinned down layer of glue, and applied a coat of play sand, just like the other…

Two New Renders: Ari Gaylen and Officer Tulson

Its been another exciting week of development in the world of Broken Contract. Prototype figures are now in the hands of the caster and we are now eagerly awaiting our very first master models. We also had a batch of 3D renders from Tim Barry that we had sent back for revision, and two of them came back finalized on Friday. Those have now been sent off to VisionProto for prototyping! The initial model range is really coming together. Last week, I posted the new background and art for Overseer Billins. John Gendall's next project is actually the last essential piece of art for the initial cast of characters - Kollis, the Breaker Crew Leader. He has all of the references in hand, so hopefully he'll be done sometime this week.

A couple of days ago I showed a snapshot of a page from the rulebook. That same night Sam sent over a brand new mock-up Stat Card that I think is the best incarnation yet.


We're actually getting very close to having something ready for the gaming masse…

Making Mine Scenery Part III

Today I jumped around between 3 different projects relating to the iron mine scenery I'm working on. The afternoon began with some quick shaping of the other half of the chasm I was working on in Making Mine Scenery Part II. Since I already discuss the shaping process in detail, I'll just show you two quick shots, one of the pieces after shaping and then another of pieces being left to glue. Pretty dramatic stuff (actually its really not). Thanks to Edgar Allen Poe for the assist.



So with the chasm section left to dry it was time to work on something else, so I dragged out the three original board sections from Making Mine Scenery Part I for some rough detailing. In the photo I started the article with you'll notice that an iron mine has a lot of color. Dirt, iron ore, and oxidation result in colors including brown, grey, metallic, and orange. As you can see in this photo I left off with having a Scorched Brown basecoat, Bubonic Brown drybrush, Bleached Bone drybrush (all…

Making Mine Scenery Part II

For the second part of this series I wanted to backtrack a little and show some of the steps I glossed over in Making Mine Scenery Part I. Its a little backwards, I know, but I'm a constant re-writer and often find myself wanting to expand on an idea I merely touched on. What can you do?


All of that aside, we're going to start with a piece of 8"x10" masonite, just like the other board sections I've shown thus far. I very quickly sketched the essential details of the layout. This board section is an inclined mine tunnel with a chasm that must be crossed. I wanted to highlight the idea that this is a "miniature adventure game" in the demos I want to run at conventions, so one of the elements is crossing this chasm by either jumping or running across a beam. So now I needed a section of board to depict that.


Once I had my piece of masonite sketched out I needed my breakaway blade and my 1 1/2" piece of pink insulation foam. You can see I noted that I …

Assembling the Cast XXVII. Overseer Wire Billins

Overseer Billins is of those breed of petty tyrants that flourish in bureaucratic environments. A ruthless supervisor who uses the system of indenture to bolster his ego through the systematic abuse and repression of basic humanity and decency in all his employees. Pain, fear, deprivation and a set of rules that none could live up to are the tools he uses to shape a world in which he is a valued member of the FeSky management. A squat and toad-like form combine with mean spirit and a bellowing shout of a voice to create a presence even his peers prefer to avoid. Under the sign of efficiency and order he is allowed to enjoy power over his charges and rather than use that power to build others up he uses it to crush the spirit and make angry and beaten beasts of those who were men. The Prods he keeps closest are men and women who enjoy his methods and relish the opportunity to do violence in the guise of keeping order. What is worse, his methods have worked for years now making him sec…

Making Mine Scenery Part I

Broken Contract can be played on a flat game board, and is designed to be played that way to allow novice gamers and hobbyists the ability to jump right into the game. Still, I made the conscious decision to play the game using rulers and inches rather than squares because I'm a miniature wargamer at heart.


When I first began play testing Broken Contract I was using thick cardstock cut to 8"x10". The corridors are all 4" wide. Why 4"? Each inch is ~5', so 4" is approxiately 20'. When I was doing the early research for the game that was within the realistic spectrum of sizes of room and pillar mine tunnels, and gives just enough room to move characters around.


With that being said I'm working on taking some of the prototype board sections and turning them into 3D mining terrain for playtesting and running demos at places like AdeptiCon. Playing on a three dimensional field really brings the environment to life and is very visually satisfying. I…

New Miniature Prototypes, Conventions, and 2015

We've entered 2015 and I look to the new year with a great sense of excitement. Its a new year, and my partner and I have moved from Chicago to Milwaukee to start a new life. We wanted to save money and slow down our pace to concentrate more heavily on our personal projects, and Broken Contract is one of those projects. Even during the hectic and labored move, I kept my eye on the prize, and that's getting our introductory miniature line and game ready for the public.


A few days ago a package arrived from VisionProto of three new 3D print prototypes. When I received the first two 3D prints back in October, I was struck by how I felt that the typical approach in wargaming of scaling all humans to the same approximate size felt odd. I envisioned each character we had created to be an individual and some should be diminutive, and some should tower over the others. To that end, with this latest batch of 3D renders I asked that Tim Barry keep the weapons to a consistent scale, but …

Broken Contract: 2014 in Review

2014 was a very exciting year for me. This, the Broken Contract Design Blog, was launched in late January 2014. With each month that past, the project evolved. What began as a rough set of rules and a couple pages of story developed into a thematic rule set and a much deeper setting with many paths for future adventures. The first two pieces of art conceived by Oliver Zavala helped frame the context for future artists, Samuel Alcarez and John "Geng" Gendall.


Over the months I hosted play testing sessions in my home, Next Dimension Games (RIP) and Dimo's Pizza (all in Chicago), and got a lot of great feedback that inspired better scenarios, and a more dynamic set of rules. I used Miniature Addicts Anonymous regularly to solicit feedback on art and sculpts, and found most of it insightful. As time went on, we also honed the look and feel of the play cards and other game aids.


In September, we did attempt a Kickstarter that failed and that was a disappointing experience. H…