My hobby creations
Creativity and a desire to design
Even during my relaxing time, I often end up creating something from a UX design perspective.
Warhammer 40.000 – Kill Team
Kill Team – Resources
Set in the distant future, the miniature game of Warhammer 40.000 – Kill Team, has a great tactical depth, and without reference cards and markers, it can grow hard to maintain full understanding of what happens on the battlefield.
Kill Team – Markers
To make it easier for both players to understand the movements across the battlefield, markers were placed by each unit, removing all doubt about the flow of the game.
Kill Team – Specialist Features
Each model in a Kill Team unit, can represent a specific role; Sniper or Veteran are two examples, and they each have different abilities according to their role.
Kill Team – Tactics
In addition to what each model can do individually, the player can call upon different stratagems depending on the current situation in the battle, adding a layer of complexity to the game.
When playing the tactical figurine-based game of Warhammer, in any of its many shapes or different variations, a lot of time and energy is spent in surveying the battlefield, referencing rules, and trying to maintain a broad understanding of what is happening currently; even before the best move in the future enters as a thought – So any tool that can be found to smoothen this kink in the gameplay is something I always seek.
Many times, the simple feedback of what is happening across the board can be a simple enough aid; for example small markers that show which models have already moved, and what their status are. Or a way to see which tactical options you still have available, at a quick glance. This is where my marker and reference cards come into play.
My personal enjoyment of the game has only increased by using these tools to give me a better understanding of my options, and I will continue to use them in the future.
Warhammer Fantasy – Warcry
Shifting from game-system to game-system can be a confusing experience, especially if there are marked differences in the philosophy behind how the games are played. The Warcry take on the Warhammer franchise, use a unique interaction with the dice rolled at the beginning of each round, where the amount of doubles, triples and so forth, that are rolled have a direct relation to the abilities that can be used.
The game requires that the players rolls 6 dice, and set them aside for constant reference, and later use. This can be a bit of a hassle, since a lot of the time, the player isn’t stationary at a single point around the table, as he walks around the battlefield, to survey his options and distances. So, I made a compact board or tray, that easily slotted the dice into small compartments, where they would continue to show their pips, and give an easy reference-point for the options the player has.
The boards were taken to a simple prototype stage, and the designs sent in to Games Workshop, the production company behind the Warhammer franchise, in an attempt to sell the concept to them.
Warcry – Diceboard
To act as a tool for the unique interaction between models, dice-rolls and features in the Warcy game, the Diceboard will clearly show the available resources to the player at any given time.
Warcry – 3d Model
The diceboard in a 3D model shape, clearly illustrated the concept and measurements in a nearly lifelike way, and was a design step before actual physical prototyping.
Warcry – Cardboard Prototype
The physical prototype was made out of simple materials – Physical prototyping are often best; when simple and quick.
Dungeons & Dragons
Dungeons & Dragons – Spells and Abilities
Reference cards for all of the different unique features available during play – this makes the actual gameplay easier, and sets a higher pace during play-time.
Dungeons & Dragons – Magical Items
Maintaining an overview of the weapons and tools available to you can be tricky, without these reference cards.
Dungeons & Dragons – City and World map
When creating an adventure in the settings of Dungeons & Dragons, having evocative maps can build the game world into a larger, fantastic realm.
Dungeons & Dragons – Dungeon Maps
To fully define the smaller scale adventure segments, I have always taken to plotting maps and locations as Dungeons.
A hobby that continually draws me into creative thought and UX design, is Dungeons & Dragons, and the way the game can be enriched, by adding a clearer understanding and easy flow of gameplay, when a set of tools are developed around it.
Whether it be as a player or a ‘Dungeon Master’, I always end up designing these small tools; reference cards for easier speeding up of gameplay, or expansive dungeon maps that clearly label the layout, function and content of each room or area, to develop the sense that the world is cohesive while playing.
Some of these tools are only for my own use, and others are shared around the table whenever they are wanted.
Custom Roleplaying Table
After years of playtime around an aging table, we started brainstorming ideas for what the ‘Dream Roleplaying Table’ would consist of; Ideas like ‘cup-holders’, ‘a glass plate for map display’, ‘a raised platform, so paper could be stashed beneath’, and a multitude of other ideas started flowing. A small project into a customized, and personal table was started on my behalf, just to play around with the idea.
To develop the idea, I experimented with some 3D modelling, just to get my hands into the mental space of that kind of development, and I developed a 3D sketch of an intermediate step of the design process. After the initial sketch, I tried my hand at animating the way the components would be put together to complete the table, and added measurements for the parts included.
Before the small project could be developed further, the host of our weekly sessions was so lucky as to be gifted a new table, with a larger area, so we could have more space to play around with – which of course was a happy event for him, but more or less ended the interest in the project.
Roleplaying Table – Front View
At the weekly sessions of Dungeons & Dragons, we started musing on the idea of a table that was specifically made for the activity, and while just a daydream, I started developing the concept as a 3D model.
Roleplaying Table – Corner View
The table was of a very simple design in the first iteration, and could be made with very simple and cheap materials, while still meeting the creative requirements of a multi-layered table with a glass cover.
Roleplaying Table – Measurements
All elements of the tables design was measured out and considered in relations to the available materials at a nearby hardware store, even if it never saw actual construction.