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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Introducing the Battleboard Builder!


For a recent post on Antinous, I decided to create a battleboard background with blue squares surrounding the render of the boss. What started as a one-image project quickly became a whole new site feature.

With the battleboard pieces already cut out for Antinous, why not play around? I began using GIMP and some of the guides to build myself a little battleboard designer.


I started cutting out enemies and companions and more. Before long, I became experienced in building battleboards myself, attempting to stray from the "norm" and create something that hadn't been done before. One design in particular that I liked was an Aquilan board, with a number of single-space paths and a bunch of enemies. The goal would only be to escape past the Minotaur, but you might have to fight depending on your speed and ability to get around enemies.


Battleboard Builder is Born

I decided that I shouldn't get to have all the fun, so I tried to create a little something that allowed other players to create their own battleboards, too. I was surprised with how simple it would be to accomplish... what I didn't realize was how much time it would take.

The Battleboard Builder can be accessed through the sub-navigation, to the right of the Doubloon Database. I decided to release with four locations (essentially the four highest-level worlds): the Banditoad Trail, Valley of the Titans, Airedale Pier, and Labyrinth. Each world is almost the same in terms of battleboard size, but each one has its own background, obstacles, enemies, and one unique companion.

Every battleboard has the option to have clear tiles, blue tiles, no tile, two obstacles, three enemies, one boss, three companions (El Toro, Bonnie Anne, and one world-specific), and a pirate. Right now, you have only a male pirate, but I may expand those options in the future.


The concept is quite simple. Anywhere it says "Click to build," you do just that to get a clear tile. Click on a tile again to turn it blue, and again to make it disappear, and again for an obstacle. You continue this pattern through a number of different options, all ordered so that you'll have to click fewer times for things you use a lot of, and more times for things you use few of. The pattern is as follows:

Click to Build -> Clear Tile -> Blue Tile -> No Tile -> Obstacle 1 -> Obstacle 2 -> Enemy 1 -> Enemy 2 -> Enemy 3 -> Boss -> Companion 1 -> Companion 2 -> Companion 3 -> Pirate

From there, the cycle begins again, so just click through if you miss what you wanted. Unlike in normal combat, you're not bound by regulations and starting rules. You don't have to start in ally territory and opponents don't have to start in enemy territory. You control your movement range, and if you want to be crazy and have ten Bonnie companions, no one is stopping you. The choice is yours.

If you're curious about the rules of combat (where you start, where your companions start, etc.), they're explained on the Battleboard Builder page, along with much of this information.

Potential Expansions

If the Battleboard Builder never did expand, I wouldn't be disappointed. Its capabilities are already something. However, I'm hoping to add the first three worlds in the near future, along with options for larger or smaller tiles to control battleboard size.

I know I can do those things for sure, but whether or not I'll be able to swap in male or female pirates is still in question. If nothing else, I'll mix it up based on the battleboard location you choose in the future.

If you create something particularly interesting, take a screenshot, and send it to me at swordroll (at) gmail (dot) com! Thanks for reading and see you in the Spiral!

A big thanks to Destiny Devereaux and Chrissy the Blesser for assisting with taking pictures!

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