Fourthcore Team Deathmatch Arena: Vault Of The Spider Queen

I’m going to preface this one by saying: I could have done better. In fact, I had much bigger plans for this piece. On the other hand, sometimes the results can be stunning when there’s  a deadline looming. For me, this was the case – not in quality, but rather I learned a lot about how to work quickly. I usually take my time – too much time – and when I made this piece I didn’t have that luxury. So I was forced to make decisions quickly, which was good for me.  In fact, I kind of live tweeted the process. You can see the board go from zero to complete through a string of tweets I did, which is kind of interesting. Here they are:

I made The Vault of the Spider Queen over the course of a weekend, probably in less than 4 hours. I’m guessing here, because work on this sort of thing is never in huge chunks of time, but “whenever I can fit it in.” Plus, paint and glue needs drying time. This map also holds a special place in my heart because it was one of the first Fourthcore Team Deathmatch map I played on; I had so much fun playing on it that I immediately began to dream about carving it out of foam. The Gencon FTDM tournament this year gave me just that opportunity. First, here’s the map it’s based on.

And here’s how it turned out:

Lolth2

I had originally wanted to cut the base and walls out of a single piece of foam, but since I didn’t have that on hand, I kind of cobbled together whatever I had lying around into floors and walls. This also created gaps in the floor, and not perfect dimensions, so the grid is a little out of whack in some places.

Lolth1Lolth4

The black bead in the middle there is the Lolth egg. I also included a big purple plastic easter egg for whomever happens to have it at any given time. You know, to avoid the whole, “Who has the egg right now?” bit.

Lolth5

The huge area of spider webs was a problem. It was difficult to put a thin layer down, so what’s there is too thick to see the gridlines through. I drew lines on the wall for reference. That hall is only three wide, so as long as you’re lined up correctly, and in the middle, right, or left lane, it should work.

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The ochre jelly area was made using this technique.

Lolth3I wish I had more time to play with the webs. I could have done more like this (with the web attached to something, instead of just sitting on the floor).

Ok, so I’m talking down on this a lot, mostly because it didn’t turn out how I imagined it would. So to me, there’s an element of disappointment when I think “I would have done this differently, given enough time,” and “I was hoping it would have looked like this.” And I’m sure some people will say, “No way, it looks great!”

Truth be told, I am pretty happy with how it turned out. I definitely surprised myself by actually finishing it in time. And I’m sure everyone will have a good time with it. Which in the end is what it’s all about!

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