Tube Screamer Dungeon- Part Three: Moving On Up

Tube Screamer Dungeon

Part Three: Moving On Up

Welcome back to part three of my exploration into using the electrical schematics of Ibanez’s TS-808 Tube Screamer guitar effects pedal as the base for a dungeon map. As I discovered in Part One: Proof of Concept, an electrical schematic will work as the basis for a dungeon map, though ugly. In Part Two: Design and Refine, I took the basic layout and gave it more character (below).


I’m quite happy with the results but the little voice inside my head keeps whispering, “more.” I thought about what “more” might be when a little jingle from my past entered my head. “Well, we’re movin’ on up, To the east side. To a deluxe apartment in the sky.” Yep, the theme song to t.v. show The Jeffersons. Not sure why, but it was enough for me to wonder what my layout would look like if I made it multi-level like a high-rise. Could I keep the layout integrity locked to the TS-808’s schematics? Compelled, I gave it a try.

I set myself up well going into this next phase by having the four stages color-coded: Input Buffer—Yellow, Clipping Amp—Blue, Volume and Tone—Magenta, and Output Buffer—Gray. This allowed me to clearly see the start, end, and everything in between.

My first step in refitting this layout into a multi-level dungeon started with the capacitors’ rooms (C).  Capacitors in electrical circuits hold and release energy to maintain a consistent voltage flow. By imaging these rooms as elevator, I give characters the ability to move from floor to floor while staying aligned with the schematics and the applicable use of capacitors (though very loosely); temporarily storing and releasing its occupants. Turning all “C” rooms into elevators eliminated nine rooms and created new challenges.

My next big hurdle was dealing with “ground” and “+4.5v” connections. I can’t make them elevator’s as well. They stop at almost every floor. That would take away from the fun of exploring. To solve this issue I conceptualized them as open chutes. Kind of like garbage shoots you would find in high-rise apartment buildings. What’s their purpose? Did the ancient inhabitants have hover devices or modes of vertical transportation lost to time?  Whatever it was, it doesn’t need an explained now. That will come later in a future step. At this point, I have everything defined to move on up.

TS808-Dungeon-v3I started by separating the different stages, laying them on top of each other; moving the capacitor rooms adjacent to or inside their connecting rooms. To do this I used Adobe Illustrator, the program I have used so far to create the layout. Its layers feature allowed me to place each layer on top of each other, using “ground” and “+4.5v” as contestants. The image on the right shows the rooms’ final configuration layered top of each other. Though helpful in lining up the elevators it’s not useful as a map.

The process was long and took a lot of adjusting and readjusting. To help keep me in line with the layout and not run elevators into one another I created a side view. I discovered some interesting things when I started building each level. The way the circuits are laid out, my first-floor elevator extends to the third floor. That should mess with the players. On the third floor, elevators lead back down to the second floor and a half-floor. The second-floor elevators go to the fourth floor and to the basement. After that, the fourth floor leads to the fifth, which leads to the sixth. Below is the final layout, in a birds-eye view and a side view of the elevators.



Each level, if moved on top of each other, would fit perfectly and keep in form with the electrical schematic. There, it’s complete. I now have a multi-level dungeon of the TS-808. If that is the case why is that voice still saying “more”? What does it want an isometric view — maybe?

~Stephen Pennisi

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Follow my journey with the links below:
Part One: Proof of Concept
Part Two: Design and Refine
Part Three: Moving On Up
Part Four: An Isometric Point of View
Part Five: Capacitors as Elevators
Part Six: Diodes and Resistors
Part Seven: Transistors & Opamp
Part Eight: Bad to the Bots
Part Nine: And Artifacts For All
Tube Screamer Dungeon – Part Ten: Block Party

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