Tube Screamer Dungeon
Part Four: An Isometric Point of View
Welcome back to Part Four of my exploration into converting the electrical schematics of the Ibanez’s TS-808 Tube Screamer guitar effects pedal into a dungeon map. In Part One: Proof of Concept, I converted the TS-808 schematics into a basic dungeon. Next in Part Two: Design and Refine, I reconfigured the map into an interesting and playable dungeon. Part Three: Moving On Up, I modified the layout to make it multi-level. Now we have reached part four where I take the multi-level dungeon and illustrate it in an isometric perspective.
Below is where I left off in Part Three. It’s a bird’s-eye view of the multi-level dungeon with each level next to each other. The diagram in the upper left-hand corner is a side-view to help keep my elevators from running into each other. I could have stopped here with my map, but you really don’t get a feel for scale or the distance between floors. To better visualize its scale an isometric floor plan is in order.
Using the layout above I warped each floor to fit on an isometric grid I created in Adobe Illustrator. I began by creating an isometric grid to keep my elements aligned and precise. Creating an isometric grid is a simple task in the program. Selecting my underlining light blue-lined grid made of straight lines, I distorted them by reducing its scale along the vertical axis by 86.602%, shearing it 30º, rotating it -30º, and then converted them into guides.
Converting the six and a half levels was also a fairly easy task. I distorted each level as one element (grouping items together) while following the same distortion formula I used for my underlining guides. I didn’t draw out my map as cleanly as I could have; not everything distorted perfectly. Having the isometric guides below allowed me to snap to points and get a clean and precise illustration.
Though it’s not shown, the birds-eye view and the Isometric underwent a lot of revisions. Once I started to convert the map into a three-dimensional view I discovered a number of flaws that could not be detected in my two-dimension view. Elevators were in the wrong place or on top of each other despite building my side view map to negate the issue. Building the map in three-dimensions helped to point out those flaws. Retooling the layout was a lot of work, but worth it. As shown below, I think the final (yes, I mean it) layout came out great.
As I gazed at the finished product, my mind flooded with ideas. I thought the map was perfect to use in a Mutant Crawl Classics adventure now. It had the feel of an ancient structure whose functions have been long forgotten.
Pulling ideas from my personal Appendix M, I turned to the novel The Long Afternoon of Earth by Brian Aldiss. In that story, the Herders lived close to the base of The Black Mouth, a volcano. Inside lived a creature that sang for its dinner. Any creature within earshot became entranced by its song and compelled to walk into its open mouth to be devoured. Is there an enchanting song coming from the TS-808 Tube Screamer Dungeon compelling those who hear it enter it? The Herders would counteract The Black Mouth’s song with their own. Maybe a tribe living nearby is using the TS-808 as a shrine to pray to the metal gods? The tribe’s shaman sings prayers into the dungeon’s opening which turns it into sweet tones for the metal gods as it exits from the top. The Rays of Vaughan, the tribe’s holiest of holidays, is fast approaching and the tower has stopped working. There’s something wrong and someone needs to find out what it is. It could be a good start for a funnel.
Those are just some of the ideas swimming in my head. Whatever the underlying story is, I’m going to try to keep the theme true to the nature of the TS-808. I’ve gone to great lengths to keep its circuitry together so I should honor the structure’s function in the same way.
Moving forward in the next part, I’m going to take a look at the components within the map and represent them within the layout like I’ve done with the capacitors (C1-9). The plan is to keep true with each of the components functions, resistors (R1-14), diodes (D1-2), NPN bipolar junction transistor (Q1-2), and the dual opamp (JRC4558D). I imagine I’ll use my creative license in my interpretation, but I’ll do my best to keep it as close to its real function as possible. I hope you continue to follow my journey into Part Five: Capacitors as Elevators
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