Checking into the Podtel

(Recap: A while back, I challenged myself to create a complete paper building in 24 hours or less, while following some pretty strict rules. I succeeded, it was well-received, and I put it on my release workbench. You can read the original post here.)

I’ve been spending time getting the Podtel ready for the next release slot in August. In particular, I spent an unusually long time bouncing around box art renders with the rest of the WWG team, and after several rounds of feedback and ideas, this is what we ended up with:

You’ll be able to admire the full-size version once it’s released. I had a lot of fun just playing around with the base render in Photoshop, adding the various lighting and haze effects, and the guys at WWG are a ton of fun to throw this stuff around with. It’s a good environment for me.

I’ve implemented a lot of the ideas brought up in the original post’s comments and in the WWG dev environment. Here are the highlights:

  • Added 6 variant balconies with trash piles and blood splatters.
  • Added 24 new side walls and 6 new capsule shells with various combinations of graffiti, damaged glass, and poop-smeared rants against fornicators and sinners.
  • Added 2 new variant toppers. One has a peaceful mountain vista, the other is deactivated.
  • Added 2 variant doorways with dodgy escort service ads and pizza/takeout ads, plus screenglass displays in open for business/closed for business flavors.
  • Added 3 new side-mount advertising panels. One of them has a “Sleep Like A Log” advert running, the other 2 are broken.

Some of my favorite details:

  • The tarp-covered doorway. That was my first use of the Puppet Warp tool in Photoshop, and that was a “Where have you been all my life?” moment.
  • The foil-lined sliding door and the foil-lined capsule window. I like to imagine that a conspiracy theorist lives there.
  • The blood-splattered balcony, the poop-smeared rant, and the tarp wall together make for an awesome “What the hell happened here?” crime scene.
  • The escort service ads. That was an awkward Google search, I’ll tell you that right now. I had to do the layouts and stuff for real, then shrink them and paste them onto the glass.
  • Oh, and I didn’t leave the ladies out of the fun, either–I did a couple chiseled-abs beefcake ads for the fictitious Meat and Gigolocious male escort services.
  • The pizzeria and Chinese takeout ads were fun. Shame I can’t bill fictitious businesses for my graphic design services!

The Podtel is tentatively scheduled for an August 15 release, alongside the HL 300 taxicab. I will also be releasing a few more old Ebbles sets that I had the opportunity to complete a while back–the Itoyo 950, the Handyman 350, and the Robot Repair Team. (Yes, with machine-cutting support!)

12 thoughts on “Checking into the Podtel

  1. Tommygun

    Cool, sounds like such a nice neighborhood too.
    Now you'll need a seedy business/shopping district to go with it.
    Just a random idea here.
    Some of these places have little two room police stations in the area kinda like a Med-Stop version for copes.
    A place to book people and a small cell, just before sending them to the main station.

  2. emergencyoverride

    Man, I love the render. Looks like the blade runners are closing in on the replicants! I like the variety in the set and can't wait to get it!

  3. Alexio

    Following up on Tommygun's idea – the cheap policing plan would be to lease part of a podtel for a police 'station.' So there would be a pod cell and a pod office/sleep area for a patrol officer or two, and a parking place for one cruiser…

  4. John C. Morrison

    Love the picture! Isn't it about time Ebbles labs and WWG start making desktop backgrounds? ;)

  5. RRatliff

    Can't wait to build this. That's a cool idea for the small cop shop in a couple of rented pods.

  6. Squirmydad

    I see the countdown has started for this at WWG.
    Very cool, I like definite release dates as opposed to the "Soon-meter".

  7. Doug

    Definitely want for my Modern Day Zombie campaign, one or two of these will be a nice addition as "Hotels of the Future," although they weren't as big of a hit as the builders/owners were hoping. Now they are being used as run down apartments and cheap rent by the hour rooms for the "professional" ladies of Mayhem City to take their "clients."

    I also do like Tommys suggestion of having one or two of the rooms set up as a mini police station, though I could see the cops at the mini station being corrupt and nothing more then armed thugs using their status as Officers of the Law as nothing more then a way to strong arm the locals.

  8. Christopher Roe

    I'm glad you guys like it. It was fun to do.

    Squirmydad: I like firm release dates too. It feels more…reassuring? Predictable? Not sure what the word I'm looking for is. What I do know is that I don't feel a lot of pressure to hurry up and put something out posthaste, and it's nice being able to enforce a buffer of sorts.

    Doug: I like the way you think.

    Will: Glad you approve–the haze was something I discovered by accident. All I did was do a render clouds layer that was supposed to be set to Overlay and a very low opacity just to vary things up a little, but I accidentally scrolled to the Screen blend mode, and BAM, just like that, it looked like thick-ish fog. I dialed it down, and it had a very pleasingly hazy effect, so I ran with it.

  9. Doug

    Chris- If you check out my Blog I have a quick history of Podtel (for my campaign) up. Basically its what I have posted above, but more detailed. Instead of having the Podtel as only one building I have then described as a complex of 3 or 4 buildings surrounding a pool house/recreation building.

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