Monday, March 14, 2016

The Dun Dagan project

Once again, our customers have inspired an epic project.  This time, a three-tier tower named Dun Dagan, in honor of its owner. Dun translates roughly to "Fort" in Gaelic.

This is the first time we've implemented the "Obsidian" color scheme. The tower certainly looks imposing, and if stereotypes hold any truth, there is an evil wizard residing within.

It was important to us to make the tower as useful as possible; each level being removable made the tower transportable.  Its owner can use the individual levels as dungeon rooms or combine them to form smaller versions of Dun Dagan.

Initially, the project seemed simple enough and both Brenda and I have experience building the towers that Bruce Hirst designs.  The new challenge was designing levels which would allow circular stairs to grant access to the next floor above. Because the floors change size, we had to take into account the smaller diameter and adjust the stairs accordingly.

With some Smurfy help, we got the whole thing figured out. We even produced a new mold specifically for the floor sections. This strengthened the structure and lessened the number of seems that might flex under the weight of all the die stone - a total of about 20 lbs. The walls are straight and the tower, perfectly round. That's a feat in itself.

The first three floors.

Floors 4-6 with removable stairs.

Floors 7-9 with removable stairwells.

The three tiers assembled as individual towers.

Elminster approves.

I think I see Rapunzel's hair to the left.

The doorway is a splash of color.

Let us know what you think. We would love to hear from you.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Knight Watch Games progress.

Construction has started on Knight Watch Games!  With over 3100 sq ft, we have big plans for each area.   The main area will be called the Great Hall.  It will consist of three tables, two of them parallel and the third perpendicular.  The two parallel tables will be about 24' long and have comfortable benches that can seat as many as 8 players on a side.  That's 40 players with lots of room to play.

The floors will be dark wood and the wall will have a rock base that transitions into a tutor beams. Hanging on the walls will be weapons, tapestries, and suits of armor.  Wrought iron chandeliers will hang from the ceiling and light the playing area.

The Lords of the realm discuss the arrangement of the court.

Music will be playing over a comprehensive sound system.  During the quiet hours, music like Enya, Lorenna McKennitt, Lisa Gerrard and Dead Can Dance.  At more active times, engaging music like Omna, Fever Ray and Nox Arcana .  Soft incense will be burning to fully transport customers to the medieval realm of Knight Watch Games. 

Building the two exclusive private gaming rooms.  (12' x 15  and 12' x 14')
In addition to the "Grand Hall", we will have two private gaming rooms that can seat 8 players each comfortably.  One of the rooms will be decorated in high renaissance style, while the other will have a more rustic tavern feel.  Both rooms will be equipped with multi-media support (video projector, 5.1 surround light and sound, WiFi) adjustable lighting, a large rug, dedicated AC, and a multitude of props to immerse the players.

The rooms will be isolated from the rest of the store so that noise can't enter or escape the playing rooms. The concept of the rooms will be similar to what Brenda and I had done with our apartment in Germany.

Towards the back of the store will be our "Death Star room".  This is the area dedicated to Sci-Fi and war gaming with tables that can host Warhammer, War Machine, Dust, Bolt Action, X-Wing Miniatures, Star Wars Armada, Imperial Assault and many other table top war games.

The walls will have the well-known Death Star pattern. The floor will be glossy black.  The tables will be 4'x8' and tall enough for comfortable war gaming.  Stools are available for those marathon games. Cool robotic lamps will hang down from the ceiling, allowing for spot illumination. Gaming terrain will be available to rent to players.  This terrain will be the high-quality game pieces typical of Knight Watch Games.
Image result for chrome industrial stool

The archway into the Death Star is installed!

To make all this terrain, we have included a workshop, complete with sinks, hood vents, plenty of counter space, recessed lighting and a window that will allow people to see the terrain being made.  Knight Watch Games is currently hiring an apprentice terrain maker.  If you know of anyone who has a steady hand, an eye for detail and a creative streak, let them know we have a job for them!

The workshop.

The store will also have a boutique area that sells all manner of high-quality costumes, aimed at LARPers, Rennasisance Faires goers, and Cosplayers.  Cloaks, tunics, shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, gloves, armor and weapons will be available.  We have a exclusive merchant agreement with European artisans to provide the coolest articles of clothing you would need.

We're excited to bring our dream to the San Antonio community.  If you want to get involved in this adventure, please feel free to contact us and let us know.  Slowly, and surely, people are realizing that Knight Watch Games is not only going to be a reality, it's going to change the standards for gamers. Adventure awaits.

Stay tuned for another article that describes all the services we will offer!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Texas Terror Challenge

On Feb 26th, Team Knight Watch attended the inaugural Texas Terror Challenge, held at Camp Texlake in Spicewood TX.
The Texas Terror Challenge is the brain child of one brilliant Paul Fiero of Desolation Manor fame. Paul has been involved in the art of scaring people since he was a kid. He has a background that includes massive scenario paintball games, commercial haunted houses and role-playing games. His girlfriend admits he "has a very dark heart."  Needless to say, Paul Fiero has a passion for scaring people.
A great rundown of who Paul is and what the Texas Terror Challenge is, can be found here: 

Previous Desolation Manor monsters

The Texas Terror Challenge  premise is that the players are attending a summer camp, but things are not as pleasant as it seems. The players were given tasks and missions that needed to be completed by navigating through the woods. The missions were timed and a great sense of urgency pervaded every task.  The huge complication was that there were monsters wandering around the wilderness that will "kill" you by taking your flags from your belt.  If you were killed, you had to return to the operations tent to respawn.   The event took place over 36 hours in over 100+ acres of wilderness.

We were presented with a cabin in which we could sleep, but we were told that the monsters have full access to the cabins, so sleep was a risky gamble. After 24 hours, all the players were exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally... and we still had 12 hours to go!
Team Knight Watch approached this from a military point of view.  We geared up with both day and night versions of MultiCam. We bought high powered strobe flashlights, GPS units, backpacks, two-way radios, MREs, and hydration packs. We figured if the monsters couldn't see us, we were safe. And if they did give chase, a timely strobe of 2000 lumen of light might blind them enough for us to escape. We felt prepared.

For the first task,  we had to find a roll of duct tape that was located in a nearby latrine building. With this duct tape we were to build a team banner with some of the material provided. It was pitch black outside and we had heard that there were roaming monsters prowling the woods.  We attempted to sneak through the woods without lamps and approach the latrine unseen.  We heard screams off in the distance which really caused the hairs on our arms to stand on end.  We reached the latrine and watched it for a few minutes to make sure no one was around.  I entered the building with my high power strobe flashlight at the ready and cautiously checked around the doors and every stall. Horror-movie sound effects were playing in my own head and I was very nervous about what was going to be in the next stall.  It ended up being an empty latrine, no duct tape and no monsters...only because another team had gotten here first and claimed the duct tape for themselves. 
We ended up using a ball of string that we found to build our banner. We thought that was ingenious.

The whole weekend was full of tense situations like this... sneaking into an objective after navigating through the woods by a full moon.  Watching the objective for monsters, hearing screams and people panicking. We would rush into the objective to snag the mission item, fully expecting a monster to spring out.  The adrenaline was at an all-time high.  We were deprived sleep, deprived of safety, and deprived of our sanity.

Team Knight Watch: Paraic, Brenda, Amanda and Madeline.

Paul talks with a monster during a Desolation Manor event.

We died only once, shot by a gore cannon, manned by the crazy Taz (Dean Rice).  Taz is just as crazy as Paul.  When slowly sneaking through the woods at midnight, a player could hear Taz taunting participants with maniacal laughter and promises of bloody death. 
Dean Rice - a maniac in everyone's mind.

The camp was located on the bank of the Colorado River and the weather was perfect.  A clear sky and full moon allowed for some light to be available during the night...just enough to make you see shadows and jump at the slightest sounds.

Paul Fiero was nice enough to allow Knight Watch Games to do a little self-promoting during the event.  We picked our gothic pieces to tap into the theme and several players/staff showed some interest. Thanks to Paul for letting us set up a table.

We had a great time.  It was grueling, tiring, and tested our physical limits.  It certainly brought Brenda and I closer.  Being so scared that you pee a little, will do that to a couple.  Or, one of you will die from a heart attack.

We look forward to the future of the Texas Terror Challenge.  It is obvious that a great amount of work went into the event. We would like to thank Paul Fiero, Geri Jones, Liegh Hegedus, Dean Rice, the cooking staff, the medical staff, the monsters, Team Chucacabra (Tasha Burns), Team Zombie Hunters (William & Jennifer Howser and Red Rum), Team Super Fast Mother F*ckers, Team Cereal Killers for a great time.  We will see you again!