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In 2013 our plans call for us to add an additional adventure to the event. There will be two consecutive adventure modules, and each module will have two variations of either a combat or puzzle orientation. The first module called “Lycans Afoot” tasks the party to travel through a dark forest in search of a tower, while the second module called “Golembane” challenges the party to reach the top of tower.
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TOPIC: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting

Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 3 weeks ago #1

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So, i want to share my thoughts on this year at TD, but instead of listing everything out in a single post i want to post each subject separately. i am hoping that this will make it easier to follow the conversations, especially if they create a lenghthy discussion.

first up, the lighting. when i first walked into the true dungeon hall, im fairly certain the thought i had was "W! T! F!" it was dark; really dark; like, last year at TD dark. even after my eyes adjusted, it was hard to see anything that did not have a light shining directly on it. now, luckily, this complaint really only applies to the common area/tavern. the sign-in area, coach room, and dungeon were all well lit, and i barely noticed any issues. but the biggest sign that there was an issue: our group just finished the dungeon, got the treasure, and made our way to the tables; we barely even set our stuff down before we picked right back up and headed out into the con hallway and down to the food court across from the marriott. despite two of us having another run in an hour, we all would rather leave TD and find tables elsewhere than sit in the dark in the TD area. please Please PLEASE find a way to light the common areas.

...or, i suppose, remove the tables and use that space for something else fun.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 3 weeks ago #2

I've been assuming that one reason the common areas are not well lit is for fear of the light bleeding out into the dungeon areas, spoiling the mood of the runs.

If that is the case, perhaps long black reams of cloth can be hung from the rafters like many banners were in the dealer room, helping to separate the "common airspace" from the dungeon airspace. I'm not sure how much more complicated this would be logistically, but simple black fabric shouldn't be too pricy.

I also noticed that the areas actually got darker each subsequent day. It seems like some lights went out and/or became misaligned each day, but no one had the time to recheck on them.

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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #3

kurtreznor wrote: first up, the lighting. when i first walked into the true dungeon hall, im fairly certain the thought i had was "W! T! F!" it was dark; really dark; like, last year at TD dark. even after my eyes adjusted, it was hard to see anything that did not have a light shining directly on it.


I'm with you on that one. These last two years, I've found myself wondering how the local fire marshal lets them get away with the room being that dark all the time.

The lack of lighting made the non-dungeon areas really unusable. Signs (like the ones telling you which entrance were for which dungeon) were hard to read. Likewise, I know there was supposed to stuff going on with "NPCs" in the tavern area, but it was so dark, it was difficult to tell the difference between "an NPC" and "some dude hanging out in the dark."

If TD is going to keep the main area that dark, I'd really like to see some better spot-lighting of the signs. Maybe official NPCs could even be given lighted badges or pins help identify them in the dark?

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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #4

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My vote is for battery operated LED street lamps. A few of these would look awesome scattered around the storyscape.

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As long as they were hooded there shouldn't be much light pollution reaching the dungeon.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #5

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We agree that lighting was an issue, most especially right inside the door. our eyes aren't adjusted when you first enter the hall - this created some collisions, minor disorientation and missed signs. We saw several traders at the tables just insie to the right - how did you guys manage that? Even with the table lanterns, you couldn't read the tokens!

The most common statement in our group when discussing this was - 'why?' The front door area was further away from the dungeon than the better-lit coaching rooms.

It didn't help that we have a fire captain in our group. The disorientingly dark entryway made his spine itch.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #6

Etherealfx has led lights that NPCs can wear, this could be an option as well. They have some great Led options like their Etherhub, I have the DMX version.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #7

This was the #1 complaint from last year, as I remember, so it's amazing that it wasn't properly addressed. The coaching rooms were better, but still needed about 25% more light to keep from being shadowed.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #8

yeah... I thought this was getting fixed but it might have actually been darker this year than last. Coaching rooms were much better but they seem to be the only thing that got improved as far as lighting.

Knocking over your own beer because you can't see if is bad. :unsure:


I had to move plinko outside and not because I needed to see the tokens people handed to me, but because it was so dark people couldn't even see me to figure out what it was.

The disarm the wizard booth was... amusing. Throwing a ball in the dark. I would have gotten so fustrated trying to run that booth. My hats off to those that did.


The lamps would be cool! They would provide enough light and not disrupt the ambiance.


One thing that was pointed out to me was it might be darker because last year we had a food vendor. This year we only have the very limited kiosk.
I know I had several people ask me where the food went so I know it was missed.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #9

What is really sad about the lighting issue, is that there was some great stuff people weren't able to see. The roofs really looked good but no one could see them, the token board was invisible and in general the place looked better on Wednesday (during build) than it did on Thursday.

More LED light would be a huge help.
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Last edit: by George .

Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #10

Thats a very good point. There were a lot of details put in that got missed because they just couldn't be sceen.
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Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #11

I can also endorse EtherealFX as an owner of a ton of their lighting, including the worn units.

Based on what I saw this year, DMX controlled shows are probably over the top for true dungeon, but the easy plug and play lighting is great for quick setup and tear down.

With that said though...
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Last edit: by Robert Thomson.

Re: Kurtreznor 2013 Review: Lighting 6 years 2 weeks ago #12

I thought the lighting was great in the coaching and admin areas. The tables were dark. I could see well enough to notice the awesome roofing and other features. It's hard to balance the need to see with the desire to create a cool atmosphere.
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