Thursday, 2 January 2014

Happy New Year - Here's how to get a custom Dreadball mat

Morning folks, we're back after our Christmas holidays - it was very nice thank you, just a pain in the arse to be back at the DGB offices now.

Coach Bomb-Bay of the Mighty Dorks is often asked who he had contracted to build the oh-so-shiney "Gerald Dorksworth Community Dorkadium" Dreadball arena. The truth is, he designed it himself and had it fabricated by an organisation known as Inked Playmats based on the planet America.

The Gerald Dorksworth Community Dorkadium... In all it's glory

So today I thought I'd share with you all a quick and dirty guide to making your own Dreadball arena so you to can say goodbye to the drab default pitches that you're used to.

First thing you want to do is buy Photoshop. Or get it on Trial for free from Adobe (if they still do that?). If you don't have/want Photoshop, there's a free alternative called GIMP which theoretically should work, however I don't have any experience with it.

Next thing you need is a hex grid. Now you can make your own in Photoshop using the pattern tools, but that's way too complicated to explain in this guide so I suggest connecting with the facebook phenomenon and then joining the closed group Dreadball Fanatics and downloading their hex grid template from the files page.

Once you've got that, make sure it's the right size, the whole thing wants to comfortably fit in a 24.5" by 14.5" canvas allowing .25" around each edge for printer bleed lines. Each Hex should be 25mm from side to side.

Next make your design. There's some good Photoshop guides here if you're a newbie, or you could just Google that phrase like me! Just make sure that the the important components are there and in the right place - that's six strike zones, six goals, one ref hex, two entry hexes, a marked out launch zone, and the rush and strike counters down the sides.

Once you've checked your design and you're sure it's finished, flatten the image (make it so it's only one layer) and then save it as a .PSD file.

You can then upload this to Inked Playmats using their custom 24"x14" mat. The whole job, from design to printing and shipping to the planet UK only cost me £30 and took about a month.

The mat itself is top quality. Better in my opinion than Mantic's recent Deadzone/Dreadball Ultimate mat. It's fully non-crease, machine washable, and roll-able for storage in it's own poster tube (provided).

So what are you waiting for?

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