Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Shadowvein PDF Bundle (new and on sale!)

Sometimes I'm slow on the uptake. For instance, I have three Advanced Adventures (Pod-Caverns of the Sinister Shroom, Down the Shadowvein, and The Mouth of the Shadowvein) that detail sequential locations down the titular underground river.

Yet I'd never bundled the PDFs together. *sigh* Like I said, sometimes I'm slow.

Well now I have! The Shadowvein Bundle will normally sell at $15, but I'm going to put in on sale for $10 for today only (meaning I'll turn the sale off when I wake up tomorrow).

Saturday, March 30, 2013

XRP at Shop

I'd like to announce that we're now selling Expeditious Retreat PDFs at Shop I've added all our Pathfinder material and most of our OSRIC material so far and I'll keep slowly adding more of our products. The Shop is having a sale today for 30% off, so if you're interested, take a look.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Mongoloid, he was a Mongoloid

Happier than you or me...

This song is a work of art, IMO. A beautiful condemnation of us all.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Mechanics of Publishing

Last post I talked about how I was switching gears from Classified to OSRIC to recharge the battery a bit in regards to Classified. Well, the switch didn't work. I wasn't very creative with OSRIC either, which presents the greater problem of the creative: Creative Exhaustion. And by that I don't mean "burnout," I mean more like I've been pulling water from the well to quickly and it's running low.

I've experienced this several times in the decade I've been working as a creative and its on days like this that I'm glad I'm also publishing. By not being a full-time creative, I have the opportunity to step back and do some of the mechanical parts of publishing that I don't like to do when I *am* feeling creative: layout, uploading, planning, etc.

I'm thankful I'm not working for someone else as a creative. If I was, I'd have to figure out a way of digging a deeper well that can deal with the outflows or else I'd face real burnout as opposed to a low-water period.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Palette Cleanser...

I've been going full-bore on Classified recently so I've decided to switch gears for a day or two and continue working on Advanced Adventures #32: Aerie of the Cloud Giant Strategos for a bit. I need to clear my head regarding Operation Rogue Lion and The Bucharest Libretto so that when I come back to them I have a fresh take.

I've found that switching like this helps me produce better material because no matter how enthused you are about something, the 10th day in a row you plug away at it, you start to look more towards its completion than the work at hand, and that results in less-than-optimal work. Switching to something else lets me recharge a bit and then come back ready to go.

Oh, I'm also still looking for more Advanced Adventure manuscripts, so if you've got 'em, I'd like to see 'em. I currently have NO manuscripts and I'd like to change that...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Operation Rogue Lion

Operation Rogue Lion - The First Classified Mission
After a fruitless, year-long private investigation, De Beers still suspects that one of their executives is stealing diamonds and has asked for professional assistance. The characters are ordered to trail the prime suspect, a Mr. Julian de Haan, to see if they detect anything unusual in his movement or behavior. During the mission, the characters travel to the exotic streets of Zanzibar, to the wild savanna on a hunting-safari in Botswana, and to the air-conditioned vibrancy of a newly-renovated luxury casino in Macau, where the characters discover that more than just diamonds last forever.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Shelving The Bucharest Libretto Mission

I'm sad to say but I'm temporarily shelving The Bucharest Libretto as the first Classified mission.

Last night as I vainly tried for sleep while battling an illness, I realized that I'm releasing a retro-clone of the 1980's Bond game and I would be better served by having the first mission be exactly in tone with the source material. I'm about 6k words into The Bucharest Libretto , and I think it's a great mission, but I realized that its probably not the best mission to introduce the game as it is not a mission that is very "Bondian" in flavor. It's a lot more opaque and gray.

So with this in mind, I've decided to write a new introductory mission for Classified. Thanks to everyone who's expressed interest in The Bucharest Libretto! The mission will be released, but it'll be the second Classified mission-not the first.

Now, to listen to some music, relax and let my brain wander where it likes. I'm sure it'll find the right mission if I just leave it alone for a while. Time to get into my creative-trance-zone.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Massive Art Direction and Another Illo

So today I'm feeling rather under the weather and I've decided that I shouldn't try to write this way - I don't think I'd perform very well.

So I've decided to try and start the full art direction of Classified. I'm estimating I have about 8 or 9 pages of art direction to provide, mostly composed of 1/3 page or smaller illustrations. I normally do art direction piecemeal, but this needs to be done and my brain is like poorly-set jello, so here we go!

Oh, here's another piece of art from Classified. This one is Anna Elisabeth Munro (Queen of Death - OSIRIS) and her trusty Walther WA-2000. So far, I think the art's a strong addition to the feel of game.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

3 More Classified Illustrations

Here's three more pieces from Classified. These three are members of the Imperial Court at OSIRIS. I think the art for the book is really going to help the text come alive when reading the rules.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Lothar Tristan Eugan Wolf Illustration

A few days ago I got the art that goes with the PDF preview of The Emperor of OSIRIS that I posted earlier. Here's the illustration of the ex-Stasi superspy, Lothar Tristan Eugan Wolf. I have to say I'm very pleased with this piece and with the other OSIRIS members.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I Am *Not* An Artist

So I'm doing art direction for Classified right now and I had the unusual experience of sending a piece of my "art" to to the artist to more quickly convey what I was thinking about.

This is an illustration of a car chase in the Italian or French alps wherein car one is gunning car 2 with twin .50 caliber machineguns.

We'll see what the artist does with the idea - he may run with it or decide on something else equally illustrative to the text. I tend to let my artists do what they hell they want because that's why I'm paying them. They know how to draw. I obviously don't.

But for some reason, sending this to a real artist just keeps cracking me up. I feel strong with the herp-de-derp by doing this... kinda like hanging my"work of art" on the refrigerator... The pew-pews of the sadly misaligned .50... hah!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Classified is DONE!

Ah, hells yah..... Did the final bit 'o writing last night and just finished the last of the text layout. Done. Came out to be 136 pages. I'll let it sit for a bit and percolate and come back to it for the first round of edits.

Now on to the first mission - The Bucharest Libretto.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Not the Day You Expected

Ever have one of those days? This Classified Agent is having one right now....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Awesome Bingham Art!

So I'm working on pre-generated characters for Classified (I like pre-gens to reduce start time) and John Bingham sends me art that he has been working on for Advanced Adventures #30: To End the Rising. I'm a big fan of his style and enjoy all of his pieces but this new piece just knocked my socks off. It's so active and, for lack of a better word (I'm not an art critic), muscular. Its in your face. Absolutely love it.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

One Chapter Left...

Good news everyone! I've only got one chapter of Classified left to write: the chapter on mission creation. I saved that one for last (although it's not last in the book) because I wanted to have all my ducks in a row before jumping into it. Looks like the book's going to be 136-140 pages long depending on how much I have to say about mission design.

It's been a long process and there's still a lot more to do, but we're now on the "icing the cake" part of the job and it's always nice to be there after producing a significant work.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Worlds Apart in Print!

I just paid for the Worlds Apart print run and it will be working its way through the channels, hopefully arriving at game stores by the end of March. If you simply can't wait, you can buy a print version from Lulu. If Lulu holds true to their standard, there should be a 20% off coupon with the code code MARBOOKS13. I'm writing this on Feb 28 so I'm guessing about the March coupon, but Lulu's been rather predicable lately.

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