Monday, November 25, 2019

Xboat Fanzine Issue #2

Guess what showed up in the mailbox today? It even came in an envelope this time, so it arrived in great condition. Congratulations again to Rob Eaglestone for getting another issue out the airlock!

11/26/2019 UPDATE: I just discovered this morning that Rob had sent out just a few copies of Issue #2 as a mail test. With everything working out okay, I'm sure he'll have the rest in the mail soon. Sorry to jump the gun on this one, gang!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Interview with Marc Miller and Starship Geomorphs update

I really enjoy watching interviews with Marc Miller. I'm not sure how I missed this one, from GaryCon last March, but since it currently only has 25 views I'm guessing a lot of you haven't seen it either. It is well worth watching in my opinion. Big thanks to Luke Gygax for posting this to YouTube. Here's a link to help boost the signal: GCXI Panel: Traveller.

In the interview, there is some discussion about a print version of the Starship Geomorphs book. This is something I still very much want to do and am working toward that goal, but I currently have a lot of Traveller irons in the fire and no more spare time than usual. I am in the process of creating a new section for the book called End Geomorphs. These are geomorphs that are designed to connect to only one other geomorph. I'm not sure yet how many of the new geomorphs I will create, but I expect the final print version will be between 200 and 220 pages, including new artwork. December is generally a slow month for me, so hopefully this will be complete and ready to print in early 2020.

Here is an example of an End geomorph, a bridge for a large scale ship with stations based loosely on the Azhanti High Lightning:

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Traveller 5 Has Arrived!

I received my hardbound Traveller 5 set today - 5 days ahead of schedule and everything in great shape! I don't know why, but there's something about holding a physical copy of a book that is so much more fulfilling than reading a PDF from a tablet

Congratulations to Marc Miller for his successful Kickstarter campaign!

Saturday, October 5, 2019

What's Playing at the Starport Megaplex?

I came up with a list of a couple dozen or so movie titles that might be playing in my Traveller universe and decided to create movie posters for some of them. Sorry guys, "Debbie Does Dalos" didn't make the list. What's playing at your starport megaplex?

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Xboat Fanzine Issue #1

I just received this in the mail. Congratulations to Robert Eaglestone for his successful Kickstarter campaign. It's always great to see new Traveller products being developed to keep the game not just alive, but thriving. I'm honored to have been a part. Ian Stead's cover art blows my socks off and I can't stop looking at it.

For those who didn't fund the Kickstarter and are interested in purchasing issues, I'd suggest to keep your eyes on the Traveller Facebook groups for more info. I think Rob's got his hands full right now making sure all the orders get processed. I'll post an update here when I find out what his plans are.

As one of the contributing artists, and having had access to the texts for months, I think I'm too close to the project to provide any kind of review. I'm curious to hear what the people new to the fanzine have to say. I do have one minor complaint, which I've already read echoed by other Kickstarter contributors - the 'zine came in the mail just as it is shown, so there was a small bit of damage that occurred during delivery. A couple crunched corners and a few bent pages inside. Nothing to cry over, but not pristine. Maybe some kind of mailer can be used for the next issue.

To all the supporters, I hope you enjoy this addition to your library. Happy Travelling, everyone!

UPDATE 2020-06-18
XBOAT Issue #1 PDF is now available on DriveThruRPG. You can purchase it here: XBOAT #1.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

HSG's "Yacht My Problem" campaign on YouTube

I just wanted to give a quick shout out to High Shelf Gaming for their "Yacht My Problem" Traveller campaign. David Gillespie is using Roll20 to bring his group together virtually. Gaming sessions are live streamed and posted on YouTube.

Watching others play is an entertaining way to see different gamer and referee play styles. Session 3, just released yesterday, was a good reminder of just how deadly Traveller play can be and how quickly things can go bad. The scene where the characters had to move their recently deceased comrade from one ship to another while flying through space was a particular nail-biter - and yet still hilarious in many ways. I also enjoyed seeing the bounty hunter variant of my Hammer Class starship and some Starship Geomorphs used in actual gameplay. Always happy to see my work being put to good use.

HSG's videos can be found here: High Shelf Gaming on YouTube.

HSG also does a gaming podcast. For more Traveller goodness, check out their podcast episode: Traveller: A Space Opera RPG

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Scout Grav Bike

I finally had a little time over the July 4th weekend so decided to model Rob Caswell's great grav bike design from Grand Census / World Builder's Handbook. I had to take a few creative liberties - not unusual when going from 2D to 3D - but I think I got it pretty close.

Rob Caswell's original artwork

My take on the grav bike in 3D.
Yes, that's a sawed off shotgun tucked into the fairing.
A lone scout, loaded with gear, explores the inhospitable desert region of an alien world.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Yet Another Traveller Blog Facebook page

I've created a Facebook page to complement this blog. I'm hoping it will be a bit more conversational and plan to post a bit more in the way of general thoughts and ideas, as well as works in progress for feedback.

Check it out here: Yet Another Traveller Blog Facebook page

Thursday, February 21, 2019

X-Boat - Kickstarter for a new Traveller fanzine

Just wanted to pass on the news that Robert Eaglestone has just launched a Kickstarter for a new Traveller fanzine. Ian Stead and I will be providing the artwork. Although the content will not be canon, it does have the support of Marc Miller. Check it out here: X-Boat fanzine Kickstarter

UPDATE: The Kickstarter campaign was a success and the books are in development, with estimated quarterly release dates. I'm not sure if copies will be available to those who didn't back the project through Kickstarter.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

State of the Blog 2019

Executive Summary:
The blog is still kicking, but I'd like to post more frequently. With the Starship Geomorphs book complete I'm looking to provide more varied, but smaller, content in 2019.

The Boring Blog Stats:
Total page views: 192,214 since my initial blog post just over three years ago. My average page views per month these days is just over 5,000.
Most viewed posts: Starship Geomorphs book, Destiny Class 200 ton Yacht, and the 15mm deck plan collection.
Audience: Visitors come from all over the world, but primarily from the United States and the U.K., as would be expected. Primary traffic sources continue to be Google and Facebook.

Highlights of the Year
Getting the Starship Geomorphs PDF book wrapped up and released. I was amazed how quickly it took off and spread around the various social media sites and game forums. Thanks to everyone for your kind words and enthusiasm.
Related highlights:
  • Marc Miller promoting the book and working with me to create a printed version, instead of slapping me with a copyright lawsuit. Thanks Marc!
  • Receiving an award from the good folks at The Zhodani Base for Best Free or Pay What You Want Traveller Product. I appreciate the recognition and now can technically call myself an award winning author. Mwah ha ha.
  • Blog pageviews shot up to over 18,000 for October 2018, more than triple my normal monthly average. Starship Geomorphs surpassed my previously most viewed page (the Destiny Class Yacht) in only three days!
The release of Horizon Games' Traveller Customizable Card Game, and the inclusion of some of my artwork. I just wish I had time to play it.

Lowlights of the Year
  • The inclusion of my artwork in the aforementioned Traveller Customizable Card Game. I'm not trying to be overly humble here, but the quality of my artwork just does not stand up with the rest included in the game. It's a little embarrassing. There is a lot of great artwork there. I want to put a bug in Jeff Yin's ear about doing a Kickstarter to produce a coffee table book of some of the artwork.
  • Not enough time for this blog. While I'm enjoying the strong economy and the building developer client I am working with, it would be nice to have a few days off. The two weeks I was hoping for around the holidays turned into just two days. I'm really envying those Travellers out there who've mustered out and are living off their fat pensions. That's how it works, right?
  • Not making the time to play my solo Traveller campaign. Do you ever imagine what your PCs are up to when you are not playing? Mine have been sitting in a cave for over a year now.
What's in store for 2019 (and beyond)?
In reality, probably mostly a lot of my day job and excuses on my blog for not posting more. Ideally I'd like to post something of quality at least once a month. Some upcoming content may include:
  • A print version of the Starship Geomorph book - I was finally able to get some revised test print files to Marc Miller, who is looking to set up Print On Demand printing through Drive Thru RPG. More information should be coming soon.
  • The Starship Symbols & Spaces book - kind of a sister project to the Starship Geomorphs book. It will include a wide variety of starship rooms and component parts as both a PDF file and DWG/DXF formats. Nearly complete.
  • Traveller themed starship symbols for Cosmographer - I spoke with ProFantasy Software - the makers of Campaign Cartographer and Cosmographer - and they created some starship content inspired by my geomorphs, but with their own unique look. Ideally I'll find time to learn the software and be able to convert my starship symbols and spaces into usable components for Cosmographer. Alternately, this might be something that could be crowd sourced by the Cosmographer community using my starship symbols files.
  • An Easter Egg post - probably in April - showcasing a bunch of the unusual things I've included in my illustrations many readers may not have been aware of.
  • I've got a ton of incomplete projects I want to get finished, and am hoping I can discipline myself to finish those before starting the other ton of projects still in my head.
  • Interior illustrations of the Kugashin/Lavalier Class Laboratory Ship. I've already got it about 75% modeled. I don't think I've seen any interior illustrations of this ship.
  • 600 ton "adventurer" ship - a collaborative effort I started with a blog viewer. I put this on the back burner because I felt the geomorph book was so close to completion and would be of interest to more people.
  • A robotic armed work pod vehicle, inspired by a recent discussion on one of the Traveller Facebook pages.
There are a few bigger projects I'd like to do, but these may be a while coming unless my work schedule frees up:
  • I'd love to do another 30 day blog challenge. It's a great way to create a lot of content in a relatively short period of time, and really gets the creative juices flowing. Unfortunately, the type of content I want to create takes more hours a day than I have available. I've got tons of deck plans, robots, and other designs in my sketchbooks and binders. A 30 day challenge is not too likely to happen in 2019, but I like to keep it on my list.
  • I'm getting antsy to design a downport, or better, something like my own version of Fifty Starbases that Judges Guild put out.
  • I've also been considering doing something like A Naval Architect's Guide to <blank> series, starting with Staterooms, showing various room types, layouts, and fittings. I've got a lot of this type of stuff drawn or modeled already, I just need to clean it up and get it out there.

Thanks to everyone for your support and feedback. Happy Travelling!