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!