Thursday, June 20, 2013

Building Rome In a Day moves to a new home

I'm closing this blog and moving over to tumblr. The new address is - shocking, I know.

'Cause here’s the thing. I never really liked Blogger. It was something I stayed with out of inertia. But the spam filtering is shit, and it’s not easy to share things, I've never really liked how it handles posting images, and let’s not forget that Blogger is just plain uncool. I hear that tumblr is what’s cool these days. What’s hip. What’s 23 skidoo. Or do the kids not say that anymore? I always forget.
Get off my lawn.
Anyway. My life has kind of exploded creatively, recently. I’m finishing up the manuscript of a book based on my other blog, Go Make Me a Sandwich. I’m also involved in a project for White Wolf, working on a number of freelance illustration projects, and working to hopefully start selling some prints of geeky baby art.
Because who doesn’t love geeky baby art? Terrorists, that’s who. And if you don’t buy my geeky baby art, then the terrorists win, my friend. The terrorists win.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

State of the Geek

I've become a lot more creatively active in the last year or so, despite the birth of my daughter last summer. Or, really, perhaps because of it. I haven't been very satisfied with my job, which is rather dead-end and low-paying, so I've been doing a fair bit of freelancing on the side to both make money and also flex my creative muscles.

I haven't been too great about posting about what I've been doing here though. And since I'm getting to the point where I want to increase my online artistic presence so I can start pursuing larger and more ambitious projects, I figure it's time to get diligent about what I've been up to in the last few months, and what's coming in the near future. So in the next week, expect several posts (I've been a busy bee) detailing what I've been up to. I'm excited to share it with you.

First Thing's First:

The Indiegogo for Thou Art But A Warrior was a success, raising $3602 - which was 400% of my initial funding goal. I'm very pleased to have gotten so much support for what I have always seen as a niche game. More importantly, I'm very pleased to have been able to finally realize my vision of an updated and properly produced book:

It's very nice to finally have this off my list of things I want to do after three years of wanting to do it. And my new printer, 360 Digital, was excellent. Printers are generally loathesome and awful, but they did a great job and their service was wonderful.

What else have I been up to?

I've been doing a lot of writing. I was lucky enough to have the chance to write a campaign setting for the English language release of Tenra Bansho Zero called Ruined Empires. I blogged about the thought process that went into writing a feminist-friendly setting full of exciting material and grabby plot hooks over on Gaming as Women if you'd like to read more about it. There's also some projects I'm working on that I can't talk about yet, but I'll be very excited to post here when I can. And of course, work continues on turning Go Make Me a Sandwich into a book. I'm almost finished writing the last bonus chapter, but there's still an awful lot of layout work and editing to be done.

I've also been doing a lot of artwork. I finished the mural in my daughter's room - a year long project. I've also been doing some illustrations, including a geeky baby alphabet that I'm quite proud of. And lastly, I've been revamping my website - a huge undertaking in and of itself since I had, through some rather complicated circumstances, lost control of it for a while. But it's back now, and I hope to be selling artwork through my website before the end of the year.

More later, but for now I'll leave you with this as a teaser.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

New Cover by Claudia is finished!

I've been meaning to blog about the progress of the campaign sooner; with 23 days left to go we're at $2340 - just $60 shy of the last stretch goal of $2400. I'm very, very pleased to have gotten this level of support with the crowdfunding, because I'm glad to have gotten the chance to really make backing this campaign worthwhile.

I'm also very pleased to have gotten a chance to work with the amazing Claudia Cangini. She pulled out all the stops in producing a new cover:

Art by Claudia Cangini, CLICK FOR LARGER VIEW
She worked very hard to include reflect so many of the setting details in the cover. I love the rich patterning and colors. And I'm really happy with how the knight on the front cover turned out; it was very important to me that the cover feature a heroic-looking POC that didn't just look like "angry black dude". It would be easy to fall into stereotypical ways of depicting these characters, and that would just be the worst.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wow! Time for a second stretch goal!

I'm thrilled to have met the first stretch goal as of today! Claudia Cangini does amazing work and I absolutely can't wait to see what she will come up with. I've already started working with her and I hope to be able to showcase something before the campaign ends.

I'll admit that it's been decidedly strange hiring an artist to do an illustration for me, as usually the shoe is on the other foot. However, I'll admit that full color work is something of a weakness of mine - which is one of the big reasons why I chose to illustrate the new edition of Thou Art But A Warrior in black and white pencils. And stylistically, I think that Claudia's work will fit very well with the illustrations already done for the interior. So this is yet another reason to be grateful for this crowdfunding campaign; I wouldn't have been able to afford an artist of Claudia's caliber without it.

Of course, since the first stretch goal has been met, it's time to introduce a new stretch goal:

$1800: Set of 4 illustrated post cards with key phrase reference

Polaris is a bit of a weird system in that you don't have your character sheet sitting in front of you, like you would with most games. Rather, it sits in the middle of the table for everyone to reference. And the beauty of the system is that it works pretty well, as there aren't a lot of things to look at on the character sheets - since they're more to define relationships between characters than anything else.

What I have found, however, is that it's very useful for each player to have a reference of what the key phrases that drive play are and when they can use them. I've played games where there has been one sheet sitting in the middle of the table, and it always involves a lot of passing things around. So I thought a neat incentive would be a set of 4 (the optimal number of players) cards with illustrations from the new edition on one side and a reference on the other:

I'm a big fan of crowdfunding models where stretch goals mean that everybody gets additional goodies! And with personal budgets a bit tighter because of the new baby, none of this would be possible without the support of campaign backers, so I really want to make this as awesome as possible for people who contribute to the campaign. Call it a thank you to people who are stepping up to contribute.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Campaign funded, 1st stretch goal announced!

It's hard to believe how quickly we met the initial funding goal. After talking about publishing a second edition for several years, I wasn't too anxious about raising enough money to fund printing a second edition - but I certainly didn't expect to meet my initial goal in just over twelve hours! I am immensely grateful to everyone who has helped me reach this point, and to everyone who has backed the campaign already.

But we've still got 44 days to go, so I thought I'd make things more exciting with a few stretch goals. The first of which being:

$1500: New full-color cover by Claudia Cangini

Claudia Cangini is an amazingly talented artist who does absolutely beautiful work:

Artwork used with permission, click for larger view

If this campaign reaches the first stretch goal, I'm very excited to announce that Claudia will be doing a new cover for the new edition. Additionally, backers at the Caliph level will receive full-color prints of Claudia's new artwork. Please help meet this goal, as Fred Hick's gorgeous layout deserves an equally gorgeous cover!

Claudia has done some amazing artwork for some high-profile indie titles in the last few years, including the new edition of Meguey Baker's 1001 Nights and the Italian translation of Dogs In the Vineyard.  While I had fun doing the interior illustrations, full-color work has always been something I have struggled with, and it's important to me to have as beautiful a book as possible. It's also important to me to help support other women working in the gaming industry.

I can't wait to meet this goal to see what she comes up with!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Thou Art But A Warrior: Help support a new 2nd edition!

After nearly three years of working on it off and on, the new revised edition of Thou Art But A Warrior is finished and ready to be published! And thanks to the generosity of Ben Lehman, the new edition contains not only the expansion rules, but also the core Polaris system rules. It also contains the new illustrations that I blogged about previously. (Um, very, very previously.)

The Indiegogo campaign to fund a print run for the new book has now gone live.I'll be blogging here about the new edition, as well as progress toward the campaign goal and any stretch goals I might wind up putting forward. Please consider throwing a few dollars my way in order to help make this happen and to keep costs low for everyone.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Go Make Me A Sandwich

It occurred to me I hadn't posted this over here yet. I've started a new blog about sexism in gaming called Go Make Me A Sandwich. You can check it out over here.