Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spending time with The Other Game

Continuing the theme of procrastination...

So over here on Story Games, I talk about this game that I now have to write about black ops angels (warning: there are Serenity spoilers in that thread, if you're one of the three Firefly fans who hasn't seen it).

In actuality, it's been writing itself and I seem to just be along for the ride. It's been making a welcome break from the tedium of layout. And since I'm waiting for a book on typography to come from Amazon, I seem to have some time to kill.

Last night I sat down to muse on what Press Secretary Jesus might look like, and what might a black ops angel look like. I came up with the following drawing.

It has since then occurred to me that if Jesus is Press Secretary, then what the hell does that make the Metatron? Is the Metatron the Secretary of Foreign Affairs? Or the Chief of Staff? Or maybe even the head of the black ops division? So many choices!

(And yes, I quite cheerfully realize that I am going to hell.)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Silly five minute drawing

I blame Vincent for the following bit of oddity.

Over on his blog, he linked to a site called Eat Poop U Cat, which is basically a graphical version of broken telephone. (Go check it out. It's very amusing.)

I was intrigued, signed up, and was giving the prompt: Even Darth Maul himself was unprepared; as he unleashed the deadly power of the boom-box half his face melted right off. How could I resist that? So I did the following sketch in Open Canvas.

I call this pure awesome.

It's amazing how much I've managed to avoid working on Thou Art But A Warrior the last few days, between stuff like this and working on my angel game. Ah well.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Last color illustration finished

Layout has been pretty torturous so far. For some reason the fact that I'm designing for print has made everything I learned in University fly right out of my head. Makes me wonder why I spent $20,000 to get a degree in design if it can fall out of my brain that easily. But thankfully, Joshua Newman has been kind enough to give me some pointers that will hopefully get me going in the right direction.

I finished the last color illustration - hooray! And it is, even if I do say so myself, awesome.

You'll note that I previously mentioned this would be on the cover? Well, I lied. I tried to the other half of the image with cowering Muslims and all, and it sucked. I hated it SO HARD. So I decided to adapt one of my other images into a cover and to make this an interior illustration because, well, I already did all that work on this half after all.

So slaving continues. Meanwhile I have a game I'd much rather be working on which, amusingly, also involves angels (but in a totally tongue-in-cheek way). God willing I'll have this finished by my self-imposed deadline of the end of June, but we'll see.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Getting ready for Publication

A couple of things. Firstly, I just got back from Camp Nerdly, which was amazing. I was lucky enough to get in one final playtest of Thou Art But A Warrior, and it went very well. Jason Morningstar posted a thread over on Story Games which doesn't do the game justice, but it's definitely one of those "you had to be there" types of games.

Also, I'm very glad the playtest happened because I discovered a strange loophole in the code of conduct that determines experience. Apparently you can do all the horrible shit to your family you want as long as your family isn't Muslim. Whoops! That needs to be fixed.

So much thanks to Nick Marshall, Clinton Nixon, Jason Morningstar, and Rachel Walton for bringing the awesome to Camp Nerdly. And Jason says he's going to try and get the Durham 3 (4?) to play Thou Art But A Warrior in the future, so awesome!

Second, I'm getting to the point where I'm finishing layout and illustration for the book. My goal is to have illustrations done and a draft layout with the few minor changes implemented done by the end of next week. We'll see if that goal is achievable. At the very latest, I want to be printing the third week of June, because god only knows what could happen with shipping cross-border to IPR.

The cover illustration is coming along nicely. No, the colors on the angel will be changed. The reference materials I found had red and green, and I'm initially wanted to match the colors of the reference materials. But then I decided that, you know, considering this is mostly targeted at gamers who are - by and large - not Muslim, I don't want to have a Christmas angel on the cover of my book.

Here's how it's coming so far:


(I'll probably change the green to a more teal-y color rather than change all the red.)

Once I finish illustrations, I don't know that I'll have a lot of time to do other artwork while I'm doing the layout of the book. Hopefully it won't take up too much time, but having heard horror stories about layout from lots of designers, I'm not keeping my fingers crossed.

The finish line is in sight!

Lastly, I paid Ron for a spot in the Forge booth yesterday so it is now official. Thou Art But A Warrior will be released at GenCon this August. Now that I've turned in my money, I don't have much of a choice!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

More work on Thou Art But A Warrior

Well, GenCon is approaching fast, which means that I've been working on finishing up all of the art that will be used in Thou Art But A Warrior. I cleaned up the pencil sketches that were posted before, and those will be used in the book. All that remains is to finish the cover - which I have been rather neglectful about.

Joshua A. C. Newman gets partial credit for this drawing, because he was the one that pointed me to some nice reference images of Muslim depictions of angels. I decided that I wanted to make use of that for the cover, so I drew the following - make sure you click on the image for a larger view, as there's some nice pencil strokes there.


My husband made the point, and rightly so, that I shouldn't have just an angel on the cover, as this is a game about Muslim knights and not about Muslim angels. So I decided this will be part of a wraparound cover image with the angel on the back cover terrorizing some knights on the front cover.


It's late, and I'll be gallivanting off to Nerdly in just one short day! So it might be a bit before I get to post anything more about this. I'm sure I'll have interesting stuff post-Nerdly, however.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Website updated

Well! I finally managed to do what I've been wanting to do for months and update my website. The new website has an entirely new gallery, including all of my fine art and portrait photography, as well as a site for the soon-to-be-released Thou Art But A Warrior.

Mosey on over and take a look.