Friday, November 30, 2007

On a roll

Well, I have been getting things done for G.U.P., just not the things that I probably need to do first. I am disappointed at the moment because I have several locations written up, but I am held up by a few things. First, I am working on getting a new cartographer. Originally, I had someone ready and primed to go, but at the beginning of the month he learned he was going to Afghanistan. Now I am looking at working with a cartographer in the UK. He sent me some nice samples, I am just worried that I can't pay him what he is worth. Then again, I really can't pay anyone what they are worth, such is the RPG industry. The exchange rate and low US dollar really hurt though. I actually talked (via email) to an artist that is also in England. Apparently, he has decided not to work with US companies any more. I guess he gets enough work in Europe and the exchange rate kills whatever he gets from US companies.

Well, time to get a few other quick things done.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday, Sunday

Okay, Sunday, a day of rest. This means that I set up the Christmas tree, helped the kids put the ornaments on it, cleaned up a bit, did some paperwork to change our health insurance plan, did paperwork for one of the kids, and lined up the bills that need to be paid tomorrow. Strangely, this actually was a fairly relaxing day. I suppose that says a lot about what most days are like.
I thought I was going to have the free sample .pdf ready by the end of this month (should have been earlier) but it looks like if I do get it done by the 30th, I will be squeaking into the finish line. Losing my cartographer to Afghanistan hurt some of my scheduling. Looks like I might have to step up and neaten up my own maps for a bit. I do have a promising cartographer that has contacted me and I have responded to him. It isn't fair to try to dump maps on someone and expect a short turn-around though. Pay in this business is, well, crap. I do have an idea that might help me pay him a bit more, if that works out then maybe we can get some products back on schedule.

It is time to make the list of things to do for tomorrow. I am afraid the list is going to be very long. I guess that is just the way things go.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Well, I made some comments about Dragon and Dungeon online in a post at ENWorld including the fact that I felt the writing was "poor." I feel that some of the Dragon articles simply aren't up to the level of Paizo's and made a generic comment that unfortunately included things written by some people in the industry that I really, truly like. Including Ari Marmell, and C.A. Suleiman, who I worked with on the Tome of Artifacts for Lion's Den Press and Necromancer Games. Basically, by making a general comment to avoid insulting specific people (because I don't think it is their fault) I went ahead and put a smack down on people I definitely didn't want to insult.
In my follow up post, you know, the one where I tried desperately to pull my foot out of my mouth so I could stop gagging on my knee, I include the following tidbit:
"I guess the big thing for me is that I don't think that WotC is showing anything that makes me excited and interested in the "Digital Initiative" or in Dragon/Dungeon online and the people I know that would normally be drooling over this, well, they simply aren't. I am pretty much an easy sell, I spend a lot of money on gaming materials, and when you include how much I get in comps, well, you get the idea. WotC just hasn't sold me on this. If they haven't convinced ME to buy it, then there are a lot of people on the fence right now. If they want to get those people off the fence and getting ready to sign up, they need to set a firm release schedule, hold to it, and match Paizo's quality.
In my opinion (take it for what it is worth), the managers at WotC should have KNOWN they didn't have the manpower to do this full strength and they should have hired the people required to get it done. This way people actually working like mad to get 4e out don't have to be distracted writing articles for Dragon."
Well, that pretty much says it. I just don't think that WotC is doing the job required to get people ready to sign up for Dragon and Dungeon online and the Digitial Initiative.
Then again, I am not getting enough work done for G.U.P. either, so I guess that is they way it goes. Speaking of which, I have to go ...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Grumble ...

Well, sick children and chaotic schedules are slowing me down. I am clearly more focused on getting some of the background work done than on posting to the blog ;).
I have several good submissions for the City Streets line, and I have some good writers lined up too. I am very excited about that. What I am NOT excited about is the friend that was going to do building exterior illustrations and some cartography for me. No, he didn't do anything bad, he just happens to be going to Afghanistan in a few weeks so he has to focus on that (stay focused buddy). So, if you are one of the, oh, 3-4 people reading this and know a cartographer--let me qualify that, inexpensive cartographer--please send them my way.
I am working on a special logo for all of the planned generic RPG lines. Yes, it is still a secret, yes, I have more than just City Streets planned. We'll see how it all goes.
WotC and 4th edition.
Wow, what to say? Sounds like they have completely blown off a d20 trademark license. I know that Scott Rouse is dedicated to the OGL but I also know that WotC wanted to create a new (different) d20 logo to go with 4th edition and they wanted it to have "value" to distributors and retailers. When I talked to him at GenCon he admitted that WotC was really torn about it. Basically, the distributors want it to indicate WotC approval, WotC simply can't review material from other publishers while still worrying about their own work. They dicussed ideas of charging to use the license, and/or giving it to only certain proven publishers. Based on posts to ENWorld and elsewhere, it sounds like WotC simply decided that making a d20 logo mean something again would cost them to much time, money and effort for the return they would get (um, none, really). 4th edition will still be OGL, or at least part of it, I wonder what part?
Meanwhile, once upon a time WotC told some publishers that they would have access to the new edition rules probably by early November. Nobody has them yet.
I don't know, the more I hear and see about the coming edition of DnD, the more I wonder if it is DnD anymore. Lately, those small moments I have time to play something, I end up playing with my boys (12 and 8) and we use Castles and Crusades, no pesky skill points to keep track of, no feats to worry about, etc. I love DnD, and I think 3.5 is a great, well-designed game. I just wonder what WotC is really up to. Let's face it, I will be buying those first 3 books, hell, possibly more than that. I will also write material for it, the real question is, will this be good enough that I feel like signing up for the "Digital Initiative" and/or Dungeon/Dragon online? So far I am not impressed with either Dungeon or Dragon online and, hell, I use a Mac so the Digital Initiative is sounding dead in the water to me too.
Well, that is the gaming news I suppose. I took my oldest son to the Trinity University men's DIII NCAA championship tournament game tonight as a reward for his stellar grades. The 8-year old would have gone too, but he got himself a "mandatory study" (after school detention) for neglecting to do his homework (he basically has all A's too). My boys love soccer and Trinity is the topped ranked DIII team right now. They are fantastic to watch and won VERY convincingly tonight. Well, the Spurs game is over (Go Spurs!) so it is time to close this and get a bit more work done.