Saturday, August 30, 2008


Well, I am trying to post more often, but haven't had much to post about I suppose. I have gotten more work done on the map end of things. Looks like I am back to hand-drawn maps, well, sort-of. At the very least I will be using hand-drawn elements that I hope to be able to re-use across several different map sets. A few of these aren't all that straight-forward but I am getting certain software tricks down and finding drawing time here and there.
I am awaiting the GSL, like many others really. I do have some 4e product ideas but I am not willing to risk the present incarnation of the GSL so I have stayed out of that. I actually have a product line name and even a possible logo. Yes, now you know why I can't seem to get other things done. I like to think about too many things at once. I actually expected it to be out Friday based on some rumors, but it wasn't, so I am guessing it'll have to be next Friday. I honestly don't expect them to release it on anything other than a Friday. That gives people time to digest the changes, flood the internet with speculations, anger, hatred, etc. and then eventually calm down.
Oh, I did do a slight update to the website with a bit more writer information and some more drawings. One of the drawings shows some nipple (heaven forbid!) so I set up a different page for them. I am working on a table-style product status page but wondering how much information I really want to include on it. I'd like to have something like that live when I finally start releases. This way people can see what is being worked on and possibly even comment/ask for certain products to get pushed ahead of others. We'll see how that works out.

In other news, rain has been quenching a few soccer practices. Okay, not actually rain this week, but thunder/lightning. Every time there is a boom close enough to hear, or a lightning stroke that someone can see, kids are sent off the field for 15-20 minutes. This has been a serious cut to DS#2's practice time which is unfortunate as he has decided he doesn't like his coach. Alas, he doesn't really like big changes in life and I think that if he gives it time he'll get to know the coach better and things will go well. The shortened practices mean there is no end of practice talk or follow-up on what was practiced. DS#1 has gotten some good practices in so I guess it is just luck of the draw. DS#1's season starts next Saturday. The only reason we aren't playing in a tournament this weekend is that we had a team manager change at the end of summer (she had to drop due to health issues) and she didn't get the team signed up. I am not complaining.
This coming week we start the real, full school year schedule and it looks, well, "busy."

Sunday, August 24, 2008

End of the Olympics

Well, the Olympics are ending, and it is, well, time. Not that impressed with the closing ceremony, honestly, I have ignored most of it but it is playing here in the background. The kids start school tomorrow so that should be an interesting (and busy) day. DS#2 has soccer practice in the evening and DD has gymnastics right after school. I am guessing they'll all be tired tomorrow.

In different news, I have a new idea for maps that I have been working on. I am hoping the output will be decent enough to use. I should have enough time tomorrow to finish working on some preliminary bits and pieces and then I'll know how well this will (or won't) work out. I have also gotten a bit more writing done, and outlined some other possible products. My wife has off tomorrow for the first day of school so I am hoping to get a lot of work done. We'll see how that all goes. My mother and father-in-law are coming this Thursday and staying for the holiday weekend. This means that I'll have more help then too.
Basically, I have a few more things to try with the cartography end of things, if one of them works out, then I am on the road to getting products out. I have several small books through layout with nice empty boxes for the maps. Fill in those boxes and we are ready to go.
I am still planning the "micro-.pdf" plan but I might try to have smaller .pdf compilations ready sooner rather than later. I am still thinking about pricing on some of them, but I guess I should actually have the products ready to go before I worry about what to price them.

Oh, I am still waiting to see the updated GSL too. I won't say I have "high hopes" but I guess I do expect the GSL to be significantly improved, enough to sign on anyway. We'll see. I am guessing it'll be out sometime this week, but I wouldn't be surprised if they wait until Friday to put it out in order to let people vent on various message boards over the weekend while the real publishers take the time to read and digest it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away ...

Okay, no, really, go away so I can send the kids out of the house. Not that I won't send them out of the house anyway, but then they come in all wet and drip on the floors ...

Maps, maps, maps. Well, I decided to go with Dundjinni created maps due to the license they have right now. Well, they don't look that good after layout. Basically, the map program seems to create them at 72 dpi, this gives a rougher appearance when they get blown up a bit for layout. I am not thrilled with the results. I thought I had the problems solved but that seems to be just a simple map that I created. On-screen things look, well, I would say "mediocre" but probably they are okay, when printed on a laser printer, well, they just don't look good to me. This means that if I send them to any POD service they won't print nicely. Yes, I still have to think about printing products.

Interestingly, the products Jason Ludwig wrote AND illustrated include maps that he created. Those maps are very nice. Unfortunately, I really can't afford to have him do maps for me right now. I also know that he isn't that interested in making maps AND the last time I talked to him about it he told me he was busy. Maybe I need to talk to him again.
Anyway, I have several products edited, and even (mostly) through layout. I have a few more decisions to make. Right now I am thinking about looking for "new" maps for later compilations and using the present maps as "placeholders" in the layout for maps used in the compilations and planned POD releases through the Amazon service.

Well, back to the Olympics for now. To bad the NBC World news announced that the US men went 1-2-3 in the 400 M hurdles or that would have been more enjoyable.


Okay, between teething babies, the Olympics (I am an addict), LOTS of soccer, and not feeling well myself I have become a Lazy bum. I have accomplished a few things, but clearly not as much as I would like. I have had a few layout difficulties, actually, more going from the layout to the .pdf for some reason. These are probably solved.

I have also been contemplating a change from my planned format for the City Streets line, it is hard to say. Some of the locations are very short and are difficult for me to offer as a stand-alone product. A scan of smaller products shows that a number of publishers do publish "micro" .pdfs and consider it a valid plan. It is hard to plan pricing though. I think I will offer larger compilations sooner than originally planned. I am considering having each compilation include a new location that is unavailable as a stand-alone. I also want to have the compilations large enough to offer as a POD offering through's POD service.

I guess I keep thinking I have "pulled the trigger" on a decision and then come up with new possibilities.

I haven't actually had much GenCon news. I guess I haven't hit message boards enough lately. Well, complete chaos in the middle of posting. Such is life. Have to go.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I forgot! DD had her birthday yesterday. She had a great day and was all smiles. She is now 6 and I am already very happy she is the only girl!

Teething + Olympics = Urgh!

Okay, I admit that the Olympics is clearly distracting me. Now, combine those late nights with massive teething problems in DS #3 and, well, you get a VERY sleep-deprived Patrick wandering around.
Cartography: well, I decided to go with the Dundjinni maps, I believe I have them at a point where they look decent after layout. I am ALSO drawing some up too. Now, when you draw them, you still have the scanning, clean-up, etc. Basically, I have been so tired and busy that I want, no, NEED to be able to print .pdfs AND see them on both the PC and Mac, while I am awake and at my prime before I feel like I am ready to go. Will any of these products be "works of art?" Well, no, but I do want to put out something that is actually easily USED in a game. For some strange reason, I worry less about the "art" or "reading" part of anything I make and more about the actual USE in a game. One of the nicest emails I actually received about something I wrote told me that they thought the adventure "was hard reading, but when I ran it the real beauty came out." It is great to have fans or collectors that buy products, but I personally enjoy the stories of the people that have actually USED products in a game even more.

Well, back to the olympics.

Oh, I will comment on the upcoming GSL changes, when, they, um, actually change.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

No Joy

Okay, so far, "no joy" on getting things out for next week/weekend. Very close now, close enough that I can taste it, so I am guessing that excitement might lead to a few late nights next week in an effort to "close the deal." Let's see how much the Olympics distract me. Yes, I love Olympic sports, I am one of those rare Americans that truly admires, enjoys, and respects track and field events, swimming, and even those oddities like team handball.
I am a few pieces of art and several maps away from having 5 (maybe more actually) products ready to go. Then I think it is clearly time to put out the free promo along with a paid product at the same time. I will have to give real thought as to how to schedule the releases after that.

As for other sports, DS#1 has a soccer tournament this weekend (here in SA). They lost their first game (to a team a year older) but they played a good game and it really could have gone either way. The second game, against a team actually in our age group, well, DS#1's team won the game 7-0, and that score doesn't really describe how 1-sided it was. They played very well and dominated the game. Interesting, to me, was the fact that DS#1 started both games. He has worked very hard this summer because he knows that he has to work to get play time. He got plenty of playtime. He rested 5 minutes the first game, and during the second game he only missed minutes due to a bloody nose. After that stopped, he went back in and had a goal that was called back because the line judge said the ball crossed the touch line before it was passed to him.
Anyway, we have one more game tomorrow, if we win we should be in the finals (this could depend on goal difference and a few other things). My wife is on-call tomorrow so, well, it'll be another exhausting day.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Paris Hilton

Hehe, well, that is a title for a blog isn't it?
I find the Paris Hilton political spoof ad absolutely hilarious. I also think it is brilliant marketing of Paris Hilton and a welcome distraction from the stupid political advertisements.
Do I like Paris Hilton? Um, no, not really, don't really care one way or the other. Never watched her show, never really cared.

Did I get anything else done today to talk about on the Blog? Um, well, no, but I am trying to post 2-3 times a week or more and I KNOW tomorrow is going to be insane so I just posted what came to mind while watching the news.
Oh, that is the next brilliant thing --TONS of free airtime on news programs and Jay Leno. Brilliant, really.
Wouldn't a DnD advertisement featuring Paris Hilton be hilarious, or, well, pathetic?
Well, back to the news and an hour of writing before bed.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back again

Yes, I haven't been posting. Yes, my goal was at least 2-3 times a week or more.

Now, I wasn't planning to post while on vacation, but, well, vacation ended a week and a half ago (almost) and I haven't posted in that time.
I believe I might be ready to start the "ball rolling" in terms of releasing something by GenCon. Here is the problem, I am not 100% positive and so haven't been able to sign up for the advertising program that DTRPG is planning. I don't know if I can get involved in that last minute or not. I should know if I can start releasing things by this weekend. I have a few map issues I need to solve. Dundjinni has not been as easy to use as I would like, and the output hasn't been completely up to what I had hoped. Part of that might be my abilities with the program. I also happen to like simple black and white maps, but those that I have created are, well, rather simple and boring.
Basically, I need to "bite the bullet" and make some decisions quickly here. I think I want to stick with that decision through the product line, but we'll see.

While this is going on I have been looking at some other potential products for a "JumpStart" line of products. Most of these are books of tables, lists of encounters, ruins, things like that.
I am also looking at a "4gotten" line of 4e GSL products (or not GSL... uh, that depends ...). Basically, I don't have any major backstock and my products aren't really planned to be OGL so if I am doing .pdfs and POD I can likely sign onto the GSL without any major fears. This is particularly true if I make it clear that there is a particular product line for GSL products. There are some benefits to the GSL, just not enough for any established publisher (in my opinion) to really want to sign on.
What does all of this mean? Well, I guess you could say "feast or famine." I am either going to have a lot of things coming out this fall, or I am going to have not much. I would really like to be in the "a lot" realm.

Oh, yeah, I am still desperately needing to update the website. It has been so long that I was trying to move to a different program and layout for the website but I am not happy with it right now. I'll have to tweak it some more and/or just update what I have and worry about a full re-design later.
That's the news for now, piano lessons for DD in a little bit, then we pick up one of DS#2's good friends, eat lunch, go to the pool, get DS#3 a nap, take the friend home, get DS#1 out to soccer practice (last night it was 102 at the beginning of practice-should be cloudy and possibly even rain tonight).
I guess I do keep out of trouble.