Thursday, October 30, 2008

Progressing Nicely

Just a quick note on progress. I am getting enough done to start releases very soon now. Okay, truth is I have 5 of the mini-.pdfs through layout, etc. What I need to do now is get the advertising blurbs for each one written up and think about what sort of advertising I want to do. At first I am probably going with posting on a few message boards while trying to think up a "good" banner advertisement of some sort. Rumors I am hearing about sales suggest maybe I should just stick with message board posts and maybe trying to get on the OBS (Drivethru/RPGNow) newsletter.

I am not sure how much time I'll have the next few days to work on this. We'll have to see.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Moving along ...

Well, I have actually been getting some things done lately. It looks like very soon now I won't have any excuses not to start releasing products.
I guess this means I need to create some advertising blurbs and maybe even some other advertising promos. I need to take care of some "back cover blurbs" --the information/statements you seen on the back cover of a book--even though .pdfs don't really have a back cover.

I HAD hoped to have some things out this week but to have the advertising ready for that, well, I would have needed to have things ready even earlier. We'll see how it goes the next few days, but things are looking good for the next few weeks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why Patrick uses Pencils...

Okay, I have been sort-of promising myself, and strongly hinting here, that I would post a bit more artwork or maps. Well, I thought I would show everyone why I use pencils for most things. I am trying to "graduate" to inking things but so far I have only really been using ink for maps. This doesn't mean I haven't been playing around with drawings in ink.
Now, I have been using the beginner's trick of sketching broad outlines in blue pencil, you can either erase the pencil later or eliminate the blue after scanning. Some of the pencil sketches I posted here or on the GU site actually started out with some blue too. I am leaving the blue pencil in for these scans so you can see my progression. First, I am working on "Zinia" who is the owner of a spa (a real spa, not a brothel) and who isn't afraid to use her ample cleavage to distract customers. Well, I wanted to have her robed with her hands in her pockets (I am not very good at drawing hands). Here is how I started:

Now, she doesn't look great, but let's face it, these are just the outlines and you won't see them in the final scan unless I let you. Now, if I fill this out with pencils I can use different levels of pencils for the shading, but with ink you have to do it with textures or patterns. Just not a strong point with me. Well, I start inking and get a little frustrated when it doesn't look exactly like I want it to. With pencil I can erase a bit and change a few things around, lighten places I got darker than I wanted, darken others, etc. Once the ink is down, well, it is down. I leave the blue pencil (and regular pencil) in for this scan:

Okay, let's see if blogger uploaded those pictures where I tried to put them ;).
I will probably play with this drawing a bit more, maybe add some pencil shading to the ink that is down. With a few adjustments it might be usable, but it certainly isn't the quality I would like.
The artwork side of things is a learning experience for me and I am enjoying it (so far).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Keep on working ...

Okay, I haven't been working on anything lately. Yesterday was busy due to soccer games and today we went out to Medina, TX to visit a very nice pumpkin patch/apple orchard. We enjoyed it, but the trip included a lot of driving for me so I have been lazy since then.
I would like to claim that I'll sit down right now to finish work on a couple of the maps that are sitting on my desk, but that isn't about to happen.
I want to hear more about the GSL changes and Scott Rouse has posted that he'll answer publisher questions, but who knows how quickly or even if he'll actually answer mine. The updated GSL and SRD are clearly not coming soon.
In related news, I hear through the grapevine that distributors and retailers are worried about an even bigger slow down in RPG (and board game) purchases and are scaling back their orders. This could have an "interesting" effect on the mid-tier RPG (print) publishers. Lower tier .pdf publishers might see a slowdown but generally have lower production costs and WotC is not going to feel the sting as much as other companies. Print products cost a lot more to produce, advertise and distribute, if those products don't get into the distribution chain things will get bad for certain companies.
Well, off to a bit more time wasting.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Soccer and Stuff
Well, we have actually had some cloudy weather yesterday and today. It is actually nice to have some clouds when sitting outside at soccer games. DS#2 had two games this weekend, one Friday night and another Saturday morning. He played on his hurt foot and did okay, though he did have an "own goal" Friday night that allowed the other team to tie. His Saturday game was a blow out, to the point the coach finally told them not to score until they had made X number of passes. DS#1 had a very good game Saturday too, they played one of the top teams in the division, although they lost as a team they played very well and only lost by one goal. DS#1 had some beautiful crosses to the middle that never got put into the back of the net, he was a bit frustrated.

This is a long weekend as everyone has Monday off. I am taking DS#1 and some of his friends to laser quest this afternoon for his birthday and tomorrow we have a family picture. That is all we have on the "official" schedule. I need to get some closet organizers/hardware for DS#1's bedroom now that the floors are done. I also need to replace the closet doors. I am thinking about getting a "handyman" to do that for me as I don't have the proper tools to make some of the cuts. Buying the tools would make the cost about the same as getting someone to do it (it isn't a difficult job with the right tools). I might be able to borrow what I need because I do have a neighbor with a very nice workshop in his garage. Anyway, those are tasks I need to get done sometime soon.

GU News
I think I have decided what I want to do with some page border/header/footer type stuff so that shouldn't be too long to set up. It does mean I'll have to change the layout of the the minibooks already through layout but that is okay. I have a couple of maps to finish up and I need to re-scan a map that came out funny for some reason. Then I need to take care of some additional artwork. I thought I had some suitable pieces but the artist apparently needs money to repair something in his apartment and decided he wanted more money. I was pretty disappointed as this was artwork he created without a commission, I saw it online and emailed him asking if I could get non-exclusive permission to use it for a small amount of $. The first answer was "yes" but then I guess he decided he wanted more $. This means I have to find some more public domain art and/or make some more drawings myself. I'll be working on some drawings tonight.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Floors and Birthdays

Well, today is DS#1's actual birthday. We sort-of celebrated yesterday by going out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant. Basically, We expected DD to have dance today followed by soccer practice for DS#2. Well, DD's dance instructor was sick and DS#2 has hurt his foot so we were all home this evening. After last night's feast we had some pizza, and cake, and DS#1 was able to play some of the games he received as gifts. DS#1 is now 13 meaning that I officially have a teen-age child. Rumor has it that I should be more frightened.

They finished laying the floors on Monday but had to do the clean up and major furniture moving yesterday. I didn't really get to setting up the office until this afternoon. DS#3 has been available to, um, "help" me so I didn't get much cleaning done. The fact that he flat-out refused to nap today didn't help. Well, I am exhausted, dusting the walls, floors, and everything else has been, well, time consuming. Add the help of a toddler and it was an exciting day. I spent the entire morning getting him exhausted so he would nap and let me get work done, silly Papa! Naps are for Papas! Maybe *I* will take a nap tomorrow.

Product plans- having time off from the internet, and, even the laptop, has been good (or bad) in the idea department. I suppose the last thing I need now is more ideas for products. We'll see how some of the new ideas pan out, that is what notebooks are for. Anyway, I should have more maps done tomorrow and I believe I have solved some layout issues. Unfortunately, I still have work to do in the office as well as some doctor's appointments tomorrow. I think I am on track for starting releases at the end of the month. Really, it should be sooner than that, but I am thinking that Halloween might be a good launch time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Well, they were not able to finish the floors yesterday. Truly, I had a hard time believing they would get all of that work done. I have the cable modem hooked back up and the wireless router so we can use the laptops to get online. Honestly, I wasn't going to bother but my wife wants to get online later tonight. She is post-call though so we'll see how much she actually does.

Basically, it looks like I am not going to be back to being able to get much done until Thursday or so. I would love to say Tuesday, but even after they finish up the rest of the floors they'll still have to do the trim and after that we have to wait until the glue dries to move furniture back and set the office up again. Thursday should be realistic, then again, I might be completely exhausted by then.
We'll see ...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Getting better but ...

Okay, I have been feeling a bit better but this hasn't helped me get any GU work done. I am having the most of the flooring on the first floor of the house replaced with wood floors. This means getting tons of things out of the way so the workmen can work tomorrow (yes, they want to do it tomorrow). This includes the office so I am about to go offline until sometime late tomorrow night or Sunday. This pretty much depends on me having enough energy to start hooking everything back up after they finish the floors in here. It is going to be quite a mess so I expect I'll be off until late Sunday night.

I almost have enough of a voice to cheer at soccer games tomorrow. Almost. This means I will try not to.