Friday, September 16, 2011


Well, trying the new blogger format was clearly a mistake. No, really, if you use Blogger do NOT try the "new format." Anyway, on to more important things.
Still working on getting some maps/artwork out of the way for several fully written products. These steps always seem to take the longest and always slow me down. I plan to have new products up for the September 19th "Talk Like a Pirate Day" the question of exactly which products remains to be answered.

Paizo Updates - I had a problem with the Paizo interface and the person I emailed questions about it either isn't at Paizo anymore or was on vacation. The problem is solved so I will be working on recompiling Paizo "versions" of all of the updated products and trying to get them uploaded this weekend. Obviously, this will slow down getting some of the other work on new products done, but this is a necessary step. Oh, and for further information, "Paizo Versions" basically means a version where the links to other products in advertising or in the title page lead to the Paizo store instead of RPGNow/DTRPG/etc. Unfortunately, I didn't make this easy on myself initially but I am close to having a system set up where this will be much faster in the future.

Website update: I had a nice website update created and basically made the mistake of trying to update late at night. Not sure which setting I reversed but the existing website copied over the masters I had on my computer. Basically, I erased my work. I will admit to leaving it alone in my frustration, but I am now going back over the website (and all of my master settings) and should have a website update up soon.

That's the news, slow progress to be certain, but progress is being made. Four City Streets books are written and awaiting art/cartography which I basically have to do myself so it is taking a while. The next Tavern Denizens book is nearing completion and several more small products are also close to ready.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Changes up at OBS, not at Paizo yet

The Sparks Primer is up and the Sparks Introduction has been stripped from the City Street and Tavern Denizens products that have been released--BUT this is only true at the OBS (OneBookShelf-RPGNow, etc) sites.

It looks like the email I was using to try to contact someone at Paizo was incorrect. This suggests the Paizo changes won't be in until the end of the week. I apologize to all Paizo customers. I will get these changes in order ASAP. Thanks again for your support!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Argh! Sparks Primer is up.

Okay, the Sparks Primer is now up at RPGNow and all OBS sites. I am having problems with the updates for all of the other books because the hyperlinks inserted in those books are all suddenly broken.

I will be working on solving this and getting the updates posted without the Sparks Primer ASAP. I also need to update the website, create a FaceBook Page for GU, post some advertisements, etc.

This doesn't do me much good if the hyperlinks within the books, and hyperlinks out to the Sparks Primer, and other sites do not work. I am sure it is a simple fix, so I had better get back to figuring it out.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sparks Primer comes tomorrow

Okay, I will be honest, the Sparks Primer might be out tonight and the layout is actually complete, and the book is compiled, etc.

I do not have the advertising blurb ready, I also do not have the full series of updated files without the Sparks Introduction ready for upload. Essentially, even though the book is completed and ready for release a lot of the other things required to release the book properly are not quite ready. It is 10:30 PM on a Sunday evening and I am going to continue working but realistically I will not be ready to "go live" tonight. It will have to be sometime tomorrow.

Basically, I don't like to type up the advertising blurbs, etc. late at night because more typos slip in and get missed when rushing like that. I will have some of these things typed out and ready to go, but will wait for the release until I can proof read them again when not quite so tired.

I guess this means I will not be ready before the Christmas in July sale, but will be releasing things simultaneously with the beginning of the week long OBS sale.

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the turtle keeps moving ...

Things are not, and have not, moved as quickly as I would have liked. I had significant problems moving "up" to a newer version of Adobe InDesign (the program I use for layout) and finally decided to move backwards to Adobe InDesign CS3. Basically, the older program is far easier for me to use. I am running into compatibility issues with files from newer versions of Photoshop and Illustrator and this has slowed me down significantly.

I WILL have the Sparks Primer done before next week's sale, and I will have the various files updated on the OBS (One Book Shelf) sites on time. I will not have some of the other releases ready when I hoped but maybe getting this going will kick me in the ass hard enough to get those moving too. Updating the files on Paizo will take longer and will most likely not be done before August as they have an approval process. This is a busy time for Paizo so I am not expecting things to move swiftly there. This is not due to any problems with Paizo, it is just that OBS has an easier to use interface for updates. My latest check is from Paizo so I want to do everything I can to support my customers there.

More reports as the weekend goes on.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Time Moves On ...

Okay, time moves on. Bright side-I have done a lot of writing. Not so bright- not all has been RPG/GU related. Layout and artwork are still huge issues, for a wide variety of reasons.

RPGNow/DriveThruRPG has a "Christmas in July" promotion every year, and my new (latest) goal is to get things ready for release in time for this promotion. The goal is to
(1) Have the separate Sparks introduction ready for release.
(2) Update ALL previous releases to remove the Sparks intro as well as make a few other improvements.

The above 2 points are made more difficult by the fact that I want to update the layout (of everything) with a different, more uniform page border and to match standards for page bleed, etc. used for print on demand.

(3) Update the website with new information and links.
(4) Create and plan banner ads to run on the various OBS sites.
(5) Finish up the editing, writing, etc. for several new releases. These might not be released right away but I would like to have them ready to go. Layout for these depends on the points above.

Upcoming goals and plans include a new line of generic and/or 3.X (OGL) adventures and some other products. These products depend on the activity of other people so we shall see how that all works out.

I have gotten more organized by dedicating specific amounts of time each week (yes, actually scheduled) to working on specific GU projects so work is getting done in a more organized manner. Sometimes I have to "reward" myself with writing time after I get a few of the more boring (and sometimes time-consuming) aspects completed.

Monday, April 18, 2011


Yet more proof that Patrick is FAR more likely to write away like crazy than to take care of piddly things like layout and art that NEED to be done before products can be released. It doesn't matter how much I have written if I don't get the layout and artwork put away.

The website is back up though (not that anyone but me probably noticed it was down). Turns out my host shut it down and sent me a notification about it (which I received 5 minutes after discovering the website was down, so maybe it wasn't down long). Basically, someone tried to log into my account 125 different times in a period of 3 minutes--ie. some sort of hack attempt. No idea why, but the tech support guy that talked to me about it said that maybe they were going to try to use my email host to send out spam, someone testing hacking software, or it was simply a kid trying to mess around.

In any case, the host provider took care of it all, including reports of the data of the hack attempt filed with the FBI. Honestly, I thought it was pretty cool that they responded so quickly and diligently for my little website which I am sure is barely a blip in their income stream.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Tax Time Approaches

Well, still working away and looking like I should be ready to "re-launch" on or before the Tax filing deadline here in the USA.

Right now the plan is to have the Sparks intro ready (stand alone), ALL of the previous releases updated so that they do NOT include the old Sparks introduction (this actually means more work than it sounds like as the title pages need to be re-done for all of them), AND a special release containing a variety of Tax Collectors. The special release is looking somewhat art-free at the moment but we'll see what I can do.

I was planning to make the Tax Collectors release (real title pending, I have several choices) free, but now I am thinking of making it something like 99 cents with a coupon for 99 cents off another GU release. I haven't really decided exactly what to do with this one.

The next release(s) after that should include a small City Streets book about Herbalists and Healers and a Tavern Denizen's release. When I get a bit closer I will be updating the GU website with more information (shooting for Tuesday 4/12 for that, but we'll see what happens).

Friday, April 1, 2011

Still Working ...

Well, I am just about ready for the re-launch, the problem right now is having new products ready too. I don't, and I don't want to "spring into action" until I have the primer ready, two additional products fully completed (one for later release) and a minimum of one more 80%+ ready.

Needless to say, I am not there yet and oak pollen is NOT helping things along.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Springing into Action??

Well, I had several possible goals for introducing the Sparks Primer and taking the Sparks introduction out of existing products AND introducing a new product. Initially, I hoped to "re-energize" on time for GM's Day March 4th but it became clear that would not happen. The second goal was to go with the first day of Spring and "Spring into Action" but clearly that hasn't happened either.

It generally seems best to introduce a new product(s) on a Thursday in hopes that they'll stay on the new product list on the front page during the weekend. This Thursday is highly unlikely due to conflicts with family events. This leaves next week Thursday which would be March 31st, the day before April 1st, you know, April Fool's Day? Not sure if I want a re-launch to be a joke.

Right now I want to focus on having products ready for release and then worry about the timing of their release. It has been so long now that it would be best to have products lined up and ready to go so that I am certain I can have at least one product per month for the 3 months following my re-launch giving me time to focus on creating more new products.

When I am a bit further along I will update the website (finally) with more information and some tentative release dates. Well, this is a child-free work day for me so I had better get back to it.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Over a year later ...

Okay, it has been over a year since the last post. While some work has been done, I honestly got so frustrated with some aspects of the "business" that I basically ended up taking a long break. I will explain some of the reasons in the future but the main reason for this post is that GU is indeed getting ready to come back to life.

(1) I have been able to get some "game time" in lately. I guess I just feel odd writing material for games when I am not getting a chance to play them. Now that I have had a chance to play some games lately, I am also getting more writing done.

(2) The outlines and plans I had one year ago are still viable now, and this makes some of my planning much easier.

(3) Artwork- okay, this was (and sometimes still is) one of the main reasons for the long break. The products GU puts out simply aren't profitable enough to hire the more known, dependable artists leaving me looking at stock art and "new" artists.

Hmm, wasn't going to get into it now, but why not. Last year at this time I purchased "stock" art that ended up being someone's copyrighted artwork. I got my money back, and that company is nowhere to be seen, but it was a major hassle, and really a big concern for me. Then I contracted with an artist for cover art for a new line I was planning, no artwork ever arrived, artist disappeared. Same thing happened with a contract for maps and some interior art-THAT was frustrating as I paid 50% in advance when the artist turned in several rough sketches to make certain he was on the right track. I think everyone sees where this is going.

(3.1) Future products are going to be even more "art-lite" than the earlier releases. I do have an artist that can do some work for me-- but alas, my son has competitive soccer, high school soccer, and a full load of high school classes and I don't want to overburden him.

Time Table???
Well, I thought I was going to get some products revamped and new products launched before Spring Break (March 12th) but that is unlikely to happen. In addition, I will be out of town for a week and don't want to release material before leaving town. I would say "April 1st" but considering my track record the last 18 months that would have to be a joke wouldn't it?

I am leaving the time table open ended for now. Things will happen soon, but I am giving myself a good 6-8 weeks if necessary. This should allow me plenty of time to finish the Sparks module, remove the Sparks info from products, edit a few products, and prepare some new products. Let's keep our fingers crossed.