Thursday, October 02, 2014

In Sickness and In Health...

Work has been delayed due to a combination of MtG: Khans of Tarkir pre-release events and my getting heinously ill for a week plus soon afterward...

The KTK pre-release events did go well, though, and were our best events of that type in two years. The set is slow, but good, with a fair chunk of value within, thus insuring that sales will be steady for the coming period.

As for the sickness, in a day I went from having an annoying sore throat for the day to having my sinuses take a surprise dump into my lungs at the end of it. Drippy, draining, coughing misery followed... yay.

I am finally on the upswing. Still sick, but doing well enough to catch up on work. I've been reading through the contract that HERO Games sent me for all of this. It's pretty standard, though I am finding little bits that are apparently outdated according to their head honcho. That basically means once I parse it all out, we begin the contract back-and-forth and get things situated on that end. By the time that happens, I should have the Asylum done, the Gateway Guardians up and started, plus outlines for one of the other (now three) projects that are on the burner at least sketched out. Yeah, contract issues can take that long to work out to both parties' satisfaction.

I figured folks would like an update, and I wish I had more to provide, but extra-curricular work moves slower than pace of real life...

peace... GopherDave

Thursday, September 18, 2014

More Progress... the Asylum

After a delay of a day due to some shenanigans at the store which interrupted a night off, I have finished the game mechanic bits for the Asylum. Next up are a group overview and backgrounds for the individual members, plus all the fiddly bits like quotes, appearance descriptions, etc.

Depending on what happens later on today, I should be able to finish the backgrounds for at least one of the characters, if not two. Given the group, they are a mixed bag of nuts, but they can be scary because they have a purpose and a mission.

I almost forgot that I have some gaps to fill in from an earlier post...
  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- The name is short for Electro-Shock Therapy, but the only folks getting short-circuited are his targets. Be prepared for pain and the smell of ozone when this guy hits the proverbial dance floor.
  • Dr. X -- All minds are pliant under to auspices of the "good doctor". Whether it's conjuring up nightmares or lulling victims off into hypnotic slumber, Dr. X seems to always have the right prescription on hand.
Once I get the background bits done and into the Hero Designer files, I will be more than willing to fire those files off to a few discernable folks for perusal. However, current players in my game need not apply for that job... =P

peace... GopherDave

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Progress Update... the Asylum

Currently working on the Sixth Edition HERO System mechanics for the Asylum, a group of villains I've been throwing against players since third edition. Three of them are done from a game mechanics standpoint. Two more to put together, and then I will need to do various background details that involve actual writing. In that regard, I have been taking notes (both mental and electronic) on both individual histories, as well as a group history. Progress is slow, but it is progress.

From the art standpoint, I have been talking to a couple of folks, but I am not going to put out any sort of art direction until I get some more details worked out with game system licensing (which is in the VERY PRELIMINARY stages).

As it goes, in the group we have...

  • the Orderly -- A goon that drugs folks by shoving a veritable cornucopia of pharmaceuticals into the mouths of the unwilling. Barring being able to turn people into vegetables with pills, the Orderly is just as willing to beat a person into a mental lima bean.
  • Rubber Room -- What stretches through cracks? Chokes necks and breaks back? It would be the one they refer to as Rubber Room. That said, the pliant one shows a softer side at times, shielding innocent witnesses to the brutality that the Asylum practices on a routine basis.
  • Lobotomy -- Two drills, no waiting... Lobotomy is the tactician of the group, and is a highly skilled fighter with a mean streak a mile wide. His favorite trick is to grab a victim around the neck from behind and drill. Mess ensues...
  • E.S.T. -- (mechanics in progress)
  • Dr. X -- (mechanics in progress)

When I hit a wall with character work, I fire up Adobe InDesign and tool around with the look of the packaging. I've done one version of things in that regard thus far, but I am not real happy with it. So I'm going back to the drawing board.

I am also still looking for a project name. I've got a couple of ideas, but I'm not truly enamored with either of them. One references the police agency in the world in charge of keeping super-powered folks in check ("the H.U.R.T. Files" or "the H.U.R.T. Locker"), while the other refers to the main "super-prison" in the world ("the MESA Mandates"). Again, not my favorites, and I am still looking.

peace... GopherDave

Monday, September 15, 2014

Stay On Target...

I hate my phone camera... I had to doctor this shot up to get even close to colors I was actually wearing today... =P
Okay... This is going out to all, I dunno, ten of you who actually read this thing. I am officially putting out the call for artistic types who can work in a superhero style/medium to do simple character portraits for a number of NPCs I'll be putting together over the next few weeks. The pay isn't great (in fact it'll be lousy), but it may get better with time.

See? Not only am I thinking about doing these things for personal satisfaction. I am seriously considering going through the motions of actually publishing (PDF only) these things for a modicum of payment. Some license stuff has to be worked out first, and I actually need to put some of these character stories that are in my head onto "paper", but I am slowly cementing a plan of action on how to get all of this done. They say it never hurts to have goals, and in regard to my being actually published in the game industry, I think this is it. I attempted this once before about twenty years ago, but the timing was absolutely wrong.

Now, while I'm not certain that the timing is right, it's at least better. Plus, I've been kind of inspired as of late...

My first projects...

the Asylum -- The approach to what the Asylum does is horrifying, sickening, and brutal, but what they are actually doing (and to whom) will present a serious moral challenge to the heroes they face. The subject matter around this group is dark, adult, and borderline explicit. Five characters, each with their own motivations, untied by a common thread.

Gateway Guardians -- A team of NPC Superheroes based in St. Louis (Arcflight, Big Muddy, Cardinal Red, Echo, and Jetstreak), meant to give a game world more flavor and help any overworked and/or novice GMs populate their game with good characters outside of their own PCs.

(Solo Villain Collection #X) -- It seems like this project needs some sort of cool "product name", but I really don't have one for it, yet. I'm thinking six to ten villainous characters for each "volume", possibly united by some sort of theme as well. Or maybe just a collection of whatever goobers I happen to bash out on the keyboard that month.

(Heroic NPC Collection) -- A smattering (five to eight) of heroic (and anti-heroic) types meant to add flavor and drama to a GM's game world. The characters presented here won't be tied to a geographical location, and so they can dropped in just about any place the GM puts their campaign.

I'm off, now... to go create "folks" and send off e-mails to potentially get this project up and running from a commercial standpoint...

Laterz... GopherDave

Saturday, September 13, 2014

GotG Viewing Count...

8

Constructive Revalations...

I'm slowly learning how to use the phone camera... BLEH...

Another day, ummm... another day?

Seriously though... I *BELIEVE* things are beginning to get better internally. I still have not grieved for my friend in my usual ways, but I began to think about things a bit, and I may be grieving without realizing it.

My friend, Josh, was/is a gamer. He did a great deal of his work in the Pathfinder realm, including being the layout guru for AdventureAWeek.com for a long time. Josh was a large reason why they put out their first "deluxe" product this past year at GenCon. Rise of the Drow is a gorgeous book, and the AAW guys should be proud of what they accomplished.

Anyway, to get back on track, Josh also did a bit of design work. Again, mostly in Pathfinder, but one of his last projects was a line of supervillain write-ups for Mutants & Masterminds 3E called the Theta Files. Josh only got three of them completed before his health deteriorated to the point where he could no longer work. In an effort to honor Josh, I contacted Rogue Genius Games in order to see if Josh had left any incomplete Theta Files in their possession, with the intent to finish them. When RGG got back to me, it was to indicate that they had nothing left unfinished from Josh. I was more than a little bummed...

Then, I found myself turning toward the plethora of villain write-ups I need to do for my Champions campaign, and actually *WANTING* to do them. Thinking about it more, I realized that, perhaps subconsciously, this is how I'm dealing with my grief... in a constructive way. Hence, my idea for an idea for a series of "Enemies"-style PDF publications for some villains that I have used in *MANY* Champions games, and a few that have never been more than a concept in my head and a "name" on a page.

Now, and here's my largest obstacle with this, I am *NOT* an artist. In fact, it is a crime in at least eleven states and three other countries for me to even attempt art. Thus, if you know of any artistic folks who can do comic-style art poses for *MEGA-CHEAP*, drop me a line and let me know...

peace... GopherDave

Friday, September 12, 2014

Uncle...

Found a new way to take pictures with my phone that is easier than before... Shame they look like crap... The sweater is dark green, the tie is gold, and the shirt is blue in reality.

Yeah, the hits just keep on coming this year. Had a good friend pass a couple of weeks ago. The funeral and memorial services have all passed, and everyone is getting on with their lives. Me? I haven't grieved yet. I expect it to come at the most inopportune time. That's the way the year has gone.

Game-wise, things are decent. Most of my recent issues stem from the morass of depression that I cannot seem to get myself out of...

Side note... I've seen Guardians of the Galaxy seven times now... I have a problem... Also, if you haven't seen it, do so... NOW!

Back to games... Tai'eres is in a good place story-wise, though I am about ready to "publish" another revision. I need to figure out where that will fall, as I don't like to change rules on players too much in mid-campaign, and this is looking like a significant update/change.

The Champions game has gone through yet another reboot. This time around, I've given it more structure from my end. There is still one more character to introduce (his player has been out of town on business for a bit), but things are looking better than they were. I am also looking at taking my villain write-ups and collecting them up in a "Enemies"-style sourcebook. That would take me a lot of work on my end, as many of the backgrounds are lost to old file formats and the physical copies were most likely tossed in one of our many moves over the years. I started on this a bit, and created a nice "government file" format that looks good on the screen. Unfortunately, it looks like crap printed out, so I may just chuck the whole government aesthetic of what I am doing and put it together in something that is basic, readable, and appealing. The basic idea is to do booklets that cover a villain team of four to seven bad guys, and perhaps compilations of solo villains with five to ten in each. This is still in the working stages...

Tootles for now...

-- GopherDave