Saturday, January 31, 2009

First Day at Ohayocon

Anime Cons are a different beast than either Game or Fantasy conventions. First of all the age of the people is young. If I wanted to pick on someone my age I would need to pick on 2 or 3 at a time. It is, in some way, an invigorating group.

They are more vigorous and active. At the same time they are very interested in Sue's art and she is busy trying to do all of the ink and grey scale commission artwork she has been paid for. They are also plucking up a good number of prints. Well worth being here.

It gives me a chance to experience a slice of americana that is different from my standard fare. A good sensation.

Their is a lot of coverage of web comics and all things internet. They have panels, movie rooms and a very impressive dealers room and artist alley. Many of the dealers are covering the same items you would find at Fantasy conventions with weapons, jewelers, leatherworks and costume dealers. The addition of a whole range of anime/manga items rounds out the dealers room. There are DVD's, books, anime computer games, posters, comics and anime collectibles. What is not here is any evidence of traditional games or even card games.

We are seeing a lot of interesting costumes of anime and fur suites. Some are extremely well done.

Well, I need to scan some more of the art Sue has been doing. More tonight.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Still foggy, but pressing on

I have gotten Sue's print books and card book reprinted and reloaded for this weekend's con. Some updates on art for etsy and fur affinity, tox variants for DS. I am falling behind in getting other DS "stuff" up for the web. Now I have the spirit hooligans from Tuesday night that worked well and a ghost I'd like to put up, but everything takes time.

I feel like my mind is stuffed with cotton and I want to sleep, ah well, at least I got to shovel some more snow. We have gotten a good deal of snow this year up here and it gives me some much needed excersize. I'm just glad that, so far, we have avoided the ice storms like we had last year. Over all it has been a pretty average, or even easy, winter in mid-michigan.

I'm almost feeling guilty about all the things I want to write/podcast that I have not ben able to create time for.

It is almost midnight here and I think I'll stop and relax for a couple of hours.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Many things are floating through my mind.

I am taking it fairly easy today. Sue's convention trip to California has exhausted me. I am not sure how that works, but there it is.

I have added a couple of pieces to her new Fur Affinity pages. Just trying to spread out her web coverage. The page is here.

I'm going to be running another confusing episode, in what I think I'll call the Valarian Betrayal scenarios, this evening. The characters are having a lot of trouble coping with the idea that the Valarians themselves have been infected. They are finding out that blind faith is a danger in itself.

I have about decided to start writing my "Philosophy of Humanity" ideas. It has nothing to do with art, podcasting or games. The starting point of our problems came long ago with our survival instinct. The only way to create a solution to humanities social problems is to determine how they arose and what courses are available to us. I have to do something with the old philosophy degree.

I am certainly glad to have Sue back with me and I'll be giving her some TLC today and push her for work tomorrow. We have to get ready for the Con this weekend.

Have a good one!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life is Good

The first couple of days that Sue was gone to CA I got a lot of materials scanned and posted. Game Originals to Etsy and Gatekeeper to My Online Comics. After that you would think that I could get a lot done, but somehow being without my Sue dragged on to a third day and I slowed. I have spent a lot of time printing, laminating and cutting cards, but it took twice as long as it should have.

I like being alone for a couple of days, but after that, I need my Sue nearby. *sigh* Just can't have it both ways.

Tomorrow night I'll going to pick up Sue, I'm looking forward to it.

I am now just about nine days from adding another year to my age. Dark thoughts are wandering through my brain, distracting me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It has been a long day

It has been a long day of dealing with the details of preparing for two conventions. I did take three hours out to GM a game. I really wanted to get Morrice's Tavern written up for the web page, but I've spent the last few hours to handle/read/respond to the web pages, blogs and e-mails. Never enough time to get the fun stuff done.

So, I'm off to catch some shut eye and get back to it in the morning.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Working Hard, but I'm Smiling.

I have gotten the new DS cards ready for Sue to fly out with on Thursday morning.

Then Sue and I took a nice afternoon break, and well, I'm in a good mood.

We are watching our food carefully this week. Lots of yogurt and fruit meals. I need to make sure Sue's tummy is nice and calm for the big flight to Further Confusion.

I have just about got her print books caught up. Then I can get the new 11x14 prints matted for FC.

Just because I do not have enough blogs and websites to keep track of I figured I should get her set up with a fur affinity website. It's a way to let people there see Sue's newest art and hopefully get back to our other sites. I think it was tracking down flaredragon's excellent music that got fur affinity back on my mind. The site is available here.

Next I need to get a special order card done for Flaredragon, Sue just finished up the art. It will be a print available at the con too.

Now, back to it.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Face Book and Marketing

Yet more for you to digest today.

I am spending some time learning the new "social networking" protocols. like Face Book, and Twitter. The game industry we are in has been cornered and forced into a niche by a number of circumstances. Most are not the industries fault, so this is not an anti-game industry rant.

What my thinking is that we have to sally forth into the world and try to draw some people over to take a look. At conventions we are competing for a static pool of players. Our ability to grow is going to depend on bringing people to gaming. Susan has art that people "out there" like. I need to spend as much time s possible reaching out with her work and get them to follow the bread crumbs back to us. She also has her comic abilities that she has been itching to get back to.

With her art I have gotten good success on Etsy and now I've added Imagekind to the list of sites to watch/maintain. I am hoping that these sites will get people over here. We have also started the My Online Comics site to reach to another audience into our family of sites. Now I need to get our community to help spread the word on these to the non-gamers they know. I am just not sure how to do that.

I have started using twitter to announce projects completed etc. The few actual followers I have acquired are one DS person and a lot of art followers. It has the advantage of being quick and easy, plus I can use the feed on here to let you guys track what I'm doing. I paste the updates into the future LJ DS news blog using Mars Edit and post that twice a week. I'm trying for Monday and Thursday for the mass announcements.

On sites like flickr and Facebook you can share images and try to lead people back to the sites. If any of you are on one of these, let me know as I am starting to learn them and would be glad to "friend up" with you. I just put up my facebook info on the right column here. I am relying heavily on Sue, and others, for materials, so I don't expect her to do more than her current Blog.

The marks mysteries podcasts have a large audience and would be a great thing to do, but honestly between writing, recording, rewriting, rerecording and editing they take 40 plus hours for a twenty minute episode. At least they do for me. The positive aspect is we are close to 10,000 downloads.

A big problem we need to overcome is that DS is now a big daunting game, especially if you have never played table top rpg games. I need to find the time to create a new game that gets back to the simplicity of the original DS. We can even use some of the lessons learned to avoid some of the pitfalls and bumps we have had in DS. That way the new people will have some game to buy, learn, master and then move to DS - Hopefully.

Basically I want you guys to understand why I'm doing a lot of what appear to be unrelated blogging type stuff. If you understand it, maybe I can get you guys to go forth and spread the word among friends, family and beyond.

If you guys have any thoughts, suggestions etc. please drop me a comment.

It has been a productive day

I woke up this morning with, ummm, a bad attitude. I think that is a polite way of putting it. One of those days where an angry depression. I know Sue was confused early in the day as I got up, made coffee and tea and said nothing. After a half hour I finally just flat told her I was having a temper/depression problem and she has avoided me all day. Smart lady. I have no idea how I got so lucky.

Anyway, as I complete tasks I have been posting the links on Twitter and paste them in the draft for the next DS update. I have the twitter feed running on the right hand side of this blog.

Tomorrow is a day off. I'll finish up the project on the table and then get some sleep.

And the Oracle Spoke

The Oracle speaks:

In a smoke filled room deep in the clanhold the ancient creature opened its eyes. She scanned those assembled around her. From her breast arose a low deep throbbing sound. It was if an orchestra resided within her. It was a trick to be certain everyone listened carefully. That even the old were awake and alert. In a few moments the room itself vibrated from the deep base pounding emanating from the oracle. Suddenly it stopped and the oracles lips began to move.

Your people do not see the real danger. It embraces their souls while they look about themselves. They fear everything without, yet the enemy is rotting the souls of the people. They flail out at the outsiders, those they perceive as enemies. Yet it is among those enemies that the answers may be found, but only if the people can reach the power within themselves.

OK, time to get back to work.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It is Midnight Here.

I ran a game tonight. The characters are still trying to sort out the bad guys from the good guys. I ran for the "youngsters" (Now about 600 cp party). The big boys will come out when they find a suitable target. The main event tonight was the assassination attempt on a brand new Elethay Priestess. Last week she killed a Jikadell Acolyte, so, well, there you go. After the game I made him up as an encounter for the web. He is right here. Click and look.

They also met an old man (dragon) who wants to "use" them. He says he is not part of the bad valarians, the duped valarians, the rogues, Dyson's gang, Blackbanes contingent, Jikadellian, Brotherhood or with the Pylos. He claims to be a new faction, with a room down the hall from "those other guys", but said he can't/won't even prove who he is. They were discussing creating a scorecard, it is getting confusing.

I am wondering if encounters like I did with the assassin have any value to my gamer friends? Any comments?

I'm taking tomorrow off. So there.... Night!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Yes, I'm up

I am not sure why, but I started trembling yesterday in the morning and it has continued into today. It is not enough to be seen, but I'm noticing it as I type or reach for coffee. I suspect that as my 58th birthday (feb 3rd) approaches I'll be seeing a few more signs of age. All in all I'm feeling pretty good and getting some work done here.

I started my day with ye old paperwork. I have two orders ready to take to the post office, along with a bill. *yuck*

Sorry for the delay there. I stepped away to talk to Sue about Dragon Storm card sponsorships etc. She has a negotiation she is working on. The info we are learning will turn into a full write up for the web page in a few days. Now that we have the full custom card page we are finding more, and easier to handle, requests coming in.

I am digging through Sue's art storage and finding pieces we had forgotten about. I'll be continueing to scan them and put them up on Etsy for sale. It will also give us more prints to sell. Obviously e will have a greater variety on etsy than we can carry to cons.

Well, my mind is wandering to other projects so I'll go redo and repost some Beta Cards.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Take a deep breath and get to work

Now is the time of the living. Yesterday is for the Dead and tomorrow is for those yet to come. I just wish these frakkin zombies and demons would stay in yesterday, they keep popping up all over the place today. I'll show 'em all, I'm headed into tomorrow.

So, what is on the menu for today? I already covered the morning paperwork, order preps and reworked the Free PDF downloads page (got some from history in there.) Finished morning e-mail and responded to blog posts about the Public Edit cards.

Looks like I have the text for the next page in Travels of Kit from Sue. She says she has the roughs for the next Perils of Pearl for me to post to the customer. I can start the set up for Issue one of the Perils of Pearl. Our Etsy ad runs wednesday, I need to make sure it is set to go and get some new art up there.

I need to send Sue specific cards for February release. I'm liking the Decipher card ideas. Something for the GM too. We could start piecemealing out the Spiritwalker cards. hmmm. I'd like to do something with the Totem Shamans, need to e-mail Tim. I really need to get his "The Conduit" from 2005 back up (I just located it!). Sue just handed me a work order, so thats it foe now.

I know my function!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day of Fasting is over

Sue and I enjoyed a day of fasting yesterday. What we did was ate a Yogurt with Flax, bilberry jam and walnuts for breakfast Thursday and then the same this morning. What surprises me is that I did not really get hungry, I was working. I think half of my eating is habbit rather than need.

Now to get my mind around todays work. I did not finish yesterdays new cards yet. I got too distracted. So, three pages to write up first. I'll post the links on twitter as I get them up. I should probably do an LJ update with links to the write ups and remind people to participate in the final tweaking of the new cards.

The morning paperwork is done, but I still need to go to the Post Office. Not sure when, Sue says she has a commission to pack as well.

This evening I need to put some new art items up on Etsy.

I started the Rogue Clan framework (one of my distractions) on the web page so I need to finish that first. Clean up the cards and the write ups for each card. I put in some article headlines as well, so I need to do a rough of those.

I got "placeholder" art done so I can enter the titles of cards to publish this year. The actual order will be determined on getting art from Sue... and getting them through the DS Beta procedure.

I really want to get back to podcasting as well. I should do a rough for one on the new cards.

I have some old notes on another Herbalist proposal I need to start getting in shape. It will need to be discussed as a system like I did with the diseases.

I have a 2/3rds done full write up on the Brotherhood I could work on as well.

In the back of my mind I have a desire to create PDF sheets of cards and use a "donation" system to pay for them. I can use "spot" art initially and if I actually get donations I can convince Sue to do real art.

That is already way more than I can do, so I better get back to work.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Whew, I hit a wall?

After a few hours of work today my body wanted to lay down for a nap. Well, it sat me down for a couple hours and it doesn't want me to move. The ole knee is screaming nicely. I got the new proposed cards done and up for Public Editing. It is good to get people catching the errors early.

Part of the problem I have is that my Quark program is somewhat aged and it does not run well under the new OS. The spell checker is out of commission. I'm on version 6.5 and they are on 8.1 ish. So about 5 years since mine came out. I plan on doing that upgrade when the cash flow improves in the spring. Winter is never a good time for us to spend. I tried the 8 demo, I likes it a lot.

I need to take this evening and do write-ups for the new card pages and get them all prepped to go up. I am thinking that I should do a "place holder" card so the info gets up early. I can actually have the pages up and in place well ahead. I should start by Pre-Prepping the "New" card page. OK, I think I'm getting my head around this project. Start with the "New" card sheet, make a placeholder card, do the five individual pages for the web site, add the links to the new pages on the individual Index pages.

Off to the evening shift.... Mocha says that she needs her dog walk first.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Thinking, working and game prep

I don't talk much about what I do in my private life because it just is not exciting. Last night, and over lunch today Sue and I had an invigorating political discussion. I don't talk much about these because I see that our current system does not cover todays world, it is wonderful for the past, but we do not live in the past. Beyond that I'm actually afraid of the powers the current system has accrued and I do not want to be in one of there many data bases or on their list of 12 million (and growing) US terrorists. So, no comment.

Tonight I am GM'ing and I need to present a game that furthers our current theme of the dirty Valarians. Right now it is the turn of the 75-150 CP characters who are doing the scouting work. Once they identify the targets the big boys will be sent in. Now that I have updated the proposed Disease rules it is time to throw that in as well. Oh fun....

Well, I have an hour and a half to exercise, eat diner and prep the game, so I'm going to get to it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Monday's Thoughts

As usual my mind is just chocked full of possibilities and there is no way that I can deal with them all. Somehow in the back of my mind I think that I should come up with a list and then schedule a time to work on each. The problem is that the scheduling/listing becomes yet another task to keep track of. Just this moment it occurs to me that I want to do a "Foes" book for DS. Ten minutes ago the thought was not in my head.

Some minds spin out ideas at a dizzying pace. Most of the ideas are not worth pursuing, but how do you know unless you take the time to examine them? When you look you have to consider not only the ideas surface but also the kernel it comes from. If you turn the poor idea over, does it have a bright shiny idea inside? If you look superficially and dump it, have you missed a real opportunity? I think that it could be so.

Anyway, all this thinking is hurting my head. Now, herbalist? diseases? tweak blogs? comic posting? set up to show new alpha rules? study the economics of business taxes? consider eating habits? Foes book? Scenario's? get some older stories reposted? Sue's art postings? prep for FC con? give the cat a good scruffing? chase the dog? practice podcasting? Well, I better do a DS blog update first. Ohhh, art assignment for Sue for new PDF card idea? edit contest rolls for new game? rewrite Action rules for new game? what about the idea of a weekly gamer comic idea? the grandilar podcast is half done... write more on jason? write more on individual cards for DS? figure out way to put up DS and kanchaka cards on web? What about a ring special, the tattoos are starting to move? .....

I better go get something done.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A new year has begun and I'm behind

The truth is I'm going to enjoy my last couple of days as a free man and get back to work monday.

I can say that despite my many complaints about overwork, food experiences and the effects of age, I am thankful for the friends and fellow gamers that I have. I'm damn glad to be alive and to know all of you. I wish there were an easy way for all of us to see each other more.

I have been spending some cuddle time with Sue, Mocha and Mac, and enjoying the hell out of it.

I have also started putting information on Susan's new 2d6 role-playing system. Actually it is a tweaking of the DS system. The blog is here. I will get it on the main links page soon.