Oh shit, I think I need to update my blog!

October 17, 2006

Time flies. Gencon came and went and lfe has been difficult. here’s some of what I’ve been working on.

Fall of Pileaus (FoP): The Baeg Tobar web comic that I’ve been working on is now live. Check it out here. The story is by Joseph Wise. I was really not looking to work on a regular web comic, but Joseph has come up with just the kind of political suspense fantasy story I really dig. I couldn’t help myself. Chris Summers is coloring directly over my pencils and is doing a fantastic job of making me look really, really good. Jason Hanley is doing a fine job on the letters as well. We’re updating every Weds, and theres 4 or 5 pages up already. Here are some of my character sketches for the series, as well as my pencil drawing from the cover. I don’t think these have been put up anywhere else yet.

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Cycle (the French Job 2): I’ve finally finished the second part of this multi-part job for Sebastien. My illness from the summer and some other problems caused this one to be pretty late. Way back when I finished the first part in April I promised I’d start the second part right away. And I did. Anyway, it’s done now, and i’m fairly pleased with it. This job consisted of 27 full color illustrations. Here’s a few:

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The Cycles site should be going live tomorrow. I’ll post a link to the site as soon as Sebastien tells me I can.

Sci-Fi art for Rebel Minis: I’ve done a whole mess of sci-fi art for Rebel Minis, some of which should be seeing publication soon. Rebel has continued to be one of my favorite and most reliable clients. I’ve worked on about a dozen projects for them this year and they always pay on time. Plus the work continues to be interesting.

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Recent work for rebel has included the box art for their Templars squad (above), designs for space dwarves, a Hover Tank Commander logo and a few damage chart illustrations. It’s fun stuff. I almost never get paid to draw sci-fi stuff, so I’m really enjoying it. I’m doing a nother peice of Hovertank art for them this week, so I’ll post that when it’s finished.

Neo Productions : I did a few illustrations forNate Petersens new card game. The project has been put on hold for now, but I’m just about to start another project for Nate instead. here’s one of the creature designs (based on Nates notes) from the card game. I’m looking forward to continuing this eventually.

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Fastlane Cover: I’ve been working on a cover for the new edition of Alex Cherry’s Fastlane for about 2 months now. I’ve had a lot of trouble coming up with a good design, but I think we’re getting close. I’m sending him new sketches this week. I hope we can finish this project before the end of the month.

Crossroads Omnibus 2: Travis Brown and I finally finished the 2nd issue of the CrossRoads Omnibus. We’ve had it finished since August, but as of this writing it hasn’t been released. I’ve been swamped with work and things have been just as bad for Trav. I think we’ll have it available for sale as a PDF by the end of the month. Look for it on the CrossRoads site as well as RPGNOW and Key20. Here’s the cover and one of the interior illustrations from the issue. i did a lot of nice art for this issue, and wrote what I think is a very good feature on werewolves that includes new rules for werewolves, as well as rules for playing lycanthrope characters. If you play CrossRoads you should definetly pick this issue up.

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Panty Explosion: Hey, Panty Explosion is doing pretty well. No, really. The book was released to some nice reviews and we sold out our initial print run pretty quick. New books are being printed as we speak, and will be available from your local store (if they bothered to order any) by the end of the month. With the book going back to press I took the opprotunity to do some new art. I never got a chance (because of my illness) to do all the illustrations I wanted for the book. The new version contains 2 new illustrations. One of them is below. You can check out the other at the Panty Explosion site. Its available as a downloadable wallpaper.

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New Games: I’ve got a few new games I’m working on. Travis Brown and I are developing a fantasy game called Gunmage and Gabe Sutherland and I are working on a survival horror game called I AM A SURVIVOR. Both are comong along well. Before the end of the year Matt Schlotte and I will release Classroom Deathmatch, a suppliment to Panty Explosion. My brother Nick Smith is working with us on this project and it should be awsome. We’ve been playing Classroom Deathmatch here at the house for a few weeks and it kicks major ass. I’ll put playtest rules for Classroom Deathmatch up on the Panty Explosion site by the end of the month (maybe on Halloween).

There’s a few other jobs I’m working on as well, but I’ll wait to talk about those till later this week maybe. Here’s some other stuff I want to mention first.

Rackham is screwing over its customers and fans: Rackham makes the really fun games Confrontation and Rag and the excellent line of miniatures that go with them. Recently Rackham announced that they would be making changes to both games. None (or very few) of us that play these games are happy with the changes. In the case of Confrontation they are simply messing with a game that did not need to be messed with, and this only a year after releasing an expensive new rule book . In the case of Rag (which I play much more then Con) the proposed changes do not address any of the games exsisting problems and instead create a number of new ones.

These changes are just the latest in a series of screws that Rackham is passing onto its customers. Recent blatent and shameful price hikes were just the tip of the iceberg. Rackham has started repackaging old miniatures in more expensive boxed sets, has in many cases decreased the numer of miniatures that come in boxes (while raising the price) and have stopped doing business with a long time fan favorite distributor. You can read a bit about the recent problems on Rackhams own forum here. If you like Rackham or its games I would encourage you to get on the forums and complain loudly that you do not like the direction the company is taking. I’ve said this before, but the message was not well recieved by the Rackham fan community, who claim to prefer to “vote with their money”. That won’t work this time. If you want to keep Rackham from becoming an evil empire then you must complain loudly and complain often.

My top 10 Video Games: I want to post a list of my top 10 games from this most recent generation (PS2, XBOX, Gamecube) . Why? I don’t know. I just want to. So, in no real order:

Jet Set Radio Future (XBOX): Brilliant. Graphics, controls, music, character and level designs.This game is just astoundingly good. A lot of people dismiss it as a kids game, a sports game or a music game, but what it is is a solid adventure game in the spirit of Zelda and Megaman.

Final Fantasy X (PS2) A stunningly well produced game that set the bar for every other RPG of this generation.

Metal Gear Solid 2 (PS2) Such an amazing production. Such a well made and well executed game. Was the story difficult to follow. No. You weren’t paying attention. Play it againand don’t skip the cut scenes this time.

Metal Gear Solid 3 (PS2) Of course the third one is better.

Halo (XBOX) Not the awful Halo 2, but the excellent first game. Deathmatch was fantastic and well balanced, but it was the astounding co-op story mode that put this game on my top 10.

Silent Hill 2 (PS2) I enjoyed 3 and, but 2 was just leaps and bounds beyond. Not only is this game actually shit fuck scary, but it has a fantastic story and really, really nice visuals and sound. yes the controls suck. I know. The games so good that it makes the top 10 despite that.

Dynasty warriors 3 (PS2) yes. Really. Everybody likes to give Koei shit for making the same game 12 times in a row. Fine. DW3 is amazing. The missions are well designed, the characters are cool and the controls are awsome. between Matt, Travis, Andres, Nick Jeremy and myself we must have played this game for 3000 hours. Tons of shit to unlock, tons of extra missions. Multiple campaigns that are actually fun and challenging. yes the voice acting is bad. Who cares when you can kill 3000 Yellow Turbans?

.Hack/Whatever (PS2) I love this. I love the concept. I could play this forever. I can’t waitfor the new one.

Shadow of the Colossus (PS2) Stunning. Maybe the most stunning game I’ve ever played. The amount of depth, emotion and beauty in this game is simply staggering. And it plays like a dream.

Ico (PS2) Also, beautiful. Also stunning. This game is just full of amazing moments.

Anway, because we’re talking about games I’ll go ahead and put up a picture of a character from my comic Perfect Drug dressed as Snake from MGS3. Enjoy.

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