Monday, June 24, 2013

Because I cannot wait...

Jeff Dee sent the cover art for the RPG. I absolutely love it. Hope you do, too!

Okay... off to PA for a few days, and then back to the grindstone on the game (which I got a few more pages written of tonight on top of the 10 I did last night)...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Limping Through June

As my four-year-old daughter likes to say, I have some good news, and I have some bad news. I will give you the (relatively, albeit minor) bad news... the blog is simply not a priority right now. I know. You are shocked. Aghast. Flummoxed. Beside yourself with rage.

Whoa. Step off there, Charlie. It is only a blog. "But Mike," (you say) "I love Army Ants, and I'm going through something akin to withdrawal. This is bad news indeed. Bad, bad news."

I'm sorry. I truly am. You'll survive. Okay. I feel better. Now on to the good news.

The good news is that, even though I'm not blogging about it, I'm working like crazy on the Ants RPG. I've created a good chunk of content (maybe 15 pages) in the last few days, and have locked down all of the major concepts/mechanics/fiddly bits. I've basically ditched the entire layout approach I was taking and went with an entirely different look for the book, and I am MUCH happier with it. It went from a functional layout to a game I want to play.

This is my process: I try to work on three parts every time I sit down. I spend some time fleshing out some new material that will be later in the book, I do a layout for and edit the stuff I did in the last few days, and then I go back and do a fine-tuning on things much earlier in the book. In this way, I'm hoping to make the final edit (which will be the last week before I send it to the printer) go a little more smoothly. So, the design of the game is coming along well.

As far as blogging... I have done well with blogging when I make it part of my monthly routine. April was great... the last two months, not so much. So, I'm giving myself a free pass on the rest of June. I'm wrapping up grad school and work, going on a brief (3-day) sojourn out of town, and then getting back and getting down to business. July is all Army Ants all the time in my household (my poor wife and child will probably not see me... they will have to slide food under the door). I plan to blog daily during July for the big lead up to launch, giving progress updates on where we are, what I've done, and what still defies my will and refuses to yield to its proper place in the rules. By the way, that's exactly what happens. Some things simply refuse to work in the rules until I figure out how they are supposed to work, and then they slide in place. It's very much like a huge jigsaw puzzle, but it's only a 500 piece puzzle and you start with 5,000 pieces, only 500 of which actually fit together. I'm going to keep sorting pieces and put this thing together.

I'll talk to you July 1 and let you know how it's shaping up. Peace.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Army Ants Character Sheet

I've developed a few drafts of a character sheet and hated each one. I finally decided to draw the whole thing by hand and see where that went. I went back in and typed all the text (since my handwritten lettering didn't hold up so well when scanned) and I think it's getting there. I'm tempted to go back and make some of the boxes more uniform, but I love the organic quality of the whole thing. Feel free to give some feedback. I'll be tweaking it slightly (most likely) but this is probably where it's going... EDIT: Made several revisions and posted it again... here's the better one:

A pop quiz

1. Mike hasn't been posting much lately... this is because.

A. Mike is a total slacker.
B. Mike is busy playing Star Wars Lego III.
C. Mike is a bit overwhelmed with the end of the year at school, several grad school classes back to back, and the craziness that is life.

While I wish the answer was B, C is the correct response. I keep thinking that grad school will slow down a little, but the classes have been linked back-to-back-to-back (I'm taking 4.5 credit hour grad classes every 4 weeks) and the end of the year has been especially hectic at school. However, we're now in exam mode at school, and I'm at the end of week 1 of the FINAL course of my grad program. Therefore, the end of the tunnel is in sight.

Obviously, I didn't make my June 1 goal for releasing the Player's Guide for the MTDAA RPG, but I still hope to get it done and published this month. I'm also going to hold off for a month or two on releasing the newsletter, since I have to put the focus on the game and webcomic right now; the newsletter will get there.

And on the webcomic front, I've decided to slow my pace to a new comic twice a week - on Saturdays and Tuesdays - so that I slow my pace of moving through my backlog of strips and buy a little more time to get ahead on that as well.

I'd also like to update the blog more than once a week, but let's not get CRAZY here...

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Complete Comics Volume 1 has shipped

The collected comics Volume 1 has been shipped to Kickstarter backers (they actually went out two days ago), and the earliest estimates from Createspace had deliveries early next week. Many of you will be getting your first comics collection this week, although some of the international customers may not see theirs for a few more weeks.

I received the patches this week, meaning that I have t-shirts, patches, tattoos all here ready for shipment. I hope to put those packages together this week, along with the original art for those who ordered that - and the copies of 2nd edition - and the trading card sheets, getting those out as a priority. I don't like any of the character sheets I've designed so far, so I'm still working at that. I'd like to get those done so I can put it all in one package. We'll see what the week brings...

If you've been play testing the demo edition for the new RPG and want to submit your play test notes, please do so in the next week. I'm about to shift the RPG back to the front burner (after getting a whole bunch of comics stuff done for the last month), so if you have anything you'd like to have considered for the rules, speak now!

Thanks, all.

- Mike