More prose around potential rpg idea

Yeah from time to time my universe for my rpg evolves. So I thought I’d share the current short bits of texts I’m working on as they give an idea of where universe is headed.

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“This is how it all ends.
Not with a bang, but in silence.
Not with a flash, but in darkness.
Not in chaos, but in stillness.
Everything becomes nothing.
No hope.
No fear.
No joy.
No pain.
No future.
No past.
Just the deep, all encompassing, void
The utter nothingness.
Such is the fate of life.
Such is the fate of the universe.
We are fated to become echoes.
Like countless voiceless before and to come.
This is how it all ends.”
- written on the wall in the Nexus great library

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Humanity has spread itself into the great unknown.
Yet they found not a single living sentient species.
Just ruins of countless races that came before and suddenly were no more.
Then they found the nexus.
A massive station, empty, ancient, but still working.
Great vaulted halls filled with knowledge, technology, history, and silence.
Only echoes of what once was.
The solitude does not mean peace, it does not mean an easy life.
The universe is a dangerous place and humanity may well soon become another echo in the Nexus’s great halls.

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It’s dark, cold, and lonely out there amongst the stars.
Journey across the stars as adventurers, mercenaries, pilgrims, or just survivors.
Seek out your place, carve out a future, survive against the odds.
Delve into the mystery behind the silent universe.

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The heart of the nexus is a very real thing, it’s not just an analogy, it is a literal heart, something is alive at its core, beating, pulsing, breathing life and sustaining this station. The heart is more than just alive, more than just a system, I believe it is the station, that somehow the original station is a real entity, perhaps, even in some way we don’t quite understand yet, sentient. What I do know is it that it is the reason the nexus has survived these millennia, how it keeps its core repaired and functional. What I do not know is how, or how it sustains itself.
– scientist journal entry

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The first time you connect with It it’s an overwhelming experience, it’s quite unlike anything else, a powerful other, uncontrollable, untameable, and thrilling. Then with time you come to think you are stronger than it is and you can bend it to your will, use it, control it. After a time you find you can move things with a thought, maybe effect the temperature, create, destroy.

Then you realise there is a cost to this, you are consuming yourself, losing more and more of yourself, the first time you loose control, it’s terrifyingly silent, a deep unpenetrable silence.

Your very self recoils at what’s happening but you can’t stop. The power is too much, the thrill too great. You loose yourself more and more, until the moments of silence when you are yourself become rare painful reminders of your humanity. Then one day, in one final violent silent moment you are no more, you are lost, another echo, another silent scream.
– blog post

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2013 – a glance backwards

Was going to do my normal look at the year and then look forward but then I realised that would be a copy and paste almost exactly of last years post (LINK). So instead I thought I would pick out some of my own favourite art pieces I made this year instead…

IPAD ARTWORK…

This year I got my first ever iPad, a generation 2 wifi model, and since then I have been experimenting in using it as a sketch book, canvas, and thinking about using it in live artwork sessions. These three, are I think, the best I have created in the short time with it… although nothing compared to what many can do.

EDGE:
Edge
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

REVEALED SELF:
Revealed self
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

BURNING PASSION:
Burning Passion
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

LIVE ART…

Not had as many opportunities this year to paint live, but the ones I have had have been brilliant. The biggest one being the final Roots event, where I was privileged to again work alongside Alove in the youth venue (this time trying out digital live painting) and then using traditional mediums at the final combined celebration.

IF NOT YOU WHO?: (Youth Roots 2013)
If not you who
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

ATHEISM FOR LENT series…

This was an interesting series to do, and not just for the challenge of creating 30 artworks in 40 days, one for each day of teh study, but also the study itself challenging ideas, perceptions about belief and religion. I heartily enjoyed it and although I could happily post a good number of the artworks from it here I personally think these three are my choice.

THE DISINTEGRATION OF GOD:
The Disintegration of God
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

RELIGION AS SOCIAL CONTROL:
Religion as Social Control
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

FINISHED:
Finished
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

FOR FUN…

I even managed to create some fun images this year (which I know must be shocking to some people), so to round this all off here are two of them :)

TIME’s HEROES:
Time's Heroes
RedBubble
DeviantArt
Society6

TOTALBISCUIT: PROPHET OF MISERY:
Prophet of Misery

 

So yeah, that was a quick look at 2013, hopefully more to come next year :).

Have a safe and blessed new year… laters

 

Steam Autumn Sale – 2nd December

Bit delayed but here are my picks for todays Steam Sale - http://store.steampowered.com/

24hour Offers:
The Stanley Parable: http://store.steampowered.com/app/221910/
Not played this, but I have been wanting to play this for ages, everything I have seen and heard makes me want to play it more… although play is the wrong word, experience, its more narrative than a traditional game but very fun and weird, if you want a taste that wont ruin the full version try the demo, its quick.

Tomb Raider: http://store.steampowered.com/app/203160/
Surprisingly fun, if just to run around with the bow feeling unstoppable… some jarring moments between your actions between the story moments but still a good story none the less.

Shadow Warrior: http://store.steampowered.com/app/233130/
Not played this one either but its another silly fun FPS in the vein Serious Sam (kinda), its based off an older game in case your interested.

Dust: An Elysian Tail: http://store.steampowered.com/app/236090/
Nice side scrolling brawler/rpg-esque game, was highly lauded when it first came out and for good reason, this port from the console shames others from big developers.

Scribblenauts Unlimited: http://store.steampowered.com/app/218680/
Fun, family friendly game where you create things to solve puzzles by writing them into your magic book, car needs moving, well, a giant ant might help?…. nope… hmm… burning Cthulhu… definitely not… hang on, I’ll get this…

8 hour flash sale:
Dragon Age: Origins: http://store.steampowered.com/app/47810/
I’m imagining most have played this, its an old school dark fantasy game by Bioware, them behind the awesome KOTOR and Mass Effect.

(TotalBiscuits video on the sale, only because it goes into more detail than me… and its his job…https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHzH_3KFYbM )

Steam Autumn Sale – 1st December

Quite a few offers today…

24hour Sale:
Portal 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/620/
Portal Bundle: http://store.steampowered.com/sub/7932/
I adore the portal series, the first portal was such a pleasant surprise and briliant experience as you solve puzzles using portals (see what they did there with the name), and experience GLaDOS :) … honestly I cannot recommend these games enough, the second one introduced a separate coop campaign where you play as two robots.

Torchlight 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/200710/
Another must buy as far as I am concerned. Its an “action RPG”, diablo-clone, or whatever you want to call it, basically its isometric game you run around, kill monsters, get random loot, and explore dungeons… its seriously intensely good fun, which of course you can invite your friends to join you in. If you want a more serious (almost “grim-dark” :)) alternative that is also free give Path of Exile a look (http://store.steampowered.com/app/238960/)

Civilization 5: http://store.steampowered.com/app/8930/
I am by no means an expert or at all knowledgeable of the Civ series, but I have lost many hours to Civ 5, and with its own expansions, and moding scene, its an expansive game as you build your little civilisation and reach for the stars.

Far Cry 3: http://store.steampowered.com/app/220240/
Not played, but its a solid FPS by all counts, with a mostly open world feel, as you explore an island and SURVIVE! Been waiting for this one to come on decent sale for a while :)

Metro: Last Light: http://store.steampowered.com/app/43160/
A very well regarded FPS-survival-post-apocalyptic series, also considered by some to be one of the best looking games of this year (although you will also need a beast of a PC to reach that level of beauty-ness-thingy). It is also, if I remember correctly, a difficult game, especially if you play (as some recommend) on the “Ranger Mode” difficulty (although annoyingly this is DLC)

Wolf Among Us: http://store.steampowered.com/app/250320/
So tempting, by the same people behind the Walking Dead point and click, but based in the world of “Fables” where the story book characters have ended up in our world (basically what “once upon a time” wishes is was).

Godus: http://store.steampowered.com/app/232810/
A Monlyneux, you insane dreamer you, this game is NOT complete, by any stretch, but if you love Populus or other such god-sims then this may be worth a look, HOWEVER, some of the current design decisions do leave a lot to be desired, so perhaps avoid onlt until its actually finished

8hour Flash Sale:
No experience of any of them but heard that Just Cause 2 (http://store.steampowered.com/app/8190/) is kind of insane fun

Steam Autumn Sale – 30th November

Another day, another bunch of game on the Steam Autumn Sale (http://store.steampowered.com/)

24hour offers:
The Witcher 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/20920/
A proper grown up RPG,  a dark world for sure, and it is for mature audiences, and it also a brilliant game (based on series on novels btw)… the third (and last) in the game series is in development and looks like it could be the best yet, but in the mean time pick this one up.

Batman: Arkham City GOTY: http://store.steampowered.com/app/200260/
Second in the strong series of games, well if you like third person brawling games where you get to whiz around the place as batman throwing batarangs,  using ziplines, and other bat gadgets… and who wouldn’t like it, I mean come on… I’m Batman!

Shadowrun Returns: http://store.steampowered.com/app/234650/
A mostly faithful interpretation of the pen and paper RPG, the bundled story is ok, but the true depth comes from the steam workshop with people stretching this indie title to create more and more stories. The new DLC next year promises to fix many of the niggles from this launch but either way at this price, this is a decent isometric turn based RPG.

Borderlands 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/49520/
Not the biggest saving on this one but its a fun FPS and its MMO like tendencies with weird loot drops for weapons etc does add a little something, its also a bit insane, strongest feature is that you can grab three mates to do a four player play-through.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare: http://store.steampowered.com/app/219640/
I
ts a medieval multiplayer FPS… yup… axes, swords, bows, shields, maces, clanging steal… the works… not played it but frankly it does sound fun :)

8 hour flash sale:
Not really played any of them,  but…

Max Payne 3: http://store.steampowered.com/app/204100/
well I started to playthis but never really got anywhere, but its a Max Payne game, seemed decent enough and at 80% off its worth the risk.

Serious Same 3 BFE: http://store.steampowered.com/app/41070/
90% off… come on… its an old school hectic FPS… give it a go… which reminds me I really need to finish this…

Steam Autumn Sale – 29th November

Had been doing these looks at the sale on facebook, then realised its probably easier to do them here and post link of facebook etc :)

So, yeah third day of Steam Autumn Sale (http://store.steampowered.com/)

24hour offers:
Saints Row IV:  http://store.steampowered.com/app/206420/
Not played this but have watched a play-through… Its insane, stupid, pointless, occasionally crass, but really quite stupidly insane fun (especially with a mate)… you get superpowers!

Bioshock Infinite: http://store.steampowered.com/app/8870/
A very strong story touching on quantum physics and metaphysics/philosophy, its by no means a strong FPS, but the lore and story make up for it, especially at this discount. The new DLC set back in Rapture could be good but second part isnt out yet so too early to tell.

Dishonored: http://store.steampowered.com/app/205100/
I have to admit I really liked this game, yeah the AI is a bit dim at times but playing this game trying not to kill anyone and never being detected adds to it and makes it way more fun (in my books :)). DLC is reduced, the two part story (Knife of Dunwall, and The Brigmore Witches )  I have heard is good but not played it those two yet :) (if you do think you will want the DLC then the Game of the Year version is best value, basically gives you game for free, but it does give you some DLC that may make game a bit easier if that bothers you)

Counter Strike GO: http://store.steampowered.com/app/730/
If you liked CS:Source, or are a fan of team focused PvP FPSes, this is a must (although if you want epic scale pick up Planetside2… its free :)https://recruit.soe.com/recruit/smlanding.action?iId=VFK94Y335J1CX4IKKSR4&gamecode=PS2)

EuroTruck Simulator 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/227300/
I have heard this one will suck hours away from you as you end up driving a truck across Europe… surprisingly addictive (hence why I havent played it :))

8 hour flash sale:
Half Life 2: http://store.steampowered.com/app/220/
(Half Life Complete - http://store.steampowered.com/sub/715/)
What do you mean you haven’t played Half Life 2 (and its two episodes)… PLAY… IT! Even better get the Half Life complete and play Half Life 1 if you haven’t… or wait until Black Mesa is finished :))

The the other three games in the Flash Sale, Trine 2, Spelunky, and Roller Coaster 3, I’ve not played but have heard good things about Trine 2 and Spelunky especially.

Time passes…

Wee update type post, so where are things…

Well the “Atheism For Lent” series went well, it was a challenge but fun to do, so I have decided to do similar “30 day” challenges each with its own theme. The first being “the human figure” which is a subject I really need to improve on, the next I am not sure but my hope is that these intense periods will help take my skill up a notch.

The Final Roots has been and gone, I was very pleased with the digital work I created at the two youth sessions (here and here), and the three pieces I created in the final united celebration were ok but at the end of a tiring couple of days not my best, but still happy that they portray the weekends challenges and themes, celebration and a call to social action (here, here, and here).

It was also my first real gig doing digital work and although it worked well, taking my beast of a PC is not practical, however it appears that an iPad may be a viable solution looking at what I see in the art mags I read. Using something that portable would mean it could be alot cheaper for me to get around the country if people wanted to hire me as I would not be stuck to using my car.

What else, not a lot really, haven’t managed to do much else with RPG setting had a few ideas here and there but its really just a side project at the moment. Still the world is more formed and I even have ideas about the systems, so little steos :).

So yeah… until next time… laters

RPG – Back Page Blurb…

I have been working on and off of this sci-fi setting for an RPG for a bit now, and I think I have a good enough idea of its form to write the “back page blurb” (you know that bit thats on the back page and sums up the book), so here it is and hopefully this means I may actually do some more work on this now :)

“The Nexus”

Hidden away in the strange void known as hyperspace there is a place that has been used as a neutral place for diplomacy and trade by countless races, many of which now live only in the memories of the great library which lies at the heart of its sprawling honeycomb. It has seen countless wars, extinctions, plagues, prosperity, and times of peace and is known simply of “The Nexus” its origin is unknown as is much about its enigmatic and ancient monk like guardians, “The Gardeners”.

The multitude of alien races that call our galaxy home use The Nexus’ vaulted cathedral like Great Library as the chambers for the millennia old “Council”. Which is where a representative of each race that uses the Nexus may speak and be heard as equals. Its aim is to avoid interstellar wars and forge greater ties, more often than not it is a bureaucratic quagmire.

Humanity stumbled across the nexus just over 75 years ago and quickly took to the opportunities interstellar travel provided them. They have spread far and wide, but the welcome they have received from many of the other races has been less than hospitable, there has been many skirmishes and a few short wars as humanity struggle for their place among the stars. Then 10 years ago humanity went to war with an alliance of races angered by humanities recent actions and aggressive expansion, two years ago the war ended in a ceasefire and the rebuilding has begun.

The year is 2xxx humanity is divided, colonies are declaring independence from a distant and troubled earth-system. Tensions between many races are at boiling point, as a seemingly ancient prophecy comes to pass, rumours persist that stars are going dark and that the time of “the black sky” is approaching.

——————————————

So there you go, firstly I think the game will be human PCs only (at the moment) and that the Nexus itself is a key area of the setting, basically imagine Babylon 5 or DS9 but the size of a planet. Anyway, will hopefully add more stuff when I can :)

2012 stuff… 2013 stuff…

So, 2012 has gone (well, is going) to the place where ever the past is.

Been an interesting year, worked at various summer camps/events, been doing more work for LThan3, and various other little bits and pieces here and there, still not enough to “live” (i.e pay all bills, food, etc) but enough to keep me busy at least. Still really enjoying the times I get to live artwork, hopefully have more opportunities for that this coming year.

Anyway, thats 2012, what about 2013?

Well, I have some plans, which is really why I am writing this in the vein hope that by making it public I will actually do them :), so in no order what-so-ever, what I have planned for 2013…

  • Start streaming 2-3 times a week for at least a couple of hours
    • got some software I can use now in conjunction with new PC
    • also new stream channels:
    • mix of practice and actual artwork
  • Get adverts out to places to try and get more business in
    • Will need to think about how best to advertise
    • Want to promote live art and “instillations”
    • as part of this try and use my Facebook and Google+ page more?
  • Try and get an exhibition or two (may be more possible with funding from this?)
    • Will need more traditional artworks to really do this as too many still dont accept digital work
    • so will need to experiment with physical and digital art techniques
    • Trying out oils, different surfaces etc
  • Work and try and get initial version, of the setting at least, of my sci-fi rpg done
    • Initial idea has formed and basic framework for universe
    • Need more detail and drive
  • Timetable my days a bit better
  • Restart diet
    • not really gained much in last few months but need to start losing again
  • Read more
    • Got a new book on the go, and a couple others I want to read

Think that about covers it, just a small list, I am not calling these “resolutions” or any such rubbish, simply these are things I have been working on/towards for a while and just need to write down to make sure I am more focused.

Anyway, hope you all have/had a blessed Christmas/Holiday Season/New Year/End of December/whatever :)

Laters