Archive for the ‘Stygian Fox’ Category

FSLN, an ENnie nomination, and more on The Dare

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

A whole bunch of stuff to get to, so let’s not waste any more time babbling on or apologizing for yet another post that took forever to get out, shall we?

First up, good news on the latest book project we’ve been working on. Fear’s Sharp Little Needles, a vast collection of small, modern day scenarios for Call of Cthulhu by Stygian Fox, has finally been sent to the printer for approval (the .pdf has already been released to Kickstarter backers. I won’t go into details, but goddammit, it was another last minute struggle to get the files to play nice with the printer. Adding to the delay were a few rounds of editorial corrections and typos that needed to be fixed (I think at one point I had a list printed out that was 27 pages long). At any rate, I’m hoping we’ll get the proofs back soon and be able to approve them, and get the physical book into people’s hands.

Second, we found out that Hudson & Brand has been nominated for an ENnie award! H&B is up for Best Electronic Book (why, you ask, when it’s out in physical form? Apparently there was some misunderstanding between SF and the GenCon committee), and a bunch of other Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green products have been nominated for a number of awards as well. It’s pretty amazing that both games are dominating the awards field this year, and it’s a testament to the outstanding quality from both companies.

Meanwhile, work slowly continues (when I have the time) on the artwork for the new Feed the Shoggoth! expansion. I want to get the final pieces at least 75% done before I go live with the Kickstarter, as I refuse to have a huge lag time between the KS completing and actually going to the printer with the expansion. I’ll post another piece of art here soon.

 


 

The Dare Development Journal Entry #2:

A couple of weeks ago, Bret at Sentinel Hill Press posted an update regarding the design of The Dare. All around, feedback on it has been positive; Kevin Ross has also given it his stamp of approval, and is digging the retro look. Here’s the example that was posted on The Dare’s Kickstarter page:

One challenge with The Dare so far has been attempting to accurately nail down which fonts are going to best emulate those that were used during the period of Chaosium’s “Golden Age”. If I remember what Charlie Krank told me, back when I was freelancing for him and visiting the Chaosium offices, they were probably using something like PageMaker. Or possibly doing all the typesetting and such by hand, using some early variant of HTML-type tagging. Whatever the case may be, there’s no concrete reference files that I can use, so I’m basically eyeballing everything and winging it, keeping in mind the relative lack of fonts back then (which means no Papyrus then…*snif*). For example, with that boxed text on the right page, it took a bit of trial and error to figure out the fonts for the header and main text (which ended up being Helvetica).

After the above sample was posted on the Kickstarter, someone (specifically Jon from the Misk. U Podcast) made the observation that the page decoration on the outer edges of the pages were too dark, and thus distracting to the eyes. So, when I went back and finished the basic layout of the text, I tweaked the levels a bit on them to lighten them a bit. In addition, I started placing a few pieces of art that I have:

As you can see, the lightening of the page decoration helps, but I might wash them out a little more. And something else that I didn’t notice until I processed this latest example is that the page numbers are way, way too close to the bottom edge of the pages. Not to mention that there isn’t enough space between the numbers and the columns of text. This is even more problematic on page “13”, where that image is bumping right up against the number. This required me to both move the numbers up on the master pages, but also adjust the lengths of the columns as well. A minor fix as far as time went, but an important one.

Right now, I’m awaiting the rest of the art to come in, as well as the maps. I’m hoping to have the of those elements soon.

Pre-press follies (or: how to cause yourself unending grief)

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

It’s now the end of January, and Hudson & Brand still hasn’t quite gotten to the finish line, although it’s damn close. We’re at the stage of the game where we’re trying to get things squared away with the printer, and it’s been a…struggle. Without boring you with the details (do you really care about the difference between PDF and PDF/X, or different image compression settings? No? I thought not.), there’s been quite a bit of back and forth, leading to corrections, adjustments, re-processing of files (which take quite a while, especially with all these different versions)…but the short of it is that i think we’re good now. Right now, Stephanie is awaiting the arrival of the proof copies for approval (and for me to give my stamp as well). I sure as shit hope they turn out okay.

Meanwhile, I’ve been continuing work on Fear’s Sharp Little Needles, and it’s coming along nicely. In fact, i’m in a bit of a holding pattern while i await some more art and map assets. And i managed to enlist the services of the masterful Dean Engelhardt to create the handouts. I’ve already seen some previews of them, and they look fantastic (as usual).

Also meanwhile, I’ve wrapped up another book for Pelgrane Press- this one is a supplement for the 13th Age RPG, called Book of Demons.  Not only has it been a great project overall, but i have to give a shout out to Rob Heinsoo, who is the author of the book (and co-creator of 13th Age), and has a been a pleasure to work with. In addition, he used to work for Chaosium back in Ye Golden Years, so it was cool to talk Chaosium shop with him.

Also meanwhile also, i’m FINALLY resuming work on Feed the Shoggoth! After blabbing here and there last year about starting up development on the first expansion, i carved out some time for myself last week and did some rough art for the cards. The rules are already written (with a lot of help from my friend Damon), so now it’s a matter of making the art semi-visible, and assembling everything in Illustrator. I’ll be running play tests at DunDraCon in February, but i’ll toss in a preview here as well.

Whew! I guess that’s a lot. And i can’t even talk about all the other stuff going on…yet.

Sneaking up on the finish line

Tuesday, January 30th, 2018

[EDIT: For some dumb reason, i thought i’d published this post back in November, but i apparently just saved it as a draft instead. Whoops.]

 

Hudson & Brand has proven to be one of my most complex projects to date, with no less than four different editions:

  • The Standard Edition
  • The Spirits Edition (Standard + the Spirits of London extra chapter)
  • The Immortals Edition (Standard + the Immortals extra chapter)
  • The Curator’s Edition (Standard + Spirits + Immortals)

Not to mention the extras spun off as separate PDFs, and a bunch of other stuff. At one point, Stephanie made a chart to help keep track of all of this, it was so unwieldy and confusing at times.

But i’m happy to say that the Standard and Spirits editions are damn near complete, pending approval from Mike at Chaosium. Soon after, the Immortals and Curator’s edition will be wrapped up; all by the end of the year, at latest. Whew.

Which means that Fear’s Sharp Little Needles is next. And i’m already far along with that project. Huzzah.

Projects update

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Without much further ado, here’s what’s going on with all the latest books and things I’ve been plowing ahead on as of late:

Hudson & Brand: The Cthulhu by Gaslight sourcebook by us at Stygian Fox is nearing completion, at least for the basic book (there are a few separate editions that have extra content that i’ve yet to tackle). We’ll be in approval and corrections/final fiddling mode very soon with this. If you’re a Kickstarter backer on this project, you should be seeing more frequent updates on this, i reckon.

Fear’s Sharp Little Needles: As time permits (and H&B, as that’s my top priority), i’ve been continuing work on FSLN. I’m less than halfway through this, and it’s already turning into a very beefy tome. I wouldn’t be surprised if, by the end of it all, we end up surpassing 200 pages. Call of Cthulhu Keepers are gonna really love this one.

Distant Realms: We’ve had to put DR on the back burner for now, while we finish up Hudson & Brand. I think i’m about halfway done with this book as well. 

Fall of Delta Green: Well, in some disappointing news, I’ve been taken off this project. My vision for the look and feel wasn’t quite what Pelgrane and others were looking for, sadly. It happens sometimes, and while i’m bummed, i know it’s part of the business. The good news is that they’ve already assigned me a new book to tackle, which i’ll hold off on announcing, so as to not jinx myself. 😉

The Dare: This is a small scenario project by Sentinel Hill Press; they just successfully completed their Kickstarter for the project, and we’re hoping to get it out by Hallowe’en. I’m so happy to be working on a Kevin Ross-penned project again, and am stoked about the positive response to the KS.


There’s a lot more coming down the pipeline in the next few months, but i’ll stay mum on those for now. In the mean time, i’ll put some page examples of Hudson & Brand up here in the next few days.

Be seeing you!

We won an ENnie!

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The 50th annual GenCon rolled around this past week, and Stygian Fox had been nominated for two awards: Best Adventure, and Best Electronic Book. We found out Friday that The Things We Leave Behind won for Best Electronic Book! I’m so proud of this award, on so many levels; Stephanie busted her ass to get this project off the ground, wrangled all the amazing authors and artists together, and worked long hours to get it out. Oh, and not to mention the maps. The writers were amazing, some of the best i’ve ever worked with. And Stephanie basically gave me free reign to design the book how i wanted to. For our very first book to nab two nominations, and a gold ENnie…that’s pretty damn amazing. Between this and the 2012 gold for Cthulhu by Gaslight, i feel confident in calling myself “award-winning graphic designer” :

 

So, then. With the afterglow of that award, i’d like to give two updates:

NecronomiCon: The largest HP Lovecraft convention in the world took place this last weekend, and it was a blast. This marks our third time in attendance, and again, it didn’t disappoint. We sold out of all of our copies of Feed the Shoggoth! (a big, big thanks to Arkham Bazaar in that regard), the two sessions of the game went great (with two simultaneous games springing up!), a good amount of networking, and seeing friends new and old made it once again a stellar convention. I already can’t wait until 2019.

Books: We’ve decided to move Hudson & Brand to the top of the design queue, so i’ve been working on that project pretty much exclusively at the moment. Plans are that, once H&B is completed, i’ll move back to working on Fear’s Sharp Little Needles, which is already well on its way. After that, i believe Distant Realms will be next (again, with a good amount of work already having been done on it).

Besides all that, i still have plans to do an expansion or two for Feed the Shoggoth!, and 2018 sounds like it’s going to be a huge year for Stygian Fox. The Fall of Delta Green book has been on hold temporarily, awaiting approval on various things from Arc Dream. Once i know about that particular project, i’ll definitely post an update on that.

Be seeing you,

-=Badger

New Stygian Fox Kickstarter

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Things are really heating up with us at Stygian Fox. Last year we released The Things We Left Behind, which has garnered a lot of positive attention, and i mentioned in my last post about Hudson & Brand and Distant Realms.

Well, the latest Kickstarter has reared it’s abnormally-shaped head, this time in the form of Fear’s Sharp Little Needles, a collection of 19 (!) one-shot scenarios for Call of Cthulhu 7th in the modern era. Just going live a few hours ago (as of this writing), the Kickstarter has already been funded. More stretch goals are being added, and this looks to be another spectacular collection, and i can’t wait to work on it.

It was also announced that Stygian Fox made a deal to republish pretty much all the works of Miskatonic River Press. And since i did all the design/layout on those books originally, i’ll be revamping them for release at some point in 2017. I suddenly find myself with a very, very full queue for this year…and it’s only January. *ulp*

Oh yeah, i almost forgot. I’m also working on a wee PDF release for some company called Pelgrane Press….you might have heard of them. 😉 More on that soon…which shouldn’t be too long, since my deadline is next week.

TTWLB and other musings

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

So a couple months (!) ago, i announced that my latest book, The Things We Leave Behind, was available for purchase. I wasn’t entirely clear when i mentioned that, because at the time, it was only for the PDF version.

But now, you can get the print version of it as well, by going to the same exact place, DrivethruRPG. As a bonus, if you by the dead tree edition, you’ll get the PDF for free!

In other layout news, i continue to work on Skinner’s art book. And am in early discussions with Stygian Fox regarding another RPG book, this one wildly different from anything i’ve worked on before. More on that as it develops; i’m not sure what i can or can’t say yet about it.

Part of the whole process of running a business is, you know, actually being a business. Doing so requires taking a lot of not-fun steps, in a very particular order, as i continue to find out. None of it is very difficult, per se, but it does require a fair amount of busywork, mostly involving filling out forms and paying fees to various government agencies. For example, if you want to get your Neat And Really Fun Game to be sold by distributors, you need to fill out an application. To complete that application, you need to have a State Sales Tax license. To finish that application, you have to get your business license. To get that license, you have to…

…etc. and so forth. The reason i bring this up is not to complain, but to explain that, if you’ve ever pondered getting into the gaming business for yourself (or any other business for that matter), it may sound daunting, but it’s really not. There’s just a definite path you have to take, and the process will take a while. If you wonder how to find out what the first steps are, i can tell you that what i did is go to my city’s government website (you have to, it seems, start local and work your way up/out), and i found a well-written guide on how to start a business in my town. Your city’s website probably has the same sort of thing; if not, they will have an office or two in city hall that can help you out.