Sunday, March 29, 2009

Scent of Decay

Besides putting the final touches on Monster Menagerie, I’ve been doing research for the next supplement, an adventure module called Scent of Decay. It has a very Lovecraft/Night Gallery feel to it, combining both horror and science fiction. Without ruining the surprise, it includes zombies, but with a sci-fi twist. It’s actually a concept I’ve thought about for many years, but this is the first time I’ve gotten a chance to actually use it.

The adventure revolves around a missing fiancée, or to be more exact, her dead body. Her father (a retired admiral) and her fiancé (a talented scientist) hire the characters to find her and bring the body snatchers to justice. In the process, the players will discover that the fiancée was not the only cadaver stolen, which leads to an even deeper mystery.

Yesterday and today I did a couple renders for the father and fiancé (see below). The father was especially tricky because my usual “sketch” style of art didn’t work very well since it made his wrinkles disappear (making him look younger than I wanted). So, I had to resort to some photoshop tricks, which I’m not entirely happy with. On the other hand, I think the fiancé came out pretty well. He’s an egotistical scientist who thinks he’s god’s gift to the universe (much like myself).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's All Downhill From Here . . .

As some of you know, I turned 40 over the weekend. Now that I’m officially over the hill, it’s occurred to me how few naps I have left in my life. This has left me both sad and somewhat sleepy.

I didn’t take my birthday off from working on my game, however. In fact, I spent much of the day working on a cover image for the Basic Rules. The current cover doesn’t have any artwork except the Imperium Chronicles logo. I originally wanted it that way to have a clean and simplified look. After doing other products, each with cover art, I’ve decided that the Basic Rules needed something too. So, on Saturday, after a couple of hours of frustration, cursing, and laying under my desk in a fetal position, I came up with the picture below. It’s somewhat generic, but I’m happy with it (because I’m a generic kind of guy).

As for today, I created a new render of the Akiak race for the Introduction of the Basic Rules. The one I had before used a Tiger image, but I wasn’t pleased with how it looked. For one thing, he was naked and nobody wants to see a naked Akiak running around. So yesterday I downloaded some clothes for the model I’m using. I chose some clothes that had an Egyptian theme because the ancient Egyptians worshipped cats so I thought that was apropos. Anyway, the second image shows what it looks like. I think it’s an improvement over the Tiger one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Watching the Watchmen

The Wife and I went to see Watchmen Monday afternoon. It had a lot more graphic violence and nudity than the original comic, so in other words, it was totally AWSOME. If you haven’t read the comic, I think the movie might be confusing for some. It’s possibly the most complex superhero movie I’ve ever seen, but I think necessarily so due to the subject matter. Btw, the Wife liked it too, even better than Mamma Mia!

Besides working on Monster Menagerie, I’ve been upgrading some of the images in the Basic Rules. I totally redid the artwork (except for crests) in the Introduction, including the playable races. Frankly, my artistic abilities are limited, but I’ve definitely improved since the Basic Rules first came out. I really like doing renders, even though I realize it’s merely a superficial part of the book.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

That's One Ugly Muse

Since it’s unseasonably warm today, shirts are now optional here at the Imperium Headquarters. Pants, however, are still required, especially among the editing staff (AKA the Wife).

I finally got an image for the cover (see below). I’ve been trying to come up with something for a while, but it wasn’t until I downloaded a new 3d model that I found my muse. In this case, my muse is a six-eyed monster with big teeth and a long tongue. The original render I did for the creature came out so well that I decided to do one for the cover too. It took several tries before I was happy, but the end product looks pretty good (at least to me).

Now that I’m getting closer to finishing Monster Menagerie, I also have a better idea of which areas need additional images. These are the white spaces at the end of sections, etc., that would look too empty if left alone. So, I’ve been trying different ideas over the last couple of days. Most of them sucked, leaving me in a deep funk. However, after a false start today, I came up with one that’s kick-ass. It features two reptiles with the image of a dragon behind them (see below).

Just as an update, I need another seven monsters before I’m done with the General Creatures section. That leaves just the New Abilities section left to finish, so I’m right on schedule.