Monday, December 31, 2018

2018: The Year in Review

Photo: Justin sitting in his office prepping to
speak at panels during Aethercon VII 2018.

My 2018 in Overview – 
 
Published in 2018: 475+ Maps (250+ sans BBM), 990+ VTT Elements (360+ sans BBM), 76 Advertisement Designs, 36 Adventures (2 Hardcover Books), 12 Product Logo Designs, 6 Kickstarter Designs (raising more than $285,000.00 USD), 7 Web Applications, 3 Decks of Cards, and 2 Website Designs.

Misc in 2018: 14 Topical Blog Posts, 40 General Blog Posts, 6 Streaming Podcast Appearances, 3 Convention Panels, 43 scheduled meetings, and (8) 5-Star Reviews from EZG including one nomination for product of the year.

My 2018 In Detail –
  • Big Book of Maps Volume 1 (230+ Maps) Published (Became Best Silver Seller at DTRPG)
  • Published the complete Fantasy Icon Series (620+ Map Icons)
  • Big Book of Maps Volume 2 Kickstarter success – Out-funded Volume 1
  • Published the first quarter of the Starship Builder Kit series (100+ Starship Segments)
  • Mini-Dungeon Tome (130+ Maps & 30+ Adventures I wrote) was Published
  • Published 5 Volumes in the Alien Planetscapes series (45+ Maps)
  • Published 5 Volumes in the Adventure Starscapes series (54+ Maps)
  • Published 5 Volumes of the Planet Portfolio series (60+ VTT Elements)
  • Holiday-Themed Mini-Dungeon series published (6 Adventures + 6 Maps)
  • Released about a quarter of the Science Fiction Maps for the BBM2 Project (35+ Maps)
  • Released first half of Science Fiction Map Icons for the BBM2 (200+ VTT Elements)
  • Cartography published in the Carcosa adventure (5 maps)
  • Published the first 5 VTT Map Sets for Dungeon Crate (5 maps)
  • Two PFRPG Spell Decks I designed were published and a third deck for Heir & Back Again
  • Developed 7 Web Applications, including: Mini-Dungeon Adventure Assistant, BBM2 Digital Distribution Tool, Backer Management Apps for MDT, Occult Secrets and Adventure Omnibus, and 2 new application interfaces for Adventureaweek.com
  • Designed 6 Kickstarters (raising more than $285,000.00), including: The Big Book of Maps Volume 2 (funded $23K+), Occult Secrets of the Underworld (funded $11K+), Tales of the Old Margreve (funded $105K+) “The Dreams in Gary’s Basement” Gary Gygax documentary (funded $120K+), Adventure Omnibus (funded $25K+), and another Kickstarter project that doesn’t launch until January.
  • 12 New Product Logo Designs, including game series, company logos, and even some gaming-themed booze!
  • I was consultant on the Gary Gygax documentary by Dorks of Yore, and supported the technical aspects of the fundraising project.
  • 76 Advertisement Designs including Print, Web, and Social Media for nearly two dozen add campaigns including AAW Games, Kobold Press, PTA, and others.
  • AetherCon VII contention website and applications.
  • And, finally, a vast plethora of “off the record” technical support to dozens of my friends and peers in the gaming industry including maintenance of the Adventureaweek.com website.
It’s been a very busy year, and next year looks to be even more so. 

Reflecting back on this year’s productivity, I’m pretty happy with what all was accomplished. I had hoped to do a bit more, but that will become my 2019 goal. Thanks to all my publishers and game companies who hire me for freelance work. And to the fans who make it all possible! It’s because of you that I get to live the dream. 

I'm sure there are a few things I overlooked adding, but that was the gist of my 2018 creative output. Here's to a great 2019!

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Weekly Adventure Hook #000 ~ Tall Tales & Dragon Tails



Adventure Hook Index Card #000. A new card released every Saturday on Twitter by .

 


Tall Tales & Dragon Tales

The adventurers find themselves taking respite at the Shattered Inn & Tavern in the small town of Shadowfen. Though the food is barely passible, the ale is of superb quality. While they make use of the establishment’s amenities, an old drunken veteran, named Clifton Calises, limps his way into the tavern and orders a meal. As the old warrior partakes of his dinner he begins loudly telling stories about the adventures of his youth to any patrons who will listen. One story is about his final adventure: his adventuring allies were killed by a fierce dragon. He barely escaped with his life. They were seeking a magical totem known as the Warrior’s Heart which grants the strength of ten men any who wear it. The tavern-keeper, Braun Stilton, rudely interrupts the story by shouting, “No one wants to hear your drunken fantasies and tall tales again old man! Stop telling your lies, and eat your meal before I toss you out!”

The admonishment hushes the man to grumbling silence as he finishes his meal, but if requested to do so, Clifton will continue his story: They had uncovered the location of the artifact, but found it guarded by a fire-breathing dragon which killed his friends. He still has a map to its location, but has always remained too afraid to return. He will sell the map to the adventurers for moderate sum if they will agree to kill the dragon and return its head to him to be mounted in his home.

His story is true, the artifact does exist, and the map leading to a small cavernous complexabout a week’s journey away is accurate. The cavern is guarded by an adult red dragon. The artifact (actually known as the Slayer’s Plight) does grant its wearer a substantial enhancement to strength, but also carries a curse. Any dragon within a mile of the artifact is magically drawn to it and compelled to consume its wearer. The curse cannot be removed without destroying the artifact. It can be found in the dragon’s hoard within the cave.

Monday, December 10, 2018

December 2018 Exclusive Dungeon Crate VTT Map Set Released!

My exclusive December 2018 virtual tabletop map set for Dungeon Crate is ready to roll. Subscribers can find a new VTT map set and other digital goodies in every month's digital crate (included as part of the monthly subscription). Check out DungeonCrate.com to find out more about getting a monthly box chock full of amazing tabletop RPG resources mailed directly to your doorstep.

Subscribe to Dungeon Crate to get your monthly

Monday, November 26, 2018

Praetor's Rejects • Streaming : Disaster on Bluegale Glacier VTT

Praetor's Rejects (praetorsrejects.com) announced they will be running "Disaster on Bluegale Glacier", the holiday-themed Mini-Dungeon I wrote for AAW GAMES. Scheduled for mid-December. Check out their website, Discord server, and Twitch channel.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

November Exclusive Dungeon Crate VTT Map Set Released!

My exclusive November virtual tabletop map set for Dungeon Crate is ready to roll. Subscribers can find a new VTT map set and other digital goodies in every month's digital crate (included as part of the monthly subscription). Check out DungeonCrate.com to find out more about getting a monthly box chock full of amazing tabletop RPG resources mailed directly to your doorstep.

Subscribe to Dungeon Crate to get your monthly exclusive VTT Map set! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

AAW Games • Adventure Omnibus

Another Kickstarter I designed is live! The Adventure Omnibus Kickstarter combines every single A, B, and C-series adventure released by Adventureaweek.com (AAW Games) from 2010-2018. The collection is housed in a series of four hardback books and includes 57 full-size adventure modules. Some of the titles even include cartography I did for the series.



Adventure Omnibus -- Kicktraq Mini

Check out this awesome series of books on Kickstarter. Pledge, and get over 2000 pages of adventures plus a collection of additional PDFs in the "Mega Bonus PDF Bundle" which grows with additional adventures with every unlocked stretch goal!

Disaster on Bluegale Glacier

One of my new Mini-Dungeon Adventures was released by AAW GAMES. "Disaster on Bluegale Glacier" is a holiday themed adventure for 4-6 characters levels 9-10. Available for both Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition and Pathfinder RPG.

"Every year, upon the eve of the Winter Solstice, the beloved priest of the Temple of Bluegale Glacier visits the nearby village of Winteredge to bless the denizens, provide a magnificent feast, and gift small magical baubles to children. This year things don't go according to plan!"

Monday, November 19, 2018

Live on the Mythwits Podcast • Talking Tabletop Cartography & Retro Video Games

https://aetherforge.com/mythwits/
I'll be a guest on the Mythwits podcast this evening live at 9:00 PM EST discussing cartography and creating maps for games; and who knows what else. Swing and check it out, and throw some questions at us!


Friday, November 9, 2018

AetherCon VII Schedule

http://aethercon.com/
AetherCon VII is going on this weekend November 9 – 11, 2018. Find out more at aethercon.com.
Panels I’ll be involved with this weekend at AetherCon Online RPG Convention:

(Panel) Marketing Your Game ~ Friday, November 9 @ 3 – 4:30PM EST [Get Ticket]

(Q&A) Live Industry Q&A ~ Saturday, November 10 @ 8 – 9PM EST [Get Ticket]

(Panel) Technology & Tabletops ~ Sunday, November 11 @ 3 – 4:30PM EST [Get Ticket]


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Dreams in Gary’s Basement: A Documentary on Gary Gygax

I'm ecstatic to announce the launch of this kickstarter from Dorks of Yore! I posted about this effort earlier in the year, and I'm honored to have the opportunity to play my own small role in helping this vision come to fruition as the campaigns consultant and designer.

"The Dreams in Gary's Basement: A Documentary on Gary Gygax" is a documentary about the life of Gary Gygax and the world-changing advent of Dungeons & Dragons.
 "Gary's work has woven itself into the fabric of our culture, yet there is no monument to recognize him, not even in his own hometown. We intend this project to be a filmic monument of sorts – a high-quality, emotionally engaging record of Gary’s story that can be appreciated by gamers and non-gamers alike for generations to come."
Check out the amazing film trailer in the video above, and then click here to check out the Kickstarter. It was fully funded in less than half a day, and is available as a digital movie, DVD/Blu Ray, or as a multi-disc Collectors Set with additional interview footage.

The Dreams in Gary’s Basement: A Documentary on Gary Gygax -- Kicktraq Mini

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Tales of the Old Margreve Kickstarter



I've designed another Kickstarter for Kobold Press! "Tales of the Old Margreve: 5th Edition Forest Adventures" is a title I'm also looking forward to adding to my own gaming library.
"Forests in fantasy roleplaying games are dark places, full of secrets. With this project, we bring the Old Margreve to the 5th Edition of the world's most popular RPG. The Margreve is an ancient, enchanted forest that defends itself from those who come to cut its timber, poach its creatures, or steal its magic. Within its borders the Old Ways are strong, the word of the druids carries great weight, and griffons, dragons, and stranger creatures nest and hunt, undisturbed by humans, dwarves, or other lordlings."
Tales of the Old Margreve is available for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, and you can get all the details by clicking here.


Tales of the Old Margreve: 5th Edition Forest Adventures -- Kicktraq Mini

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Miniature Mayhem Paint-and-Take Event #2

The Final Fantasy diorama that I painted for
Miniature Mayhem #2 on July 28, 2018. Miniatures
from Reaper Miniatures.
Continuing with the monthly series of local events I'm running here in Hopkinsville, Kentucky for our local game group, Miniature Mayhem is a paint-and-take event schedule for the last Friday of every month.

RPG miniatures, paint, supplies, and dinner provided free of charge for attendees. Open to members of Hopkinsville Adventurer's Guild for Tabletop Roleplaying by RSVP only.

You can see photos from each of the gatherings on the event's Facebook page. I'll be posting here each month with the miniature(s) I painted during the event. I also have a DeviantArt gallery dedicated to the miniatures I've painted.

This month I decided to paint a diorama based on one of my favorite retro video games, Final Fantasy from the original Nintendo/Famicom 1987 release.  Fun fact: Final Fantasy and I share the same birthday (December 18).

Final Fantasy official artwork, trailers, characters, merchandise, and music is copyrighted to Square Enix.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

New VTT Maps Exclusive to Dungeon Crate Subscribers!

I've created a new exclusive cartography series for Dungeon Crate subscribers. A new virtual tabletop (VTT) digital map will be included for download in the digital crate sent out each month with the physical Dungeon Crates.

The first in the series has been released with the July 2018 crate. 

Each map is provided in three versions (VTT-ready, player print handout, and GM reference).

These maps won't be available anywhere else, so be sure to snag them each month along with the stash of other fantastic loot in the Dungeon Crate digital crates!

Want to find out more about DungeonCrate? Visit dungeoncrate.com to learn about the awesome tabletop RPG accessory subscription box service!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Gaming Gang Reviews Wrath of the Jotunn & Into the Wintery Gale



The Gaming Gang reviewed Wrath of the Jotunn (Into the Wintery Gale) on their podcast back in February of this year. Unfortunately, I didn't see it until now, and wanted to be sure to share.

I really appreciate the hard work folks put into providing reviews -- I know it's not an easy task. So, if you or your blog review something I wrote, please feel free to send me a link so I can share it!

The review begins at about the 40-minute mark of the episode.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

2018 ENnie Nomination for Adventureaweek.com!

I am excited to see that Adventureaweek.com was nominated for a 2018 ENnie Award for Best Website. I've spent a good deal of time this year tweaking and adding features, maintaining, and migrating the service over to a new server to enhance user experiences. Even more big plans forthcoming (or already in the works). I'm proud to see the site in the running.

Voting is open now! Tons of great products, services, and publishers in the lineup for a plethora of award categories.

Voting is open until next Saturday (July 21)! Go show your support for your favorite tabletop gaming content creators

Live Broadcast Summer Roundtable Podcast


I'll be the guest on tonight's live-broadcast "Summer Roundtable" podcast for Aethercon Online Tabletop Gaming Convention. I'll be discussing maps and general gaming in a casual discussion with host Peter Bryant (TSR Podcast Network & Mythwits) and fielding audience questions.

Starts tonight at 9:00 PM EST [Edit: Click here to access the recording of the live broadcast]


Occult Secrets of the Underworld Kickstarter

I've designed another Kickstarter for AAW Games / Adventureaweek.com, this time for an expansion to their amazing Underworld setting (Underworld Races & Classes, Rise of the Drow). I also contributed design to the book itself. The project is fully funded, and you can check it out by clicking here.

Occult Secrets of the Underworld is available for Dugneons & Dragons 5th Edition as well as Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. 

The untold vastness of the realms below beckons, and for the first time, we unearth the mysterious occult traditions of the Underworld. Surface-dwellers can now lay their eyes upon the concepts of the Red River that binds all, attain amber enlightenment and transcend the bounds of the flesh with unique and potent magitech! Psychic poisons, mesmerizing spores and the damned of Hel await your command!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Miniature Mayhem Paint-and-Take Event #1


The "Pathfinder RPG" red dragon that I painted for
Miniature Mayhem #1 on June 29, 2018. Miniature
from Reaper Miniatures.

I've started a monthly series of local events here in Hopkinsville, Kentucky for our local game group. Miniature Mayhem is a monthly paint-and-take event.

RPG miniatures and paint supplied free of charge for attendees. Open to members of Hopkinsville Adventurer's Guild for Tabletop Roleplaying by RSVP only. The event is scheduled for the last Friday of every month.

You can see photos from each of the gatherings on the event's Facebook page. I'll be posting here each month with the miniature(s) I painted during the event. I also have a DeviantArt gallery dedicated to the miniatures I've painted.

While I'm far from a professional (only picking it up last  year after a 20-year hiatus from childhood), I truly enjoy the process and the meditation it provides, and look forward to sharing the experience every month with my gaming friends.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Fantasy Map Bundles on Fantasy Grounds & Steam


Big news for those who love (VTT) Virtual Tabletop Gaming and the Fantasy Grounds platform. My massive cartography bundles for Fantasy Adventure are now available (fully-compatible with Fantasy Grounds) on the official Fantasy Grounds store as well as DLC on Steam.

The available sets include the following fantasy map themes:
Each bundle contains unique maps (they are not repeated between the sets), and the entire collection consists of more than 150 high-resolution VTT-ready maps!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Carcosa from Dark Naga Adventures

I'm excited to see "Carcosa" for 5th Edition by Keven Watson (from Dark Naga Adventures) launch today on Kickstarter! This adventure is the fifth and final part of the Haunting of Hastur Series, and boasts cover art created by Catia Fantini with interior art by Brian McCranie.

I created the cartography for this amazing project (5 full-color maps), and I'm looking forward to seeing the adventure go into publication! Check out this fun and exciting conclusion to the Haunting of Hastur!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Alien Planetscapes

I am excited to announce the release of a new free series from Paths to Adventure!

Each of the Alien Planetscapes volumes contains a series of eight high resolution full-page encounter maps designed for a specific planetary environment. These eight can be combined to create a seamless 34" x 22" planetscape. The series includes clean, hex, and grid versions of each map.

A combined super high-resolution 600 dpi (68" x 44") version of the poster map is also included with each volume.

I attempted to include a wide theme of environment that would fit most planetary encounters, and hope the variety will lend well to both science fiction as well as fantasy battle map.

These are a companion series to my free "Space VTT" series, and have been designed for compatible use in your favorite virtual tabletop software.

The series includes the following themes: Icy Planet (arctic/wintery), Rocky Planet (mountains/desert), Cratered Moon (desolate wasteland), Verdant Planet (forests and groves), Swamp Planet (marshes and stagnant waters).

You can download Alien Planetscapes from DriveThruRPG.






Thursday, May 10, 2018

New Adventureaweek.com Upgrades

Much of my schedule over the past week has been taken up completing several major upgrades to the Adventureaweek.com service. In addition to tweaking several plugins and creating some custom code to handle the way that the site management it handles, I also oversaw the transfer of the entire site to a new upgraded and more secure server. Subscribers should experience a dramatic enhancement in service performance as well as increased functionality -- and several annoying gremlins squashed. More upgrades and additions are planned for the service later this year, but AAW Games will be running the new stable version of the site so I can work out any remaining kinks in the meantime.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Adventure Starscapes

I am excited to announce the release of a new free series from Paths to Adventure!

Each of the Adventure Starscapes volume contains a series of high resolution full-page starscapes (space / star maps) including clean, hex, and grid versions. The eight variants can be combined to create one massive 34” x 22” seamless starscape.

A combined super high-resolution 600 dpi source file (that can be used as a 68" x 44" starscape) is also included with each volume.

Volume V includes an entire bonus starscape series themed for "deep space".

I tried to create a wide theme of styles from the darker depths of deep space, to sparse nebulae, to star nurseries, to brightly colored themes that will work for hyperspace / drift travel.

These are a companion series to my "Planet Portfolio" series. And are now included in the Space VTT Set subcategory of products from Paths to Adventure, and are perfect for Virtual Tabletop science fiction gaming.

You can download Adventure Starscapes from DriveThruRPG.

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241680/Adventure-Starscapes-I?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241833/Adventure-Starscapes-II?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241855/Adventure-Starscapes-III?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241903/Adventure-Starscapes-IV?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/241905/Adventure-Starscapes-V--Deep-Space-Bonus?manufacturers_id=10213

http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/186504/Planet-Portfolio-I?cPath=25973_30242

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Big Book of Maps Volume 2 (April 2018 Summary)

The April 2018 Month-End Summary update for "The Big Book of Maps for Tabletop Roleplaying Games - Volume 2: Science Fiction" has been posted to the Kickstarter campaign.

April saw the following content releases:
  • 8 Science Fiction Maps (3 Starship Deckplan Maps; 5 Locale Maps)
  • 20 Science Fiction Icons (Themes: Doors & Passages)
  • Planet Portfolio I (50 VTT Assets)
  • 4 Starship Builder Kits (80 Unique Starship Sections)

Special Funding Stretch Goal Achieved!

The very exciting news is that thanks to our late backers, who raised an additional $2,638.00 USD (bringing total funds raised for the Volume 2 project to $23,641.00).

We have unlocked additional stretch goals -- including the "biggie" -- auto-funding "Volume 3: Mini-Dungeon Maps" for all backers.

What this means is that everyone who has backed this Kickstarter for Volume 2, will also be getting the digital content and/or PDF (relative to level backed) for the next volume of maps which will focus on smaller fantasy-themed "mini-dungeon" maps.

The production of Volume 3 will not begin until the "Volume 2: Science Fiction" project is completed and fully released, but will roll into its creation phase immediately thereafter.

Late Backer Portal Extended!

The plan was originally to wrap up the Late Backer Portal on April 30, 2018. However, since backers have now auto-funded the fantasy maps for Volume 3, I will be extended that deadline by a few weeks. If you missed the Kicksdtarter, you can still get in on this huge collection of maps!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Starship Builder Kit #4: Terran Fighters

Another of my Starship Builder Kits has been released!

This Starship Builder Kit has been designed to allow you to utilize various stylized starship sections to compile your very own custom starship deckplan. You can use any graphics editing software that support PNG format to combine the pieces, drop them directly into your favorite virtual tabletop (VTT) application, or even print and cut them out to be put together to make a tabletop play map.

This series of kits is designed to allow you to mix-and-match any of the sections included herein with sections included in other sets in the series.

This product provides at least 20 ship sections as well as three sample ships built utilizing the included resources.

With Starship Builder Kits it is easy to create your own high-quality starship deckplans!

Example starship deckplans created with this Starship Builder Kit:




This product is available via DriveThruRPG!

Monday, April 30, 2018

Starship Builder Kit #3: Terran Freighters

Another of my Starship Builder Kits has been released!

This Starship Builder Kit has been designed to allow you to utilize various stylized starship sections to compile your very own custom starship deckplan. You can use any graphics editing software that support PNG format to combine the pieces, drop them directly into your favorite virtual tabletop (VTT) application, or even print and cut them out to be put together to make a tabletop play map.

This series of kits is designed to allow you to mix-and-match any of the sections included herein with sections included in other sets in the series.

This product provides at least 20 ship sections as well as three sample ships built utilizing the included resources.

With Starship Builder Kits it is easy to create your own high-quality starship deckplans!

Example starship deckplans created with this Starship Builder Kit:



This product is available via DriveThruRPG!