Outland Arts Insider issue 36 March 28th, 2020 Apr 3, 2020 10:59:38 GMT -8
Post by Mutant Lord: William McAusland on Apr 3, 2020 10:59:38 GMT -8
Outland Arts Insider issue 36 March 28th, 2020
And, we're back...
First off, thanks to all of you who have asked about my recent eye surgery and well-wishing. To steal something my friend Thaddeus said about his own recent and very serious wounds, he had a Walking Dead moment when he recovered from injuries and walked out into the world to find it has all gone to hell.
To be honest, I've been somewhat quarantined since mid-September when my first retinal tear happened, and then some weeks later, the full detachment and loss of vision in my right eye. I can tell you that your world gets pretty small when you can't drive anymore, or go to the local Starbucks with your laptop and pick away at a certain ongoing expansion book.
In short, this fourth procedure was an ordeal, but not as rough as the previous one and the recovery much smoother. At the followup appointment the next morning, the ophthalmologist said he felt optimistic about the surgery.
That was a month ago now and while the retinal tear has not returned, neither has my vision to anything close to what it was before. It's a bit cloudy and blurry and I am hoping new contact lenses or glasses will fix that. Today I've stopped taking the eye drops and I'm hoping some of the blur was caused by those.
Thank goodness I have my left eye and have been able to do some freelance illustration for Goodman Games and some TME art and edits. I am only now feeling ready to tackle the Expansion Rules project again, and perhaps get back to that oil painting that is to be the cover art for the upcoming book. Here it is, folks, but keep in mind this is a work in progress. I might decide to redo it in acrylics and mixed media or go back to digital art like with most of the previous covers.
So what have I been doing besides some client work? Well, I've updated the Expansion Rules Art gallery at our site which now includes 14 galleries. Feel free to post these to your Pinterest board or blog or send to friends to help promote The Mutant Epoch.
Secondly, and a task I have found places almost no strain on my eye, is editing the Mutant Epoch Novels, first draft.
Now, for some of you, this might be the first you've heard of this project. Let me begin by saying that The Mutant Epoch RPG is based on an earlier version of this novel I wrote many years ago, but deiced to publish the RPG then go back to the novels. Well, for the last three or four years I have spent half my work time on the novels, which is a 17 book series that covers a single overarching epic adventure. More on all that at another time.
These novels take place few years ahead of the official game time of 2364 AD, and in the territory just north of the Crossroads Region called the Shallow Sea Region. The following snapshot shows the hand-sculpted 3D map of the region (in progress and measures 22 x 22"), and yes, there will be a Gazetteer book for this area just beyond Pitford.
Shallow Sea Region WIP
This second image is of a mutorg (mutant-cyborg hybrid character type to appear in the expansion rules) character from the book. It will have a working electric cybernetic eye in that empty socket, as well as be all painted and the bust will be in costume.
What's this for, you ask?
Well, many of the same characters appear throughout the book series so we need to get accurate and consistent photo reference on the models. With sculptures, we can light them differently and shoot from any angle. I'll show some more sculpts later, but keep in mind they are just for reference and I've never sculpted heads before so this is all new to me, and done with one operational eye – although I kinda wish I had an implant like Maxwell here:
Maxwell WIP sculpt
One last word on the fiction, I'll be using a pen name, at least for the last name... something people can pronounce that also separates me from my art and game design. I'll announce that when the new web site and mailing list is established.
As for the Expansion Rules, I've got some new pencils to ink, and a heap of new sketchbooks and pens and aim to get back to posting regular image updates on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, MeWe, Deviant Art, Art Wanted, Tumblr, and our website, although we will save all this art to promote the new book when posting on Enworld.org, RPG.net and therpgsite.com.
Stop by your favorite social media venue or forum and say hello!
In closing, I just want to thank Dennis and Melissa Pipes of Texas for this fantastic and thoughtful care package! Now I can fly the Texas flag in the Outland Arts studio! This great couple actually run The Mutant Epoch at North Texas RPG Con, so make sure you sign up for a game if you're attending - whenever things get back to normal, that is. Thanks so much! The Ice Pirates is tonight's family movie!
I'm sure like the rest of you, so much of my attention in recent weeks has been taken up by the COVID-19 Pandemic. I'm hearing all sorts of different timelines for when things will get back to normal, but I imagine it might be more like months rather than weeks. I will try and get something out there for you Epochians to help entertain you, so stay tuned.
In closing, I just want to again thank everybody for your kind words of support during my retinal detachment horror show, and to apologize for taking so damn long getting the Expansion Rules out. Right behind it is lots of new RPG content including the full-length adventures of Nuke Tower and Blood Road, plus one-day digs (Wizard of the Wastes) and other overdue content that just needs a final edit and art. The novels will absolutely take longer, but I'll keep you updated on the progress as we go, including a call for first readers, street team troopers, and the like.
All the best to you all in this strange and challenging time, and here's to good health, quick recoveries, and a little escape from it all now and then. Please feel free to drop me a line, with email being the paramount way of reaching me.
The Mutant Epoch
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