Rixx in Words

Rixx In Words Portrait

This is a portrait of Rixx based on his avatar using only words. I've been wanting to do one of these for a long time, but I wasn't 100% sure how to do it. So I spent the last two days watching a few tutorials and seeing how other people make them. Thing is, most of the work I watched was frankly horrible. There are some really cheesy effects out there that people are passing off. Ultimately there is no way to make this easy, it takes a lot of time and effort to get the right effect.

To start with I had to make a "word cloud" based on the contours of the portrait. The idea is to use words to not only outline the features of the face, but also to build contours, highlights, etc. This process took me about 6hrs in total.

Here is the final word cloud.


Once that was finished the rest was easy. (!) You take the portrait and make a grayscale version and then lightly blur it and then save it as your displacement map. Then you can re-apply it Photoshop using the Distort > Displacement filter, which grabs the grayscale and applies it to the image. After that its only a matter of making the image look the way you want using layer effects, lighting, etc.

All in all I'm very happy with the results. If I ever do something like this again I'd build the word cloud in Illustrator instead of photoshop, I think it would take less time.

Enjoy!



Steel City Eve: Aftermath

A Band Apart member Grimmash hand-made me a hardcover of Empyrian Chronicles!!
This past Saturday was the first annual Steel City Eve event here in Pittsburgh. Which also happened to coincide with my own 50th birthday. My wife and I have been planning the event since about this time last year, so its been gestating for a long time. Pretty much since we got back from Fanfest to be honest. Would people come to an Eve event in Pittsburgh? We had no clue. But we went ahead and did it anyway.

The week leading up to the event started to feel a tad tense, we started getting a lot of last minute cancellations. Work schedules, family events, changes in plans, all very normal stuff. But they really started to add up. At the very least we figured it'd be us hanging out all day at the Park. And how bad would that be? We need not have worried. After everything we had 25 Eve peeps show up and I'm not counting Narook's cute little 10 month old. So 25 and a 1/2 maybe?  It was mostly my fellow fleet mates from A Band Apart, but we also had a Pandemic Horde pilot and a high-sec mission runner and a few others show up. Morg came in from St. Louis! David and his brother drove their motorcycles down from western New York. The Space Princess came all the way from New Jersey. And Narook brought his family in from Cincinnati. Plus everyone from the Pittsburgh region. So all in all it was a great turnout for our first event.

We decided early on to try and keep things as low-key as possible. We rented a building at North Park for the entire day. An all-day rental isn't very expensive and it makes for an easy set-up. Otherwise it was just food and items for the Swag Bags. I had posters and stickers made, but we also included some EveBet codes donated by EveBet, and 20 Bhaalgorns donated by Eve-NT. I also included some Giant Ideas easter-island pens left over from my agency closing. I found an entire box of them while we were moving. And CCP Guard was nice enough to send us some fab CCP loots to give away! All-in-all we spent right around $400 for everything. Lots of planning and thought went into it, but we kept our budget. We're pretty proud of that.









We are going to be hosting the event again next year, so go ahead and start making plans to be there!

With the attendance and the cancellations we think we can expect about 50 people, which is pretty amazing. So next year's event will be even better and we already have ideas along those lines. I liked the concept of having the event in the Park and just hanging out all day together. It made things very relaxed and enjoyable. We had a lot of time for great conversations and getting to know each other, so I believe we'll keep that idea going forward.

Thanks to everyone that came and for making it a very special day. We hope to see you all again next year!!

Keep the courage.








Full Metal Valkyrie

Full Metal Valkyrie Poster
Click to embiggen


Just having some fun with helmets.

Some people seem to be struggling with this one. First of all this is not a recreation of the famous Full Metal Jacket movie poster. Recently another artist (Orlando Arocena) did two poster recreations for Star Wars Rogue One that are very, very good. But they were recreations and tried to capture the exact spirit of the original posters from the Stanley Kubrick film. I could have gone in that direction, but considering that he had already done it, it felt like I would be copying.

So instead I decided to do an original version using the iconic film posters as inspiration. As anyone who has been following me knows, I've been using the Valkyrie helmet recently in other pieces. Including the recent Avatar that won the forum contest. I think it is extremely beautiful and iconic. So it seemed like a natural place to start. So I painted one. For me, that was really the point of this exercise. But I also wanted to create a poster with the image and I'd had the Full Metal Jacket idea in my head for about three months now. So I created my own original poster intentionally using iconic FMJ elements, like the font, "Born" helmet scrawl, and peace sign, but also incorporating new elements as well.

It is certainly supposed to remind you of Full Metal Jacket. But it is, I believe, also able to live on its own merits. As always, it is art, so feel free to have your own opinions about it. The intentions of the artist are only one interpretation. Once loosed into the world, art takes on its own numerous meanings.



Steel City Eve: This Saturday


In only a few short days my wife and I will be hosting our first ever Eve meet. Steel City Eve will be an all day gathering at beautiful North Park here in Pittsburgh. We've never done anything like this before, at least with Eve. In the past I've had several employee events and I've certainly helped to create more than a dozen charity events, client events, and even one cross-country motorcycle event - but I only imagined and directed those. For each of them there was a larger team involved. This sucker is all us.

We have no idea what we are doing. And we knew that when we made the decision to do it last year. So we've tried to keep it simple stupid. Since we have no idea how many people may or may not show up, we avoided renting a place that would require some knowledge about numbers. The building at North Park can easily handle several hundred people if need be, but also be a great spot for a dozen people to hang out. There are also lots of activities in the Park itself, so we're not on the hook to provide abundant entertainment. We can essentially let the event run itself.

Which doesn't mean we don't have things to do. CCP Guard was good enough to provide some juicy Eve swag and I've thrown in a few pieces of my own. In addition I created a Limited Edition poster (see the header) that the first 50 attendees will be getting their hands on. As well as a few surprises I'm not going to mention ahead of time. I wanted everyone that attended to have something to take away from the event. If we have more than 50 attend? Well then, they can take their chances in the swag raffle.

Mostly though, we just wanted a great day hanging out with our Eve friends. Hopefully the weather will cooperate (looking good so far!) and give us a beautiful Summer day at the Park.

The only criteria for success is that everyone have a good time. If it ends up being me and a handful of Eve nerds hanging out and getting drunk and playing horseshoes for twelve hours - then so be it.

Its my birthday after all.




No Man's Sky: First Days


I got the PS4 version of No Man's Sky on Wednesday and have been playing it off and on since. I didn't wait for the PC version because I don't own a PC. Like many people it seems like I've been waiting an eternity to get my hands on this game. Unlike many people, judging by some of the early reactions, my own expectations seem to have been based more in reality than fantasy. I'm not sure why people got themselves worked up into a frenzy, I thought the trailers and promotional propaganda made the game seem exactly like what was delivered.

Either way, its here now and we can all judge for ourselves. My thoughts after three days and about ten or twelve hours is about 75% WOW!! and 25% "Why won't that thing stop beeping at me!?!"  No Man's Sky is incredible and the procedurally generated star systems, planets and life forms are awe inspiring works of math within a naturally confined set of invisible walls. There are limits. And some of those limits can be a tad repetitive from time to time. But who cares? There are a quintillion worlds to explore!

Hello Games has promised to keep developing NMS and releasing updates along the way. I hope they do. Some of the game-play is a tad annoying at times. You are under constant warnings about something or other, even when you are not in any immediate danger. Things beep, whistle, and warn a LOT in this game. There should be some way to set your own limits on when you want to be warned of danger. It also annoys me that the Space Station office is on the second floor of the Space Station! This is a minor annoyance at first, but dock in twenty different stations and see how you feel about having to run up there every time.

I saved someone from Pirates once. Which is funny. I also died to Pirates once, which was also funny. I got almost all my stuff back. Which was nice. So far combat in NMS is mostly of the RUN AWAY variety, but maybe that gets better once you get your hands on much better ships. I'm still working on that. Although I do have much better guns and a much better suit now.

NMS is a relaxing game. It takes some time to get your head wrapped around the non-competitive nature of it. It isn't about beating anything. It is all about exploring and enjoying the universe. And survival. But don't worry so much about survival, there is always another thing around the corner. NMS packs a lot of things for you. So you don't have to worry so much. After you travel a bit you'll start to understand. This isn't about packing as much as you can, but about slowly learning what you need to pack. And when.

I'm loving it. And I can see myself returning to it again and again. But it isn't the answer to life's mysteries. It is yet another big step in gaming. And for that, the developers deserve all the success they will be getting from this game.

Those are my thoughts after a few days. I'll check in again later and let you know how its going.



Rogue One Trailer



Sign me up!




Steel City Eve - Pittsburgh Player Meet


On August 20th my wife and I will be hosting the first ever Steel City Eve player meet here in often beautiful Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. And you are invited to attend! You can find all the details over on our Eve Meet page: HERE

We've never done this before, so we decided to make it as easy on ourselves as possible. We've rented a large pavilion in North Park that can serve rain or shine. There is plenty to do in the Park, from boating, zip-lines, tennis, and much more. We have the pavilion all day and a liquor license. The event is intended to be a relaxing, day long hang out with Eve players. Suitable for the entire family. We don't have any scheduled events, or presentations, or notable devs showing up. This is our first event and hopefully won't be our last. And heck, I'll be there! What more do you need?

I do have a nice selection of Eve swag from CCP Guard to give away. And I've made some one-of-a-kind pieces to make the day even more better. The image above is a Limited Edition Event Poster and only 50 of them will ever be made. They, and a few other surprises, will be given out to the first fifty attendees. And yes, I will be around to sign yours if you'd like.

If you live in the area consider stopping by for a bit, or hanging out with us all day. We'll have food, games, and you can bring whatever drinks you'd like. Or whoever. Or whatever. The idea is to relax and enjoy some good company.

We hope to see you there.


PS: It is also my 50th birthday!

Suicide Squad: When Bad Ain't Bad


There are some films that are good because they are plainly bad. These are the guilty pleasure films that are obviously horrible, but in a good way. Suicide Squad is not one of those. It is another kind of movie. A good movie that is pretty bad. Not horrible. Not as bad as many critics have made it out to be. Flawed would be a much better word for it. But also very good at the same time.

I've been a movie critic before, I used to be on the Rotten Tomatoes list. But I don't consider myself a movie critic. I'm a fan of film. A consumer of film. And a person that knows a lot about how films are made. I'm also a reader of film history. Really, I like a good story well told. To me this is what makes a good film, or television series, or anything, good or bad. The story and how it is told. Either it works or it doesn't. Those things are all easy to say, but let's be honest here, there is a lot of gray area. Suicide Squad is full of gray areas.

Suicide Squad needed to be about 15 minutes shorter. It needed about 2 less musical cues. It needed two less scenes about motivation and things in people's necks. It needed a very good editor for the last thirty minutes (The editing at the beginning is not the same as the editing at the end). It needed Amanda Waller to NOT shoot the people in the control room. (That was unnecessary and wanton in my opinion, we already established she was a badass - now she's a murderer?) And I would have cut that scene of Deadshot finding the folder. Didn't need it. Frankly, other than that, I liked Suicide Squad a lot.

Critics are wrong about a lot of things. Turns out Joker is in this movie more than ten minutes. Turns out him being in the movie isn't just 'whatever', but he is important and represents an entire thru-line all the way thru the movie. That was an annoying realization after reading and listening to so many complaints about the Joker. He's fine. He is no Heath Ledger, but he is miles better than Jack or any other Joker who isn't animated. (Mark Rules!) The introductions and back story elements are well done and placed throughout the film. The level of humor is good. Its no GoTG, but its not supposed to be. The audience I saw it with laughed at all the funny bits. Another thing I heard a lot of? There are no consequences? Tell that to Slipknot.

Ok the bad guys Brother was pretty terrible. And I'm as tired as everyone else regarding lights shooting up into the sky and stuff revolving around the clouds as your big ending CGI fest. Ghostbusters did it waaaaay back, so we should probably stop now. Come up with something else please. Stop being lazy.

Harley is great. Will Smith is very good and not very Will Smithy. Amanda Waller is awesome, except for that murder spree thing. And everyone else does ok with what they have. Its an ensemble piece, not everyone is going to get equal time. Nor should they.

I tweeted this after seeing it, I don't want DC making Marvel movies. Marvel already does that. I want DC to find their own voice and make DC movies. I believe there is room in this world for many, many interpretations and myths surrounding the super-hero genre. Just like in real old fashioned comic books! And I think Suicide Squad, while certainly not perfect, is a big step in that direction. I hope people will see it and decide for themselves. I don't understand the pile on this time, this is not the same thing as Batman V Supes. Its not even close.

I sincerely hope that Wonder Woman is an even bigger step in the right direction.

Until then, we have Doctor Strange to look forward to.


What a time to be alive!


Once More Into the Lion's Den


Only a few short months after the last trip in front of the Hearing Officer (I don't even get a full Judge) I'm once more being dragged into Court this morning. This time not only is jail on the table (again!) but so is losing my driver's license. This time we are safely removed from the over-whelming weight of our old house and have no reason to fear being homeless. That reality is in large part due to the generosity of my fans, readers, and the larger Eve community. A fact upon which I shall be eternally grateful.

There will be no fund raisers this time. We've worked insanely hard and triumphed over adversity during the last four years to reach this goal. Despite the workings of a unjust and unforgiving legal machine which has ruined my career and rendered me unemployable, we continue to fight the good fight. This time, no matter what happens today, I will stand for honor, family, and justice. If that means being dragged into jail for my "crimes" then so be it. I don't want that to happen, but we've built a life for ourselves that accounts for that possibility.

I have no idea what to expect. I've been down this exact road seven times now and logic, fairness, and equality have yet to surface. So I have extremely low expectations for their sudden appearance today.

As always, I remain hopeful. Positive. And certain that I stand on the right side. Only time will tell if that determination amounts to anything.

More later.


UPDATE: Jail has been avoided for the time being. No resolution, just managed to kick the can down the road a bit longer. More steps to be taken.


Bulletin Videos



These in-game bulletin board videos are a great idea. This is one I just finished yesterday for A Band Apart, I also did one for Stay Frosty (which is already up and running) as well as the Hat Emporium one. All in all I've created nine of them for various organizations around New Eden. I think they add a "lived-in" and dynamic extra little something to the hangar.

+1 CCP.



Summer Hiatus



I've been on a short hiatus the past few months, both here on Eveoganda and in-game. This was not on purpose at first, but it eventually became a purposeful thing. This is the longest period of time I've taken away from the blog and the game since early 2012 when I was busy closing my business. This time around was much, much different than that. Back then I seriously considered stepping away from Eve. This time I've doubled down on Eve.

Back in April, after every other option had been exhausted, we decided to put our house on the market. I had purchased the home back when I was a different person for my new family to live in. Years of divorce and closing business and bankruptcy and court fights had left it a heavy burden to bear each month. We needed to downsize or risk being tossed out onto the streets. So we did. It took a lot of work. Cleaning, donating, trashing, planning, moving, and more cleaning (I was there every night for a month!), and getting settled into our new - much smaller - home. That started it. It is hard to log-in during such an event.

My focus then and in the months that have followed have been on the new house, getting settled, and trying to find new employment. And then a new round of court problems surfaced. More threats of jail time, etc. You are probably as tired of hearing about it as I am by now.

On the other hand, and strangely enough, this period of time also represents one of the busiest I've ever had when it comes to Eve. I started a new Podcast, I worked on several tutorial videos, created a whole bunch of new work, took care of my commission list (partially, until a HD failure put that on hold), and generally stayed as active as ever on Slack, Twitter, etc.

Not to mention on-going AT practices and Hauling Thoughts o7 Show videos and Hats and logging in to deal with roles, etc. lol

Point being, these things are finally winding down. I have to appear in court again on August 8th to face the illogical and ominous justice of the court system. So leading up to that I'll be logging on more and more often and getting back into the swing of things.

Breaks are good for the soul. No matter who you are or what you do in-game, you need them from time to time. Luckily I have a great group of Directors and Alliance leaders that can deal with things while I am away. That is also important.

So never fear, I'm still here.



History: Giant's Fall

That's me
Time for yet another American election and with it memories of other elections, other changes, and other times. Because the topic has come up more than a few times over the past week or so, I'm going to write a bit about a specific period of time in my life. A time that continues to have a profound and lasting impact on my life today.

In 2001 I resigned my Vice President/Creative Director position at a large Pittsburgh ad agency, walked a few blocks away and started what I hoped would be a successful business venture. My own creative focused agency, a state-of-the-art house that would be run by creatives and not account service. I had zero clients and very little money. I had a phone, a new computer, and office space rented from two friends who happened to be starting their own video production company around the same time.

Within 18 months I had two floors of a building in downtown Pittsburgh and was employing 18 full-time employees. Our clients included a national cable company, sports teams, charities, and a wide spectrum of industries around the country. Business was booming. We were a trend setter in the advertising industry, the tip of a new wave of agencies that were shaking up the status-quo. We didn't bill for time, a fact that got written up in the New York Times. I made sure that at least 25% of our clients were charities and non-profits. I gave back to my employees a minimum of 10% of agency profits in the form of bonuses. And for the first three years we paid 100% of our employees health care costs. (Sadly that one became unsustainable with the annual costs rising so fast. Even so, we continued to cover a large proportion.)

We survived our largest client, Adelphia Communications, going bankrupt in the largest corporate bankruptcy case in American history. In fact, we managed to stay on as their agency and even opened a Denver office when the company moved to Colorado. In another 18 months Adelphia was successfully sold to Time Warner and Comcast. We helped make that happen.

By 2008 we had become one of the largest agencies in the region. Our clients came from all over the world. We worked with clients from Russia, Spain, England, Argentina, Mexico, Japan and other countries. We helped build companies, helped companies grow, and gave back to local and national charities. Wired Magazine once called us, "the good agency". I won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year award along with a Microsoft Business Success award. I was the youngest person ever inducted into the Pittsburgh Advertising Hall of Achievement. You can actually watch my induction in this video:



2008 was our best year. 2008 was the year my divorce became final. As well as my career was going, my personal life was a mess and always had been. I freely admit to hiding in my work for years and years. Working 80 hour weeks, weekends, and generally avoiding my wife. All of my free time was spent with my Son. Eventually, in 2006, he was old enough and I was successful enough to file for a long anticipated divorce.

Here is where the story starts to get extremely complicated. Complicated by politics, both national and local. Complicated by divorce. Complicated by employees, both old and new. Complicated by a school that forced us out of our building in 45 days. Complicated by an $85,000 mistake that my employee made on a State contract. Complicated by a media buyer that cared more about his commission than his client. Complicated by a new business director that sat on his ass for a whole year and then took clients with him when it was discovered. Complicated by over zealous lawyers. By a national mortgage crisis. By a client that refused to pay a contract. By the loss of all my savings to divorce. Complicated by a lot of little things, like a con-man that bilked the agency out of $25,000. (And who just recently, finally, got the justice he deserved.)

2009 to 2011 was a rough patch. I did all the things we had done during the Adelphia bankruptcy. And we hung in there. In 2011 we finally started to come out of it and we had nine months in a row of profitable earnings. It had been a struggle of epic proportions. By now I had a new family, a new wife, and a new life. My desire to work 80-90hrs a week was tempered. And then it all came home and I had some very big decisions to make.

Normally in that situation a business owner like myself would infuse cash back into the business to help see it thru. But the divorce had taken all my savings. Building a new life had taken all my cash. The debts pilled up around us. A client broke a contract and refused to pay us. A bunch of smaller clients did the same. Once large clients stopped investing in marketing during the economic downturn. Our new office space had cost us and the rent continued every single month.

In January 2012 I made the decision to cease business operations and close the agency. I helped our remaining employees find work, two businesses sprang up out of our ruins and continue today.  I personally gathered up all the equipment, computers, tables, chairs, and office equipment and sold it all off to raise cash to help pay our bills. That took two months. I was sued for what would eventually end up being over $1 million dollars. I was personally on the hook for over half a million in additional debts. I was protected from the business debts, but not from the personal ones. I took a consulting position with another agency and for awhile it looked like we might make it.

And then the legal problems with the divorce really started. Eventually we had no choice but to seek bankruptcy protection. It was our last ditch decision and we tried to avoid it. That process took a year.

In 2008, during our best year, I signed a divorce settlement that took three years to reach. I endured seven "discoveries" each of which personally cost me about $4,500 each. I endured a court-ordered business evaluation that cost me $25,000. Nearly $100k in legal expenses and three years of paying full freight on alimony. I was ready to sign anything. Sadly, the settlement included a small two paragraph section regarding the on-going operation of the agency. This section, poorly written, would come back to haunt me. At the time it seemed only fair that my ex-wife should get some compensation for the business enduring into the future. But that didn't happen. The business closed in early 2012. So I believed that section no longer pertained.

After the divorce was final, actually the very day it ended, I received a court summons. And so began yet another chapter in my legal problems. The court, in their infinite wisdom, decided that section still pertained. And since that decision has continued to add to the amount. I've been threatened with jail seven times. They are currently threatening to take my driver's license. The judgment against me, which resides on my credit report, is keeping me from gainful employment. I can't even get a job at Home Depot.

The basis of the agencies eventually collapse was the economic downturn of 2008-2009. Two of our largest clients were tied into the mortgage industry. For example, one client spent $4.5 million with us in 2008, and spent $50,000 with us in 2009. And that is just the obvious. Dozens of smaller clients cut back on advertising. Marketing is the easy cut in a companies budget and usually the first to suffer. This formed the basis, the foundation, of our undoing. But there are a thousand other reasons. It is impossible to blame one thing.

I know these things to be true. If I had cash to re-invest back into the business, it would probably still be going. But I didn't. My ex-wife doesn't deserve to benefit from a non-existent business. Anymore than anyone else does. Bringing the business down cost a lot of people, it harmed friends, it broke partnerships, it left people holding empty bags. For whatever reasons, and there is ample justification to go around, I still feel personally responsible for everything. That is the kind of guy I am. I was in charge, so everything that happened is ultimately my responsibility.

My professional career has been ruined. And now, close to fifty, I'm trying to re-invent myself. Meeting new people, helping those that need help, working on new projects, being a part of a great and awesome community of people here in Eve. Trying to find my way. Networking, starting new business ventures, exploring new works, making wallpapers, trying to get CCP to grant me a license to sell you posters. lolz.

Having said all of that, I want to leave you with something. Right now my life is the best it has EVER been. And I wouldn't trade what I have right now for anything. I spent my entire adult life regretting a decision I made when I was 23 years old during a very difficult period in my life. And now I have found the love of my life, I am finally free of that decision in every way that counts. I will pay any price, any charge, any decision, to keep that. If that means going to jail, then so be it. If that means giving up a career that I never really wanted in the first place, then so be it.

My wife and I have worked our asses off the past four years to re-build a new life from the ruins of both our old ones. We've endured hardships that you can only imagine. And we've both not only survived, but thrived. And nothing, no one, no court, no lawyer, no legal machine, no hater, no wanker, no comment troll, no one, can take that away from us.

Keep the courage my friends.





Theomachy Event


On August 27th on the Singularity server, Eve players can participate in Theomachy!

Theomachy is a Battle Royale event that will see participants transported in their implant free pods into an arena full of ships, mods and other items for the taking. With the help of CCP, this event is designed for maximum carnage.

The arena itself is littered with ships and loot cans scattered around the beacons of the arena. Some ships are decently fit some not so much. Every hull has multiple variations and all basic fits are designed for lower sp players without implants or max fitting skills.

They have billions in prizes thanks to our sponsors and CCP they are able to provide a prize pool for the top 40 participants as well as 28 Achievements that can be earned in the event.

The rules are very simple, you are only eliminated when you are podded and all celestials are off limits and off grid safes are disallowed. No matter how many ships you die in, you can still remain as long as you keep your pod intact. To promote early blood shed and as much fun as possible, no podding of players is permitted in the first few minutes of the event and no beacons will have bubbles.

Registration is currently open and there are plenty of slots remaining, if we happen to fill our slots, we do have a waiting list if possible. Streaming and commentary for the event will be handled by Eve NT as well.

The website is http://www.theomachy.com

This event sounds like a blast and I am planning to attend if I can. Hope to see you there.



Eve Cartoon Show

Frigate Fighters
Click to embiggen


I've had this thought before, but a few weeks ago it came back. What would Eve look like as a kid's cartoon show, like one on Cartoon Network?  Its trickier than you might think, since we don't really have people in Eve. What we do have is spaceships and lots of them. Would it be possible to make the spaceships the characters? Hmmm.

So I thunk on it. I started sketching ideas in my head and then on paper. The Amarr idea is the one I started with, correctly thinking it would be the easiest. Lasers = Kids. Then it started getting trickier until I remembered that this entire project was bogus! Yeah, it wasn't real. So why worry. Let me give the Tristin drone powers, I'll make the Merlin a robot with a shield (lolz) and give the Rifter the power to fly. We can have an Astero wizard who turns blue in the middle when she is using her powers, and we need a big guy - so a Venture will work as our "Hulk". I'll even give him purple pants.

So there you have Team Empire. If I feel like it I may do a Team Shadow poster as well. That would be the bad guys, the Dramiel, Daredevil, Succubus... and who knows?

Either way, that was fun and I enjoyed making it.

Hope you like it.



Drifter Wars: A Year Later


A year ago I started imagining a world in which an Eve themed 8-bit game called "Drifter Wars" existed. I created a bunch of art around it, just for the fun of it. One of the Dev Teams at CCP used the graphics I created and the response was terrific. It was a fun round of creativity and I thought it helped sell the Drifter concept well during last year's Summer doldrums.


Drifter Wars Game Cartridge

And then Igor Puschner (Commander Ogir) approached me about building a real version of the game. If I could provide the art he'd provide the server and the coding to make it happen. And he did. He worked his ass off on it over the course of two months and by the time we launched it, Drifter Wars was a pretty damn good side-scroller 8-bit-esque video game that played on a browser.

Screenshot from the game

Granted, in our rush to get it up and running we made a few mistakes. We mostly used rights free music, but sadly a real track of Eve music managed to get into the launch. In addition, of course, we used Eve IP graphics in the game. But we were hoping that since the entire thing was FREE, once we removed the music problems, that would shield us.

As you know, it did not. We brought the game down voluntarily within a few days after trying to work thru a solution with CCP. Games very similar to Drifter Wars, although on a smaller scale, had been done before. As we were taking ours down, I counted at least three others up and running around the internet. My intention, once we started down this path, was to try and get CCP to work on a solution (a legal solution) for the player base to be able to create such efforts. In the immediate aftermath of the decision to bring down Drifter Wars I had every reason to believe such a solution would be forthcoming.

I don't regret the time I took to help develop Drifter Wars. It was a fun game and I can only imagine what it would have developed into over the past year. I still feel bad for all the wasted time that Igor poured into it. And I wish it had resulted in the creation of limited development licenses for other FREE games to be developed by other creators. But I can't change the past.

I don't give up though. I just take my lumps and go off to do something else.

Muhahahaha.



After Hours Episode 7


After Hours with Rixx Javix: Episode 7 Podcast featuring Niden

In this Episode of After Hours with Rixx Javix, Rixx welcomes the Editor-in-Chief of Crossing Zebras to the Lounge in an obvious display of wanton favoritism. Join him as he talks with Niden about the difference between FW and Pirates, dropping CCP Guard into a volcano, spaceship art and much, much more!

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