Sunday, September 30, 2012

Artist Leads update October; Samsung Note 10.1

Well, now I'm going through the professional chain of my leads. I found some in Philippine 3d Artist forums. So hope that pans out...

I got my wife a Samsung Note 10.1 for her birthday. I didn't realize how big a deal were the innovations in it till after I bought it.

Just to save from confirmation bias, my rational was the following:
  • she was an apple user, and her iphone 4 and her macbook were pretty comprehensive. She gets almost everything she needs from the 2, having an IPAD is just very redundant. Sure the adds say synergy but where these 3 sets intersect, the total area of the Ipad is such a small gain. 
  • The Drawing feature, particularly the WACOM patents and technology. It is pressure sensitive! Yes it is practically a graphics design tool, but too weak for a graphics designer... but perfect for an analyst who does presentations. (assuming you can export it into a Impress/PPT/PDF)
  • The freaking presentation creation toolset is unbelievable. Because it can multi-task you can open multiple apps and work with them side by side! So you can create websites, ebooks with graphics, marketing materials, etc... 
There are drawbacks... but the price... 30% cheaper than an IPAD with the same performance. note also that in the Philippines we are heavily taxed in importation. The Note cost $740 while in amazon it is worth $500-550... the price of having antiquated protectionist laws> (If you look at all the BPO laws vs the import laws, Philippines is a logistics nightmare - the only way out is through the export zones).

I'm a bit jealous of course, cause I'm stuck with an IPAD 1 which is only 2 years old, annoying how ancient it is. Still with an app worth USD $5 and a pen worth $30, I can make vector art on mine. It can be a bit frustrating but when I have free time squeezing in some small drawings can really help while I filter through artists. 

If they are all too expensive or worse... not good enough and charging me an arm and a leg, I'll draw it myself. Those tools are bascially a "hack" to allow me to convert some time into art. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Local Artist Leads

Surprisingly looking for artists and checking their capability takes a lot of time...  Anyway I am looking for more local artist for the mapping. I told my friend, who is in the University of the Philippines Fine Arts College, that I'm looking for both for professional or amateur.

I'm slowly moving towards a bias to professional... but lurking in the Cartographer's Guild, there are not any identifiable Filipino Cartographers. There are many Filipino Artists... Illustrators, all making a great living in comics. Those guys don't need my money, as much as a start-up, but hey.

Filipino Artists who find this blog - Check out the Forgotten Realms Map.  Give me a quotation based on your ability to make such a map. As a test, make a map close to the standards of the FR map but a size

Anyway basic rules with artists, as a former artist

  1. No free work - I will pay for custom samples. Of course I can ask for quotes and what should I expect. The two artists I'm talking to are completely outside the Cartography Illustration.  
  2. No piracy please - use open source PLEASE... I think it is unfair to the honest others who use open source or paid for their tools, and have to scrimp and save to pay for them. If they use their work places tools, I might lose the rights to the work they are supposed to assign me, after payment. For ethical practices
  3. Vector Graphics Map - this means the art may be zoomed in continuously, allowing for an insane amount of detail a GM or myself may want to add in the future. Empowering GMs by making tools that are easily modifiable for them. Allowing them to adjust and alter the map. 
  4. Expectation of Professionalism and Smart work process - like finding ways to communicate ideas effectively. 
  5. Must factor rework into expectations. 

For the Novices - this I recommend this process, because it will come in handy if I critique the work and will judge it not passable professionally.
From Trying to Game Work
Its a surprise to me it is applicable to project management. I guess the thing about Art is that each project has a LARGE emotional investment when you are starting out, and you learn to divorce emotional investment as you start working. Emotions have to be managed and keenly focused in aspects that won't affect your ability to make strategic decision making while executing the project. 
  1. Make more than One sketch. (Make more than one plan)
  2. Take the opportunity of the additional sketches to try the other plausible strategies. (each plan must exploit different theoretical strengths and scenarios)
  3. Visualize and plan out everything, maybe even write it down. (detail the scenario planning) 
  4. If possible make time to finish at least 2 at 60% using the 1/2 the time you have to execute your project to see how things go. (narrow down to 2 scenarios that encompass the key threats but are flexible enough to fix most of the potential ones).
  5. Finish early and have some time remaining to sleep over what you have done, and enough time to make small alternations. (pre-ops check, don't over think or over do)
  6. When making alterations, list down what you want to do then ct it down to half or 1/3.
Do this repeatedly and accept the failures, despite personal standards of taste or perfection. Note that what counts most is the opportunity to practice and implement a learned skill/mindset/theory. Even if it costs a failure, the practice is very important, thus the opportunity to retreat to fight another day more is important. Choose the option which gives you more practice vs immediate success/failure until you are in a level where success is very certain.  

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Specializing - multi tasking

I am commissioning a map, which I plan to detail with some economic information. I'm familiar with enough of the economics and the variables that I can make the details of an area my problem is the seed - w/c is the geography itself.

My differation strategy is using standards we find in work/biz and studies that can allow us to save mental space and transfer real world skills into the game. Also filling a niche that is modular - rpg and war gaming and the hybrid of both.

I hope to publish something I can charge by next year. Just to have something of great quality and workmanship with my name on it. Also filling that niche I can provide by my odd mix of skills and interests.

I'm sure it will break even and do well because I plan to attack a problem that I feel i am suited to fix w/c is (trade secret) :p

Wish me luck, hope I can find a skilled and affordable artist. I should really contact my UP fine arts contacts for talent :p

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Traveller Mindset for me

To me its like work but we can afford to lose and take risks we would normally not take. We get to use our skills and explore it in the theoretical, and the GM gets to scare the bejezus out of us by putting us in situations we would never let ourselves get into at work so that we can find our limits and push them farther. We exercise Visualization in order to better anticipate problems; and as the GM - on the GM side he/she exercise his/her visualization to heighten his/her problem finding ability (and throwing that against the players). 

As compared to the other Genre's; Traveller for me is better in exercising skills I use at work but with better "dressing" with spaceships, space, stars, super computers, AI, robots, power armor etc... 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A short break

My airsoft team is active again and I'v gotten enough guns to bring newbies into airsoft. Also I'm in a work out/exercise phase trying to get fit. After spending so much in airsoft I'll be take as much advantage of it until the gun ban (which is december, for 6 months).

it really says a lot about how much my health has worsened given that I can barely make the 10min workout in this youtube home workouts I found.  (sad face).