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  • February Results
    published on March 1st, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    I'm going to try and get back into the habit of writing these end of the month posts more often. February is now in the books and I scored 164 kills with 13 losses for the month. In total I was responsible for 17.57b ISK blown up, while losing only 964m ISK. One of my losses was returned to me due to a server error that resulted in me losing my ship. But that doesn't impact the killboard. On the last day of the month (yesterday) I managed to catch my 13,500th kill.

    February was down from January when I managed to score 339 kills with 20 losses. But February was a down month in many ways, Eve was obviously much slower in the past month across the board. And we didn't have another Pirate FoB pop up in our home system, which is one big reason why January was such a good month for me and for Stay Frosty.

    If I remember February it will be for the insanely weird engagements it brought with it. While I only had 13 losses in total for the month, I can tell you that most of those were head scratchers. I managed to derp a few ships into situations I shouldn't have, which is usually a result of being bored and not finding any decent fights. Eventually I just say, "Fuck it" and fly into something horribly dangerous and stupid. I freely admit it. Sometimes that works out in my favor, but to be honest most of the time it doesn't. But who cares? I do my best to manage my exposure and leave myself room each month to screw up, make a bad decision or two, and not have it impact the overall story arc.

    Stay Frosty continues to operate 2-3 organized roams each week depending on schedules. And every Saturday I run my Flying Circus fleet. This is the highlight of each week for me and lately we've been trying out some new doctrine style compositions. I must say that doing these every single week has had truly great outcomes as our pilots have become better and better at flying together and working together as a team. It is great to see that happen and I look forward to that continuing into the future.

    I did only manage 17 solo kills in February and I'd like that to be more (although it was up from 12 in Jan). But to be honest right now I'm struggling a bit with the new meta that is present in Low Sec. I'm saving that conversation for another post next week. Suffice to say that Low Sec is changing and not all of those changes are good for us actual Pirates. We continue to be a dying breed and that concerns me.

    Until then, it is now March and time to start all over again. My work is never done.




  • New Art Posters Released
    published on February 28th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     

    Curses In Local

    This week over at RixxJavix.com I have released two brand new posters. The one above is called "Curses In Local" (nice double meaning there!) and is only available on high-quality paper in several different sizes. The other piece is one I created based on the wallpaper I released last week as thanks to all the supporters of the Kickstarter. Everyone seemed to really like that piece and I thought it would look great as a poster. It is available in a wide variety of sizes on both paper and metal prints.

    Azariel Ascendancy

    As always I continue to strive to improve my skills and provide even more meaningful pieces that reflect the passion we all feel towards Eve Online. There have been many pieces that I could have released recently that I ultimately felt did not reach the high bar I've set myself. I'm struggling with a poster that presents all the spaceship card illustrations I created for the board game - I just can't seem to discover a great way to present those. I'll keep trying.

    In the meantime, just know that I continue to be busy working on the board game and we are all working hard to get it ready for production. So hang in there.



  • Is Dune a Super-Hero Film?
    published on February 27th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    Yesterday I responded to a lame Tweet from Variety that mentioned Timothée Chalamet and his reluctance to star in so-called "super-hero" films. I was being a little tongue-in-cheek when I said, "Dune is a super-hero film fyi" in response. I had no idea the fire-storm this would unleash. In a few short hours I was called "uneducated" and worse. Dozens of people felt it was important to remind me of the plot of the series and correct me. It was a weird day on Twitter to say the least.

    Personally I do not like categorizing stories into genre boxes, I believe it is a fools errand. A story can be many, many things. And a great story often is much more than a simple label. I grew up devouring science-fiction and learning from the great writers of imaginative fiction. I read Dune when I was ten years old, right after I finished Foundation. And right before my first reading of Lord of the Rings. When I say I devoured books, I mean it. I read everything. And one of the most influential authors I devoured was Harlan Ellison, who was extremely opinionated about genre definitions. And how limiting they can be. He notoriously hated the "sci-fi" designation, for example.

    Hero fiction goes all the way back to the beginning, to the saga of Gilgamesh. Hercules. And others. The Hero's Journey. The great arc of storytelling that has been passed down over the centuries. All fiction owes its history to these origins and super-hero fiction is no different. I'm not writing a college course here, but if you are interested there are plenty of superior works on the subject. Point being there is no way to clearly define what a "super-hero" actually is or isn't. It isn't powers, just ask Batman. It isn't science-fiction, or fantasy, or comedy, or any other genre - as works exist in all those genres that could easily be called Super-Hero works. If you doubt me just try defining what a comic book is or isn't and think of Maus, Concrete, Cerberus, Dark Knight, Heavy Metal, Moebius, or a thousand other examples that break easy definition.

    Dune is in many ways a great super-hero origin story. But it is so much more. It is a fantastic work of imaginative fiction. It weaves a complex thread that includes many interpretations and welcomes debate. This is its enduring strength and why it has remained so resonant for so long. It is an amazing and incredible story. Defining it is not easy to do. And rather pointless. It is, after all, Dune. A singular work of greatness. And yes part of that greatness is that it has inspired and influenced thousands of creatives in other fields. 

    Saying it is a super-hero story is both correct and horribly wrong. It certainly shares much with such stories but the definition limits it. Just as saying it is something else also limits it. People lose their minds over definitions. There are people still arguing about Star Wars, is it science-fiction or science-fantasy? What exactly is it?

    Some works exceed definition. That is a sign of greatness. Dune is one of those works. It contains multitudes. And Paul Atreides is in many ways a super-hero. A complicated young man who is discovering his super-powers and grappling with his role in a larger universe. Often a pawn in a larger narrative and ultimately a victim of that same narrative. A warning to us all about white saviors, prophecy, and putting too much power in the hands of one person.

    Sounds like a story we all need to pay attention to.




  • Goodbye Redbubble
    published on February 26th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    Poof. Gone.

    Today I received a notice from Redbubble that they had taken down several of my ORIGINAL creations due to the fact that they might/maybe/could be in conflict with a motorcycle club in Australia. Which seemed weird. But it is always possible that someone else somewhere created something like something I created. It does happen from time to time. So I looked into it.

    Turns out we don't share anything in common and my work is obviously not a conflict. However, I then discover that Redbubble lost a lawsuit last year to this club for $78,000 in damages because some idiot was selling their logo on merch. Which is a serious issue on Redbubble and all on-line merch shops. I mean, just ask CCP. Most of the stuff available on-line is based on copyright infringement. 

    I started writing a complaint and then I stopped. I've been considering bringing it down anyway. I haven't really been supporting it or adding anything new to it for years. And it barely makes lunch money each month. The only real bummer is that it made it easy to share Stay Frosty gear with corpmates.

    So I decided to just bring it down.

    Being right isn't always the most important thing. And all skulls with wings are not the same. I created that piece of art for a friend's tattoo way back in 2012, so I know it is mine. But why take the chance someone decides to take legal action anyway? I certainly can't afford that. Nor do I want that in my life. So the store is gone and I'll figure something else out for corp merch.

    Goodbye eight years of Redbubble store. You guys really need to figure out your issues.




  • 10th Annual Frigate Free For All
    published on February 23rd, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     



    Saturday April 20th from 16:00 to 22:00 in Ouelletta Stay Frosty & A Band Apart once again invite you to our annual Frigate Free For All public event!

    Prepare yourself for SIX HOURS of total insanity. During the event if you dock in any NPC station in our home system you will be handed a fully-fitted Frigate which you can use to engage in combat within the system. Undock, Pew Pew, rinse and repeat. You can do this over and over and over and over again. Bring your friends, go solo, gang up, whatever you want to do. This is the day to come experience PvP inside of Eve Online in an environment created to have as much fun as we can manage given the rules. Thousands of players have enjoyed this event in years past and we've continued to set and break records every year!

    My God Rixx are you insane?!? Yes. Yes I am. 

    The only real rule is this - we try to discourage podding during the event. Podding keeps people from re-shipping and returning to the event. Players who engage in podding will be reported in local and become easy targets for revenge. We'd also appreciate that everyone has fun and enjoys the event. We're all here to encourage players to experience how much fun PvP in Eve can be. So let's try to keep that in mind.

    As always you are welcome to bring special ships or fleets of your friends along. Just know that at any time local is full of hundreds and hundreds of Frigates. And Dessies. And Bob knows what else. So be prepared to lose your ships.

    Stay Frosty and ABA are open to community donations to help with the event. And if you'd like to coordinate something special just DM me over on Discord and I can help in anyway I can. We'd also like to invite all content creators, streamers, YouTubers, and anyone else that would like to participate. You are all more than welcome to come along.

    I fully expect lots of CCP Devs will be in local ready to help you pad your killboard. And, as always, I will be undocking something special to be exploded by everyone. 

    Please help us get the word out and share the link to this article on your own Discord channels and around the community.

    Thanks and I hope to see you all in space at the 10th Annual FF4A!


  • BOOM!
    published on February 21st, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    The Kickstarter has ended with 3,156 backers and just shy of $700,000 in support. Now the campaign moves into the manager mode and more details about that are included in the last update, so be sure to check that out if you are one of the backers.

    What a journey! I have learned so much about Kickstarter this past month and how it works. As always thanks to my good friends at Titan Forge for sharing their insight and knowledge with a KS Noob like me. And, of course, very special thanks to everyone at CCP Games for all your help, assistance and support during the run-up to the campaign and especially during it. You helped tremendously in getting the word out to the wider player base and that is something that is not easy to accomplish. Sincerely. This was truly a Big Team Effort on the part of everyone and it shows.

    In light of the success of the project today I created a special poster called "Azariel Ascendancy" which is available over at RixxJavix.com in both paper and metal prints. The poster is a special creation featuring art I created for the board game combined in a unique way to celebrate our community.

    Azariel Ascendancy

    I may have a few more of these to release here in the coming days and weeks. Might as well freshen up the game room to make space for the new board game.

    Mostly though I want to thank everyone who not only backed the campaign, but helped spread the word, sent along encouragement, and helped keep the positive energy going. There will be some negative voices along the way, but I like to focus on the extremely positive energy that I've felt all along the path. We did something a lot of people would have thought impossible. Heck, not that long ago, it might have been impossible. But we did it, together.

    Now for the long wait. This is the hard part. As always I will try to keep you all as up to date as I can here in these pages and I know the team at TF will be working hard to do the same. We have a lot of work to finish to get this game ready for delivery.

    Thank you. Sincerely.



  • Staying Frosty
    published on February 19th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    This interesting chart comes to us from a recent Reddit post. The point of the data pull was to see which Corporations in Eve have been consistently active over the past two years. So the criteria here was very simple - who had at least 50 kills every week over that two year time frame? In addition, while Stay Frosty's kill totals are actually almost double what you see above and the ISK value was actually 2.76T over that timespan, these are final blows only and the data values are from CCP's MER (Monthly Economic Report). Either way, the same rules for everyone so it is still valuable information.

    A few things stood out to me. For one Stay Frosty has the 3rd highest KPM (Kill Per Member) on the list while we have the 3rd lowest total number of pilots on the list. This is even more impressive when you realize we carry a 25% character load of in-active pilots - what we refer to as DNK (Do Not Kick) players who are on break and hopefully will return soon. Stay Frosty doesn't kick players who let us know they are taking a break from the game. So that is even more impressive.

    Secondly there are only three Low Sec Corporations (primarily low sec based) and those are Immortalis (Shadow Cartel) and LowLife (Snuff) and Stay Frosty. I recognize a few others that often dabble in Low Sec or roam through from time to time, but those are the only other ones I know are based primarily in our space. So that is pretty amazing.

    I'll blow your mind one more time - Stay Frosty has over 203k total kills and yet we still maintain a 51/49 percent ratio between solo (51%) and small gang (49%). With an average of 3.3 pilots on those small gang kills. 

    I know it is only numbers and numbers are not the entire story of any group in Eve. But I'm proud of our pilots and I don't often get the chance to see our work in hard numbers like this compared to other groups in the game. We've all worked very hard, especially over the past two years, to bring this level of commitment to a reality. I've consistently been running Saturday Rixx Roams for almost two years now and we usually have at least one or two additional roams up and running during the week. Not to mention our annual FF4A event or other public events and roams, or our daily fleets.

    I'm a proud CEO and it's great to see the hard work of our players represented in the data.

    Stay Frosty Forever.




  • Thank You
    published on February 17th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     

    War For New Eden Wallpaper

    With only four days to go and the Kickstarter ending on such a strong note, I decided to make another wallpaper to thank all of our supporters, backers, and everyone who helped us spread the word. I'd like to be able to thank everyone individually, but that is impossible - so I do what I can.

    Tomorrow evening I'll be a guest on the Federation Front Line Report podcast and then on Monday I'll be joining CCP Convict and some of the team from Titan Forge on a very special LIVE Twitch panel to help bring this record-breaking campaign to a close. The past month has been a literal whirlwind to be honest. Every day I wake up and discover a whole new group of things that have to be taken care of, designed, created, and accomplished for the campaign. All of us have been keeping our eyes and ears open, and listening to all the comments and feedback - and have been working diligently to deliver the kinds of stretch goals and additions you've requested. It has been an incredibly exciting and pulse-pounding adventure. My head is spinning frankly.

    I really do need to give a very special shout-out to the team at Titan Forge. They've been amazing and they deserve so much credit and appreciation for the work they've been doing. I remember being at Fanfest and watching Roman be overwhelmed with the reaction to the 200% showcase version of the game. At first he was totally, "No way we can actually make this work!" and then, over the course of those three days he was like, "We have to find a way to make this work!" And that is the way this entire process has been. Every decision is about what is best for the game, for the supporters, and for everyone involved. And while some things remain out of reach for various reasons, overall I think it is rather epic what we have been able to commit to delivering.

    All I can really say is "wow".

    Anyway it is the weekend and that means I'll be FC'ing my weekly Saturday roam here in a few short hours. And I have to get ready for the podcast tomorrow and the BIG day on Monday. So have a great weekend and be sure to go check out the Kickstarter if you haven't done so already. And please, please, please always remember to pledge responsibly. I can't repeat that enough times.

    Thank you all for your support.




  • The Final Stretch
    published on February 16th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     

    Only five days remain on the Kickstarter, so be sure to head over and secure your own copy of this epic board game. Doing so is the only way to be sure you grab all the stretch goals, expansions, and everything that you might need.

    I told myself that when this month finally arrived I'd do whatever I could to help support the effort. And yet, at the same time, try not to be super annoying about it. It is not easy to do both of those things. I am obviously super invested in the success of this project for a wide variety of reasons. That's obvious. Not only have I been working on it practically non-stop since last February, but the roots of this project literally go back over a decade or more. And that doesn't even mention the long history of projects like this within the Eve community, some of which are best left un-mentioned. 

    Someone asked me over on Discord yesterday if I was pleased with the response so far. It would be impossible not to be. This has been an extremely positive campaign so far, the response has been nothing short of overwhelming. And while there have been a few minor negative reactions here and there, it has been nothing important. In my wildest dreams I had hoped to break the million dollar milestone of course. But that was never a realistic goal. Or one that I'd seriously allow myself to entertain. And yet, that is what dreams are for. They don't have to be realistic.

    It reminds me of something that happened on my very first commercial production early in my career. We were shooting a commercial for a client and I was just a junior art director on the project. It was my first time on a real set. The budget for the commercial was somewhere around 120,000US. And the Senior Copywriter did nothing but complain about how limiting the budget was over and over again. Finally the Senior Ad Executive on the project took him aside and gave him a serious talking to and I've never forgotten his words. This is real money. This is someone's home. This is the client's hard-earned cash. Don't ever lose perspective again. I took that to heart and even when I was working on $500 dollar or on a million dollar project, I always remembered that lesson. No matter what the final results are in this campaign - this is real hard-earned money from real people. You treat it with the respect it deserves.

    I still firmly believe what I said years ago in response to another community project - this community can decide for itself if something is worthy or not. And I've been more than pleased to see this project be embraced in an extremely positive way. No matter what happens next we've made history. This is, by far, the most successful crowd-funded project in the history of Eve Online. We will have an epic board game based on Eve in players hands, something I don't think many of us ever believed might happen. And I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to be an important part of making that a reality. If this project had come along at a different time in my life, I might not have been able to participate. 

    So for all those reasons I am incredibly grateful to this amazing community of ours. Just as I have always been. You all rock.



  • What to Buy?
    published on February 15th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    The Eve Board Game Kickstarter is going bonkers and more and more and more add-ons, updates, stretch goals, community events, custom skins - it can be crazy to keep up with. What should you consider getting? Well luckily for us Captain Benzie has made an excellent video guide that explains everything up until today. So take a moment and watch his video to learn more about what all is available and what makes sense for you to pledge.

    There is less than a week left. Fair warning.

    Now, I have to get back to work on it. Laters.



  • The Last Week
    published on February 14th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    There is only a week remaining on the Eve War For New Eden Kickstarter!

    Today alone there were two major updates and another big one is scheduled for tomorrow. I have a feeling there will be even more news in the final few days to get excited about. So now is the time to jump on the bandwagon and get your pledge in before it is too late. As always, only do so if you can and be sure to properly manage your pledge level. Only you know your own situation and level of comfort. Goodness knows I do not want anyone to do something they might regret later. Trust me.

    I've been busier than a one-armed paper hanger however! And I need to get back to it, I have some cool stuff that needs finished.

    How much more epic can this game get?




  • In Pursuit of Art
    published on February 13th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    Head's up. This is a personal post about non-Eve things and for some this could be triggering. If you only want to read posts about Eve Online - then I suggest you skip this one. While Eve might pop up here and there, this is primarily a post about a real person. The person who writes these posts and who sometimes plays a character inside of Eve Online.

    I didn't grow up around artists. My Father was a coal miner for 40 years and often worked weekends as a mechanic. We had a big extended family all of whom were contractors, mechanics, train technicians, plumbers, concrete workers, strong independent blue-collar people. I'm very proud of my family, but there weren't any examples growing up to look up to when it came to making a career out of art. In fact art was never my intention. Despite always drawing and writing stories, my thoughts growing up were more along the lines of engineering, space science, or possibly baseball player. Around the age of 16-17 a few things happened that threw me into a different path. I lost my perfect eye-sight. I kept growing taller and taller. I hurt my knee. And I discovered a true aversion to advanced math. Suddenly, I needed to take a serious account of myself.

    My friends helped me. They thought it was obvious that I had artistic talent and helped me persuade the art teacher to help me cram four years of art classes into one year of art classes. So I could go to Art School. It was then that I realized that I had already been doing creative work my entire life up to that point, I just didn't realize it. A whole new world opened up to me. Things started making sense finally.

    But even then, I had no idea what this meant. Or if you could actually make a living out of drawing pictures. And neither did my family. This was all a mystery to them as well. My parents did what they could to help me, but I was on my own. Especially when it came to paying for schooling. My mid-term change of heart had thrown any chance I had at scholarships out the window. So I did the best I could. What I didn't know then was that all the lessons I had learned from my Father and my family, that hard work was its own reward, that determination and grit accounted for a lot - all these lessons would serve me well in my life. In fact, this underpinning would become my super power.

    I wrestle with self-doubt, anxiety, imposter syndrome, all the mental demons of failure and doubt about my abilities. I wrestle with these constantly. Especially back in those early days. Over the years I have taught myself, along with tremendous mentorships and friendships along the way, to turn those mental issues into powerful weapons to help me do great things. But they are always there, living right outside my line of sight. They never really go away.

    But I promised myself one thing when I started on this journey - I would go for it with everything I had. I would constantly learn, constantly challenge myself, and always take every opportunity I could. I would never quit. No matter what. And I'm proud, looking back over my career, that I have lived up to that promise. I've survived through the coming of the desktop publishing phase change, the internet phase change, the social media phase change, the AI phase change and dozens of others. I jumped at the chance to test a new program called Photoshop back in the day. I taught myself digital video editing. I've written billions of words, scripts, commercials, annual reports, and even a few songs. I've never stopped learning and trying to be better at my work.

    I won't bore you with all the details of my career. That 17 year old who woke up one day and realized his entire life had changed, that person was 40 years ago. A lot has happened since then. And today I work at that desk in the photo above. I've been a lot of people over those four decades, but I've rarely been an actual artist. Oh sure designer, copywriter, production artist, editor, art director, creative director, CEO, CMO, advisor, board member, entrepreneur - I've created a lot of things. And I've been a creative my entire life. But after my last consulting position I wanted to change things and get away from the stress of saving other people's failing businesses. 

    Which is a very long way to say this is all why my store front at RixxJavix.com was so important to me. Why I fought so hard for other creatives to have a chance to work with CCP over the years. And why this Board Game project meant so much to me when it popped up on my radar last year. I've always enjoyed genre work, my first commission in the sixth grade was a picture of Iron Man. And the opportunity to merge all of that history and passion into a project featuring Eve Online was just too good to be true.

    I still have fears and anxieties. I don't have any idea what comes next. But I know that whatever it is, I will put everything I am into it. Just like I always have. I really know no other way to be.

    And to anyone out there who is starting their own creative journey, or is stuck along the path somewhere, I hope my short-version helps you somehow. Life isn't a un-broken thread, it is complicated, challenging, and often seems dark and stressful. It is in those moments where we can truly shine and find a new thread that helps us grow in new ways we might never have imagined for ourselves. Don't give up. Tomorrow is always a new day.

    Keep the courage.




  • War for New Eden Wallpaper
    published on February 12th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     

    War For New Eden 4k

    I created this 4k Wallpaper to help promote the Eve War For New Eden Board Game Kickstarter which is up and running right now at this link. Only 9 DAYS remain to grab your own copy of this epic board game and all the expansions, stretch goals, and other goodies. Including some truly amazing things not even announced yet. This last week is going to be even more epic. So be sure to go over there and secure your copy with all the great content. You won't want to miss it.

    Anyway, I'm super busy right now and there is still a tremendous amount of work to get done. So forgive me for not posting as often as usual. 

    Please spread the word about the board game and I'll see you in space.

    And enjoy the wallpaper.



  • Random Thoughts
    published on February 9th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    --- Random Thought Number One ---

    Some people in this game of ours don't like me. If I pop up on Reddit, for example, I'll get blamed for all sorts of weird things. And sometimes some random weirdo in local will say something about something they have no clue about. I long ago learned to live with this sort of thing and it has exactly zero impact on me, my experience of the game and the community, or anything really. And the reason why is very, very simple - because none of it is true.

    People can choose to believe un-truths, I can't change that. All I can do is keep being awesome. But the fact remains, these weird accusations are only weird because they aren't true. I'm in the right. If they were true that would change the entire dynamic and I'd have stopped playing Eve a long, long time ago. Period.

    --- Random Thought Number Two ---

    I don't pay a lot of attention to the apparel in Eve. But yesterday I put together about twenty or so of these references for one of the artists at Titan Forge who is working on some illustrations for the Board Game. And I noticed something rather strange. If you preview clothing the male preview images zoom into the crotch. The female previews zoom in on the item. This is not 100% accurate in every preview, there are exceptions. But it is usually the case.

    I just thought that was weird.

    --- Random Thought Number Three ---

    I don't spend a lot of time on regrets typically. I try to learn from my mistakes and strive to not repeat them. But I do wish I hadn't spent so much time in Eve believing that there was some kind of honor involved with not using implants to help my PvP. Not to mention drugs or boosters. For years and years I flew around with empty pods and refused to use enhancements to aid in my PvP. I have no idea why. That was dumb.

    I still do that from time to time today. Don't get me wrong. But now it is for a reason. As is my Snake Clone, my Halo Clone, my Asklaps Clone, and my other clones. This makes so much more sense. You should do whatever you can to win. To give yourself an edge. Everyone else is.

    --- Random Thought Number Four ---

    I realize that not everyone can afford to pledge for the Kickstarter, or even wants to do so. But if you can afford it, I recommend doing it. I wouldn't wait for the retail version. Not only does the Kickstarter give you a discount on potential retail mark-ups, but you will also have access to expansions, stretch goals and other goodies that most likely will never be included in any potential retail version.

    And a retail version is not a sure thing. That is the goal, but I wouldn't pin your entire hopes on seeing that happen. Right now the only way to be sure of getting your hands on the board game is through KS.

    --- Random Thought Number Five ---

    OMG Almost half-a-million pledged to the KS!!! 

    Forgive me, I just had to get that out somewhere. How freaking cool is this??!




  • Behind the Scenes
    published on February 7th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    I love the fact that Roman and the team at Titan Forge made this video. I had nothing to do with this, but I heartily endorse it. It's great to see them having fun and showcasing their personality like this. So check it out I think you'll enjoy it.

    As for the campaign, we are in the middle doldrums right now. I keep asking myself every day what I can do to help get the message out and keep the momentum going. Obviously I'm somewhat limited in what I can do, but that doesn't stop me from trying.

    Recently the folks over at Just About put up a bounty asking people to give me any questions they might have about the game. The results are pretty awesome and I encourage you to check out the post that just went up today at this link. Lots of pretty graphics and art to look at.

    I'm probably driving everyone crazy with all these posts and talk about the board game, but I also hope that everyone appreciates how important this project is to me. Of course I'm going to keep talking about it and sharing my passion for it. I'd like to see it succeed and for everyone to be excited about getting their hands on what I believe will be an epic game to have. Heck, even if it was just for the miniatures and the awesome art - I'd be excited.

    I get passionate about things I believe in. That has always been me and always will be.



  • The 10th Annual FF4A Teaser
    published on February 6th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    On Saturday April 20th A Band Apart & Stay Frosty will be hosting our tenth annual Frigate Free For All in Ouelletta. Mark your calendars and be prepared for another day of absolute insanity as thousands of fully fitted frigates are handed out to everyone who wants one.

    More details regarding times and whatnot will be coming along as the event draws closer, but for now I wanted to plant the flag on a date and let everyone know about it as far in advance as possible. Our industry team is hard at work building the thousands and thousands of free fully fitted frigates and plans are afoot. As always we welcome donations and players who want to help provide additional content with special ships or activities. Streamers are also more than welcome to come along and enjoy the madness. But please, no one donate a fully officer fit Hel this year. Ok? Because even if you do and I give it back to you, some people will just not shut up about how I scammed the community.

    Otherwise, if you are not familiar with the FF4A event, here is how it works. You fly into Ouelletta, dock up and get handed a free frigate. You undock and have fun. When you die you simply return to station and get yet another free frigate. You keep doing this over and over again until madness overtakes you. Pretty simple premise. The best part is how much fun you will have and the insane things you will see. It is a great way to experience the insanity that is frigate PvP without risking anything other than your standings. And those are easy to fix.

    You are invited. Let's break some new records this year!!

    More to come.





  • 1v1 Eve Comic 119
    published on February 3rd, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    Special Kickstarter Edition!

    17 Days to Go. Over 2,000 Backers and nearly $450,000 in support. Which tbh is really much more than that given that 300+ pledges are in the Recruit Pledge, which is the $1 level where you can modify your final pledge up until the last moment. So those pledges potentially haven't been counted yet because most of those are waiting on final news regarding the 200% version and the associated expansions. Which hopefully will be coming up here soon. I know the team at TF is working on getting those answers together for everyone.

    Yesterday I finished the last spaceship card in the initial offering, which was the Cynabal in case you were wondering. That wraps up all the spaceship cards from the core game and the expansions. But don't worry I still have a ton of work to get done. Including the player voted Event Cards which were suggested by the comments on the Kickstarter. Once voting is finished the top five selections will be turned into real Event Cards and added to the game. Y'know, once the illustrations are done.

    I was very excited to see the Structures pop up in the last Update and I'm also excited for what might be coming up next in future updates. Just like you, I don't always know every little detail and sometimes I'm just as surprised as you are. I have to admit it is a lot of fun when that happens and I get just as excited about something new as I'm sure the other backers do.

    Just to give you a sense of the sheer amount of cards involved in the game. And these are not even all of them. To be fair these are the main cards from the core game. And there are some duplicates in there along with some cards that got cancelled along the way, or modified into other cards, etc. But still, it gives you a good sense of the scale of this thing and why it took me almost a year to create the art for all of these. And when I say "all" I don't want to overlook the cards that were done by the talented artists at Titan Forge, many of the final cards were illustrated by them as well. It was a lot of work and I appreciated the help from time to time. Plus they are really very, very good.

    I hope you will consider supporting the game. I know some people who are getting themselves two copies, one to keep as a collectors edition in the packaging. Or for friends. And others don't even really like board games but are supporting it for the miniatures and other elements. There is even a way to support the game just by donating funds to support the project, without even getting the game. I also know a lot of people who are not financially able to support the game and believe me, I totally understand that. I've been there myself.

    However you help, thank you. This has been an incredible journey and I appreciate all of the support.

    Onward & Upward.




  • Eve Board Game | Interview
    published on February 1st, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    What a day yesterday! We had a 4 hour long CCP Dev stream and got to watch CCP Overload, CCP Masterplan, CCP Fozzie, and CCP Aurora play the prototype of the board game. I tried to hang out the entire time and answer any questions that popped up in chat. As did several of the team from Titan Forge as well. And I managed to stay the for almost the entire time, although I did take a short break to grab some lunch.


    And then later in the day I joined my Canadian friends Ben Rush and Dame de Nord for an hour long talk about the board game and much, much more. That is the video linked above.  I hope I didn't make any serious mistakes or blow the cover on any secrets, but I don't think I did. Just take everything I say with a small grain of salt. Things change fast and sometimes I'm knee deep in drawing and getting stuff finished and get out of direct touch. Everyone is working hard to make sure everything is done and ready and works - it is a madhouse most of the time.

    But y'know I love every minute of it.

    It has been such a great year working on this project. Finally seeing it revealed to the entire community has been an incredible experience. It truly has. And the positive reaction has only reinforced my feelings about this fantastic universe we all live in. So I wanted to say a very, very special thank you to everyone who has pledged to help us make this project a reality. I sincerely appreciate each of you. I'm in there with you with my own pledge as well, as a fan I can't wait to get my grubby fingers on this thing.

    I think we are due for a big update tomorrow, so fingers crossed.

    See you then.

  • Eve Board Game Trailer
    published on January 30th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     



    This makes it even easier to share with friends and family, not to mention the hordes of social media followers you have. Or in-game in local. Or on Discord with your Corporation and Alliance mates. Or in weird posts on your Facebook page. Or other places I haven't even thought about yet.

    Ok, back to work. I still have a lot of work to do on this sucker. But be sure to share the video and pledge to the project. We need all the help we can get to bring this epic project to life.

    Thanks.



  • Eve Board Game | Ship Cards
    published on January 29th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     
    Layout only, this is not a final card

    The Eve Online board game War For New Eden is up and running on Kickstarter right now.


    I thought I'd spend some time today talking about the heart of the upcoming board game - the spaceship cards. (And, obviously the miniatures that go with them) Just like Eve Online itself, spaceships are at the heart of the board game. This is entirely by design and right from the very beginning the spaceships were a top priority for all of us on the development team. In fact, in many ways, development of the card designs led the way in development of the game itself. When I started working with the folks at Titan Forge we really had nothing designed yet - only a concept for the overall game itself.

    For example, we had no idea how much information would end up being on each card, or what exactly that information might be. I also knew that we'd have a lot of cards to design. And that each spaceship illustration would take me a certain amount of time, which multiplied by upwards of 30+ spaceship cards - really starts to add up. So it was critical to get the design of the cards established as soon as possible.

    Luckily the concept of spaceship cards in Eve Online is something I've spent a lot of time on over the years. Way back in 2014 I spoke with then CCP Manifest and others regarding a potential card game based on Eve Online. I even brought along a rough concept with me to Fanfest in 2015 to show around to get feedback. That game was based around the four empires doing battle, but it eventually evolved into an Alliance Tournament card game. Later on I developed two other card games as well. All of which eventually earned me some nice letters from CCP's legal department. Point being, I had a bit of a head start on this idea.


    That is an early design framework I developed in Illustrator based around the fitting window. It was a day one decision to include it in the early concepts and it quickly became the theme around which further development would focus. In fact many of the early design cues came from the fitting window from in-game. It is such an essential part of our lives as players and it already naturally includes a spaceship environment which we've all become accustomed to seeing every day.

    I also liked the idea that the fitting window wasn't something already being exploited in other Eve designs. In fact, I don't believe I've ever seen it used outside of the in-game context before. This made it a rather unique design to base the cards around. And also provide the perfect window through which you could see space and also present the spaceship itself in a unique way - popping out of it with a nice drop shadow gives it a very natural 3d feel. Lots of action.

    I'm extremely pleased with the spaceship cards as their own thing and I believe they stand on their own as gorgeous art cards that showcase the beauty of Eve's ships on their own merits. This is something that I strived to achieve from day one and I'm happy to see that they managed to survive through all the rounds of evolution and keep that alive. You never know what might happen as the game developed over time and my constant fear was that more and more copy necessary to play the game would kneecap the design. Luckily I wasn't the only person who shared those concerns.

    This is just another example of hundreds I could share with you that I found tremendously great about the team at Titan Forge. They wanted the same things I did. They wanted to bring the experience and beauty of Eve Online to the board game as much as I did. And while we may not have always seen eye to eye on every little detail, we did always stay true to that goal. And that is ultimately what was most important.

    Just a little peek into the background for you there. I'll be sharing more as time goes on. And, if you haven't already, please consider pledging. Even if it's just so you can get your hands on these cards and those incredible miniatures. It's worth it, just for those.

    Fly safe o7




  • The Board Game | Alliance Tournament
    published on January 26th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    In the near future a whole bunch of people around the world will get their hands on the Eve War for New Eden Board Game. You can be one of them simply by going over and making a pledge to the Kickstarter, which is up and running right now.

    One thing I wanted to bring up here - and something I've been thinking about a lot the last few weeks - is that soon a whole bunch of people are going to have a whole bunch of cool miniatures of Eve spaceships in their hands. Both regular and 200% versions. Along with the Ship Cards and a rather robust combat system. And from the comments I've been reading, a lot of potential players are wondering what to do with those minis. I mean, besides playing the Board Game with their friends.

    Combat system. Cool spaceship miniatures.

    Why not hold your own Alliance Tournament?

    Think about it for a second. Pick your own ten man fleet composition to represent your team and then your friends do the same. You can make up your own rules or follow the AT rules if you want. You can have a round robin set-up, with a losers bracket, or just a single elimination style tournament. You can let people change compositions or stick with the ones they have. Really, the rules are totally up to you and your friends, or your organizers. 

    This would be great for player meets. I'm sure a lot of player meets in the future will feature games based around the board game, which is awesome. But this Alliance Tournament idea could be yet another way to enjoy the board game in person. Or even on-line. Who knows?

    I just wanted to bring this concept up now so you had time to think about it. You've got hundreds of miniature spaceships in your hands, with a system already built to handle combat in a truly unique way - why not explore additional ways to enjoy those systems? Not to mention gorgeous ship cards with beautiful art?

    I really like the idea of real world Alliance Tournaments, but I can imagine that the ever creative Eve community will come up with even more clever ways to use the Board Game that I haven't even thought about.



  • The Board Game
    published on January 25th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    The Eve War for New Eden Kickstarter is up and running.

    This is my first ever Kickstarter and I'm learning on the job. I've obviously helped with other KS projects in the past, such as Andrew's Eve History book series, but this is the first one I've been involved with at this level. And while I mainly draw pretty pictures and design cards, icons, and packaging - I have tried to help in other ways as well. I'm all-in on this one because I believe in the people involved with me. Our team is a solid team and I wouldn't have spent a year of my life working on something I didn't believe in.

    I know how important this project is for the folks at Titan Forge and how much time and effort they've put into capturing the game we love and translating it into this game. Heck, they brought me onto the team didn't they? I often imagine a scenario where that didn't happen and I was just learning about this project now. And how different that world could be. This could have easily have gone another way. And we all know what those kinds of projects are like. But it didn't. I also know that they've listened to the community feedback and tried to adapt to the feedback they received, I watched it happen in real time standing there at Fanfest.

    I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything. All I'm trying to do is express how much I believe in this project and how excited I am to be a part of it. Ultimately, as I've always believed, it is up to this community of ours to decide if something is worthy of our support. And based on the reaction I've seen so far, I believe the reaction is overwhelmingly positive. Do you need to see a rulebook? Of course and I suspect that will be happening here shortly. I know they are hard at work on finalizing it. I also know that play-testing and tweaking last minute modifications have been on-going because they'd rather it be correct and right, rather than quick. Again, this could be such a different outcome.

    In the end this is quite simply a million dollar project. And that is my own personal opinion. Will it ever reach that level of support? Probably not, but I believe it deserves it. I'm an optimistic guy and I believe very strongly in things that I become a part of, I always have. From my own businesses to those of my clients. When I worked with the Pittsburgh Penguins I became a hockey fan. Even though I didn't grow up watching hockey and didn't even know the rules. So this is no different. I'm certainly not a huge board game player, I enjoy a good board game and I've loved playing them with the crew at Steel City Eve over the years. Back when I developed the OverPower card game for Marvel/Fleer I spent nine months play-testing and designing that game - and after it came out I never played it again. I still have the original shrink-wrapped box sitting on my shelf. But I love that game. 

    Anyway, I hope you decide to support the Kickstarter and support projects like this from our community. For years and years I tried to get a card game off the ground and I have two Cease and Desist letters to prove how successful that effort turned out to be. And now, after all those years, we finally have something to show for it.

    Let's not let this opportunity pass us by. I pledged and I hope you will as well.




  • Eve: War for New Eden is LIVE!
    published on January 24th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    The Kickstarter is LIVE!!

    We reached our initial goal in less than an hour, so get over there and show your support as soon as you can. Lots of expansions and options to choose from, so be sure to secure what you want.

    I'll obviously have more to say and share later, but right now I'm about ready to pass out. Go and take a look at everything we've been working on for the past year.



  • Eve Comic 1v1 Number 118
    published on January 24th, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     


    The other day I saw a Tornado on scan and I was in a Hurricane, when a Cyclone undocked behind me. That's when the idea for this comic was born. Sometimes I wonder why I bother making these. It often feels like I do it simply to amuse myself. But then I remember the times when I'm out at an event and someone comes up to tell me how much they enjoy them and that I should keep making them. It happens. Not a lot to be honest. But it actually happens. Even the Space Pope enjoys them.

    I created the first one back in 2010. I was driving into work and had the idea. I sat down at my desk and sketched it out on a scrap piece of paper, or a napkin, or something. Then scanned it into Photoshop, reversed it, and posted it in these pages. It was rough and crude back then. And sometimes I feel like I should go back and re-do those early versions - but I won't. Let them stay the way they were originally created.

    A lot of the older ones don't make much sense now. Back then I often created some based on something very specific that was happening in the community at the time. And some of that immediacy gets lost to time. I try to steer clear of those these days and create something more universal in tone. But the goal is always to make it very, very specific to an Eve audience. A normal person looking at that panel above would not understand it. It makes no sense at all unless you know that one ship is called a Tornado and one ship is called a Hurricane.

    Anyway, that is more words than I intended to write.




  • Transforming Pirates
    published on January 23rd, 2024 at 05:30 PM

     

    Stay Frosty 10 YARRRS!

    You can't survive at the top of your game for almost eleven years by being stagnant. Eve is a system of constant change and evolutionary forces. The smart players are constantly adapting and changing to meet those challenges. This is true at the micro and macro levels, and at every point along the journey. Few players know the truth of this more than Pirates. We're constantly looking for the slightest edge, in our fits, in our tactics, and in how we approach the game we all love.

    Over a year ago I issued a very specific challenge to our members. The introduction of Uprising and the subsequent changes that brought to Factional Warfare space would forever alter the fabric of our chosen play style. And while Stay Frosty would always be the home of exceptional solo pilots, still proudly half small gang and half solo after a decade! The truth was that we needed to start evolving into a more small gang focused Corporation. A transformation that would not be easy to accomplish.

    So I started by organizing regular, predictable Saturday fleets. These fleets would be used for a variety of purposes, for learning, for getting our members into ships they might not normally fly, and for building a sense of teamwork and organization we were never really all that good at in the past. Of course, we always had our moments - especially when it came to home defense. But this would be more of an institutional change. The trick would be consistency and success. Once our pilots started experiencing the difference for themselves, my hope was that it would become natural and desirable for them.

    A year later and we are running two or three or more regular fleets a week. A year later and we scored the first Cybele kill in all of Eve Online. A year later and our regular gangs are becoming recognized around the neighborhood. And other players are constantly complaining about them. (Which is always a sure sign you are doing something right.) And our players are getting really, really good at flying together. Like, insanely good.

    Participation is also way up and we are regularly getting to the point now where the label "small gang" might not be accurate. And friends and allies are regularly flying with us. Which is all tremendously good news for our little Pirate band. New FCs are starting to pop up and take an interest in leading groups, spontaneous fleets are forming piece meal at random times - just the other day we were hanging out and someone just handed out fitted Enyo's and we all went on a roam. (Thanks Saint!) This is exactly what I had in mind over a year ago.

    Thing is, this also helps the solo play style. It gives people confidence to go out and challenge themselves, and it gives all of us a chance to get to know each other, work together, and truly grow as players.

    Exciting times in Stay Frosty these days. Low Sec is busy. Lots of activity. And it has changed a lot in the last year or so. Luckily, Stay Frosty has changed with it. And we're meeting the challenges of a new world head on.

    Maybe it's time you considered flying with the real Pirates of Low Sec?

    YARRR!

    PS: in-game channel is EVEOGANDA btw

 

 

 

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