eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
I got another commission back today :)

art under the cut! )

Yay!

(I'm posting all the art I've commissioned under the character art tag - there's another one of Aspen in there so far, and some other characters, and more to come. :))
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
I feel really kind of guilty, in some ways - 2016 was such a dire year for so many people, and yet mine was... pretty great. As my housemate says: "Out there, 2016 sucked. Inside this house, it's been a good year."

So, my 2016:
- I started the year working for a community services non-profit employed through an agency. They liked me and wanted to keep me, so at the end of February they put me on a contract, which was gratifying.

- At the end of March, my partner moved out and dumped me, in a not particularly elegant way. The breakup was painful, which wasn't very surprising as he was not a communicative man even at the best of times. However, I have always done just fine on my own, and after an Easter weekend of wallowing at my parents' house, I was pretty much fine. We have remained cordial albeit distant friends.

- This prompted me to make an offer to G, one of my closest and oldest friends - G had split with his long-time partner at the end of 2015, and was visiting family in another state for six weeks before returning to Brisbane to find somewhere to live. (The week before Easter was a bad week - G left for six weeks, my partner dumped me and moved out, and my only real friend at work went overseas for three months. I felt a bit abandoned!) So I said to G, "well, I've got this spare room empty..." and got back "...I'll be back in next weekend." \o/

- So my domestic situation is pretty damn great. G is a great friend and I absolutely love living with him. And as the absolute icing on the cake, G is also the only person I know who is as keen about (tabletop roleplaying) gaming as I am, and thus has been running a frigging amazing one-on-one Exalted game for me for the last eight months. SO HAPPY. 😍

- Meanwhile, in May, I was offered a year-long promotion from August 2016 to August 2017, acting as the team leader for our region's Admin team. There was some awkwardness about how that happened, but basically from August onwards I've been loving my job. I really enjoy leadership, and I am extremely thankful for the opportunity -- I had no leadership experience on my resume to date, so this has been very valuable.

So to sum up, in 2016 I: am far happier out of my previous relationship; have acquired an excellent housemate which has also strengthened our friendship even more; am able to access my favourite hobby whenever I want, instead of having to wait for the moons to align; have stepped into a work role I genuinely really enjoy; have significantly strengthened my resume for my next job search.

I sort of feel like I stole all the good fortune everyone else should have had in 2016. Sorry people! *sheepish*

I hope 2017 for you all is as awesome as 2016 was for me.

More art!

Dec. 28th, 2016 11:28 am
eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
The first commission turned out so well that I went on a bit of a spree :)

This one's of Cathak Korin and Cathak Avila, Fire Aspect Dragon-Bloods and partners in crime. Avila's one of my favourite characters ever and Korin likewise for J.

yaaaaaaaaaay! )

Yay!
eleanorjane: Azula in flashback, smirking (azula)
Cut for mild mental health talk. )

In other news, our current Shadowrun roleplaying campaign has hit awesome heights, and I'm really enjoying it. We had a hiatus for much of November due to scheduling conflicts, and it's good to get back into the swing of things. And it looks like we should be able to squeeze in another gaming session tomorrow, too, which is pure serendipity.
eleanorjane: Abby Sciutto looking cute (geek girl)
Normally I don't crosspost from my other blog/s, but I feel pretty strongly about this one, so. :) I originally posted this at Siha Games!, my gaming blog, but I felt it was relevant here too.

--

A couple of weeks ago, Greenheart Games was all over the news for their indie tycoon game, Game Dev Tycoon. In order to prove a point about piracy, Greenheart's Patrick Klug seeded a cracked version of the game to various torrent sites, with a twist: the cracked version became unplayable after a certain amount of time, thanks to in-game piracy destroying your revenue. Cute, but ultimately it felt like a bitter stunt instead of a genuine opportunity -- it was just an opportunity to lecture people about piracy, instead of looking for a way to convert pirates into customers.

I much prefer the approach taken by Posthuman Studios, publishers of the hit pen-and-paper RPG Eclipse Phase. I've talked about Eclipse Phase before, as a setting I'd love to see as an MMO, but it's also a fantastic (and award-winning) tabletop game. Eclipse Phase is set in a high-tech post-apocalyptic future where humanity has abandoned Earth and spread throughout the solar system, and it covers everything from transhumanism, horror and conspiracy to straight-up sci-fi adventure.

And what makes Eclipse Phase really special, IMO, is Posthuman's approach to its customers and fans. Eclipse Phase is licensed under Creative Commons, which means that fans can freely hack the game, modify it, post their work online, and even share the entire game with anyone they think might like it. Hell, Posthuman themselves even seeded the full core book to various file-sharing and torrent sites.

And it's worked. Despite being available for free, with no stigma of piracy and active publisher encouragement to share copies of the PDF, players and fans of the game have been happily handing over their money both for PDF and hardcopy books ever since Eclipse Phase first launched. In the words of Adam Jury, a Posthuman Studios founder,

[N]o publishing company can successfully fight piracy. The RIAA hasn’t, the MPAA hasn’t. Piracy is going to happen unless we say “nope, you can’t pirate our stuff, cuz we’ll just let you give it out!” — and that makes the file-sharers like us and buy from us. I don’t think pirates are evil and immoral people. I know many people who pirate many things and these people also buy many things. They just tend to buy only things they already like. So, of course, giving away your material will only work if your material is good quality!

I'd much rather have someone read our game for free and not like it than buy our game and not like it. In the first case, they’re only out their time. In the second case, they’re out time and money and are more likely to resent us and/or not buy any other games we may release.

Furthermore, Creative Commons isn’t just about "downloading for free;" it’s about giving fans permission to hack our content and distribute those hacks. Permission to do the things that gamers naturally do, without fear of lawsuits or complex legalese or requiring our approval. Our fans have built and distributed complex character generation spreadsheets, customized GM Screens, converted our books into ePub/mobi format, and all sorts of neat things. When they do things like this, that gives us guidance as to what we should be doing: because fans aren’t just saying they want something, they’re putting their time where their mouth is ... a strong indication that they and other fans would be willing to pay for those things if we produced them.


This has always struck me as both a smart business decision and a humane one, and Eclipse Phase's success has proved that it's the right way to go. Treat people with respect, and it pays off. There is no need for gamers to pay for Eclipse Phase, but they do, because people are willing to pay for what they like.

And this point is proved with Transhuman, the Eclipse Phase Player's Guide (and next EP release). This is the first Eclipse Phase Kickstarter and it's been handled with Posthuman's typical approach to operating their business. Transhuman is in Open Playtesting, so Kickstarter customers can check out the book before they pledge. The pledge rewards packages are generous and well-considered bundles. And one of the early Stretch Goals was to give Transhuman's freelance contributors a 15% pay raise - a very humane and generous offer in an industry where freelancers (and most creators) earn very little for their work.

It probably comes as no surprise that Transhuman reached its funding goal in twelve hours and is at 530% of its goal as I write this. The success of Eclipse Phase's business model is a counterpoint to - and lesson for - publishers in any industry. Treat your customers with respect, don't assume they're going to rip you off, don't try to wring every cent out of them, and sell them a quality product: your customers will become fans, and they'll throw money at you.

As a postscript, I encourage you all to check out the Transhuman Kickstarter. If you're interested in pen-and-paper games or simply good science fiction, a twenty dollar pledge will net you the Eclipse Phase RPG and the Transhuman Player's Guide in PDF format, and there are a range of other pledge rewards offering more of the Eclipse Phase product line as well. Frankly, I'd have given them money even if I weren't a fan of Eclipse Phase, because I strongly believe that their approach to business is the right one, and I think that deserves my support. And the more success enjoyed by Eclipse Phase and other games like it, the more likely other publishers are to sit up and take notice, and accept that you don't have to treat your customers like criminals to make money.

Note: There's just over four days left on the Transhuman Kickstarter as I write this, so if you're interested, don't forget to check it out this weekend!

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eleanorjane: The one, the only, Harley Quinn. (Default)
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