Category Archives: Links

The Artifact is doing the Kickstarter Thing

The Artifact is a science fiction RPG designed by Emmet O’Brian. It deals with the discovery of a BDO – Big Dumb Object – an artificial world of very peculiar shape. While I never played the game (and probably never will, since I don’t really game anymore) I really like the level of detail Emmet put into the design of the setting – I guess I am a sucker for planet-building civilizations (Ringworld, Rama, Banks Orbitals, GIMME).

Anyway, Emmet has started a Kickstarter campaign (with a very modest funding goal) in order to increase the quality of the Artifact books. I’ve just backed it, and I hope the project gets funded.

For more information, visit The Artifact’s homepage.

Monster Stock Art Project on

Some months ago I discovered a cool website: Kickstarter. It’s a website that helps creative projects find backers for financing. Projects there range from video games to music, and from sock puppets to bionic eyes. Of course, not all of the projects receive enough financial backing – in which case pledges aren’t charged. While some project do not look like they’re well thought out, most seem fairly solid, and there’s a lot of cool stuff there.

I now found a project that I like, and that I actually pledged money to: The Monster Stock Art & Minis project.

Monster Stock Art Project Logo, used with permission
Monster Stock Art Project Logo, used with permission

The project is organized by Joe Wetzel, of Hexographer / Dungenographer fame. Its aim is to create at least 100 “stock monsters” as high quality graphics. More, if the project ends up over its funding goal.

The monsters will be drawn by a group of professional artists, including people like Jeff Ward and Keith Curtis. The monsters on the project’s logo image (Above) are sample monsters that have already been created; the project’s page has some additional samples.

As with all Kickstarter projects, backers of the project receive boons based on the amount they contribute. The low end and medium pledges are perfect for a GM who needs a bunch of monsters to spice up his games. On the high end, backers are granted the right to commercially use the images. Yes, these rights are not exclusive, but it’s probably the most inexpensive source of professional monster art you’ll find in a long time.

As I write this, the project needs less than US$400 to reach its funding goal – with 35 days left. If the project receives more funding, it will commission more monsters, and everybody who participates benefits.

So check out this project, participate, and don’t forget the other cool projects Kickstart offers.

Astronomycast: What if Something was Different?

Astronomycast #246 deals with the question: What if something was different? What if any of the parameters of the universe was different, what if we were further out in the galaxy, what if we didn’t have gas giant, and similar topics – this is of great interest to a world-builder because it gives you a good basic framework of what does and doesn’t work in your fictional universes. AstronomyCast is a good podcast at any rate, I recommend it highly.

Richard Bartle on MMO design paradigms

Richard Bartlethe man when it comes to MMO design – held a very interesting talk at IMGDC. In it he’s discussing the different types of MMO designs, and how “social” mmo’s contrast with the linear World-of-Warcraft design and the more freeform games like Eve Online. His talk is definitely worth a read, I just wish there was a recording.

The PDF is here.