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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

On Shapeways, GURPS Prime Directive, and Eclipses

Jean Sexton muses:

Sometimes it feels as though a project has come and is eating all of your work time, far more than you allowed. Around the office, we call that the visitation of the Great Dragon. I actually seem to have a two-headed dragon visiting now.

Shapeways was indeed the Great Dragon. Steve Cole manages the design of the ships, our sculptors create the files for the ships, and I upload those files. Then I create the items (each material requires pricing), including the descriptions that tell the story behind each ship. On "release day," I check the ships one last time to make sure that the picture I wanted is there and the prices we wanted are there before releasing the ships to the store. I'm managing the publicity, including finding cool pictures (taken by fans and talented painters) of the minis and adding those after Simone has "Shapeways-ized" them. (Shapeways requires the pictures to be a certain size; I want us to be in control of how they get cropped.) With Wave 3 releasing 55 ships, my time in July was fairly well focused on that. Still I have found time (somehow) to work on what should be my primary project.

I didn't know that the GURPS Prime Directive revision was going to be as extensive as it has become. You've already read about the start of the project here in "Working on the GURPS Prime Directive Revision" where I was working on the species, advantages/disadvantages, and skills. Next came the section on combat.There I found that some things had been omitted that I thought were essential. The new chapter includes most of the GURPS Lite combat section. Since I never want to leave things out that the players once had, I added in some details. Earlier sections also required information be added here. I made the decision that hex-based combat would have to be omitted (as GURPS Lite does), but I noted that and referenced the main GURPS books so if players wanted to use it, they could find it. I'm now working on the section about injuries, illnesses, and fatigue.  And believe me, if a Slirdarian Marine gets mad at you, you will need this section!

 I fell in love with science fiction because if its link to space and the stars. I have a fascination with both of those. It shouldn't surprise anyone that I wanted to see the eclipse. I couldn't justify driving north to see it, so I decided I would be satisfied with the 80% covered sun. (I had seen a total eclipse in 1970 and an annular eclipse in 2012). The clouds rolled in and stayed. And stayed. They broke three times so I got to see a bit of the sun covered, a lot of the sun covered, and then finally most of the sun covered as the moon was moving away. While I was disappointed that I didn't get to see the sun at the time it was most covered, I decided I was happy that I got to see it at all.

GURPS Prime Directive is calling my name, so now it is back to work for me!