You may have noticed that I didn’t have a post last week. I think that was the first weekly post I’ve missed since I started the blog. The truth is, I just didn’t have anything ready to write about, nor the time to generate anything. Hopefully you were too busy with the holidays (like I was) to really notice or miss it.
I don’t do yearly retrospectives in these updates so looking back will only be December. However, given some of the things that happened this month, looking forward will take a bit longer view than just January. Read on.
As I already mentioned, I missed last week’s post. That said, I still managed to get four posts up (this one makes five) this month. It’s just that one of them was the off-schedule battle report post of the Battle of Ken’zah-Kit. We started the month with the usual Detailed Frontier Timeline post which I followed up with some musings on the Second Sathar War triggered by all the work I’ve been doing on that in the the timeline. I then posted the first part of a series with videos showing how I make my ship deck plans as I work on the deck plans for the HSS History’s Hope.
And that was it on the blog front. The reason for that is that there has been a lot going on behind the scenes.
First and foremost, I changed jobs mid-month. Now instead of being an Adjunct (part-time) Professor at the local university teaching an occasional computer science class and working full time as a software developer at NASA, I’m now an Assistant (full-time, tenure-track) Professor at the university and only part-time at NASA. Making that transition (I’m no longer working from home), plus the holidays, has severely cut into my free time this month and I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to work on game related topics. I’m still getting my schedule sorted out and figuring out when I have time to schedule my various activities.
What time I did have was put primarily into the next issue (#31) of the Frontier Explorer. I’ve edited most of the articles and will finish those up this week and get the preliminary layout done so we can figure out what art is still needed. Once again, I had more things scheduled for the issue than will fit so we’re already well on our way to having all the content for issue 32.
Another chunk of time was spent on the timeline. With the aftermath of the battles last month and this, there was a bunch of logistical things I had to track and work through for the timeline and that ate up a bunch of time.
The other thing that happened is that I started looking at the Star Frontiersman magazine again. Ever since Bill Logan passed the magazine off to me, I’ve had two things I’ve wanted to do. The first is bring it back to life, probably on an annual or semi-annual basis filling the pages with adventures, kind of like TSR’s old Dungeon magazine. Looking over the magazine submission queue, there are several adventures in there and it may be time to kick that project off.
The second is that I’d like to make print versions of the Star Frontiersman issues available for those that want them. The first 17 issues used to be available in black and white from Lulu but with the trademark kerfluffle a a couple of years ago, WotC had Lulu take them down. I want to make the full color versions (like the PDFs) available. The problem is that for most of those back issues, I only have the PDF files, not the original documents, and the format needed to make the print version is not just the PDF that currently exists. I started to go into an explanation of the issues involved but realized I should save that for a separate post and do it proper justice. The short version is that I managed to get proper print files for issues 1-6 ready and sent off. I’ve received the print proof or issue 1, which I did first, and am happy with it. I’m just waiting on the other five. This project sucked up the remaining free time I had this month (including some time I probably should have spent on the Frontier Explorer).
On the blog, there will definitely be another Detailed Frontier Timeline post next week, and toward the end of the month, three more battle reports (which I still need to play out the battles for). I also hope to finish the History’s Hope deck plans and post those and the associated videos. Beyond that, I don’t know what other posts, if any are coming. It’s really going to depend on what I end up working on.
The other thing that is definitely coming out this month is the next issue of the Frontier Explorer and the print-on-demand editions of the first six issues of the Star Frontiersman. I haven’t missed an issue of the Frontier Explorer since we started in 2012 and don’t plan on starting now. That will always get my #1 priority slot. And the Star Frontiersman issues are just waiting on the print queue and shipping. Once they arrive and I can look them over, I’ll make them available.
Over the past month or two, I’ve been thinking a lot about what projects I want to work on going forward and what that will mean for this blog.
For the past half year or so, I’ve felt really pressured to try and get an article out each week even when it hasn’t been something I really wanted to work on for focus my time on. When I started the blog, I also launched my associated Patreon campaign. I originally promised one post a month but later decided to try to get a weekly post out as a way to generate interest and Patreon supporters even though a weekly post was way down on the goals list. But I felt that a more frequent and regular posting schedule would be helpful in growing my readership and patronage. And I was was able to keep it up for over 2.5 years. However, I think going forward, I’m going to dial back my posting a little bit.
I’ll continue to have the Detailed Frontier Timeline posts on the first Tuesday of each month, and I’ll continue to do these State of the Frontier posts on the last Tuesday of each month. In between that though, I think I’ll be posting on a more sporadic basis as I finish projects and/or have progress to report. I also might start doing more small announcement type posts when I learn about other things going on or have something to mention. But that begs the question of what will I be working on beyond the Detailed Frontier Timeline.
First, I want to finish up the deck plans of the HSS History’s Hope and produce a Technical Manual for the ship. That should be good for at least two posts. One, which I hope to have ready by the end of the month, on the rest of the decks, and a second giving more details about the ship in general, maybe with more detailed room descriptions. Then there will be an announcement post when the final Technical Manual is available.
Second, I want to get back to my 3D modelling. Both finishing up the recreations of the miniatures from the Privateers boxed set that TSR created, and making new ships of my own design. I’m going to start with the Privateers. If I can manage to get one done each month, that will get me through to June. When I get to my own designs, they may or may not come with deck plans. I’d like to Technical Manuals for each one but may shift to a lighter “spec sheet” version that doesn’t go into quite as much detail as my Technical Manuals but still provides game data on the ships.
Third, and related to the modeling effort. I have a new starship construction system nearly complete (it has been for a long while) that I want to finish and make available. I’ve posted excerpts from this in the past and really need to just finish it and get it out there. My plan is to base all the miniature designs of my own creation on ships created with this system.
Fourth, I want to finish the Death at Rosegard and Ghost Ship Osiris adventures that I started when I began this blog. I’ll probably start with Death at Rosegard as that one is mostly done, I just need to stitch it all together. Then I can tackle Ghost Ship Osiris. The latter was put on hold as Bill wasn’t really doing anything with FrontierSpace. However, with Trevor Holman’s FrontierSpace adventures coming out (that I edit for him), and Bill starting to get things going again with FrontierSpace, it’s time to finish that one up as well.
Finally, I want to get back to writing. I’m 75,000+ words into a first draft (probably about a quarter done) of a Star Frontiers novel and have an outline for the sequel to my book Discovery. I’d like to start spending more time on those as well. I’m not sure how much of the writing will show up in the blog until I get toward later drafts and have excerpts I can post, but it’s something that I will be spending time on.
Things are going to look a little different going forward, but hopefully there will still be plenty of content for you to enjoy. What types of material would you be interested in seeing that I haven’t mentioned already? Or what aspects of the mentioned projects would you be interested in seeing me write about here? I’m always open to suggestions.
I want to end this post with a big thank you to all those who have supported me on Patreon over the years. You have really helped to keep this blog going. If you are already a supporter, thank you again. If you’re not a supporter, consider helping out.