Wednesday, October 26, 2016


     I’ll get straight to the point:
    I feel like I’ve lost my sense of direction as a writer, artist, and publisher.  I’ve waffled between Hard and Soft SF, Between art and writing and gaming, and - in my opinion, the worst offence - I’ve started a lot of projects and not finished them.  
   Part of problem is the black dog of depression making me feel like my efforts to engage my RocketFans are futile in the last two month, I’ve lost patrons and seen sales dry up.  
    Part of it is the desire to work on so many projects.  There are books I want to write, short story series, articles about gaming, gaming supplements, adventures and nano-fiction.  There is so much art I want to draw, isometrics, deckplans, rockets, starships, and everything in between.
    Part of it is a desire to explore my favorite worlds, such as Star Wars, and Star Trek, but also explore my own settings, and the consequences and implications of real-world technology.
   And I won’t lie, part of it is money.   Due to an ill-timed coma and the debilitating effects thereof, I’ve been unemployable in the conventional sense for over six years now.  This is what I’m doing to try and help support my family.  While science fiction in general and gaming in particular has been a lifelong hobby of mine, I’m not doing this just for fun.  I’m trying to make a living doing what I love because I almost killed myself making a living the old-fashioned way.  So if I’m investing a lot a time into a project that isn’t selling or attracting patrons to my Patreon, I can’t afford to keep doing it.
    All that being said, I’m getting tired of throwing spaghetti at the wall and waiting to see what sticks.  While I have a lot of projects I’d love to do, the truth is, it’s really not much fun to do it just for myself.  I want to write and draw things that other people want to read and see.  I want to make something other people want to use.  I want other people to get as excited about these projects as I have.
    So here’s the thing:  I want to know what you want.  I’ve got a few questions for you, so if you’ll take the time to answer them, we can both get what we want out of Blue Max Studios.
    I’ll even do one better, if you answer my questions by emailing me at, I’ll send you free PDF of your choice from my catalog.  You can look at the list here:
    OR....If you’d prefer fiction, I’ll send you a PDF copy of BOTH of my Gentleman Abroad stories for free.
    And all you have to do is answer some easy questions.

  • What would you spend money on? What kind of product would you be willing to buy?  In the past I’ve written game suppliments, rules expansions, and short stories.  Be as specific as you like when answering this question, especially where it involves rules systems or specific franchises or fandoms.
  • If you are or were to become my patron on Patreon, what kind of content would you like to see?  On my blog,I’ve written articles on science fiction world building, gaming and incidental content such as characters and ship stats.  I also produce art of spacecraft of different types.  But if you were to pledge money monthly to my Patreon, what do you want to get for your money?
  • How much would you be willing to pay/pledge?  This is a very personal choice, because not everyone has the extra money to spend or the extra time to get full value out of what they buy.  If you did get to purchase a PDF that gave you exactly what you wanted, or pledge to a Patreon that gave you exactly the content you wanted, how much would that be worth to you?

    The answers to these questions will help decide in which direction Blue Max Studios moves forward, so your responses are very important to me.  Important enough for me to give you the choice of any one of my books for free.  If you know someone else who is into gaming and science fiction, please share this so they can get a free book as well.

    I look forward to hearing from all of you.

Raymond McVay,
Blue Max Studios

Friday, October 14, 2016

Alternate Metaphysics Mechanics for Open D6 Part IV: Book Outline

     While it's true that I'm occupied primarily with Iso grid maps at the moment and my Hard SF Conjunction setting in the longer term, I haven't abandoned my work on making a new system for the use of Metaphysics in Open D6.  In fact, I've finished up an outline for an entire book!  Have a look-see, and let me know what you think.  I hope to move forward (even if its a paragraph at a time) in the coming months, so any comments would be valuable.  Hope you enjoy!

Opposing Force: Alternate Metaphysics Rules for Open D6

  1. Wielding Fate: Fate Points as the basis of the Metaphysics system
    1. The Big Change: A New Mechanic
      1. Sidebar: Fate binds all living things...
    2. Doing the Impossible: New Difficulty Levels
      1. Impossible: 40+
      2. Setting Difficulties
        1. Sidebar: Difficulty the easy way
      3. Examples
    3. Anything is Possible: Powers without Powers
      1. Powers as extensions of regular Skills
        1. Keeping Fate boosted Skills “Up”
        2. Examples
      2. Sidebar: Can regular people wield Fate?
    4. Wages of Fate: Fate Points in the new system
      1. Not so Different…
        1. Regaining spent Fate Points
      2. Sidebar: Fate and Codes
    5. Children of Fate: New Aliens and Changes to Old Ones
      1. New Stat: Fate Resistance
      2. Sidebar: Free Will versus Fate
  2. Wielders of Fate: New Organizations and Codes
    1. The House of Norn
      1. History of House Norn
      2. The Code of Norn
      3. Prominent Figures
    2. The Astartian Grenadiers
      1. History of the Grenadiers
      2. The Code of Astartia
      3. Prominent Figures
    3. Creating your own Wielders of Fate
      1. Concept
      2. Code
      3. Template
  3. Dueling Fates: New Weapons and Equipment
    1. Combat Spheres
    2. Grenadier Armor
    3. StarBlades
    4. The Boem
  4. Winged Fate: Starships and vehicles
    1. Racing Capsule
    2. Class-8 Astartian-Starfighter
    3. Arrowback Surveyor
  5. Pawns of Fate: New Metaphysical Templates
    1. Scion of Norn
    2. Astartian Grenadier
    3. Bladesmith of Solace
    4. Fate-Favored

Help make all our work possible.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Intra-Fleet Tug Update:

     While I've certainly had fun working on my Hard SF Rec Room, I haven't forgotten about my main task of working on the Intra-Fleet Tug.  Things are moving forward.  As I hinted at in a previous post, I have decided on five major pictures for this series: Assembly, Boost, Life on board, Docking, Cargo Transfer, and then orthos and conventional deckplans.  Already, this is a job of work that will take a fair amount of time.  Add to that, however, that each of these images will be a composite of multiple elements that have to be drawn, assembled, colored and laid out.  The Assembly image, which will show the tug inside an assembly hangar being mated to it's rocket motor and fuel tanks, which are towed into place by Cygnus rockets fitted with manipulator arms.
      In order to make that one image, I need the following:

  • The exterior cageworks of the hangar, which is multiple elements all on its own,
  • The habitat modules, which are also made up of multiple elements,
  • The empty Tug, which is itself made up of command module, saddle truss, cargo pods, and manipulators,
  • The fuel tank stack,
  • The rocket motor,
  • The Cygnus with arms, which will probably be repeated a couple of times
     For one image.
     But its not all bad, RocketFans.  I've gotten the tanks, and motor done already and just today, finished the empty Tug composite. First I sketched out and inked the individual elements:

     I claened it up, which required replacing the rings on the top and bottom of the truss and on the command module as well.  I also took that tiny cargo pot and duplicated it, placing it around the CM:
     Once that task was done, I took the manipulator arm and used some cut-and-paste and re-sizing to add it to the CM.  Once that was done, all that was left was to assemble the composite:
    And there we have it, RocketFans, the assembled empty Tug with its attendant Cygnus.  Now I just have to finish the base elements, put it all together, color, and voila! All finished!   
      On the first picture. Of five...
     Anyway, I'm also working on more of the Common Compartments images, because they are much faster.  I will probably finish up the Keel Segment image I started with, I've got a Wardroom compartment started, and a couple of other ideas.  I'll probably do a Tug image and Common Compartment image and alternate, to have some variety.
     Next time I hope to have at least the assembled uncolored image finished.  See you then!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Here we are: a Rec

    I finished coloring this very very detailed little compartment today.  I even added a little person keeping fit in micro gravity.  I hope some of the details are more apparant now - like the ping-pong table!  I will be releasing an annotated version (without the watermark) for may Patreons probably Monday.  Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Common Compartments: A "Rec Room" in Space (WIP)

     I had this idea, inspired by the incredible artwork of spacecraft interiors in the Jovian Chronicles RPG books, to do some isometric spacecraft interiors.  Not full spacecraft, not part of Conjunction, or The Black Desert or anything, just spacecraft interiors.  This first one was actually a dare suggestion of +Rob Garitta: a Rec Room on a spaceship.  The clincher was when he said I must add a ping-pong table.  I thought to myself, "Impossible!  A ping-pong table in zero-gee!?"  But the idea had been planted, and I couldn't leave it alone until this happened:

You have no idea how hard it was to draw all those tiny little logos...

     I've also started on the first of the Intra-Fleet Tug isos - which is a bear.  Just the shot of the tug being assembled, from the upper left of the sketch I showed the other day, will take six different fully inked and colored images assembled into a composite picture for me to achieve the effect I want.
    Fortunately, I really really love working on isos.
    Anyway, enjoy, and if you like the compartment above and want to see more, let me know in the comments.  See you later!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Deciding what to Draw...

     Thought you might like a look at some of the (very) rough sketches I've been making to help decide which views of which parts of the Intra-Fleet Tug I want to draw and show off.
Behold! (sub)Genius at Work!