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


  1. I'll comment here:
    What would I spend money on?: I will put money towards something that is entertaining, thought-provoking, imagination-firing, and detailed just enough to allow me to use it, but open-ended enough to allow my imagination to run wild with to fill in the blanks that the detail didn't cover.

    I like Science fiction, but hard sci-fi falls a little outside of my ability to be imaginative. So a Flash Gordon, Star Wars, or even Star Trek style of sci-fi is in my area of interest.

    Become a patron on Patreon?: Ummm... pretty much determined that I will never put money into Patreon. I'd spend money on PayPal or on RPGNow, but I will not sign up for Patreon. So if all your stuff and your teasers are on Patreon, you will get no interest from me.

    How much will I pay?: For something that really interests me, I'd drop 5 to 15 dollars, depending on the quality and amount of the work. If it's a PDF, and only coming in around 10-20 pages, I wouldn't want to spend any more than $5. If it's a well made piece, akin to the old Star Wars Adventure Journals, but released in PDF format, I'd pay $15 bucks or so...again, if the content really grabbed me and was really useful. If something along the lines of an Adventure Journal came out in print, I'd probably pay close to $30. I'm still of the mindset that a hard copy is much more useful to me than a PDF.

    If there was a regularly constant stream of supported material, even at the 10-20 pages in PDF format.... say a new one came out every other month and had artwork and was well made, I could see paying 30-40 dollars for a whole year of that. But if the frequency was less, say 1 a quarter (4 a year), I wouldn't want to pay more than 10-15 dollars. Less frequent is less useful, especially if the material is only 10-20 pages long.

    Magazines used to come out once a month and have 30 pages, in print, and a person could get them for 6 dollars or so each. I realize they had staff to write, and one person is much more pressed for that, but I still have the belief that if a person wants to charge what an in-print magazine would charge, for less material, it better be outstanding material.

    Hopefully this helps.

    1. Yeah, I found the monthly model to be somewhat unsustainable, working alone. But you make a lot of good points. I've noticed some hate on Patreon from more than a few people and was wondering why?
      By the way, what book would you like?

  2. Well, I didn't send you an email, so I don't think that qualifies for your free book. But thanks!

    As for the "hate" on Patreon, I don't consider mine as hate, but more of a "marginally lazy" way of attaining funds. It's like people on Patreon (not saying you're that way, but I have seen this from others) think that if you're not a Patron for them, you don't deserve to see anything and they don't have to advertise for anyone other than their patrons. What about the rest of the people in the world who might want it and don't want to sign up to Patreon?

    I realize it might be easy for the person who runs the Patreon...they get money and don't have to really pimp their material out there to the masses if they have enough patrons. They just stay in their Patreon bubble and no one who isn't a patron ever gets to see it. So, for me, it's a tendency to see an exclusionary nature for Patreon people. The "you can get this, but only if you sign up for Patreon". So if I don't want to do that, I can't get it or even look at it. I don't like that.

    If I can't pick up the book and thumb through it prior to buying it, then I want to see a preview of a PDF on RPGNow before buying it. I don't want to have to pledge money to a person every time they put out something new, sight unseen, regardless of whether I want it or not.

    That's why I am not a fan of Patreon. If I am missing something on how Patreon works, it's simply because no one has ever explained anything differently to me, and I can't verify any of it unless I actually sign up on Patreon (which I do not want to do).

    Hopefully that elaborates a bit on why I'm not a fan of one business mode only.


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