Home Page About Products Downloads Contact

Happy Birthday, Shawn!

GeneralJason L Blair02 October 2012

Today’s a special day round these parts. Streets of Bedlam illustrator Shawn Gaston is another year closer to retirement. Shawn’s work went a long way towards bringing the people and places of Bedlam to life. I can honestly say the book wouldn’t have been the same without his remarkable artistic style and sensibilities. Happy birthday, man.

If you enjoyed Shawn’s work in Streets of Bedlam, consider swinging by his website, maybe buying a print or three of his work. And be sure to pop by his Twitter account to give him a birthday spanking. Don’t forget the one to grow on.

1 Comment »

Running for Cover (The Reveal)

PreviewJason L Blair19 April 2012

Without further ado, and pending any final tweaks, Shawn and I present the cover to Streets of Bedlam: A Savage World of Crime + Corruption. We hope you like it.


Running for Cover (Part 2)

PreviewJason L Blair18 April 2012

Today, we continue Shawn Gaston’s process of illustrating the cover.

From Shawn Gaston:

Step 4: Shading! To get that really angular look, I set up another layer beneath the line art in Photoshop, and used the polygon lasso tool to block out areas that I then filled in with a very large brush.

Step 5: I finished shading in the smoke, as well as added our two textures. The rough scratchy layer covers many of the Streets of Bedlam illustrations, and I knew I wanted that same look for the cover. The blood splatter is the cover’s one dash of color, along with Fallon’s lit cigarette. I also tweaked the shading a bit, lightened his face somewhat, and darkened the coat.

Step 6: At this point he’s mostly finished, so I brought back the mock up of the cover’s trade dress to get an idea of how our hero will look on the book itself.

Step 7: I decided he was too low, and not angled enough. Comparing the current version to the original pencil sketch mock up, I shrink him down a bit, move him up, and then angle him to the right a bit This is an advantage of making the cover in Photoshop as opposed to creating an entire painting that is then scanned in or something.

So there you have it. My next steps are to draw the background buildings, scan them in to the computer and then tie the whole thing together. Being as the titular Streets of Bedlam are in many ways the real star of this picture, I expect to put in a lot of work and detail on the buildings. I want them to ooze menace and character.

Come back tomorrow to see this whole thing come together.

1 Comment »

Running for Cover (Part 1)

PreviewJason L Blair17 April 2012

Leading up to Thursday’s reveal, Streets of Bedlam illustrator Shawn Gaston gives us a look into the process of creating the cover:

From Shawn:

Step 1: Jason and I tossed many ideas and variations back and forth, eventually settling on on a close up of Fallon, our Bulldog, standing over the viewer, smoking gun pointed at you and buildings crowding overhead. I went with a kind of distorted, fish-eye look that I think we both really liked.

Step 2: Once we had the final cover idea down, I went back and inked the same line art from Step 1, focusing only on the character at the center of the cover. I kept the rough pencils of the background on the page, just for reference for myself.

Step 3: I cleaned up the line art in Photoshop, adding a few hard edges and making things a bit sharper. At this stage I realized our central figure was much too head on, so in Photoshop I distorted and tweaked him somewhat, to give more of an extreme, unnatural angle.

So far, so good. Swing by tomorrow to see Fallon come to life.

No Comments »

State of the Streets (Part 1)

General, PreviewJason L Blair02 April 2012

The initial plan, as listed on the Streets of Bedlam Kickstarter, was to release the corebook in April. As it is now the first weekday of that month, let’s take a look at where things stand.

The text is going well. As of today, the parts of the book are in the following state:

Introduction (Premise and Basics): Written, Edited, Laid Out—COMPLETE
Chapter One (Setting): Written, Edited, Laid Out—COMPLETE
Chapter Two (Characters): 75% Written, Initial Stages of Layout (To give some context, this is a BIG chapter. It covers all the Archetypes.)
Chapter Three (Setting Rules): 50% Written
Chapter Four (NPCs): 20% Written (Still compiling backer data, speaking with high-level backers to get more info. This will go smoothly once I put my back into it.)
Chapter Five (Plot Point and Orphan Stories): 0% Written (But the backbone is there.)

Shawn continues to crank out images. They look great. Being the only artist on a book carries a heavy burden but Shawn’s taking it in stride. All the character archetypes are in, along with most of the chapter intro images, about a dozen interiors, and a handful of “filler” pieces (standalone images for end-of-chapter white space).

In sum
That’s the state of the book. If the unfinished parts look scary to you, please don’t be alarmed. I’ll have a lot of time the next two weeks to focus on this book. I plan to finish both the writing and layout for Chapter Two and Three this week (I tend to do those stages in tandem) and get them over to the editor. I’ll knock out Chapter Four in a weekend, which will leave me with Chapter Five. That should take another week or so.

I wish I was farther along but some medical issues (including a broken elbow/sprained left wrist/bruised right hand following a fall and an outpatient surgery slated for tomorrow) and a sudden influx of job opportunities (one of which I accepted) pushed me well off-track. I’m not offering these as excuses, just a look at what’s happening behind the scenes.

Once the PDF is up, I want to give folks a week or so to find all the typos and errors that escaped our attention and make the corrections to the corebook. The corebook will take about a week and a half to get to me in print. I’ll ship them out immediately. I’ll keep everyone abreast of that process as well.

The tracklist and intent/mood/tone of all the pieces have been finalized. We’ve gone over the broad strokes so now it’s on Ed. He is currently working his magic and I hope to have some preview tracks up this month.

Five-Story Drop
The first supplement is slated for June but I will try to pull it forward, if at all possible, so that I can get it out before my impending move (see “accepting a job” above). I will begin that immediately after finishing the corebook. If that experiences any hiccups, I will let you all know immediately.

Next Update
I will update again next Monday to let you all know how things are going. I like to be transparent and honest with folks so nobody’s wondering or making bad assumptions. I’ll keep updating as the book wraps up so everybody knows their money isn’t vanishing into thin air. In the mean time, if you have any questions, please get a hold of me at jasonlblair@gmail.com.

No Comments »

Another Look at the Book

PreviewJason L Blair22 March 2012

Good morning! It’s all Streets of Bedlam all the time for Shawn and Ed and I (well, at least for me) so I don’t have a lot of time for updates. Still, I want to get you all something, so let’s take another look at what I’m spending all my time doing:

I hope you dig what you see! It’s really exciting seeing this all come together.

Remember: If you are a Kickstarter backer, be sure to make sure you double-check your name as it appears on the credits. See this post here for details.

1 Comment »

A Look at the Book

Archetypes, PreviewJason L Blair16 March 2012

As some of you may know, I took a bit of a tumble on Monday and seriously (though the prognosis is temporarily) injured my hands. Still, I continue to write and layout the book, though at a slower pace than usual. No project is without its hurdles and this is one of the bigger I’ve had to endure.

Anyway, I’m toying with the layout on some special sections, such as the Archetype spreads, and thought I’d post a preview of one of the spreads as a work-in-progress. I dedicate four pages to each Archetype, leading in with an overview then going into common personalities, edges+hindrances+skills, and then a sample character who’s ready to play. Of course, each Archetype is illustrated by Shawn Gaston as well.

While I’ll reveal new stuff later (though soon), I thought I’d stick with a classic this first time. Here’s a look at a defining character option in Streets of Bedlam, the driven-and-deadly wall of muscle called a Monster.

(With the wires in place.)

(A clean preview.)

If you squint, you can get a peek at some of the other spreads as well.

I hope you like what you see. This isn’t final but it’s a good start as I further define and refine the look of Streets of Bedlam.

1 Comment »

Archetype: [REDACTED] (Kickstarter Exclusive*)

Archetypes, PreviewJason L Blair27 January 2012

Is it safe to talk? Look, we don’t have much time here so let’s cut to the quick. As soon as we part ways, you don’t know me anymore, comprende? Once you’re in, you’re in. This is the long game. You can never revisit your old life, never let it find you. You are who this file says you are and nobody else. Get this down cold and never—never—break character. I’m not shitting you. The lazy days of your training are a distant memory. You may die under this identity and it probably won’t be because of old age.

Here’s the deal. Work your way to the top. You know who we’re after. Get yourself in good however you must. As far as G*d’s concerned, you’re one of them. You understand the implications of that, yeah? When they say jump, you touch cloud. Now, when you have something good—and this may take years—then you call this number. Someone will answer. We’ll go from there. If you’re ever in danger, well, you probably won’t have a chance to make a phone call. Alright, we’re done. Good luck out there.

* The [REDACTED] character option is one of the two Kickstarter-exclusive Archetypes given to backers who pledge $60 or more as a special thank-you for their support!

No Comments »

Archetype: DRIFTER

Archetypes, PreviewJason L Blair26 January 2012

You? You’re just passing through. You know better than to put down roots. You learned the hefty price of attachment when she/he/they paid for what you did. Or let you down when you needed her/him/them the most. Or she/he/they turned on you just to save their own skins. Or you left because you couldn’t risk getting anyone involved in something you couldn’t get her/him/them out of. No, you? There are no picket fences and yellow bi-levels in your future.

You blow into town for the work. You do the occasional odd thing: mostly fixing and building. While you’re in town, sure, you have some fun. Find a girl or two to mess around with. But you don’t let them close. Never let them close. You keep your defenses—and your latest conquest—up all night. You’ve been through enough bad shit in your life already. Now, you’re just looking for fun. Sorry for you, that fun always has a cost.


Archetype: HITTER

Archetypes, PreviewJason L Blair25 January 2012

Sometimes the locals just can’t get the job done. Maybe it’s competence. Maybe it’s confidence. Maybe the target is too sensitive to use someone who can be tied to someone else. Some situations are delicate. That’s when those in charge bring in the big gun, an outsider, someone who can get it done and get out quickly. Someone deniable without the baggage that seems to drag down everybody else in this town. But it’s never that simple; no job is. Any job that went down easy was either done wrong, has consequences you ain’t seen yet, or was a million-to-one fluke. If I was you, I’d bet on the first two.

You’re probably ex-military, formally trained, but maybe you grew up in the trade. You worked your way from rifle to knife, honing your craft with every contract. You’ve got blood on your hands but so what. Everybody in this town does—or will soon. The stains on your skin just happen to belong to people who made enemies of those powerful enough not to have to do the dirty work themselves. Some say you don’t have a soul. You know that’s not true. But unlike the saps you can turn yours off when you need to.


« Earlier Entries     ————— —————    

      Copyright 2011-12 Jason L Blair dba FunSizedGames