May 23, 2014

Capsuleers Have an Evil Streak...

...I mean, just LOOK at this photo published on Twitter by Alice Vorpalis at lunch time today right when I was starving. And not a drop of Nutella to be found in-station. Dammit! Time for a quick trip to Jita...

May 21, 2014

IC: Steve's Remains

Journal Spread

Left Page

Right Page

Transcript (because Mynxee has scrawly handwriting):

I arrived in C9N-CC after a few uneventful jumps from HT4K-M where I got into null from a wormhole.
 The baleful and sullen red glow of this system's star casts an appropriately gloomy pall over everything. A suitable grave for a Titan.
Although broken and scorched, automated systems with their eternal power sources still issue garbled information over audio channels and keep red lights on deep in the guts of the wreck. It is eerie; considering the thousands who died here, one can easily imagine legions of ghosts presiding over what was once surely their pride and joy. 
The resources to build such a monstrously huge ship must have been staggering--and yet despite the efforts of salvagers over the years, so much still remains. 

Someone on Sugar Kyle's blog suggested she post source images that inspired or informed her #podjournal posts. It's a good idea so I'll start doing it here, too.

May 18, 2014

IC: Biding Time, Coincidences, Paradox

Note: For the creatively interested, I am using a small watercolor sketch kit made from a repurposed watchmaker's case (Lee Valley Tools). The small tins are filled with artist quality pigments from tubes and allowed to dry. The pigment rewets easily with water. Other items in the kit include a cheap Pilot varsity fountain pen refilled with Noodler's Lexington Gray ink (waterproof), a couple of Kolinsky travel brushes, a lead holder, eraser (not shown), and Sharpie. Add a small container of water and a napkin or paper towel and I have all the tools necessary to sketch to my heart's content. I often take this small kit and sketchbook with me in case the opportunity to sketch presents itself when out running errands or taking a coffee break somewhere pleasant. 

I imagine that even in far future New Eden, traditional methods of making art will persist. As a capsuleer, Mynxee is both dependent on and integrated with extremely advanced technology. This offers an interesting contrast with her human need to express herself creatively using non-technical tools. In her years planet-side while on hiatus, she spent time close to nature in a low-tech wilderness cabin where she had time and inclination to develop her artistic skills. No skill books needed, just practice, practice, practice!

May 17, 2014

IC: Titanomachy

Note: Mynxee's expedition journal is being created in a Moleskine small watercolor journal using a pencil, ultra-fine Sharpie, and watercolors. As I explore, I am either sketching directly from what I see on the screen or from screenshots referenced later. There is a long tradition of explorers preserving their observations and thoughts in journals. Even now in our heavily digitized age, illustrated journaling and urban sketching are becoming ever more widespread as creative observers of the world seek to record their experiences in a highly personal way. Through drawing and writing about a place or event in the moment, one can capture memories, emotion, and essence far more accurately than any camera--even when the nitty-gritty details may be less than accurate. Journal pages can usually stand alone without any further commentary. So it will generally be with Mynxee's journal. Feel free to ask questions in the comments if you wonder about the process, subject or anything else to do with this project.

May 16, 2014

IC: The YC116 Expedition Begins

Note: My old blog Life in Low Sec contained posts written both from a player and character point of view. I'll be doing the same thing on this blog. To make it a little easier to recognize when I'm speaking in-character, those posts will have the prefix "IC" in the title, be tagged IC, and written in third person. Enjoy!

"Sure you're ready for this, Mynx?" Rixx asked.

She smiled and nodded, idly watching crew members prepping Lasher. "Oh yes. After three years wandering planet-side, I guess I'm just not ready to settle into one place yet."

Rixx nodded. "Any idea how long you'll be away"? 

"Not really," she said, and held up a small black journal. "As long as it takes to fill these pages with sketches and musings about the trip, maybe?"

"Charmingly low tech," he said dryly. "Keep in touch, we want to know how things are going. Need anything, you know who to call."

"Of course...and thank you. I'll chat and share my journal when I can. And hey, depending on how the wormhole connections work out -- or for that matter, my luck in keeping my ship and crew in one piece -- you'll probably see me making pit stops in Isho from time to time." 

Rixx  smiled and said, "I'm a little jealous, you know. Running off on a long-term expedition without any agenda or plan has a certain appeal." 

They both laughed. They both knew Rixx was far too responsible to do any such thing. 

"I do have a plan, though," Mynxee said. "The plan is to explore...and profit if the opportunity presents itself. You just never know what or who you might find out there."

Rixx indicated the crew. "Looks like they're done. Be seeing you around, Mynx."

With a warm handshake, he turned and walked away. "Take good care of my cat!" Mynxee called after him. He raised a hand and gave a good natured wave without looking back. Taking a last look around herself, she headed for her ship, journal in hand.

May 15, 2014

Wormhole Wandering

I recently spent a few days wandering through wormholes in a stealth bomber with a sort-of objective of getting close to B-R5RB so I could go see the destruction there. I found a few null sec exits but they were too far from B- to be interesting. 70+ jumps through null seemed a bit suicidal, so I continued my wormhole-hopping.

Then I got stuck. Not thinking ahead, I had brought only a few scan probes with me--five to be exact. Plenty to scan down wormholes quickly so I didn't really think about it until a RL thunderstorm and power loss disconnected me for a couple of hours when I had those probes deployed. They expired and I had no backups. So I left my nicely fitted Hound at a planet for someone to find (I wonder if anyone has claimed it yet!) and took the Pod Express home. Oh well.

Back home I prepped my beloved Rapier for another expedition. The cargohold is loaded with piles of scan probes this time plus ammo, spirits, and a few fun items for amusement's sake which will hopefully survive if I get killed.

I think it'll be an extended trip this time. I truly love wormhole-hopping by myself. I enjoy the scanning process, the surprise of seeing where newly found wormholes emerge, the solitude of solo travel, the sense of being lost in vast reaches that gate travel fails to provide, looking around for unsuspecting victims, and poking around to see what people have left in w-space. I'm surprised at how many offline towers there are. Perhaps I'll eventually find one with something interesting to liberate :P

If I ever do manage to get close to B-R5RB in this circuitous way, I plan to have a nice long look around and takes lots of pictures (as well as not die at the hands of locals). Then I will continue my wormhole wanderings with some new destination in mind. Maybe I'll just blindly stick a pin in the map to choose that destination and then see how long it takes to get there. Maybe I should document my route and the things of interest I find along the way.

It doesn't sound like the most exciting way to play Eve, I know...especially compared to the energy and excitement of pirate shenanigans in and around Ishomilken. But for me, for now, it's a relaxing retreat and as a bonus, is recalling some of the earliest feelings of wonderment I had when I first started playing Eve. Which is, perhaps, what I am really looking for after all.

May 6, 2014

The Paradox

I had the pleasure recently of working with Marlona Sky and Carcusian to contribute a small bit of opening narration to a fantastic solo PvP video, The Paradox (embedded below), that was published the other day. We had a great time and many laughs on TeamSpeak and Skype as I attempted to record the script in accordance with Marlona's vision.

Having been through this process before (as the voice of Aura in Roc Wieler's now-sadly-defunct app Capsuleer and well before that doing short segments of voice narration for CBT courses that I also designed, wrote, and coded for the FAA and other clients), I knew that lots of takes are typically required to nail the narration. I must have done more than 50 takes for this one, trying different inflections, pacing, and minor script variations. Patience is a virtue in the process but it does help to be working with someone equally as patient, focused on quality, and pleasant--and Marlona is all that! When I finally got it right, I recorded one extra take for laughs--the script read in my best Virginia Redneck accent which Marlona posted on SoundCloud for posterity!

I chose not to see the video before it was done and released publicly--it was definitely worth the wait! Although it's long at 22:31, it is compelling throughout. Some of the fights are really close and there is one especially nail-biting one with a Daredevil near the end. Watch it in HD so you can see the often amusing comments in Local chat. It's also worth reading the comments on YouTube because Marlona provides some additional insights in response to questions there.

To those who say solo PvP is dead, I say "Pish!" However, it does require creative thought, effort, and a certain willingness to take risks to get truly exciting and good fights. Thinking outside the combat ship just might pay off, as Marlona demonstrates so well in this video. I love that Marlona used no alts to scout null sec gates (as stated in the YouTube comments). This is solo PvP in the truest sense.

Anyway, here it is...check it out!

Your comments and Likes on YouTube, the Eve Online forums post, Twitter (@Mynxee) and even Failheap Challenge would be most appreciated!

Marlona, thanks for the opportunity to work with you on this project...hope we can do it again sometime!