Category Archives: Links

Monster Stock Art Project on

Some months ago I discovered a cool website: Kickstarter. It’s a website that helps creative projects find backers for financing. Projects there range from video games to music, and from sock puppets to bionic eyes. Of course, not all of the projects receive enough financial backing – in which case pledges aren’t charged. While some project do not look like they’re well thought out, most seem fairly solid, and there’s a lot of cool stuff there.

I now found a project that I like, and that I actually pledged money to: The Monster Stock Art & Minis project.

Monster Stock Art Project Logo, used with permission
Monster Stock Art Project Logo, used with permission

The project is organized by Joe Wetzel, of Hexographer / Dungenographer fame. Its aim is to create at least 100 “stock monsters” as high quality graphics. More, if the project ends up over its funding goal.

The monsters will be drawn by a group of professional artists, including people like Jeff Ward and Keith Curtis. The monsters on the project’s logo image (Above) are sample monsters that have already been created; the project’s page has some additional samples.

As with all Kickstarter projects, backers of the project receive boons based on the amount they contribute. The low end and medium pledges are perfect for a GM who needs a bunch of monsters to spice up his games. On the high end, backers are granted the right to commercially use the images. Yes, these rights are not exclusive, but it’s probably the most inexpensive source of professional monster art you’ll find in a long time.

As I write this, the project needs less than US$400 to reach its funding goal – with 35 days left. If the project receives more funding, it will commission more monsters, and everybody who participates benefits.

So check out this project, participate, and don’t forget the other cool projects Kickstart offers.

Astronomycast: What if Something was Different?

Astronomycast #246 deals with the question: What if something was different? What if any of the parameters of the universe was different, what if we were further out in the galaxy, what if we didn’t have gas giant, and similar topics – this is of great interest to a world-builder because it gives you a good basic framework of what does and doesn’t work in your fictional universes. AstronomyCast is a good podcast at any rate, I recommend it highly.

Worldbuilding Links for January, 2009

Here’s an assortment of links you might find useful.


* Map-making tutorial using The Gimp.

Inspiration, Locations

* Photos from Paris Exhibition, 1900. In color.
* Abandoned subway stations in New York City
* The Uros people of the Titicaca lake live on floating islands, which is a cool style of living for a conpeople.

Science Fiction Stuff

* Tests have shown that it is possible to protect long-duration missions from solar wind using a magnetic shield.
* Scientists figured out that Mars’ loss of atmosphere to the pressure from solar wind isn’t a slow, gentle process; instead it is quite violent: Solar Wind Rips Up Martian Atmosphere.

NaNoWriMo 2008 Research

* Wikipedia on radioactive fallout
* Wikipedia on fallout shelters and blast shelters
* Mount Weather government bunker
* Gas masks vs bad smells: Gas masks do not filter out odors, unless they are designed for the job, but vick vapor rub is a work-around used by law enforcement and emergency workers.
* Geiger counters
* Compound bowsbow hunting is done in the US

World Building Link Finds

A few assorted links:

* If you are designing alien species or monsters, and want them to be realistic, you may find this website about different senses that animals have a good starting point.
* Stuck for names? The random name generator can help. It features several sets of names (American, Hispanic, Chinese, etc) and even generates addresses and other personal information! I would not personally use it for major characters, but it surely helps fill out the ranks of extras until you decide on better names, if ever.
* Charlie Jane Anders posted some thoughts on character design, which are probably not revolutionary but worth reading anyway.
* Tom Patterson is providing free, high quality shaded relief maps.