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Subject: Geek of the Week #244 - James Hartman rss

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Peter Cobcroft
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Thankyou all for your interest in me as Geek of the Week last week, and now I introduce you to my pick for this week's Geek-

"Life long Fantasy and Sci-Fi geek, who also happens to like playing the occasional game."

James Hartman!

A man I've only met online, but remember from the days of Paperworlds and more recently on his forums for paper miniatures.

N/A

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Jim is an over 40 year old kid at heart. I spend my days laboring away designing wargame and boardgame accessories for Litko. During the evening I retreat to my work room where I design papercraft miniatures at onemonk.com. I spend way too much time in front of a computer screen, and way too much time clicking around the geek. I fancy myself a amateur game designer, but I actually suck at making playable games, so I do things to make them look better.

I am a lifelong fan of fantasy and science fiction. I read fantasy and sci-fi novels, watch movies and other standard geek activities. I have attended a bunch of game conventions for both miniatures and fantasy board games. My favorite books are the Tolkien fantasy novels, anything by Asimov, Heinlien, Pratchett, and Douglas Adams or really any adventure books. I watch all the fantasy and sci-fi I can, and also have a special love of old Samurai movies as well.

My boardgame life consists mostly of a collector at the moment. I wish I had a regular group to game with, but have not found anything locally, at least by word of mouth. I am fan of the new, and of anything fantasy and sci-fi as well. I tend to want to play games with LOTS of randomness. My favorite game of all time is Battle Masters. I love the fact that you don't know what your going to get next turn. This allows me to chill out and have fun, and not stress of critical moves or long term strategy. Any game with both random card draw and dice, is at the top of my to play list. Even with a fairly sizable collection of games, I don't get much play time, most still reside in their wrap. I continue to add in the comfort that when I do find a local group, I will overwhelm them with choice for something to play.

My goal is to keep doing what I'm doing. I'm a happy fat dwarf that lives in my little forge cranking out fun things, what could be better in life.

Facts, truth or not
1) I once made a bicycle trip of over 115 miles in one day, a personal best. It took me two days to get back...
2) I was a background extra in Return of the Jedi, had a friend with connections, so a summer vacation turned into a spot in movie history.
3) I once played and entire session of Call of Cthulhu and remained the only one not to go insane, and yes, I did roll with Hutspa!.


Some questions to start Jim going-

1) Having recently made your miniatures freely downloadable - would you recommend new Print&Players (or paper model makers and the like) to go for free, or an online store to start off with?

2) What kind of commission or request do you hope for - what would give you the most creative spark?

3) Of the sets of miniatures you've made, which is your favourite, and which is your least?

4) Do you have a favourite colour printer?

5) Who is your favourite game designer?
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Brian Foster
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Congrats to you, Jim. Hope you have a fun week as Geek Royalty! I notice a lot of players are from your state, Indiana. Any idea why that is?
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Hilko Drude
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First of all: Number 3 is the lie.

I am curious about the paper models - what made you get into designing them?
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Chuck Hughes
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First off, I would like to offer my heart-felt THANKS for your efforts and commitment in growing the paper miniature hobby. Finding your website was the inspiration that finally motivated me to create the game that had been bouncing around my head for many years. You have my vote for Geek of the Year!...

Question: Is there a particular artist or illustrator that you would consider a favorite?
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Fabio Calzolari
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Great!!!
What James is building on his forum - a community of artists in miniature design which shares ideas, tecniques and fun - is one of the best things i know in the web.

My question is:
HOW did you find your job? I can't imagine how a person can become a "boardgame accessorie designer"...
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Peaceful Gamin'
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You found our Geekbadge Overtext. Congratulations! :-)
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congrats. SciFi: Good.
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OneMonk wrote:
I also thought you guys would like to know I do freelance game art as well. I have designed the dice for the core Cookie Fu dice game. Here is a sampling of the core set dice I designed. The game is a magical martial arts dice game with a Chinese takeout theme.


This is just from the core set, I believe there are more colors, and more expansions coming as well. I'm really looking forward to the Cthulhu expansion "Cthulhu Fu"

The current game is a print and play game, this new release will be a fully published and packaged game. I eagerly await the release of the game, and can't wait to show my fiends.


My first response to this GOTW was "WHO?"

Once I saw those Cookie Fu Dice, a tear came to my eye. I love beautiful dice.

Two questions come to mind:

1) I am a grad student hoping to teach full time one day. I always try to incorporate gaming and creating games in the classroom. What is the best/easiest way to custom make dice? Do you custom make dice? (One example: i tried and tried to find dice that used tally marks instead of pips for tally marks lessons. I'm aware of blank dice...is that what you would suggest?)

2) What game did you buy solely for the dice or components only to be pleasantly surprised?

Cheers,

Daveros....
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Peter Van de Voorde
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Have a Dikke Knuffel (A Big Hug for you non dutch speaking people :) )
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congratulations
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Bryan Kowalski
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daveroswell wrote:
OneMonk wrote:
I also thought you guys would like to know I do freelance game art as well. I have designed the dice for the core Cookie Fu dice game. Here is a sampling of the core set dice I designed. The game is a magical martial arts dice game with a Chinese takeout theme.


This is just from the core set, I believe there are more colors, and more expansions coming as well. I'm really looking forward to the Cthulhu expansion "Cthulhu Fu"

The current game is a print and play game, this new release will be a fully published and packaged game. I eagerly await the release of the game, and can't wait to show my fiends.


My first response to this GOTW was "WHO?"

Once I saw those Cookie Fu Dice, a tear came to my eye. I love beautiful dice.

Two questions come to mind:

1) I am a grad student hoping to teach full time one day. I always try to incorporate gaming and creating games in the classroom. What is the best/easiest way to custom make dice? Do you custom make dice? (One example: i tried and tried to find dice that used tally marks instead of pips for tally marks lessons. I'm aware of blank dice...is that what you would suggest?)

2) What game did you buy solely for the dice or components only to be pleasantly surprised?

Cheers,

Daveros....


Daveros -

Yes those are some sweet looking dice. Wait till you see the Chocolate Ox and Coconut Monkey dice! Jim's been a great guy to work with - over the past several months or so, whenever I needed icons redesigned for my Cookie Fu game, he's always been more than accommodating. He's been very good at transforming my ideas into icons for the dice. Like he said, the "Cthulhu Fu" set will be killer. ^_^

Concerning dice manufacturing (on a smaller scale) - your best bet is either Chessex http://chessex.com/Dice/Custom_Dice_Home.htm or maybe Q-workshop http://q-workshop.com/help_more.php?topic=customdice&lang=EN... - you'll be able to get professional looking dice from both of these folks.

I wouldn't recommend going the route I use for Cookie Fu for your dice manufacturing. Multi cavity molds are required, and the tooling of these molds is rather expensive.

There's also a gentleman on these boards that sells "indented dice" which may be better suited for your purpose.

If you have any other questions, just ask. If you're in the neighborhood at Gen Con this year, swing by booth #1927 and say hi!

Best,
Brian Kowalski

BLUE KABUTO
www.cookiefu.com
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Ronster Zero
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Congratulations on Geek of the Week.

Custom dice are awesome... well done.
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Michael Edwards
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Congrats! Enjoy your week.

So, what are your top three Samurai movies (or movie series)? Perhaps more interesting, what are your top three obscure ones?

And any samurai related games you particularly enjoy?
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Bryan Kowalski
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OneMonk wrote:
I have designed the dice for the core Cookie Fu dice game. Here is a sampling of the core set dice I designed. The game is a magical martial arts dice game with a Chinese takeout theme.


Got some new tooling samples in today with Jim's work on them: Coconut Monkey & Chocolate Ox dice:



Enjoy!
Brian Kowalski

BLUE KABUTO
www.cookiefu.com
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Bryan Kowalski
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OneMonk wrote:


I'm probably pretty typical, but my top three Samurai movies are:
Seven Samurai http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047478/
Yojimbo http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055630/
Sanjuro http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056443/



I'd go with Yojimbo myself, but anything by Kurosawa rocks! cool
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Shaun Austin
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Congratulations!

A few simple questions have come to mind:
1) How often do you play games?
2) Do you play any games that use figures you have designed?
3) What game/s are currently on your agenda to get some play time?
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Adam Deverell
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Quote:
Any game with both random card draw and dice, is at the top of my to play list.


At first this bought a shudder down my spine, James (especially when you also mentioned your love of randomness) but then I thought that this could include historical Card Driven Wargames (which I play), not just fantasy themes. So, not a bad thing!

1. I was taken aback when I first played Chaos in the Old World because I just wasn't used to the "take that" cards and dice. Do you think euro gamers have lost the ability to tolerate randomness and dice in games?

2. You rate games fairly highly with almost nothing rated under 5. How do you avoid playing games that stink?

3. Have you considered designing historical paper miniatures? I'm after Wild West and French & Indian War standups!
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Tom Scutt
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Congrats, Jim!

Many thanks for making your paper miniatures available - they are truly awesome and I love the style of your artwork.

A couple of questions:

Would you consider allowing your artwork to be used for prototype games (with suitable credit given in any public versions, of course)? I have a both an RPG card game and and a 'paper' RPG in Flash that I've been working on, and your artwork would be just perfect for both.

Related to the previous question, do you ever release the vector-art source files for your miniatures?

Have you got any pointers towards what techniques you use for creating your artwork?
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Peter Cobcroft
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OneMonk wrote:

Sadly no. I have nobody local who is interested in gaming with print and play games, or printed miniatures. So this is more a solo pursuit for now. I get much more enjoyment from the creative design aspect of the hobby than the gaming anyway.

This I can empathise with - a lot, sadly. It's the main reason I've never been able to give any playtest feedback to Lloyd on his Warpspawn games either- a lack of interest in friends.

Anyhow, another question-

Do you prefer 2.5D over 2D or vice versa? What about 3D paper modelling?

Should terrain also be paper if using paper miniatures in a wargame?
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Lowell Francis
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I have to say this is a great choice for GotW. I haven't seen Jim in years, but he's definitely the person who taught me the most about miniatures painting and terrain building. Back in the 1990's I managed a game room and Jim would come in on the weekends and do terrain building workshops, show people how to do specialized painting and generally show off amazing skills that were absolutely second nature to him. He gave everyone he worked with the confidence to try things out-- if people would ask him a question he'd give them simple and direct directions and then make them do it. My wife and I both picked up a lot from him.

I have a fairly large collection of miniatures, but you can easily pick out those that Jim painted. They're gorgeous and simply done-- Jim always worked to create maximum effect with minimal effort. I remember Jim as a generous guy, always willing to give his time and also willing to throw off lots of great ideas for games-- miniature games, board games and even rpgs. So I'm really pleased to see him honored as he should rightfully be.

1. You have the Dominion badge-- what do you think of the expansions now (especially this Alchemy one)-- too much or just enough?

2. Who do you think is doing the most interesting lead miniatures right now?

3. Any games which are out of print which you would like to see reprinted?
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Tom Scutt
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Many thanks for the answers, Jim:

OneMonk wrote:
Yep, I totally like having people use my stuff in their projects. You can use it to your hearts content if it's free, and I have a el-cheapo policy for using my art for commercial projects as well, although nothing written up formally, it is on the list with about ten thousand other things I need to get done.

Thank you - that's great news

OneMonk wrote:
...Yes, I am slowly getting old figure sets designed in parts organized in to source files for download...

I found the parts file for your Wraithlords - they're awesome and really great fun to mess around with. Can't wait to see more of them.

OneMonk wrote:
...I do have a tutorial for my design technique in my forum...

I hope it's okay to post a direct link here?
http://onemonk.com/Forum-files/Ghoul-design-tutorial.pdf
It's a really interesting read, answered all my questions about your techniques and made me realise just how much hard work goes into each miniature!
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G'day Jim,

I try to remember to ask each Geek of the Week these gaming related questions, so to start with here's the ever so slightly modified GeekSpeak Hook questions for you:
Favourite game(s) for d10-1 player (optional, many non-wargamers wouldn't have an answer for this)
Favourite game(s) for d10-2 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-3 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-4 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-5 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-6 players
Favourite game(s) for d10-7 or more players (and you may choose a Party Game here although I wouldn't meeple )

Also Word Association Football , I will list a word and you list a game or games that you associate with it. If you like you can expand and tell us if you like it/them or hate it/them and possibly why.

Space ships
Witches
Trains
Transport (may include trains)
Workers (paid or otherwise)
Trading
Building
Pink
Theme
Ships
Money
Purple
Government
Vampires
Infrastructure
Dice
Dinosaurs
Gemstones
Dragons
Beer
Wands

Is there any particular game that you have played recently, new or old, that you would like to recommend to readers of this thread? And optionally, why?

Last but not least, what are the five games that you have played most recently?
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Ben Boersma
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Congratulations on GOW Jim! thumbsup

Cheers,
Ben.
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Favorite Eurotrash Game?

Favorite Ameritrash Game?

Best part of your job?

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Hi Jim
Congrats on GotW!

What's next for Jim's Product Lab?
Thanks for putting TGN and Miniature Wargaming Feeds on your home page -- it's nice to have all my news in one place.
Can't wait to see what you do for Pulp and Hero figures!
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James ~

Congratz on your geek of the week award! I saw earlier that you are interested in Thunderstone. Check your GM and get back to me!

Now for my Question.

Given your job, what one game would you most like to pimp out with new bits?
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Lowell Francis
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OneMonk wrote:
Hey Lowell! Long time, no see! Yea, the Griffin Gameroom days were fun, and I remember them fondly, that was a great time to be a game geek. That fond memory is part of the reason I chose the griffin for my logo as well. Nice to see your still active in the game scene.


And you're fondly recalled among our group-- I think most of the people I play with (for rpgs at least) remember you from those days and spent any number of weekends being tutored by you. Perhaps some time this summer we can figure out a day to get together to game. You always drove up here so maybe I can return the favor.

OneMonk wrote:
So far I've only been able to play with the original game. I have the first two expansions, and can't wait to get the alchemy expansion as well. I like to mix things up a lot, and use decks from all the expansions. Sometimes you don't get a very good mix of card types and other times I can see getting some great and surprising combos. The replayablitly of this game is what keeps me coming back to it.


I really love it-- but I think most especially as a two-player game. It is the one board game I can consistently get Sherri to play. We've only played with Seaside once and so we haven't yet made a judgment about it. I'm really curious about what the other games which take Dominion's mechanics and run with them are going to look at.


OneMonk wrote:
I really like the latest thing in old school miniatures:
Dragonblood Miniatures http://cavalcadewargames.com/cavalcade/home.html
Otherworld Miniatures http://www.otherworld.me.uk/
Plus the new Pathfinder miniatures from Reaper http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/previews are really nice, especially the monsters, the new Dragon look amazing.


OK those Dragonblood minis look cool-- especially the various fantasy armies with the Oriental designs. That would be great to supplement the samurai I have. And Reaper just keeps getting better.

I have been hunting to try and find good miniatures to use for Wushu; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; or Romance of the Three Kingdoms style games. Reaper used to have an Exalted line and some of those were nice. I have a bunch of martial artists from various lines (including the old L5R line). I don't know if you've seen any-- but is anyone doing those kinds of miniatures that you know of?


OneMonk wrote:
3. Any games which are out of print which you would like to see reprinted?
The only real OOP game I really wanted to see a new version of was DungeonQuest. I remember playing it and painting up all the characters from the original game. Now it's being re-released from Fantasy Flight, I'm really looking forward to dying on the second turn again. The game plays great after 3 beers.
[/q]

That's one I never played, though we sold a lot of it at the store. I remember you really liking that-- and selling off some of the extra scenics you had from it. I still have a banged up copy of Warhammer Quest which I always heard was kind of a poor version of HeroQuest. (I did pick up Descent but was a little disappointed with the figure scale).

A couple more questions for you:

1. Are there some board game topics/subjects you'd like to see that you haven't? (or which haven't been done as well as they could be?)

2. The new version of Space Hulk: I remember the energy and effort you put into the earlier versions-- what did you think of this one?

3. May have already been asked, but what is your favorite co-op game (and why)?
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