Sunday, December 19, 2010

Last Edits being inserted and TME website near completion

Hi Anonymous, and you others who are waiting so patiently!

The final edits got turned in and we have about 60 more pages to go through and then it is good to go. I'll order a test print copy via to make sure the conversion looks fine, and then make it available as both print on demand and PDF versions at once. We'll get a shipment of hard copies sent to the office and deliver these to the local game shops and book stores, and commence the mail order for those in Europe and elsewhere who have been waiting for their copy.

The only issue now, besides inserting the final edits is working with our server host to get the Society of Excavators password protected area of web site up, and the phpBB forum inside the members area fully operational. All is going according to plan but not to schedule. Getting the game on the market before Christmas seems to be a objective that is slipping away by the hour, and the Christmas party lat night and my subsequent hang over today didn't accelerate my productivity. Still, every hour I work, and press my hirelings and talented henchmen to work, brings the release an hour closer.
Speaking of henchmen, I have a lot of talented people helping me with this project, and The Mutant Epoch could not have gotten to this stage without tons of feedback, play tester advice, family support and sacrifice. There have also been a lot of people online, including some of my illustration client-rpg publishers, who have been very gracious with advice, resource sharing and camaraderie. I'll be thanking them properly in the book credits and on the website.

To close off before I settle down to several hours of edit insertions, thanks to all of you who have signed up to the Outland Arts Insider newsletter and TME inform mailing list, this blog and wrote me email asking about the game. Although Outland Arts hasn't started marketing this Post Apocalyptic game, other than a few cryptic tweets, some banners here and there and a teaser ad on, we are still getting a lot of attention and it is a huge motivator toward getting this done as soon as possible, without sacrificing artwork, rules clarity, game balance, grammar, spelling or other RPG book publishing challenges.

Thanks and Merry Christmas,

William McAusland
Creative Director,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sheer force of Will:: New release date for The Mutant Epoch RPG

Sheer force of will can fuel a person to work insane hours, draw upon reserves of enthusiasm, optimism and creativity, summon self discipline beyond anything he or she has known before, and get one very, very close to realizing goals which fall short by only a matter of weeks or months. I’m talking about getting The Mutant Epoch released, of course. It has been a challenge like no other in my creative life, and has been one of those things that sheer force of will has propelled along for over seven years now.

The last edits are being interwoven into the Hub Rules book day and night. The coffee flows and I sit alone here night after night getting ever closer to a final, polished, game of extreme post-apocalyptic mayhem and adventure. In fact, I am taking a break from the last edits to update some of the Outland Arts social media venues ahead of next week’s advertising campaign. We have an ad going out in the upcoming issue of so anticipate some traffic from that.

The anticipated release date back in late September 2010 was to have the game out late October, and as that month came and went in a blur of activity, art, gaming, and writing of the free material for the web site, we now find ourselves in mid November. We’ve decided to provide news on the impending release and showcase artwork here on The Mutant Epoch blog to show a little more of what you can expect in the book right up to the release date.

Currently, we are being more conservative in our launch date, taking into account the few challenges still ahead and feeling lousy about failing to have it on the market already. We are now confident that the book will be available sometime in December and before Christmas and available in PDF and print on demand through,, and, to name just a few sales venues

Thanks to all of you for the help with getting the word out and the encouragement. Knowing people are out there eagerly anticipating The Mutant Epoch’s release, not to mention the pre-sales I’ve heard about from the local game stores and individuals, has been extra fuel and motivation to see this game done, and done right.

In the meantime, here is the new release notification ad. Look for artwork here on the blog over the next weeks as we head down the home stretch.

Best regards,

Will McAusland

Creative Director


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BigCon 2010 a hit!

Whew, can't believe this weekend came and went so fast. BigCon 2010 was hit, at least from what I heard, saw and personally feel. From all indications it looks like the game convention will be even bigger and better next year. Outland Arts plans to be there in 2011, this time with finished books for sale of The Mutant Epoch RPG, Pitford: Gateway to the Ruins, the adventure Mall of Doom, plus the first 6 issues of our house magazine Excavator monthly, along with a few surprises.
This year was our first convention and I learned a heck of a lot from the experience, like don't where a white shirt, bring more snacks, don't volunteer to arrange an art show the same time one is also trying to get a 248 page RPG on the market, plus, have an assistant so one can go take a leak or grab a beer upstairs and take 5.

What follows are a few shots from the con. Although the pictures don't show it, there must have been a couple of hundred people in attendance at various times. The warhammer and magic cards people seemed to be on a time clock as suddenly their game session would end and they'd all clear out. Next thing you know they are back and throwing dice and whipping out measuring tapes... kinda noisy but I got a kick out of the banter they had going, and man do those guys know how to build and paint miniatures. My friend and fellow artist Pat Badminton was there with his orks and they looked great. He also did a minis painting demo and I learned a lot.. even though I thought I was a pretty well educated and experienced minis painter form my younger years. He should do a book on painting miniatures.

Here is Karim at the High Octane Comics and collectibles booth which was situated next to me. I had my son buy us the board game 'Zombies', which I have been dying to play with the older kids.

In this shot we have the extensive All Aboard Games booth, with the owner, Derek in the yellow shirt. I bought a round hundred sided dice and a set of gold colored, tiny brass dice from them.

And now we have our booth, with me giving demos on rolling up characters for a lot of great guys. Special thanks to Shawn, Eric, Cody, Danny, Darren, Daniel, Jon, and Karim for taking the time to roll up a character. I am still stunned at some of the cool, dangerous freaks these guys made. I can't figure out how when other people roll up characters in TME that they are such stunning, awesome player characters, while
mine come out fine enough, just with more reasonable, anticipated rolls and traits. The characters other people seem to make their first time around turn out to be team leader material, with wicked implants, skills and mutations, as well as a few une
xpected lucky rolls allowing their PCs to acquire relics like pump f'n shotguns.

Tonight each of my older daughters rolled up a character as well, now that the con is over and they are excited to play mutants. Of course, they rolled high traits, excellent skills and excellent mutation combinations making them into impressive, fun and well rounded characters. I'll have to tone down the Post Apocalyptic, nightmarish scenarios that seem to erupt in every Mutant Epoch game when GMing for them. One of the things at my booth that drew all sorts of people to it was a chaingun, also called a mini-gun for some reason. This is an .223 caliber infantry variant, meant to be held by a very powerful person, android or robot, as well as mounted on vehicles and light aircraft. Of, course, it doesn't really exist , yet, but man did a lot of people ask if it was real. I think using real bolts, straps, metal fittings, a heavy duty tripod and real dummy rounds on an ammo belt contributed to that impression, although it is made of plywood, dowel, cardboard, paper and other common materials found at home depot.
Look out next year, I plan to have a life size manikin in body armor holding the chain gun along with a lot more gear. Maybe an area with a PA background so people can get into a photograph with various weapons and gear. Is this legal?

So I had my two copies of TheMutant Epoch, which made it here from lulu just in time. I used one as a display copy and the other as my demo copy. With Jon, Eric and Cody we played until almost midnight on the opening day, and had a great time GMing for these most excellent and creative fellows. Along with this three, I am planning to get together locally at both game stores and a private home to run ongoing campaigns and demo sessions.
If you're local to Kamloops and want to keep posted on this, either email us to get on the mailing list at or sign

Tons of people wanted to buy a copy then and there, and sadly I was unable gratify them, but do feel confident that we will be releasing The Mutant Epoch by end of October, if not sooner depending on how well I can work with my editor on the last editing pass through, and complete the essential index and six or so full page digital painting for the section intros inside the book.

More coming to this blog soon! Time to get some much needed sleep,

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Poster of Polyhedron Dice Lino Print now available

We've placed a high quality scan of a polyhedron dice set lino print up at our store. This poster can be purchased in many sizes, perfect for your gaming room or store. The original, limited edition of 500 hand pulled, hand painted prints are also on sale at next weekend's big event: BigCon her in Kamloops for $20 each.

Hey, we have a whole sheet of print on demand paper dice up at our store. We'll also have these available at BigCon next weekend (Sept 25-26th in Kamloops)

Here is a pic and then the link to our store: $17.90 for the roughly 11 x 17 sheet, but you can select much larger dice if you want to make a huge dice mobile in your gaming den or shop!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Bookmarks have gone to press

We have been working double time on The Mutant Epoch RPG these past months, and are in the home stretch now. In anticipation of the game's release this October, and making ready for our info-play testing booth at BicCon 2010, we've ordered a huge run of bookmarks. We've decided to use Keeper Kard out of Vancouver for the run of 2500 bookmarks, as I've used them for over a decade in my illustration and design career and have always been very pleased with their prices, service and the quality of the printing. Their turn around time is also excellent. Check them out at:

Since the bookmarks use the the cover of TME's Hub Rules book, we spent a few weeks going back and forth with the back cover blurb, and made a modified version for the back of the bookmarks. Special thanks go out to my editor Ann Silbernagel, my creative associate Bill Frymire, and Mark Lambert over at Trexlin .com for his enormous help and excellent suggestions on the text. We took a lot of Mark's wording and worked it into the copy, so he can expect a free copy of the book in the mail when it comes out!

As you can imagine, I am very excited to send these bookmarks out as the first step in getting the Hub Rules book off to press. As a graphic designer, I've sent many dozens of books to print, and it is always an exciting process, but working on one's own project and sending it to press for the first time has a level of exhilaration and stress to it that is not easily described without first
experiencing it for yourself.

As BigCon looms up at us like some armor and spike encrusted post apocalyptic RV, we've focused less on the preview site, blog and twitter feed and instead are using those hours to get the latest art into the layout, more play testing and more content for the official site. There is so much work yet to be done, and having the hub rules for sale at BigCon is no longer a possibility, but we do want to have a review copy there if humanly possible.

Anyhow, here are the bookmarks, click to enlarge

Creative Director

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Mutant Epoch YouTube Channel goes live

First of all, a very special thank to our tech specialist Jakob, for getting us started with movie maker and setting up our youtube account so quickly.

Outland Arts now has a dedicated The Mutant Epoch channel and we managed to load a simple slide show of just some of the art from the Hub Rules book. The music is by Neuroclasm and used with permission. I love it!

If you wait until the end of the video you'll get a sneak peak at our finished front cover for the Hub Rules book. Art is still coming in as are new sections and edits. We have two months to get the book done and off to press if we want to see printed copies at BigCon at the end of September. While we are working our butts off trying to reach that goal, we may only have beta copies available for new local playtest groups to walk away with... which would also be a huge step. There are also several very supportive people out there who will be getting a printed beta copy as well.

At any rate, enjoy the slide show and let me know what you think,

Will McAusland
The Mutant Epoch

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Here there be MONSTERS: Mutant Beasts

The art is arriving faster than we can place it in the layout these days, but we want to get these new images on the blog. Today’s offering includes both animals and humanoids that are destined to both terrify and challenge the player characters.

The Mutant Dog shown here is just one of many possibilities, as each pack or individual offers from the next. Found as both wild or domesticated, these canines are cunning, unpredictable, heavily mutated and relentless predators. One of my favorite PCs was killed by a mutant pit-bull in a narrow passage when the PCs shotgun ran out of ammo.

Moaners, also called rubble zombies are diseased, mutated, nocturnal humanoids who delight in torturing and eating humans, however are known to enslave attractive pure stocks of the opposite gender as mating companions… untie the tire of them or food supplies run low. When I saw the movie I Am Legend, I was thrilled to see a similar specimen come to life.

The Horrlify is of human design, a sort of mutated-reptilian dog thing with a powerful beak and randomly determined cybernetic implants. The few that are still around serve as attack-patrol animals for advanced factions, corporate holdover strongholds, and other technologically advanced groups.

Green Walkers appear to be sickly, diseased humans from a distance, perhaps even moaners, but are actually plants which inhabit the frames of humanoid victims, utilizing their sensory organs, skeletal frame and certain organs while living off the tissues of the host. Slow moving and relentless, these nightmares are disturbing to behold and tricky to dispatch.

Dune Spiders are enormous, fast running inhabitants of the wastelands and streets of ancient metropolises. They have evolved to simply run down and dismember their prey, forgoing the use of web or poison.

More beasties coming shortly!


After listening to The RPG Haven Podcast's most recent show 'genre emulation', I decided to take myself away from a digital illustration of assorted post apocalyptic armor and write a review for them on itunes. Here it is:

I’ve listened to a lot of RPG podcasts over the years and this one is now one of my favorites. It is an excellent tabletop RPG podcast because of the knowledge and open mindedness of the hosts, the varied subject matter, games and game related topics. As the publisher of an upcoming rpg, I found their friendly neighborhood gamer section to be refreshing, entertaining, eye opening and very valuable. Keep up the great work guys.

You can find them at:



Saturday, June 12, 2010

Got guns?

The art for the Mutant Epoch Hub Rules book is really coming along and we are in the last 90% of it now. Of course in the last blog entry I mentioned the addition of a new PC race and a bunch of skills being added to the book, which will of course mean more art, edits and layout, but we think its worth it.

Today we are offering up a few of the weapon illustrations. Most of these use ink wash over the underlying ink line drawing, followed by some touch ups in Photoshop. While time consuming, this process really makes these weapons stand out. I would love to have a few in small frames to sell or give out as gifts to the many people who have been so supportive of Outland Arts and this project in particular. Maybe a contest giveaway through Excavator Monthly magazine?



Friday, June 11, 2010

Weapon Expert Skill illustration

Today we have another image for the Hub Rules book. This one shows an ambidextrous adventurer with two razor swords standing over the bloody bodies of three skullocks. This is for the Weapon Expert skill entry and was rendered in graphite, then scanned, and digitally blended to give it an oil paint-like look. This is a slow process compared to inking, but for larger images, something we are planning to use extensively. The upcoming monster book called Mutant Beastiary One, which has a hundred new creatures to add to the multitude already included in the TME hub rules book, will generally be in the digital-oil style shown here.

Hey, just a reminder if you haven't already joined The Mutant Epoch mailing list, why not sign up as we are about to start releasing that shortly.

We have signed up at technorati dot com to try and get this blog listed in their directory. The following code is required to be added to this blog in order to verify that we are the blog writers.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beware the Great Worm

Thought we’d add another entry today as this digital grayscale painting was just completed.

This is the last image for the creature section of the Mutant Epoch Hub Rules RPG book. It is a half pager that took me a couple of days to pull off. It shows up small here but if you click on the image it should resize to a larger view.

In this scene I wanted to show a few diggers in the ruined streets of an ancient city, perhaps getting the hell outa the underground levels after disturbing something big… which followed them up and now emerges. Notice the feet of the guy with the shotgun. There is some debris across his path. He needs top make a perception based hazard check to see if he sees the bar or not. If not, he trips and the enormous jaw worm gets the initiative.

More art and news coming soon. Back to work on the Cover art and design.


Our First Convention: BigCon 2010

Outland Arts will be at our first gaming convention… BigCon 2010 in Kamloops

, British Columbia, September 25th and 26th at the Kamloops Convention centre.. While I am one of the volunteers, doing the logo, some posters and industry liaison, Outland Arts will be paying for a table and sponsorship spots.

Since BigCon is only a few months away, the likelihood

of having the TME Hub Rules book available for sale at the event is now low. It seems we are adding a new character race and some skills and these will need edits, play testing and art and there is no way we can rush these aspects into the book. What’s that saying: ‘No wine before its time’? I guess

that’s the opposite of ‘the perfect is the enemy of the done’. I tend to think the core game book for an RPG should be as perfect and close to the creator’s vision as possible, as all other supporting products are based on it.

Still, we will set up a table and run demos, pre-sell, preview the art, meet gamers, and maybe sell some posters, original art, a lino print of polyhedron dice (hand pulled, hand colored and limited edition).

We have designs for the table setup which I'll scan and post alter and are looking into a table banner, side roll-up posters, hand outs, business cards, bookmarks and much more. The bookmark for the Mutant Epoch is basically done, I am just waiting for the final touches on the cover art and will apply that and off to press they go.

Clearly, there is much to be done.

Below are a couple of posters I've presented to the organization committee.