Something New

Dark Firetail
Click to embiggen


Something I've been playing around with the past few weeks. I've always been fascinated by black and white photography so I was wondering what that might look like translated into Eve terms. Not sure this is the perfect example of that expression - at least not yet - but I think it is as far along as this piece will get.



Christmas Jam



Holiday memories from last year. If you haven't had a chance to hear or see this one before, now's your chance. Truly brilliant singing from Sindel as always.



A Holiday History

Over the years I've made quite a few Holiday themed wallpapers, here are some of them.

Eve Planetside Holiday
From 2012

Happy Holidays Eve 2014
From 2014

The Gift - Eve Online HD Wallpaper
From 2015

Suddenly Ninjas: Suddenly Giveaway!
From 2010, this one I did for Suddenly Ninjas obviously

Happy Holidays 2017
Last year's


Merry Christmas.




A Tale of Two Ships


A bored Rixx usually gets into trouble.

In yet another cycle of change, Low Sec is currently undergoing a minor shift once again. Established players are changing, the landscape is adapting, and tactics are evolving. In other words it is a tad chaotic right now. Things will once again settle down into more predictable patterns, but for the time being you never know when your Hookbill will be jumped on by an arty Loki for no good reason. Which happened to me on Saturday.

Lots of bait and switch going on these days. Lots of loser pilots overcompensating by bringing overwhelming force to small fights. Classless and honorless hordes are everywhere. Pretty typical for Low Sec. Luckily, Stay Frosty continues to bear the torch for honor and good fights when we can. The Stay Frosty Code remains a bastion in even the darkest of times. As does my personal ability to derp myself into dumb situations purely for the joy of it.

I was bored pushing a Sleipnir around with my Dominix when about 175 Eve Uni frigates arrived in local. I docked up and bought myself a Brutix off of corp contracts (thanks Devlin!) and undocked and warped to the large plex. I've done this before with Frigate gangs, sometimes I even live! Like that time I jumped a Dominix into them at the Sun and killed like 12 of them before they ran off. But this time I figured a cheap Brutix would be enough.

The killboard says I got two of them before they got me, but I really remember five of them exploding. Either way it was fun and I had a blast. If you don't understand why I do that when I can, then you don't understand me at all. There are a lot of good reasons to derp a BC into a swarm of Eve Uni Frigates. It's fun. I typed WITNESS ME into local as I died. It's content. And I am a content provider. I'm sure those pilots enjoyed the fight. And it also serves as a great recruitment action. We get lots of pilots from Eve Uni and many from previous engagements like that one.

Later we spotted a Hyperion in the large plex. So I undocked the Hyperion I recently fitted up to give it a shot. It must be said that I am not a Hyperion fan. Every single time I fly that ship it lets me down. This was probably the first Hyp I've flown in a few years and eventually the result would be the same. The fight was going fine until the Mach showed up, after that it was boom for me. No more Hyperions for me. My dumb fault though for leaving my red pills in the Station.

Don't do drugs kids.



After Hours Podcast featuring John McClain



The latest episode of After Hours is now available for your listening pleasure. In this episode I welcome John McClain from Pandemic Legion, Best of Us, FitFleet and - most recently - candidate for the CSM.

Enjoy!



A Year Later


WARNING: This post contains exceptionally well written and honest words regarding very personal and real life events that may not be suitable for all audiences. It contains Adult Situations and Intense Honesty. Certain people who will remain unnamed might not be able to handle it. Please don't punch my Wife dude, she punches back.


If I had a shrink they'd probably recommend that I write this post. I don't have a shrink. I've never had one. Where I come from we work our crap out ourselves, pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with life. That sounds tough, and it can be. But I also wouldn't recommend it. It tends to back up the garbage in your head. Somewhere along the way I learned how to deal with that garbage myself and I've managed to do a decent job of keeping it buried in the landfill. But it surfaces from time to time. The best thing, for me, is to use that flotsam as inspiration for creativity. And motivation for life itself.

About a year ago a Judge suddenly decided to take my liberty away from me. One second I was a man arguing for logic and common sense - and the next I was essentially a piece of garbage. A Bailiff came and put me in handcuffs. I didn't get to see my Wife or my Son. As we went down the elevator the Bailiff shook his head and said, "Man I'm so sorry, you got royally screwed."

Imagine that every friend you have ever had suddenly disappears. Imagine that every person you ever worked with won't return your phone calls. With rare exceptions that has been my life for the past five years. It gets worse. Now imagine that your business partner steals money from you, causing one of your biggest clients to leave with their business. A man you worked with for ten years. I have a long litany of horror I can repeat, but I'll stop there. Needless to say it was Hell. Bankruptcy. Court fees. Fines. Legal fees. Threats. Repossessed cars. etc. etc. etc.

The worst thing about all of that is how it won't stop. It isn't a bad weekend, or a bad stretch. It was a bad eight years of non-stop stress and horror show video playing on your face. And despite what some people choose to believe I never stopped fighting and trying and working to make it go away. I took every job I could. Even with people I knew would eventually screw me over. What choice did I have? And sure enough they eventually screwed me over. I helped start a very successful business only to watch as my friend and business partner got terminal cancer - twice.

Oh yeah, this was some sick shit. Live thru that every single day and then have some punk on the internet talk shit about your wife and see how well you take it. Or sit thru a bullshit session at Fanfest again and see if you can keep quiet. While the company has been selling your work for TWO YEARS without a contract. And there are some at CCP who are mad at me about that.

The worst thing for me about jail was the unknown. They don't have a video to watch when you arrive, "Everything you need to know!" Nope. No brochures, no handouts. They don't tell you shit. They just move you from one place to another. But first you wait. I waited in a room with twenty other people for about six hours. I was the only other white person there who was not overdosing on Heroin. The two other white dudes were seriously fucked up. Almost all the other people there were in on drug charges, some with violence attached. But a few were transfers, being held until such time as they could be moved to their Super Max destinations. One dude was so bad off he had his own special room. Multiple murders is what I heard.

And yes this fifty year old professional white man stuck out like a sore thumb. A fact which many other gentlemen there commented on. I watched The Wire. And that Night Of show on HBO. As well as hundreds of others. I knew that being "special" or "different" was probably not a good thing. But I did my best to be cool, not panic, and stay aloof on the outside. These street skills are hard won, and a tad dusty, but they came back quick. I'm not a rabbit after all, I'm the Wolf. An older Wolf sure. But also more experienced. Such bs, I was scared to death.

I also had no idea of what was happening inside or outside. It was a long time before I got my phone call. And that was just heartbreaking.

Eventually it all gets much worse. Then they shuffle you into processing. Which means removing your clothes so some Officer can watch you spread your ass cheeks. I did get to keep my own shoes however. I wore my Converse on purpose that day. But otherwise it was orange "Property Of" clothes for me. More waiting. More rooms with more inmates. More people who feel the strange need to tell me their story. (That has been a lifelong curse for me, I have that kind of face) I watched a young woman get hit by a female guard. I watched another woman scream and cry. I heard a story about a murder at another prison by a dude that said he was there when it happened. I believed him. His description was very graphic and colorful. And more Heroin overdoses. Which are not fun in person.

After what seemed an eternity we shuffled into the yard. Again, NO ONE has told me anything. We grab a thin mattress and everyone starts to partner off. I don't know any of these people. Someone asks if I'd like to bunk with him, and he seems nice enough for a criminal, so I say yes. We shuffle up to our room and they shut the door. That's it until 12 hours later when that door opens. Again, not a word about process, procedures, schedules, nothing. I have a mattress, a roll of orange sheets which I discover contain a toothbrush, toothpaste and a plastic spoon. I also have a 10x15 concrete room, with two metal beds and a toilet with no lid that is built into the wall. Above the top bunk is a thick glass window with wire mesh inside that looks out at another concrete wall.

And I also have Steve. (That's what I call him, not his real name.) Steve is from Seattle and he got busted at a party here in our fair city for drug possession. Not his fault of course. Someone at the party planted the drugs on him right before the Cops arrived. What I would have originally thought was a stereotype turned out to be true after all - everyone in jail is innocent. Even me. I was super lucky that Steve picked me as his bunk mate. He didn't try to rape me even once. I didn't really sleep. Jail is noisy. Jail makes weird sounds. And I wasn't sure yet that Steve wasn't going to try and rape me.

Blah blah blah, eventually morning came and after another eternity I walked out into the sunshine again.

That was almost a year ago.

Yes I got screwed by a system not prepared for my weird life. No one in that court has ever seen or heard of a case like mine. They simply aren't equipped to deal with it. So they don't. They didn't. And they won't. Yeah I'm screwed. And there isn't anything I can do about it. I fought the good fight, I stood up for my rights as best I could. I had to be willing to go all the way to the wall. And now it is time to move on.

I've got about 22 more months to go.

For those of you that don't understand I apologize. It is a super complicated and often confusing tale. But one I refuse to tell in extreme detail. Some day I may write a book. Until then I write these blog posts. And I do that because of my readers, my friends, and those here in this Community who stood by me, helped me, and believed in me.

I want them all to know that we are doing well now. I love my job and the monthly payments, while large and unfair, are tolerable. As long as I keep working for the next 22 months we'll be fine.

I'm working thru the effects of all that trauma slowly but surely. I can't deny that it has affected me, changed me, and all that other stuff that bad things do to people. On the other hand, it could always be worse. And there are plenty of other people out there who have it much, much worse. I met many of them last year and spent a day with them.

I never want to do that again.



Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays 2017 Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes
It has become a tradition, so here is this year's Holiday Wallpaper. I wish you all the very best this Holiday season and while I'm sure there will be other Holiday posts between now and the end of the year, I wanted to make sure I got this finished and released before things start to get crazy.

Enjoy.



Open to Suggestions

At Zero Shadow Wallpaper
Just finished this one today

With the recent interest in this series I've determined within myself to attempt to capture as much of the moments that make New Eden special as I can. So I'm open to suggestions from you, my readers, have I forgotten something? Is there a moment in space that relates to your favorite game-play that I have yet to capture? Let me know in the comments.

Just be aware that I will be translating those moments into my own interpretation of them. You say mining and I say two Retrievers undocking from an Industrial complex. You say PvP and I say two two ships meeting at zero at the Sun. That is, after all, part of the artistic process. Lots of people take screenshots, and many do an exceptionally good job of it, but this series is not that. And I happen to be a huge fan of screenshots. Eve is beautiful in so many ways. There is room for a wide variety of interpretations. Goodness knows I've spent a tremendous amount of time and energy on enough of them over the years.

I have hesitated to portray large fleet battles in this series on purpose. My thoughts are to keep these as intimate as possible, which is why they are anticipatory of events, evocative instead of explanatory. If that makes sense. I want you the viewer to have the space to engage your own imagination into each story that is being told in these images. I know I do that. And I hope you do as well.

Anyway, enough artist talk. If you have any ideas, because I certainly can't think of everything, let me know in the comments.



Eve News Article

Click this link to read the article

I started the "Shadow Series" of Wallpapers back in June of 2016, over a year ago. At the time no one paid much attention to them. I even created a video showing me working on one of them. And no one watched it. It's funny how things can lie dormant for a span of time and then suddenly become interesting again. It speaks to the cyclic nature of Eve and the Eve community. The reporter for this story contacted me on Facebook of all places and hadn't really heard of me before. He'd heard the name around, but that was about it.

I continue to find that interesting in so many ways. But after being involved with this community for so long, it has become something you just have to deal with. People come and people go, and sometimes they come back. It is an ever-shifting landscape.

In the end however, no matter how long it sometimes takes, I'm glad that people are enjoying my work on this series. Next to the spaceship posters it is my favorite series. Although I have a soft spot in my heart for the Travel Series as well. Well... for all my work truly, otherwise I wouldn't have done it.

Thanks for the article, it was well written and much appreciated.

I'm already working on another entry in the series. So stay tuned.



I Love My Job


Yesterday while I was derping my expensive Astarte alone against five opponents it occurred to me - I have like the best job in all of New Eden. I know, this does seem somewhat counter-intuitive, but let me spend an inordinate amount of copy trying to explain.

After almost five years of being the CEO of Stay Frosty, not to mention everything else, it is virtually impossible to play this game normally. I'm as likely to get a fight in a new system as I am to get a, "Hey Rixx! Love the (insert thing here). Huge fan!" comment in local. It happened six times yesterday alone. Please don't get me wrong here, I love that. And I sincerely appreciate the comments. But it does tend to illuminate my rather unique challenges. Challenges I'm more than willing, and to be honest - happy, to embrace. It is awesome frankly.

Just me undocking can cause content to happen. Things can be slow around town and then suddenly they start to pick up and content tends to find me. Granted that often means that I get shot first A LOT. In a five man gang I'll usually be the one the other guy shoots first. You can't blame them. I don't blame them. In fact I expect it. On Friday I undocked and joined a couple of corpmates a few jumps away in my Comet. Our very first fight I get primaried. I said on comms, "Typical Rixx moment." And flew back home to re-ship.

My game, my killboard, my actions, everything I do in-game is not about me at all. It is about my Corporation and the pilots that fly with it. I generate content for all of us and for the Alliance at large. I spend all of my efforts, and my isk, to try and make the game more exciting for them. I believe very strongly that is my role as CEO. And it is one that I enjoy very much. Yeah, it also means I had to move past my own personal goals a long time ago - but it also means that I can take joy from the accomplishments of others in our group. And that is pretty damn cool. Those have become my personal goals.

You see, I don't fly for just myself anymore. I haven't for a long time. I fly for Stay Frosty and for A Band Apart. I'm the lightening rod. I self-generate content. I'm certainly not the only one, a lot of our pilots have grown into that role themselves over the years. It is, after all, really what the mission of Stay Frosty is. One for all and all for one. That kinda thing.

In other words, I am extremely proud to be the CEO of Stay Frosty and of everyone in A Band Apart. I can't imagine doing anything else. And I'm really looking forward to the next five years. I have the best job in the world. Or the universe.


NOTE 1: If you are a USTZ player looking for a great corp of players that love the pew-pew to join, might I suggest Stay Frosty. With my full-time job USTZ is my new home and while we have 300+ pilots spread across time zones, we could use some more company in that one. As always, Stay Frosty is OPEN recruitment - you want in you get in. Come fly with us. It's fun.

NOTE 2: Stay Frosty and ABA are both rapidly moving towards an amazing milestone. Sometime within the next few months we will both hit the 100,000 kill mark! That is going to be an incredible milestone accomplished in less than five years. Keep blowing stuff up everyone. I never imagined we'd get this far back when it was just me and this crazy idea. So cool.

NOTE 3: Yarrr!



NEW Shadow Wallpapers

Waiting to Jump Shadow Wallpaper
Click to download various sizes


Retrievers Shadow
Click to download various sizes

Vertical Shadow
Same here


These were the two unfinished Wallpapers in the pipeline back from when I was doing what I called the "Shadow Series". You can see the entire series at this link. The concept for these started as a simple question, "What would Eve look like in real space?" Real space is stark, harsh, and black as ink, just look at NASA photos and you'll quickly get the idea. So much of Eve is defined by the Nebula and color of New Eden (and rightfully so) that I pondered what it would mean to take that away. Strip away the normal and look at things in a different light.

So much of what I do as a creative is based around this idea. My spaceship posters started around a very similar challenge - to take the spaceships we all know so well and present them in a totally alien environment. The focus because different than we are used to seeing. And in presenting them, or these, in a new light - it always us the chance to look at them with new eyes. You've never seen anything like it before, it isn't comfortable, usual or expected.

I so rarely get any feedback from anyone I have no idea what anyone else thinks, but these types of pieces are among my personal favorites.

I can only hope that you enjoy them as well.