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Fan art

SWTOR offers community Q&A, celebratory weekend discount

Sci-Fi, Culture, Fan art, News Items, Star Wars: The Old Republic

SWTOR Trooper by Spartanash
BioWare has often stated that fans are central Star Wars: The Old Republic's development. Decisions ranging from the weapon design to ranked warzones have been influenced by direct feedback from fans. So this week, the SWTOR community team has shifted its focus back on the fans by highlighting some of the extraordinary players of the game in the triumphant return of Fan Friday, which highlights (among others) the image above by Spartanash and others that display player characters in powerful poses and ornate outfits.

The community team says that player Iwipe is an "incredible asset" to the community because of her helpful community guides. Specifically, her 1.2 Dailies and PvE Gear Guide, Hardmode Flashpoint Loot List, and Rakghoul Outbreak Guide top the list of her most impressive pieces. When asked why she writes these guides, she explained, "Forums are a great source of information but it takes time to dig through and find relevant info so I started writing guides and such to help the community out."

The team has also posted this week's Community Q&A, which covers purple lightsaber crystals, guild mail, mentoring systems, cross-server legacy implementation, and more. And if that weren't enough, EA has put the whole game on sale for the weekend for just $34.44.

Artist plagiarizes Guild Wars 2, World of Warcraft illustrators

World of Warcraft, Fan art, MMO Industry, News Items, Guild Wars 2, Crime, Miscellaneous

Concept art
If you're going to steal, steal big -- or so Romanian artist Iani Papadopol thought. Papadopol put on an exhibit called "UpDate 3D loading" featuring fantastic landscapes and scenery. The only problem? Instead of painting them himself, he ripped off several well-known illustrators, including ArenaNet's Daniel Dociu and Blizzard's Mathias Verhasselt, claiming the pieces as his own.

The fraud was discovered by online fans and local artists after the exhibit was broadcast on TV. Papadopol's works were found to be stunningly similar -- in fact, identical -- to those of famous video game illustrators. Papadopol attempted to sell the prints before he was caught. There's no word yet whether charges will be filed.

"I found out from my friends," Dociu, a fellow Romanian, said on a news channel. "I recognized four pieces of my work immediately. What upsets me is that he's also Romanian with an artistic background. I will not take legal action if he admits what he did."

Papadopol's father, the acclaimed artist Constantin Papadopol, says that this is a misunderstanding. In any case, let this be the lesson to the next lazy art thief: It's perhaps best not to rip off the guy whose work was on the cover of National Geographic.

Full SWTOR-themed hip hop album released

Sci-Fi, Culture, Fan art, Star Wars: The Old Republic

If the one thing missing from your life has been music to show the world how much you love Star Wars: The Old Republic, rejoice! Your wait has come to an end. Richie Branson, who put out his first SWTOR-themed song late last year, has released Cold Republic Episode I: The Empire Likes Rap, which has the peculiar honor of being the world's first SWTOR mixtape. Are you a Hutt Ball phenomenon? Are you hot like a pot on the stove that's boilin'? Does it take more than seven men to kill you 'cause you're a tank -- and can you, in point of fact, take that to the bank? This might be just the thing for you!

It's worth noting that the characters represented in the album also tip holo dancers hundred thousand credit bills and stick their missiles in all the ladies' exhaust ports. Your mileage will definitely vary.

Fans share their anticipation for Guild Wars 2

Fantasy, Trailers, Video, Fan art, Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2
A world as beautiful as the one ArenaNet is making with Guild Wars 2 just begs to be explored. Since fans can't quite do that yet, they're doing the next best thing and making trailers to show the world how ready they are to hop back into the world of Tyria.

The first has been around for a few months but deserves some real love. It was put together by Albert, an administrator at the Spanish fan site Guild Wars 2 Online, using official Guild Wars 2 footage and sound clips from ArenaNet's blog posts on writing and voicing the races of Guild Wars 2.

The second fan trailer from wetwillyhip has been floating about for a couple of days and does a fantastic job of splicing together in-game footage and ArenaNet's more stylized cinematics.
Jump past the cut to check out these fan-made videos!

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Yes, someone made a SWTOR hip-hop song already

Sci-Fi, Culture, Fan art, Star Wars: The Old Republic

Richie Branson
So you have the Star Wars: The Old Republic Collector's Edition, the lunchbox, the action figures, the pajamas, and the bedsheets*. The game launched 12 hours ago and you have two level 50s. What else would you possibly need to make your life complete? How about a hip-hop song based on your new obsession?

Yep, there's now a hip-hop song all about SWTOR entitled Cold Republic, created by the already-established hip-hop artist Richie Branson. It seems Richie enjoys playing his Empire character Kazen on the Ven Zallow RP-PVP so much that he stopped playing just long enough to write and record a song about it.

According to his website, he plans to create more SWTOR-related songs, using samples from the game itself.

*Most of these items are not real.

[Thanks Matt for the tip!]

Winners announced for Star Trek Online's Enterprise design contest

Sci-Fi, Contests, Fan art, News Items, Star Trek Online

A while back, Star Trek Online's development team asked players to submit their entries for the next generation of the starship Enterprise. If you're at all familiar with the years of fiction, of course, you know that designing the next incarnation of the Federation's flagship is no small feat -- not only do you have to come up with a craft that still adheres to the designs set forth by countless previous ships, but you also have to make something that looks futuristic and advanced on its own.

The contest's winners have finally been announced, and it looks like players were more than up to the challenge, producing a variety of ships that would make an excellent example for the ship of the line. The winning entry also includes a comparison of the new ship's profile compared with its famous predecessors, a treat for both Star Trek Online fans and fans of the series in general. Our congratulations to all the winners and runners-up.

Star Wars: The Old Republic unveils art from its players and developers

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Fan art, New Titles, Star Wars: The Old Republic, Dev Diaries

In watching any of the documentaries or behind-the-scenes interviews, you will notice that art plays a huge role in any Star Wars-related project. In Star Wars: The Old Republic, the developers and community team like to showcase not only the artistic skills of the designers but the illustrations of the fans, too. This week, we are lucky enough to have both.

The SWTOR Studio Insider is written today by two artists: Senior Concept Artist Ryan Dening and Senior Environment Artist Christopher Reeves. These two creators dive deep into the design process of creating the Agent starship. "For the first time, we were making these ships exist in real space and giving the players the experience of owning their own Starship," Dening said in regard to the difference in designing for SWTOR vs. Knights of the Old Republic.

The community is not without its talent as well, and the community team is quick to acknowledge this. Greighson and Crypticgrrl of the official forums had their work displayed in this week's Fan Friday. Grieghson designed propaganda posters for the Empire, and Crypticgrrl displayed her fine art talent. We have placed their works in the gallery below.

In another announcement, the development team confirmed that it will be at PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts, from March 11th to March 13th. Rest assured Massively will be there to catch the latest.

Voting opens on EVE t-shirt design competition

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Culture, Fan art, MMO Industry, News Items

In mid December, geeky t-shirt manufacturer J!NX announced an exciting art competition for fans of EVE Online. Following on from the popularity of CCP's earlier DeviantArt ship design contest, J!NX and CCP Games gave people the opportunity to design their very own EVE t-shirt. The deadline for submission has now passed and public voting is now open on the 85 submitted entries. The creators of the three best shirt designs will each receive $750 US dollars in cash, $250 dollars worth of J!NX store credit, a full year's subscription to EVE Online and a whole pile of items from the EVE store.

Perhaps more exciting is the fact that the best designs will be also be turned into t-shirts for sale. The choice of which shirts make the cut will be based on both the public vote and input from CCP and J!NX. If you're looking to expand your wardrobe with some internet-spaceship-themed clothing, now's your chance to pick your favourite designs from the hoard of entries. Voting will be open for all J!NX account holders until January 10th, with the winners announced one week later on January 17th.

Massively's top 10 MMO blogs of 2010

Culture, Fan art, Opinion, Miscellaneous

Believe it or not, Massively isn't the only MMO blog out there. I know, you're as surprised as we are, right? While we do spend most of our day obsessing about our own site, we also spend a great deal of time reading the writings of others. I often find myself turned off by straight journalism that seems dry or fabricated for the sake of traffic numbers, and attracted to the more personal and opinionated style of blogging. As far as I know, these are all volunteer, unpaid writing positions, which means they do it for the love of the subject matter. I certainly respect that. Many of the writers I've hired here on Massively are bloggers I've read for months or years.

So what better way to spotlight our favorites than by making a Top 10 list about them?

Follow along after the jump, where we'll tell you to leave this site to go look at a bunch of other sites. Just don't tell our ad department!

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Winners announced for EVE's starship design contest

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Contests, Culture, Fan art, MMO Industry, News Items

EVE Online's starship design contest has had EVE players and deviantART users excited for this past month. Hundreds of entries were submitted in a bid to win some massive prizes. Last week, the deviantART team picked 15 semi-finalists from all the submitted entries. Those 15 were then sent on to CCP's own art department for appraisal to select the first, second and third place winners. There was some controversy over the quality of the selected semi-finalists, with many popular entries being left out and others that might not fit with EVE's graphic style being put in their place.

Yesterday, the final three winners were selected and announced on the competition page. First place went to deviantART user dreamwa1ker for his impressive Minmatar battleship Tornado, drawn in a truly dark and cinematic style that perfectly fits in with EVE. Second place went to Baranha with the sleek Gallente design Naru-Kami Final, with third place going to machinefire for his Minmatar cruiser Tsunami. The three finalists win an impressive array of prizes, and the first place ship will be forever emblazoned in EVE as an actual in-game ship to be released in a future expansion. As an added bonus to the competition, CCP has announced that they'll be running a second contest in the near future in which EVE players will vote on their favourite entries. This comes as good news for those disappointed by the semi-finalist selection first time around.

Semi-finalists announced in EVE Online's starship design contest

Sci-Fi, EVE Online, Contests, Culture, Fan art

Last month, EVE Online developers CCP Games teamed up with the folks at deviantART to run an exciting competition. Artists from across the globe were given the opportunity to design their very own starship. For artists, the opportunity to show off their skills to a professional game development studio proved to be a strong motivator. To sweeten the deal, a prize fund worth several thousand dollars was included for the winning entrants. Yesterday, the deviantART team picked 15 semi-finalists from an uncountable number of submitted entries. Congratulations go out to the semi-finalists, who each take home a $50 iTunes gift card.

While the contest has produced some incredible artwork, it seems that not everyone is happy with how the 15 semi-finalists were selected. Some players have complained that the deviantART team removed some excellent entries from the running in favour of submissions that don't really fit with EVE's art style. The 15 winning entries will now be passed on to CCP's very own art department, where deliberations will take place to select the best three entries. The second and third place winners will receive $750 and $500 respectively, while the first place winner walks away with $900. Perhaps more importantly, the first place entry will be transformed into an actual ship in EVE Online, allowing the winner to make a permanant mark on the game.

Cats invade Star Wars: The Old Republic in this week's Fan Friday

Sci-Fi, Fan art, New Titles, Wallpapers, Star Wars: The Old Republic

The community of Star Wars: The Old Republic did not quite make the Twitter and Facebook goals, so the developers decided to punish us by announcing another species that we will not be able to play. (Just kidding, it wasn't punishment.) In addition to spotlighting fan art and video, this week's Fan Friday column mentions Cathar as being another species players of SWTOR will bump into on their travels across the galaxy. The feline species from the planet bearing the same name was first mentioned by name in Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith, but gamers are probably more familiar with it from the other BioWare game, Knights of the Old Republic. Although the devs did not say where or how the players will run into this highly anticipated species, fans are hoping for a Cathar companion character.

As mentioned above, the social media goal was not reached. Even so, the community team did give the fans some gifts. The Fan Site Kit has been updated with more digital goodies. New avatars, screenshots, and biographical images can now grace your SWTOR fan site. Not to mention, the team has included six new desktop wallpaper images straight from the exciting "Hope" trailer.

Be sure to check out all of this and the amazing new fan art on the official SWTOR site.

Final Fantasy XI shows off winners for its anniversary art contest

Fantasy, Galleries, Final Fantasy XI, Contests, Fan art, Events (Real-World), Consoles

Although the North American anniversary doesn't take place until later this year, Final Fantasy XI has been running for eight years as of this past May. When that milestone rolled around, Square-Enix announced their 8th Anniversary art contest as a chance for players to show off their talents and potentially get rewarded for them. The official winners have just been announced, complete with the requisite gallery of all the winning entries for fans to peruse, with the results both creative and indicative of the game's long history.

The recurring visual elements seem to be food, tarutaru, mithra, and mandragoras -- which certainly goes a long way toward showing what's stuck out in everyone's minds over the duration. There are even a pair of entries (such as the one above) that use food itself as the medium for the celebration. Final Fantasy XI players are encouraged to take a full look at all the artwork on display in the winners' gallery -- enough to bring a nostalgic tear to any player's eye.

Winners of "Declare your Loyalty" contest announced for City of Heroes

Super-hero, City of Heroes, City of Villains, Fan art, Expansions, Promotions

Sometimes you notice them and sometimes you don't, but the background touches in City of Heroes are always there. They're little reminders that you're moving through a city full of people. The Rogue Isles has its share of shady billboards and decorations (including no-questions-asked investigators and a minion recruitment service), while Paragon City has law firms and socially-conscious advertisements about the Rikti. And Praetoria has propaganda for Emperor Cole... and against him. That's the crux of the now-concluded contest to declare your loyalty in artistic form for Going Rogue, and the winners of said contest have been announced.

There are three winners in each category, for both Loyalist propaganda and Resistance subversion. Two of the pieces of Resistance graffiti and one of the Loyalist billboards have also been adopted by the developers -- they will be featured in Going Rogue, albeit in a slightly-altered form. The gallery of winners showcases both the original submissions and the slight alterations made for the appearance in-game. City of Heroes players who haven't yet picked a side -- or those who are just interested in seeing some nicely-done propaganda pieces -- should head on over to take a look.

Final Fantasy XI starts its eight-year art contest

Fantasy, Final Fantasy XI, Contests, Fan art, News Items, Consoles

On May 16th, 2002, Final Fantasy XI was released in Japan, meaning that the game has marked a full eight years of service in its country of origin. (It didn't come stateside for another year and a half, so we're a bit behind.) The team at Square-Enix is understandably excited about how far the game has come since that day, and what better way to show it than letting the players strut their stuff? That means it's time for the Eighth Anniversary Art Contest, complete with requisite fabulous prizes -- which include the coveted Chocobo Beret.

Running until June 16th, the contest calls for players with an active Final Fantasy XI account to submit a picture of their finished artwork. As one might assume given the timing, the art is expected to have an anniversary theme, although how one wishes to tackle the subject is entirely up to the player. Only one submission is allowed per person, with all the winners receiving the Nomad Moogle Rod, and the two top winners also receiving the aforementioned Beret. Take a look at the official rules for all the details, and get ready to see what the game's worldwide community can come up with.

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