Category Archives: Wednesday Ramblings

My weekly blog post about whatever really

[Wednesday Ramblings] In Abstract

Check out all my RamblingsIts interesting that, when I think about it, there isn’t very much of the Literary Canon that I’ve actually read. Like, I know the Odyssey back to front, but I don’t think I’ve ever read the entire manuscript. I know it in the abstract, I’ve read books about it, I’ve seen and heard lectures about it, it’s characters and tropes have been the center of many a discussion, but I don’t ever recall reading the whole thing. It’s sort of the same for most staples. I know of them and I know their general gist, but I don’t think I’ve ever read them. Even with things in my genre, most of my knowledge is second hand.

Really that’s all I have to say, it was just kind of a sad and yet profound realization about my professional state that I had this morning.

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[Wednesday Ramblings] Cycle 2

Check out all my RamblingsNo you’re not missing the first cycle post, its a reference–albeit a silly one. I just don’t know what to talk about again this week so I’m cycling the blog to see if something better comes up.

I mean, yeah, I finished the first draft of my short story/novella thing, but its still not done. Reading over it today the tone is wildly different from point to point and in trying to tie up the plot I seem to have made more of a knot than a bow. Still, its a complete manuscript which I guess is a big accomplishment. Now to edit, tweak, edit, and tweak some more.

Been sketching, but haven’t been happy with any of the outcomes…gonna keep on it and see what happens.

Patch Season! Path of Exile is going to Open Beta sometime in the next three weeks and League will be patching into Pre-Season 3 sometime in the next week. I’m super excited about how things will play out. I want to get a POE guild set up because the game is best played with 3-5 people in a party. The monsters are just tough enough and you can really spec into a role. If you’re up to playing let me know! I’ll likely be playing my Lightning Dagger Witch because well, DPS is the best ever and between her and Shadow I like where she starts more on the passive tree. (check it out by the way, if you’re an action RPG player…it’ll blow your mind).

As for LOL, I’m really excited to see what the changes will bring. The items alone are guaranteed to make waves, but I don’t want to speculate until I get a chance to play. Expect a first impressions the day the patch hits.

Anyway, catch you all next week!

[Wednesday Ramblings] White noise

Check out all my RamblingsSo I’m sitting here not sure what to write about this week. I need to write, else I’ll get out of the habit, but for the life of me I can’t come up with anything. That’s not to say I don’t have things I want to talk about, but that’s just it: I want to talk about them. Most days, it feels like all I’m doing with this webspace is pumping out white noise. I mean, yeah, I suppose I can count the slowly growing number of views as an indication that people are enjoying the mind farts I’m sharing, but no one speaks up about it–supporting or dissenting. Seriously, what do I need to do to have a conversation with people?

  • I don’t know if I can add any more leading questions in my posts.
  • Going to talk with people on their blog has been marginally successful, so perhaps I need to chase that route more.
  • Maybe what I’m talking about isn’t all that interesting. Though I’m getting occasional likes and follows, so I have to be doing something right.
  • I’m not talking enough–either in terms or length or frequency.

At any rate, I’ve rambled on nothing long enough. Back to my other ramblings, lets see if I can’t manage to pull out another flash story today.

[Wednesday Ramblings] So then…

Check out all my RamblingsIts a weird, the feeling that I’ve been having recently. I’m sort of content and at the same time, rather restless. I’m full of energy and at the same time totally exhausted. It probably has to do with the fact that today I am twenty five and aside from accomplishments that most people of my generation can claim, I’ve not really done all that much with my life.

I mean, yes, I’m the first of my family to graduate college while going full time. I’m also the first to get into Graduate school, but those don’t feel like accomplishments…not when I’ll pretty much be paying for them the rest of my life. It probably doesn’t help that my degree is apparently useless in a job market that wants engineers and programmers with BS and MS degrees and must not care for grads with 3 years of experience and what amounts to a BA in analytical thinking.

But its not like I can quit my current job to pursue my hobbies more aggressively, make them more than hobbies. Heck, I’m lucky to get my MFA packet done on time, much less do extra work drawing or writing or playing near enough Magic to improve to pro level. Well, I could. I could sleep less (and I’m working on that) , but that’s only short term solution. Really, I need to groundswell, get people interested in what I have to say. I need to get the Deckbuilding Game finished, I need to actually draw a comic and stay on it, and I need to fucking write. Some days, it feels like that’s working…others, not so much. Hell, there are days where I wonder if the blog is even worth typing into. Is anyone (besides Nhat, Family, and spambots) even looking at it? I never hear from anyone. I’d take trolls if it meant that someone was aware that I was half-killing myself.

I mean, yes, by and large I’m not very interesting. For the most part, I’m a by the numbers kind of guy–but I’m by the numbers in so many places I end up with non-by the numbers synergy. Really, my depth in nearly every skill comes down to about the same level. In magic, its building decks that are super efficient at making creatures and turning them sideways. That’s about where I am at drawing. That’s about where I am at writing. I will probably never draw high level fantasy art, I’ve not invested the years into it to make something out of it, but I can sketch what are vaguely human shapes. While I might not be able to spin yarns nine layers deep about political intrigue or symbolic value, I can write a scene of two character’s conversing that feels real. Like I have skill, but not enough to make it stand out. Synergy is my way out and synergy is my strength…

Now to just fucking do.

See ya’ll Friday!

[Wednesday Ramblings] Bleh…

Check out all my RamblingsStill no progress on the MM Podcast, was at work until 9 last night while tethered to my phone in a public place since I had no internet at home after the Hurricane. If my name wasn’t attached to the blog I’d be really ranting, but I’m not interested in that coming back to bite me–even this brief oration is likely a risk. I’m already in a bad spot, getting fired would only make things worse. Just know that (as of 530) I am still at work and I will be at work all day or more for the next two days as well–I will not be paid for my over time and not working was not an option because of politics surrounding my place of employment.

ANYWAY!

No real progress on the Deck Game due to work, GP Philly, and my impending packet deadline on the 8th. I would really like to have a playset of cards by December so I can test it at Residency. Working on getting some flash fiction together at the suggestion of my mentor. I have one story finished and another that’s already a few paragraphs done. There will likely be Borderlands tonight dunno if there’ll be kiddos to give candy to.

Hoping tomorrow is better, always more inspired on the far side of All Hallow’s Eve–prolly has to do with the veil being thinner or something. Catch ya’ll Friday (maybe)

[Wednesday Ramblings] The Game: Keeps and Archetypes

Check out all my RamblingsAs promised last week, here’s more on the game I’m designing.

I’ve settled on eight different archetypes for the Deck Building game, these will likely coalesce into 8 guilds. Further, the overall flavor is Space Exploration and Settlement. As the controller of a keep it is your goal to control more territory by the end of the game. Yes, its a tad imperialist, but I think it’ll even out once I’ve got a better grip on the setting’s flavor.

There are currently 8 Keeps: A barracks, a mining hub, a cathedral, a smuggler’s den, a gambling house, a research lab, a colonial outpost, and some ancient ruins. Each archetype has a distinct advantage and gains varying levels of credits and science resources each turn. That said, lets look at each after the break!

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[Wednesday Ramblings] The Game: Brass Tacks

Check out all my RamblingsSo I’ve been working on a game and now that my packet for Stonecoast is out the door, I’ve got a reasonable window of time to do something other than writing and editing. So here’s the brass tacks of the game.

  1. Its a Deck building game — Meaning that this is a game you’ll buy in a box. It’s not like Magic, Yugioh, or the others where you spend gobs of money to collect cards. This has its challenges, but I feel the design I want to convey will work best when everybody has access to all the cards. I remember what it was like trying to play Legend of the Five Rings and how hard it was to get both decks up to snuff.
  2. The goal of the game is to siege other players’ keeps. I’m debating whether there’ll be other win conditions based on your own castle, but for now I just want to focus on getting the core mechanics down.
  3. There are really four basic card types
    1. Heroes. Which cost a large amount of resources, but attack every turn and have an ability or two
    2. Items. Which give a hero a bonus so long as that hero is not defeated
    3. Spells. Which give a one time effect when they are cast
    4. Keeps. Which provide resources and boost your forces
    5. Structures. Which provide a range of benefits
    6. Minions. Which may or may not be able to attack and usually have one ability.
  4. Mechanically, the game is pretty simple. Each turn
    1. Champions you control attack. Champions an enemy controls deal damage and you champions deal damage to each other first before attacking the enemy keep
      1. Champions which take fatal damage are returned to the keep and return to play after a number of turns
      2. Spells can be played here
    2. You draw cards until you have a hand of five and gain resources from your keep. (Cards you play can grant bonus resources)
      1. You spend resources to buy spell, item, and hero cards.
      2. Equip heroes with items
      3. Play spells here
    3. Non-Fatal damage dealt to heroes is healed and unspent resources are lost
  5. And that’s it really. The game goes until 2/3 of the purchasable cards are bought or until only one person (or team) is standing.

Now…to just get some actual design done! ’til next week!

[Wednesday Ramblings — Feedback] How do I Community?

Check out all my RamblingsSeriously, what can I do to get out there as part of the community?

Does anyone want to do a post cast every so couple of weeks about Magic or Gaming or What Have You?

Do I need to get more serious about the Webcomic? Does anybody care about a  drama with midgrade art?

What can I do here on the blog to have more impact? What am I doing well, what am I failing at?

Do you know of any places that are interested in infrequent columnists? I don’t need a regular job right now, but I do need to get my name out there, so if you hear about any guest spots, let me know?

Beyond those musings, not much to report. Life is meh, the writing goes, and I don’t have enough hours in the day. Still, I want to do something creative with my life instead of just sitting at a desk, chasing a project with an endlessly moving target state. As such, I’m brushing up on my HTML, I’m going to start drawing again, I’m going to finish a story this year, and I’ll likely sleep about five hours a day to get it all done, but that’s what I’ve got to do to get out of where I am. The conventional route of plying experience to get a new job seems disinterested in my attempts to use it and so I will set out on my own and harness what creative talents I have to sail on.

Catch you Friday!

[Wednesday Ramblings] Designing A Deckbuilding Game

Check out all my RamblingsFor the last couple months I’ve been trying to think of a way to make a card game based on League of Legends. To be honest, it hasn’t gone well. The game’s format doesn’t lend itself to Magic‘s style so that bulk of my design space was useless. Really the only thing I had ever played that would lend itself well to League was Legends of the Five Rings. That however, is a very expensive game to play because of the twin decks required to play and further required loads of setup and in the end wasn’t very beginner friendly. It might be why I don’t see it around any more. I was toying with a modified version of the Marvel VS when I finally gave up.

Then, two weeks ago at Escapist Expo I played something that blew. My. Mind. Penny Arcade: The Game, Gamers versus Evil.

See, I’d never played a deckbuilding game before, but after having seen one in action I knew it was the answer. It solved the problem of people needing to buy inordinate numbers of cards to play, and it would give the feel of building up a character to be ready for fights. Now its just a question of how to do it without it feeling like a re-skin of PA:TG.

Foremost, I think I’ll part ways with using League as the flavor. The basic concept of the game will probably be the same, sieging a fortress is a pretty open archetype after all, but I want the design to stand up on its own and not rely on too many shortcuts.  That isn’t to say that the game won’t end up being a League thing, but for design I want to worry about basic things that makes sense on a  archetypal level. Like, is there combat between cards? What do you do to earn resources? Does playing a card cost a resource or do you only use them to buy cards for the deck? What’s the win condition, is there more than one? That sort of stuff.

I’m not quite ready to talk about those answers, so watch this space in the coming weeks! I’ll be working them out one at a time.

[Wednesday Ramblings] I’m sad, angry, and frustrated not depressed

Check out all my RamblingsThat might sound like denial, but that’s the truth. Its not like there’s some mystery as to why I’m in such an emotion hole right now. Its because of my work situation. My increasingly unbearable job where, now, if I’m not at the computer I’ll get called and called again if I’m not on in five minutes. In fact, I got called on my wedding day,  just so you know. They called me. on. my. wedding. day. That’s not just outside of business hours, that a day off. Like, that’s beyond inconvenient and bordering on harassment. And its not just the invasion of my personal life that’s the issue. I’m behind on Stonecoast work, behind on sleep, and so stressed out that I’m putting on weight again. I can’t go to the gym or even just for a walk without fear that no sooner do I start that I’ll get interrupted and have to return home just to sit at my desk until they’re done being at work–or more typically, they assign me vague work and then log off so I can’t get clarification and I have to wait until the next day anyway.

And I’m not the only one, the other two guys left on the team have the same raw deal, neither of them get off much before 8 most days. The situation at work has gone from tight to unacceptable and I will jump on the first opportunity to leave….except its more complicated than that. With an apartment that costs 1200 a month plus internet, phones, the other utilities, its not like I can just quit–or I would have months ago. It also means I have to be making about the same as what I’m making now if any switch is going to be plausible. AAAAnd becuase I have a liberal arts degree anywhere I could work skills isn’t interested in me. Jobs that would hire people with my degree aren’t willing to look at me either because I have no experience doing things that aren’t tech work–mostly because I paid for college out of pocket as much as I could and the jobs I could get into at the time were tech jobs.

So it just spirals, such that it very well looks like depression from the outside–but its just a carefully constructed house of cards that’s slowly falling in on itself. Eventually things will change, i just have to be Zen about it.

Anyway, next week I’ll try to be less dour.