Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Excellent Progress

I have made some really good progress in the RPG tonight. Refined the stats to make them signify what I want them to, and ended up coming up with a very strategic combat system utilizing one single bar for all abilities (Health, Stam, Mana).

This kind of headway gives me hope that I'm actually on to something here. Of course play testing will iron out the kinks and refine the rough stuff I have right now, but this is major for me. I still feel the combat system is a bit rough and overly difficult (perhaps TOO strategic) with the single bar. The key is going to be finding the balance where challenging is still fun and not lean over into 'cheap and OMG THIS SUX'

For example: Enemy B attacks Player A. A takes 10 damage which lowers his Vitality from 50 to 40. He can still use his abilities which cost less than 50, but it puts him at the risk of losing the battle if the enemy manages a successful attack the next round. Or he can simply use a basic attack at the cost of no vitality and hope the enemy isn't able to cast any more highly damaging abilities. I like the idea of choices mattering. And a one bar system makes those choices visceral and real as if everything (specifically in combat) matters. Sure you could pop a potion to regain lost vitality, but what if you've suffered a broken limb or a serious injury and your cap is lowered because of it?

Yeah, this is what I've been doing tonight.

Oh, and sorry for the lack of updates. I should have realized keeping a blog up to date was like a kind of kryptonite to me :p

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ok, sooooo....

The Blog a day thing crashed and burned. Big time. But I'm an undeterred. Why? Because I've still been writing. Not every day like I had hoped, but you can only force so much to come when you don't really feel like it.

So far I've been working on the races of the RPG world now. And instead of making different types/takes on existing races of fantasy lore I've been doing that AND thinking about how the end of the world as they know it has affected them. Not so good. Which is, as it turns out, really good for stories and ideas I've got for the whole thing. I'm really wanting this to be done in around a few weeks times, so here's hoping I continue to be inspired.

More later, when I get some actual sleep.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The problem...

...with writing a blog post a day? They start to feel forced.


Monday, January 7, 2013

Like Some Kind of Vortex

Being sick isn't fun. Having to work while you're sick is even worse.

I've been sapped of not only strength, but all motivation to write. Fear not, however. I'm writing, just not much right now. Thankfully I see this all as a minor setback and not some major 'OH GAWD WHY' moment in life.

I am working on a web comic idea along side the RPG one (and this in turn is different than the web comic based on the RPG). I like doing multiple projects, honestly.


It keeps me fresh. If I get burned out on one idea I can just move on the the next, and sort of bounce back and forth to keep myself from getting either too bored, or force myself to 'produce' something.

Anyway, the other web comic idea is a reboot of my original comic, the PCIS one. For those of you who are unaware, PCIS stands for Pop Culture Isn't Safe and you can view all the old strips on my deviant account here:

Sadly I have zero artistic talent, so I didn't draw any of the comics. But I did write them all. I wanted to take a more serious approach, and actually wrote out a plot framework for it over the span of 2-3 years, making it a finite endeavor. It never got off the ground like I wanted it to, but I kept all the information and ideas and characters so I could always go back to it whenever I felt like it.

Maybe I will tonight. Or Maybe I'll be inspired to try my hand at making an RPG dice system from scratch. WOO.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bacon Pancakes

The title has absolutely nothing to do with this post. However, now I'm finding I'd really, really like to try making these. Just fry up some bacon and put it in some pancakes.

Ok, tangent over.

I think I've hit my first real bout of writer's block since I started writing on the 31st of December. I promised myself I would be doing two things:

1. Writing every day. Even if it was something small, or insignificant (in my eyes) I'd do SOMETHING every day, because it would not only hone my writing talents, but keep them sharp.
2. Write in this blog every day.

I almost didn't do either thing today. I'm still sick, and went in to work today. It was a rough day and a long day, and by the end I was tired, and worn out, and came home and just wanted to sleep.

My son had other plans, and basically forced me to read to him after I passed out in bed for about an hour.

I don't feel energized, but I'm awake, and writing in the blog first (instead of writing first) is kinda getting the cogs moving. But I still am afraid of the dreaded block. I've never really done anything to 'combat' it as it were, and simply waited until it fully passed on by.

Only problem with that tactic is it would last for months sometimes. Oh well. Not gonna happen this time. Not gonna let it.

I wonder if this blog will be a good thing, or an annoyance in a few months?

Oh, I've also given myself a hard deadline for certain things, such as a comic and the RPG thing I'm working on. I want to be ready for Free Comic Book Day this year, so I'm figuring around mid march I need to have things ready for print (At LEAST a comic). Wish me luck.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Withered King

Just finished writing the intro short story to my RPG.

I first recall reading an intro story to the game Werewolf: The Apocalypse. You had just turned and (if I recall correctly) had torn through your friends and/or loved ones. And you were greeted by another werewolf. He promised to help you control your gifts, etc etc. Pretty standard stuff.

But I remember it as being what got me into that world, and that fantasy. It was what I found intriguing enough to dive deeper into the world, instead of just stopping at one source book (I bought several books, Player guides, and even almost all the Changing Breeds Books...wish I still had them all...)

Using a short story to introduce readers to the world I'm creating is something I'm looking forward to. And the one I've come up with is right as the Ritual of Release (which you'll come to know) is happening and shows how the Withered King becomes a Behemoth.

It's rough, and needs some work, but overall I'm happy with it as an intro story. Something to get people interested not only in that story, but what happens in the rest of the world as well.

This is the most I've written in a very, very long time. Not the amount written, mind you, but the sheer fact I'm sticking to my word and spending at least an hour a day writing something. Not deleting it, and actually sharing what I've written for feedback and advice on how it looks. It feels...well it feels good. I've always wanted to do this and now that I'm breaking free of my own limitations and self-imposed shackles, I'm left to wonder:

Why the hell didn't I do this sooner?

Oh, right...I debated not showing the link on the blog, but what the heck.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Down with the Sickness

Have I complained yet about how much I hate being sick? If not, well here ya go:


Ugh. Seriously. I've got what I NOW think is the flu, which I've had for over a week now with no real signs of improving. Still, I'm keeping with my promises to myself and writing a good deal each day and keeping up with the blog a day thing I wanted to do.

So far, so good. If this doesn't stop me, I can't imagine what might.

In any case, I've gotten a lot done today. Around four pages of raw history material for the world and hoping to get a few more pages done tonight so I can round off this whole 'history' section and focus more on the races, and then the gods of the world. I think the god section will be my favorite since they've become what I really enjoy about all this now. Originally I liked the idea of the sun going out, but have been slowly changing bits of the story to accomidate them more. I've always been a huge fan of the Greek Parthenon, and writing something like this, and origin of a world, is making me feel I can do just about anything I want, and have it be somewhat similar to this.

Still, it may just be the cold meds (or lack of them) talking and I'm not making much sense.

Now I am gonna go collapse into bed.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Work is a Buzzkill

Some of you may be shocked to realize I don't write full time. Well, maybe no so much shocked as moderately amused. And by moderately amused I mean 'not interested in the slightest'.

I work for a company building their furniture and fixing things. I process returns of their product and try to recoup some of the losses and such. It isn't a BAD job, honestly, but it can be a very stressful one. Especially when I've had a head cold (which is now becoming a chest cold) since Christmas.

Frankly, work is probably the biggest obstacle to my writing and creativity. I work 8 hrs days, and when I work I tend to focus on the job at hand. It's a good work ethic, but it's mostly my own sense of importance; if a job can't be done right, do it myself. I tend to take it to heart simply because I tend to be the one TO step up and do it right.

Still, like I said, it's not a bad job and it pays fairly well. But after a shift I'm worn out, tired, and cranky. Not at all in a mood for any sort of creativity or writing. I want to relax, decompress, and rest. Usually writing is the furthest thing from my mind. I've tried to counter this by writing before my shifts (when I work a closing one that is) and so far it has been working a little to my advantage. I don't get much done because I usually sleep as much as I can now that I'm sick as well, but every little bit helps, right?

I just need to find a way to motivate myself after my shift. So that instead of watching a movie or playing some games, I'm taking some time to do some writing and get one step closer to my goal and dream for the year. None of this was going to be easy, but I sure wish it was a little more manageable.

So, on to the project now that I've gotten my 'bitch-fest' out of the way: I've re-written a lot of the history and am presenting it as sort of a timeline.

My main question right now is what sort of tone should I take with the book? My gut tells me to speak directly to the reader, and be explanatory without over-simplifying things. Educate about the world and game, but without sounding like a lecture. I've not read a lot of source books in my day, but I've skimmed several, and this SEEMS to be the general theme: talk to the game master/whomever is running the game. Does this seem like a way to go, or is there some other way I should be looking at this?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World History

So last night I got some more work done on the RPG. I'm actually a little suprised in myself for two main reasons:

I'm actually getting work done
I'm actually getting work done

It's not like this is the first time it has ever happened, believe me, but after so long with nothing really to show for it, it's a refreshing change for myself. Something that I'm actually proud of instead of just my usual 'It's garbage, I'm done' and then months of inactivity.

Anyhoodle, (who SAYS that?) I've started to do a lot of rewriting as I've been writing trying to find a proper tone and balance between fluff and the real meat of the book. The thing is, if I went with just rules and places and not much else not only would it be a very SHORT book, but a very boring and dry one. But if there's too much fluff it just seems full of crap and just there to make it longer.

I wrote a brief history of the world, but I need to clean it up. My perspective of writing changes half-way through as I realize how I should be writing it, and the tone needs to be cleaned up as well. HOPEFULLY I can get this down, because for some reason I can't really focus on the other things until I get the world down.

In any case, tings are actually progressing at a decent rate. I'm pleased.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What is in a name?

This is always the hardest part for me, honestly:

Naming a project. I actually think I've officially named maybe three of the projects I've created over the years. The rest have these terrible (in my opinion) WIP names that I never seem to bother to update.

Right now the main project (the one I'm going to complete this year) is going by 'Sun's Death'...even for a WIP that is terrible. Maybe someone can suggest a better name/idea for a name.

The main premise is there are seven behemoth-type creatures of incredible god-like powers that have been sealed away within the world. One is released and the rest are freed somewhat (they are still in their prisons, but are either awakened, or are able to communicate more freely). The one that was freed is possessed by a now mad king, who seeks to destroy the world to remake it in his own image, etc.

The main kicker (besides the behemoths) was that the sun in the world had gone out due to 'magical reasons', and the reason the world simply didn't become an ice ball was MAGIC! It's the best catch all there is, kids. Only it soon became something more intriguing like the world had stopped spinning.

I have two options here, right now. One of the behemoths is at the core of the world. I could have him using his powers to keep the world from freezing to the core, and actually having some semblance of life continue, or I could have him exert himself keeping the world from breaking apart since it's no longer spinning naturally. Personally, I want to find a way for the sun to go out, but the world NOT become an ice ball, because it's a fantasy idea I've been toying around with for a while. You could place the blame on the DC story arc The Final Night for this, honestly. It was a very interesting concept, and once I wish I could have read as it came out. I merely noticed comics of it long after the fact, and never had any urge to read them. I was still in my 'Marvel' stage, and chose to read only Marvel comics (despite making small allowances for any of the Bat-books leading up to Knighfall...but this is another story).

Anyway, I'm wondering not only what to name the project but what sort of world it will end up being. I like the idea of the underground being a new haven, but if the creature in the middle is keeping things toasty, would it move to the surface enough to prevent -100 or higher temps? Or would we see the world on the whole experience sub freezing to around -20? I realize I could make whatever I want happen and explain it away easily enough (MAGIC!) but I still want a moderate amount of believability. If people are going to be creating their own stories in a world I've created, I want it to be a world that is believeable. One that makes a good canvas for their ideas and adventures.

So this is the quandary I face currently. Hm. Stop the world from spinning, or block it from the sun. And on that note, I could simply block it from the sun's light and not the sun's heat. And that way we'd still get moonlight....I think I may have answered my own question.