I am working toward finishing my degree plan this fall. Three more classes should round it out nicely, and I should graduate sometime before December if my finger-counting calculations are correct. What began nearly three years ago as a "Creative Writing" degree, or English Literature degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing, grew somewhat out of control. With the GI Bill backing me, I followed my muse into many elective classes. My teachers enjoyed my writings and urged me to continue my whimsical path of choice straight into a Humanities degree plan. Thus far I have found that humanities has taught me to get deeper into the human part of humanity... which, granted, is likely where the name came from... And along the way I earned a minor in Film Analysis. So, maybe i'll start a new blog about movie reviews, but alas, that market seems full. I have spent a considerable amount of time these past few years honing my craft. I've written paper after paper, and essay after essay cleaning the "G's" and polishing the "M's" (dotting "I's" and crossing "T's"?). I even have a few short nonfiction "Lyric Essays" that my teacher wants me to send in for publication. We'll see. Now that it's summer break from school, I'm placing the finishing touches on my Battle Kings rule book (many, many requests for clarity! Thank you for the feedback, you've been heard!) Meanwhile, I'm doing some volunteer work with the Florida Dream Center's Adopt-a-Block program. After about two years of cleaning up neighborhoods on Saturday mornings, I finally pulled out of my no-maintenance-work-ever-again rut and have since started fixing up some of the more dilapidated houses, and even helped reconstruct a HfH (Home for Homeless) house. So, thank you for holding your breath for me to find some humanity in the world. I have worked tirelessly over the past few years to improve my writing skills, learn how to see deeper into the human spirit, and give back to the community. I've even found some spirituality of my own. Meanwhile, I've still got some glossy, 4x6" Battle King original cards left that I can send out for those of you interested. I'll get them out when my revamped rule book is complete. Start sending the requests in now to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your physical mailing address so I can send them when ready. Don't worry, I don't share the information with anyone. The image below depicts not only the new banner cards, but a small excerpt from the new rule book. Enjoy!
With the holidays now over, work has resumed on Book 2 of the Racial War Saga and Battle Kings updates. The patent on Battle Kings is still pending, as was to be expected with such things, but that hasn't stopped me from making some needed changes. For those of you who purchased on of the original Battle Kings prototype games, please, send me an email (email@example.com) with your full name and address and let me update your kings at no charge to you. These new king cards are detailed, high gloss, 4" x 6" post card sized with larger print and a few design updates so you can keep battling!
I am constantly amazed at how fast the years fly by after the age of 30. Here we are again (already!) at the end of another year. Christmas is only two days away, so I wanted to provide a Christmas present to all you Battle Kings experts out there who have been waiting patiently for me to work my way through some intense college courses. Last year, I came up with a few new kings and placed them on the website for you to play test. I received very few feedback notes, so i'm hoping that means they are good strong kings as-is (there were far more downloads than feedback responses). This year, right now, two additional kings have been added to give you a total of four brand new, free-to-play kings for you to enjoy with the family over the Christmas break. With that in mind, I can't wait to get some feedback on all four of your new kings: The Phoenix King (hearts replacement), The Cobra King (Spades replacement), The Wrath King (Diamonds replacement), and the Gorilla King (Clubs replacement). Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good FIGHT!
Well, this certainly has been a holiday season for the record books. I hope that you all enjoyed the spirit of the season with friends, family and loved ones. May the new year bring you more joy than the old. Never again will their be a 2014, may it Rest In Peace. I would like to thank all the men and women in uniform (military, police, firefighters, etc.) for all their dedication to duty and the sacrifices they make daily. With that in mind and with all the crazy antics of holiday madness ebbing, I'm back at the grindstone. I've got my music, computer and munchies, time to start writing.
I'll see you all in the Realm of Reality...
What's your favorite game? What's it missing? I have been playing games for some time now; board games, video games, word games (although my wife hates that one), trivia games, card games, dice games... Lots of games. In fact, lately I've been going to some backroom game nights for a couple local comic book/game stores, just to take a little time off, and see what's out there. Strangely, as fun as the games are, they all seem to be missing something. 7 Wonders for example is a bit of fun, relaxing and slow. In my opinion, its fun, but missing an action element. There are a number of "deck building" games on the market now such as Legendary and Lord of the Rings (and their many similar games based on the different books; eg. the Hobbit, Return of the King, etc.) that coax players into using predetermined freebie cards to purchase more powerful cards from a flop of cards in the center of the table. These games take time, have considerable setup requirements (if the game owner is disorganized in their storage the setup can be ludicrously time consuming), and in the end, these games are missing a certain action element as well. It comes back to a numbers game. There's really no fear of failure because of random elements, everything is spelled out for players in a matter-of-fact fashion. These games, in my opinion are missing an opportunity for chance, and of course, the excitement of action. My goal with Battle Kings is to have chance play a major role in each game. However, there are subtle strategies involved with dice alignment and Power Tokens. And there is direct action, it's a fighting game. Launching a new game is a difficult endeavor, but as the game slowly grows, more opportunities to customize, adapt and evolve game play will be introduced. And with that, I present to you the first of many new rules to be applied. These are optional of course, but I encourage you to give them a try. You'll find the first on the Battle Kings page. Remember... HAVE FUN!
As the Phoenix King testing wraps up nicely, I have posted the second in the line of Creature Kings on the Battle Kings page of this site! While you're there, be sure to vote on the new poll! As the Phoenix King's fires fade away, the Cobra King will rise up ready to be played and tested by YOU! The Cobra King can be used instead of the King of Spades. His focus is on shield manipulation with a minor damage influence (you're going to love the Rapid Strike Combo Power) and banner retrieval. I hope you enjoy and Have Fun playing!
Additional (optional) rules are on the horizon. Always looking to enhance the awesome, some optional rules are going to include Criticals, a way of getting Power Tokens Back, skills and much, MUCH more! Get on the distribution list today by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Sign me up!" in the subject line.
For those of you not paying attention, I just placed a poll on the Battle King's page, feedback will help greatly! For those of you who WERE paying attention, THANK YOU for the feedback on the Phoenix King! Wow, so far, the Phoenix King is a bit of a hit (in this wonderful little fantasy world). A little feedback goes a long way in the development of the next kings, and the first expansion of Battle Kings. However, as the title of this post suggests, there has been a change to the King of Clubs. Upon extensive review and evaluation, the King of Clubs' Always in Effect ability has been slightly adjusted and now reads as follows: +1 to Shield per domino on this card. Gain an additional +1 if the domino is a spell. This means that the King of Clubs will gain +2 to his shield value per double domino on his banner card, and +1 for every other domino. This seemingly minor adjustment (is there such a thing in Battle Kings?) effectively strengthens the King of Clubs beyond a 1-on-1 match with the King of Diamonds, which, since Clubs is destined to go last in every game, added up to a necessary and fair modifier. Fans of Diamonds (wow there are a lot of you), and of course Hearts and Spades, don't fret too much... there are, after-all, only seven spells in the Bonejar, and no king can begin the game with a spell on their banner card.
For those of you who don't understand a thing I said after the word "follows", you should probably go check out the Battle Kings page and get a glimpse of what you're missing!
Oh, just one more thing. The next king going up (for FREE) is called the Cobra King... Let your imaginations run wild and remember...
School has begun again; to some, (parents) it is often a time to enjoy a little quiet time. For others, it is a time to run all over the place trying to keep up with the extra curricular activities. Me, I like to sit back and reminisce about my childhood days and wonder how I made it through in one piece. Sometimes I spent more energy trying to get out of work so I could go outside and play than I would have, had I just done the work. Looking forward to the weekends and dreading Sunday nights became an ingrained emotional part of existence. I would stay up as late as I could on Friday nights (often playing AD&D in my brothers room with so many friends the Fire Marshall would have fainted), and then wake up as early as I could on Saturday mornings to watch Voltron, GI Joe, and Transformers before my dad woke up and flipped it to wrestling or those black and white Shirley Temple movies. If it rained during the summer on Saturday (which happened frequently in Largo, Florida's hurricane seasons), my brother, my sister (and sometimes one or both of my parents) and I would sit down and play a tabletop (board) game together. I learned to play poker, Parcheesi, Sorry, Monopoly, Life, Chutes and Ladders... man, you name it, we played it at one point or another. Are those days gone now? Do people still have marathon game-playing weekends over long, holiday weekends? Do parents and children still sit down to play games and interact with each other using nothing but their imaginations and some game rules/pieces to entertain, engage and enjoy each other? Well, the game industry is HUGE nowadays, so the answer must be a resounding YES... right? In my search to be "discovered" as a game designer, I have learned that the industry is very difficult to break into, more difficult than say... publishing a book even. So, someone has to be playing those games, right? I haven't decided yet if the boom is good or bad. On one level, game sales are at an all time high. But who plays them? Many game stores have long tables set up for people to come in and play, and spend, and play some more. This is great for business, but... has it become a competitive sport? The Trading Card Game (TCG: think Magic: The Gathering) genre has huge tournaments for rewards (money, prestige, etc.) and game stores set up artist signings, conventions and events where people of similar interests can gather together. Ignoring the fear of shooting myself in the foot here... I suppose my big question is this. Are the parents and siblings still growing tighter as a family over game nights and/or rainy days? I hope so. Those big conventions are fun. Sometimes they can be a little overwhelming. Perhaps you're okay with waiting in line for anywhere from a few hours to a few days, and it is worth it to you, but I hope the days of family time aren't lost. When was the last time you played a game with your kids/friends/parents/brothers/sisters? Do YOU have a game you can break out and play by candlelight when the power goes out?
Let the writing begin. Recently I have begun re-attacking several projects that have been on the burner for far too long. Book two to the Racial War Saga is back in the light as well as the expansion for Battle Kings. Additionally, I have begun formulating new works, such as my little sci-fi dip into a potential energy source for future generations - I am a generator mechanic after all and my life revolved around power production for twenty years in the service - so, if you want a quick read, head over to my new Hubpage and leave a comment to let me know what you think. With that being said, I'm also working on a new style of writing while working on a little story I have called "Interview with Traveler". Very little description, mostly dialogue. This is something totally new for me, but I've discovered that as I flex my little writing muscles, I enjoy doing things... differently (than what I'm accustomed to)... as you'll see in the Hubpage as well. At any rate, I'm still trying to decide if I should go ahead and post what I have thus far for the Traveler story, so if you're interested in a dialogue-focused sci-fi-esque story, let me know, i'll post what I have for free and you can check it out. Always remember... HAVE FUN!
Do you have an idea for writing a short story, novel, poem or play? Whenever I meet someone new, and they find out that I wrote a book, the first thing they say is invariably "I have this great idea for a book", or "I have a million dollar idea, if only someone would make it", or "I always wanted to write a book".
I have a few knee-jerk responses that I give when people ask how to do it and the answer is: Work it. Don't keep WANTING to write it, sit down and write it. The first version is going to suck, just know that, be comfortable with that and then re-attack it, rewrite it, revise it, perfect it. Mold your baby so that you're happy with it. I made a mistake with the first book, one that I'm still struggling with, and that is that it wasn't the perfect creation, it wasn't exactly what I wanted. I'm happy with it, I'm proud of it, but it isn't perfect. Other authors tell me not to worry about it, people always screw up their first one, and eventually, after say 3 or 4 books, they go back and fix the first one. This conundrum has been twisting around in my head since the first review of Awakenings, and has truly seized my hands. I wrote most of the sequel to Awakenings shortly after, even during the publishing process of Awakenings, but locked up when the reviews came back less than stellar. I self-published Awakenings through Authorhouse in 2009, and I will be re-publishing it through Fantastic Journeys Publishing when I finish perfecting it. This could take another year, or it could take three months. The trick is MAKING the time to just sit down, and WORK IT.
"That's just crazy enough to suck".