Sunday, October 14, 2018

Welcome traveler!

If you've come here from the Cypher Unlimited video, many thanks. It only takes one click to get to a creator's blog from a video or guest blog or an article, but few ever do.

So, wow. I have your attention. ... [Shoves a stack of books and games off the chair and gestures you to sit down.] What do you want to know? This used to be my blog for my fiction career, but it's been revamped for a more multi-media approach.

That world, multi-media, sound good. It really means that I've just put my fiction skills, along with a dash of other skills, to keep creating new stuff. It seems to be working.  So enjoy some of what we got going on here for now, but be warned -- it's changing.

This month, my boys and I at Alligator Alley Entertainment will be assessing new projects, I'll be the Line Developer on at least one project. I'll also be doing a Pateron that will not only give you updates, but also take you through the process of creating some additional pet projects. Some of that will make to the blog at a later date, some of it maybe Pateron only. Still figuring that out.

Beyond archiving that, I'm to archive more and more stuff that I used to have on the old Nerdstravaganza podcast website. Want to see a proto-steam punk novella of Roman refugees in Warring States China? Let me know.

So things are looking crazy for the rest of this year and into the next, take a seat and enjoy the ride.

Monday, September 10, 2018

The hits keep coming ...

The Tarnished Sun rises again.
Listen to it on Stitcher, Apple Podcasts, Google Music, and Spotify
That's right, I've got so many things happening that I almost forgot one.

The great Story Tale Podcast has taken one of my science-fantasy short, High Tides, and made it a FREE mini-audiobook!

KCJ is a great guy who understands the level of dedication and cooperation it takes to make great entertainment -- and loves doing it.

Find out what the Earth is like in the far, far future under the Tarnished Sun for free with a great narrator!

I had no idea when I started my own Dying Earth genre stories years ago that I'd end up designing for the Cypher game system, which came of Monte Cook's own Numenera setting.

So it may not be all that strange that we'll visit the Tarnished Sun again in the future in another incarnation. Once we get Pateron up and going, we'll put that on the docket for consideration.

In the meantime, the Esper Genesis RPG, a sci-fi RPG that uses the latest edition of the most famous RPG fantasy rules is now available for your FLGS. Discover new sci-fi adventure with the rules you already know.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Blows dust off the blog …

Irony. That’s what it is, irony.

This tortoise of a blog used to be so slow because there wasn’t really too much to say. But now things are speeding along and I can see the boulder of work rolling down my way and picking up speed.

First things first, I just had a short story picked up for the Dark Fantasy anthology, In the Shadow of Mountain, by Elder Gods Publishing.
What’s Dark Fantasy?

Depending on where you hail from in your favorite reading. Dark Fantasy is either gothic high fantasy or Ravenloft tie-in fiction. Either way, it’s dark fun.
The free version of the game I worked on, Esper Genesis, was nominated for Best Free Game by the ENnies. Sadly, we did not win. All of our fellow nominees, though, were great games, so hard to feel bad about losing there.

In the Alley Alligator Entertainment department, we are working hard to sync up our art with monsters to get the Esper Geneisis Threats Database out. Better yet, we’ve just finished the PDF of the GM screen for our Backer Kit people.

This is on top of the 17 PDFs I put out for the Cypher RPG, along with another published short story in the last two years. Within this content were at least five different new settings, five new world building exercises.

So what does the future hold?

Probably more Esper Genesis, more Cypher, perhaps more fiction and maybe a Pateron. We’ll see.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

You do a thing, people want more of the thing

It seems that if you write a lot of RPG and scifi stuff, people will want more of it.

At least enough of it that they'll put up with you and your pet alpaca herd.*

It's official.

I'm now part of the Alligator Alley Entertainment! That said, you probably wonder what my job title is.

As you know,  you get to wear all sorts of hats in a small company. Sometimes you wear all the hats and other times you share one hat with the other guys and hope everyone shampooed in the morning.

Right now that giant shared hat is Esper Genesis, until we can get the Core Rules PDF out to our backers and then get the print version on the shelves.

So the closest title I can probably nail down right now is game writer, though that's pretty vague and it's not all of the skill sets I'm bringing to the table.

The Cool Stuff I do:
I'll be tweaking a rule here and there and making quite a few monsters soon, but I'll also be adding my  world building to the mix, along with some of my signature fiction.

The "Boring" Stuff I do:
Decades of marketing, layout, and editing expertise.

The Fascinating Stuff I do:
Reflecting on a lifetime of analyzing genre fiction and running RPGs has become more handy than I expected.

i.e. Answers to questions like: What do scifi gamers expect out of a game vs fantasy gamers? What are the underlying expectations to those experiences?  How do you design a new setting to work with a rule set already in place.

Even more fascinating is the stuff I'm learning from my teammates. We are pretty much your textbook little company of part-timers, as are a lot of business in this industry.

So when you find yourself wearing a job hat that you haven't had before, you find yourself back in padawan mode.

Which if there is one tidbit I can pass along to others, no matter the challenge, it is enjoy and embrace the opportunities to learn. I suspect that most of the jedi you know or revere have end up becoming students many times over in their lives and be better for it.

*No alpaca were harmed in the making of this post. I don't even own an alpaca. I'm just trying to get a bigger place so I can have dog. Though a cat in a bigger place may not be that bad either. Goats are right out. Have you seen their eyes, those are like creepy Exorcist eyes.

Yep. No goats.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

You asked for it, you got it

I went out on the G+ Cypher group and had a poll for the next Cypher book and while it was a very tight race for new adventures for a while, the final winner was SciFi.

I've been batting around a fun idea for a space opera setting that will be optional. Not quite a "Small Lights in the Wilderness" vague setting, but also not a overly detailed "We're Banking On Making Bank (TM) franchise" either.

Cruel Stars is a fun setting where humanity is behind the eight-ball in interstellar politics, up to the point that we don't mind playing dirty tricks with what few advantages we have:

  • A few colony planets that have alien relics that we claim as our technology -- including our FTL (Surprise! This is where cyphers and artifacts come from).
  • Earth is the heaviest gravity planet where intelligent life comes from. Off-planet, every PC can be a literal superhero
  • And agents of the top secret Bureau 66 can access powers beyond even what a normal Bearer can do. 
  • All Terrans (Humanity has been joined by K-9, Chumps, Octopod and Androids) are fiercely loyal to each other and their friends.
All of this makes Terrans the lovable, "drunk" uncle at the fancy dinner party of the Confederation. But when things need to get done and no one cares how, Terrans are there to save the day -- and cause some property damage. 

Make some space knig -- I mean Bureau Agents or a rag-tag group of mercs looking for their next meal ticket. It's all good up here in the black. 

Check it out today!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Wow. Feeling the love and maybe punch drunk.

This is a bad ass cover.

And lot of you guys evidently agree.
I did manage to get a five-star review for the content, which is also super nice. Mortal Fantasy was officially my best seller right out of the gates. The market was hungry either for a more generic GotF book or more in-depth Fantasy supplement.

After feeling like a lot of effort goes into making very little progress, this is amazeballs. If I had started out with sort of support, I would have been super spoiled.

I found a few mistakes and learned some new layout tricks so I updated the file. Feel free to go get your update today!

Thanks again my fellow Cypher phans! I am now going to eat a lot of chocolate and watch some Marvel Netflix  and chill with myself.

Someone just told me what that means.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Gnawing off my arm -- growing pains

Dude, learning is hard.

I have been trying to bring up my layout skills for my next project, Mortal Fantasy, since I am hoping it will reflect a new level of skill and design on all fronts.

The thing is that it feel like it's taking forever to learn from my mistakes, tear things down, and then build them back up. It's not quite like rebuilding your house every time you find out that you just put a exterior door in your shower stall, but it feels like it.

Mortal Fantasy is going to be a blended book, part Gods of the Fall, part D&D style fantasy. Serving two audiences, and two masters, at once. If this gamble pays off, then hopefully we can get the ball rolling on other ideas and projects.

Crossing fingers.