19 October 2012

Gaming silliness

You will never guess what I did yesterday. I was playing Oblivion when I did something kinda stupid. I have been playing my current character for a bout one year and I have almost finished the main quest line. It has taken me this long because I haven't really been playing the game a lot lately. In fact, there was a time when I took a break from playing on my Xbox for several months. Moving into a house and getting settled in, and then my mom moved in with me and my family, trying to become a game developer, all added up to me spending less time playing games now then I used to.

Not that I got very far in any game I have ever played. You can ask my sister, we used to play WOW (World of Warcraft for those who have been living under a rock) together. Well, on the same server anyways. I was always restarting my character. I think I played every possible character combination in the game, except for the Death Knights as I hadn't gotten the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. I do the same thing with the other games I play. I can count on one hand the number of RPG games I have beaten on one hand and I have played quite a few. So, this isn't the first character I had in Oblivion. I got the game back in 2010 and have been playing it ever since. I have been determined that this game is going to get added to the short list of games completed.

Anyways, I was playing through the main quest line and had just closed an oblivion gate outside the city of Anvil and had headed off to Imperial City to lighten my inventory. A quick note here, every once in awhile I start getting a little bored with exploring or doing quests in the game. When this happens I decide to see how many people I can kill in whatever town I am in before I die. I usually save the game just before I start this little diversion so I can go back to the game without having to worry about who I killed.

Well, I got bored when I was in the Market District of Imperial City. So I decided to go on a rampage. It is interesting to see how the citizens react. Some run away, guards come out of the wood work, and I have seen a few even start attacking the guards. Not sure if they are trying to help me or if they just got caught in the crossfire. I had succeeded in killing everyone in the Market District. I then went around to see what everyone was carrying. I feel kinda sorry for the Imperial Guards as they only had at most four gold. Most of the other 'civilians' were carrying around a lot more. I grabbed the keys from the shopkeepers and decided to go check out the shops.

This is when I realized what I did. If you have never played the game it does an Auto Save whenever you enter or leave a shop or home or town. After going into a few shops I noticed the Auto Save message and then I realized that I hadn't saved the game before my rampage. I wasn't worried about the consequences of the rampage. I could just go to the next district and a guard would demand I either surrender or pay a fine and I could easily afford to pay the 11k+ fine. Or, since I was a member of the thieves guild, I could just go and talk to my contact in the thieves guild and pay him half my fine to erase the warrant (which is what I did end up doing). That way I wouldn't lose any of my loot I had gathered.

The real problem came when I realized it had been over an hour since the last time I had saved the game and I had killed almost every shopkeeper in the district. Since I can't use the Auto Save slot either, I must now decide if I should just continue on with this character (not sure if it will be much of an impact without the shopkeepers) or start another character. With the unwatched shops, I could easily complete the Thieves Guild quest line now but I have been thinking about starting another character for awhile now mainly cause I didn't get my marksman skill up as high as I would like to have it.

I think I might keep playing the mage character though. I have been looking at some things on the Elder Scrolls Wiki and have found two swords that I want to go and try to retrieve now.

Write at ya later.

11 October 2012

Game engines

Another week, another update.

Not much to report for this last week. I have worked a little on the Rose Angel Princess game. Mostly just working on the main plot. Evencia has helped with some ideas on the story. Some good, others . . . not so good. But she tries and I do plan to include some of them, it is a game we are both working on after all. I have also been working a little on the plot for my web series 'Generation Demigod'. I am debating on whether to set up a new blog for it or to see if I can post it on this new website I recently found called 'Big World Network'. It is a website that presents stories from different writers on a weekly basis and they do it kind of like a TV series. You submit your project and if accepted you sign up for a season, which is 12 episodes. They have four seasons in a year and supposedly you can go for as many seasons as you want. I plan on looking into it further before I make up my mind. The submission deadline just passed for their fall season so, I have time to make their winter season if I decide to go that route.

In other news, my main project is going to be 'The World of Nuarth'. This is going to be purely fantasy and I have been looking at what it would take to set up a website for it. I also spent yesterday looking at game engines. This project is going to be mostly in game format (at least for now). I had thought of using Engine 001 (the same one I am using for Rose Angel Princess). But the more I think about what I want to do with it the more I wonder if I am going to need something else. So, I looked around on the web for ideas and such. I found quite a few and have even downloaded a couple to look at. So far I am considering Unity, UDK (Unreal 3), Ren'Py, and Game Editor. Maybe I should say that the first two are being looked at more than the last two. Ren'Py is the only one I have looked at so far that doesn't require me to purchase a license or subscription to sell the games I make with it. But, it is more of an interactive novel engine than game engine. It does look neat though and I may do something with it, but it just wouldn't work for my main project (but it would work for a side project with in the main one).

Unity and UDK both have free versions so I can start learning them now and actually get started on my games, but I would need to now an actual programming language also. Unity seems to use C# and UDK seems to use C ++ and another one that I can't remember right now. The other engines were of the drag and drop kind, no programming skills required. But I do still plan on learning C ++ and maybe other languages also, so it wouldn't be that big of a deal.

My only other concern is trying to work with multiple engines at the same time. I don't want it to hurt my productivity (now I am beginning to sound like a business man). I know the big game companies will often use different engines in different game series that they put out, but they also have different teams that work with the different series. So far it is just me, myself, and me in this little venture. Which also brings me to the point of thinking that I really need to consider finding someone who can do the graphics for all this. But that is for another post (maybe).

Anyways, I shall keep trudging along and will keep the updates coming.

Write ya later.

05 October 2012

Blog changes

As you may have noticed, I have made some changes to the blog. I have been reading lately (I know, that is a real shocker) and realized that I didn't really have any clear focus for this blog. So, I am now going to focus this blog on my writing and most things fantasy related. I will also post art work that I do.

I am trying to improve my skill with doing art on the computer. I did the title of this blog with a new program I recently got called GIMP 2.8. No, I didn't do the knight, it was a clip art I got off the web. Totally free, copied it from Clkr.com so no worries about illegal content. Besides, I can't draw that good with pen and paper yet. But hopefully I will get much better.

I am working on this to go with the game programming. I need graphics to go with the games I am making, and unless I can get someone who is really good with graphics I will need to do them myself. Though after last night, I may just opt for searching for someone to do them for me. I was working on an animation sequence for a character that I am developing for my Rose Angel Princess game. I knew it would be a lot of work but just never guessed how much. And all I am doing right now is trying to get the dying sequence worked out. I have started on the body, but still need to add the arms, clothes, hair, face, and probably I will find something else later that needs to be added. Like what happens to the weapon. See, just thought of that.

Of course that is just the graphics, I still need to work on the story for the game. And then work out the system. It's a good thing  I don't have to worry about the game engine at this time. I am using Engine 001 for that. It is free to use, but I am unable to sell the games I make at this time. I can give them away, just can't make any money off of it. That's why I am studying C++ also (or that is the plan anyways).

But, that is going of course for this posting. I am working on a web series, and I will post that in its own little blog when it is ready. Not sure if it will be on Blogger or Word Press yet. I like Blogger but Word Press may be better suited for it. We will see. Anyways, that is all for now.

Write at ya later.

03 October 2012

Emperor Mollusk Versus The Sinister Brain

Welcome to my first of many book review. My hope with these is to improve my own writing by seeing with a critical eye what other authors do. And also to introduce those that read this blog to great books or steer them away form bad books. So, on with the review.


The first thing that drew me to this book was the title. It intrigued me enough to open the cover and read the summary. From there I was hooked. Here is the summary from the cover:

Emperor Mollusk.

Intergalactic Menace. Destroyer of Worlds. Conqueror of Other Worlds. Mad Genius. Ex-Warlord of Earth.

Not bad for a guy without a spine.

But what's a villain to do after he's done . . . everything. With no new ambitions, he's happy to pitch in and solve the energy crisis or repel alien invaders should the need arise, but if he had his way, he'd prefer to be left alone to explore the boundaries of dangerous science. Just as a hobby, of course.

Retirement isn't easy though. If the boredom doesn't get him, there's always the Venusians. Or the Saturnites. Or the Mercurials. Or . . . well, you get the idea. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also the assassins of a legendary death cult and an up-and-coming megalomaniac (as brilliant as he is bodiless) who have marked Emperor for their own nefarious purposes. But Mollusk isn't about to let the Earth slip out of his own tentacles and into the less capable clutches of another. So it's time to dust off the old death ray and come out of retirement. Except this time, he's not out to rule the world. He's out to save it from the peril of THE SINISTER BRAIN!

Now, who doesn't want to read this book. I mean, its got villains and...well, more villains. Death Rays. Sinister Brains. Robots. Aliens. And more. And it is all in the style of those old pulp fiction stories. Well, that is the impression I got from the covers of pulp fiction magazines. I never really read any before.

The story starts out with Emperor Mollusk saving Earth from himself. Or a clone of himself to be more precise. I was going to say evil clone, but since Mollusk is evil, self admittedly even, that would be kind of redundant. From there, he heads back to his home on Earth and is confronted by an agent from Venus named Zala who wants to arrest him because he killed the queen of Venus. Though that isn't why she is there. She is there to protect him because the Venusians have learned that someone wants to kill Mollusk (gasp). So, Zala follows him around attempting to protect Emperor Mollusk from the assassins although it is usually the other way around. And of course, since he is an evil conqueror of worlds, Mollusk doesn't just sit there and wait for the assassins to come to him, he goes out and looks for the one behind the attacks, much to the chagrin of Zala. So, it goes through the rest of the book as they fight off assassins and follow clues until they finally confront the one behind it all. And you will never guess who it was. It was...yeah, like I am going to ruin the ending for you. Just go get the book and read it.

The book was very good though there are a few things that I didn't quite like about it. First off, and this is just a personal beef, every planet (and several of the moons) in the solar system had an alien civilization living there. But that's not all, they are all way more advanced than humans. Plus Earth wasn't inhabited by just humans, there were at least three or four other civilizations secreted into the corners of the world (also more advanced than humans). This is one of the major reasons I got the pulp feel from it.

The other thing was the way he conquered Earth. (This is another spoiler that I am not going to reveal here. Again, read the book.) I mean, it was a very smart way of doing it. But, being a human myself, I just don't like the fact that we were conquered so easily. This is really a minor annoyance rather then anything bad about the book.

Otherwise, I don't have any complaints with it. For those of you who know me, I did read this book in four days. Yes, just four. That tells you I really enjoyed it. For those of you who don't know me well, a book this size (293 pages) usually takes me about a month. I don't like to read very fast so I don't miss much in the story.

And now for the rating. I am going to give it...4 out of 5 stars.

The next book I am reading is 'The Sorcerers' Plague' by David B. Coe.