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Killing Giants...again

9th May, 2007. 11:36 am. Argh...

So the weird thing about having a 70 hour a week job where you spend a lot of time waiting for stuff to come in is that despite the fact that you could use the time to work on the 30 or so story ideas you have...you don't.

Why?  I think it's because for me writing, at least at its initial stages is a fairly private thing.  I want/need a few minutes alone to work the stuff out and I can't have folks looking at me like I'm crazy when I get up and start talking out dialogue to see how it sounds.

So yeah, I guess more ideas and less execution for awhile longer. 

Still, Chicago is full of awesome real life story bits.  

For example just a few weeks ago I saw a guy in a wheelchair with new expensive shoes.  Now of course these things looked new, he never gets to use them.  But they were very nice and very expensive and it got me thinking...why bother?  Were they a gift?  Were they actually not that expensive but the pristine shine of unuse made them seem so?  And then...bam!  You catch the morning scent of washed and perfumed bodies piling out of a train on a Monday and realize that collectively its actually almost nauseating and viola...new idea.

Current mood: restless.

Make Notes

3rd May, 2007. 8:18 am. Day Two, Year Zero...

So day 2 of the monster project.  It's long and fairly dull work but I console myself with the fact that I've already made more in one day than folks on minimum wage make all week.

And I'm not even that highly paid.

Course I did have to accrue over a 100k of debt to get to this point...so yeah.

Now if that isn't enough of a condemnation of our economic system I'm gonna listen to the new NIN album.  Which by the by, utterly rocks.

Current mood: contemplative.

Read 3 Notes -Make Notes

2nd May, 2007. 1:57 pm. So yeah..Fate is funny

Got a new job on the day I was going to start working on the notebook full of writing ideas I constructed during the last job.  And it started the next day, that being today.  And it's 70 hours a week...

So yeah, money and job good...time to not finish creative work bad.

Ah well, I'll just have a bigger list of ideas by then...like I needed them. 

Current mood: restless.

Read 4 Notes -Make Notes

22nd April, 2007. 9:51 pm. Back Again...

So I haven't posted here much, been busy.

So I picked up White Wolf's new game Scion: Hero and it might just be the best rpg they have ever done.

It's fun, fresh, and now with little to no pointless angst or annoying depowering of PCs in favor of signature NPCs nobdoy really gives a crap about.

But it's not perfect.  In fact, here are three things that I'd like to never see White Wolf or any rpg company do again:

1) an intro fiction piece of over 40 pages is something you should pretty much never do.  I don't care how much of a frustrated novelist you are...keep it short and sweet.

2)  A 50+ page adventure that largely seems to presume you'll use pregenerated characters is...no, just no.  I'm sorry to tell the WW folks this, but I'm sure my roommate can come up with a cooler character than their human sacrifcing Aztec doctor scion.  And the Horus guy is neat, but he's just...Horus...as a cop but with virtually the same backstory.  Fun perhaps, but not really worth the space.  That said, these folks are generally better than most of their pregens for similar games.  I'll take Eric Donner over Harmonious Jade and the like any day.

3)  Limited the number of pantheons and the like is cool and necessary.  But don't do it so you can put in the stuff from #1 and #2.

But despite that, this game is one of the best games...well, pretty much ever.  Why?  Because it's fun and there's a lot that can be done with it.  Sure, it is a bit light of setting, but honestly that's a feature and not a bug.  After all, it seems too many gamers get addicted to annoying setting details and the like and that really sucks for those of us who don't care what the GNP of an average Halfling community is.  In fact, the big reason the things above stand out as kinda crappy is because they are relics of that sort of gaming. 

Also, this game actually rewards you for knowing and understanding a real life academic subject.  Sure, mythology and folklore won't necessarily cure cancer, but it will help you with this game.  Also, in a free-wheeling way, this game reminds you that odds are good all the gamers reading it know some mythology.  That might even be at the heart of it being a bit light on background at times.

But seriously, this is the one, folks.  The bar has officially been raised for at least  modern fantasy gaming.  If this game isn't popular I've kinda given up on the members of the hobby as a group.

Make Notes

14th December, 2006. 3:38 pm. Happy Birthday...

To Me.

Also, people aren't talking to me nearly enough on these things.  Really.  I'm starting to feel unloved.

Also, as a reminder...my regular blog with much more stuff can be found here

So come read it and stuff.

Make Notes

15th November, 2006. 9:33 am. Y'know...

I suppose I could be nice and copy my entries over here from my blog.

But then again, that's work.

But just to be nice I'll post my recent entry at least.  For the rest of it you can check my regular blog...Killing Giants.  Again you can find that here

Here is the List of More Cool Shit You Requested...

So it's that time again...more stuff from me that you should be reading, watch, playing, etc...

1) The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers (Book)

How in the hell did I miss this? This book has been availiable in English (its originally German as I understand it) for about 7 years and nobody even told me it existed? Whose job is it to tell me these things because they are fired.

In all seriousness, go out and buy this book right now. This is one of the most creative and fun novels I've ever read. If there was a smidge more justice in the world I am confident it would be Captain Bluebear and not Harry Potter who was the kid-friendly fantasy hero du jour. Lewis Carroll on LSD dreams of creating a world such as is contained in this book. Any attempts to describe it are futile, save that it is the book that anyone who even mildly enjoys fantasy should have been reading already.

One bit though, while kids can and should read this, it is rightly in the regular literature section at most bookstores. Which should make it easy enough to find..now go buy it. Really, you can read the rest of this list later.

2) Empire of the Wolves (Movie)

So this at first glance looks like a Jean Reno police drama from France. Then you start watching it and it starts to look like a serial killer movie. Then maybe it's an espionage story. And eventually you get it...it's all of these with a John Woo homage or two thrown in. The end result is very fun, very smart, and overall very cool.

3) Kull: Exile of Atlantis by Robert Howard (Book)

If you've never read Howard and you even kinda like fantasy...well, what are you waiting for? The man really was a fine writer who deserves more attention than just being "that Conan guy." Though even that's not so bad, since the Conan stories are really damned good.

But let's talk about Kull, who is the subject of the newest Howard collection. Kull is a bit more romantic and a bit more proactive than Conan, and he certainly has a better sense of humor than Howard heroes like Solomon Kane. This means Howard's Kull stories might be a good place for Howard neophytes to start.

4) Guitar Hero II (Video Game)

I probably don't have to tell most folks who play video games that Guitar Hero and its sequel are awesome. But just in case I do: They're awesome. That's really about all I have to say on that one. If you liked the first one, get the new one. Sure, I wished they'd put a few different songs on in some cases but since I can now play Jon the Fisherman, Message in a Bottle, Pyschobilly Freakout and Rock This Town on GH, I'm willing to put up with the occasional Lamb of God crapfest.

But Guitar Hero designers, for the third game? I have two words.

Johnny Freakin' Cash. C'mon, get with the program people!

5) Midieval: Total War 2 (Video Game)

I have a confession to make. I know a lot of folks complain about the AI on the Total War games. I know that at easier levels, Rome: Total War it was fairly easy to stomp your enemies with a small number of troops and basic tactics. And I've heard similar complaints about the newest game, Midieval: Total War 2.

And y'know. I don't really care. I rarely played out most battles anyway. I tend to let most of them automatically resolve, confident in the strength of my chosen commanders and my selection of troops. I mean, sure, I play out some big battles...but simulating every skirmish bores the crap out of me.

What makes the Total War series fun for me is the story it tells. Marriages, kids, alliances, etc.. makes for a fascinating dynastic element that for me makes the game worthwhile in spades. It could have killer AI and if I can't play Richard the Bloody of Denmark, son of William the Just, then I don't really care about a little extra RTS challenge.

6) The Prestige (Film)

Okay. Christopher Nolan, the director of Batman Begins and Memento. Plus Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Michael Caine. David Bowie as Nikolai Tesla. Really, are you still even reading this? Get out and see this incredibly creative and well done film.

7) The Punisher: The Extended Cut (DVD)

Okay, so while a lot of critics and a fair number of filmgoers didn't like Thomas Jane's Punisher film...well, I say screw 'em. I enjoyed the hell out of it this film, which I generally think was one of the better done Marvel Comics film adaptations. And I for one am all over seeing even more of this film. And in a trend I hope continues in special editions, the film's prelude that was scrapped due to time and budget is going to be animated and included on the DVD. Now that's an extra.

8) The Equalizer (TV Show)

So Spike TV, after pissing me off by canceling their surprisingly good Blade TV series has won me back a bit by rerunning what I think might be the best done and least dated TV show of the 1980s. This tale of an ex-spy trying to redeem himself by helping the helpless is a fine piece of TV that still stands up today. Sadly, there's no DVD release planned that I have heard of but if you get Spike, set your Tivos or whatever and catch an episode or two, I think you won't be disappointed. Particularly cool about this show is the big buff hero is in fact aging, slightly paunchy Edward Woodward, who carries off an air of cool and competence in a way that you see more recently in distinguished actors like Ian McKellan. Woodward's Robert McCall is cool, smart, and utterly dangerous because the actor's talent makes him so.

Well there ya go, I wanted to hit ten, but I have to save some cool stuff for next time.

There? Aren't I a prince?

Make Notes

15th November, 2006. 9:24 am. Hey All

For anyone who cares...and really that should be everyone, I've got a blog over on Blogger.

Why? Dunno, I just prefer the format I guess.

Anyhoo, you can find it and me at http://killing-giants.blogspot.com/

A lot more than you'll find me here, anyway.

Make Notes